Keto is one of the most popular diets to hit the scene in the past ten years, and for good reason! There are some pretty incredible benefits (even beyond weight loss). They include reducing the risk of heart disease, protecting against cancer by “starving” cancer cells, and even fighting certain neurological disorders.
The most interesting part about keto is that it wasn’t developed to be a “fad” diet like Atkins or Whole30. It was first created to help individuals who suffer seizures. The history behind it is quite fascinating. Doctors from the Mayo Clinic discovered that certain epilepsy patients who had lower blood sugar levels due to fasting had fewer seizures. Fasting, along with a diet that is around 60-75% fat, 15-30% protein, and 5-10% carbs tricks your body into thinking it is “starving”. While this may sound like a bad thing, your body actually goes into a state called “ketosis” (hence the shorter “keto”). When in ketosis, the body uses fat, rather than carbohydrates, as energy by breaking it down into ketones.
While keto has vastly increased in popularity over the years, many people find it hard to follow. Not only is it very restrictive of a diet, the meals can take time to prepare and cook since they have to adhere to a specific nutritional guide.
To help you out, we’re sharing the easiest and tastiest keto meals you can whip up in no time. We chose these recipes based on three elements: minimal ingredients needed, minimal cleanup, and minimal prep/cook time (under 15 minutes).
Let’s get started…
1. Keto Breadless Burger
Beyond the time restrictions, the toughest part of following a keto diet is removing carbohydrates from your diet almost entirely. You never realize how much carbs you consume on a day-to-day basis until you go keto or a variation of the Atkins diet (e.g. Paleo).
To many, restricting carbs usually means cutting out favorite meals. However, that doesn’t have to be the case! Just improvise.
For example, if you’re a big burger fan like I am, you don’t have to give them up entirely. Simply use the meat as the bun and create a “reverse burger” of sorts. Does it sound crazy? It does. Does it work? One hundred percent. Not only are you cutting out carbs with this simple and crazy recipe, you’re also getting in extra protein and fat.
Keep this bunless burger simple with just two grass-fed beef patties, a piece of lettuce, a slice of tomato, and a slice of cheddar cheese.
- Calories: 421
- Total Fat: 20.5g
- Saturated Fat: 11g
- Cholesterol: 159mg
- Sodium: 315mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 4.9g
- Dietary Fiber: 2.2g
- Total Sugars: 2.5g
- Protein: 52.8g
If you're not a fan of using burgers as the bun, try wrapping the burger in lettuce instead of using it in the middle (like the video above shows).
2. Taco Avocado Bowls
Follow the keto diet for a while and you’ll soon fall in love with avocados. Why? They’re one of the few fruits you’re able to eat. This is because they contain a multitude of nutrients such as Vitamin K, E, C, B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6. Plus they’re super low-carb, high fat, and even pack some protein.
Avocados are also the perfect food vehicle to make a “bowl” that can be stuffed with keto goodies. My personal favorite way to stuff an avocado is by slicing it in half, removing the pit, creating a slightly bigger “crater” to stuff it, and putting in ground beef with a little cheddar cheese on top.
- Calories: 720
- Total Fat: 60.5g
- Saturated Fat: 19.2g
- Cholesterol: 102mg
- Sodium: 253mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 17.7g
- Dietary Fiber: 13.5g
- Total Sugars: 1.2g
- Protein: 31.8g
3. Bison and Cabbage Stir-fry
When it comes to quick meals, stir-frys are usually some of the easiest to prep and cook. That’s because they’re usually a hodge podge of various different ingredients thrown into a pan and cooked together with some added sauce for flavor.
To keep things as high protein and low-carb as possible, this bison and cabbage stir-fry is perfect for those on a keto diet. Cooking is as simple as combining bison (or ground beef) with cabbage over a pan on medium-high heat. I use grass-fed butter to keep things from sticking. While cooking, I create a slightly spicey and low-carb sauce from soy sauce and sriracha mixed in a bowl together. After the beef and cabbage is cooked a bit, I add the sauce and viola, you have a simple keto-friendly stir-fry.
- Calories: 243
- Total Fat: 13.3g
- Saturated Fat: 5.7g
- Cholesterol: 72mg
- Sodium: 1016mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 7.4g
- Dietary Fiber: 2.4g
- Total Sugars: 3.1g
- Protein: 22.8g
4. Super-Fast, Low-Carb Tuna Fish Salad
In general, fish is pretty low in carbohydrates. In fact, there are many fish out there that have zero carbs. For anyone following a keto diet, zero carb foods are a godsend.
Here’s how I make a tuna fish salad with minimal prep. Dice up a tomato, avocado, and green onion. Combine it with some fresh greens and extra-virgin olive oil. Then, add your choice of canned tuna. My personal favorite is Wild Planet Wild Albacore (canned in water without salt) due to the quality of the tuna and their sustainable sourcing.
- Calories 546
- Total Fat 53.4g
- Saturated Fat 10.3g
- Cholesterol 0mg
- Sodium 18mg
- Total Carbohydrate 20.8g
- Dietary Fiber 14.6g
- Total Sugars 3g
- Protein 45.6g
5. Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese
A personal favorite pasttime of mine is finding near identical replacements for my favorite carb-filled foods. Mac and cheese has been a hard one. It’s one of those comfort foods that is just too good to give up. I nearly gave up looking for a viable keto alternative until I made this “mac” (cauliflower) and cheese meal.
Cauliflower is a surprisingly versatile little vegetable. Cooked the right way and it can actually take a lot like a pasta or, in this case, macaroni.
This dish is super simple to make...
- Start by preheating the oven to 450 degrees.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of unsalted, grass-fed butter in a bowl and mix together the cauliflower until they’re drenched in butter.
- Arrange the cauliflower on a baking sheet, making sure they’re properly spaced and roast for around 10 minutes.
- Heat-up cheddar, milk, and a splash of heavy cream.
- Put the cauliflower in a big bowl and cover in the cheese sauce.
And yes, it’s as delicious as it sounds.
- Calories: 294
- Total Fat: 23g
- Total Carbs: 12g
- Total Carbohydrate: 6g
- Dietary Fiber: 5g
- Sugar: 5g
- Protein: 11g
6. Eggs and Avocado (AKA The Ultimate Simple Keto Breakfast)
I saved the best and simplest keto recipe for last.
Everyone on this planet knows how to whip up a plate of scrambled eggs or sunny side up. Now just pair that with half an avocado and you’ve got yourself a delicious and nutritious low-carb, high protein meal. It’s as simple as that. And don’t think you can only eat this meal for breakfast—go ahead and eat it for lunch, dinner, or even a mid-day snack.
For a little more greens, add some chard, kale, and/or spinach in your dish (as seen in the video above).
- Calories 431
- Total Fat 40.4g
- Saturated Fat 14.9g
- Cholesterol 357mg
- Sodium 129mg
- Total Carbohydrate 9.3g
- Dietary Fiber 6.7g
- Total Sugars 1.2g
- Protein 13g
And there you have it, 6 of the easiest (and tastiest) keto meals you can make. The 6 outlined above are favorites of mine, based on my personal experience with keto. However, if you have your own recipes, please feel free to share them in the comments below. I’d love to learn more and add to my recipe collection!
*All nutritional facts are estimates based on how I make these dishes.