This Paleo and AIP Beef and Kale Casserole is hearty, healthy and delicious. It’s a great one pan meal that’s nutrient dense and comforting, and also Whole30 compliant.
Casseroles are some of my favorite comfort foods. This AIP Beef and Kale Casserole is no exception. It’s made using ground beef, kale, sweet potatoes, and topped with a creamy, nut and dairy-free cheese sauce that is completely AIP.
Gluten free casserole without dairy or nuts?
Yep! This gluten free casserole is completely nut-free and dairy free, egg-free, grain-free, AIP, paleo and Whole30 compliant. So, you can think of it as the ultimate allergen-friendly casserole!
Here are the main ingredients in this AIP Casserole:
- ground beef (can substitute ground pork or lamb)
- dried basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder
- kale – you can use any variety here
- nomato sauce or coconut aminos (use for Whole30)
- Full fat coconut milk (I like the Native Forest guar free brand)
- tapioca or arrowroot starch – this is used to thicken the nut-free, dairy-free cheese sauce
- apple cider vinegar – adds a nice tang and acidity to the “cheese” sauce
- turmeric (optional) – to give a yellow color to the AIP cheese sauce
How to make Dairy-free, AIP Cheese Sauce
It can be tricky to find dairy-free cheese sauces that are cashew-free or nut-free. Why? Because cashews provide a really nice fattiness and creaminess to dairy-free cheese sauces that mimic dairy. For folks who are sensitive to nuts, however, this won’t work. Many dairy-free cheese sauces also contain nutritional yeast, but not this one! This allergen-friendly cheese sauce is made without nuts or nutritional yeast. And, it’s so versatile and even browns when you use the broil function on your oven. It’s stretchy, delicious and fun!
So, here’s how you make it:
- Combine full coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, dried thyme, turmeric and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Next, in a small bowl, mix together tapioca starch and water to make a slurry. This helps thicken the sauce and is integral to the right texture
- Finally, once coconut milk mixture has reached a rolling boil, add in slurry and whisk continuously until mixture begins to thicken.
Can I make this casserole into a skillet dish?
Yep! Make your life even simpler and use an oven-safe skillet to make this dish. I like to use my cast-iron braiser or large skillet so that everything can go right into the oven! Talk about easy.
Can I make this dish with another green?
Yes, substitute spinach, collard greens, rainbow chard or any other leafy green here for the kale.
Can I make this coconut free?
You can use nomato sauce instead of coconut aminos and switch out this coconut-milk based dairy-free cheese for the sauce I use in my Cauliflower Gratin recipe. This option is a delicious dairy and coconut free creamy sauce!
Can I add a different starch into this?
Absolutely! For a change to the sweet potatoes in this AIP casserole, you can try using parsnips, celeriac, rutabaga or even yucca (parboiled). If you aren’t nightshade free, regular white potatoes would work well here as well!
If you try this AIP Beef and Kale Casserole I would appreciate it if you would give it a rating and short review. Also, be sure to snap a picture of the finished product and share it with me on Instagram by tagging @healmedelicious.
If you enjoyed this AIP casserole you might also like:Print
Beef and Kale Casserole (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
This Beef, Kale and Sweet Potato Casserole is hearty, healthy and delicious. It’s a great one pan meal that’s nutrient dense and comforting, AIP, paleo and Whole30 compliant.
- 3 TBSP olive oil, divided
- 1.5 cups sweet potato, chopped into small cubes
- 1 small yellow onion, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3 TBSP nomato sauce or coconut aminos*
- 5–6 cups lacinato or curly kale, chopped
Dairy-free AIP “Cheese” Sauce
- 1 cup full fat, additive free coconut milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- pinch of turmeric (optional – for yellow colour)
- 2 TBSP tapioca or arrowroot starch + 1 TBSP water
- Add 2 TBSP olive oil to a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat.
- Once warm, add cubed sweet potato and cook 7-10 minutes, stirring intermittently until the sweet potatoes have almost cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add remaining 1.5 TBSP olive oil, sliced onions, garlic and celery and sauté until the onions turn translucent (4-5 minutes), stirring intermittently.
- Add the ground beef along with the dried basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary and cook until meat begins to brown.
- Add coconut aminos or nomato sauce and stir to combine.
- Add chopped kale in batches, stirring to incorporate and wilt slightly between each addition. Taste mixture for salt and adjust if necessary.
- To prepare the AIP dairy-free “cheese” sauce, combine coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, dried thyme, garlic powder, sea salt and optional turmeric in a small saucepan over medium heat. In a small bowl, mix together tapioca starch and water to make a slurry. Once coconut milk mixture has reached a rolling boil, add in slurry and whisk continuously until mixture begins to thicken.
- Place beef and kale mixture into an 8×8 casserole dish and top with “cheese” sauce. Broil on high for 3-4 minutes, monitoring closely to ensure the top doesn’t burn.**
* use coconut aminos for Whole30 option
**Alternatively, if you’re using an oven-safe skillet you can add the cheese sauce straight into the skillet and place into the oven to broil for 3-4 minutes
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Mains
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Comfort Food
Keywords: aip, paleo, whole30, casserole, beef and kale casserole, one-pan meal, aip casserole, paleo casserole, dairy-free casserole, Whole30 casserole, beef casserole, easy casserole
Five Star recipe destined to repeat
Ok this was so good!! Easy to make and so full of flavor!! It was a hit for the entire household, even the 1 year old had seconds. Thank you!!
This was fantastic! I’m on a crazy elimination diet and had to take out some stuff and it was STILL amazing!! I’ll be doubling the recipe next time so I have leftovers. So, so good… even the none-dieters wanted more. Bravo!!
This recipe really hit the spot! I love casseroles, they scream comfort food to me. I food prep on the weekends so I don’t have to cook during the week and this is going to heat up great!
I will make 1 tweak next time and cut the salt in half because I used coconut aminos instead of nomato sauce and it is really salty.
So yummy! Very comforting recipe on a cold winter night.
This was so yummy and pretty easy to make too! This will definitely be on repeat in our house!
I made this for the second time last night and added butternut squash, per the instructions in the blog for adding a starch. It was so, so good. Non-AIP husband loved it – even the sauce! Thanks for another hit, Nicole!
Nicole, I loved this recipe! I had a few friends coming over so made a double batch – warned them it was my first time making it, so not to have high hopes – but they LOVED it! I served it with buttered, toasted coconut bread. This recipe taught me about thyme- now I know what flavour it gives. Have added this to my roster! Thanks!
I’m so happy to hear that Andrea! Thank you for taking the time to leave this review (and all the others), I and other readers greatly appreciate it.
This was so good and so easy to make! My husband, who typically doesn’t like my AIP meals, loved this! Thank you!!!
Thank you Faith! I’m so glad to hear it and thanks for leaving a review.
This casserol is absolutely amazing! The herb combination, vegetables and sauce give it a ton of flavor. This will definitely be in my regular meal rotation!
The taste was great! I think I may have added a bit too much salt though, so my bad. I also think I did something wrong with the “cheese” sauce. I cooked until thickened but when I poured it over the beef mixture it resembled runny egg yolks. 🙁
So yummy! Kids loved it!
Looks good. Have you tried freezing and reheating?
I haven’t! I’d probably freeze without the cheese though.
Delicious!!! This is great for a meal and leftovers will be amazing for a snack or with grain free chips!
Thanks for this great recipe! I made it right away and it’s delicious! 😀
I modified it a bit to make it low FODMAP as well. Also added some nutritional yeast, it’s the first time I tried having it again, yay!
I made this tonight and it was amazing!!! We ate it so fast I forgot to take a picture!!
Oh awesome! I’m so glad. Thank you for leaving a review.