Category Archives: Gluten Free Dinners

GF Low Carb Bacon Ranch Chicken Casserole

GF Low Carb Bacon Ranch Chicken Casserole

I Just Wanted a Bacon Ranch Chicken Casserole with No Pasta!

There’s a reason they call casseroles comfort food, because they have stuff like pasta and potatoes and carb-y goodness like that. They make us all warm and cozy inside.

And fat.

So where there’s a will there’s a way when it comes to this girl and making low carb gluten free casseroles.

I had a lot of cooked chicken leftover the other day from when I made my fast and easy low carb Mexican chicken casserole, and I needed to find a creative way to use it up. So I went to Pinterest to find a recipe.

Bacon Ranch Chicken Casserole after casserole started popping up in my feed. Oh, my gosh, it all looked so good. But then I clicked on them and every single one I found had pasta in it. I was bummed.

So then I decided to get creative and find a way to make a bacon chicken ranch casserole that was gluten free and low carb.

Anatomy of a Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole Recipe

I know I could have done the obvious and substituted zoodles for the pasta noodles, (you totally could!) but I didn’t have any zucchini on hand. Plus, I didn’t want to put a whole lot of effort into getting dinner on the table. I only had a small window of time before I had to go back to work.

So I decided to up the amount of chicken and bacon, and add broccoli as my filler in place of the pasta. I didn’t want to skimp on the sauce just because there was no pasta, so I made an extra creamy ranch-y sauce for everybody to swim in.

You’re seriously going to have to exert some self-control during the prep phase. I nibbled on the bacon and sucked down I don’t know how much ranch sauce.

It was good from beginning to end. Tonight as I’m writing this, there’s not even any leftovers and my son wants me to make it again tomorrow.


Let’s Make us Some Bacon Ranch Chicken Casserole!

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Steam 2 cups of broccoli florets until tender. Set aside.

chicken bacon ranch casserole recipe

Fry one pound of bacon until extra crispy. I’ve found the best way to get the crispiest bacon and keep it from curling is to use a cast iron bacon press. It also keeps the grease from spattering everywhere. Best invention ever!

chicken bacon cheese casserole

Crumble the bacon while trying not to eat any of it. I failed miserably on this step. 🙁

P.S. Don’t get rid of that grease! Pour it into a measuring cup and save it for the next step.

chicken ranch casserole recipe

Add 4 ounces softened cream cheese, 1 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 tbsp bacon grease, 1/4 cup chicken broth, 1 tsp parsley, 3/4 tsp pepper, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder and 1/8 thyme and mix well. Next, stir in the bacon.

bacon chicken ranch casserole

Grease a 9×13 casserole dish. Add broccoli and four cups cooked chicken and stir.

chicken bacon ranch recipe

Pour in the ranch mixture and stir well. Bake for 2o minutes. Remove from oven, and top with 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, if desired. Return to oven for 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

bacon ranch chicken casserole

Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy the bacon-y ranch-y goodness!

Protein 30.5, Fat 41.8, Fiber 1.8, Carbs 5.1

Zesty Stuffed Gluten Free Meatball Recipe

Zesty Stuffed Gluten Free Meatball Recipe

My Journey to the Best Stuffed Gluten Free Meatballs Recipe

Whether you eat them for dinner or for appetizers at parties, every foodie needs a amazing gluten free meatball recipe in their back pocket.

Until a few years ago, I never realized how much gluten was used in just about every family recipe I had. As a result, I am constantly finding myself redoing old recipes in my Momma’s recipe collection. But that’s okay, it gives me a chance to blend old and new and add my own personality to my family favorites.

I was scrolling through Pinterest a couple weeks ago (big time zapping rabbit hole right there!) and I saw an awesome looking stuffed meatball recipe. I thought, yeah, baby, having meatballs tonight! Then I read the ingredients and it used breadcrumbs.


So I started looking at ways to remake it into a low carb and gluten free meatball recipe, and it didn’t take long until I figured out a way to make deliciously stuffed gluten free meatballs.

How I Make Gluten Free Meatballs

Breadcrumbs are the key to making traditional meatballs stick together, so what to use in place of it? I decided to fall back on a low carber’s binding staple: Parmesan cheese.

I wanted a little to give the meatballs a boost of flavor and moisture. I added finely chopped onions to my gluten free meatball recipe. The key, though, is to make sure they are chopped extremely fine or else you just end up with lumps of onions in hamburger meat.

When my husband and I got married, he brought his Ninja Chopper with him. I’m knife challenged and, oh, my gosh, I love that thing. It chops vegetables finer than I could ever do by hand, plus it does it in less than 30 seconds. It makes the onions just the right consistency to add moisture and flavor to the meatballs.

I wanted my meatballs to be zesty, but not so hot I couldn’t stand it. I added just enough of Frank’s red hot to give it a little kick, and then stuffed them with cubes of pepper jack cheese.


Use them for Dinner or Gluten Free Meatball Appetizers

I made these into two to three inch meatballs because I was having them as the main course for dinner. But if you made them into one inch balls instead, these would make awesome gluten free meatball appetizers for New Year’s, a Superbowl party, or potluck dinner.

I always like to bring something like this to parties and get togethers when I’m asked to bring something, because it gives me at least one thing I know I can eat. The bonus is that these meatballs taste so great, everyone else can enjoy them, too, and not even know they’re gluten free.

Remember those yummy BBQ crock pot meatballs that everyone always brings to parties? (that you can’t eat!) Make these gluten free meatballs, add some low carb barbecue sauce, and let simmer in the crock pot for awesome low carb meatball appetizers.

Let’s Make My Gluten Free Meatball Recipe!

gluten free meatball appetizers

First, cut pepper jack cheese into 24, 1/4 inch cubes. If you’re making gluten free meatball appetizers, cut 40 cubes. Set aside.

recipe gluten free meatballs

Place two pounds of ground beef into a mixing bowl. You can use all beef, or half ground beef/half ground pork. I actually found a hamburger/ground pork mix at Wal Mart so I used that. It’s so much more convenient and economical!

gluten free meatball appetizer

Add the egg, Parmesan cheese, Frank’s Red Hot, garlic paste, salt, pepper, and spices to the ground beef/pork.

low carb meatball appetizers

Peel a medium sized onion and finely chop half of it. I used my Ninja Chopper for this.

gluten free meatballs recipe

Okay, I’m lazy. But why would I ever chop onions by hand when I can get this result in less than 30 seconds?

meatballs gluten free recipe

Add chopped onions to the bowl and blend everything together well, but being careful not to over mix. You don’t want tough meatballs!

easy gluten free meatballs

If you’re making dinner-sized meatballs, form into two inch balls. For appetizer sized meatballs, form into one inch balls.

make gluten free meatballs

Form an indention in the middle with your finger.

best gluten free meatballs

Place a cube of cheese in the middle of the meatball, and reform the meat around the cheese. Be sure to seal the cheese in really well, otherwise it will leak out during cooking.

low carb meatball recipe

Place them on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until done. Serve and enjoy!

GF Bacon Onion Rings Recipe with Low Carb Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings

I’ve been cooking my way through Maria Emmerich’s new cookbook, The Ketogenic Cookbook. I’ve been eyeing her paleo onion rings recipe for a while, but there’s so many great recipes in there I just never got around to trying it out. But last weekend, my husband, myself, and my three furry children went camping in the RV. I figured that the bacon onion rings recipe would go great with the steaks we were planning on grilling.

In Maria’s recipe, she bakes the rings, but I thought it could be adapted to grilling. I will not grill on a public grill (or any grill for that matter) without using my Kona mat. I don’t have to worry about cleaning the grill, stuff won’t stick, and nothing small falls through the cracks. Since I had the mat, I knew I’d be able to cook my bacon wrapped onion rings without them falling apart and falling in the fire.

Maria suggested serving the bacon onion rings with a hollandaise sauce, but I wanted something a little more Southern. I decided to make a low carb honey mustard dipping sauce to go along with it. When the bacon onion rings were cooked and I dipped one into the honey mustard sauce, oh my gosh! I was in heaven.

I have to admit, one of the reasons I’d been putting off making this bacon onion rings recipe was because I thought it was going to be tedious to make. It turned out to be easier than I thought!


Super Easy Bacon Wrapped Onion Recipe

bacon wrapped onion ring recipe (1)

First, I started my slicing the onions in really thick slices. Then I poked out the middles, leaving about two to three rings per onion ring. Don’t throw away the middles! You can use them in other recipes later.

bacon onion rings recipe

Next, wrap each onion slice with bacon. It takes about two bacon slices to cover a large onion slice. It looks labor intensive, but it’s really not. I was done in about 10 minutes. At this point, though, my husband was really thinking I was wasting a pound of bacon.

Paleo onion ring recipe

Place them on your grill and cook until crispy, then flip. If you’re cooking your bacon onion rings in the oven, bake at 375F for 30 minutes or until crispy. My hubby was still thinking this wasn’t a great use of bacon.

Gluten Free Onion Ring Recipe

The peanut gallery, though, knows a good thing when they smell it.

Low Carb Onion Rings

It took about 20 minutes to get all the bacon wrapped onion rings to my desired crispness. I served them with my grilled steak and low carb honey mustard dipping sauce.

Low Carb Salisbury Steak and Homemade Gluten Free Gravy

Low Carb Salisbury Steak and Homemade Gluten Free Gravy

  Why Down Home Cooking is Considered Comfort Food

I think the reason why comfort food is called, well, comfort food, is because it takes you back to being a kid. If you were to start naming off different dishes, I could tell you who each one of those reminded me of. Cornbread stuffing reminds me of my grandma. Aunt Shirley makes an awesome apple pie. My Aunt Dorothy? Peas and dumplings. I could go on and on.

My momma could make some mean hamburger steaks with mushroom gravy from scratch. On the rare occasion that I got asked what it was I wanted her to fix for dinner, I’d always ask her to make homemade salisbury steak. With gravy, of course!

Comfort food has taken on a whole new meaning to me lately. I know comfort food is called comfort food becuase it’s food you grew up on. But for me it reminds me of those powerful women in my family who are no longer with me. I haven’t tasted my mother’s cooking for years.

For the past three years, she suffered from a rare disease that causes dementia. One of the early clues to me there was something wrong was her cooking became inedible. I didn’t know why at the time, but she had just plain forgotten how to cook. My mother passed away a few months ago, and it’s made me miss all the everyday things about her, such as her cooking, even more.

Yes, Low Carb Salisbury Steak and Gravy can be Comfort Food!

That’s why her salisbury steak and gravy was one of the dishes I decided to remake. It was a no big deal to make low carb salisbury steak. I just had to skip fillers like bread or cracker crumbs and I was good to go. The gravy was a different story. I’ve tried out a lot of gluten free gravy recipes, but not too many of them, frankly, tasted like it  was a keeper.

I’ve also tried several gluten free gravy mixes. They were good, but sometimes you just want something homemade, ya know? I went on a personal quest to find the perfect homemade mushroom gravy recipe.

So I was thrilled when I was watching a cooking show one day, and I saw them make gravy by reducing cream. I’m like, voila! I can make me some gravy. Even better, I can make low carb gravy because whipping cream has zero carbs, and a whole lot of healthy fat.

I have been having an obscene love affair with mushrooms lately, and how can you NOT have salisbury steak without mushroom gravy? So I made sure this recipe is chock full of mushrooms. If you’re not much of a fan, you can use less or leave them out altogether and you will still have an awesome low carb salisbury steak and homemade gluten free gravy.

Let’s get to cooking!


Low Carb Salisbury Steak and Mushroom Gravy from Scratch Recipe

First, patty out your hamburger. I didn’t add anything to my meat, but you could add 1/2 cup chopped onion for extra flavor. Salt and pepper them as much as you’d like.


Low Carb Salisbury Steak and Homemade Gluten Free Gravy


Cook your hamburger steaks until they’re nearly done. Don’t worry if they’re not completely cooked, because we’re going to put them back in the gravy to finish cooking.


Low Carb Salisbury Steak and Homemade Gluten Free Gravy


Remove the cooked hamburger patties to a plate and cover to keep warm. Pour out the hamburger grease, but don’t get rid of the crispy, meaty bits. That’s flavor that’s sticking to your pan!

Low Carb Salisbury Steak and Homemade Gluten Free Gravy

Melt butter, and add the onions and mushrooms.

Low Carb Salisbury Steak and Homemade Gluten Free Gravy

Cook them on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they’re golden brown and soft, about 20 minutes. It may seem like a long time, but it’s waaaay worth it to use raw mushrooms instead of canned.

Low Carb Salisbury Steak and Homemade Gluten Free Gravy

Add the whipping cream and stir off and on until it starts to thicken a bit, about 5 minutes.

Low Carb Salisbury Steak and Homemade Gluten Free Gravy

Place the hamburger steaks back in the gravy and turn them over to coat. Simmer on low covered until the steaks are done and the gravy is thickened. Stir occasionally to keep it from burning. Serve with mashed cauliflower, or mashed potatoes if you’re not worried about carbs.



Contains 7 carbs, 19g fat, and 3g protein per serving.