There are so many benefits to eating a low carb diet. It can increase weight loss while helping you feel less hungry.
Eating fewer carbs helps regulate your blood insulin, resulting in less fat storage.
When you know where to look, it’s easy to find delicious low carb side dish recipes that help you stick to your low carb meal plan.
Low Carb Side Dish Recipes
Avoid a cooking rut with these 15 delicious low carb side dish recipes. Even if you have a family full of picky eaters or vegetable haters, you’ll find a recipe everyone will love.
1. Asparagus in Vinaigrette with Walnuts
This low carb side dish is sure to please. Packed with flavor from the vinaigrette and crunch from the walnuts, it’s the perfect way to eat asparagus. At 3.4 grams net carbs, it fits into keto, diabetic, and other low carb diets. If you have a walnut allergy, you can omit the nuts or swap in almonds.
Thick asparagus can occasionally be woody and tough to chew. To avoid this, simply shave down the bottom third of the asparagus stalk with a vegetable peeler. Stop shaving once you reveal the inner white flesh of the asparagus.
Asparagus in vinaigrette with walnuts pairs well with fish, chicken, and beef. With a 10 minute prep time, it’s an easy side dish you can add to any weeknight or weekend meal.
2. Cacio e Pepe Brussels Sprouts
For a low carb pasta swap that doesn’t use zucchini, try cacio e pepe Brussels sprouts. It’s a delicious twist on a classic Italian pasta dish. Cheese and pepper pair beautifully with earthy Brussels sprouts and nutty toasted hazelnuts. It’s a 25 minute side dish that packs a ton of flavor into a vibrant green dish.
To save on the prep work, you can buy pre-shredded Brussels sprouts from the supermarket. Otherwise, carefully shred them on a mandoline, being very careful not to shred your fingers. Don’t worry if you end up with some bigger chunks of vegetables. The mix will cook up beautifully giving you a delightful mix of textures to enjoy.
3. Lime and Aleppo Pepper Green Beans
Don’t let the short ingredient list fool you. This low carb green bean side dish recipe packs in a ton of flavor. Aleppo pepper is the perfect spice to add an earthy, fruity, spicy flavor to humble green beans. Squeezing fresh lime juice over the cooked beans adds acidity that really enhances the flavors.
You want to grill the beans over high heat to create a smoky, charred flavor. If you don’t have a grill, place the beans on a sheet pan as close to the broiler of your oven as possible. Keep a close eye on them. There’s a very fine line between perfectly charred and completely burnt.
This recipe shows that low carb side dishes don’t have to be flavorless, boring, or mushy. A flavorful side dish just requires a couple quality ingredients cooked the right way.
4. Broccoli Salad with Bacon
This low carb spin on broccoli salad uses ranch dressing instead of the usual sugar heavy dressing. The result is a delicious, crunchy side dish that’s perfectly low carb. It’s quick to assemble, just requires you to chop a few ingredients. The prep work can be done well ahead of dinner time. This salad gets better the longer it sits in the fridge. Feel free to make a big batch to munch on all week long.
This recipe calls for almonds, but you could swap in another nut, such as walnuts. Just check the carb content of your nuts before adding them to the salad as some, like pecans, are very high in carbs. You’ll also want to check your bacon to make sure it is free from added sugar.
5. Cheesy Zucchini Gratin
Zucchini is a common low carb recipe swap. In this easy side dish, zucchini gets covered in a creamy, cheesy sauce that even vegetable haters are sure to love. The recipe calls for pepper jack cheese to add a bit of kick to the dish. If spicy cheese isn’t for you, swap out the pepper jack for a milder cheese like cheddar or gouda.
This dish works great for a weeknight family dinner or a fancy dinner party. Just arrange the thinly sliced zucchini in a spiral around your baking dish to create a beautiful and delicious side dish. Even carb lovers will ask for seconds.
6. Chinese Cucumber Salad
Many Asian sauces have added sugar. This Chinese cucumber salad ditches the sugar to create a well seasoned, cooling side dish that is the perfect low carb accompaniment to any spicy meal. It only takes 10 minutes to prep but does require two hours to marinate, so you’ll need to plan ahead.
The recipe uses a unique spice that you may not have at home, sichuan peppercorns. Sichuan peppers are a staple in sichuan cuisine. They provide a tingly, numbing sensation thanks to a chemical compound called hydroxy-alpha sanshool. You can purchase sichuan peppercorns from some larger supermarkets or at Asian food grocers. If you don’t have a specialty grocer near you, they can be found online.
7. Braised Collard Greens with Ham Hocks
This recipe is one of the best ways to eat your greens. Collard greens are slowly simmered in broth, getting meltingly soft and full of deep meaty flavor. Ham hocks add a smoky flavor to the dish that’s sure to please even the veggie haters at your dinner table. You’ll need about four hours to make this recipe, but you’ll be rewarded with one of the most flavorful low carb side dishes out there.
If you don’t want to cook with ham hocks, you can swap in other smoky pork products like pork belly or slab bacon. Just avoid lean pork cuts, since the long cooking time can make leaner meats tough rather than tender.
8. Roasted Red Pepper Salad with Bacon Dressing
Who doesn’t love a good bacon dressing? This salad skips the lettuce in favor of sweet and smoky roasted bell peppers. Using a mix of red and yellow bell peppers creates a visually striking dish while packing in a healthy dose of vitamins C, E, and A.
Toasted pine nuts add a pleasing crunch to this salad. If you aren’t a fan of pine nuts, swap them with walnuts or almonds. If you don’t want to roast the peppers yourself, you can purchase pre-roasted jarred peppers to swap in.
Just pay attention to the ingredients list and avoid any packages that have added sugar.
9. Wilted Radicchio with Shallots
Radicchio is a bitter lettuce that can be unpleasant when eaten raw. This recipe quickly wilts the radicchio over heat to remove some bitterness. The result is a mildly bitter lettuce enhanced by sweet balsamic vinegar and garlicky shallots. It works well as a salad for the colder months when you want your dishes to be served warm.
This low carb side dish is simple to whip up. You need just six ingredients, half of which are pantry stables like salt and pepper. In less than 20 minutes, you can have a stunning and delicious side dish to serve.
10. Pork Fried Cauliflower Rice
Many individuals on a low carb diet miss eating classic rice dishes. This pork fried cauliflower rice recipe brings all the flavor of fried rice with none of the guilt. Many grocery stores now sell pre-riced cauliflower, in the fresh and frozen sections, making this recipe a breeze to prepare. If you’re ricing your cauliflower at home, you can use a food processor or a box grater.
This recipe is Whole30 compliant, meaning it doesn’t contain any soy. If you aren’t eating a strict Whole30 diet, feel free to use soy sauce instead of coconut aminos. Start with less soy or coconut aminos than the recipe calls for and adjust to taste. Both sauces are very salty, so it’s easy to end up with a dish that is unpleasantly salty.
11. Eggplant Fries
Eggplant makes an excellent low carb French fry substitute. This recipe coats creamy eggplant in a crunchy almond flour coating to create a fry that is perfect for dipping. When shopping for eggplant, look for ones that are longer than they are wide and deep purple. This will maximize the number of fries you get from each eggplant.
Learning to bread eggplant for low carb eggplant fries can be tricky at first. Try to keep one hand dry and one hand wet at all times to avoid a sticky, gloppy mess. You could also use tongs to keep your hands clean.
This recipe freezes well, so consider making a big batch. Then store the coated eggplant in single serving portions in the freezer prior to baking. When ready to enjoy, pop the frozen eggplant fries into the oven for a super convenient low carb side dish.
12. Cajun Mushrooms
This super quick, low carb side dish gives mushrooms a spicy treatment. Chili flakes, garlic, turmeric, and oregano combine to create a perfectly seasoned side dish that goes well with grilled meats. Most mushroom types will work well in this dish, but the cooking time may need to be adjusted based on the moisture content of the variety of mushroom you choose.
Turmeric is an unusual ingredient in cajun cooking, but amps up the health benefits of this dish. Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant. Adding just a pinch to your cooking can help reduce inflammation in your body.
13. Keto “Potato” Salad
Potatoes are, unfortunately, not low carb. Your summer barbeques and picnics don’t have to suffer for lack of potatoes though. This low carb side dish swaps in healthy cauliflower for the potatoes, creating a nearly identical potato salad flavor that is creamy and savory, just without the carbs.
This dish gets better with time, so consider making it the day before to let the flavors meld in the fridge. It’s a versatile side dish that goes with a variety of cooked meats, so you can enjoy it all week long. Make a big batch the next time you’re craving potato salad but want to stay low carb.
14. Stuffed Baby Artichokes
With just seven ingredients, you can transform baby artichokes into a stunning and delicious low carb side dish. Baby artichokes are more tender than large artichokes, letting you enjoy and eat the whole choke. This recipe stuffs the little artichokes with spinach dip. After a quick cook in your oven or air fryer, you’ll have a striking side dish that just happens to be low carb.
Artichokes brown very quickly once you cut them. Prevent your baby artichokes from turning brown by preparing a bowl of lemon water to soak them. Alternately, you can rub the cut edges with a lemon.
15. Italian Pesto Zoodle Salad
This versatile salad is packed with Italian flavor. Spiralized zucchini and carrots make the perfect base for a host of toppings and delicious pesto. It’s a low carb side dish that you might just want to make a meal out of.
A spiralizer is the fastest way to make zucchini and carrot noodles. If you don’t have one at home, you can use a julienne or vegetable peeler. Given the increased popularity of low carb pasta swaps, you might be able to find zucchini and carrot noodles premade at your local grocery store.
This Italian pesto zoodle salad is served cold. However, you could easily alter this recipe to make a warm side dish. Just leave out the red cabbage to create a low carb zucchini and carrot pesto pasta side.
What Sort of Low Carb Side Dish Recipes Do You Love?
No matter what main dish you are serving, there’s the perfect low carb side dish to go with it. Hot or cold, fast or slow, these recipes will ensure you always have options to choose from when maintaining a low carb diet.
What is your go-to low carb side dish recipe? We’d love to read about it in the comments below.
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Thank you for reading through our list of low carb side dish recipes. We hope you try a few and create some delicious meals. Until next time, cheers and happy cooking!
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