Embark on a culinary journey with our Clean Keto Bacon Ranch Chicken and "Rice" Casserole, a delectable twist on the classic chicken and rice casserole that's sure to tantalize your taste buds. This recipe transforms a traditional favorite into a low-carb delight, making it an irresistible option for dinner tonight. Imagine the savory taste of crispy bacon and the tang of ranch, all wrapped up in a nutritious, cheesy, keto-friendly package.
At Mindfully Healthy Living, we thrive on crafting low-carb creations that are not just fun and delicious, but also radiate healthiness. And I love casseroles! Bacon and ranch, a match made in flavor heaven, often come with a heavy health cost. So, we rolled up our sleeves to recreate these beloved flavors using clean, wholesome ingredients.
Our version of ranch dressing is a blend of coconut cream, fresh dill, and apple cider vinegar, offering a creamy base without the guilt. We opt for organic, uncured bacon to keep away preservatives and nitrates, using its grease to sauté onions and garlic. This aromatic base adds a depth of flavor. It is then mixed with riced cauliflower and baby spinach, ensuring each bite is packed with nutrients.
But the magic doesn't stop there. Our chicken breast, coupled with cheddar cheese, creates a rich, indulgent experience. The casserole is then crowned with a crispy crust of almond flour, more cheddar, and Parmesan cheese, resulting in a mouthwatering masterpiece that's a perfect fit for the entire family. It's not just a dish; it's keto comfort food at its finest.
Our passion for keto casserole recipes runs deep. From the spicy zest of our Chicken Enchilada Casserole to the Italian-infused Turkey Broccoli Casserole, and the indulgent Keto Buffalo Chicken Casserole, we've explored a world of flavors. Each low-carb recipe, including our BBQ Chicken Casserole, is designed to be an easy dinner option for the ketogenic diet, ensuring you can enjoy delicious chicken and comforting casseroles without straying from your health goals. If you are looking for a breakfast option, try our meal prep keto breakfast casserole.
But don't worry, this isn't only for keto dieters, you can enjoy the low carb casserole creations even if you don't follow a strict low carb diet. In fact, our whole family loves this keto chicken casserole.
In our journey of creating these creamy casseroles and many other delicious clean-eating recipes, we've learned the importance of setting healthy intentions while doing our best to make healthier choices for our families. Whether it's using leftover chicken or crafting a low-carb weeknight dinner like our Cauliflower Casserole, every choice matters.
Setting healthy intentions can transform the way we eat, bringing mindfulness to our meals. To delve deeper into this transformative practice, check out our free guide on setting intentions.
Join us- and discover clean and easy keto recipes. Embrace a lifestyle where delicious chicken, crispy bacon, and comforting casseroles align with your health aspirations for the whole family. Join us in celebrating the joys of clean eating and relish in a world where the entire family can enjoy every bite, and feel good about it too!
Shredded Rotisserie Chicken: This ingredient is the main highlight, providing tender and convenient chicken. Opt for a leftover rotisserie chicken or roast your own, ensuring it's organic for the best quality.
Cauliflower, Riced: A stellar substitute for white rice in a low-carb recipe, riced cauliflower integrates seamlessly into the keto diet. You can make your own cauliflower rice by pulsing cauliflower chunks in a food processor or by using a box grater, or purchase it pre-riced and frozen from your grocery store.
Almond Flour: Ideal for a crispy, gluten-free topping, almond flour is a must-have in keto casserole recipes, adding a delightful nutty flavor and crunch similar to panko bread crumbs.
Organic Free-Range Chicken Broth: A base for our creamy sauce, organic, free-range chicken broth enriches the dish with natural flavors. It's an integral part of the ingredient list, contributing to a robust and hearty casserole.
Coconut Cream: A luscious alternative to heavy cream, coconut cream offers richness and creaminess, making it a staple in creamy casseroles. Look for versions with minimal additives to maintain a clean keto diet.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): A splash of ACV not only enhances the flavor but also incorporates a well-known health ingredient into your ketogenic diet.
Shredded Cheddar Cheese: For the best quality and flavor, buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself. This avoids the extra starches and additives found in pre-shredded cheese, making it a healthier choice for your keto comfort food.
Grated Parmesan Cheese: Adds a sharp, salty dimension. Grate it yourself for the freshest taste and to avoid unnecessary additives.
Chopped Onions: A foundational ingredient for any flavorful casserole, onions bring both taste and nutrients to your dish.
Minced Garlic: Garlic is key for flavor depth and is also known for its health benefits, making it a valuable addition to any easy keto recipe.
Smoked Paprika: Provides a smoky essence and a hint of heat, elevating the flavor profile of your low-carb weeknight dinner.
Finely Chopped Dill: Adds a fresh, herby touch to the dish, especially when paired with the creamy elements.
Red Pepper Flakes: Adjust the amount to your preference for a spicy kick in your cauliflower casserole.
Fresh Spinach: Incorporating spinach boosts the nutritional value, ensuring your keto chicken casserole is as healthy as it is delicious.
Uncured Bacon: Opt for organic, uncured bacon to avoid preservatives and nitrates, and use the grease for sautéing to infuse more bacon flavor into the dish. Check out our guide to the best bacon for a keto diet!
Sea Salt and Black Pepper: These seasonings are essential for enhancing the overall taste of your delicious chicken casserole.
By choosing high-quality, organic ingredients for your keto chicken cauliflower rice casserole, you elevate not only the taste but also the nutritional value of your meal, making it a wholesome choice for the entire family.
See recipe card for quantities.
Fry the Aromatics: Heat your large skillet and fry the onions, garlic, and a dash of red pepper flakes in either the bacon grease or a bit of avocado oil for a couple of minutes.
Incorporate Cauliflower and Spinach: Toss in the riced cauliflower and sauté over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Follow by mixing in the spinach and cook until it's just wilted.
Blend the Casserole Ingredients: Grab a large bowl and combine the shredded chicken, the sautéed cauliflower and spinach mixture, organic chicken broth, coconut cream, a splash of apple cider vinegar, freshly chopped dill, and half of your shredded cheddar cheese. Don't forget to add the crumbled bacon for that smoky flavor. Season well with salt and pepper to your taste.
Assemble in Casserole Dish: Carefully transfer this mixture into your baking dish, spreading it evenly.
Baking: First, get your oven up to the temperature of 350°F (175°C). Create a crunchy topping by mixing the almond flour with the rest of your cheddar cheese and the grated Parmesan. Evenly sprinkle this over the casserole. Let it bake for 25-30 minutes, or until you see the top turn a lovely golden brown.
Final Touches and Serving: Once out of the oven, embellish your casserole with some fresh parsley. For an extra burst of freshness, feel free to top it with some diced tomatoes and slices of avocado.
Hint: When cooking with bacon grease, keep in mind the amount can vary. If your pan seems dry, don’t hesitate to add a bit more avocado oil. Conversely, if there’s too much grease, simply spoon out the excess. This ensures your sautéed veggies are perfectly flavored without being too greasy or dry. Enjoy your delicious and nutritious keto creation!
Substitutions and Variations
- Replace Chicken: Omit the chicken and bacon and increase the amount of vegetables. Consider adding green onions, bell peppers, or zucchini for added texture and flavor.
- Protein Substitutes: For protein, you could incorporate jackfruit or tofu, adjusting spices like garlic powder or onion powder to enhance the taste.
- Cheese and Cream Substitutes: Use vegan cheese options and full-fat coconut milk as an alternative for richness. Nutritional yeast can also be added for a cheesy flavor.
- Protein Sources: Incorporate plant-based protein such as tempeh or more varieties of beans.
Cauliflower Rice Substitutes:
- Roasted Cauliflower Florets: For a different texture, roast cauliflower florets until they are slightly crispy.
- Broccoli or Broccoli Rice: An equally nutritious alternative, broccoli can be riced or used as florets.
- Spaghetti Squash: A great low-carb option that adds a unique texture to the dish.
- Wild or Brown Rice: If carbs are not a concern, these rice varieties can add a nutty flavor and hearty feel to the dish.
- Chicken Breasts or Chicken Thighs: Cook and shred or dice your own chicken for a fresher taste. Chicken thighs are particularly juicy and flavorful.
- Pork Rinds: For added crunch and a boost of flavor, sprinkle organic crushed pork rinds on top before baking.
Creamy Sauce Alternatives:
- Heavy Whipping Cream: Offers a richer and thicker consistency to the sauce.
- Sour Cream: Adds tanginess and creaminess, perfect for a ranch-like flavor.
- Full Fat Cream Cheese: For a thicker, creamier casserole, mix in some cream cheese.
- Greek Yogurt: A healthier alternative that adds creaminess.
Additional Spice Options:
- Chili Powder: Add a bit of chili powder for a subtle heat and depth of flavor.
- Garlic Powder and Onion Powder: These can be used to enhance the flavor, especially if you're using less flavorful meat substitutes. The smoked paprika will give it a smoky bacon-like flavor.
Rice Recipe Modifications:
- Low Carb Recipe: Stick to cauliflower or broccoli rice to keep the carbs in check.
- Keto Journey: For those strictly following a keto diet, it's best to avoid grains like brown rice and focus on low-carb vegetable substitutes. However, if you don't mind the carbs, this easy casserole also works well with an organic wild rice blend.
By experimenting with these substitutions and variations, you can adapt the recipe to suit different dietary needs or simply bring a new flavor to your table. Enjoy your culinary adventure!
Allow the casserole to cool to room temperature before storing it to maintain its texture and flavor. Transfer leftovers into an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4 days. Can be frozen for up to 4 months.
When assembling your casserole, avoid overfilling the dish as it will bubble during baking. Also, scoop only the cream from the top of your coconut cream can, leaving the excess water behind - it's perfect for adding to your smoothie the next day!
On a keto diet, traditional rice varieties, like white or brown rice, are typically avoided due to their high carbohydrate content. Instead, 'riced' vegetables such as cauliflower or broccoli rice are excellent substitutes, offering a similar texture with significantly fewer carbs.
Yes, cauliflower is excellent for a keto diet. It's low in carbs and highly versatile, making it a popular substitute for grains and legumes. Cauliflower can be riced, mashed, or used as a pizza crust, fitting well into various keto-friendly dishes.
Black wild rice, although containing more nutrients than white rice, is still high in carbohydrates. Therefore, it's not typically considered keto-friendly. Those on a strict keto diet usually avoid grains, including wild rice, to maintain ketosis.
On a keto diet, you can enjoy various types of chicken, including chicken breasts, thighs, and wings. Rotisserie chicken and other minimally processed chicken products are also great options. It's advisable to opt for chicken cooked with natural ingredients and avoid breaded or sugar-marinated versions.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
For a perfectly balanced meal, pair this casserole with easy side dishes like a simple green salad.
Holistic Nutrition Tips
Clean Keto Bacon Ranch Chicken and "Rice" Casserole
- 2 lbs shredded rotisserie chicken
- Cauliflower riced (about 4 cups)
- 1 cup almond flour for topping
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ½ cup coconut cream
- 1 splash of apple cider vinegar ACV
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup chopped onions
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon finely chopped dill
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cups fresh spinach chopped
- 6 slices uncured bacon cooked and crumbled (reserve grease)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley for garnish
- Optional toppings: diced tomato and avocado
- Sauté Vegetables: Sauté onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes in bacon grease or avocado oil.
- Add Cauliflower and Spinach: Cook riced cauliflower for 5 minutes, then stir in spinach until wilted.
- Combine Ingredients: Mix chicken, cauliflower and spinach mixture, chicken broth, coconut cream, ACV, dill, 1 cup cheddar cheese, and bacon. Season with salt and pepper.
- Prepare Casserole Dish: Transfer mixture to a casserole dish.
- Bake: Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Mix almond flour with remaining cheddar and Parmesan cheese, sprinkle over the chicken. Bake for 25-30 minutes until topping is golden brown.
- Garnish and Serve: Garnish with parsley, add optional toppings if desired.
For a dairy-free option, substitute cheese with vegan alternatives.
You can make your own riced cauliflower using a food processor for a fresher alternative to store-bought.
We hope you enjoy making and savoring this Clean Keto Bacon Ranch Chicken and "Rice" Casserole as much as we do! Your thoughts and experiences are valuable to us, so please feel free to leave a comment and share your take on this recipe. Don’t forget to save it for later and share it with friends and family who might appreciate a healthy and delicious meal idea.
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