17 Keto Side Dishes That Are Perfect For Your Next Dinner Party

If you or someone in your life is following a keto diet, you may feel at a loss for the types of side dishes that you can eat or serve. The thing is, (generally speaking) your target is a low carb, moderate protein, high fat diet. That said, according to Healthline, there are at least four different approaches to the diet that allow for different levels of carbohydrate intake which can ultimately affect what types of foods you're "allowed" to eat while following the plan. This means if you're serious about the diet you're following, you need to do your research and track your macronutrient (protein, carb, and fat) intake to make sure you're staying on track. 

However, as a general rule, side dishes that focus on non-starchy vegetables, fats, and animal proteins tend to be "safe." Just make sure you're not using recipes that call for added sugars (even if they come from fruits) or starchy vegetables like potatoes. There are also some nuts, seeds, and legumes that work with ketogenic diet in small doses, but shouldn't be overdone. If you're tracking your macros and you've already met your carb intake for the day, look for sides that feature proteins and fats, rather than more carbs — even options like cauliflower, carrots, and spaghetti squash could push you over your limit if you're not careful. Check out the keto-friendly sides below, but keep in mind, these should be consumed in small doses, so dig in when you have some carbs to spare, but don't overdo it. 

1. Chicken Genovese (pesto-roasted chicken)

Who says proteins, like this recipe for pesto-roasted chicken, can't be served as a side? When they're made as wings, drumsticks, or even single-serving strips, one or two pieces makes an excellent high-protein side. You'll want to be a little careful about the cheese (maybe nix it altogether if you're close to hitting your carb count), but the chicken, pine nuts, basil, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil are all keto-friendly. Plus, as far as cheeses go, Parmesan and Grana Pardano cheeses are about as keto-friendly as they come (low in carb, high in fat), so usually you can make them fit in your daily macros. 

2. Kimchi deviled eggs

Deviled eggs are one of those high-fat, high-protein side dishes that make an excellent option for a keto diet side dish. That said, you have to be careful about the type of mayonnaise you use. Look for a mayo that doesn't have added sugars or carbs (paleo-friendly or avocado mayonnaises tend to be safe choices). This recipe for kimchi deviled eggs gives you an updated take on the popular appetizer, and the kimchi itself adds a tangy, spicy twist. 

3. Avocado tzatziki dip

Tzatziki dip featuring full-fat Greek yogurt and avocados is an excellent way to enjoy a side dish full of fats and proteins that's also low in carbs. It's true that full-fat Greek yogurt does contain carbs, but it can usually still fit into a keto diet, especially when consumed in small doses as a dip. Just remember to serve the dip with keto-friendly crudité (rather than chips or bread). Good choices include cucumber slices, broccoli, and tomatoes. Carrots can fit into a keto diet, you'll just want to be a little careful about how many you consume. 

4. Pistachio and feta cheese dip

Feta is another one of those cheeses that can fit into a keto diet, thanks to its low carb count. And when blended with pistachios, olive oil, cilantro, dill fronds, garlic, and yogurt (remember to choose the full-fat Greek variety), you have another delicious dip you can enjoy with crudité, pork rinds, or keto-friendly "chips" like homemade zucchini chips. You can even try the dip with pepperoni slices, if you're so inclined. 

5. Braised chicken thighs with garlic, lemon, and Greek olives

Braised chicken thighs make an excellent main course, but you shouldn't overlook them as a keto-friendly side dish. This recipe features bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (a fattier portion of the chicken, made more so with the skin's inclusion), olive oil, garlic, onions, lemon, Greek olives, and fresh oregano, along with salt and pepper to taste. It's simple, straightforward, and pairs nicely with practically any other meat-based main course. And with the added olive oil and olives, you're enjoying even more good-for-you fats.

6. Spring salad with ramps and herbs

Green, leafy veggies are almost always a good fit for a keto diet as they're very low in carbs and they're packed with vitamins and minerals. This recipe for a spring salad featuring ramps (wild leeks) and herbs is simple and flavorful. Of course, it does include sugar snap peas, which are a little higher in carbs, so tread carefully if you're close to your carb count for the day. But if you have some room to spare, a bowl of spring salad as a side dish isn't going to do you any harm, and its garnish of salt, olive oil, and cured egg yolk gives the fresh salad a delicious finish. 

7. Charred broccolini with yogurt and cashews

Broccolini, Brussels sprouts, cashews, olive oil, and full-fat Greek yogurt are all keto-friendly foods, and that's about all you'll find in this recipe (aside from the added seasonings). This makes it a great side to serve when you're trying to keep your carb-intake low. That said, you'll want to nix the sliced grapes from the recipe. Just double up on the cashews, or if you want a slightly-sweet addition, use a keto-friendly berry, like blackberries or raspberries, instead. 

8. Tallow-grilled carrots

Carrots are one of those "sometimes okay" foods on a keto-friendly diet. Certainly, this root vegetable is healthy and packed with vitamins and minerals, but it's also moderately-high in carbs, so you need to be conscientious about when and how you're including it in your diet. That said, if you have room to spare with your daily carb intake, this recipe for tallow-grilled carrots is a delicious option that's designed to serve four people. All you need is a pound of carrots, garlic, oil, beef tallow, and lemon. The result is a delicious, slightly sweet side that's perfectly suited for pairing with steak, grilled chicken, or pork chops. 

9. Classic dill pickles

Dill pickles are one of those crunchy, tart, and salty sides that can easily fit into a keto diet, which is exactly why you should include homemade dill pickles as a regular side dish. Aside from the cucumbers themselves, you'll need salt, vinegar, dill, garlic, and coriander seeds to make this pickle recipe. And, believe it or not, you'll need some sugar, too. That said, the sugar is part of the brine and doesn't get fully incorporated into the cucumbers themselves, so the net carbs for dill pickles remains very low (generally less than a gram of carbs per serving). 

10. Spicy cabbage salad

This spicy cabbage salad recipe is about as keto as they come, including keto-friendly ingredients like cabbage, cilantro, Thai basil, lime juice, lemongrass, jalapeno, red onions, sun flower seeds, and even pork rinds. And while the dressing includes high-carb tamarind paste and sugar, the amounts are so limited (and designed to be dispersed and served to six to eight people), the carbs per-serving end up being negligible. Of course, all vegetables have carbs, so you still have to be conscious of how many you've consumed throughout the day, but a small side serving of this Southeast Asian salad is a good way to get your vitamins, minerals, and fiber, while still staying on-diet.

11. Sous-vide egg and bacon salad

This recipe featuring eggs, bacon, bacon fat, olive oil, and various greens, veggies, and spices is another clearly keto-friendly salad. The one "red flag" is the half tablespoon of honey that's used as part of the dressing. That amounts to a little less than 9 grams of carbs, but when dispersed as a dressing designed to serve four people, you're only getting 2 grams of carbs per serving from the honey. Plus, you can always reduce the amount of honey used or nix it completely, opting for a more tart and spicy dressing. Plus, with the bacon and egg, the salad is high in protein and fat — a really delicious way to enjoy your greens. 

12. Cast-iron charred broccoli

If you're a broccoli fan, you're going to want to try this dish stat. Not only is broccoli itself keto-friendly, but this recipe includes coconut milk (high fat, low carb for the win!), peanut oil, peanuts, chiles, and green onions, all of which are keto-aligned. The small amount of honey and gochujang sauce included in the dressing do add some carbs, but you can reduce or eliminate these ingredients to keep your counts low. Then, of course, the boiled egg used as a topping only further boosts protein and fat intake. The recipe is designed to serve two, so double it up and you have delicious side dishes for a family of four. 

13. Buffalo Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts fans can take a sign of relief — this delicious Buffalo-style side dish can fit within a keto diet. All you need is Brussels sprouts, olive oil, thyme, salt, pepper, garlic, hot sauce, butter, lemon juice, chives, and blue cheese. The one thing you'll want to double-check is the sugar content in your hot sauce. While it may not be obvious in the flavor, many sauces add sugar to their recipes, kicking up the carb count significantly. And since this recipe calls for a not-insignificant quarter cup of hot sauce, you'll want to make sure the one you're using is low in carbs. Otherwise, don't be shy about serving this veggie dish to your keto-following friends and family. 

14. Spaghetti squash with sage and walnuts

Okay, so spaghetti squash is one of those vegetables that can sometimes be included on a keto diet. Certainly, spaghetti squash is much lower in carbs than spaghetti itself, but the gourd isn't carb-free, as a cup of the squash contains about 10 grams of carbs. But, when your daily macros allow for it, there's no reason not to include a side-serving of this recipe for spaghetti squash with sage and walnuts in your diet. Aside from the squash and walnuts themselves, all you need is butter, sage leaves, salt and pepper, and a little bit of Parmesan cheese. And since it's designed to feed four to six people (using a single squash), the serving sizes are small enough to help keep each serving lower in carbs. 

15. Moroccan spiced carrots

This recipe for Moroccan spiced carrots is another interesting way to enjoy this "sometimes acceptable" keto-friendly vegetable. Aside from the carrots themselves, you won't be adding any carbs to the veggies with sweet dressings or sugars, so you're safe on that front. And the mix of Moroccan spices, including smoked paprika, coriander seeds, garlic, allspice berries, chile flakes, cinnamon, ginger, nigella, nutmeg, and cardamom will leave your taste buds craving more. They're served sprinkled with sunflower seeds, which add fat and protein without much in the way of carbs.

16. Braised artichoke hearts & peas

Artichoke hearts may not be a side you typically think of, but they're a good option when you're trying to stick to a keto diet and want to keep your veggie intake high. While not as low in carbs as some veggies, they're still reasonably easy to fit into most keto diets as long as you're watching your macros. This recipe also features carrots, tomatoes, and peas, all of which are reasonably low in carbs, but stay aware of the fact that while you're still not looking at an overwhelming amount of carbs per serving (especially when eaten as a side), you probably shouldn't go back for seconds. The dressing, though, adds next to nothing in the way of carbs, as it's pretty much just oils, herbs, spices, lemon, and vegetable stock. 

17. Indian spiced popcorn cauliflower

Cauliflower, like broccoli, has a great low-carb profile, making it an excellent choice for keto diets, and unlike some popcorn cauliflower recipes that call for flour, this recipe calls for nothing more than oil and spices. If you're serving your whole family, you'll want to at least double the recipe so that it serves four. But really, you may want to make even more as it stores in the fridge for up to a week and can double as a low-carb snack.