It’s no secret that the single most challenging thing about keto is the extreme carb restriction. For most people, that means keeping carb intake to less than 50g per day while some even take it a step further and limit their carbs to no more than 20g. In any case, it largely narrows down food options.
In spite of this, I’m happy that there are talented and amazing cooks following the keto diet. Through their creations, the keto community now has an entire album of low carb recipes that are just as good, if not better than their counterparts.
I have some of these recipes here. Specifically, those that are under 5g net carbs (total carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols). So, if you’re in a pinch and in need of ideas that won’t kick you out of ketosis, you’ve got to check these out.
1. Creamy dijon pork chops
Even before I started my keto journey, I’ve been making dijon pork chops. It’s one of my wife’s favorite pork dishes, so I cook it for her all the time.
But, since I’ve turned to keto, I’ve had to change recipes. Now, I’m following Diethood’s version — complete with bacon, cheese, and greens! It’s just as juicy and tender as what I used to cook but it’s definitely creamier. Plus, the parmesan adds another layer of flavor that my own version didn’t have.
And, you know what? My wife’s not complaining, so I’m more than sure it tastes great.
Macros: 590 calories | 4g net carbs | 49g fat | 32g protein
2. Keto pork chops with creamy mushroom sauce
The previous recipe not doing it for you but you still want to eat creamy pork chops? No worries. Here’s LowCarbSpark’s pork chop with creamy mushroom sauce recipe.
I’m going to be honest, though. I’m not the biggest fan of mushrooms, so I’ve only tried this once when I made a batch for my family using canned mushrooms (but you can use any mushrooms you have in stock). Judging from their reactions and how easy it was to make, I say this recipe is great for when you want a tasty meal and only have about 30 minutes of free time. Oh, and when you need 5g carb meals (or less), too, of course.
Macros: 432 calories | 3g net carbs | 32g fat | 30g protein
3. Keto mushroom omelet
Speaking of recipes with mushrooms, here’s another one. This is actually one of the recipes under our list of cheap keto lunch ideas and it’s largely because it uses minimal ingredients. Plus, you likely already have these ingredients in your pantry anyway. And if you don’t, they’re all easy to get.
Anyhow, all you’ll need are mushrooms and eggs (duh), as well as cheese, yellow onion, and butter. Check out the full details at Diet Doctor.
Macros: 517 calories | 5g net carbs | 26g protein | 44g fat
4. Baked salmon with garlic and dijon
Let’s circle back to recipes with dijon real quick and let me introduce you to this amazing baked salmon from Natasha’s Kitchen. It’s a quick recipe that’ll only take you about 20 minutes to make, including the 12-15 minutes it takes to cook in the oven.
Alternatively, you could also choose to cook it in an air fryer if you have one at home.
Macros: 314 calories | 2g net carbs | 18g fat | 34g protein
5. Baked salmon in foil
Here’s another tasty salmon recipe for ya. For this, though, you’re going to need to use aluminum foil. The foil not only helps cook the fish but it also helps lock in moisture and flavor which, in this case, comes from rosemary and whatever herbs you want to use as well as garlic, lemon, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
Find the full recipe at Well Plated.
Macros: 180 calories | 3g net carbs | 6g fat | 28g protein
6. One skillet chicken with lemon garlic cream sauce
First of all, this recipe from Little Spice Jar has a lot of the same flavors as the previous salmon recipes. You know… garlic, lemon, herbs, and cream. With that in mind, I did try to make this recipe using salmon instead of chicken. And, unsurprisingly, it tastes amazing!
Of course, I tried the actual recipe using chicken, too. I used breasts and they tasted great but I think it might be better with thighs. My recommendation? Try making it with both.
Macros: 302 calories | 4g net carbs | 16g fat | 34g protein
7. Grilled chicken thighs with maple dijon marinade
I know what you’re thinking.
“Man, again with the dijon??”
And, yes. Again with the dijon. I’m a fan, okay? Anyhow, apart from my affinity towards dijon mustard, this recipe from Megan Seelinger actually proves my point from the previous recipe that in some cases, chicken thighs work better than breasts.
And, since this is grilled chicken, I sometimes like to cut up the thighs into little bite sized pieces and thread them into skewers. Of course, you don’t have to do this but I like doing them this way because I think they look prettier, especially when there are also different colored peppers in the skewers.
Macros: 195 calories | 0.4g net carbs | 6g fat | 28g protein
8. Bacon wrapped chicken skewers
While we’re on the topic of chicken in skewers, here’s one from Diethood. This one uses breasts instead of thighs but it’s wrapped in bacon for that extra layer of fat and flavor, so I’m not complaining. Plus, you don’t even have to fire up the grill for these chickens. Put them on top of a wire rack, slap ‘em in a preheated oven, and voila!
Macros: 117 calories | 0g carbs | 3g fat | 19g protein
9. BBQ meatloaf
You know what else you can cook in the oven? Meatloaf. Amazingly seasoned, cheesy, bacon-y, low carb meatloaf.
This recipe comes from Joy Filled Eats and you can either use ground beef or turkey. I like ground beef because it sort of makes the finished product taste like a burger without buns but that’s just me. Also, the fact that it’s a casserole makes it a great make-ahead meal that you can simply reheat for future needs.
Macros: 390 calories | 2g carbs | 25g protein | 30g fat
10. Low carb cheeseburger casserole
About burgers without buns… imagine one that’s supposed to be a cheeseburger. That’s basically what this recipe from Low Carb Yum is. All the elements of a cheeseburger, including well seasoned ground beef, bacon, cheddar cheese, eggs, and even tomato paste to give it that ketchup-y flavor.
And, again, it’s a casserole so you’ve got a number of 5g carb meals ready if you need it.
Macros: 587 calories | 4g carbs | 49g fat | 29g protein
**NOTE: The next couple of recipes are also casseroles with less than 5g net carbs.**
11. Ground beef casserole
This recipe uses lean ground beef but feel free to use the fatty kind if you’re trying to up your fat intake. For the ingredients, all you’ll need are a few spices, parsley, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and pantry basics (i.e. salt and pepper). That’s it. Not only is it easy to make, I personally like how it tastes, too.
Healthy Recipes has the full details if you need it.
Macros: 265 calories | 2g net carbs | 15g fat | 28g protein
12. Low carb deconstructed pizza casserole
I promise you this will be the last casserole recipe on this list. But, if you’re actually looking for more keto casserole recipes for weight loss, we’ve got those, too.
Anyhow, like the previous casseroles that try to imitate burgers, this recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen also tries to mimic the flavors of another American classic… PIZZA!
Minus the crust, it’s got a lot of the same elements, too, including tomatoes, mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, and mushrooms. The recipe makes 6 servings, so you can easily bring some to work and reheat it there for some quick make ahead meals.
Macros: 289 calories | 4g net carbs | 18g fat | 26g protein
Moving on from casseroles and American classics, let me show you a handful of 5g carb meals with recipes based on cuisines from other countries, starting with Mexico.
13. Keto Mexican cheesy chicken skillet
While a lot of traditional Mexican foods such as tortillas, rice, and beans aren’t all that keto friendly, there are a bunch of things you can do to keep them low carb. For instance, this recipe from Kasey Trenum uses cauliflower rice instead of actual rice. Plus, she doesn’t use flour and/or corn tortillas to further pull the carb count down.
Also, you can either use ground beef, rotisserie chicken, or cook your own chicken. She mentions using an Instant Pot or a slow cooker, but I think the recipe works even with grilled or pan fried chicken if that’s all you have.
Macros: 295 calories | 4g net carbs | 20g fat | 22g protein
14. Slow cooker Mexican shredded beef
Here’s another Mexican cuisine-inspired keto recipe for you. However, since you’ll be using beef chuck, a tougher slice of meat, you’re going to want to use your crock pot to soften it.
Season the beef with a handful of herbs and spices and put it in the slow cooker, along with chopped garlic and onion, tomato paste, and lime juice, for about 8 hours. When done, shred with a fork or with a meat shredder and serve.
Get the full recipe at Fox and Briar.
Macros: 258 calories | 2g net carbs | 16g fat | 27g protein
15. Slow cooker Mongolian beef
Honestly, Mongolian beef is some of the best beef I’ve tasted in my entire life. Well, actually, that statement is generally true for Chinese food, so…
Anyhow, check out this recipe from All Day I Dream About Food. It uses Swerve Sweetener instead of brown sugar, glucomannan instead of cornstarch, and tamari instead of regular soy sauce. These substitutes were specifically chosen to still get the umami flavor often associated with Chinese food while also pulling back the carbs.
Macros: 417 calories | 1.6g net carbs | 25.4g fat | 35.7g protein
16. Mediterranean frittata
This’ll be the last of the crock pot recipes on this list but if you need more, here are some of the best keto slow cooker recipes on the internet.
Having said that, this Mediterranean frittata from PureWow doesn’t take nearly as long to cook as the previous recipes. After all, you’ll be cooking eggs instead of meat. Still, it makes for a delicious low-carb meal with flavors from goat cheese, onion, red peppers, oregano, and arugula.
Macros: 164 calories | 4g carbs | 11g fat | 12g protein
17. Basic bulgogi
Just because we’re through with slow cooker recipes, doesn’t mean we’re done with recipes inspired by foreign cuisine. This one’s a Korean inspired dish from Bon Appétit. Is it an authentic Korean recipe? I don’t know. But I know it’s simple, tasty, my wife loves it, and it’s definitely low carb.
Macros: 310 calories | 4g net carbs | 20g fat | 28g protein
18. Gluten free and keto Swedish meatballs
Like Gnom-Gnom says, these meatballs are essentially IKEA meatballs becase, you know… they’re Swedish. But, really, this recipe comes with a more creamy, luscious gravy that’s surprisingly less than 5g carbs. Serve it with your favorite cauliflower rice or mashed cauliflower recipe and you’ve got an amazing meal on your plate.
Macros: 399 calories | 2.75g net carbs | 34g fat | 17g protein
19. Creamy garlic chicken soup
And while we’re on the topic of creamy food, here’s a recipe for creamy garlic chicken soup from Ketogasm. I have to say, for soup? It’s actually quite filling, probably because of all the fat and protein. Oh, and since it’s soup, you might want to keep this recipe pinned for the rainy days.
Macros: 307 calories | 2g carbs | 25g fat | 18g protein
20. Keto chicken salad
The thing about this recipe from Megan Seelinger is that it’s both quick and easy. Easy because you can either use canned or rotisserie chicken as your protein and quick because all you have to do is shred the chicken, throw it in a bowl along with all the other ingredients, and mix.
*NOTE: The macros listed below are for when you’re using canned chicken. Everything’s slightly higher if you use rotisserie.
Macros: 329 calories | <1g net carbs | 24.5g fat | 25g protein
21. Garlic parmesan ribs
To be honest, I once thought garlic parmesan would only ever be good on chicken. Man, was I wrong. It makes for amazing ribs, too! Pretty easy to make, too. The dry rub only needs oregano, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. For the sauce, it’s all butter, garlic, parmesan, and parsley.
After a little over an hour, you should have cheesy and garlic-y ribs ready.
Check out Low Carb Inspirations for the full instructions.
Macros: 349 calories | 3.9g net carbs | 33g fat | 10g protein
22. Stuffed sausage
Never in my childhood years did I dream of putting cheese sticks in sausages but here I am now, a full fledged adult, urging each and everyone of you to try a recipe that does exactly that. It’s astonishingly tasty, especially after baking everything (including a half cup of marinara) for 30-40 minutes.
Head on over to Joy Filled Eats for all the details.
Macros: 432 calories | 2g net carbs | 36g fat | 23g protein
So, if you’re ever in a pinch regarding your daily carb intake, I hope at least one of these recipes help you out. I’m sure you already know this but these quandaries happen more often than any of us like. It’s just part of being in the ketogenic diet, I guess.
Having said that, do tell your friends and family about us! We want to help them, too!