|January 12, 2024

Low Carb Meals

By Sarah Kester
Reviewed by Theresa Greenwell for Scientific Accuracy

Low Carb Meals

  • The low carb diet limits carbohydrates (carbs) and focuses on eating a variety of healthy proteins and fats.
  • The well-studied benefits of a low carb diet include weight loss and improved blood sugar and cholesterol.
  • We rounded up a large variety of delicious low carb meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They include low carb staple ingredients, and most are on the table in 30 minutes or less.

Going low carb doesn’t mean going low on taste. Whether you need meals for breakfast, lunch or dinner, we’ve got you covered with delicious and easy recipes that scale back on carbs — not flavor.

Most of these recipes contain less than 15 grams of carbs (yes, including mac and cheese!) and take full advantage of creative substitutes that even carb-o-holics will love, such as cauliflower, zucchini noodles and sweet potato.

Prepare to feast on these 9 low carb meals to add to your diet.

What is a Low Carb Diet?

A low carb diet is a way of eating that restricts carbohydrates to around 26 percent, or less than 130 grams per day.[1]

This particularly includes carbs found in pastas, grains, and sugary foods. Instead of too many carbs, participants eat a diet that is rich in the other two macronutrients: proteins and fats.

Switching to a low carb diet may have many health benefits. By prioritizing healthy carbs (such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables and legumes), protein and fat, research has found that a low carb diet may contribute to weight loss by reducing your appetite[2] and lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.[3]

Low Carb Breakfast Ideas

hand grabbing egg bites

Pasture Raised Egg Bites

If you’re a fan of the egg bites you can get at places like Starbucks, you’ll love this versatile recipe. It’s packed with 10 grams of protein and only 1 gram of carbs. There are endless flavor combinations you can make by the dozen. Try combining the eggs with bacon and spinach or red bell peppers and chicken.

Salmon avocado toast with a runny egg

Sweet Potato Salmon Avocado Toast

This low carb take on a beloved breakfast dish is sure to delight your taste buds. It combines healthy fats and proteins, such a pasture-raised egg, wild caught salmon and ghee (try our grass-fed version). Avocado toast may be a brunch staple, but you can enjoy this recipe anytime, including as a snack or a light meal.

fork taking a bite out of stack of fluffy pancakes

Fluffy Almond Flour Paleo Pancakes

These low carb paleo pancakes are thick, fluffy and only contain 4 grams of carbs. By whipping the batter into a blender, it makes the pancakes extra stackable. The recipe is so good, you’ll make it even when you’re not tracking your net carbs. Besides being low carb, they are keto-friendly, gluten-free and can be even made vegan.

Low Carb Lunch Ideas

hands holding a large bowl of mac and cheese

Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese

Who says you can’t have a heaping bowl of macaroni and cheese because you’re eating low carb? Unlike recipes that call for cauliflower as the star ingredient, this one shines a well-deserved spotlight on pumpkin, cashews and coconut cream. When these ingredients are combined, they create a mouth-watering, cheesy bowl of comfort. Best of all? It’s only 9 grams of carbs.

meatballs on a blue plate with veggies

Easy Paleo Baked Meatballs

This recipe is certain to become a keeper. Baked meatballs are great for meal prep because they are easy to prepare and can be double batched, so you’ll have plenty of leftovers for a delicious bite of protein throughout the week. These are great to serve with low carb substitutes, such as zucchini noodles, garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes or covered in a Swedish-inspired cream sauce.

keto burgers wrapped in bacon

Bacon-Wrapped Herb Burgers

Burgers don’t have to be off the menu when you’re low carb. But unlike other recipes that call for lettuce wrapping the bun, this recipe kicks up the flavor profile by using bacon. As a bonus, this ensures that the burger stays moist. You can alter the recipe as your tastebuds see fit by swapping out certain herbs. Pair this winning meal with keto potato salad.

Low Carb Dinner Ideas

shredded beef next to plate of veggies

Keto Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Beef

Our Mexican shredded beef recipe features clean and fresh ingredients that won’t leave you feeling sluggish after you enjoy a guilt-free feast. Short ribs or beef shank are the main stars, but herbs like turmeric, garlic and cumin bring the flavors alive. It’s a no-fuss kind of meal you can throw in the slow cooker and forget about — that is, until you get a whiff of the delicious aroma.

keto pasta with chicken and lemon

Low Carb Angel Hair Pasta With Lemon Chicken

This lightened-up pasta recipe allows you to satisfy your pasta craving when the mood strikes (which it will). Made with angel hair shirataki noodles in place of spaghetti, protein-packed chicken breast, MCT oil, herbs and spices, it’s the perfect weeknight meal for busy nights. One serving clocks in at 325 calories, 39 grams of protein and only 3 grams of carbs.

keto chicken casserole

Keto Buffalo Chicken Casserole

Feed your whole family with this gluten-free buffalo chicken casserole recipe. Everything comes together with staple ingredients, such as chicken breast, eggs and vegetables. You also get a collagen boost thanks to the added collagen protein. Serve it up on game day for the ultimate comfort meal.

Whether you’re new to low carb or just in a food rut, these recipes make mealtime a breeze. Most involve staple ingredients you already have in your kitchen and pantry, provide a much-needed collagen boost and are made in 30 minutes or less. Give these recipes a try and don’t be surprised if they become a part of your weekly rotation!

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