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Easy keto beef jalapeño skillet

Here’s a quick, simple keto recipe involving ground beef and jalapeños. Yes, those jalapeños are making another appearance because I still have about a half gallon left from the gargantuan bottle I got at Costco.

Anyway, I’ve discovered the heat and vinegar infusion from the jalapeños gives the ground beef a really good flavor. So here goes one of the easiest recipes ever.

Ingredients for keto beef jalapeño skillet

1 lb ground beef
½ onion, chopped
½ cup nacho sliced jalapeños (remove seeds)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
8 oz grated cheddar cheese
Sour cream for garnish (optional)

Cooking instructions

In a medium skillet, brown the onion and jalapeños in oil or bacon fat. Chop the jalapeños up as they are cooking (or before if you prefer).

Add the ground beef and season with salt and garlic powder.

Stir all the ingredients together and cook until the hamburger is done.

Spread the cheese on top.

Put the skillet in the oven and bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Dinner is ready! Add sour cream if desired.

This makes four servings for me and is a good recipe for meal prep or freezing for later.

Keto chicken jalapeño popper casserole

I love keto jalapeño poppers but they’re kind of a pain to make. And I love chicken but sometimes it gets a little boring. So I decided to put the two together in a casserole using shortcuts that eliminate the hassle.

All the ingredients combine together beautifully and yet the individual flavors don’t get lost. You can still taste the jalapeños, the cheese, the bacon and the chicken. And it’s so rich and filling, a modest serving will keep you satisfied for hours.

Shopping for ingredients

I decided the biggest shortcut would be to use a rotisserie chicken so off to Costco I went. (Leftover turkey would also work well in this recipe.)

After picking up the chicken, I went over to the produce section for the jalapeños. How can this be—no jalapeños! Rather than go to another store, I decided to get the next best thing which was the biggest jar of sliced jalapeños I’ve ever seen. This turned out to be shortcut #2.

nacho sliced jalapenos

I almost succumbed to shortcut #3 by buying a bag of crumbled bacon at Costco, but I decided to cook my own.

Chicken jalapeño popper casserole recipe

18 oz cooked chicken, cubed
12 oz bacon, cooked and chopped
6 large jalapeños, roasted and chopped, or
1 cup sauteed nacho sliced jalapeños, chopped
(Save a few jalapeño rings for the topping)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese + extra for topping
8 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup sour cream
½ cup chicken stock or water
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

8×8 inch baking dish, greased
Combine ingredients as follows and bake at 375 degrees 30 to 40 minutes
Serves 6

Assembling the casserole

If using fresh jalapeños, cut in half, remove seeds, add a little oil. Roast on a baking sheet in the oven at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes.

If using jarred jalapeños, rinse and dry them, then saute in butter until soft. Save a few rings for the topping and chop up the rest.

chopped sauteed jalapenos

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream and spices.

cream cheese, sour cream and spices

Then stir in the cheese.

cheese added to cream cheese mixture

Mix in the chicken broth or water to thin it out a little.

Mixture should be quite loose.

Add cubed chicken, chopped bacon (reserving some for topping) and all the chopped jalapeños.

Pour mixture into greased baking dish and top with a little extra cheese.

Sprinkle on reserved jalapeño slices and reserved bacon.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly.

Enjoy!

My favorite yellow squash recipes

This year I planted my first vegetable garden in many years. My motivations were to save money on food and be able to eat nutritious organic vegetables within minutes of harvesting. One of my choices was yellow squash because it’s low carb, easy to grow and has lots of vitamins.

I was so excited watching the little sprouts rise out of the ground and couldn’t wait for my babies to start bearing fruit. I resolved to keep on top of the situation by picking the squash while they were still quite small.

Every day I got such satisfaction watering the plants and charting their progress: the first leaf, the first blossom, the first tiny squash developing. I longed for the day when I could start harvesting.

Well that day finally came and nearly every day afterward I’d pick four or five little squash and sauté them up for my dinner. Things were under control. I got this, I thought.

Then the inevitable happened. Not content to stay neatly in their little plot, virtually overnight my babies had grown into monsters, seemingly bent on world domination. They began choking out my other vegetables, spilling out of the garden and marauding across the sidewalk.

And with it came squash. Lots and lots of squash. I gave away as much as I could but was still left with a small mountain. By this time I was ready to find some new recipes for all that squash, and here are my favorites—roasted yellow squash and jalapeño soup, tamale squash pie casserole, and pepperoni pizza squash.

Roasted yellow squash jalapeño soup

Roasted yellow squash jalapeno soup

Roasted yellow squash jalapeno soup

Ingredients

1½ lb yellow squash, cut into ½” slices
3 jalapeños
1 chopped onion
4 or 5 cloves of garlic
1T ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1½ cans of chicken broth
4 to 6 oz half and half
olive oil
salt and pepper
sour cream and chives to garnish

Instructions

Place the squash, jalapeños, onion and garlic and in roasting pan. Drizzle with olive and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 425° for 30 to 45 minutes, until they look like this.

yellow squash jalapeno soup2

Roasted squash, jalapenos, garlic and onions

Peel the skin off the jalapeños. You can also scrape out the seeds if desired. Put all the vegetables in a saucepan with cumin, oregano and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Purée the vegetables with an immersion blender. Add the half and half. Turn the heat back on until soup starts to bubble.

Pureed yellow squash jalapeno soup

Pureed yellow squash jalapeno soup

Serve with a little sour cream on top and a sprinkling of chives.

Spicy yellow squash jalapeno soup topped with sour cream and chives

Spicy yellow squash jalapeno soup topped with sour cream and chives

Tamale squash pie casserole

For this recipe I used squash instead of corn and it came out great! This tamale pie is a little bit spicy and very cheesy.

A slice of tamale squash pie

A slice of tamale squash pie

Ingredients

1 lb hamburger
1 chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp salt
black pepper
1 to 2T chili powder
1 lb yellow squash, sliced
1 7-oz can green chilis
1 lg can olives, sliced
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp cayenne pepper
olive oil
grated cheese

For the corn meal topping:

¾ cup corn meal
2 cups water
½ tsp salt
½ tsp chili powder
1T butter
grated cheese

Ingredients for tamale squash pie

Ingredients for tamale squash pie

About a pound of squash for tamale pie casserole

About a pound of squash for tamale pie casserole

Instructions

Cook the onions in a large skillet with olive oil. When they start to brown add the hamburger, garlic, salt and pepper. I also threw in a few jalapeños for good measure.

Browning the meat, onions and garlic with a few jalapenos

Browning the meat, onions and garlic with a few jalapenos

When the hamburger is cooked, add the chili powder and cook for about a minute. Then add the squash, green chilis, olives, tomato sauce, sugar and cayenne pepper.

Vegetables added to browned meat

Vegetables added to browned meat

Simmer for 25 minutes then stir in a generous amount of grated cheese.

Adding grated cheese to tamale squash pie

Adding grated cheese to tamale squash pie

Ten or 15 minutes before the meat mixture is done, start cooking the corn meal in a pot with water, salt and chili powder. Stir constantly until it starts to thicken up. At that point add butter.

(I actually used organic polenta because I couldn’t find organic corn meal. The polenta is a coarser grind than corn meal and has more texture. Why organic? Because it’s non GMO.)

Adding butter to cooked corn meal

Adding butter to cooked corn meal

Add even more cheese.

Putting cheese into cooked corn meal

Putting cheese into cooked corn meal

Spread the corn meal over the meat.

Note: If you’re not using an oven-proof skillet, you’ll need to transfer the meat into a buttered casserole dish.

Cooked corn meal goes on top of meat mixture

Cooked corn meal goes on top of meat mixture

Top with—yes—more cheese. I probably use about 8 oz of cheese altogether.

Cheese goes on top of the corn meal

Cheese goes on top of the corn meal

Pop the casserole in the oven at 375° for 40 minutes. This is what it looks like when it’s done. Saucy with a thin crunchy shell on top from the melted cheese.

Tamale squash pie casserole

Tamale squash pie casserole

Let it cool for a little bit before serving.

A serving of tamale squash pie casserole

A serving of tamale squash pie casserole

Pepperoni pizza squash

This is by far my favorite recipe with all the flavor of pizza and none of the carbs. It’s so good I don’t even miss the crust, and the quickest to put together of the three recipes. The amounts are left off because you can make as little or as much as you want.

Pepperoni pizza squash

Pepperoni pizza squash

Ingredients

yellow squash cut into slices
marinara sauce (my favorite one is Bertoli Organic Olive Oil, Basil & Garlic)
quattro formaggio grated cheese
pepperoni slices
olive oil
salt and pepper
fresh basil leaves (optional garnish)

quattro formaggio and pepperoni

Quattro formaggio and pepperoni

Instructions

Sauté the squash in a frying pan with olive oil, salt and pepper until browned.

Sauteed yellow squash

Sauteed yellow squash

Transfer to a baking dish to cover the bottom in one layer.

First layer: squash

First layer: squash

Put enough marinara sauce on top to cover the squash.

Second layer: marinara sauce

Second layer: marinara sauce

Then sprinkle with cheese.

Third layer: cheese

Third layer: cheese

Top with pepperoni.

Fourth layer: pepperoni

Fourth layer: pepperoni

Bake in a 350° oven for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Baked pepperoni pizza squash

Baked pepperoni pizza squash

Garnish with basil leaves torn into pieces if desired.

I’m eating this whole thing!

The perfect bite

The perfect bite

Heaven!