The words “keto diet” may conjure up visions of bacon, butter, and heavy cream, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the delectable food options available to keto dieters.
Most people build their meal plans around main dishes, which makes sense. Main dishes usually provide the bulk of the protein in a given meal, and we all know how critical protein is for maintaining strength and staying healthy now and well into old age. But sides are how you add color, pizzazz, texture, and even more flavor. Steak—delicious. Steak served with a big-ass side salad and crispy roasted broccoli—out of this world.
Without further ado, here are 20 of our favorite side dishes to complete your fabulous, low-carb keto meals.
20 Keto Side Dishes You’ll Love
Warm Vegetable Side Dishes
1. Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts have experienced a major popularity boost since everyone discovered that they’re actually quite delicious roasted and served with bacon. This recipe adds tangy and sweet balsamic vinaigrette to take the flavor to another level.
Ratatouille isn’t just a friendly talking rat, it’s a very beautiful layered baked vegetable side dish. It takes a bit of prep work to chop the veggies and assemble the casserole, but the final product is well worth it.
The best parts of this salad are the texture and the dressing. Chopping all the ingredients finely and tossing them with homemade tahini dressing makes for a unique side that pairs nicely with any grilled meat.
Fermented foods deliver probiotics that are fantastic for gut health. If you’ve only ever eaten store-bought sauerkraut, you’ll be surprised how simple it is to make your own sauerkraut at home. Eat it with sausages or on top of eggs. (Yes, really, sauerkraut is delicious on eggs.)
Giardiniera is dish of pickled vegetables with Italian spices. This one contains cauliflower, carrots, green beans and other vegetables. Serve it with any meat or seafood. It’s also a nice addition to a charcuterie board.
Lindsay Taylor, Ph.D., is a senior writer and community manager for Primal Nutrition, a certified Primal Health Coach, and the co-author of three keto cookbooks.
As a writer for Mark’s Daily Apple and the leader of the thriving Keto Reset and Primal Endurance communities, Lindsay’s job is to help people learn the whats, whys, and hows of leading a health-focused life. Before joining the Primal team, she earned her master’s and Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, where she also worked as a researcher and instructor.
Lindsay lives in Northern California with her husband and two sports-obsessed sons. In her free time, she enjoys ultra running, triathlon, camping, and game nights. Follow along on Instagram @theusefuldish as Lindsay attempts to juggle work, family, and endurance training, all while maintaining a healthy balance and, most of all, having fun in life.