Convert Your Favorite High-carb Foods to Keto-friendly Meals

Food provides so much more than nutritional sustenance. A whiff of your mom's freshly-baked homemade bread may transport you to childhood, or the taste of a variety of other foods may evoke a feeling or memory attached to palpable experiences.

The powerful connection between food and emotion is strong, and this makes the vicious cycle created by binging on poorly-chosen comfort foods can be a hard habit to break—especially depending on how your mood ebbs and flows.

But once you commit to a ketogenic, low-carb, high-fat diet, some habits that no longer serve us must go. So, you may feel torn over still enjoying the high-carb meals you love and achieving your wellness goals.

The looming question: Is it possible to have it all—having the cake and eating it, too, literally? Well, there are certain best practices to consider on keto, but it is entirely possible to remake virtually any comfort meal or dessert on a sugar-free diet!

From the swap of a sweetener to alternating and using grain-free flours or becoming stealth about identifying hidden sugars in store-bought foods, there are many ways to eat your favorite meals while still keeping it keto.

Our Favorite Decadent Keto Recipes:

We love trying and sharing new and unique keto-friendly dupes for high-carb recipes, and we've featured some of our top picks on our site—along with exciting ideas we've come across online.

Here are some of our go-to recipe remixes or keto store-bought foods to reach for when an old-school, carb-rich craving hits:

Breakfast:

Many find themselves eating food synonymous with later in the day, in the morning, on a ketogenic diet—a la dinner for breakfast. But there are still some traditionally sought-after recipes that scream breakfast that can easily convert to fit your keto macros.

Here are some easy and crowd-pleasing breakfast options that are a formidable remake of an old carb-laden classic:

  • Delightful Zucchini Bread: You can never go wrong with a delicious quick bread recipe; it's like a cake that's socially acceptable to eat for breakfast (not that stuffy dietary rules fetter us)!
  • Strawberry Ricotta Pancakes: Breakfast is complete with a fluffy stack of keto pancakes in place of the grain-flour-based variety. Pair these delicate and delicious cakes with a side of bacon and top with fresh strawberries and sugar-free maple syrup for a decadent morning treat.
  • Keto Pumpkin Walnut Bread: Enjoy this sweet and satisfying quickbread recipe with a warm and creamy cup of chai tea for a mellow start to the day.


    Or warm this sweet and delicious quickbread and add a dollop of butter or a smear of cream cheese, and you have a sinfully tasty yet healthy breakfast option ready in moments.

  • Keto Apple Spiced Donuts: OK, we know this sounds like dessert for breakfast, but the ingredients are so nutritious that it's okay if that is, in fact, your morning meal selection—enjoy!
  • Too Good to be True Keto Bagel: A dollop of herbaceous cream cheese or a slim sliver of lox and a dash of fresh capers elevate the already iconic bagel.


    Try our 'everything' bagel recipe and experiment with the format to create an endless variety of other bagel creations.

  • Keto Home Fries or Hash Browns (use zucchini and onions)
  • Keto Muffins (homemade or using a keto mix like Lakanto's blueberry muffin mix)
  • Keto French Toast: A poached egg, sausage, and a serving of french toast are a breakfast favorite for many. Luckily, all we need to do to make this meal keto-friendly is use a keto bread that knocks the recipe out of the park.

Here are some of our favorite keto bread options to consider as you plan your nostalgic keto breakfast feast:

  • Julian Bakery Keto Thin Bread
  • Highkey Keto Biscuit and Bread Mix
  • Keto Crêpes: These delicate and delicious wraps are the perfect base for a variety of low-glycemic berries and homemade keto cream fillings—and it's possible to create a zero-carb crepe with two handy ingredients: eggs and cream cheese—super simple.
  • Sausage, Egg & Cheese: If you're from New York, you likely love this classic city breakfast sandwich on a seeded roll, but we need a bread alternative if we’re working to maintain ketosis.


    Fortunately, there are many keto bread roll recipes you can make to fit the bill! You can also omit the bread entirely and use two sausage patties as the “bread” and place the egg and cheese inside.

    Journey over to YouTube or Pinterest and let your fingers do the walking; you'll find tons of recipe options at your disposal!

  • Sunrise Sausage Enchiladas: Swap in keto tortilla wraps, load on the cheeses and other fixings, bake it, and you're golden!
  • Beefy Huevos Rancheros: Again, a soft and supple keto tortilla comes in handy in many recipes, like this one.


    Here are a few low-carb wrap brands to consider if you want to make a recipe that calls for tortillas, but you want to keep carbs low:

    • Siete Family Foods, Almond Flour Tortillas
    • Thrive Market, Organic Coconut Wraps (original, turmeric)
    • Julian Bakery, KetoThin Traditional Wraps
    • NUCO Coconut Wraps
  • Blueberry French Toast with Scrambled Eggs & Cheese: Opt for one of the many keto-friendly bread options shared above and pair your blueberry french toast with a keto coffee for a full-fat breakfast that will keep you full for hours.
  • Southwestern Hash with Eggs: Swap in zucchini, radishes or jicama in place of potatoes for a savory and buttery hash that's perfectly paired with a poached egg or two!
  • Load up an Omelet with all your favorite keto veggies, meats, and cheeses! Top with fresh herbs, sliced avocado or a dollop of sour cream for the ultimate breakfast!
  • Eggs Benedicts sans the English muffin is always a great keto option!
  • Ultimate Bacon-Maple French Toast: Lakanto makes delicious maple syrup, and it is one of many options available. Pair it with this sweet and savory winner and you’re sure to want to make this dish again and again.

Also, here are some other keto syrup options that you may want to try:

  • ChocZero Maple Syrup (sugar-free)
  • Sukrin Maple Syrup Substitute
  • All-u-Lose Maple Syrup
  • Organic Maple Syrup Alternative by Pyure
  • SweetLeaf Sugar-free Stevia Syrup
  • Lakanto Sugar Free Maple Syrup
  • NuNaturals Sugar-Free Flavored Syrup

As you can see, it's effortless to start the day—or add another yummy dish at any time of day—with many rich and indulgent favorites, gone keto.

Enjoy any of the variety of morning meals we shared above or take a few minutes and scan the internet for any keto recipe remix you can imagine; more than likely, someone's figured it out!

Lunch:

Decadent choices like lasagna, ziti, mac & cheese, and stuffed pasta recipes are all proper comfort foods—and we can still have them all with a few small tweaks to keep it keto.

Here are a few high-carb-to-low-carb recipe remixes that you may very well love even more than the original iteration:

  • Keto Mac & Cheese (substitute cauliflower florets for macaroni)
  • Keto Italian Eggplant Rollatini (sub thin sliced eggplant for lasagne noodles)
  • Asian Fried Cauliflower Rice (sub regular rice for cauliflower rice)
  • Eggplant or Zucchini Lasagne (replace lasagne noodles with thinly sliced veggies)
  • Keto Chicken Cutlets or “Breaded” Chicken tenders (substitute crushed pork rinds for breadcrumbs)
  • Lettuce Wraps (stuff all your favorite sandwich fillings in a lettuce wrap for an easy keto friendly modification.)
  • King Keto Taco Casserole: If you don't want to make a cheese taco shell and can't find a store-bought option, you can toss the casing altogether and bake the delicious filling under a mound of ooey-gooey cheese, instead.
  • Keto Bolognese and Zoodles
  • Keto Stuffed Peppers
  • Zucchini Fritters
  • Keto Cheese Shell Tacos
  • Keto Fat Head Pizza
  • Cheeseburger in a lettuce wrap
  • Bang Bang Shrimp Keto Style: An overflowing seafood platter filled with fried shrimp—and shrimp of all kinds—and a side of buttery and creamy mash is a comforting platter that few could refuse.


    Fortunately, there's no need to give up crispy and crunchy popcorn shrimp or cheddar bay biscuits and silky-whipped mash on keto; you can still indulge; you simply have to make some ingredient swaps to make it work.

  • Breaded and fried foods are comforting favorites for many, but it's difficult to enjoy them on keto unless you use a low-carb dredge to coat the food before frying.


    Try our finger-licking' crispy keto tenders: The kids love chicken tenders, adults enjoy them as well with a light and sweet keto-friendly honey mustard sauce, and they contain filling protein.

    You could also use the dredge as a universal recipe to fry fish or other foods; experiment with seasonings and flavorings, depending on your dish, and find your favorite combinations.

  • Keto Pizza: We have yet to come across anyone who doesn't love pizza, and we're lucky that we can still enjoy it regularly on a ketogenic diet.


    Pile on the low-glycemic toppings, like pepperoni or sausage and bacon, or mushroom, green peppers, and extra cheese—customize your pies as you wish and make it a mid-week pizza party.

Dinner:

  • Baked Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese or Ranch Dressing
  • Zucchini Noodles with Pesto or Alfredo Sauce
  • Keto Chicken Quesadillas (use a low carb tortilla)
  • Keto Fried Chicken (another perfect opportunity to use a keto dredge or bread crumb alternative, such as almond flour or crushed pork rinds)
  • Keto Beef Taquitos (use low carb tortillas)
  • Easy Keto Chicken Parmesan (omit the breadcrumbs or use a keto alternative)
  • Fathead, Extra-cheesy Breadsticks
  • Broccoli, Ham & Cheddar Crustless Quiche
  • Low-carb Shepherd's Pie (use cauliflower mash in place of potatoes)
  • Cauliflower Baked Ziti
  • Keto-friendly Honey/Candied Ham (use any of the maple syrup alternatives shared above)
  • Classic Grilled Cheese & Creamy Keto Tomato Soup (use a keto bread from any of the options mentioned above)

Dessert:

Snacks/Sides:

  • Spinach Artichoke Dip with Flavored Pork Rinds (e.g., BBQ, etc.)
  • Guacamole with Pork Rinds
  • Keto Friendly Beef Jerky
  • Cheese Crisps, such as Whisps
  • Pepperoni and Cheese
  • Keto Friendly Nuts
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
  • Golden Keto Cauliflower Bake
  • Cheesy Zucchini Gratin
  • Zucchini noodles
  • Cauliflower Rice

Clever Keto Swaps to Convert Recipes

Bread Crumbs

  • Pork Rinds (plain or flavored, but make sure there's no added sugar)
  • Almond Flour or Almond Meal
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Finely Chopped Keto Friendly Nuts
  • Pork Panko Gluten-Free Pork Skin Crumbs

Pasta

Aside from bread, pasta is the most sought-after food on a ketogenic diet—that is, until you realize there's no need for longing due to the multitude of keto pasta options available in-store and online.

Here are some excellent keto-friendly pasta options to consider to remix high-carb desirable dishes:

  • Skinny Noodles (shirataki)
  • Zucchini Noodles
  • Palmini Linguine (hearts of palm)
  • Miracle Noodles (plant-based noodles)

Sweets & Confections (e.g., chocolate, candy, ice cream, etc.)

  • Smart Sweets
  • Halo Top Keto Ice Cream
  • Enlightened Keto Ice Cream
  • Rebel Ice Cream
  • Lily’s Chocolate Bars
  • ChocZero Dark Chocolate Bark

Savory & Salty Snacks

A craving for salty and crunchy chips can drive even a dedicated dieter to do wicked things. But don’t fret, stick to the salty snacks listed below to fulfill a snack craving without derailing your diet:

  • Moon Cheese
  • Mission Meats Keto Sticks
  • Quest Protein Chips
  • Whisps Cheese Crisps

Sauces & Dips

  • Rao's Sauces (e.g., marinara, alfredo, pizza, etc.)
  • Primal Kitchen Barbecue Sauce and Sugar Free Ketchup

Spices & Seasonings

  • Old Bay Seasoning: A go-to seasoning for chicken, seafood and fish, this multi-purpose blend is fantastic for keto because it is rich in flavor yet sugar-free.
  • Sriracha Sauce
  • Frank's Red Hot Sauce (hot, buffalo-style, etc.)
  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend (Trader Joe’s)
  • Italian Seasoning

Sneaky Ingredients to Avoid on Keto

Any foods containing the word sugar, syrup, or sound cryptic—or difficult to pronounce—are items to avoid. Also, it's advisable to bypass products containing fruit juice or artificial chemicals or sweeteners.

Also, look out for and sidestep the following ingredients:

  • Dextran
  • Dextrose
  • Disaccharides
  • Ethyl Maltol
  • Fructooligosaccharides
  • Fructose
  • Galactose
  • Glucitol
  • Glucose solids
  • Isoglucose
  • Levulose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Saccharose

Keto-friendly Sweeteners to Choose and those to Avoid

Although sugar and several other sweeteners listed above are inadvisable, that doesn't leave you in the lurch when looking to eat a sweet treat.

Here are some keto-friendly sweeteners to opt for in place of sugar:

  • Stevia
  • Monk Fruit
  • Erythritol
  • Xylitol
  • Allulose

There are many sugar alternatives to use to recreate any traditional dessert or confection. Check out our article dedicated to keto-friendly sweeteners for a comprehensive guide to navigating your best sugar-free sweetener options.

Keto-friendly Beverages (even the adult variety)

It's important to limit alcohol on a ketogenic diet to avoid compromising ketosis, but there are better options to reach for on those occasions when you choose to indulge.

Here are some low-glycemic adult beverages to consider for your Friday-night unwind and chill sessions:

  • Vodka
  • Tequila
  • Dry Wines
  • Whisky
  • Rum
  • Gin
  • Low Carb Beer

Always make sure to use sugar-free seltzers or flavorings if you choose to make a keto mixed beverage. It’s crucial to remember, the carb-counting battle is often won or lost in the added or omitted ingredients and hidden sugars used to make customized drinks.

Mind Portions to Enjoy Favorites without Causing a Caloric Surplus

Try your best to find keto alternatives and creative culinary swaps to recreate high-carb recipes, but if you give into a bit of high-glycemic fare, do it in moderation and immediately return to your keto meal plan!

Utilize Light Exercise to Boost Ketones and Bank More Calories to Enjoy!

Getting moving throughout the week offers so many mind and body benefits. You get your blood flowing, burn extra calories to help create a caloric deficit to promote weight loss, and light exercise will also boost your ketone body levels to facilitate metabolic ketosis further.

Best Freezer Meals for Meal Prep and Long-term Storage

The internet is a bountiful playground of keto recipes and meal recommendations, and we suggest exploring as many options as you can to keep your meal choices wide open.

In addition to leveraging keto fast-food options, it's also wise to make meals to enjoy during meal prep and eat them at will throughout the week with zero fuss.

Additional Takeaways When Remaking Recipes

  • Go, Full Fat! There may have been a time when you'd opt for low-fat cuts of meat, but nix that mindset on keto—go for full-fat foods whenever possible.
  • Swap in grain-free flours, like, almond and coconut flour, to enjoy low-glycemic baked goods without the guilt.
  • Keep a close eye on ingredients in your frying dredges, dips, and sauces to avoid hidden sugars or other unsavory ingredients.

Balance is the Key to Having it All!

You can enjoy all of your old favorite cheat foods in an entirely new way on keto. With the supplement of a few low-glycemic ingredients, you suddenly open up a pleasingly robust set of options to enjoy while still maintaining ketosis.

Think of creative and smart ways to replace critical ingredients in your favorite recipes to keep carbs low while allowing you to enjoy a hearty helping.

Benefits of Eating Familiar Remixed Keto Dishes (avoid binging & quitting prematurely)

Eating bacon and cauliflower mash doused in butter never gets old, but sometimes nothing else but your favorite pre-keto fare will do! Again, return to your meal plan immediately if you stray and eat traditional high-carb foods, and go out of your way to create dupes for your die-hard favorite savory meals and confections to make sure you're ready to satisfy your sweet or savory tooth with keto options on a whim.

Load Up on Healthy Fat to Reduce Cravings

Eating a significant amount of healthy fats helps burn body fat and aids in appetite suppression, which will naturally help you eat less without trying—a bonus if your goal is to lose weight on a ketogenic diet.

Plus, you can also add a superfood greens supplement, like our Supreme Greens, to your program to help balance the scales—for times when you're eating less than clean and precisely macro measured but want to maintain a healthy micronutrient intake.

Summary

Your commitment to live a ketogenic lifestyle may have included a promise to ditch your long-time favorite recipes for the sake of your health—and that willingness to dedicate yourself is commendable.

But aren't you glad that eating delicious foods and getting healthy can successfully coexist on a ketogenic diet? It's entirely commonplace to eat indulgent meals daily and still melt away body fat with ease.

Make mindful swaps, control portions and caloric intake, and take up increased levels of light exercise to torch extra calories and tighten up as you slim down while eating remixed versions of your most beloved childhood—and adulthood—high-carb favorites.

Sources

  • Ketogenic Diet and Metabolic Therapies. (2016). Oxford Medicine Online. doi:10.1093/med/9780190497996.001.0001
  • Torheim, L. E., & Arimond, M. (2013). Diet Quality, Micronutrient Intakes, and Economic Vulnerability of Women. Diet Quality, 105-115. doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-7339-8_9
  • Slomski, A. (2019). Low-Carb Diets Help Maintain Weight Loss. Jama, 321(4), 335. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.22031
  • Kossoff, E. H., & Freeman, J. M. (2004). The Ketogenic Diet. Epilepsy and the Ketogenic Diet, 53-61. doi:10.1007/978-1-59259-808-3_3
  • Fat Burning and Weight Loss Strategies. (2012). Gold Medal Nutrition. doi:10.5040/9781492595557.ch-013

Konsciousketo Admin

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