A delicious Low Carb Cheesy Leftover Turkey Casserole with cauliflower, cheddar cheese, jalapeno and mexican spices. A comforting meal that takes advantage of the leftover meat from your holiday feasts.
I enjoy making a turkey and all the fixings for the holiday feasts but once it's over I want something super easy that I can meal prep and last me for a couple of days.
This low carb keto leftover turkey casserole was inspired by my Low Carb Instant Pot Leftover Turkey Soup as I was able to use most of the turkey but still had some left to make this casserole. This has become one of my favourite low carb recipes.
🥘 Main ingredients used for this recipe
Made with a mixture of creamy cauliflower rice, carrots, celery, onion, leftover turkey cheddar, jalapenos and chili powder for a mexican inspired meal. This leftover turkey casserole will be something you will want all year around.
- Leftover Turkey: chopped or shredded leftover turkey was used in this recipe
- Cauliflower Rice: used for added texture made with cream cheese and heavy cream to bind it all together. Frozen or fresh cauliflower rice can be used.
- Jalapeno: adding a little heat in this casserole dish
- Cheddar Cheese: mixed into the casserole and shredded on top for a crispy layer on top of the casserole dish
- Carrots, Celery and Garlic: a trio of vegetables to add more flavour and aromatics to the keto leftover turkey casserole
👨🏻🍳 Steps by step instructions
How to make the Low Carb Cheesy Leftover Turkey Casserole
STEP 1: In a medium pan on medium heat add the olive oil and stir in the diced carrots, celery, garlic and jalapeno. Jalapenos can be deseeded if you want less heat. Add salt and pepper and saute until the vegetables are softened.
Then add the chicken broth and simmer until most of the broth is reduced. Remove from the vegetables from the pan and place into a large bowl, set aside.
STEP 2: In the same pan on medium heat add the riced cauliflower, cook until the moisture is removed from the rice and the cauliflower is lightly browned and a little crispy.
Create a well in the cauliflower and add the cream cheese to the centre. Spoon the cauliflower rice around the cream cheese to support in softening the cream cheese. Pour the heavy cream around the perimeter of the pan and allow to simmer on medium heat for 2 minutes. Then stir and combine everything together. It should now be a creamy cauliflower rice. Remove and add to the same bowl as the vegetables.
STEP 3: In the same large bowl add the leftover turkey. Can use chopped or shredded turkey. Mix until well combined and then add 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese and the chili powder. Mix once again.
- STEP 4: Transfer the mixture and spread evenly in a greased 9" x 13" casserole dish and top with more grated cheddar cheese.
STEP 5: Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 minutes and then broil for 3-5 minutes just to get the cheese crispy on the top. Enjoy this low carb leftover turkey casserole topped with a dollop of sour cream and sliced jalapenos or green onions.
👨🏻🍳 Recipe tips
Top Tip: For best results make sure to dry out the cauliflower rice in the pan. Removing the moisture helps to crisp up the rice and give it a slightly nutty flavour.
- Serving: serve with a dollop of sour cream and diced jalapenos or green onions on top
- Storage: you can store any leftovers of this recipe in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freeze: use an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge overnight and heat up in the microwave or oven.
♨️ Recipe variations
This low carb turkey casserole recipe can be made with additional ingredients to kick up the flavour profile. Here are a few variations:
- Spicy - add ¼ cup of buffalo hot sauce to give it more of a cick and added flavour
- Tomato - saute the vegetables in ½ cup of a low carb tomato sauce or salsa for added moisture and flavour
- Cilantro - if you love the taste of cilantro like I do, add a ¼ cup of chopped cilantro to the mixture before baking in the oven.
- Ground Turkey - don't have any leftover turkey but still want to make this recipe? Use cooked ground turkey in replace of the leftover turkey.
This low carb turkey casserole dish is also gluten free
See this Cheesy Low Carb Chicken Fajita Casserole for another mexican inspired recipe.
💭 Frequently asked questions
A serving contains roughly 3 grams of net carbs per serving.
Yes, fresh or frozen cauliflower rice will work in this recipe.
No, since we are using lower temperatures and only for 30 minutes it is not necessary to cover the casserole while baking.
No, it needs to be cooked first. Using ground turkey can be an option but it needs to be browned first.
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Low Carb Cheesy Leftover Turkey Casserole
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 1 medium carrot diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 jalapeno peppers with or without seeds
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups cauliflower rice fresh or frozen
- 2 tablespoon cream cheese
- 2 tablespoon heavy whipping cream 35%
- 4 cups leftover turkey chopped or shredded
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 2 cups cheddar cheese grated
- Add the olive oil to a large frying pan
- In the same pan saute the vegetables (except the cauliflower rice) with the salt and pepper until softened and then add the chicken broth. Once reduced remove from pan and transfer to a large bowl.
- In the same pan add the cauliflower rice and cook over medium heat until the moisture from the rice has evaporated and becomes slightly crispy.
- Create a well in the middle of the rice and add the cream cheese. Scoop the rice around the cream cheese to support melting the cheese. Pour the heavy cream around the rice and allow to simmer for 2 minutes.
- Stir together until ingredients are combined and then mix in with the vegetables in the large bowl.
- Add the turkey to the same large bowl with 1 cup of cheddar cheese and the chili powder.
- Transfer and spread the mixture evenly into a greased 9" x 13" casserole dish and top with a layer of the remaining cheddar. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes and then 3-5 minutes on broil to crisp up the cheese.
This recipe card provides the basic details to make this recipe. For more information, questions or variations please review the content above the recipe card.
Updates and Revisions
If conflicting information between the video and recipe card, the recipe card will always have the most up to date information, ingredients and instructions.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
🌡️ Food safety
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
See more food guidelines