My 14 Favorite Keto-Friendly Snacks

inline_mark_kitchenKeto tends to discourage snacking. Not as in “If you’re keto, you’re not allowed to snack!” More like “If you’re keto, you probably won’t feel the need to snack as much.”

Still, hunger strikes. Situations arise where you need a little something to nourish you in the moment without having to cook a meal. This isn’t a problem. But you do need to be prepared—or else risk derailing your efforts.

A snack must be instantly available or take no more than a minute or two of preparation. A snack shouldn’t be something that makes you groan or use more than one or two bowls or pieces of kitchen equipment to prepare. It should be an afterthought.

What are my favorite keto-friendly snacks? I’ve got 14.

1. Coconut Butter

As I mentioned in last week’s “Day in the Life of Keto” video, my go-to keto-friendly snack is a tablespoonful of Artisana coconut butter. It’s sweet, without having much sugar. It’s creamy, without having any dairy (if you care about that sort of thing). It’s full of fiber, which some people have trouble finding on a keto diet. And it’s right there, waiting, ready without any real preparation.

2. Brad’s “Stu Can’t Stop Chocolate Bark”

Stu is my writing partner—and buddy Brad Kearns’ dog. Stu can’t stop barking once he gets going. “Stu Can’t Stop Bark” is Brad’s edible, polyphenol-rich homage to Stu.

  1. Take a pound of 80%+ chocolate and break it up into pieces. Add half to a double boiler or glass bowl set above a boiling pot.
  2. As chocolate melts, add 3 tablespoons of coconut oil. Stir to combine.
  3. Add two cups of chopped macadamias or other nuts to a large mixing bowl along with the rest of the chocolate.
  4. When chocolate/oil mixture is completely melted, pour it into the mixing bowl. Stir until everything is melted and evenly distributed. Really coat those nuts.
  5. Spread half the mixture evenly into a 15 x 10 inch glass baking pan. Drizzle three tablespoons of almond butter across the top. Optional: sprinkle coconut flakes or coconut butter across the top.
  6. Spread the rest of the mixture across the top. Sprinkle sea salt. Optional: sprinkle coconut flakes or coconut butter across the top.
  7. Refrigerate until solidified. Remove from pan, cut into squares with large chef’s knife. Keep refrigerated or frozen until ready to eat (immediately).

Do not give Stu, or any other dog, Stu Can’t Stop Bark. They can’t process the theobromine in the dark chocolate. To a dog, chocolate bark is way worse than a bite. To a human, it’s pure fuel.

3. Avocado Mashed With Sardine

This one takes a small amount of preparation (about a minute). You could make it ahead of time and leave it in the fridge, but the risk of a browning avocado is too great for me to bear. What’s a minute anyway? We all have plenty of those laying around.

First, grab a can of sardines. Wild Planet in EVOO is my preferred type. Open it up, dump it in a bowl. I don’t always include all the can oil. Sometimes my dog Shanti gets it, sometimes I keep it. There will be plenty of fat either way.

Next, add a diced avocado.

Add a sprinkle of salt.

This is where choice enters. I’ll either squeeze a lemon over the bowl, or add a tablespoon of Primal Kitchen Green Goddess dressing.

Stir to combine.

Double it up and you have yourself a solid meal.

4. Mac Nuts In Greek Yogurt

Either is a great snack by itself. Together, they become more powerful than you can imagine. Mac nuts are inherently sweet, especially once you’ve removed sugar from your diet and increased your appreciation of subtle flavor. Because the yogurt is so thick, the mac nuts are suspended throughout the entirety rather than pool at the bottom as happens with runnier yogurt. Every spoonful nets you yogurt and mac nut.

5. Keto Coconut Cheesecake Bites

Go read the post, make the recipe, and report back. Better than expected, right?

6. Three Raw Egg Yolks

More than a snack, this is a quick cognitive pick-me-up. Egg yolks are loaded with brain-boosting nutrients like choline. Many of the nutrients in the egg yolk are encased in phospholipids, making them highly bioavailable and potent—similar to liposomal supplements. The vitamin D in eggs is “stronger” than the vitamin D in supplements, for example. The omega-3s in pastured or omega-3-enhanced eggs are more potent than those in fish oil.

7. Toasted Coconut Flakes

There are places that sell them unsweetened; these are a good example.

But you can also toast your own quite easily. 325° F oven, baking sheet, single layer, dash of salt, 10-12 minutes or until desired brownness. If you like the results, play around with some additional spices. Turmeric with black pepper. Curry powder. Cayenne. Cumin and garlic powder.

8. Boiled Eggs

For my money, the egg is the perfect keto food. Nice protein—fat ratio, excellent micronutrient profile (especially if you go with pastured eggs). They boil nicely, too.

Hard-boiled eggs store well for days in the fridge. You can chop them up, mix with mayo and mustard, and have delicious egg salad in under a minute. You can eat them straight up with bit of salt and pepper. You can devil them.

Soft-boiled eggs don’t store as well in the fridge, especially if you make the yolks as runny as I like, but they’ll last for at least a few days. And let’s be honest: soft-boiled eggs never last long. They’re too good. My personal favorite way to eat a soft-boiled egg is to toss it in salt, turmeric, and black pepper. Another good way is to make marinated kombu and tamari soft-boiled eggs.

9. Smoked Oysters

Crown Prince smoked oysters are a hidden gem in the grocery aisle. You get a big dose of zinc and iron. All you have to do is pop open the can, grab a fork (these get messy, so don’t use your fingers), and get to snacking.

10. Nori-Wrapped Tuna Salad

First, make tuna salad. I always go basic here. Primal Kitchen Mayo, tuna. I do drain the tuna, either drinking the juice or, again, giving it to Shanti. Leaving the liquid in with the tuna and mayo gives it a wet texture I don’t prefer.

I’ll keep a big container of that made ahead of time. Then I just spoon it into nori, fold together, and cram into mouth.

You get a nice dose of omega-3s, selenium, and protein from the tuna, along with iodine from the seaweed.

11. Cold Leg Of Lamb With Sharp Cheddar

This isn’t a constant presence in my snack arsenal. I don’t always have a cooked leg of lamb sitting in my fridge. But when we do make leg of lamb, I make sure to save at least half of it for leftovers the rest of the week. Cold roast lamb is way better than cold roast beef. The two don’t even compare.

It’s medium rare, always. I eat it with a wedge of sharp cheddar, always.

12. Cold Chicken Leg

My old lunchtime standby when I didn’t have time to throw together a Big Ass Salad, the cold chicken leg is made for quick snacking. It comes with a handle. It has excellent texture—there’s something about the chilled fattiness of the thigh that makes it incredibly tender. I’ll keep a sack of cooked chicken legs (always whole, drumstick and thigh) in the fridge for easy access.

I love fresh roasted chicken, right out of the oven, and my favorite piece to eat is the thigh. But there’s something special about the cold chicken leg. A cold breast I could take or leave.

13. Crudités With Dip

Crudités are just sliced or whole raw vegetables served with dip. A traditional crudités platter comes with vinaigrette, and that’s a good option, but you have others.

Yogurt mint dipping sauce, bacon guacamole, guacamole, (my personal favorite) chipotle mayo.

There are millions of combinations. Possible vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green beans, asparagus, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, onions. Almost anything works.

FODMAP-sensitive folks might want to be careful with some of the raw vegetables. Choose wisely. Don’t eat a plate of raw broccoli if cooked broccoli gives you stomach issues.

14. Roasted Veggies

Every once in awhile, I’ll cut up a big mix of veggies (drawing on the list mentioned in the crudités section above), toss them in avocado oil, salt, and pepper, and roast them at 425° until I see what I like. I’m going for char, for browning, for caramelization. Some of them get eaten right away. The rest go into a glass container and into the fridge for snacks.

Eat cold.

Those are my 14 favorite keto-friendly snacks. What are yours?

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care.

Primal Kitchen Ranch

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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39 thoughts on “My 14 Favorite Keto-Friendly Snacks”

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  1. Was just talking to a client about snacks:) so this was the perfect link to send along – thank you!

    I don’t snack myself, but if I were to reach for something between meals, it’d be a spoonful of coconut oil or coconut butter. With clients, I usually recommend reaching for healthy fats and protein first. Your avocado smashed with sardines sounds fantastic!

    1. I don’t snack either… actually, on most days, I only eat once!

      As far as the avocado smashed sardines goes, I know a guy… he does the same thing but adds tons of almond butter to it. At first I thought it was disgusting… I’ve since changed my mind.

  2. I hardly ever snack, per se. Sometimes I’ll have a can of smoked oysters or sardines as a light late breakfast. Some people would call this a snack. To me it’s a meal.

  3. “A cold breast, I could take or leave.” This place is a gold mine.

    1. Yeah, and “Really coat those nuts.” Here’s a guy whose bark is as good as his (keto) bites.

  4. Mark do you worry about BPA or alumium leaching into canned tuna and sardines? what about mercury in tuna? Thanks!

    1. I don’t know about Mark but I do know about companies like Season Brand and Wild Planet using BPA free containers. I hope that they haven’t swapped the BPA for another substrate that leaches equally bad compounds.

      As far as the mercury goes, I’d definitely stay away from Tuna; stick with the wild sardines and wild anchovies. Go for the skin on and bone-in variety. If you can get the heads attached, even better!

      Mark, if you do read this, maybe you can comment about the olive oils that are added to these cans. Since they add the oil, then cook the can, what happens to that oil? Is it rancid… I find it a bit challenging to believe that these massive companies are using a true, authentic olive oil in the first place. Even harder to believe that the olive oil has been handled in a way to preserve all that goodness and prevent all the badness. IDK… I’d think that a skin on sardine would fair much better in this environment.

      1. I don’t remember if it was Chris Kressor or Chris Masterjohn who pointed out that adequate selenium means you don’t need to worry about mercury, and guess what, you’ll get enough selenium from that tuna so just eat the tuna if that’s what you like. There are other reasons to pick sardines or oysters over tuna, but mercury ain’t necessarily one of them.

      2. I’ve always drained the oil from my cans just because of this situation. Don’t trust 95% of the olive oils out there. I add my own high quality EVOO.

        If you are going to go for tuna, choose Chunk Light.

      1. Me I ‘love’ a raw egg yolk… and later, the white which I prefer in a baby food jar in a blue speckled tin cup, with a heating coil, a stone on top of the jar to keep from floating and only filling water to less than top of jar. A pinch of salt, and coating jar with a bit of coconut oil to prevent sticking. After sometimes a bit of brewer’s yeast…. not nutritional. Only brewer’s has that really biter taste which so profoundly is satisfying to me. Amazon carries a very finely ground powder of Brewer’s yeast. You can find articles explaining the benefits of it when compared with nutritional and they are different. NOW brand is inexpensive too. Delicious snack and I am learning I do better on smaller meals… learned that protein for older people may be best digested not using the basically one large meal approach I used to use. Now I do have a couple of ‘main-er’ meals. One of them the irreplaceable home cultured milk kefir.

  5. Movement snacks needs to be on this list!

    A mismatch between our ancestral and modern environments, in terms of physical activity and natural movement, comes to mind as being almost as big a mismatch as is diet. I’ve always said that what you do with your body is just as important as what you put into it… in maintaining a “healthy level of movement,” one develops a healthy approach to consumption, where instincts become far more identifiable and beneficial. The well-being that builds from balanced movement trumps the need for consumption based satisfaction, such as food, pain killers, alcohol, drugs etc.

    – First thing in the morning I walk for twenty to thirty minutes… this is my cup of coffee
    – Early afternoon, I walk for twenty to thirty minutes… this is my afternoon nap
    – After dinner our tribe walks in rain, snow or shine for thirty minutes

    I also lift heavy things but this supplemental to moving around at a slow pace. Get moving and take notice how other things fall into place. If you still desire primal keto snacks, have some liver and kidney pemmican (or) maybe even some adrenal.

    In the early 1900s Dr. Weston Price wrote about the Indians of the far north taking a moose and favoring two small balls in the fat just above the kidneys. Here’s an excerpt from his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration… “The Indian would take and cut up into as many pieces as there were little and big Indians in the family and each one would eat his piece…”

    When we dial in the fundamentals, when we honor the ways or our early ancestors (Primal Blueprint), there remains little need for supplements and snacks.

    1. Thanks for your input, Liver King. I also want to extend a thanks for sharing your Protein shake recipe here and on your website. It appears to be keto. Can you confirm?

      1. Anytime… I love this place! As it relates to my shake, it’s totally keto… at least in my book, it’s keto. The macros are about 70 to 75% Fat, 20% Protein, < 5% Carbs. So yeah, by the book, it's definitely keto. Whether or not it's keto for the individual will depend on that person's physiology. You and I may thrive with these macros, with these quantities, while that much protein might be too much for others.

        I also like to earn my survival which is why I almost always move, or lift heavy things, prior to eating. If gluconeogenesis is indeed happening (and I don't know if it is or isn't), I believe it's going into muscle tissue anyway because my blood sugar and serum BHB numbers support that.

        Thank you for checking out the site!

        1. Liver King – just wanted to extend a big thank you for your awesome comments and insights! I always make sure to read your comments and find them extremely helpful! This might be the only place on the internet where people’s comments are just as helpful and valid as the posts themselves!

    2. .Movement snacks. I love this.So often we eat when we are bored or tired. I have made a few of the fat bombs in the Keto book and they keep calling my name so I have to avoid them.

      1. Movement snacks, love that! I also have trouble with anything resembling sweet treats. This one doesn’t spark my sweet tooth but it satisfies. Melt 3/4 cup coconut oil, add an entire can of coconut milk, stir in a cup of unsweetened coconut and spoon into moulds. Of course, you’d need to like coconut for this to be appealing.

  6. Hi Mark! Love the snacks ideas! You made several mentions of dogs here. I have two myself. Got me thinking… I don’t believe I have seen a “Primal Pets” post yet. Any chance of that in the future?
    Thank you!

  7. I will never stop eating smoked oysters. My top ten list:

    10. Cashews, the organic ones from Trader Joe’s are like eating crunchy butter
    9. Raw almonds mixed with 100% dark chocolate chips
    8. Canned mackerel or smoked trout or clams when I get tired of sardines and tuna
    7. Marinated olives
    6. Turkey cold cuts
    5. Prosciutto or salami
    4. Raw clams
    3. Whiskey
    2. Raw oysters ($0.79 each at Whole Foods, so good)
    And hear me out here:
    1. Mark’s Daily Ketogenic Apple Replacement Product

  8. “Crown Prince smoked oysters are a hidden gem….”

    I love those oysters but I recently noticed that they have 8 grams of carbs per serving (just 12 grams of protein). I wonder where those 8 grams come from? Any ideas Mark?

    1. What about pickled Eggs??? I throw sliced onions and okra in as well.

  9. Big yes to all of these. I really just think of them as meals. The avocado and sardine combo is one of my all time favorite lunches because it tastes great and totally holds me. Sometimes I throw in a handful of spring mix, or diced red bell peppers. Smoked oysters are totally addictive…I eat them right out of the can. And the roasted veggies are a staple in my kitchen….great paired with sardines or any leftover protein for a quick meal.

  10. MARK! I’M SO CONFUSED! I keep hearing that the high protein in Greek Yogurt (casein…but also the whey in other dairy, high fat or not) would spike insulin sky-high and therefore not be very Keto friendly at all??

  11. Not a keto snack, but brain food none the less. Mark, try to catch the Andy Goldsworthy documentary Leaning into the Wind. It is full of primal movement. Hedge crawling anyone?

  12. Thanks for the great keto snack suggestions Mark!

    After having surgery due to Chrohns disease I find unfortunately I really struggle with digesting animal fats and protein.

    I’m getting by on some high quality olive oil, small amounts of avocado, raw coconut oil + algae oil for fat supplementation.

    Just wondering what type of vegan protein powders you would suggest to complement a keto diet?



  13. I thought Crown Prince Oysters were packed in cotton seed oil – full of all kinds of chemicals – hope I’m wrong.

  14. One table spoon of high quality olive oil with one drop of Red Boat Fish sauce is the perfect snack for me.

  15. Thanks, Mark, for sharing these healthy keto friendly snacks list. These snacks are for those who thought that keto tends to discourage snacking. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to eat snacks while the following keto. Find out these above-listed snacks to enjoy at home.