6 Dietitian-Recommended Keto Meals
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6 Dietitian-Recommended Keto Meals

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6 Dietitian-Recommended Keto Meals

Posted a month ago

SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

What foods do you eat on a Keto diet? If you’re new to Keto, you may be struggling with this question. 

Fortunately, Keto meals can be both delicious and simple — as I’ll illustrate below! I’ve narrowed down our extensive recipe catalog to highlight six of my favorite Keto-friendly recipes.

Here are some examples of Keto meals that have earned my registered dietitian stamp of approval, complete with links to recipes available with Carb Manager Premium.

Breakfast

Whether you like savory or sweet in the morning, we’ve got you covered with these two flexible, filling breakfast recipes.

These egg muffins are made with cheese, mushrooms, and chives and are super portable. They’re great to prep in advance and reheat throughout the week for a quick breakfast you can eat on the go.

I love that they offer a great balance of protein and fat (from the eggs and cheese), along with fiber from the mushrooms and chives. 

The best part? You can make these egg muffins with whatever veggies and cheese you have at home. No chives? Try green onions. Hate mushrooms? Do diced bell pepper instead!

If you prefer a sweet breakfast, this chia pudding is worth trying. Chia seeds are super rich in fiber, and they gel in liquid to create a texture that’s very similar to tapioca pudding. It can be prepped the night before so it’s ready to eat in the morning.

One of my favorite things about this chia pudding is that it’s loaded with fiber from the chia seeds, as well as the nuts and berries.

It’s also easy to customize — you can use different berries depending on what you have available. You can also increase the protein and fat content to make it more filling with some targeted additions — like cottage cheese, full-fat Greek yogurt, or even a scoop of protein powder and some extra milk to keep it from getting too thick. Alternatively, just prep a couple of hard-boiled eggs too, for a perfectly balanced Keto breakfast.

Lunch

These two lunch recipes are ideal for quick lunches at work or school. 

Starting with a base of bell pepper as the “bread,” you can pile this Keto-friendly sandwich high with your favorite sandwich fillings to create a satisfying lunch that’s exceptionally low in carbs.

I like that this recipe offers a nice balance of protein and fat from the meats, cheeses, and condiments, and that it also provides plenty of fiber and nutrients from non-starchy veggies.

It’s also really customizable — you can swap out the bell pepper for lettuce leaves or Keto-friendly bread. Smear some smashed avocado and give it a sprinkle of “Everything” seasoning to provide a flavorful fiber boost, and then stack on your favorite meats, cheeses, and veggies.

If you like meal prepping and don’t mind eating the same meal for a few days in a row, this garlicky chicken is an excellent choice. It’s flavorful and reheats well, so you’ll be looking forward to having your lunch each day.

The buttered “noodles” are actually zoodles — spiralized zucchini. Tossed in a buttery sauce, these noodles are just as satisfying as pasta without all the carbs.

I appreciate the balance that this meal provides, with plenty of protein from the chicken paired with fat from the butter and fiber from the zucchini. For some added fiber (and crunch), try sprinkling the dish with some toasted, slivered almonds.

Dinner

Both of these dinner recipes highlight that Keto-friendly suppers can be easy to assemble, extremely filling, and bursting with flavor.

Want a comforting, stick-to-your-ribs meal full of familiar flavors? Try this spaghetti-inspired Italian beef with cabbage noodles.

Well-cooked, thinly-sliced cabbage takes the place of pasta, providing lots of fiber and a satisfying bite. Like pasta, it also soaks up all the flavors it’s cooked in. Paired with a hearty, protein-rich meat sauce, this meal will satisfy your spaghetti cravings.

What I like most about this meal is that it can easily be served to the whole family, even if the whole family isn’t following Keto. Just add a simple carb for the rest of the family, like dinner rolls or rice.

This delicious, take-out-inspired dinner provides a great balance of protein, fat, and fiber. It’s both filling and low in calories, so it’s ideal if you’re trying to lose weight on Keto.

One of my favorite things about this meal is how flexible it is, too. No shrimp on hand? You can easily sub out chicken or beef. 

The light sauce is also flavorful without being overwhelming, and it’s thickened with xanthan gum rather than cornstarch to keep the carb count low.

Tips to Build Your Own Keto Plate

Wondering how to build a Keto plate? Once you have a framework in place, it’s surprisingly easy to do.

Here’s how I recommend building each and every Keto meal (and snack) you eat:

  1. Pick a protein: Protein is responsible for keeping you full and satisfied, so it should be the star of each meal and snack. For a meal, you’ll want to aim for roughly 3-4 ounces of protein-rich food (providing at least 20-30 grams of protein), but snacks can be smaller. Common Keto protein sources include meat, eggs, cheese, and protein powder.[*]
  2. Add some fat: On Keto, fat is definitely the co-star. Each meal should have some fat to help improve the taste and texture, increase nutrient absorption, and provide additional satiety. Most natural protein sources (like meat, cheese, and whole eggs) contain at least some fat, but you can also add cooking fats, full-fat dairy (like cream cheese, heavy cream, or sour cream), avocado, nuts, or seeds to increase the fat content of a meal. Generally, a tablespoon or two is all the added fat you’ll need.[*]
  3. Fill the rest of your plate with a non-starchy vegetable: From there, you’ll want to bulk out the rest of your plate with some non-starchy vegetables. These vegetables are low in both carbs and calories, so you can eat a large portion. They also contain some fiber, which can help you stay full for longer. Some of my personal favorites are cabbage, salad greens, zucchini, and broccoli. For breakfast, desserts, and snacks, you could instead opt for low-carb berries like strawberries or blackberries if veggies would clash with your meal.
  4. Garnish with some extra fiber: This is totally optional, but something that I like to do to increase the satiety factor of all my meals. I try to always add an extra boost of fiber by pairing my meals with sliced or smashed avocado, or sprinkling some nuts or seeds on top. Bonus — these fiber sources are also rich in healthy fats.[*]

This is by far the simplest way to do Keto. By following this framework, you can ensure that all of your meals have the components they need to be filling and nutritious, while hitting your Keto macro targets.

Take note — each of the meals I recommended above roughly follows this framework, too (or can with just a few tweaks) — even if the meal isn’t served on a plate. 

Foods to Include

Now for the fun part — the foods themselves. While Keto has earned a reputation for being restrictive, there’s actually a huge variety of delicious Keto-friendly foods to enjoy. Here are some of the easiest Keto foods to incorporate into your meal planning.

Protein Sources

Since protein is the star, it’s often easiest to plan your proteins first and then fill in other foods around the proteins you choose.

  • Meats and eggs: beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, fish, eggs
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, sesame seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, nut butters, seed butters
  • Protein-rich dairy: plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese
  • Protein supplements: protein powders, protein drinks, Keto-friendly protein bars

Fat Sources

If you’re choosing fatty cuts of meat, you may not need as much added fat. However, here are some fantastic sources:

  • Cooking fats and oils: butter, tallow, lard, bacon fat, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil
  • Fatty fruits and vegetables: avocado, olive, coconut
  • Nuts and seeds: chia seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, nut butters, seed butters
  • High-fat dairy: heavy cream, half and half, cheese, full-fat plain yogurt, sour cream
  • Other: mayonnaise, creamy/oily salad dressings

Non-Starchy Vegetables

Fill your plate with these non-starchy vegetables, and sub them out with smaller portions of low-carb berries (like strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries) for sweet breakfasts, snacks, or desserts:

  • Asparagus
  • Green beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Okra
  • Mushrooms
  • Greens (chard, mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, kale, spinach)
  • Salad greens (lettuce, arugula, endive)
  • Cabbage
  • Cucumbers
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Artichoke
  • Bell peppers
  • Hot peppers
  • Radishes

Fiber Boosts

Here are a couple of easy ways to add some extra fiber to any meal or snack. These foods also provide some healthy fat and (in the case of nuts and seeds) protein, too.

  • Avocado
  • Nuts and seeds, nut butters, and seed butters

Want more meal inspo? Be sure to browse our Premium recipe collection for hundreds more delicious, step-by-step Keto recipes. 

Not a Premium member yet? It may be time to consider upgrading so you can have access to our full catalog of recipes, plus third-party app integrations, added tracking functionality, and our comprehensive suite of meal-planning tools!