10 Low-Carb Dinners You Can Make in 30 Minutes (or Less)

updated Aug 23, 2019
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Credit: Lauren Volo

Do a quick internet search for low-carb dinners, and you’re likely to get a mix of basic salads and over-involved recipes for turning cauliflower into pizza crust, or blanching piles and piles of different vegetables.

It’s a shame, because most nights you want a dinner that’s satisfying and interesting, but doesn’t take hours (and several pieces of equipment) to assemble. To make life easier, we put together a list of 10 low-carb dinners that are tasty but take no more than 30 minutes to make. Be sure to bookmark your favorites, so they’re right at your fingertips when you’re feeling hangry.

1. Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowls 

Leftover rotisserie chicken breast makes a great optional topping for these colorful cauliflower rice bowls. But even without it, the bowls make for a satisfying, light meal.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

2. Cilantro-Lime Chicken

This citrus and herb-flavored chicken comes together on the stove in just 20 minutes, and tastes great served over a bed of raw, roasted, or steamed vegetables, or a pile of cauliflower rice.

Get the recipe: Cilantro-Lime Chicken

Credit: Joe Lingeman

3. Chicken and Veggie Pesto Salad

Zucchini ribbons make up the base of this salad, which is a nice swap for traditional leafy greens. Plus, the whole thing is covered in pesto. Who doesn’t love that?

4. Sheet Pan Chili Garlic Roasted Shrimp and Broccoli

Thanks to a combination of sambal chili sauce, fresh ginger, and sesame oil, this simple shellfish dinner has a complex and satisfying flavor. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

5. Spicy Ground Pork and Zucchini Stir-Fry

Cauliflower rice is an easy side dish for this rich, gingery stir-fry. But if you’re feeling adventurous, serve it over a pile of thinly sliced cabbage that you quickly sauté — it acts like a bed of noodles.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

6. One-Skillet Parmesan Chicken and Kale Sauté

Craving greens but want something a little cozier than a salad? This kale and chicken dish is the solution. The kale is nice and hearty, and the dish has just enough Parmesan to feel special.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

7. BLT Lettuce Wraps with Avocado

BLT sandwiches are a classic, and if you’re skipping the bread, lettuce wraps are perfect for keeping it handheld. The soft avocado and plenty of creamy dressing take it to another level, though. It might become your new favorite dinner staple.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

8. Sheet-Pan Chicken and Vegetables

Sheet pan dinners are easy, but can take up to an hour to cook. This recipe cuts cook time to 20 minutes by keeping both the chicken and vegetable pieces small. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

9. 3-Ingredient Pesto Zoodle Bowl

Next time you’re craving breakfast for dinner, think a little bit outside the box. Instead of pancakes or a hash, try a fried egg on top of zucchini noodles tossed with pesto.

Credit: Lauren Volo

10. Greek-Style Tuna Salad

Okay, we have one salad in the mix. But it’s a good one. Forgo the lettuce and instead pile up cucumbers and sweet cherry tomatoes with canned tuna and salty olives. It’s filling, fast, and low-carb.

Get the recipe: Greek-Style Tuna Salad