Tex-Mex Taco Casserole (Paleo + Whole30)

A Whole30 and paleo Tex-Mex Taco Casserole – comfort food at its finest! It is filled with spicy ground turkey, vegetables, and topped with sweet potato!

Tex-Mex Taco Casserole | Paleo, Whole30, Easy, Healthy, Spiralized | hungrybynature.com

I have a confession.

As I took the lid off my casserole dish the other night, Pat looked at this tex-mex taco casserole with so much disgust and said “what is that?” To which I responded, “I know it doesn’t look that great, but I promise it tastes delicious!”

Gah. Why are casseroles so ugly? This recipe is a classic case of ugly food that tastes great. This unfortunately happens to me more often than not.

Tex-Mex Taco Casserole | Paleo, Whole30, Easy, Healthy, Spiralized | hungrybynature.com

So here I am, standing in front of you (metaphorically, of course) with a not-so pretty tex-mex taco casserole, asking for your acceptance. Will you still love me if I make ugly food?! I’m hoping the answer is yes, but I’ll try my hardest to make you prettier dishes from now on.

This taco casserole came into my Whole30 journey at the perfect time. I was craving some comfort food; which for me is something warm, hearty, carb loaded, and usually there is cheese involved. The cheese obvs didn’t happen for me, but it should definitely happen for you! #allthecheese #allthetime

Tex-Mex Taco Casserole | Paleo, Whole30, Easy, Healthy, Spiralized | hungrybynature.com

Yes, ugly food can taste great! But, if you don’t believe me, let me convince you:

  1. It’s loaded with veg…. we’re talking spinach, carrots, parsnips, red onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, and sweet potato.
  2. Ground turkey serves as our protein. I love using ground turkey as an alternative to ground beef. It is leaner and has a mild flavor that acts as a perfect carrier for the flavors YOU choose to add. It’s like a ‘choose your own adventure’ in casserole form. Oh my gosh, you remember those books, right?! They were my favorite. So yea, think of the turkey like a choose your own adventure. You get it.
  3. Spiralized sweet potatoes. I love my spiralizer and cannot tell how much I use it. This is the model that I have and I definitely recommend you adding it to your kitchen gadgets if you don’t already have one. I most often use it to make zucchini (did you see my story the other night!?) or sweet potato noodles as a gluten free alternative to pasta. And I’ve even used it for dessert.

Tex-Mex Taco Casserole | Paleo, Whole30, Easy, Healthy, Spiralized | hungrybynature.com
Tex-Mex Taco Casserole | Paleo, Whole30, Easy, Healthy, Spiralized | hungrybynature.com

Tell me: What is your favorite “ugly food that tastes great”?

If you make this Tex-Mex Taco Casserole or any of my other recipes, post a picture on social media and use the hashtag #imhungrybynature for a chance to be featured!

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Tex-Mex Taco Casserole (Paleo + Whole30)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 6 servings
For the casserole:
  • 1½ pounds ground turkey
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 parsnips, diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14.5 ounce can organic diced tomatoes
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 2 Tablespoons ghee, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
For the taco seasoning:
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
For the spiralized sweet potatoes:
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, spiralized
  • 2 Tablespoons ghee
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Optional garnish: fresh cilantro, avocado, and hot sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare your vegetables: Chop all vegetables. In a large skillet, (I use my 12 inch cast iron) heat 1 Tablespoon of ghee over medium heat. Add all of the vegetables and cook until tender. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  3. Prepare your meat: Bring skillet back up to medium-high heat and add 1 Tablespoon of ghee. To the skillet, add the ground turkey and all of the seasonings. Cook until no longer pink.
  4. While the meat is cooking, place the spiralized sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Melt remaining 2 Tablespoons of ghee and pour over potatoes. Sprinkle with chili powder and cumin; toss to combine.
  5. Add the cooked vegetables back into the skillet with the browned turkey. Stir to combine.
  6. Spray a large casserole dish (4 quart or 9x13 inch pan) with coconut oil cooking spray. Add the meat and veggie mixture to the dish and top with spiralized sweet potato.
  7. Cover with a lid or tin foil and cook for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  8. To serve, top with fresh cilantro, avocado, and hot sauce! If you aren't keeping this Paleo, add a dollop of Greek yogurt and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

And you obviously can’t forget the avocado.

Tex-Mex Taco Casserole | Paleo, Whole30, Easy, Healthy, Spiralized | hungrybynature.com

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Tex-Mex Taco Casserole | Paleo, Whole30, Easy, Healthy, Spiralized | hungrybynature.com

7 thoughts on “Tex-Mex Taco Casserole (Paleo + Whole30)

    1. Ellie Post author

      Thanks Bethany – and me too! That’s one of the main reasons I love making them. That and because I’m from Minnesota and casseroles or “hot dishes” are practically a food group up there!

  1. Corrine

    Casseroles are the worst to get photos of! But this looks downright delicious. I’ve added a spiralizer to my birthday list, will definitely have to give this a try!

  2. Pingback: Baked Parsnip Fries with Chipotle Dipping Sauce - Hungry by Nature

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