15 Ketogenic Recipes You Can Make in 30 Minutes Flat
30 minute read
Ketogenic diets have been a popular way to lose weight, as well as to address various health conditions. Essentially, a ketogenic diet is low in carbohydrates so the liver is prompted to turn fat into ketones for energy. When we eat carbohydrates, such as the cereal or bagel you had for breakfast, the fries or apple you ate with your lunch, and the big plate of pasta you had for dinner, the stomach and enzymes break down the carbohydrates into glucose.
| Related: The Ultimate Guide to the Ketogenic Diet |
When that glucose is released into the bloodstream, it can be used for energy or stored in the body for later use. In order for glucose to be stored, the body needs insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas. Beta cells in the pancreas constantly monitor the blood glucose level to regulate insulin production.
The Job of Insulin
The job of insulin is to help the body’s cells convert glucose into energy. The hormone also helps the body to store any excess glucose as a reserve by packaging any extra energy sources into glycogen, which is stored in the liver and muscles.
Fat and protein are also stored with the help of insulin. Virtually all of our body’s cells, as well as our metabolic processes, require protein. Fat is needed to protect nerves and to produce certain hormones, as well as to metabolize fat-soluble vitamins. It can also be used as an energy source.
What Happens When You Limit Carbs
When your diet includes carbohydrates, glucose becomes our primary fuel instead of dietary fats. Therefore, we store fats. If you limit your intake of carbohydrates to generally less than 50 grams per day, your body will go into what is known as ketosis. Your liver will convert fat into ketones to provide energy for the brain.
Within a few weeks, your body and your brain become accustomed to burning fats and ketones for energy, possibly leading to weight loss. A ketogenic diet also lowers insulin levels, since insulin isn’t needed to convert carbohydrates into glucose.
Ketosis and Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic Syndrome is a condition marked by symptoms such as hypertension, high blood sugar, excess abdominal fat (around waist), and abnormal cholesterol levels. This syndrome increases risk for Type 2 diabetes, heart attack, and stroke.
Numerous studies have shown that a ketogenic diet may improve the markers of metabolic syndrome by:
♦ Decreasing insulin resistance, which can cause inflammation, high triglyceride levels, and fat gain
♦ Improved HDL cholesterol from healthy fats
♦ Reduced inflammation
♦ Body fat loss, especially in abdominal area, which has unhealthy implications for metabolic syndrome
Additional Health Issues
♦ Alzheimer’s disease
What Can I Eat?
Many people who follow a ketogenic are at least initially psyched to eat bacon and eggs for breakfast, a bunless cheeseburger for lunch, and a sizzling 1 pound steak for dinner. A ketogenic diet contains:
Fats & Oils: Balancing Omega-3s and Omega 6s is important. Natural sources like fatty fish, meat, nuts are preferred. Supplement with saturated and monounsaturated fats like coconut oil, butter, olive oil. Taking a high quality Krill Oil supplement is another great way to ensure your body is getting its fill of important omegas.
Protein: Be careful not to eat excess protein, which can throw you out of ketosis, as the body turns excess amino acids into glucose. Ideally, eat roughly 0.7 to 0.9 grams per pound of body weight. Stick with organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised meat and poultry, cage-free eggs, and wild fish, when possible.
Vegetables/Fruits: Choose mostly leafy green vegetables to limit carbohydrates. Most ketogenic diets recommend limiting nightshades (tomato, eggplant, peppers), root vegetables (onion, parsnip, garlic, mushrooms, squash), berries, and citrus. Starchy vegetables like potatoes or sweet potatoes, as well as fruits are not included.
Dairy: Full fat dairy is preferred. The harder the cheese, the fewer the carbs. Dairy consumption should be moderate
Nuts and Seeds: In moderation
Note: To be effective, a ketogenic diet should include 60-75% calories from fat; 15-30% from protein and 5-10% from carbohydrates.
If that seems like a lot to take in, here are 15 ketogenic recipes you can make in 30 minutes flat.
15-Minute Garlic Shrimp Zoodles
2 medium zucchini
3/4 pounds medium shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt & pepper, to taste
Chopped fresh parsley
1. Spiralize the zucchini on the medium setting. Set aside.
Add the olive oil and lemon juice & zest to a skillet on medium heat.
2. Once the pan is warm, add the shrimp. Cook the shrimp for one minute per side.
3. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for an additional minute, stirring often.
4. Add the zucchini noodles and stir/toss (e.g. with tongs) constantly for 2-3 minutes until they're slightly cooked and warmed up.
5. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
Keto Chicken Enchilada Bowl
2-3 chicken breasts
/4 cups red enchilada sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup onion
1 (12 oz) steam bag cauliflower rice
Seasoning, to taste
Preferred toppings- Avocado, jalapeno, cheese, Roma tomatoes
1. In skillet over medium heat cook chicken breasts until lightly brown
(Cut each breast into 3 or 4 large pieces to cook faster).
2. Add enchilada sauce, chiles, onions, water and reduce heat to simmer, covered
Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through and shred chicken,
3. Add chicken back into sauce and continue simmering for additional 10 minutes uncovered or until most of liquid has been soaked up.
4. Prepare cauliflower rice per bag instructions and dice preferred toppings.
Top rice with chicken, cheese, avocado or preferred toppings.
Blackened Salmon with Avocado Salsa
FOR THE BLACKENED SALMON
1 tablespoon oil
4 (6 ounce) pieces salmon
4 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
FOR THE AVOCADO SALSA
2 avocados, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, finely diced
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
FOR THE AVOCADO AND CUCUMBER SALSA
2 avocados, diced
1 cup cucumber, diced
1/4 cup green onion, diced
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
FOR THE BLACKENED SALMON
1. Heat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add the salmon, seasoned with the Cajun seasoning, and cook until deeply golden brown to slightly blackened before flipping and repeating for the other side.
FOR THE AVOCADO SALSA
Mix everything and enjoy on the salmon!
FOR THE AVOCADO AND CUCUMBER SALSA
Mix everything and enjoy on the salmon!
Option: Use trout or other flaky, white fish instead of salmon.
Note: Serve the salmon with one of the avocado salsa or the avocado and cucumber salsa.
Zucchini Pasta With Chicken & Pistachios
2–2½ pounds / about 1 kg of zucchini (courgettes)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (150 g/ 4–6 oz. each)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or ghee
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
7–10 fresh mint leaves
¼ cup shelled pistachios
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. Prep the noodles. Julienne the zucchini with the spiralizer. Place the noodles in a colander and toss them with the salt until the strands are lightly coated. Set the colander in the sink to drain while you prep the other ingredients.
2. Cook the chicken. Pound the chicken to ½-inch thickness between two pieces of plastic wrap with the smooth side of the meat hammer, then slice it crosswise into strips.
3. Warm the olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, 2–3 minutes. Add the chicken, sprinkle it with the salt and pepper, then toss to coat it in the oil.
4. Spread the chicken in a single layer and let it cook undisturbed, 2–3 minutes. Flip with a spatula, separating the pieces and cook for an additional 2–3 minutes on the other side.
5. Continue to flip and cook the chicken until it’s browned and sizzling on most sides, about 2 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover it loosely with aluminium foil.
6. Prep the aromatics. Thinly slice the scallions, mince the mint leaves, and coarsely chop the pistachios. Add everything to a bowl with the lemon juice, mix with a fork, and place nearby because the next part goes quickly.
7. Finish the noodles. Place the olive oil in a small bowl. Peel and crush the garlic, then add it to the bowl with the oil. Add the cumin and pepper to the bowl, mix with a fork, and set it nearby.
8. Rinse the zucchini noodles under running water, drain them well, and squeeze them in a clean dish towel to remove excess water. Return the skillet you used for the chicken to the stove and reheat it over medium-high heat, 2–3 minutes.
9. Place the prepared zucchini noodles in the dry pan and sauté them until just tender, 2–3 minutes. Push the noodles to the side of the pan, and reduce the heat to medium low.
10. Add the garlic oil to the pan and cook for 20 seconds, stirring constantly. Push the zucchini noodles into the oil and stir gently until they’re coated. Turn off the heat and add the chicken to the noodles, along with the mint-pistachio mixture. Toss to combine.
To serve, divide the pasta among individual bowls and arm everyone with a big spoon to twirl the strands.
Easy Avocado Greek Salad
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic (or 1 large garlic cloves, minced)
2 teaspoons dried oregano (plus extra to serve)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large cucumber , halved lengthways and sliced
4 vine ripened tomatoes , cut into wedges
1 green pepper (capsicum), deseeded and sliced
½ red onion , sliced thinly
7 oz | 200 g good quality creamy feta cheese , cubed
½ cup (3 oz | 80 g) pitted Kalamata olives
1 large avocado , diced
1. Whisk together dressing ingredients in jug or jar.
2. Mix together all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with dressing.
Low Carb Cauliflower Breadsticks
1 head raw cauliflower, riced or pre-made riced cauliflower
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan Cheese
1 large egg
1/2 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon freshly chopped basil
1/2 tablespoon freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1. Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
2. To rice the cauliflower, core and break into florets. Place in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it is the texture of rice.
3. In a large bowl, mix the riced cauliflower, 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 egg, 1/2 tablespoon fresh garlic, 1/2 tablespoon fresh basil, 1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper until combined and holds together.
4. Place the mixture onto the lined baking sheet and spread out into a rectangle about 9x7" and 1/4" thick.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and top with 3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese and return to oven to continue baking until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.
6. Cool about 10 minutes and cut into 'breadsticks'. Garnish with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese. Serve with your favorite Red Sauce and enjoy!
Low Carb Spinach Cobb Salad
2 cups raw baby spinach
4 oz. cooked chicken
1/3 cup chopped cucumber
1/3 cup chopped tomatoes
2 large hard boiled eggs
1/4 lb. good quality bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 large avocado, cut into small chunks
1. Place your spinach in a bowl.
2. Top with the rest of the ingredients and add the dressing of your choice.
Turkey & Bacon Lettuce Wraps with Basil-Mayo
Yields: 2 wraps
1 head iceberg lettuce
4 slices gluten-free deli turkey
4 slices gluten-free bacon, cooked
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1 roma tomato, thinly sliced
1/2 cup gluten-free mayonnaise
6 large basil leaves, torn
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, chopped
For the Basil-Mayo
1. Combine ingredients in a small food processor; then process until smooth. Alternatively, mince basil and garlic then whisk all ingredients together. Can be done a couple days a head of time.
1. Lay out two large lettuce leaves then layer on 1 slice of turkey and slather with Basil-Mayo.
2. Layer on a second slice of turkey followed by the bacon, and a few slices of both avocado and tomato.
3. Season lightly with salt and pepper then fold the bottom up, the sides in, and roll like a burrito. Slice in half then serve cold.
Keto Cashew Chicken
3 raw chicken thighs boneless, skinless
2 tbsp canola oil(for cooking)
1/4 cup cashews
1/2 medium Green Bell Pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp chili garlic sauce
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp Sesame Oil
1 tbsp Sesame Seeds
1 tbsp green onions
1/4 medium white onion
Salt & pepper
1. Heat a pan over low heat and toast the cashews for 8 minutes or until they start to lightly brown and become fragrant. Remove and set aside.
2. Dice chicken thighs into 1 inch chunks. Cut onion and pepper into equally large chunks.
3. Increase heat to high and add canola oil to pan.
4. Once oil is up to temperature, add in the chicken thighs and allow them to cook through(about 5 minutes).
5. Once the chicken is fully cooked. Add in the pepper, onions, garlic, chili garlic sauce and seasonings(ginger, salt, pepper). Allow to cook on high for 2-3 minutes.
6. Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and cashews. Cook on high and allow the liquid to reduce down until it is a sticky consistency, There should not be excess liquid in the pan upon completing cooking.
7. Serve in a bowl, top with sesame seeds and drizzle with sesame oil. Enjoy!
Creamy Cauliflower Chowder
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup diced onion
5 garlic cloves (minced)
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 whole head of cauliflower (cut into small florets)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup cream cheese
Salt to taste
Olive oil and cooked bacon for topping
1. In a dutch oven or soup pot, heat butter and add onions and garlic. Saute for a few minutes till the onions are soft.
2. Add carrots, cauliflower, vegetable broth, pepper, oregano and salt to the pot. Bring this to a boil, and slow the heat down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or so till the cauliflower is tender.
3. Switch off the flame and using a blender, blend the soup partly in the soup pot. If you don’t have a hand blender, pour half the soup into a blender and pulse a few tips till creamy.
4. Switch the flame back on and add a cup of water or broth along with the cream cheese. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and switch off the flame.
5. Thin the soup further if you like with some more broth or milk. Top with olive oil and bacon and serve hot
Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps
1 lb ground chicken
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp red curry paste
1 tbsp ginger minced
4 cloves garlic minced
1 red bell pepper sliced thinly
4 green onions chopped
1 cup shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
salt and pepper to taste
5 leaves basil chopped
1/2 head iceberg lettuce cut into half
1. Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat until oil is very hot.
2. Add ground chicken and cook until no longer pink and starts to brown, break it up with a wooden spoon as necessary for about 3 minutes.
4. Add red curry paste, ginger, garlic, peppers, coleslaw mix, and stir-fry for another 3 minutes.
5. Add Hoisin sauce and green onions, and toss. Remove from heat then add basil and toss. Transfer cooked chicken to a bowl.
6. Serve by placing spoonfuls of chicken into pieces of lettuce, fold lettuce over like small tacos, and eat.
Fresh & Easy Tuna Salad
1 can of tuna, drained
1 Roma tomato, diced
1 Persian cucumber, diced
1/4 of a small purple onion, chopped
1 tablespoon of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of ketchup (Optional, make sure you use an organic ketchup without high fructose corn syrup or GMO sugar)
Fine sea salt to taste
1. In a medium size bowl, add all of the ingredients and mix.
2. Serve with sliced cucumbers, chips made without vegetable oils.
Chile Lime Steak Fajitas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic , crushed
1 teaspoon brown sugar
¾ teaspoon red chilli flakes (adjust to your preference of spice)
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound | 500g of beef steak (rump, skirt or flank steak)
3 bell peppers (capsicums) of different colors: red, yellow and green, deseeded and sliced
1 onion , sliced
2 avocados , sliced
8 lettuce cups
Extra cilantro leaves to garnish
Sour cream (optional), to serve
1. Whisk marinade ingredients together to combine. Pour out half of the marinade into a shallow dish to marinade the steak for an hour at room temperature (or in the refrigerator for at least 2-4 hours or overnight.
2. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minute prior to cooking.)* Refrigerate the reserved untouched marinade to use later.
3. Heat about one teaspoon of oil in a grill pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and grill steak on each side until desired doneness (about 4 minutes each side for medium-rare, depending on thickness).
4. Set aside and tent with foil to allow to rest for 5 minutes.
5. Wipe pan over with paper towel; drizzle with another teaspoon of oil and fry peppers (capsicums) and onion strips. Add in half of the reserved marinade, salt and pepper, and continue frying until cooked to your liking.
6. Slice steak against the grain into thin strips.
7. Serve with lettuce cups, extra cilantro leaves, sour cream, sliced avocado (or your desired fillings), and drizzle over the remaining reserved marinade.
Keto Cheese Shell Tacos
6-8 slices of Colby Jack cheese, or preferred cheese
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
3 tbsp diced red onion
1/2 fresh jalapeno, diced finely
Juice from 1 lime
3 tbsp cilantro
Sour cream, taco meat of choice, avocado, etc.
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Place slices of cheese on parchment lined baking sheet with few inches in between slices.
3. Bake for about 5 minutes or until bubbly and just starting to brown at edges
Remove baking sheet and let cool a couple minutes.
4. Carefully pick up slices and place in muffin tin to form a cup shape, let cool additional 10 minutes
For The Salsa
1. Place Roma tomatoes, onions, jalapeno, lime juice and cilantro in medium covered bowl in fridge for at least 30 minutes, or serve immediately -it gets more flavorful the longer it is in the fridge
Assemble cups by filling with preferred fillings.
Mozzarella Chicken In Homemade Tomato Sauce
4 small chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ cup chopped onions
1 (14 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
½ teaspoon EACH Italian seasoning AND red pepper flakes (see notes)
¼ teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato pesto (homemade or store-bought) (see notes)
Salt and pepper + ¼ cup water
4 slices mozzarella cheese (or 1 cup shredded)
Chopped parsley or basil
1. Sprinkle the chicken with a pinch of salt and pepper on both sides.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat with the olive oil.
3.Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for about 3-5 minutes per side or until the chicken is completely cooked through, remove to a plate.
1. Preheat the oven on the broiler setting.
2. Add the onions to the oil remaining in the pan. If there isn’t any, add in about ½ teaspoon and sauté the onion for 2-3 minutes until the soften, add the garlic and let cook for 30 seconds.
3. Add the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, dried basil, and pesto and stir to combine.
4. When the sauce reaches a simmer, add a ¼ cup of water; lower the heat, cover and allow to simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the sauce thickens a bit. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
1.Nestle the chicken breasts into the sauce and using a spoon, cover the chicken with sauce.
2. Top each breast with a slice of cheese. Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese gets nice and bubbly and just melts.
3. Top with chopped parsley or basil ribbons. Serve with a salad.
Use sun-dried tomato pesto for this recipe, as it really enhances the flavor of the sauce and makes it taste like it simmered all day. Basil pesto will also work well.
Adjust red pepper flakes per taste, Omit for a milder sauce.
Tips for An Effective Ketogenic Diet
1. Limit carbohydrates to less than 50 grams per day.
2. Make sure not to go crazy with protein. A ketogenic diet is high fat, moderate protein, low carb.
3. Eat plenty of fat, primarily monounsaturated, saturated, and Omega-3s. Limit vegetable oils. Avoid trans fats.
4. Make sure you get enough sodium. Insulin tells the kidneys to hold on to sodium. With less insulin, you’ll need to add enough sodium. Drink a cup of broth each day.
The Bottom Line
A ketogenic diet may provide potential health benefits such as weight loss, decreased insulin resistance, and a loss of abdominal fat, as well as an improved cholesterol profile. All of these improvements may lower risk for metabolic syndrome, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
For the most impact, you must remain in a metabolic state of ketosis by cutting carbohydrates to less than 50 g per day. This is a high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate diet. Be sure to include plenty of healthy fats, as well as moderate amounts of protein for the best effect.
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