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35 Easy Keto Side Dishes For Busy Days (And Lazy Cooks)

Louise Hendon | November 13
35 Easy Keto Side Dishes For Busy Days (And Lazy Cooks)

Take your Keto dinner to the next level by adding a side dish that will almost outshine your entree! This list includes Keto side dishes that are tasty enough to enjoy for lunch, on their own.

I admit it – it can be a challenge to come up with new low carb side dish ideas when you can’t cook the rice or pasta you were used to. At some point, the basic green salad just doesn’t cut it, anymore, so it’s good to have these delicious options ready for the infamous dinner rut.

You might even find yourself enjoying a much larger variety of sides than before you started eating a ketogenic diet. These recipes are simply too delicious to ignore! Most of these are also quick and easy to make, which is perfect for busy moms and dads – or anyone who doesn’t want to spend too much time preparing meals.

Learn To LOVE Cauliflower

If you think you don’t like cauliflower, I guarantee you just haven’t cooked it right, yet! It has become one of my favorite vegetables, and it’s more versatile than most people realize. Cauliflower makes a mouthwatering alternative to mashed potatoes. And wait until you’ve tried our cauliflower “risotto”!

This is why everyone should consider adding more cauliflower in their diet:

  • It contains plenty of vitamins (for example Vitamin C and K).
  • Cauliflower is considered anti-inflammatory because it contains antioxidants.
  • Cauliflower is high in fiber, which can help you feel full for longer – great for anyone who wants to lose some weight.
  • It’s super easy to prepare and only takes a moment to cook.

Keto Sautés For Every Occasion

Try our Brussels sprouts sauté, either with bacon or garlic – these are what I always make when I’m not in the mood for salad. If Brussels sprouts are not your thing, we have sautés made of squash, spinach, green beans, and asparagus. Something for every taste!

We’ve also included other veggie dishes (the zucchini fries have got to be my favorite!) and, of course, salads that are out of the ordinary but still require very little effort to make.

Here are just a few of the keto side dishes we’ve included:

If you click or tap any of the links above, it will instantly take you to the recipe below. Or download the entire list by clicking on the green button below.

Keto Cauliflower Side Dishes

Roasted Cheesy Keto Cauliflower

– Keto Summit

Roasted Cheesy Keto Cauliflower Recipe [Dairy-Free] #keto

Ingredients: olive oil, nutritional yeast flakes, cauliflower, bacon, ground black pepper, flat leaf parsley.

Growing up, cauliflower was regularly served with a cheese sauce and I kind of miss that now I am eating a ketogenic diet, but that’s where nutritional yeast comes to the rescue! It gives the vegetable a delicious cheesy flavor but keeps the dish dairy free. Add in some bacon bits and you have a lovely tasty side for meats or fish. I often make this for a lunchtime meal too!

Keto Creamy Mushroom “Risotto”

– Keto Summit

Keto Creamy Mushroom "Risotto" Recipe #keto

Ingredients: cauliflower, white button mushrooms, olive oil, onion, ghee, garlic, salt, pepper.

Risotto is one of those dishes that we wish we could make, but it sounds very complicated and time-consuming, so this low carb version gives you the same textures but without any hassle! This is the perfect dish to showcase the flavor of mushrooms and the cauliflower gives the same creamy texture as regular rice, but the whole dish can be ready in under thirty minutes.

Keto Turmeric “Rice”

– Keto Summit

Keto Turmeric “Rice” Recipe #keto

Ingredients: cauliflower, coconut oil, turmeric powder, salt, ground black pepper.

Turmeric is rapidly being acknowledged as having remarkable health properties and has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, so it can be ideal to include in your diet. Not only that, but it adds such a depth of color that it can brighten loads of dishes! You can serve this with keto or paleo curries, chili or stews, as the cauliflower rice takes on the flavors from other ingredients.

You can learn more about the health benefits of turmeric here – and if you want to get these benefits every day, consider trying our own Turmeric Soothe supplement.

Make-Ahead Keto Creamy Cauliflower Mash

– Keto Summit

Make-Ahead Keto Creamy Cauliflower Mash Recipe #keto

Ingredients: cauliflower, salt, ghee.

This recipe is a basic one that can be helpful for new cooks or people who are not confident in the kitchen. This side dish goes well anywhere you would normally have served mashed potato and even works as a topping for shepherd’s pie. Cauliflower is a good source of vitamins, so it is healthy as well as being low carb and perfect for ketogenic dishes. Freeze in individual portions for easy sides through the week.

Keto Cauliflower White Rice

– Keto Summit

Keto Cauliflower White Rice Recipe

Ingredients: cauliflower, coconut oil, salt.

Here is another helpful recipe that shows you different ways to cook cauliflower rice, which is a staple on a low carb diet. You can even make it nuttier, like regular brown rice, by roasting the cauliflower in the oven first before grating or processing it into rice-like pieces. The veggie rice can also be used cold in salads in place of couscous for a grain-free lunch.

Roasted Turmeric Cauliflower

– Paleo Flourish

Roasted Turmeric Cauliflower

Ingredients: cauliflower, turmeric, salt, olive oil.

This dish has to be one of the best sides ever! The golden cauliflower florets look so good and can be teamed with even the plainest of mains to brighten up the plate. This is a great way to introduce eating turmeric to doubtful family members, and we all know how good turmeric is for us. Roasted cauliflower can also be used to garnish soups and makes a very appealing side for a dinner party.

Cauliflower Tabouli (Tabbouleh) Salad

– Paleo Flourish

Cauliflower Tabouli (Tabbouleh) Salad Recipe

Ingredients: cauliflower florets, parsley, mint leaves, cherry tomatoes, lemon slice, olive oil, salt, pepper.

One of the best things about this dish is that it uses cauliflower florets to give you tabbouleh, which is normally made from grain such as bulgur wheat, meaning that this recipe is grain free. The cauliflower gives a similar texture and, just like couscous, it takes on the flavors of the other ingredients. This salad makes a lovely side for chicken or pork and can be adjusted to suit your own taste.

Raw Italian Cauliflower Salad

– Paleo Flourish

Raw Italian Cauliflower Salad Recipe

Ingredients: cauliflower florets, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, olives, garlic, salt, pepper.

In the summertime, you can find fresh, raw dishes more appealing than cooked ones, so this lovely cauliflower salad would make a wonderful light ketogenic lunch. You have the combination of crunchy cauliflower and soft olive with the freshness of the lemon juice to lift the flavors. You can use cilantro for the garnish if you don’t have parsley.

Creamy Paleo Cauliflower Mash

– Paleo Flourish

Creamy Paleo Cauliflower Mash [Dairy-Free, Keto, AIP]

Ingredients: cauliflower, cultured ghee, coconut milk, vanilla extract, salt.

Here is the perfect creamy yet healthy mash to serve to family and friends as it can be used in place of mashed potato with any meal. This is ideal for people with blood sugar issues such as diabetics as the mash is very low in carbs. If you are serving this mash with fish, you could chop the scallions and mix through the dish then sprinkle a little dill on the top.

Low Carb Sauté Side Dishes

2-Ingredient Keto Bacon Brussels Sprouts

– Keto Summit

2-Ingredient Keto Bacon Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Ingredients: Brussels sprouts, bacon.

This recipe has become a regular feature at Christmas in many households, but there is no reason not to eat them throughout the year! Adding the bacon to the sprouts gives them a milder flavor, so even members of the family who are not too keen on the taste might be persuaded. The texture of the sprouts is complemented by the crunch of the bacon making this a great side dish for roast meats.

Keto Garlic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

– Keto Summit

Keto Garlic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients: Brussels sprouts, garlic, olive oil, bacon, salt, pepper.

If you were ever forced to eat soggy sprouts at school, you will know why I hated them as a kid, but then I discovered roasting them! Mixing the sprouts with bacon and garlic and roasting them gives the veggies a sweetness you wouldn’t expect. But don’t just serve these up at Thanksgiving or Christmas – enjoy them all year round! This recipe is very low in carbohydrates and is compliant with the ketogenic diet.

Keto Quick Asparagus Sauté

– Keto Summit

Keto Quick Asparagus Sauté Recipe #keto

Ingredients: asparagus spears, olive oil, salt, pepper.

When asparagus is in season it can be easily turned into a quick and tasty side or a light vegetarian lunch. This recipe takes only a few minutes to make and can be served with steak, chicken or even a juicy pork chop. Try to get the freshest asparagus you can and discard any yellow spears or any that are a bit limp as they can be a bit tough. This recipe is also suitable for AIP and paleo diets.

Keto Spinach Mushroom Bacon Sauté

– Keto Summit

Keto Spinach Mushroom Bacon Saute

Ingredients: bacon, spinach, portobello mushroom, tamari sauce, salt, pepper.

Keto sides that involve bacon and mushrooms can be a lovely meaty addition to your main course and if I’m honest I have been known to eat this one as it is for lunch! Because you are adding tamari sauce that masks the taste of the spinach you might find this dish useful for encouraging the kids to eat healthy too, especially as spinach is loaded with vitamins and minerals which are essential for growing bodies.

Keto Garlic Spinach Sauté

– Keto Summit

Keto Garlic Spinach Saute [AIP, Paleo]

Ingredients: avocado oil, spinach, garlic, salt.

Spinach is actually better for you when it is cooked as it releases more vitamins, so makes a great healthy side dish to serve with roast meats or fish. It goes well with the flavor of the garlic and is a quick and easy dish to prepare. Try serving this lovely Keto side with your turkey at Thanksgiving or Christmas as a healthy alternative to some of the more traditional sides.

Easy Garlic Lemon Broccolini Sauté

– Paleo Flourish

Easy Garlic Lemon Broccolini Saute Recipe

Ingredients: broccolini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt.

If you don’t live in the US, you might find broccolini difficult to source, but it can also be known as tender stem broccoli. It has a milder flavor than broccoli but still has all the vitamins associated with it. In this simple recipe you are cooking the low carb vegetables with garlic and lemon, boosting the flavor and adding a citrus hit, and this side is perfect with fish.

Spinach and Pancetta Sauté

– Paleo Flourish

Spinach and Pancetta Saute Recipe

Ingredients: pancetta, spinach leaves.

If you have had a really busy day and need something quick and simple for dinner, this recipe is the one for you. It is tasty, healthy and filling but only takes a few minutes to make. This is a versatile dish as you could have it as a Paleo-friendly main, as a side for roast meats or even with eggs for breakfast. I recommend you don’t season with salt as the pancetta is salty enough, and if you can’t get pancetta just use bacon!

Chayote Squash Curry Sauté

– Paleo Flourish

Chayote Squash Curry Saute

Ingredients: chayote squash, carrots, celery ribs, romaine lettuce leaves, eggs, curry powder, apple cider vinegar, salt, coconut oil.

Chayote squash is an unusual squash that is available in specialty food stores. It is quite watery, so is ideal for making the base for soups, but it also holds its shape once cooked. In this recipe, you are using the cooking liquor as a base for broth in which you are cooking poached eggs, but the squash and carrots can also be served as a side for other protein dishes instead.

Easy Chinese Green Beans Stir-Fry

– Paleo Flourish

Easy Chinese Green Beans Stir-Fry

Ingredients: green beans, onion, avocado oil, water, tamari soy sauce, salt.

Green beans have been common in Chinese cuisine for many years, but in this paleo recipe, you have additional flavor from the star anise and tamari sauce. Star anise gives a slight aniseed flavor to dishes and this tastes great with many veggies including broccoli and cabbage too. This makes a great dish for a healthy lunch or as a side with meat dishes.

Keto Vegetable Side Dishes

Spicy Seasoned Keto Zucchini Fries

– Keto Summit

Spicy Seasoned Keto Zucchini Fries Recipe #keto

Ingredients: zucchinis, coconut flour, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, black pepper.

Perfect with tomato salsa or a good guacamole, these tasty zucchini fries can be a great party food option for your next film or game night. They are reasonably low in carbs and are packed with flavor from the chili powder and paprika. If you are not keen on heat, opt for mild chili powder or just miss it out. These chips are best served right away.

Keto Paprika Lime Green Bean Fries

– Keto Summit

Keto Paprika Lime Green Bean Fries

Ingredients: green beans, egg, almond flour, paprika, lime zest, salt, pepper.

These tasty low carb fries have a lovely zingy flavor from the lime, complemented by the sweet and smoky taste of the paprika. Although these fries are not meant to be crispy, the nut flour makes a lovely coating making them more satisfying, and they make a wonderful side for burgers or quiches. If you find the coating won’t stick, place the dry ingredients on a dinner plate and roll the beans in it with your hand pressing them down gently.

Keto Bacon Green Beans

– Keto Summit

Keto Bacon Green Beans Recipe

Ingredients: green beans, bacon, avocado oil, gluten-free tamari sauce, salt, pepper.

Here is another keto side dish that would be perfect served with meat or fish. It is a joy to eat because of the different textures involved – the softness of the green beans and the crunch of the salty bacon. If you prefer the beans with a bit of a crunch then don’t boil them first, but it is up to your individual taste how long you cook them. These make great snacks for film nights too!

Creamy Asparagus Mash

– Paleo Flourish

Creamy Asparagus Mash Recipe [Paleo, Keto, AIP]

Ingredients: asparagus shoots, onion, coconut cream, fresh parsley, lemon juice, salt, pepper.

The asparagus gives this dish such a vibrant color and it would be great as an alternative to your regular mash. This dish is lighter and would be good to serve on a warm day as it can be enjoyed hot or cold. The lemon juice adds a note of freshness to the mash and stops the asparagus from oxidizing and turning brown. This green paleo mash would be a great side on St. Patrick’s Day!

Easy Paleo Roasted Vegetables

– Paleo Flourish

Easy Paleo Roasted Vegetables Recipe

Ingredients: peppers, baby squash, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, salt, fresh basil leaves.

Roasted vegetables make the ideal side for roast meats and save on cooking space as they are cooked in the oven. If you can find mini vegetables they make pretty sides for serving to friends, but if you can’t find them just use regular peppers and tomatoes cut up. Have a look for them at your next farmer’s market! This is a dish you can batch cook at the weekend and store in the fridge for through the week.

AIP Carrot Fries with Coconut and Cinnamon

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Carrot Fries Recipe with Coconut and Cinnamon [Paleo, Nut-Free]

Ingredients: carrots, coconut oil, cinnamon powder, salt.

As you know, carrots have a naturally sweet flavor, especially if you buy baby ones, so that is why the cinnamon works so well here! Carrot fries can either be used as a healthy low carb snack or served with fish or meat. I like to serve them with salmon steaks as the cinnamon ramps up the flavor of the fish. This is a grain and gluten free recipe that is really low in carbs too.

Crispy AIP Zucchini Fries

– Healing Autoimmune

Crispy AIP Zucchini Fries

Ingredients: zucchinis, coconut flour, onion powder, salt.

If you are missing the crispy crunch of a good snack while you are on the AIP, then these zucchini fries could become your new go-to for film or game nights! They are quick and easy to make, are totally compliant with the autoimmune way of eating, and make great snacks to share. These are best eaten immediately as the zucchini tends to go soft if left for a while.

AIP Garlic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Garlic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Ingredients: Brussels sprouts, garlic, olive oil, salt, lemon zest.

Here is a recipe with a clever secret – roast the garlic with the skin on to avoid it burning then mix the pulp with the sprouts once it is cooked! This is genius because there is nothing worse than burnt garlic! The garlic makes the sprouts sweeter in flavor and can even be used to persuade the sprout skeptics to try them. After all, they are so low-carb friendly and packed with nutrients.

Other Low Carb Side Dishes

Keto Dairy-Free “Cheesy” Biscuits

– Keto Summit

Keto Dairy-Free "Cheesy" Biscuits Recipe #keto

Ingredients: almond flour, eggs, baking powder, ghee, coconut yogurt, nutritional yeast, salt.

These tasty biscuits are designed to be eaten as a side with savory dishes, but they can also e enjoyed as a healthier snack than regular biscuits. Although some people on the keto diet can eat dairy, we really don’t recommend it, so it is great to have a recipe for cheesy biscuits which are dairy free and totally suitable for keto people.

Keto Mexican Lime and Chili Cucumbers Salad

– Keto Summit

Keto Mexican Lime and Chili Cucumbers Salad Recipe #keto cucumber-salad-recipe

Ingredients: cucumbers, cashews, olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, chili powder, salt, pepper.

This amazing salad is a true fusion of cool and spice, with the freshness of cucumber and lime, the hit of chili and the crunch from the cashews adding extra texture to the dish. This would make a lovely appetizer or a side dish to serve with salmon or peppered steak. This colorful plateful is low in carbs and completely keto-friendly, easy to make and absolutely delicious!

Keto Coleslaw

– Keto Summit

Keto Coleslaw Recipe

Ingredients: cabbage, carrot, apple cider vinegar, mayo, mustard, onion.

Coleslaw is a side dish that is recognized all over the world, with certain variations depending on where you are. However, the most common type is a mix of cabbage, carrot, and onion in a mayo dressing, just like this one. It makes a great Keto side as it goes well with so many meats and fish and can be a great way to encourage picky eaters to eat vegetables.

Easy Keto Kimchi Recipe

– Keto Summit

Easy Keto Kimchi Recipe #keto

Ingredients: Chinese (or Napa) cabbage, salt, fresh ginger, garlic, onion, chili pepper, hot sauce, salt.

If you have not discovered the benefits of fermented foods, kimchi could be the way to start. It has its origins in Korean cuisine and every family has their own interpretation of it. Kimchi is basically fermented cabbage and is a spicy dish that goes really well with all meats and fish and is helpful for regulating cholesterol, so next time you have an abundance of cabbage, why not give it a go?

Keto “Cornbread” Muffins

– Keto Summit

Keto “Cornbread” Muffins Recipe

Ingredients: almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, salt, ghee, eggs, coconut milk.

Muffins can be a great snack or a healthy breakfast, and these ones only take a short time to make, so if you are short on time in the morning you can rustle up a batch of these quite quickly. They don’t have the traditional cornbread flavor but they are delicious spread with nut butter and eat while they are still warm, or they can be cooled and used as an addition to your lunchbox for work or school. More lunchbox ideas here.

Keto Waldorf Salad

– Keto Summit

Keto Waldorf Salad #keto

Ingredients: salad leaves of your choice, paleo mayo, salt, black pepper, Granny Smith apple, celery stalks, grapes, walnuts.

Waldorf salad is traditionally made with a creamy dressing and in this recipe, it comes from the keto mayo, which keeps the dressing dairy free. Aside from the lettuce, this also has the fresh flavors of apple and celery, making this a lovely light and delicious salad to enjoy for lunch on a summer day, or as an appetizer for a dinner party. This is a simple recipe but it gives you a wonderfully tasty dish.

Keto Kale Blueberry Salad Recipe

– Keto Summit

Kale and Blueberry Salad Recipe [Paleo, Keto, AIP]

Ingredients: kale, blueberries, almonds, onion, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper.

Kale has so many more nutrients than other salad leaves, so this delicious salad could be a good way to increase your intake. Teamed with the juicy blueberries, the crunchy kale, and sweet red onion, this salad could be a wonderful light lunch option or a side salad for cooked meats or fish. If you use the light dressing suggested here you won’t mask the flavors of the other ingredients.

Keto Asian Rolled Cucumber Salad

– Keto Summit

Keto Asian Rolled Cucumber Salad

Ingredients: cucumbers, gluten-free tamari sauce, garlic, green onion.

This cucumber salad looks so pretty and would be a very impressive appetizer to serve to friends. With the flavor of the garlic and tamari sauce, you have a real Oriental taste and this would be perfect as a starter for a Chinese meal. This dish fits well with the ketogenic diet as it is low in carbohydrates but is packed with taste. For added texture, you can use some sesame seeds in the sauce.

Creamy Keto Cucumber Salad

– Keto Summit

Creamy Keto Cucumber Salad [5-Minute Recipe]

Ingredients: cucumber, mayo, lemon juice, ground black pepper, salt.

Although this is a very simple recipe with only a few ingredients, the light, fresh and creamy salad would make a fantastic side with steak or any grilled meats. As cucumber has a low-calorie content, this salad would be great if you are watching your weight too. This dish is best served as soon as it is ready as it can become very watery if stored for any time.

Louise Hendon

Louise holds a Bachelors and Masters in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University (UK). She attended Columbia University for her JD and practiced law at Debevoise & Plimpton before co-founding Louise's Foods, Paleo Living Magazine, Nourishing Brands, & CoBionic. Louise has considerable research experience but enjoys creating products and articles that help move people just a little bit closer toward a healthy life they love. You can find her on Facebook or LinkedIn.