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16 Keto Side Dishes In 6 Categories For Lunch and Dinner

The keto diet has emerged as a game-changer, opening the door to innovative low-carb while helping you shed a few pounds. But what about those often overlooked plates, keto side dishes? Get ready for a unique culinary experience with keto-friendly recipes to impress everyone you know.

In this article, you’ll learn all about the tastiest keto side dishes. Get ready for a journey across the landscape of famous and simple recipes.

Keto Side Dishes for BBQ

Keto Side Dishes for BBQ

As the BBQ smell takes over, you can prepare these unique keto side dishes to enjoy with your family and friends. They won’t throw you out of ketosis, and they beautifully complement your freshly grilled food.

Clean Cucumber and Radish Salad

Clean Cucumber and Radish Salad

This is the perfect summer salad to serve with any BBQ, combining the coolness from the cucumber with the edginess of the radishes to tickle your taste buds. And the best part is that it takes a few minutes to prepare.

The ingredients are nutritious and put a twist on your regular summer salad. This combo pairs beautifully with chicken, seared tuna, boiled eggs, or your good old BBQ.

Start prepping this salad by cutting the cucumbers into thin slices, using a mandoline, then slice the radishes. Now, prepare the vinaigrette by mixing olive oil, sesame oil, and rice vinegar, then season with salt, black pepper, and pepper flakes if you like your salad to be hot.

Arrange the veggies on a platter and garnish with chopped scallions. This salad can last for three days in a fridge, and you can elevate it by adding some fresh arugula right before serving it.

Garlic Butter Mushrooms

Garlic Butter Mushrooms are Delicious on Their Own or Paired with Meat

These garlicky mushrooms will fill the air with their delicious aroma while complementing any grilled dish you serve — especially BBQ meat. Even better, they take only a few minutes to prepare with simple ingredients that won’t take much to bring together.

Start by heating the olive or avocado oil and butter, and fry your mushrooms. Make sure that you spread them in the pan, and then flip them over when the bottoms are golden. Alternatively, add them to skewers and make them directly on the grill.

Once ready, add the minced garlic, mix a little, and season them with salt and pepper, then turn off the heat. Serve your fried mushrooms with some chopped parsley, and enjoy.

Keto Side Dishes for Chicken

Keto Side Dishes for Chicken

The flavors in your keto side dish are meant to complement your poultry dish without masking any of its ingredients. Luckily, there are many keto-friendly, hearty, and mouthwatering ingredients to serve with your delicious chicken dinner.

Jalapeno Poppers With Bacon

Jalapeno Poppers With Bacon

If you’re into spicy food, these cheesy poppers will bring the needed heat to your chicken lunch or dinner. There are many jalapeno popper recipes out there, and this one combines the richness of the bacon with a cheesy topping.

With every bite, you’ll notice the crunchy texture around the edges, the creamy filling, and the crispiness of the bacon. So, start by halving the jalapenos and removing the seeds, and prepare the cheese filling in a separate bowl.

For this recipe, you can mix some softened cream cheese with some shredded gouda or cheddar cheese and season with salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder. Now, it’s time to fill the jalapeno halves with this cheesy filling.

You can stop here, or you can wrap each jalapeno with a strip of bacon and then secure it with toothpicks. Next, bake the jalapenos in a parchment-lined baking tray until the bacon is crispy.

This is a great side dish to prepare in advance, as it can stay fresh in the freezer for up to six months. You can also prepare a vegetarian version by skipping the bacon.

Cheesy Cauliflower

Cheesy Cauliflower

It’s no secret that cauliflower is a low-carb staple, and the bold Italian seasoning will make it a great keto-friendly side to your chicken recipes.

Start by cutting the cauliflower florets, putting them in a freezer bag with olive oil and Italian seasoning, and shaking them well until fully coated. After that, bake them in the oven until golden, then top with low-carb marinara sauce, although you can also try a keto-friendly alfredo sauce.

Now, top your cauliflower with a blend of shredded sharp cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan, and bake until the cheese is bubbly. Garnish with some chopped basil or parsley and some leftover sauce. You can also prepare this recipe using broccoli.

Easy Keto Sides

Easy Keto Sides

If you’re committing to a keto diet because you want to lose or maintain your weight, you want to make sure that you can prepare fast and tasty recipes for lunch and dinner. Although there are some restrictions in keto eating, with these side dishes, you won’t feel like you’re missing out.

Roasted Zucchini and Mushrooms

Roasted Zucchini and Mushrooms

On busy weekdays, one-pot recipes are always winners. This one is slightly different because you’ll prepare it in a single baking pan. Nevertheless, it will be a life savior when you want to prepare a fast yet tasty keto dinner.

While you preheat the oven, chop your zucchini and mushrooms into chunks and toss with some olive oil, minced garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bake in the oven until the veggies are tender, and serve after topping them with some fresh parsley.

You can also prepare this recipe by adding some colorful bell peppers, tomatoes, and even mushrooms, and topping it with diced bacon.

Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts

Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts

The air fryer is what makes this dish exceptional. Don’t get us wrong, of course, we love the tender and tasty Brussels sprouts, but the air fryer makes this recipe a breeze to prepare.

You’ll start by trimming the Brussels sprouts and drizzling them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and some Italian seasoning. Add some parmesan cheese on top and mix well, then spread the Brussels sprouts in a single layer in your air fryer.

Cook for 10 minutes, but don’t forget to shake them halfway through to ensure they’re evenly cooked. Then, serve after topping them with more parmesan cheese. You can add some balsamic vinegar while shaking them and top them with diced bacon.

Keto Vegetable Side Dishes

Keto Vegetable Side Dishes

While combining healthy fats and mouthwatering seasonings, keto vegetable side dishes bring out the goodness in your keto main dishes. At the same time, they provide you with essential nutrients to guarantee you’re preparing a healthy and nutritious meal.

Oven-Roasted Eggplants

Oven-Roasted Eggplants

Some low-carb veggies, like eggplants, aren’t that popular. Of course, some people are quite fond of this veggie, but others just can’t seem to find a way to incorporate it into their lunches and dinners.

If you belong to the latter group, then this recipe is for you. It’s easy and tastes absolutely divine. So. start by slicing each eggplant, starting from the bottom up, securing it from the leafy end. Thinner slices will bake faster and have caramelized edges, while thicker slices will be more meaty.

Arrange the slices on a parchment-lined baking tray, and drizzle some olive, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and thyme on top. Now, flip them over and repeat the process. Once done, bake your eggplants in the oven until soft and golden.

Instead of eggplants, you can use bell peppers, and they will bake faster. You can season your veggies with Italian seasoning and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top before serving them with marinara sauce.

Yellow Squash Casserole

Yellow Squash Casserole

If you miss the taste of potatoes, this recipe will be for you. The yellow squash cooks to become soft and tender without being mushy, and the creamy cheese sauce will be a rich addition. All types of squash work, but we prefer yellow or patty pan squash. You can also use zucchini for this recipe.

Mix sliced squash with olive oil, salt, pepper, and some Italian seasoning if you like, and then spread them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

In a pan, mix shredded cheddar cheese with the minced garlic, heavy cream, salt, and pepper, and heat until the sauce is smooth. You can also use a blend of Swiss and parmesan cheese for a richer taste.

Now, pour the cheesy sauce on top of the squash and bake until the cheese is golden and the squash is tender. Serve hot with chopped parsley or dill on top, and enjoy the creaminess.

You can also add some cream cheese and diced bacon to the sauce.

Keto Mexican Side Dishes

Keto Mexican Side Dishes

Mexican food isn’t probably the first thing that comes to mind when you crave keto-friendly food. But with some tweaking, you can enjoy the richest and spiciest keto side dishes to complement your Mexican dinner.

Low-Carb Mexican Rice

Low-Carb Mexican Rice is Made Using Cauliflower

When you serve a saucy Mexican dish like chili con carne, you want something that soaks up all the excellent sauce and balances the meal. Unfortunately, the tasty Mexican rice isn’t an option, but you can make a paleo-friendly, keto-friendly version using cauliflower.

Cauliflower rice is a new take on the taste of cauliflower that you probably know. Even those who don’t like cauliflower will fall in love with this recipe.

Add cauliflower to a food processor and shred until it’s the same size as rice. Cook some onions, garlic, and jalapenos in an oiled pan, and then add the diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika and cook until soft.

Now, it’s time to add the diced bell peppers and the cauliflower and stir fry until tender. You can enjoy this tasty keto rice on its own or with some sour cream and sliced avocados.

Roasted Red Peppers

Roasted Red Peppers

There are a lot of reasons why this recipe is such a hit. You only need two simple ingredients, it takes no time to prepare, and it’s so versatile that you can serve it any way you like.

Cut your red bell peppers into halves and broil with the skin side up until it’s almost black. Once ready, cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes to give them a smoky flavor.

Don’t worry about the black skin because you’ll remove it with the spoon, and then you’ll slice your peppers. Now, put your peppers in a jar and fill it with olive oil. You can also roast some garlic cloves with the peppers and add them to the jar. Switching to hot peppers will be a good option.

You can mix these oven-roasted peppers with eggs, add them to your keto wraps, or serve them with salad. They can also make your keto pizza taste divine.

Keto Thanksgiving Sides

Keto Thanksgiving Sides

Thanksgiving dinner is one of the biggest meals of the year. But when you’re on a keto diet, there might be some items that are no longer on your go-to list. With our keto side dishes, you and your family will enjoy a guilt-free keto dinner that everyone will love.

Mashed Cauliflower

Mashed Cauliflower

You’ve guessed right. Instead of serving a delicious side of mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower will be the star of this recipe. You can start with some cauliflower rice or boil and shred your cauliflower in the processor. Using your fork will also work.

Now, the secret ingredient in this recipe is the cream cheese. It takes your recipe to a whole new level with its richness and creaminess, so add it, followed by the milk, and season with salt and pepper. Keep stirring until smooth, and add more milk until you reach the desired consistency.

We recommend serving this keto side dish while it’s still hot, with a cube of butter placed on top. Sprinkle with some chopped chives, and watch as the butter melts and adds more richness to your mashed cauliflower. It can also be an amazing dip.

Creamed Spinach

Creamed Spinach

With all this richness, you might think it takes forever to prepare this tasty keto-friendly side dish. The truth is that with a few ingredients, your Thanksgiving dinner will be a hit among family and friends, thanks to this cheesy side dish.

Unlike other dips, this one doesn’t rely on non-keto thickening agents like cornstarch. All the richness comes from the cheese, so it won’t ruin your low-carb diet.

In a pot or pan, melt some butter and cook some crushed garlic until fragrant. Then add some of the spinach, cover it until it wilts, then add some more.

Once ready, mix in the cream cheese and heavy cream and season with salt and pepper. You can add some Italian seasoning or nutmeg, but these are optional. Keep stirring until the cheese melts, and serve while hot with some shredded parmesan cheese on top.

You can mix in some shredded chicken or turkey pieces or top with some roasted pine nuts. Serve this tasty side dish with keto-friendly crackers, or enjoy it on its own.

Keto Sides for Burgers

Keto Sides for Burgers

Keto side dishes can elevate your burgers without all the added sugar. And since you’ll be giving up the bun, you want something that can actually make your burgers taste good without jeopardizing your ketosis.

Crispy Zucchini Keto Fries

Crispy Zucchini Keto Fries

Fries and burgers always go hand in hand, but if you’re on a keto diet, things can be a little tricky. The least amount of carbs can put you out of ketosis, so you want to ensure your fries are keto-friendly.

We love these cheesy zucchini fries because they’re baked, so they’re actually healthier. Moreover, the cheese adds a unique crunch that will make everyone fall in love with these fries, even if they aren’t on a keto diet.

You’ll only need to cut your zucchinis lengthwise so they look like fries. Next, you’ll beat the eggs with salt and pepper and dip your fries into the egg mix.

Then, you’ll coat them with a blend of almond flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, parmesan cheese, and some Italian seasoning. You can also use dried thyme or basil.

You can skip the breading and just season your zucchini with the seasoning. Then, bake your fries in a parchment-lined baking tray until golden and serve with marinara sauce or any other keto-friendly sauce.

Once baked, you should eat your fries on the same day because they’ll lose their crunch if kept in the fridge. But you can keep them in the freezer if they’re not baked to cook them whenever needed. Sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese on top of them and enjoy.

Bacon-Wrapped Keto Onion Rings

Bacon-Wrapped Keto Onion Rings

Keto or not, these tasty onion rings will be a crowd pleaser whenever you decide to serve them. They’re crunchy, cheesy, and creamy all in one, and they use simple ingredients that you can easily find in your kitchen, so you can enjoy them without much prepping.

Onions aren’t always keto-friendly, as some types have a high sugar content. So, for this recipe, we’ll use yellow onions instead of the white and red ones that tend to be sweeter and are considered carb vegetables.

While you preheat your oven, cut your onions into thick slices and flip them so the narrow part is at the bottom. Now, get sliced mozzarella cheese and place two pieces on each ring.

Now comes the tricky part, where you wrap bacon strips around your onion rings and cheese. The bacon might get a little slippery, but trust us, it’s worth the effort. Once you’re done, secure the bacon with toothpicks and let the rings sit in the fridge for half an hour.

Of course, you can fry your bacon onion rings, but we prefer baking them until the bacon is golden brown. Let them sit for a few minutes before removing the toothpicks to avoid breaking the onions. You can enjoy these bacon onion rings with a keto cheese sauce.

Tasty Keto Appetizers

Tasty Keto Appetizers

Keto appetizers bring the best of both worlds; they’re easy to prepare, and they’re super delicious without the unnecessary carbs. You can serve these appetizers at a party or along with your favorite BBQ, fish, or chicken recipes for a family dinner.

Avocado Chips

Avocado Chips — Parmesan Chips with Added Avocado

Avocados are a staple ingredient in many recipes. They’re low in carbs and are so versatile, so they can be sweet or savory, served alone or with your favorite keto main dishes.

This recipe calls for two main ingredients; cheese and avocados, and basically takes a few minutes of prepping, so even your kids can help get them ready while you put the rest of the meal together.

Start by mashing your avocados with some parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and some lemon juice. The lemon juice is optional, but it adds a slight tanginess to the chips.

Once smooth, take two tablespoons of the mix and press onto your parchment-lined cookie sheet to make your chips.

Continue until you’re done with the mix, and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top if you like. Bake the chips until they’re golden, and serve with a keto-friendly salsa or cheese dip.

Dill Veggie Dip

Dill Veggie Dip

Everyone loves a party dip, but when you’re on a keto diet, you want to be careful with what you throw into the mix. This creamy, cheesy dip ticks all the right boxes and tangles your taste buds without adding any extra carbs to your meal.

You’ll need some cream cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, mayonnaise, sour cream, dried dill, dried chives, dried parsley, ground celery seeds, salt, and black pepper. Then, you’ll have to mix everything to perfection, and you’re done.

It’s as easy as that. You can literally get this ready in two minutes to serve with some sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, or kale chips. You can also serve this dip with the avocado chips, oven-roasted eggplants, or zucchini fries we prepared earlier.

Typical Keto Ingredients for Sides

Typical Keto Ingredients for Sides

Cooking is all about experimenting, and in addition to the ingredients we listed in this article, there are many more you can use while preparing delicious sides. Here are some typical ingredients you can use in your keto side dishes.

Most Vegetables

Most Vegetables

Most leafy greens and vegetables are keto-friendly, while most root vegetables aren’t. This means that you can use cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, squash, eggplants, cabbage, kale, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, asparagus, mushrooms, and low-sugar onions.

Some vegetables work as substitutes for others, so if your recipe calls for cauliflower, you can replace it with broccoli. Kale and spinach can also substitute for one another in many recipes. Avocados are keto-friendly, but they’re considered fruits.

Meat, Poultry, and Seafood

Meat, Poultry, and Seafood

They represent a crucial ingredient in many keto dishes and will also be a great addition to your keto sides. Chicken, turkey, steak, bacon, ground beef, lamb, sausages, ham, shellfish, tuna, salmon, cod, trout, halibut, and sardines won’t ruin your keto diet.

You can add them to your side dishes to increase your protein intake.

High-Fat Dairy

High-Fat Dairy

Heavy cream, full cream milk, cream cheese, hard cheese, and sour cream are all keto-friendly. You can use them to add creaminess and richness to any side dish.

Oils and Fats

Oils and Fats

Butter, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, lard, ghee, and eggs can be safely included in keto recipes. So, although you’re on a diet, you can still enjoy crunchy and tasty sides.

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