This Keto BBQ Chicken Casserole with Bacon has the smoky flavor of barbecue, bacon, and cheddar. It comes together in minutes completely from scratch without the need for a bottled sugar-free sauce. This easy barbecue chicken casserole recipe is low carb, keto, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, and Trim Healthy Mama friendly.
My children have become such big fans of my casseroles that I had to make another one for them. I decided to put the flavors of barbecue in this dish.
I decided not to actually use BBQ sauce because it is difficult to find a sugar free sauce and I didn't have time to make one. The combination of spices and herbs is what gives this casserole it's flavor. The smoked paprika is the secret. It gives it a smokey flavor and really makes you think of the yumminess of barbecue season.
Reasons We Love Chicken Casseroles
As I have mentioned, casseroles are a favorite in our household. Not only will my kids eat them like there is no tomorrow, but there are also many other reasons why casserole is such a hit for us.
- It’s inexpensive to make casseroles. This BBQ chicken casserole won’t break the bank because the ingredients are inexpensive and common items. You don’t need some expensive component that is a pain to come by. Plus, it’s way cheaper than eating take-out.
- Less dirty dishes. YES! There are less dirty dishes when making a one-pot or one-pan meal. You can even skip the bowl for mixing and combine the ingredients directly in the pan you are baking in. This will make clean up a breeze.
- The options are endless. If there is one meal option out there that truly gives you endless possibilities, it’s casseroles. You can do so much with them and add or omit ingredients that fit your needs.
- Everyone devours this bbq chicken casserole. It doesn’t matter if we are taking it to a friends house for dinner or are just spending the night in, everyone gobbles up every last crumb. Once you taste it, you will quickly understand why.
- Casseroles are perfect for meal prepping. Whether you are an old pro at meal prepping or are just starting to get into it, making casseroles like this barbecue chicken casserole is a must. You’ll be amazed by how much extra time you have when you plan your meals out in advance.
- You get a lot of servings out of this casserole. Casseroles, in general, usually make a fair amount of food, and this one is no different. You can easily feed 8 hungry people with this delicious dish.
Cooked Chicken - It is a must to use already cooked chicken. If you make this with raw chicken it will release too much liquid resulting in a watery sauce. Cooked shredded chicken or cooked cubed chicken both work. This is a great way to use up leftover chicken. Or buy a rotisserie chicken to save time.
Cauliflower - I like to sneak some veggies into my casseroles. If you prefer to use another vegetable instead of cauliflower go for it. Cauliflower florets and cauliflower rice are both great in this casserole.
Cream Cheese, Sour Cream, & Mayo - This is my favorite trio of ingredients to use in casseroles to make a perfectly balanced creamy sauce.
Shredded Cheddar Cheese - Any shredded cheese will work but I think cheddar goes best with bbq flavors. I used a blend of white and yellow cheddar.
Bacon Crumbles - You can use real bacon bits or freshly cooked and chopped slices of bacon.
BBQ Seasoning - I use a homemade combination of chipotle pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper for that barbecue flavor.
How To Make BBQ Chicken Casserole
When you take that first bite of this delicious chicken casserole, you will see how good it is. You can quickly and easily make this easy keto casserole in around 45 minutes, and the aroma of it cooking is out of this world.
This looks like a lot of ingredients but most of them are spices. Feel free to substitute your favorite BBQ rub to taste instead of my spice combination.
First Step: In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, and all the spices. Combine well.
Second Step: Gently fold in the cooked chicken, cauliflower, 6 ounces of the cheese, and half of the bacon. Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish or other large casserole dish.
Third Step: Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until it’s hot and bubbly. Enjoy hot!
Sometimes variations are my favorite part because they can really change the dish to make it taste like something totally different. I seriously love everything about this keto bbq chicken casserole recipe and think you will too. If you want to try a few variations, consider any of these ideas.
Broccoli - What goes better with cauliflower than broccoli? Use frozen, and be sure to thaw it and drain off any leftover liquid. Add it in with the cauliflower.
Cayenne Pepper - Add a dash or two of cayenne pepper to give it a little bit of heat. It’s an easy way to add in some spice.
Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce - for a boost of flavor drizzle your favorite Keto Barbecue Sauce on top right before serving.
Onions - You can add onions in a variety of ways. Sprinkle some chopped green onions on top, mix in some yellow onion into the barbecue chicken casserole, or saute some onions then add them to the dish. Any of those ways will work perfectly and give you some added flavor. If you are on a strict keto diet you may want to limit the amount of onions since their natural sugar content is fairly high.
What to Serve with a Keto BBQ Chicken Casserole
Since this casserole includes both meat and a vegetable it can be served on its own. But if you want to add something extra on the side I normally choose a cold side dish. Some of our favorites to go with this are keto coleslaw, keto broccoli salad, and keto caesar salad. Any of those plus this amazing dish and I know dinner will be a success!
How should I store leftovers?
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven. For meal prep, you can assemble this casserole and then freeze it. Thaw overnight and bake before dinner. You may need to add 10-15 minutes to the baking time since it will be very cold when you start.
- Combine cream cheese, mayo, sour cream, and all the spices. Mix well.
- Fold in chicken, cauliflower, ¾ of the cheese, and ½ of the bacon.
- Put in a casserole dish. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese and bacon.
- Bake at 350 for 35-40 min until bubbly and hot.
If this is your first visit to Joy Filled Eats you should take a peek at my casserole collection. They are all low carb, gluten-free, keto, and THM S.
Originally Published April 29, 2016. Revised and Republished January 10, 2023