You Just Started a Low-Carb Diet—Here Are the Recipes to Make First
It’s easy to lower your carbohydrate intake with these healthy recipes. While these breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes have no more than 15 grams of carbohydrates per serving, there are also other ways to eat low-carb ingredients. Whether that’s swapping rice with cauliflower rice, noodles with spiralized zucchini or bread with cucumber slices, these low-carb recipes are delicious and can help you meet your nutrition goals.
Shrimp Cauliflower Fried Rice
Cut down on carbs and amp up your veggie servings with this healthy cauliflower fried rice with shrimp, broccoli, bell peppers and garlic. Everything is cooked in one wok or skillet, but in stages, so each element keeps its integrity in the finished dish instead of being all mushed together--it may seem fussy, but it's worth it and actually quite easy. Resist the urge to stir the cauliflower rice right away; letting it cook undisturbed for a few minutes allows it to brown and develop sweet, nutty flavors. This better-than-takeout healthy dinner comes together in just 25 minutes, so it's perfect for busy weeknights.
Low-Carb Seeded Quick Bread
This low-carb bread is chock-full of seeds and flours that make the loaf mimic classic bread while managing to keep carb counts low. This bread is a vessel for both sweet and savory toppings, but the nutty flavors of the ingredients shine with just a simple schmear of butter.
Buffalo Chicken Cauliflower Pizza
Cauliflower rice, egg and shredded mozzarella combine to make an easy low-carb pizza crust. Top the gluten-free pizza with tangy Buffalo sauce, chicken and blue cheese for a flavorful dinner or game-day favorite. Fresh celery is added at the end for cool crunch.
Cauliflower English Muffins
These savory, low-carb (and gluten-free) English muffins use riced cauliflower in place of flour, with a little cheese and egg as binder to make a grain-free breakfast bread. Try topping them with sweet jam, or use them to create a yummy breakfast sandwich.
Spanakopita Stuffed Peppers
These stuffed bell peppers have a filling inspired by the Greek spinach pie, spanakopita, but you don't have to worry about working with phyllo, so they're great for an easy vegetarian dinner.
Low-Carb Blueberry Muffins
Just because you're watching carbs doesn't mean you can't have the classic breakfast pastry. In place of all-purpose flour, nutty almond and coconut flours make these muffins fluffy while slashing carbs. A bit of brown sugar blunts the tartness of fresh blueberries. Make these ahead for a grab-and-go breakfast for the week.
Classic Beef Burgers with Cauliflower Buns
These juicy burgers skip the traditional bread bun in favor of a savory grain-free cauliflower bun that contains a bit of Cheddar cheese. A mixture of onions, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce gives the burger patties tons of flavor, and the addition of a tangy special sauce completes the package for a burger with serious personality. Note: If you would like to make these burgers gluten-free, be sure to check the ingredients for the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce to make sure they're gluten-free.
Mediterranean Cauliflower Pizza
In this healthy, gluten-free cauliflower “pizza” recipe, shredded cauliflower is mixed with mozzarella and oregano to make a flourless crust that echoes the flavor of a traditional pizza pie. The Meyer lemon, olive and sun-dried tomato topping adds a sophisticated Mediterranean flavor, but feel free to try more traditional pizza toppings, such as marinara sauce and mushrooms--even pepperoni.
Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto & Shrimp
Cut some carbs and use spiralized zucchini in place of noodles in this zesty pesto pasta dish recipe. Top with Cajun-seasoned shrimp to complete this quick and easy dinner.
Greek Muffin-Tin Omelets with Feta & Peppers
These Greek-inspired baked mini omelets are the perfect breakfasts on the go. Mix the batter the night before, and they'll be ready to bake in the morning. Once they're baked, you can keep these tasty omelet muffins in your fridge or freezer for future meals. Double score!
Mexican Spaghetti Squash Meal-Prep Bowls
Set yourself up for a week of super-satisfying lunches with these south of the border-style meal-prep bowls. We took one of our favorite recipes, Mexican Stuffed Acorn Squash (see Associated Recipes) and repurposed the filling into a tasty topping for low-carb spaghetti squash. The Mexican-inspired seasoning blend adds a lot of flavor easily, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and queso fresco finishes the dish.
Greek Cauliflower Rice Bowls with Grilled Chicken
These healthy Mediterranean cauliflower rice bowls topped with feta, olives, veggies and grilled chicken are impressive yet take just 30 minutes to make.
Cucumber Turkey Sub Sandwich
When you're craving a sub but you don't want all the carbs, these turkey-and-cheese deli sandwiches on cucumber rolls are a healthy alternative. Hollow out a cucumber and fill it up with your favorite sandwich fillings for a crisp sub with less carbs and calories. Plus, you can easily pack these up for work, school or a picnic--no soggy bread!
Roasted zucchini slices stand in beautifully for wheat pasta in this no-noodle lasagna. The simple swap reduces calories and eliminates gluten. It's also a great way to use up extra zucchini if your plants are prolific.
Egg & Bacon Cauliflower English Muffin Breakfast Sandwiches
Use English muffins made with riced cauliflower in place of wheat English muffins to make a tasty breakfast sandwich that's far lower in carbs than traditional versions. With the addition of a runny egg, crisp bacon, creamy avocado and juicy tomato, you have a satisfying healthy breakfast that will keep you full until lunch.
Canned salmon is a valuable pantry staple and a practical way to include heart-healthy omega-3-rich fish in your diet. Here, we combine it with avocados in an easy no-cook meal.
Guacamole Chopped Salad
All of the delicious guacamole flavors you love in a healthy veggie-packed salad. Want to pump up the protein? Add leftover roast chicken or sautéed shrimp. Serve with tortilla chips on the side (or crumbled over the top) to take it up a notch.
These stuffed zucchini boats are filled with all your favorite taco ingredients like seasoned meat, cheese and avocado. They're perfect for a a low-carb alternative on taco night or a great kid-friendly way to sneak in more vegetables.
Tomato Bun Tuna Melt
Make a bun out of a tomato in this healthy low-carb tuna melt recipe that swaps bread for veggies. You save 23 grams of carbohydrate and get 1 veggie serving while you're at it!
Cauliflower Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Turn a comfort food classic into a healthier low-carb version packed with veggies. We use cauliflower rice to make gluten-free toast that holds together this green chile grilled cheese sandwich for a delicious and healthy dinner.
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Broccolini
In this low-carb spaghetti squash lasagna recipe, garlicky broccolini, spaghetti squash and cheese are combined for a healthy take on a favorite casserole. This bakes right in the squash shells for a fun presentation. Serve with a big Caesar salad and some warm and crusty whole-grain bread.
Creamy Pesto Chicken Salad with Greens
For a healthy variation on creamy chicken salad, we've replaced half the mayonnaise with basil pesto. Serve over greens or make it into a sandwich for a healthy lunch.
Vegan Burrito Bowls with Cauliflower Rice
These meal-prep vegan burrito bowls are healthier and more flavorful than takeout. Make them early in the week for grab-and-go meals when days are busy. We use frozen cauliflower rice, a low-carb substitute for white or brown rice, to cut down on prep time.
Mini Quiches with Sweet Potato Crust
Shredded sweet potato hash browns make up the healthy crust of these gluten-free muffin-tin quiches. This grab-and-go breakfast is super-easy to prep ahead and keep stashed in the fridge or freezer. Serve them for brunch or eat them on busy weekdays.
Loaded Cauliflower Bowls
Enjoy these comforting roasted cauliflower bowls topped with cheese, bacon, scallions and sour cream on their own, or add grilled chicken or shrimp to make it a full meal.
Chicken-Corn Tortilla Soup
Using bone-in chicken thighs in this soup ensures the meat stays moist over the long cooking time. Not only are chicken thighs inherently juicier than breast meat, but cooking chicken on the bone also helps it stay succulent.
Muffin-Tin Spinach & Mushroom Mini Quiches
Switch up your morning routine with these easy vegetarian mini quiches. Earthy mushrooms and spinach pair nicely with rich and creamy Gruyère cheese. Serve them on a platter with a fresh fruit salad for a simple weekend brunch.
Thai-Style Chopped Salad with Sriracha Tofu
Prep four days' worth of high-protein vegan lunches using just four easy ingredients from your local specialty grocery store, including a veggie-heavy salad mix as a base. Because this salad mix is hearty, you can dress these bowls up to 24 hours before serving to allow the flavors in this healthy chopped salad to marry. If you can't find a hearty mix, go with broccoli slaw or shredded Brussels sprouts.
Low-Carb Bacon & Broccoli Egg Burrito
Instead of wrapping up eggs in a tortilla for a classic breakfast burrito, we're wrapping up veggies and bacon in a tortilla made out of eggs. Just whip up an easy omelet and nestle your cooked veggies inside to slash the carbs in this healthy, gluten-free burrito.
Zucchini Noodles with Pesto & Chicken
This healthy summer dinner subs zoodles for pasta to help use up your zucchini bounty--as well as slash calories and carbs. Once the spiralized zucchini has time to soak up the herby pesto sauce, this chicken and pesto pasta makes particularly good leftovers.
"Egg in a Hole" Peppers with Avocado Salsa
Colorful bell pepper rings stand in for bread in this healthy version of egg in a hole. Cook an egg inside the peppers and top with a vibrant avocado salsa for a cheerful breakfast.
Swap vegetables for noodles in this healthy lasagna-inspired recipe. Stuffing zucchini boats with chicken sausage, tomato, ricotta and herbs gives you all the flavors of lasagna without all the carbs.
Two-Ingredient Banana Pancakes
These delicious and unbelievably simple pancakes are best enjoyed right after cooking. With just eggs and a banana, you can have healthy grain-free pancakes with no added sugar. Serve with maple syrup and yogurt or ricotta cheese to add in some protein.
Cauliflower Rice Bowls with Grilled Asparagus & Chicken Sausage
Stock the fridge with a week's worth of lunches using a handful of ingredients from your local grocery store. To save on carbs, we're swapping in riced cauliflower for regular rice and adding pregrilled asparagus, which bulks up these bowls and adds fiber. At lunchtime, just reheat to steaming then top with a bit of pesto. Try Trader Joe's for fast shortcut ingredients like these--see Tip (below) for our product recommendations.
Chicken Salad-Stuffed Avocados
Looking for a clean, packable lunch for work? This healthy homemade chicken salad served inside an avocado instead of with bread is just the ticket. Plus, this recipe makes enough for ready-made lunches for the week! If you have leftover cooked chicken on hand, skip Step 1 and use about 2 1/2 cups shredded chicken in Step 2.