So you’re a few days into keto—the low carb, high fat diet that’s taken the world by storm—and you’re starting to crave, well, real carbs: creamy macaroni & cheese, slices of pizza, and soft, pillowy donuts. These are the comfort foods we often find ourselves unable to live without (and turn down) but luckily, many of those high carb foods can still be eaten on the keto diet, just with a few changes.
Related Reading: 7 Essential Keto Food Swaps
Keto Comfort Foods, $13.59 on Amazon
“Keto Comfort Foods,” by blogger Sam Dillard, channels that understanding. Sam has crafted 100 recipes of all your favorite comfort foods that have been transformed to become keto-approved. Think skillet pizzas, baked bacon cauliflower mac and cheese, biscuits and gravy, and country fried steak. Each recipe is flanked by nutritional statistics, guaranteeing that these recipes will keep you on track with your keto goals.
Start with Sam’s recipe for a chicken pot pie casserole. An almond flour-based crust is filled with sliced chicken thighs, onions, carrots, celery, cauliflower, and a smattering of spices, then baked until the dough is golden brown. It’s still wonderfully creamy inside (thanks to the heavy cream and cream cheese!) and reminiscent of the kind of nostalgic comfort food we all undeniably crave.
French White Covered Round Dish with Glass Top, $32 on Amazon
Excerpted from Keto Comfort Foods by Sam Dillard. Copyright © 2019 by Simon & Schuster, Inc. Photography by James Stefiuk. Used with permission of the publisher, Adams Media, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved.
Chicken Pot Pie Casserole Recipe
This recipe is the epitome of comfort food! Though some would consider carrots taboo on a keto diet, feel free to eat them if they can fit into your daily macros. You can leave out carrots to lower the carbs of this dish to better fit your personal needs.
Chicken Pot Pie Casserole
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thigh
- 8 tablespoons salted butter, divided
- ¼ medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- ½ large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium stalk celery, chopped
- 2 cups chopped cauliflower florets
- 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon finely ground pink Himalayan salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1½ cups shredded mozzarella
- 1½ cups finely ground blanched almond flour
- 1 large egg yolk, whisked for egg wash
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt coconut oil. Cook chicken until no pink remains and internal temperature is at least 165°F, about 7 minutes per side. Place on a cutting board to cool for about 5 minutes, then cut into bite-sized pieces.
- In a medium pot over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Add onion and sauté 3 minutes or until soft and fragrant. Pour in chicken broth and add carrot, celery, cauliflower, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Bring the pot to a boil over high heat for 1 minute, then reduce to a simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes until vegetables soften. Sprinkle xanthan gum in the pot, whisking quickly, then pour in heavy cream. Whisk in cream cheese. Add in the cooked chicken.
- Turn the heat to low and let the mixture thicken for 10 minutes until thick and creamy.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, add mozzarella, remaining butter, and almond flour. Microwave for 45 seconds, then stir. Microwave for an additional 10 seconds, then stir until a soft ball forms.
- Place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper on a flat surface and roll into a 9-inch round.
- Pour the chicken mixture into a round 9-inch pie dish. Place the dough on top of the dish, pressing the edges into the pie dish. Cut four slits into the dough and brush entire crust with egg yolk.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until dough is browned. Let cool for 10 minutes. Spoon into bowls and serve warm.
Header image courtesy of James Stefiuk.