Seventy Eight Low Carb Side Dishes that are packed with vegetables and flavor. Perfect for anyone trying to eat low carb or follow a Keto diet.
Seventy Eight Low Carb Side Dishes where you won't even miss the starch! These low carb and keto side dishes make vegetables the star of the dish and many can easily replace typical sides like rice and pasta.
Sometimes it's easy to only focus on your main protein source on a low carb diet and end up eating the same, boring side dishes night after night. However there are tons of delicious, veggie focused low carb side dishes that can truly make your meal special and end diet boredom. From low carb rice dishes to pasta dishes to roasted and grilled vegetables to low carb fries, there are endless ways to spice up your meals.
When it comes to making low carb side dishes, here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind:
- Vegetables are the star: Since you won't be using typical side dish ingredients like grains and beans, always think about ways to make lower carb vegetables the star of your side dishes. Go beyond just steaming or sauteing and think about how you can use veggies in new ways. Throw them on the grill, roast them in the oven, spiralize them into noodles, or turn them into oven fries. Vegetables are incredibly versatile and take on flavor really well. You'll be amazed at all the things you can make.
- Don't be afraid of fat: One of the benefits of low carb and keto diets are that you can embrace fat in a way you can't on a lot of other eating plans. That means you can use things like olive oil, butter, and cheese to add flavor to your veggies. Experiment with new fats and oils as well like sesame oil for dishes with Asian flavors, avocado to add creaminess to a salad, or bacon or pancetta to make pretty much anything taste incredible.
- Herbs and Spices: Adding fresh herbs and spices to your low carb side dishes is critical so you don't get bored. You will be shocked at how adding garlic and red pepper flakes can completely transform broccoli when it's roasted or how adding fresh cilantro and basil to grilled squash can change the flavor.
- Get creative: Lastly, don't be scared to think outside the box. Many people find it difficult to stick to a low carb diet because they eat the same things over and over again. Instead make sure to mix it up, try new things, and use the list below to find new ideas for side dishes.
Here are some of my favorite low carb side dishes. What are yours?
Low Carb Rice Side Dishes
You don't have to give up rice to eat a low carb diet anymore. Not only can you find cauliflower rice on virtually every grocery store shelf now, you can also easily make that and many other kinds of low carb rice at home using a food processor. Try using broccoli, cabbage, or zucchini to make a delicious low carb rice and use it in all your favorite rice recipes.
- Simple Cauliflower Rice, 44 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Creamy Cauliflower Coconut Rice, 45 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Mexican Cauliflower Rice, 95 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Cauliflower Fried Rice, 110 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice, 45 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Cabbage Rice, 37 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Cabbage Fried Rice, 131 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Spaghetti Squash Fried Rice, 125 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Carrot and Cauliflower Rice with Browned Butter, 81 calories, 3 SmartPoints™
Low Carb Pasta Sides Dishes
Just like rice, low carb pasta options are starting to turn up in grocery stores everywhere making low carb pasta dishes easier to prepare than ever. Grab almost any type of vegetable and use a spiralizer to make your own pasta and then flavor it any way you like. Start with the traditional options like tomato sauce, garlic, butter, or cheese. Then branch out and consider making a low carb lo mein with sesame oil and soy sauce or a low carb pad thai using zucchini noodles and traditional Thai flavors.
- Quick Microwave Spaghetti Squash, 82 calories, 0 SmartPoints™
- Garlic Spaghetti Squash, 84 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Sesame Spaghetti Squash with Edamame, 148 calories, 3 SmartPoints™
- Parmesan Spaghetti Squash, 122 calories, 3 SmartPoints™
- Creamy Ricotta Spaghetti Squash, 129 calories, 3 SmartPoints™
- Parmesan Zucchini Noodles, 91 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
Low Carb French Fries
French fries are something pretty much everyone loves and many poeple can't imagine living without. Luckily there are so many tasty ways to make fries using all kinds of low carb vegetables. Go traditional with your seasonings or shake things up by adding all kinds of spices and flavor combinations.
- Cauliflower Tater Tots, 81 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Carrot Fries, 115 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Carrot Chips, 45 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Celeriac Fries, 47 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Sweet and Spicy Turnip Fries, 101 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Crispy Turnip Fries, 55 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Crispy Turnip Wedges, 100 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Butternut Squash Fries, 79 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Crispy Parmesan Onion Straws, 91 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Parmesan Zucchini Fries, 94 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
Grilled & Roasted Vegetable Sides
The grill and oven will be your best friend when it comes to bringing out new flavors in all your favorite vegetables. I can't tell you how many people I know who claimed they didn't like broccoli or cauliflower until they tried it roasted. Same for Brussel sprouts. Roasting or grilling vegetables brings out a whole different flavor as the vegetables have time to caramelize, brown, and get crispy.
- Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower, 102 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Bacon and Asparagus, 81 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Simple Roasted Asparagus, 53 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Grilled Lemon Asparagus with Lemon and Feta, 54 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Roasted Mexican Squash, 81 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Roasted Cheddar Broccoli, 102 calories, 3 SmartPoints™
- Roasted Garlic Broccoli, 75 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Lower Carb Roasted Root Vegetables, 100 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Roasted Green Beans, 65 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Garlic Rosemary Vegetables, 148 calories, 3 SmartPoints™
- Roasted Parmesan Zucchini and Summer Squash, 104 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Simple Grilled Squash, 86 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Roasted Hoisin Glazed Cabbage, 71 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Roasted Dijon Cabbage, 91 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Sesame Cauliflower, 92 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Roasted Delicata Squash with Miso and Butter, 51 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts, 72 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Sesame Roasted Carrots, 109 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Grilled Summer Vegetables, 131 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Oven Roasted Tomatoes, 95 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
Low Carb Mashed Potato Substitutes
Everyone loves a good mashed potato but since potatoes don't work for a low carb diet, it's imporant to find a replacement that you love just as much. Cauliflower is the natural way to go since its texture and color mimic that of a potato. However there are tons of other veggies that make delicious low carb mashes as well. Add all your favorite mashed potato mix-ins - butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon, chives, roasted garlic, and more to create your own tasty low carb mash.
- Best Cauliflower Mash, 126 calories, 3 SmartPoints™
- Mashed Butternut Squash, 115 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Creamy Spinach Cauliflower Mash, 72 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Mashed Carrots and Rutabaga, 95 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Cheddar Broccoflower Mash, 77 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Creamy Cheesy Cauliflower Mash, 81 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
Low Carb Salads
It's easy to get bored with salads if you only every eat greens with a low carb dressing. Instead broaden your horizon and try out other salads and slaws that bring out all the flavor or raw vegetables. Dressings made with citrus, fresh herbs, mustard, spices, and vinegar can all add flavor without worrying about needing sugar or honey.
- Israeli Chopped Salad, 56 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Spicy Jicama and Cabbage Slaw, 75 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Chopped Mediterranean Zucchini Salad, 72 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Skinny Tri-Color Slaw, 72 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Avocado, Black Soy Bean, and Tomato Salad, 154 calories, 4 SmartPoints™
- Mediterranean Cabbage Salad, 47 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Israeli Salad, 71 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Asian Peanut Slaw, 94 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
Simple Veggies Sides
Sometimes you need something quick and easy, and these low carb sides are just that. Made in no time, these will round out your meals and make everyone happy.
- Chinese Broccoli with Garlic and Miso, 70 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Sesame Green Beans, 62 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Green Beans with Toasted Garlic, 49 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Simple Asian Stir Fried Vegetables, 91 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Zucchini Poblano Saute, 64 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Sesame Sugar Snap Peas, 64 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Sauteed Bok Choy with Cashews, 81 calories, 3 SmartPoints™
- Garlicky Greens, 42 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
Some Other Yummy Low Carb Sides
Side dishes can involve so many different things and we wanted to end by including some of our favorite creative low carb side dishes from stuffed zucchini to pizza bitess to cauliflower tots - they are all delicious and will leave you wanting more.
- Low Carb Lima Bean Succotash, 141 calories, 3 SmartPoints™
- Creamed Kale, 123 calories, 4 SmartPoints™
- Stuffed Zucchini with Ham and Cheese, 106 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Creamed Spinach, 122 calories, 4 SmartPoints™
- Cabbage Cakes, 86 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Cauliflower Fritters, 133 calories, 4 SmartPoints™
- Fiesta Edamame, 141 calories, 3 SmartPoints™
- Low Carb Savory Chive Muffins, 104 calories, 3 SmartPoints™
- Zucchini Pepperoni Pizza Slices, 56 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Portabella Mini Pizzas, 67 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
- Eggplant Caponata, 85 calories, 1 SmartPoints™
- Braised Artichokes with Lemon Yogurt Dill Dip, 164 calories, 3 SmartPoints™
- Baked Beet and Kale Chips, 44 calories, 0 SmartPoints™
- Spaghetti Squash Gratin, 82 calories, 2 SmartPoints™
Meal Plan Members: Consider using this list to add some favorite low carb side dishes to your Recipe Queue and Favorites. That way when you are meal planning, you'll have delicious side dishes at your finger tips to swap in or add.
What vegetables are low carb and keto friendly?
Here are the top ten vegetables to eat on a low carb or keto diet. These have the least amount of carbs per serving. Servings are based on 100 grams.
- Cauliflower with just 3 grams of carbohydrates per serving, cauliflower can be riced, roasted, sauteed, mashed, and used as a stand-in for potatoes in most recipes.
- Cabbage has just 3 grams of carbs and is a great base for recipes, especially stir-fries and Asian dishes. It can also be roasted, riced, and grilled as steaks.
- Avocados have just 2 grams of carbohydrates, and although they are technically a fruit, they are a mainstay for low carb dieters. These nutrient-packed powerhouses will keep you full and powered all day. Great for salads, dressings, and to add creaminess to dishes,
- Broccoli clocks in with just 4 grams of carbs and tastes amazing roasted until caramelized and crispy. It can also be a great crunchy addition to salads and works great raw with dips.
- Zucchini has just 3 grams of carbohydrates and makes one of our favorite substitutes for pasta. We also love adding to stir-fries, salads, and it's an easy quick side dish with garlic and butter in a skillet.
- Spinach has just 1 gram of carbohydrates and is one of the most nutritious greens you can reach for. Use it raw in salads, blend it into smoothies, or saute it for extra nutrients.
- Asparagus is an often overlooked low carb veggie with just 2 gram of carb. Roast it in the oven wrapped in bacon, saute it with butter and herbs, throw it on the grill, or shave it raw for salads.
- Kale is another great green to grab with just 3 grams of carbs. It's great baked into chips, massaged in salads, or added to soups and stews.
- Green beans are a great choice with just 4 grams of carbs and work in just about any dish, plus we always love something that tastes good with bacon.
- Brussels sprouts have just 5 grams of carbs and are one of our favorite roasted vegetables. They are also great shaved for salads or quickly sauteed for an easy side.