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Steering clear of carbs? Try this altered John Wayne Casserole

• Aug 28, 2019 at 10:18 AM

One of my favorite shows on television is “Blue Bloods.” I love it because of the way they portray their love of family. I love it for their continuously positive work ethic and love of what’s right and just. I love it for the positive role models they portray and their wholesome Catholic values. However, the main reason I love it is for Tom Selleck’s ability to slather butter on a roll at the family dinner table like nobody else can.

I choose to believe that Frank Reagan sits down to Sunday dinner without caring one bit about counting carbs. He’s a man whom carbs fear. He’s a man who can eat what he wants and never worry about his A1C or cholesterol. Another such man who seemed to fend off our modern-day concerns of blood sugars, keto diets and organic foods is the legendary John Wayne.

Legend has it that John Wayne contributed a recipe for a casserole to a cookbook titled “Cooking with Love from Cara and Her Friends,” which was published in 1979. His version of the casserole did not contain a biscuit crust and was made from meat, cheese and eggs. The University of Mississippi Medical Center Cafeteria popularized their version of the “John Wayne Casserole” by adding a biscuit crust, jalapenos and tomatoes as well as a bit more spice for flavor, calling their version “The Duke.”

Because my husband and I are not the rough-and-tough eaters like Tom Selleck and John Wayne, we decided to make a low-carb version of the John Wayne Casserole using poblano peppers for the crust rather than biscuits.

Low-Carb John Wayne Casserole


5 to 6 poblano peppers — roasted, peeled and seeded

2 pounds of ground beef

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 cups Colby-Jack cheese

1 medium onion — diced

1 green, red and yellow pepper — diced

1 chipotle — minced

1 Tbsp. of Adobo sauce

1/2 cup of sliced jalapenos

1 can Rotel tomatoes — drained

1 can green chiles

1 packet of taco seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste


Spray a 13x9 pan and line with the poblanos, covering the bottom of the entire pan. Mix the mayo and sour cream and set aside

Brown the ground beef, drain, and add the taco seasoning and water as directed. Mix thoroughly and set aside in a bowl. Saute the onion and peppers until tender, then add the can of green chiles.

Layer the casserole as follows:

Poblano layer, meat mixture, can of Rotel tomatoes, pepper and onion mixture, jalapeno peppers, sour cream/mayo mixture, and top with 2 cups of cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the edges are beginning to brown.

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