Looking for keto side dishes for the holidays (or really anytime)? Maybe you’re just ready to change up your keto sides routine… Because, let’s be honest, broccoli and cauliflower covered in cheese gets boring after awhile.
You’ve come to the right place — I’ve put together a delicious list of keto side dishes. They’ll work great for everything from family holidays to dinner tomorrow night!
BUT FIRST… THE MACROS.
Before you get started on partying up your keto sides, let’s quickly review the macronutrients that work best on the keto diet.
I’ll break it down three ways so you can use the method that makes the most sense to you. For the best results (based on eating 2,000 calories/day), you should get about:
- 70-80% fat; 155-177 grams of fat; 1400-1600 calories from fat
- 10-20% protein; 50-100 grams of protein; 200-400 calories from protein
- 5-10% carbs; 25-50 grams of net carbs; 100-200 calories from carbs
You can’t just cut your carbs down and call yourself a keto expert — instead, focus on drastically reducing carb intake and upping your fat quotient.
Here are some of the best keto side dishes to try this Thanksgiving… or any time of year!
The Best Keto Side Dishes
1. KETO DEVILED EGGS
They’re a staple at office potlucks, church dinners and Grandma’s Sunday lunches. Few family gatherings would feel complete without deviled eggs!
A recipe for traditional deviled eggs is, by itself, pretty keto-friendly. Eggs are a vital part of most keto dieters’ fridge profile for good reason, and mayo is rich in fat without added sugars.
But I like taking it a couple steps further with this delicious Avocado Deviled Eggs and Fat Bombs Recipe by the KetoDiet App. Using avocados in this recipe bumps up the fat to almost 15 grams per egg, with just 1.1 net grams of carbs each!
They only take about 20 minutes to prepare but they’re worth every second. These rich keto deviled eggs will get you drooling for sure.
Make it better: Regular mayonnaise is usually made with pretty low-quality oils, like canola. Instead of risking the inflammation of low-quality vegetable oils, try making your own mayo or buying a more ingredient-conscious brand. I like Primal Kitchen’s Mayo with Avocado Oil.
2. KETO PIGS-IN-A-BLANKET
There’s nothing quite like the kid-friendly snack, pigs-in-a-blanket. They’re bite-sized, delicious and, let’s be honest, super cute.
Try making a batch of these Keto Pigs in a Blanket to serve as an appetizer, or just to keep handy for when your littles get hungry between meals.
The best thing about this recipe is the fluffy crust made from mozzarella, eggs and almond flour. (Seriously, most people will never realize this is a low-carb, high-fat treat!)
You’ll end up with 12 dogs using this keto side dish recipe. A serving is three little pigs (how appropriate) and will afford you a whopping 27.5 grams of fat with just five net grams of carbs.
Bonus: There’s even a Low-Carb BBQ Sauce that pairs perfectly with these mini dogs!
Make it better: Hot dogs are keto-friendly from a “dirty keto” angle, but the processed meats they contain leave much to be desired. Go for organic dogs or unprocessed brats for a healthier option.
3. KETO CAULIFLOWER MASHED POTATOES
(The Healthy Foodie, 2015)
Mashed potatoes are one of those simple, delicious side dishes you can whip up in a hundred different ways. But what if you want to make this dish keto-friendly?
Cauliflower is an incredible base to use for a ton of keto cauliflower recipes. One of the most popular ways to repurpose cauliflower is by making mock “mashed potatoes.”
I love this recipe for The Best Cauliflower Mash Ever because it includes extra steps for getting rid of extra water from your cauliflower. Nobody wants runny potatoes!
Each serving of the completed recipe contains 19+ grams of fat and only 9 grams of net carbs. You can season it to taste using any of your favorite spices — and garnish to your heart’s delight!
Why it’s so good for you: I could go on for awhile about the health benefits of cauliflower, but here’s a few chunks of food (or sides) for thought:
- Cruciferous veggies like cauliflower can help your body in preventing or slowing the growth of several kinds of cancers (1).
- Cauliflower helps to reduce inflammation and, by extension, your risk for dying of heart disease (2,3).
- Cauliflower is a high-antioxidant food (4).
4. CHEESY LOW-CARB CREAMED SPINACH
This super simple recipe is great as one of your keto side dishes for Thanksgiving or a quick dish any day of the week!
By removing a lot of the hidden carbs in other creamed spinach varieties, this recipe for Cheesy Low-Carb Creamed Spinach takes just 15 minutes from start to finish. Plus, you’ll be delighted to get 28 grams of fat and just two grams of carbs in a serving.
It’s also one of those great keto side dishes without cauliflower, if you’re getting tired of that particular veggie.
LowCarbYum recommends choosing fresh spinach over frozen spinach for a better final texture.
Make it better: Don’t just use standard butter. Instead, get a grass-fed butter. Going grass-fed means you get a lot more vitamin K2. K2 is a vital nutrient for everything from good dental health to preventing heart disease and osteoporosis (5)!
5. KETO FRENCH ONION SOUP
(Perfect Keto, 2018)
On a chilly day, there’s nothing quite like French onion soup to warm you up.
This recipe for Keto French Onion Soup forgoes the traditional wine and Worcestershire sauce used in many French onion recipes. Instead, you’ll reap some of the major benefits of bone broth, onions, garlic and thyme!
Four cups of this comforting soup will take about 25 minutes to make. Just remember, you should eat the whole bowl, not just feast on Gruyère cheese. (She says with a smirk!)
The macros of this dish are just as delicious as the soup is. One cup provides 46 grams of fat, 7 grams of net carbs and 23 grams of protein.
Why it’s so good for you: The major ingredients of French onion soup are also major for supporting great health!
Onions, garlic and bone broth aid the health of bones and connective tissue (6,7,8). Both garlic and bone broth can improve your defense against colds and other infections (9,10).
6. PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE MUFFINS (OR CUPCAKES!)
Call me basic, but I crave that delightful PSL taste all summer long. Sadly, most of the yummy pumpkin-flavored things that I want to love are chock full of gross ingredients like excess sugar.
Gnom-Gnom has created some amazing keto pumpkin muffins that will satisfy your PSL craving without throwing you out of ketosis!
Creating cake/muffin texture with keto-friendly ingredients is no small feat, but this recipe for Pumpkin Spice Latte Muffins sure hits the spot.
The secret to the great texture (and taste!) of this recipe comes from the careful blend of flours. Instead of only using an individual keto flour, the writer combines fine almond flour and coconut flour with psyllium husk powder and xanthan gum.
If you want to add a little extra effort to your keto pumpkin muffins, you can even make them cupcakes. There’s an additional recipe included for cream cheese buttercream frosting that’s well worth the work.
Just be aware: One of the optional sweeteners mentioned in this recipe is xylitol. This sweetener is toxic to cats and dogs, so if you’re going to have in the house, use caution around pets.
7. THANKSGIVING KETO CRANBERRY SAUCE
Now that you’ve got me thinking of Thanksgiving, let’s look at another of my favorites… One thing that you can’t miss on turkey day!
KetoConnect’s Healthy Cranberry Sauce isn’t very fatty, but it sure satisfies that cranberry craving. Eight servings take only about 15 minutes and you can eat the sauce right away or refrigerate it for later.
The recipe calls for liquid stevia, but be aware that you may experience some aftertaste using stevia (although it comes with great health benefits!). If you’re not into the aftertaste, try a different zero-calorie sweetener like erythritol or allulose.
Why it’s so good for you: Fat’s all the rage on keto, but it’s easy to forget about the importance of fiber. By adding chia seeds to this recipe, you’ll add in some needed fiber to your diet.
Eating more fiber can help you:
- Digest food better (11)
- Lose weight and feel fuller (12)
- Lower your risk of heart disease (13)
- Keep your blood sugar down (14)
8. AVOCADO FRIES WITH DIPPING SAUCE
(Keto Cooking Christian, 2018)
The moment I saw this recipe, my mouth started watering. If you’re on keto, you’ve probably embraced the magic that is the avocado… But have you made them into fries yet?
This recipe for Avocado Fries with Dipping Sauce is one of the most delectable fatty keto sides I’ve ever tried. One serving packs in a huge 32 grams of fat and only four net grams of carbs!
Getting this recipe right requires avocados that are not soft but have just gotten soft. I’d recommend serving this one fresh, rather than refrigerating it for a later meal.
There are 6 grams of fiber in each serving (thanks, avocados!), so this recipe will also satisfy a lack of fiber on your keto diet. It’s also one of the yummy keto side dishes without cauliflower, so try it if you’re looking for some variety.
Make it better: Not into pork? Whether you’re kosher or just avoid pork in general, you can try experimenting with alternatives to pork rinds for that crunch on the outside. Some possibilities include almond meal or crumbled cheese crisps.
9. LOADED BROCCOLI CAULIFLOWER SALAD
(My Life Cookbook, 2017)
Some keto sides are great year round, but I can’t help think of a summer picnic when I look at this keto salad.
I’m loving the macros on this recipe for Low-Carb Loaded Broccoli Cauliflower Salad. This is one of those fatty keto sides that won’t have you searching for a fat bomb later on, since a serving contains almost 23 grams of fat and less than 2 net carbs.
Looking for keto side dishes for Thanksgiving? Just drop the pecans and add pumpkin seeds for a nice crunch instead!
Why it’s so good for you: This keto salad incorporates apple cider vinegar. There’s a lot of reasons to love ACV, but here’s a couple…
- Apple cider vinegar helps your heart by lowering high blood pressure and improving cholesterol (15,16).
- The acid in ACV might improve acne scarring (17).
- Regularly consuming apple cider vinegar might help you lose weight and body fat (18).
- Apple cider vinegar can help to regulate blood sugar for diabetics (16).
10. KETO SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP PULL-APART ROLLS
(Cast Iron Keto, 2018)
Spinach artichoke dip is one of the best keto side dishes for any meal, family gathering or party. What’s not to love?
This recipe for Keto Spinach Artichoke Dip Pull-Apart Rolls takes just under an hour to prepare. It’s great as a keto appetizer or as one of your keto sides… Hey, you could even just enjoy these in front of the TV as you cozy up for the evening!
You’ll use garlic, onions and spinach as some of your main ingredients (other than cheese). Remember how much your body enjoys these healthful foods?
As an added plus, the recipe creator went a step beyond just spinach artichoke dip. He gives a yummy recipe for keto bread in the form of pull-apart rolls.
Comfort food level: 10,000.
Just be aware: The recipe here calls for aluminum-free baking powder. Make sure you don’t skimp here — getting conventional baking powder might leave your rolls tasting very odd.
11. CAPRESE STUFFED AVOCADOS
(Cafe Delites, 2018)
Stuffing delicious avocados with other delicious ingredients seems like a win-win situation, no? (Yes, it definitely does!)
Caprese Stuffed Avocados make for a great keto side dish (or appetizer) in any season.
To make Caprese, you’ll combine fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, pesto and garlic. This particular recipe also calls for an optional drizzle of balsamic glaze, which brings the carb count up to 9 net carbs.
However, you’ll consume 29 grams of fat in this fatty keto side. And it only contains eight grams of protein.
Make it better: Since tomatoes are on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list, they’re often laced with a lot more pesticides than you probably want to eat with dinner (19). Splurge on organic tomatoes to avoid the extra chemicals… But regular avocados are pretty safe!
12. SPAGHETTI SQUASH AU GRATIN
(Midget Momma, 2015)
Casseroles: they’re everybody’s favorite sides, but making them as keto side dishes can be a challenge.
To the rescue enters Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin! Forget that carb-heavy casserole with white potatoes and try this one with spaghetti squash instead.
Watch the macros on this one. It doesn’t contain many carbs (six net grams) and does have 52 grams of fat, but the spaghetti squash pushes the protein on this one to 97 grams. Since that’s the top end of what you should aim for on keto, consider going meatless the rest of the day. You could also substitute or leave out the chicken called for in the recipe.
And did I mention that the casserole dish is the spaghetti squash itself?
Why it’s so good for you: Spaghetti squash is high in many vitamins, fiber and potassium. It’s one of the best replacements for conventional pasta you’ll find on keto and contributes to a healthy diet any day of the year.
13. HAM & CHEESE STUFFED MUSHROOMS
(Joy Filled Eats, 2017)
Most stuffed mushroom recipes are automatically out while you’re on keto. Whether it’s stuff, bread crumbs or another carb-heavy filler, these tasty treats have been taken off the menu for too long.
Fortunately, these Keto Ham & Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms are quick (just five minutes of prep) and contain only five ingredients. All of those ingredients are keto-friendly!
Less than two grams of carbs is all that stands between you and this yummy keto side dish!
Make it better: Mushrooms also rank somewhat high on the Dirty Dozen list for pesticides (19). Go organic for this particular ingredient. There’s also a great deal of sodium in packaged deli ham, so I suggest getting freshly sliced ham without unnecessary preservatives.
14. MOCK LOW-CARB APPLE PIE FILLING WITH ZUCCHINI
I was skeptical when I first saw this, too. But it turns out that keto doesn’t have to take the decadent taste of apple pie filling out of your life!
Using zucchini in this Mock Low-Carb Apple Pie Filling sounds a little crazy, but it totally works. In just 20 minutes, you’ll have a low-calorie, fatty keto side that feels like the holidays.
Want to go full out and make this keto side dish a dessert? Go for low-carb vanilla ice cream on top!
Make it better: Like I mentioned before, using grass-fed butter will really up your vitamin K2 intake. Try grass-fed butter options for a fuller taste and nutrient profile.
15. SKILLET CHICKEN POT PIE
It might sound like a keto impossibility, but you can have chicken pot pie and stay in ketosis!
Skillet Chicken Pot Pie packs in a lot of protein, so sub for a fattier meat like beef or pork if you’re concerned about protein intake. However, you’ll be very pleased with the nearly 36 grams of fat it packs in a serving!
Why it’s so good for you: It may feel comforting, but that’s not the only good thing about this recipe. You’ll be getting plenty of health benefits from the almond flour, grass-fed butter, chicken, garlic, onion, spinach and chicken broth!
16. CHEDDAR BEER BREAD AND SAUSAGE STUFFING
(Jones Dairy Farm, 2018)
You’re in for a unique treat with this keto side dish. Don’t be fooled by the photo — the only bread here is keto bread, made from almond and coconut flour!
I can see this Cheddar Beer Bread and Sausage Stuffing as one of our new favorite keto side dishes for Thanksgiving. But it would also be great for potlucks or summer parties, too.
Make it better: To improve the healthiness of this keto side, go for grass-fed eggs and butter. Plus, be careful what kind of sausage you use. If you can, buy organic.
17. “SWEET FAUX-TA-TO” CASSEROLE
If you just scrolled through this whole article to find a recipe for sweet potato casserole, you’re in luck!
Spoiler alert: there’s actually no sweet potatoes here. As the author shares, a cup of sweet potato contains 34 net grams of carbs, while the same amount of pumpkin contains only six.
So, this “Sweet Potato” Casserole is more of a pumpkin casserole. It also utilizes nutritious cauliflower, eggs, almond milk and butter.
Just be aware: Got people heading to your Thanksgiving meal with allergies to nuts? Sub out pumpkin seeds for the pecans.
Now I want to hear from you. Which keto side dish are you most excited to try? Do you have a keto side that you absolutely love, but isn’t on the list? Share with us in the comments below!
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