With therapeutic benefits for health and impressive weight loss effects, it’s no surprise the ketogenic diet has gained so much traction. In comparison to the regular paleo diet, the ketogenic diet really cuts down on the carbohydrates, training the body to burn fat for fuel instead of reaching into the glycogen stores.
Unfortunately for us paleo eaters, cutting the carbs further may be easier said than done. Many available keto recipes focus a lot on dairy (cream and cheese) to meet the required calories and fat/protein macros. When coming from a good source, dairy can be extremely healthful and beneficial. However, some of us just don’t tolerate it well or don’t want to rely on it very heavily to complete a meal. That’s why I’ve decided to come up with this list of dairy-free keto recipes. I’ll focus on high-fat, moderate-protein and low-carb dishes for breakfast, mains and desserts. Let’s get to it!
Keto Breakfast Options
1. Overnight matcha chia bowl from Gnom Gnom
Many smoothie bowls are pretty high-carb, and oatmeal is out of the question. Don’t give up on the possibility of a sweet breakfast though. Chia porridge is the perfect in-between option with tons of healthy fats, a boost of protein and a good bit of energy from the added matcha. This is a great way to squeeze in some superfoods, micronutrients and antioxidants.
Cauliflower is one of the most versatile vegetables. You can use it to make low-carb, grain-free variations of pizza, fried rice, couscous and even cauliflower bread. So, naturally, I thought I should try using cauliflower to make a low-carb, paleo version of hash browns. Enjoy them with avocado, eggs or smoked salmon for a perfect keto breakfast.
Eggs scramble is a great keto option but it’s often not enough on its own. In this recipe, I stir-fried some zucchini and green onions (you can omit the white onions) and served with oily smoked salmon. You can replace cherry tomatoes with avocado for more keto-friendly macros.
4. Keto rocket fuel latte milkshake from Healthful Pursuit
If matcha isn’t your jam, this milkshake should do the trick. With a thick smoothie consistency, this ‘rocket fuel’ should keep you going for hours on end with a healthy dose of MCT oil, and of course, chocolate.
5. Blueberry pancakes from Jennifer Banz
Pancakes are necessary to live your life to the fullest, at least sometimes. These low-carb flapjacks are made with coconut flour and eggs, making them rich with protein, fat and fibre for a very filling meal. Just sub out butter for ghee or coconut oil to keep it 100% paleo and use your favourite sugar-free syrup to keep it 100% keto.
Keto main meals
Meatballs and mash make an awesome, comforting meal with minimal effort. In place of potatoes, this recipe uses low-carb cauliflower. If you season it right, you will hardly notice the difference. Plus, the meatballs are packed with fresh herb and garlic flavour.
This succulent coconut yoghurt chicken is incredibly easy and requires only a handful of ingredients. It’s paleo, Whole30, keto and gluten-free friendly and can be served with a lovely salad, cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles.
Many keto recipes use cream to add fat for satiation and to achieve the right macros but if you want to avoid all dairy yet still enjoy something rich and creamy, try this dish of zucchini noodles with creamy cashew-based sauce. Don’t worry, cashews in moderation are perfectly keto-friendly and while artichokes have a few carbs, they are very high in fibre, so the net carbs are still quite low. You can always replace with cooked broccoli instead.
Made with grilled steak, prawns and creamy garlic and caper dressing, this is a surf and turf inspired salad recipe you have to put in your meal plan. It’s Whole30, paleo and keto-friendly.
Oily fish is the perfect keto food and this is a great recipe to use not only with a whole fish like trout but with salmon fillets, sardines or cod. That zingy herb and onion salsa can be spread any fish fillets and baked to perfection. You can use less onion to cut down the carbs even further.
If you’re serving guests dinner or want beautiful leftovers, this pork tenderloin is the answer. With so much colour and unbeatable texture in the toppings and garnishes, it’ll be hard to pass up on seconds.
This salad is a favourite for something easy and affordable, using ground beef mixed with cool cucumber for a spin on the standard green salad. Topped off with mint and low-carb, dairy-free cashew raita, you’ll want to put this into the lunch rotation for weeks to come.
11. Sheet pan beef & broccoli from Tasty Yummies
Sheet pan meals make eating dairy-free keto easy. This dish of beef and broccoli proves it. It’s often laden with sugar from Chinese restaurants, so make it at home with low-carb, real food ingredients and pair with cauliflower rice for a full meal.
I love sushi, which I have from time to time when eating out, but the reason I stock low-carb nori sheets in my pantry is because they are perfect for making a quick and easy lunch or a snack, and they are pretty nutritious too, containing impressive amounts of vitamin A, iodine, calcium, iron and even protein. Paired with fatty fish, avocado and mayo, these rolls should fit perfectly into your keto diet.
13. Mexican cauliflower fried rice from Paleo Running Momma
Simple fried rice is a quick and easy way to get dinner on the table. With cauliflower rice, it’s no less simple! This complete meal is packed with protein from ground meat and flavour from spices plus a chipotle ranch dip and delicious guac on top.
Another sheet pan meal makes the list! This time, we’re doubling up on meat to properly balance out fat and protein for perfect keto macros with chicken and chorizo. Add some asparagus to the mix and you’ve got yourself a full meal – and it’s pretty hands-off.
This sheet pan meal ticks so many boxes: paleo, keto, AIP and Whole30 friendly, it’s a perfect meal for anyone doing my paleo program, it has loads of green veggies, it has omega-3s rich fish, it’s quick and easy, and most importantly, it’s full of flavour.
16. Low-carb lo mein from I Breathe, I’m Hungry
This lo-mein takes the all-natural low-carb pasta route by using spaghetti squash which serves as both noodle and bowl in this delectable take on a Chinese cuisine classic. With shrimp, chicken and tons of veggies, the noodles are an afterthought anyway. The stringy squash will hold all of those awesome ingredients effortlessly.
This butter cake is a delicacy made with dairy-free condensed milk that lends its sweetness and richness to the recipe perfectly. Ooey, gooey buttery goodness is right at your fingertips with this recipe.
This 5-ingredient chocolate cake consists of eggs, raw cacao powder, coconut oil, sweetener of choice (like xylitol or stevia), and mixed berries. That’s it! It is the simplest chocolate cake I have ever made and on top of being damn moist and delicious, it is nut-free (perfect for school lunch boxes), super low-carb and keto friendly and can be served as a sliced cake or cut into brownies.
19. No bake chocolate peanut butter bars from The Big Man’s World
With just four ingredients, these bars are increasingly heavenly with each and every bite. You can substitute peanut butter for another nut butter to keep them paleo – just make sure there isn’t any sugar added.
20. Chewy chocolate chip cookies from Peace, Love & Low Carb
Who doesn’t love a warm chocolate chip cookie? Dip this sucker in some fresh, cold almond milk for the best results and savour every bite! Perfect for kids, adults and for any occasion, this is the quintessential low-carb cookie.
You can have your low-carb and paleo at the same time! While it can be tough to find recipes, they are out there for each meal of the day. I hope you enjoy these ideas and consider keto even if you want to keep it dairy-free.