Changing your eating habits isn’t easy. We all start out great, loaded with enthusiasm (YAAASSSS!).
But the ketogenic diet, which focuses on foods high in fat, moderate in protein, and super low in carbs — and restricts grains, starchy vegetables, and high-sugar fruits — can present commitment challenges.
Especially at lunchtime. You’re busy and rushed at the office, tempted by a quick sandwich from the local deli. Or it’s finally the weekend and you want to enjoy comforting, delicious, easy food — which often comes in the form of carbs, carbs, carbs.
We’re here to help. Whether you’re going hardcore keto, want to revamp your diet, or simply feel like trying something new, here are 17 low-carb, high-flavor recipes that will make it easy to commit to your get-healthy goals.
From golden-brown chicken and lightly grilled asparagus to cool avocado chunks and creamy spheres of mozzarella, this produce- and protein-packed dish is the best of both raw and cooked. Every forkful is a flavor explosion.
The “bread” slices are made from grated zucchini, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Each sandwich packs in 2 cups of grated zucchini, so nobody can say you aren’t eating your veggies.
Only 5 of the 15 minutes it takes to make this salad go toward actual cooking. Once you sear the shrimp in butter, it’s just a matter of dicing some veggies and mixing up a dressing. Super easy, super fast, super flavorful.
If you’re going keto, prepare to become best friends with cauliflower, since it makes meals like this possible. Standing in for rice and topped with some sauced-up chicken, avocado, and cheese, it lets you be carb-free and still enjoy the whole enchilada.
Spend 30 minutes prepping this dish, and you have your next four lunches ready — talk about a timesaving recipe. Plus, as the salmon and veggies sit in the marinade, they’ll taste better with each passing day (just use up the fish by that fourth day).
This recipe scores some serious presentation points. Italian-inspired tuna salad is coated in balsamic vinegar instead of mayo. Stuffed into a tomato, the tuna holds up great as a take-to-work option.
Was sushi a weekly occurrence during your pre-keto days? There’s no need to take it out of the rotation. Simply take the rice out of your roll and let the salmon, avocado, and cucumber share the spotlight.
Use your new keto lifestyle to up your veggie intake in creative ways, like with this recipe. Big slices of eggplant replace bread, and mozzarella, basil, and tomato are tucked inside. Serve with creamy and easy garlic aioli, and your gourmet lunch is ready.
Think pork chops with apples is more of a dinner dish? This blogger’s meal-prep method shows you how it can be just as suitable at lunch.
And before you protest that apples aren’t keto-friendly, note that instead of the fruit, it’s nutritious chayote squash getting the cinnamon and nutmeg treatment in this recipe.
If your body’s still adjusting to the high-fat lifestyle, your digestion may need a bit of a nudge. Keep your gut health in check with probiotic-rich foods like kimchi, a traditional Korean fermented cabbage.
When mixed with a bit of mayo and tossed with tuna and avocado, it makes a pretty awesome lunch.
How do you contain your cheeseburger fixings without the bread? Easy. Go the Juicy Lucy route and stuff the greens and cheese inside the beef patty. It tastes great, and let’s be honest, it’s much more fun to eat this way.
Conventional pizza might be off-limits on the keto diet, but since life without pizza is never an option, here’s an alternative.
The crust is made with cauliflower, plus ground beef for some more protein, and the avocado and cheddar toppings are all about healthy fats.
Given the focus on high-fat, moderate-protein meals, a ketogenic eater needs a good egg salad recipe up their sleeve. This one is perfect, since it adds avocado for extra heart-healthy fatty acids and dill for a boost of fresh flavor.
Ditch the bread and load up on the filling (it’s the best part, anyway) with this chicken Philly cheesesteak-in-a-bowl. You’ve got everything from the meat and Worcestershire sauce to the provolone and peppers. You won’t miss the hoagie roll.
Three words: Cheese. Cream. Rice. OK, fine, so it’s not exactly rice, it’s riced cauliflower. But we promise that once you cook it and coat it with said cheese and cream, you won’t be able to tell the difference.
Pack a thermos with this yummy six-ingredient broccoli soup. The rich coconut milk will keep your taste buds happy, and the anti-inflammatory turmeric and ginger will make sure your immune system is too.
This make-ahead slow-cooker chili makes up for the lack of beans by including ground sausage alongside the ground beef for a seriously meaty meal. Just be sure to check that your tomato paste doesn’t have any added sugars — those are no-no’s on the keto diet!