18 Delicious Low-Carb Side Dishes

Gluten, Who?

Classic Israeli salad

The Spruce

If you're on a low-carb diet, you'll want to steer clear of foods like wheat bread, pasta, potatoes, and rice. While these dishes are commonly cited as perfect pairings for meat and vegetarian mains, they're far from the only options. There are more than enough tasty low-carb side dish recipes with a variety of preparations that will elevate any meal. Whether you're looking to grill, sauté, roast, pressure cook, or even bake up a gluten-free "bread," you'll find plenty of options to keep your low-carb diet interesting.

  • 01 of 18

    Easy Broccoli With Cheese Sauce

    Easy broccoli cheese recipe

    The Spruce / Chosen Posture

    Healthy steamed broccoli is a real treat when topped with a nacho cheese-style sauce. A simple mixture of American cheese, milk, and a little seasoning becomes a deliciously gooey sauce that will even have kids reaching for their greens.

  • 02 of 18

    Classic Israeli Salad

    Classics Israeli salad

    The Spruce

    A colorful Israeli salad is a welcome addition to your next lunch or dinner. Quick and easy to make, the crunchy salad is a combination of fresh tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, scallions, and a lemon dressing. Serve with grilled meats or vegetables.

  • 03 of 18

    Sautéed Asparagus With Lemon

    Sauteed asparagus

    The Spruce

    Simple sautéed asparagus is embellished by a pan sauce of onion, lemon, white wine, and butter. It's a delicious way to enjoy the spring vegetable. Adjust your cook time depending on the thickness of your asparagus stalks.

  • 04 of 18

    Jicama Fries

    Jicama Fries

     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

    Swap out French fries for baked jicama fries. Jicama is a low-carb tuber from Central America that pairs well with spices like chili powder and cumin and makes tasty fries. Pair with a bun-less burger or veggie burger.

    Continue to 5 of 18 below.
  • 05 of 18

    Perfect Grilled Eggplant

    Perfect grilled eggplant recipe

    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

    The key to successfully grilling eggplant is to brine the sliced veggie first in saltwater. This helps season the eggplant and draw out excess moisture and bitterness. Dry well and brush with oil before grilling to perfection. For extra flavor, you can top your grilled eggplant with a drizzle of Italian dressing or a sprinkle of spices or herbs.

  • 06 of 18

    Green Beans Amandine

    Green bean amandine recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

    Green beans get a flavor and texture boost from slivered almonds in this classic French side dish. Green beans amandine is lovely served with poultry, pork, or beef, and has extra protein thanks to the nuts.

  • 07 of 18

    Keto Cornbread

    Keto Cornbread

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Most bread recipes are not low-carb diet-friendly, but this keto cornbread is made using coconut and almond flours. It's also gluten-free, so it satisfies a number of diet restrictions and can be made into keto stuffing.

  • 08 of 18

    Sautéed Mushrooms

    Sauteed Mushrooms

    The Spruce

    For a meaty vegetarian side, sauté mushrooms with a little oil. The easy dish is especially tasty when served with steak. Add a little butter, garlic, or even a drizzle of heavy cream to make it extra special.

    Continue to 9 of 18 below.
  • 09 of 18

    Spicy Roasted Cauliflower

    Spicy roasted cauliflower recipe

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Cauliflower is a bit of a blank canvas and is great for roasting, especially when topped with fragrant spices. Adjust the seasonings to fit your tastes and make this spicy roasted cauliflower your own.

  • 10 of 18

    Stir-Fried Spinach With Garlic

    Stir fry spinach with garlic recipe

    The Spruce / Olivia Mindelle

    Greens are always a healthy addition to any meal, but they don't have to be boring. Stir-fried spinach with garlic has a mild Asian-style flavor with a touch of chili paste and sesame oil. Serve it alongside a tofu main dish, beef, or pork.

  • 11 of 18

    Oven-Roasted Patty Pan Squash With Shallots and Herbs

    Oven-Roasted Squash

    The Spruce

    Patty pan squash—the little UFO-shaped variety of summer squash—are naturally sweet and tender. A quick and easy way to enjoy them is to roast in the oven with shallots and fresh thyme. The pretty squashes make for a nice presentation as part of a dinner spread.

  • 12 of 18

    Cauliflower Cheese Bread

    cauliflower cheese bread

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

    Cauliflower is an extremely versatile ingredient. It can be made into pizza crust, "rice," and even mashed like potatoes. Here, the cruciferous vegetable is miraculously turned into low-carb cheese bread. Serve it at your next gathering with marinara on the side for dipping.

    Continue to 13 of 18 below.
  • 13 of 18

    Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts

    air fryer brussels sprouts

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

    The air fryer is the key to crispy veggies without the calories of deep-frying. Brussels sprouts are perfect candidates. They cook up tender and crisp, and a simple sweet and spicy dressing takes them over the top.

  • 14 of 18

    Easy Cabbage With Leeks

    cabbage and leeks

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    A quick cabbage and leek sauté is a nice option for weeknight meals. Add additional ingredients like chopped apple or crispy, chopped bacon or keep it simple with a sprinkling of caraway seeds.

  • 15 of 18

    Instant Pot Artichokes With Lemon-Garlic Aioli

    instant pot artichoke and aioli

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Pressure cookers are excellent at steam cooking and they are a foolproof way to cook artichokes. Serve the tender vegetables as an appetizer or side dish with the lemon-garlic aioli for dipping.

  • 16 of 18

    Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash

    Grilled zucchini and squash on a white dinner plate

    The Spruce 

    If you're already firing up the grill for a main dish like whole grilled fish, toss on some fresh zucchini and summer squash at the end. The grill adds a smoky flavor and cooks the tender veggies just enough. Add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or a dollop of pesto for a zap of flavor.

    Continue to 17 of 18 below.
  • 17 of 18

    Fennel Avocado Salad

    Fennel avocado salad

    The Spruce

    Fresh, crunchy fennel pairs perfectly with creamy, ripe avocado in this salad. A little red onion and lemon juice add brightness. Serve fennel avocado salad as an alternative to coleslaw or as a side dish for fish or chicken.

  • 18 of 18

    Chinese Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy

    Stir Fried Baby Bok Choy recipe

     The Spruce

    Bok choy is a low-carb green vegetable that cooks up quickly and pairs nicely with fresh ginger and soy sauce. It's easy to toss other veggies into this stir-fry, like thin-sliced red pepper, bamboo shoots, or water chestnuts.