The gourmet-level recipes featured on sites like Pinterest can be a little intimidating for those unfamiliar around the kitchen. The perfect food pics posted online may make you wonder whether cutting the carbs requires some major cooking chops that you may not have.
Well, while there are some more advanced keto recipes, there are also many that are easy and beginner-friendly. If new to keto and interested in some simple and delicious recipes to try, you've come to the right place.
Why Starting Keto is Easy
When starting keto, many approach the diet similar to first-time parents coddling a child: they buy all this expensive stuff they don't need and realize the 'baby' would rather play with their keys, or pots and spoons—in other words, the basics.
Although some supplements and high-quality ingredients are often pricier, there's no need to splurge on everything on a ketogenic diet. Plus, if your budget says canned mackerel salad with a side of salad opt for that, and if your budget says there's room for grass-fed steak and lobster dipped in salted butter, feel free to go for it.
It's possible to do keto on a budget and with limited time for prep or ample experience in the kitchen, and we'll share some of our go-to meals below.
Plus, there are some other motivating reasons to begin a ketogenic diet. Here are some compelling reasons to start a keto diet.
You Can Eat Delicious Foods
Bacon and eggs with cheese, toasted and buttered low-carb baguettes, or a quick and easy seared salmon with a side of roasted asparagus, any way you choose to make it, keto food is delicious!
From fatty ranch dressing with slices of crunchy and refreshing cucumbers to prosciutto and mozzarella wraps with some tasty olives on the side, many keto-friendly foods take minutes to make and are incredibly satisfying.
Also, when's the last time you were encouraged to add an extra dollop of butter on some seared grass-fed meat to help you lose weight—just saying?
Plus, there are so many sweet recipes that work on a low-carb diet that you'll find a replacement for all your current high-carb favorites. There are so many sweet recipes that work on a low-carb diet that you'll find a replacement for all your current high-carb favorites in no time.
Besides, in addition to adding an extra serving of bacon to your meals, a well-constructed keto protocol will emphasize getting fats from healthy sources. Select high-quality saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated fat (e.g., MCT oil, olive oil, flax oil). And avoid trans fats (e.g., margarine, canola oil, safflower oil, etc.).
The food most fret over eliminating is bread, but there's no need to feel deprived. Almond flour, coconut flour, xanthan gum, and a host of other low-carb ingredients make ketogenic-style baking a breeze.
Also, tasty treats like cookies, brownies, and even biscuits and dinner rolls are all still in play. Virtually any recipe can work on keto with a few essential modifications.
So, no worries as some of the fantastic recipes you'll try on a low-carb, high-fat diet will surely prove to be some of the most decadent and satisfying foods you've ever tasted.
Many People See Results Right Away
Realizing a need to trim down can already bring with it feelings of guilt, and many people fail on diets because it takes a while to see significant results.
One of the exciting things about starting on keto is that many see changes in their body, mood, and even their energy levels very quickly on a ketogenic diet.
Everyone's results will vary in their first weeks of eliminating carbs and refined sugars from the diet, but it's not uncommon to release between five and seven pounds in your first week on the plan.
Seeing the scale decrease quickly, clothes fitting looser, and compliments from friends and co-workers can all help you stay motivated. Also, seeing the results for yourself and experiencing increased vitality help keep you moving in the right direction.
It’s Not a Diet - It’s Sustainable
The first three letters in the word seem like a hint for folks to run and not walk in the other direction. Diet: many have tried the gambit, experience some success, and then find themselves reverting to old habits and gaining back all the weight they lost, maybe more.
Highly-restrictive elimination diets like the once-popular Master Cleanse, or the cabbage diet synonymous with Oprah back in the 90s, will cause weight loss because of drastic calorie restriction. But honestly, who can live on a spicy lemon water concoction and cabbage soup forever?
A ketogenic diet does eliminate certain foods, the usual suspects, carbohydrates, and refined sugars. However, with the tossing of cane sugar, we get stevia, monk fruit, erythritol, and many more sugar substitutes to enjoy.
Also, the keto diet is flexible and can work well for those living a diverse type of lifestyle. From a child with epilepsy to a pregnant or nursing mother, to the über-busy entrepreneur, or the fit powerlifter, we can customize the low-carb lifestyle to work for virtually everybody.
Each person's carbohydrate intake threshold varies. Some can eat 50 grams of net carbs a day and release body fat, while others notice they must consume 25 grams or less of net carbs a day to budge the scale.
Or, a pregnant or nursing mom on keto will likely feel best if eating slightly more carbs each day to support the nutritional needs of mom and baby.
Also, those who are very physically active, like athletes or powerlifters, generally eat a modified keto diet, which allows higher carb macros or protein macros. Others find it beneficial to time their carb consumption around workouts for fuel or to aid in recovery, a cyclical style keto option.
There are many versions of the ketogenic diet, so there's likely a version right for you. Consider whether your goal is weight loss, muscle gain, or something else. Take your daily activity level into account, as well, then select your approach to the low-carb, high-fat diet.
Your initial macros are an excellent guideline to help with progress now, but they may need updating over time. Macronutrients certainly matter, but don't obsess too much over your macros. Use a free online calculator like the one offered by MyFitnessPal to help you get started.
Besides, nutritional ketosis helps to suppress the appetite and avoid carb-heavy cravings with little to no effort. Ketosis is like a shield, blocking cravings and helping you feel satisfied longer—a faithful ally if the goal is fat loss.
Easy Keto Recipes for Beginners
Now that we got the reasons why a ketogenic diet is a fantastic dietary option worth considering, onto the food! Plus, we have created a quiz to provide customized keto meal plans to keep you on track, here.
Recipe 1 - Strawberry Ricotta Pancakes
Similar to bread, pancakes are fan favorites. There are tons of keto-friendly pancakes online, but this version using ricotta cheese and fresh strawberries elevates these cakes above the rest.
- 4, organic eggs
- 1/4, tsp xantham gum
- A pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp, vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup, ricotta cheese
- 3 tbsp, almond flour
- 1 1/2 tsp, baking powder
- 1 scoop, Keto Shake in strawberry or chocolate
OK, let's make some fluffy keto pancakes.
- Blend the ingredients in a mixer.
- Gently add the batter to an oiled, hot frying pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
- Top with keto whipped cream, pecans, and strawberries. You can also drizzle some sugar-free maple syrup on the cakes and dust them with keto confectioners sugar for a little extra flare.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 3 servings
Macros: Calories: 303 | Net Carbs: 6g | Fat: 22g
Serve these as a mono meal or enjoy with some bacon and scrambled eggs; it's an easy and flavorful keto breakfast option that's perfect for beginners.
We could go on and on about why pancakes are an excellent option on keto, but one point we would be remiss without mentioning is that they are perfect for keto meal prep.
Plus, it's so easy to make a few extra batches of your favorite keto pancakes over the weekend and refrigerate them to enjoy throughout the week.
Recipe 2 - Keto Savory Pie with Zucchini
- 10 oz, shredded zucchini, liquid squeezed out
- ½ cup, shallots, chopped
- ¼ cup, fresh chives, chopped
- ½ cup, mozzarella, shredded
- 2-4 tbsp, parmesan cheese, grated
- ½ cup, almond or coconut flour
- 1 tsp, baking powder
- ½ tsp, xanthan gum
- ½ tsp, salt
- ½ cup, heavy cream
- 1 tsp, olive oil
- 2 large, eggs, beaten
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Cooking spray, for the pie dish
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a pie dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Combine zucchini, shallots, chives, and mozzarella cheese in a bowl.
- Combine flour, xanthan gum, salt, and baking powder in another medium bowl.
- Add heavy cream, oil, and eggs to the same bowl and blend well.
- Combine with zucchini mixture and add it to the pie dish.
- Top with parmesan cheese and black pepper and bake 30-35 minutes or until a knife comes out clean from the center. Let stand to set up for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Recipe 3 - Warm Me Up SlowCooker Keto Chili
This chili is the ultimate lazy keto comfort meal. The recipe is a snap to toss together and let your slow cooker, or pressure cooker, do all the work.
Also, keto-friendly chili is excellent for meal prep and tastes even better as the days go by, and the dish's flavors continue to marinate and intensify. This low-carb chili recipe is perfect for warming you up while delighting the senses on any brisk winter evening.
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 4 hrs
- 1 lb, ground beef (preferably organic, and grass-fed and grass-finished)
- 1 lb, ground sausage, spicy or mild
- 1, green bell pepper, diced
- 1, onion, diced
- 3 cloves, garlic, minced
- 1 (14.5 oz) can, diced tomatoes with juices
- 1 (6 oz) can, tomato paste
- 1-2 tbsp, chili powder (depending on your taste preference)
- 1 ½ tsp, cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup, bone broth or water
- Oil, for cooking
- Shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack
- Sliced scallions
- Sour cream
- Sliced jalapeños
- Diced avocado
- Hot pepper sauce
- Heat the oil in a large pot or frying pan, over medium-high heat, and brown beef and sausage. Drain the meat, leaving a minimal amount of juices. Transfer the browned meat and juices to a slow cooker.
- Pour a bit more oil into the pan, if needed, and sauté onion, pepper, and garlic for 2-3 minutes — then transfer the veggies into the slow cooker with the meat. Add the tomatoes with their juices, tomato paste, chili, cumin, salt and pepper, and water or broth. Combine well.
- Place lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Check the recommendations for cook time if you own a high-pressure cooker, like an Instant Pot.
- Serve with desired toppings.
As the temperature plummets and we enter the thick of winter, chili is such a fantastic classic that also freezes well for big-batch cooking to help keep you organized and save time.
Recipe 4 - Creamy Keto Cheese Soup
Similar to how spooning up hearty portions of chili is an excellent time-saver that happens to be delicious, savory keto-friendly soups are a fantastic option on a low-carb, high-fat diet.
Cook Time: 20 min
Prep Time: 10 min
Macros: Calories: 280 | Net Carbs: 4g | Fat: 23g
- 2 tbsp, grass-fed butter
- 1/8 cup, white onion, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon, garlic, finely minced
- 2 cups, chicken broth
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup, broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 tbsp, cream cheese
- 1/4 cup, heavy cream
- 1/2 cup, cheddar cheese; shredded
- 2 slices, bacon; cooked and crumbled (optional)
1/2 teaspoon, xanthan gum (optional, for thickening)
- Sauté onion and garlic with butter in a large pot, over medium heat, until onions are softened and translucent.
- Add broth and broccoli to pot. Cook broccoli until tender but not mushy. Add salt and pepper.
- Place cream cheese in small bowl and heat in a microwave for 30 seconds until soft and stirring are easy.
- Stir heavy cream and cream cheese into soup; bring to a boil.
- Turn off heat and quickly stir in cheddar cheese. Stir in xanthan gum, if desired.
- Allow soup to thicken.
- Serve hot with bacon bits.
There's no way to go wrong with this easy, hearty, and low-carb soup that's as nutritious as it is delicious—make it if you're craving a loaded baked potato; it will crush the craving completely.
Recipe 5 - Irresistibly Fudgy Keto Brownies
Mouth-watering, savory dishes like keto chicken parmesan are appealing, but we can't forget the sweet treats and desserts.
As we mentioned, although refined sugar is no longer an option on keto, we have many sugar alternatives to use like powdered erythritol to stand-in when our sweet tooth requires attention.
This dense and antioxidant-rich keto brownie recipe is sure to become a favorite, and what's more is that it's so simple to make, even for beginners, we promise.
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 20 min
Macros: Calories: 111 | Net Carbs: 2g | Fat: 10g
- ½ cup, grass-fed butter, melted
- ⅔ cup, powdered erythritol
- 3 large, organic eggs
- ½ teaspoon, vanilla extract
- ½ cup, almond flour
- ⅓ cup, cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon, baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon, salt
- ¼ cup, water
- ⅓ cup, sugar-free chocolate chips
- 1 scoop, Keto Activate
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease an 8x8 inch baking pan with butter.
- Whisk together the butter, sweetener, eggs, and vanilla extract, in a large bowl,
- Add the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt to the bowl and whisk until well combined. Pour in the water and stir to thin the batter. Add and mix in the chocolate chips, if using.
- Spread the batter in the prepared baking pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges are set, but the center still seems a tiny bit wet.
- Remove and let cool completely in the pan.
- Cut into 16 bite-size portions.
Whether eaten alone or topped with some whipped cream—you can make it at home in minutes and probably already have the ingredients—are a satisfying and crave-worthy treat that still keep ketones elevated.
Custom Keto Meal Plan
The assistance of delicious one-off keto recipes is helpful when transitioning to a low-carb, high-fat diet. Still, a customized keto meal plan can produce targeted results in a fraction of the time—no guessing and experimenting to find your keto sweet spot.
Our community members have found much success on a ketogenic diet using our methods, and the same can be the case for you.
Factors like activity level, gender, and current health can all contribute to which macronutrients and micronutrients that are needed to help you feel your best.
Check out our super-simple quiz to receive a customized keto meal plan based on your eating preferences and goals here.
Keto can be an eating style that is as simple or dynamic as you like. Meal prep and keeping it simple are always ideal, especially if you find yourself in need of a reset after a dietary setback.
However, if you're more adventurous, feel free to take advantage of all the free or paid recipes available online to keep your diet new and exciting.
However, if you're the type who wants delicious food that's simple on auto-pilot, consider taking our easy meal plan customization quiz to get started with a program that’s precisely designed for you.
Keto offers so many options, and deciding upon the version that works for you will take into account many of your lifestyle and health factors. Consider a customized meal plan to get started on the right foot, especially if you're busy and find it hard to keep your dietary commitment in a mixed dietary household.
Food preferences are still present after we decide to ditch the carbs, and finding ingredient alternatives, along with easy meal ideas, is vital if planning to maintain a ketogenic diet long-term.
We live in an age where every recipe, along with its keto-friendly alternative is literally at our fingertips. It's OK if you're not a chef, it's still very possible to eat a keto diet and enjoy it while keeping it simple, quick, and accessible.
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Bharucha, B. (2019). Keto is the Hottest Weight Loss Trend this Year! Acta Scientific Nutritional Health, 3(8), 29–30. doi: 10.31080/asnh.2019.03.0362
Dupuis, N., & Auvin, S. (2016). Anti-Inflammatory Effects of a Ketogenic Diet. Oxford Medicine Online. doi: 10.1093/med/9780190497996.003.0017
- Slomski, A. (2019). Low-Carb Diets Help Maintain Weight Loss. Jama, 321(4), 335. doi: 10.1001/jama.2018.22031