The keto diet is designed to encourage the body to enter ketosis, a fat-burning phase brought on by a lack of starch and carbs. This means grains, bread, potatoes, and sugar are off-limits, while high-protein foods like meat and dairy are encouraged. The holidays are often a time for abandoning diets, but there's no need to throw away the rule book with these keto recipes.
If you're on a keto diet or just trying to eat low carb over the holidays, there are plenty of flavorful dishes that feel indulgent and nothing like diet food. From turkey to keto stuffing to keto desserts, you won't miss a thing this Thanksgiving.
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Instead of a shrimp cocktail, whip up some elegant bacon-wrapped shrimp as an appetizer. You only need a few ingredients to make a starter that looks like a pro made it. Use tail-on shrimp for superior presentation.
Per serving: 57 calories, 1 g fat, 1 g net carbs, and 11 g protein
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This creamy shrimp dip couldn't be easier to assemble and can be made up to an hour or two ahead and stashed in the fridge. Serve with celery sticks for an easy, crowd-pleasing appetizer.
Per serving: 84 calories, 7 g fat, 3 g net carbs, and 2 g proteinContinue to 5 of 31 below.
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Creamy and tangy, everyone loves spinach and artichoke dip. You can sauté the onions and assemble the dip ahead of time, simply stashing it in the fridge until you're ready to bake. Serve warm with crudités or keto crackers.
Per serving: 258 calories, 22 g fat, 10 g net carbs, and 7 g protein
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Start the meal off on a fun note with these adorable pigs in a blanket. Make them an hour or two before the meal and set them out for snacking while you finish making dinner. They'll be a hit with adults and kids alike.
Per serving: 616 calories, 54 g fat, 13 g net carbs, and 25 g proteinContinue to 9 of 31 below.
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Give your Thanksgiving meal some steakhouse vibes by starting with a classic wedge salad. The combination of cool, crisp iceberg lettuce, juicy tomatoes, meaty bacon, and creamy blue cheese dressing can't be beat.
Per serving: 584 calories, 47 g fat, 8 g net carbs, and 30 g protein
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Homemade cream of pumpkin soup is an ideal first course for your keto-friendly Thanksgiving meal. This recipe calls for canned pumpkin, making this dish fast and easy. If you'd like, you can use homemade pumpkin purée or replace it with butternut squash.
Per serving: 211 calories, 18 g fat, 10 g net carbs, and 4 g protein
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With all of the heavy food typical of a Thanksgiving spread, it's nice to break up the menu with a fresh and bright salad. Fennel adds tons of crunch while avocado adds natural creaminess. You can assemble everything but the avocado ahead of time.
Per serving: 199 calories, 18 g fat, 11 g net carbs, and 2 g proteinContinue to 13 of 31 below.
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Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Roasting the cauliflower first gives this creamy soup another layer of flavor. Serve as a delicious starter as-is or top with crispy fried onions or chopped bacon and fresh parsley.
Per serving: 314 calories, 29 g fat, 11 g net carbs, and 6 g protein
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Meaty bacon adds tons of flavor and a crispy outer layer to this delectable roast turkey. Start this bird at least a day or two ahead of time so it has time to dry brine in a roasting pan in the fridge, resulting in flavorful meat and crispy skin.
Per serving: 1051 calories, 52 g fat, 1 g net carbs, and 136 g protein
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For a turkey with crispy skin and moist meat, deep fry it. This recipe includes a spice rub which gives the meat lots of flavor with minimal effort. A deep-fried turkey breast is great for a smaller meal and frees up your oven for other dishes.
Per serving: 665 calories, 35 g fat, 4 g net carbs, and 81 g protein
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Use pan drippings, chicken stock, or a combination to make a keto gravy. Egg yolks and a little powdered gelatin thicken up this quick and easy savory sauce. Make it ahead of time, store in the refrigerator, and reheat just before the meal.
Per serving: 78 calories, 5 g fat, 5 g net carbs, and 4 g proteinContinue to 17 of 31 below.
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For all of the cheesy goodness of mac and cheese without the mac, swap the pasta for cauliflower. This version uses roasted cauliflower and is just as satisfying. The sauce is grain and starch-free, too, using cream cheese for flavor and to thicken it up.
Per serving: 419 calories, 33 g fat, 12 g net carbs, and 20 g protein
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Good grain-free cornbread seems impossible, but this version is downright delicious. Made with coconut and almond flour, keto cornbread can be easily customized to your tastes. Add a little cheese or jalapeño for extra flavor, or cube it and use for keto stuffing.
Per serving: 194 calories, 17 g fat, 5 g net carbs, and 5 g protein
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With all of the classic stuffing flavors including fresh herbs, stock, and sautéed onion and celery, keto stuffing will even fool carb-lovers. Made with keto cornbread, it cooks up just like regular stuffing. You can add cooked, crumbled sausage if you like.
Per serving: 258 calories, 22 g fat, 12 g net carbs, and 6 g protein
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Swap the classic casserole for this easy green bean sauté with crispy bacon. Free of processed food, it adds a nice dose of green to your Thanksgiving spread. Add crispy shallots or onions on top if desired.
Per serving: 170 calories, 11 g fat, 11 g net carbs, and 8 g proteinContinue to 21 of 31 below.
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Mashed potatoes are a classic Thanksgiving side dish, but they are not exactly keto-friendly. Swap the potatoes for cauliflower for a tasty alternative. Tender, sweet leeks, butter, and garlic add flavor to this cauliflower mash.
Per serving: 134 calories, 10 g fat, 11 g net carbs, and 4 g protein
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Brussels sprouts are always a nice addition to the Thanksgiving table, especially when bacon is involved. A hot oven makes these sprouts nice and crisp and not at all mushy. You can trim and slice them ahead of time and then slide the baking sheet in the oven when ready.
Per serving: 43 calories, 2 g fat, 4 g net carbs, and 4 g protein
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Add sausage to this cauliflower stuffing and you have the perfect dish for the keto diet. The recipe includes all the favorite seasonings, including parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, and it cooks up just like a classic bread stuffing.
Per serving: 109 calories, 8 g fat, 8 g net carbs, and 3 g protein
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Green beans are an easy side for your Thanksgiving meal and they add a green element to the plate. Almonds add a bit of nutty crunch and sophistication to the simple recipe.
Per serving: 108 calories, 9 g fat, 7 g net carbs, and 2 g proteinContinue to 25 of 31 below.
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Balsamic vinegar adds a punch of flavor to these oven-roasted Brussels sprouts with minimal effort. The veggies are tossed with the dressing before being roasted on a baking sheet, giving them a caramelized flavor.
Per serving: 90 calories, 7 g fat, 6 g net carbs, and 2 g protein
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Nothing says Thanksgiving quite like a pumpkin pie. This gluten-free, grain-free, and sugar-free pie is just as satisfying as the standard version. Serve with whipped cream either unsweetened or whipped with a pinch of keto-friendly sweetener.
Per serving: 272 calories, 22 g fat, 14 g net carbs, and 7 g proteinContinue to 29 of 31 below.
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A homemade cheesecake is sure to impress at your Thanksgiving meal. While it looks impressive, it's actually very easy to make and doesn't even require baking. Make it several hours ahead so it can chill and set in the fridge before serving.
Per serving: 469 calories, 44 g fat, 13 g net carbs, and 9 g protein
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If you're tired of the same old pumpkin pie or want to offer another dessert option, try crème brûlée. This keto version is sugar-free and is great for making ahead. The ramekins need to chill anyway—just torch them right before serving.
Per serving: 500 calories, 49 g fat, 9 g net carbs, and 10 g protein
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Homemade ice cream is always a treat, especially when served alongside pie. It's also a nice option for picky kids and can be made up to a day or two ahead of time. Feel free to add your favorite flavorings like cinnamon or chocolate.
Per serving: 408 calories, 43 g fat, 17 g net carbs, and 3 g protein