The Best Low-Carb Groceries for Faster Meal Prep

updated Feb 2, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

Low-carb meals have made a comeback! Thankfully this time around we’re no longer just talking about bacon and eggs. (That’s what it seemed like back then, right?) Low-carb meals these days include veggies, fruits, dairy, healthy fats, and protein. And there are lots of readily available shortcuts you can take if you’re meal prepping.

Here are 10 of my favorite groceries to stock for a low-carb meal plan. You can buy them in advance, keep them on hand for weeks at a time, and you’ll have some time-savers when you want a quick breakfast smoothie, lunch wrap, or cozy dinner.

Credit: Heather McClees

1. Green Giant Frozen Zucchini Veggie Spirals

Green Giant makes all kinds of veggie-centric frozen noodles, but for low-carb eaters, the zucchini noodles are a solid choice. Zucchini is a great source of vitamin C, low in calories, and makes for the perfect base for a low-sugar marinara sauce (I recommend Rao’s).

Credit: Heather McClees

2. Two Good Yogurt 

Two Good Yogurt is one of the latest gut-healthy products to hit the market this year. It’s low in carbs, high in protein, has no added sugar, and is only 80 calories — with 3 carbs per serving. It’s made with a unique straining process that increases the protein content and lowers the natural milk sugars found in most yogurt options. (Its creaminess is similar to Greek-style yogurts.) Use this as a light breakfast, a protein source at lunch, or as the base for a smoothie. All the flavors are great, but the vanilla (not pictured here) is a definite must-try!

Credit: Heather McClees

3. Sambazon Organic Unsweetened Acai Fruit Packs 

Fruit smoothies are great for quick breakfasts or snacking, however, most fruits are high in natural sugars. Although these sugars are the good kind of carbs, low-carb eaters will want to choose lower-sugar options when it comes to fruit. That’s where these frozen packets of Sambazon unsweetened acai fruit come in. Just keep them in the freezer and a quick smoothie or acai bowl is always just minutes away.

Credit: Heather McClees

4. Good Foods Organic Chunky Guacamole

Think guacamole is just for chips? Think again! Guacamole is low in carbs, high in healthy fats, and is the perfect alternative to high-sugar salad dressings or spreads. Instead of making your own, pick up some that’s ready to go. Good Foods makes a delicious guac that’s rich in flavor and always fresh. You can also find it nearly anywhere, including Aldi and Costco! Add a dollop on top of a quick salad, use it in a low-carb wrap instead of mayo, or, you know, use it as a dip (with veggies!).

Credit: Heather McClees

5. Farmhouse Culture Fermented Vegetables

I’m a huge fan of sauerkraut and kimchi as a low-carb and probiotic-rich source, and the options from Farmhouse Culture are some of my favorites. I’ll use these as a savory breakfast, in a lunch wrap, mixed into a salad, or as a side at dinner. Just know that, like many fermented foods, they are a bit high in sodium.

Credit: Heather McClees

6. Green Giant Organic Riced Cauliflower

Riced cauliflower is perfect for low-carb meal plans of all kinds — especially when you buy it frozen! It’s also versatile and not just for rice dishes. You can use it in slow cooker or Instant Pot meals as a low-carb veggie or pasta substitute for soup. You can even add it to smoothies! Or you can cook it and then purée it to stand in for mashed potatoes. You get the idea.

Credit: Heather McClees

7. Kirkland Signature Organic Salsa

Salsa can be used like guacamole — as a condiment in a low-carb wrap, as a dip for veggies, or even as a low-sugar salad dressing. I’m a huge fan of this version from Costco, but if you don’t have a membership, another brand will do. Just make sure you’re getting a jar that’s low in sugar.

Credit: Heather McClees

8. Welch’s Frozen Avocados

Frozen avocados were made for smoothies (the bag actually says so on the back)! They’re the perfect replacement for bananas (which are high in carbs), and will also make your smoothie creamy and thick. Keep a bag of these in the freezer, so you don’t have to slice up your own. Just do not try to use these for guacamole or other recipes where these need to thaw. They’ll turn watery and mushy.

Credit: Heather McClees

9. Alexia Frozen Cauliflower Risotto

Alexia’s frozen cauliflower risotto has a bit of a cult following online. It’s easy to store and has a simple ingredient list (something you can’t always say for a frozen meal). It has only 80 calories per serving yet still packs a lot of flavor (thank you, Parmesan cheese!). Low-carb eaters will love that it’s also only 4 carbs per serving and a good source of fiber. Keep a bag in the freezer for those nights when you crave something comforting.

Have any other low-carb groceries to add to this list? Tell us about them in the comments below.