When it comes to lunch on a ketogenic diet, you have a whole lot of flavorful, filling options to choose from. Yes, sandwiches are off the table, but you can improvise with lettuce wraps! There are countless variations of salads, soups, and other bowl foods as well. Here are seven great ideas to get you excited.
1. Vegetable Noodle Bowls
Break out your spiralizer or simply pick up a container of zoodles at the grocery store and create easy veggie noodle bowls. Sauté them quickly and then toss with your favorite keto-friendly sauce — a rich pesto is a great idea. You can add some cooked crumbled sausage or shredded chicken, if you like, or simply top the bowl with a fried egg.
Get a recipe: 3-Ingredient Pesto Zoodle Bowl
2. Lettuce Wraps
Use lettuce or a hearty green like collards in place of traditional bread wraps to make a low-carb sandwich like turkey and cheese or salami and cheese. Or you can use them to wrap up some flavorful roasted vegetables, like Buffalo-style cauliflower, and top generously with cheese.
Get a recipe: Buffalo Cauliflower Lettuce Wraps
3. Egg, Chicken, or Tuna Salad
These three classic lunch salads are very keto-friendly. Rotate through them all or simply pick your favorite and enjoy it on its own or piled on top of a bed of leafy greens for a tried-and-true meal. Keep a close eye on the add-ins — the carbs in some of the sweeter vegetables, like bell peppers, add up quickly.
Get a recipe: How To Make Classic Egg Salad
4. Cauliflower Rice Bowls
You can pretty much make any grain bowl fit the keto diet if you swap the grain out for cauliflower rice. Load it with low-carb vegetables and meat and you've got a lunch that's sure to keep you satisfied.
Get a recipe: How to Make Cauliflower Rice or Couscous
5. Meaty Chili
While many chili recipes call for too many high-carb beans, if you make a version without beans and instead focus on the meat and low-carb vegetables, you'll have a rib-sticking lunch on your hands.
Get a recipe: How To Make a Very Good Chili Any Way You Like It
5. A Salad with Last Night's Leftovers
Hold onto whatever bits of steak or chicken or salmon you have from dinner and use them to top a big salad for lunch. Even leftover roasted broccoli or cauliflower can be added to the bowl of lettuce to bulk it up and give it life.
Get a recipe: Thai-Grilled Steak Salad
7. Low-Carb Veggie-Based Soup
Make a big pot of soup at the start of the week and you can dig into it all week long for a simple, warming lunch. Using this recipe as a guide can help you make countless variations of comforting soup with whatever compliant vegetables you have on hand.
Get a recipe: How To Make Soup from Almost Any Vegetable
Keto for Newbies: Curious about the ketogenic diet? This high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb lifestyle aims to put your body in a metabolic state called ketosis, where your body burns fat instead of carbohydrates. See all of Kitchn's coverage on keto here.