Delicious dishes that happen to be Keto-friendly

A trick for feeding a crowd when one or more guests has a dietary restriction is to focus on what they can eat rather than what they cannot. Instead of substituting for forbidden ingredients, I make dishes that use only permitted ingredients. Take the trendy, rather controversial ketogenic (keto) diet, for example. Rather than focus on no grains, no legumes, no sugar aspects of the diet, I concentrate on yes meats and poultry, yes fat, yes seafood, yes cheese and dairy, yes vegetables and yes nuts and seeds. Truth is, there are wonderful dishes in our archives that meet the requirements of the keto diet (and others) without even trying — and you don’t have to include all of the yeses in one recipe.

You probably already enjoy many delicious keto-friendly foods such as ribeye steak and pulled pork. If you serve a summer squash chowder, for example, and salmon — slow-roasted with charred garlic aioli or with green curry and yogurt sauce or pan-roasted with crispy skin, brown butter and chile vinaigrette — nobody will accuse you of kowtowing to a specialty diet and depriving other diners of appetizing, delectable food. Likewise, brine-braised chicken thighs with kale and avocado and pork chop paprikash are tasty, savory keto-friendly preparations that appeal to most carnivores and do not scream or even hint at “special diet food.”

One hardly thinks “diet food” when contemplating a crackling roast pork shoulder with fennel and chile or mustardy meatballs and cauliflower gratin. The term “cauliflower rice” may elicit a raised eyebrow but serve flavorful cauliflower and kimchi “fried rice” and your guests might not even guess that the “rice” is actually cauliflower.

While the benefits of the keto diet may be debated, there is nothing contentious about delicious food that happens to adhere to the tenets of a particular diet. Whether you are a keto dieter looking to add to your repertoire or merely looking for a keto-friendly dish to feed to your keto guests, these recipes are sure to please most everyone at your dinner table.

Summer squash makes a sweet counterpoint to this creamy end-of-summer chowder.


Time
1 hour


Yields
Serves 6 to 8

Aged ribeye steak with a side of sea salt, pistachio gremolata, charred balsamic broccolini with peanuts and Balsamic vinaigrette, from Vartan Abgaryan at Yours Truly in Venice, CA.


Time
50 minutes


Yields
Serves 4 to 6

Time is all you need to cooked pork shoulder into spoon-tender pulled pork for sandwiches, tacos or however else you wish to eat it.


Time
14 hours, largely unattended


Yields
Serves 8 to 10

Salmon fillets, baked with a simple topping of green curry paste and Greek yogurt, are served with crunchy salted cucumbers and cashews for a speedy weeknight dinner.


Time
40 minutes


Yields
Serves 4

The olive brine here tenderizes and seasons the thighs well, while the olives and avocado balance it with some needed richness.


Time
1 hour 10 minutes


Yields
Serves 4

Copious amounts of blackened, sweet garlic flavor a mustard-spiked mayonnaise to glaze this side of salmon,


Time
45 minutes


Yields
Serves 4 to 6

Riced cauliflower, Lacinato kale and Asian seasonings make for a quick, tasty weeknight meal.


Time
20 minutes


Yields
Serves 4

The secret to cooking salmon to get a crispy skin? Don’t touch it.


Time
30 minutes


Yields
Serves 2

Thick-cut pork chops are served atop a brick-red sauce of peppers and paprika in this restaurant-style spin on the classic Eastern European dish, paprikash.


Time
35 minutes


Yields
Serves 4

Striations of crisp crackling top this 14-hour slow-cooked pork shoulder, rubbed with fennel seeds and pollen, lemon zest, garlic and chile flakes.


Time
14 to 16 hours


Yields
Serves 8 to 10

This comforting baked keto dish could, if you squint your eyes hard enough, pass for baked pasta, swimming in cream and topped with nutty, browned Gruyère cheese.


Time
1 hour


Yields
Serves 4

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