If you’re doing keto, you’re probably used to whipping out a pan to scramble eggs or grill some meat regularly. No shortcuts for you! Or are there…?
The keto diet may seem like it requires a lot of cooking, but that doesn’t have to be the case. The following keto-friendly, expert-approved snacks and meals require zero cooking. And don’t worry—they taste good too.
Though many of us think of dandelions as something we plucked and played with as kids, their leaves are actually revered by many a nutrition expert for their gut-loving properties. “Dandelion greens are a great source of prebiotics, which help nourish the probiotics in your gut,” says Monica Auslander Moreno, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., nutrition consultant for RSP Nutrition.
That’s why she loves this simple salmon- and avocado-topped dandelion greens salad. “Salmon is one of our best known sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which help the body fight inflammation, while the avocado offers vitamin E,” she says.
Since the recipe calls for half a cup of cooked navy beans (which has 15 grams—or about half a day’s-worth of carbs), swap in an ounce of sunflower seeds (which offers 14 grams of healthy fats) to keep it as compliant as possible.
Oh, and did we mention the salad takes just five minutes to put together?
Craving a decadent and satisfying pick-me-up? This zero-sugar mousse is a favorite of adults and kids alike—and it’s a go-to for Moreno.
All you need is a blender, avocado, cacao, vanilla, and keto-friendly sweetener to whip up this decadent snack or dessert. “The cacao contains magnesium, which can help ease some of the symptoms of the keto flu-like muscle cramps, difficulty sleeping, and irritability,” she says.
Want to turn this lighter bit into a breakfast or post-workout meal? Simply blend in a scoop of low-sugar collagen protein powder.
“This recipe is loaded with healthy fats from flavorful seafood and plant-based oil,” says Emmie Satrazemis, R.D., C.S.S.D. “It’s also straight-up heaven for meal-preppers,” she adds. Just make a big batch ahead of time, portion it out, and you’ve got ready-to-go lunches all week.
While the shrimp provide nutrients like zinc, selenium, vitamin B12, and niacin, the avocados provide vitamin E and monounsaturated fats, and the veggies are low-carb but nutrient-dense. (Pro tip: Just wait to add the avocado until you’re ready to eat so that it doesn’t brown.)
To up the meal’s fat content, Satrazemis recommends adding an extra tablespoon of olive oil to the recipe, in addition to the avocado. Together, these create a meal that provides 17 grams of fat for just eight grams of net carbs per serving.
Instead of her usual quinoa, Satrazemis suggests pairing the ceviche with cauliflower rice to keep it keto.
You may have never thought to add canned pumpkin to chia seed pudding, but that’s exactly what this Trifecta Nutrition recipe does. “I love this recipe because it tastes like Thanksgiving in a cup and couldn’t be easier to make,” says Satrazemis. “It’s also vegan, gluten-free, and paleo, and contains nine grams of fiber per serving—great for people with keto constipation.”
To give the chia seeds time to gel up and create that pudding-like consistency, Satrazemis recommends making this recipe at night and eating it as a grab-and-go breakfast or snack the next day.
5. Savory Mediterranean Greek Yogurt Parfait
Savory lovers, this one’s for you. A rich combination of texture and flavors, this Mediterranean yogurt parfait is a great change of pace from eggs and bacon.
To make it, mix half a teaspoon of chopped fresh mint into a cup of plain, full-fat Greek yogurt. Then, create your parfait by layering in sliced cucumbers, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, and chopped walnuts.
“This parfait delivers nearly a third of your daily dose of calcium and more potassium than a large banana,” says Karen Ansel, M.S., R.D.N., author of Healing Superfoods for Anti-Aging. Major perks, considering keto diets easily lack many important minerals.
In all, the creamy, savory meal packs 28 grams of fat.
Made with about a cup of rice a piece, your average sushi roll contains about 42 grams of carbohydrates. That doesn’t mean all sushi is off the table on keto, though.
This recipe from Taste Aholics slashes carbs by replacing rice with cucumber. It also ramps up the fat by incorporating both avocado and mayo. “I love this recipe because it’s an easy way for keto-followers to get in more veggies, which many don’t eat enough of,” says internal medicine physician Kyle Varner, M.D.
Varner recommends filling your roll with fatty salmon, which will not only fill you up, but will also supply a hearty dose of health-boosting omega-3 fatty acids.
7. Almond Butter + Veggies
When you need a quick snack, this combo is about as simple and keto-friendly as it gets.
Some folks eliminate practically all veggies when they go keto, but doing so just leaves you wanting for key nutrients like fiber. “Yes, some vegetables, like carrots and potatoes, are high in carbohydrates,” says Varner. “However, options like cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, zucchini, mushrooms, and asparagus are all very low-carb.”
Pair whatever low-carb veggie your heart desires (we love cucumbers or celery) with two tablespoons of all-natural, sugar-free almond butter. You’ll score about 18 grams of healthy fats, plus filling fiber.
Superfood bowls and salads certainly have a place in a keto diet—and this vegetarian-friendly salad by Keto Delivered makes for a healthy, hearty, and nutritious lunch.
Made with pumpkin seeds, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, low-carb vinaigrette, and lettuce, it’s a simple but great plant-based meal.
To add some extra fat, top your salad with a few slices of avocado.
Any keto dieter with a sweet tooth will delight in these healthified keto brownies, courtesy of Keto Summit. Made from ingredients high in healthy fats, like pistachios, coconut oil, and coconut butter, along with cacao powder and vanilla extract, these raw bites will please even your carb-eating friends.
While your average traditional brownie can pack more than 30 grams of carbs, these bites contain just two grams of net carbs per serving.
Often blended with loads of fruit, most smoothies are far too high in sugar for the keto diet. This smoothie, a favorite of The Vitamin Shoppe Wellness Council member and author of Keto Diet, Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C, swaps in healthy fats like avocado, chia seeds, and coconut oil.
Providing a whopping 40 grams of fat for just seven grams of net carbs, it’s the perfect keto concoction. For extra protein (and flavor), add a scoop of chocolate collagen powder.