I am, by most standards, what many would call a “foodie” (even though I’m not a huge fan of the term.) And while it’s true that these days you’ll find us on our date nights at some of the Twin Cities’ best restaurants, the food I ate growing up was quite humble. Many of our family meals contained cans of condensed soup, Ritz crackers, and boxed potato products. I avoid most processed ingredients like those now, but I still find the flavors of my childhood to be very comforting. Enter: this beef and cauliflower rice skillet.
This is one of my grandma’s recipes. I recall eating this often as it was so simple and cheap to make but tastes good.
“Hamburger & Mushroom Soup Hot Dish.” As is the case with nearly all of my grandma’s recipes, it has the most creative of names. 😉 The original recipe has cans of mushroom soup and white rice, both of which are not in compliance with my ketogenic diet. But that doesn’t mean I can’t recreate the flavors (and I made it faster to boot!)
And even though ketogenic recipes can often be more expensive, the cost of this recipe is still relatively low depending on whether you use organic or conventional ingredients.
Beef and Cauliflower Rice Skillet
There’s a tiny bit more prep in this recipe than the original, as we’re using fresh mushrooms instead of mushroom soup. But we more than make up for it in the cook time.
We need onion, celery, and mushrooms all diced smallish.
Sauté these in a large skillet with your favorite paleo fat. I used bacon grease because I can, but you can easily use coconut oil, avocado oil, lard, or even ghee. Sauté just for a couple minutes as they’ll continue cooking once you add the meat.
Add ground beef. You can use anywhere from 1 to 1.5 lbs, whatever portion you have on hand and makes you happy. I used a 1.3 lb package from Costco. I typically use 80% lean ground beef in my recipes. I also threw in a clove of minced garlic here.
Once your meat is browned, add your cauliflower rice. You can rice fresh cauliflower either with the large grate side of a box grater or in the food processor, but I prefer to buy frozen riced cauliflower because I’m lazy. Cook until the cauliflower rice is cooked to your liking– frozen will take a little longer than fresh here.
A note about salt: You can use however much salt as is to your liking, but I wrote the recipe with a fair amount simply because canned soup is pretty high in salt and it just doesn’t taste right to me without it. Plus, if you’re following a ketogenic diet, you actually need more salt so it’s not a concern to have too much salt.
Once the cauliflower rice is cooked through, add some good old heavy cream. I swear, the keto diet has been relatively easy for me simply because of my great love for heavy cream.
I also add a dash or worcestershire sauce here just to add a bit more depth of flavor. If you’re against using Worcestershire sauce (it does contain a small amount of molasses) you could use coconut aminos or even just a little bit of fish sauce (if you don’t use much, it won’t taste fishy at all.)
Then you’ll need to thicken it up a bit. To do this, I used some xanthan gum. Just sprinkle it over everything and stir until it thickens up.
It’s not written into the original recipe, but somewhere along the way my siblings and I started putting parmesan cheese on top of our servings. You know, the kind in the green can? We put that stuff on everything. Lol.
Now I recommend grating some yourself off a block of parmesan simply because the flavor is not even comparable– the fresh stuff tastes infinitely better.
I added some fresh parsley on top for the pictures, but it’s not really necessary. I will say that this meal is easy, nutritious, cheap, and tasty, but it’s not the prettiest meal out there. I had to dress it up for the photos. This doesn’t stop my family from devouring it, though! My kids love this meal!
Beef and Cauliflower Rice Skillet
1 Tbsp avocado oil or other paleo fat
4 oz (115g) mushrooms, diced (I used cremini)
2 oz (55g) celery, diced (about 2 stalks)
1 oz (30g) onion (or about 1/4 cup, diced)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb (0.45 kilo) ground beef
1.5 lb (0.7 kilo) riced cauliflower (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup (120mL) heavy cream
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (or sub coconut aminos)
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
salt & pepper
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms, celery, and onion. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, then add ground beef and garlic. Brown the meat, breaking it up as you go. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Once the meat is browned, add the riced cauliflower. Cook until cauliflower is soft, then add cream and Worcestershire sauce. Heat for a minute, then sprinkle in xanthan gum. Stir until thickened. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. Serve with parmesan cheese, if desired.
Nutrition (per 6 servings): Calories: 305 kcal; Total carbs: 7.5g; Fiber: 2.6g; Net Carbs: 4.9g; Protein: 16.1g; Fat: 22.7g
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