If you’ve been experimenting with keto, you’re probably aware by now that your meals look a little different than they did before. A typical scenario is that you don’t have much trouble figuring out breakfast, and there are lots of ways to put together a satisfying dinner. It’s keto lunches that tend to trip us up.
So, what do you do for lunch on keto? How can you put together a meal that’s quick, fuels your to-do list, and tastes great?
We’ve got you covered. Here’s a general keto lunch format you can use, along with 6 keto lunch ideas to try this week.
The Keto Lunch Formula
A great keto lunch has a few key elements: vegetables, fats, protein, and optionally, dessert.
First, you have your vegetables. Fiber makes you feel full and helps keep your digestion in order. Pile on as many vegetables as you think you can possibly eat, and you can’t go wrong.
Next comes healthy fats. Healthy fats are a cornerstone of the keto diet. In fact, your body uses fats to generate ketones, your body’s fuel source when you’re restricting carbs.
Then, you’ll round out your meal with protein, which helps preserve lean mass that you’re building on the keto diet, and is required for proper recovery.
Lastly, dessert! Having a little clean keto-friendly sweet treat after you eat can help with cravings and give your body the fuel it needs to maintain energy while avoiding foods that aren’t part of your plans.
Now that you know how to assemble a great keto lunch, here are some ideas to get you started.
6 Keto Lunch Ideas to Eat at Home and On-the-go
Little containers with a side salad are a thing of the past. There’s a reason you’ve been seeing huge salads served in mixing bowls all over social media— salads tend to leave you wanting more, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t have more!
Start with a big bowl. Pile on the greens, and see what’s in your fridge that works. Some ideas:
- Roasted carrots from last night’s dinner. Slice them up and toss them on (a few won’t destroy your carb count).
- Leftover roasted brussels sprouts
- Grilled chicken or steak that you made ahead for the week
- Eggs— hard-cooked or jammy eggs work best
- Nuts and seeds for crunch
- Cheese. A small amount of goat cheese or crumbled feta really levels up your salad.
- Herbs. Use what you have available. If you’re like most people, you’re throwing out a lot of wilted herbs anyway, so you may as well toss them in before they start to look sad.
- Salsa or guacamole
Making yourself a mini charcuterie plate feels like the grown-up version of the meat and cracker lunch kits of your childhood!
Arrange your favorite deli meats, cheeses, almond flour crackers, and even a few pieces of chocolate in a bento box or lunch container. You’ll look forward to it all morning!
Lettuce cups are quick, portable, and fun to eat. You can go the traditional route and use an Asian-inspired chopped chicken and vegetable, but there are hundreds of ways to do it. Some ideas:
- A simple tuna or salmon salad of tuna or salmon, mayo, and finely chopped vegetables like carrots, radish, or cucumber
- Asian-inspired chopped chicken: saute ground chicken with a low-carb teriyaki sauce and finely chopped vegetables
- Ground beef or tofu crumbles cooked with taco seasoning and topped with cheese
The possibilities are endless. Quick tip: use butter lettuce if you can find it, as the leaves have a natural cup shape to them.
Choose your favorite deli meats, cheeses, thin-sliced veggies, and sauces, and roll them up into a satisfying portable lunch. Our favorite is a BLT: bacon, lettuce, and tomato rolled up in a slice of turkey and cheddar.
Make your favorite taco or fajita recipe, and pack it to go alongside cauliflower rice. Don’t forget toppings: cheese, olives, tomatoes, salsa, or avocado.
Taco bowls travel well and are easy to reheat.
Creative Hard-cooked Eggs
Think basic picnic deviled eggs, leveled up to something delicious. Hard-cooked egg yolks can be combined with standard things like mayo and mustard, but also ingredients like:
- Silky avocado
- Bacon bits
- Hot sauce
- Salmon or crab
- Caramelized onion
Eggs are portable, filling, and versatile. This is one you can have fun with!
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