When I was growing up and spent summers with my grandparents, one of my favorite dishes my grandmother made was Taco Casserole—which was basically taco meat, Fritos corn chips, and cheese. Lots and lots of cheese.
Well . . . I can’t have the Fritos anymore, so I’ve been looking for a good low-carb substitution for this favorite from childhood. This one turned out okay, and will be even better with some tweaks (at the end—and you’ll see why I mentioned “meringue” in the title).
Low-Carb Taco Pie
(Click here for a printable PDF version of this recipe)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheese, divided (3/4 and 1/4)—I used 4-cheese Mexican Blend, but Cheddar or Jack or whatever cheese you like would work
- Optional (be sure to add the carb count for these):
Tools and Utensils:
- Deep skillet (for cooking taco meat)
- Plastic storage container or zip-top bag (big enough to hold cooked taco meat)
- Cooking spray (I used Olive Oil spray)
- 9-inch glass pie plate
- Measuring cup/spoons
- Large bowl
During your weekend prep time, or the evening before, make the taco meat. Brown one pound of ground beef (or whatever ground meat you prefer) in a tall-sided skillet over medium to medium-high heat. As soon as the meat is cooked through, drain off as much grease as possible and return meat to pan. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Add seasoning from packet and stir until well combined. Reduce heat and cook until sauce is slightly thickened. Let meat cool, then place in a plastic bag or container and store in the fridge until ready to assemble the “pie.”
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease pie plate and set aside. In a large bowl, combine eggs, cream, garlic, salt, and pepper and whisk until well combined.
Original Recipe: Spread taco meat in the bottom of the pie plate. Pour egg mixture over. Top with shredded cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until center is set (it doesn’t jiggle anymore) and cheese is golden brown. Let sit five minutes before slicing into quarters or eighths and serving.
Serves 4 (2 slices each) as a main dish, 8 as a side dish. Each “slice of pie” has 2g net carbs.
The way this cooked up turned out to be something akin to a taco-meringue pie—all the meat loose and falling apart at the bottom and all the egg mixture cooked together on the top. Maybe if the meat was hot when the egg mixture is poured over, the eggs would seep down into it better to hold it together. But I doubt it, since the hot meat would immediately start cooking the eggs. Here’s what I plan to do differently next time:
Changes I Plan to Make: Precook taco meat and chill until ready to assemble, as outlined above. Combine all ingredients (egg mixture plus taco meat plus 3/4 cup of cheese) and pour into greased pie plate. Bake as instructed above. Five minutes before removing from oven, sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of cheese on top and bake until it’s melted/center of pie is set.