26 Healthy Low-Carb Recipes For Easy Weeknight Dinners
Cutting back on carbs doesn't mean you have to give up meals that you'll actually crave — there are more dinner options out there than pasta! These 26 recipes are healthy, packed with flavor, and they range between 5 and 26 grams of carbs per serving. Sometimes you just need to get a little creative with your typical preparations — like substituting carb-heavy pizza crust with roasted eggplant or cauliflower. You'll want to add these recipes to your dinner rotation immediately.
Cheesy Cauliflower Mac
Pasta-less mac and cheese might sound sad, but it tastes anything but in this naturally gluten-free alternative that uses chopped cauliflower instead of quinoa or gluten-free pasta. It's much lower in carbs than the classic, but it's just as cheesy and delightful.
Skip the classic, and opt for this lower-carb, just-as-delicious alternative that's baked in the oven. Tender, moist, and crunchy on the outside, this oven-fried chicken is a quick meal for one of those nights when you're craving something comforting but refuse to leave the table feeling uncomfortably stuffed.
Broccoli Slaw "Pasta"
This cheesy, garlicky "pasta" from healthy chef Hungry Girl is the best of both worlds — it is just as fast to make as any simple pasta dish and doesn't come overloaded with carbs. And since it's a similarly low-calorie and low-carb pasta alternative to spaghetti squash (one whole bag of broccoli slaw is only 100 calories and five grams of carbs) without all the prep, it's perfect for any gluten-free girl on the go.
Baked Buffalo Wings
For a version that doesn't compromise flavor or texture — but cuts back on the fat — cook up these baked buffalo wings. After tasting one of these spicy, juicy wings, you'll never go back to the old-fashioned method again.
Italian-Style Stuffed Peppers
For a warming, quick supper, cook up these Italian-style stuffed peppers for inspiration. With just a few ingredients and less than 30 minutes, you can create a fresh, low-carb, clean meal with more than 30 grams of protein.
Garlic Shrimp With Cauliflower "Grits"
If your ultimate comfort food tends to be Southern-fried, try this low-carb Paleo riff on classic shrimp and grits. Riced cauliflower simmers on the stove in a coconut milk bath to stand in for traditional corn grits, while fresh lemon, a little spice, and a touch of ghee make the shrimp portion of this classic dish much lighter without lacking in flavor.
Gluten-Free Veggie Pasta-Less Bake
Using a mix of veggies like zucchini, spaghetti squash, and red pepper instead of penne means you can load on the cheese and still enjoy a low-calorie, ooey-gooey, cheesy bowl of steamy pasta. Even better? This veggie pasta bake is gluten-free.
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Versatile cauliflower stands in for the majority of the starch, which dramatically slashes the carb count without sacrificing the texture or flavor of this loaded baked potato soup. Top it off with your favorite classic baked potato garnishes, and prepare to be wowed.
Baked Coconut Shrimp
Protein-packed coconut shrimp get a healthy makeover in this recipe, where a deep fryer is not at all needed!
This veggie-powered cauliflower pizza crust proves that you don't need flour to make an amazing pizza. Freshly grated cauliflower serves as the base for the creative and delicious crust that you can fold up just like traditional pizza. Cook it up the night before, and enjoy leftovers reheated the next day.
Veggie Slaw Stir-Fry
Try cooking up this veggie-packed stir-fry where prepackaged broccoli slaw stands in for traditional rice or noodles. High in fiber, protein, and vitamin C and lower in carbs, sugar, sodium, and calories, this 345-calorie, nutrient-rich stir-fry can be prepped, cooked, and served in just 15 minutes.
Eggless Kale Caesar Salad
In the grand spectrum of salads, caesar isn't exactly the healthiest choice, but for the same addictive taste with an added bonus — vitamin-A-rich superfood kale — opt for this lighter caesar salad dressing that tastes just like the classic. And adding lean chicken breast to this dish brings on even more protein without adding any carbs.
Kabocha Squash Fries With Spicy Sriracha Yogurt
High in vitamins A and C, these tasty squash fries support your immune system all Winter long, and since the spicy sriracha dip is packed with capsaicin and protein, the hot sauce boosts your metabolism while the Greek yogurt satisfies hunger and keeps you full.
Cabbage and Hemp Detox Salad
If you're on the hunt for a quick and tasty detoxifying recipe, this crunchy cabbage and hemp salad is for you. If you haven't had them yet, it's time to give hemp seeds a try. They're a great source of fat-fighting omega-3s and vitamin E for vegans and vegetarians, and the combination of the cold-pressed oil and seeds in this recipe gives this fresh salad a nutty flavor you'll love.
Asian Fried "Rice"
Unlike the greasy Chinese fried rice typical of most restaurants, this veggie-packed Paleo "rice" skips the food coma and leaves you feeling satisfied and energized at the end of your meal. The combination of textures and flavors in this comforting Asian-inspired recipe is spot-on, and the "blitzed" cauliflower (pulsed in the blender) easily subs in for rice — you might even trick some picky eaters at your table with this one.
Indian-Spiced Chard With Tofu
For a tasty, vitamin-packed meal that's even better as leftovers, try Indian-spiced chard and tofu, a delicious main dish that's the perfect after-yoga, low-carb dinner.
Anyone who loves Mexican-inspired flavors will find a new favorite lunch in this oh-so-easy low-carb recipe. This fresh and spicy tortilla-less soup is high in vitamin C and protein. Cook up a big pot of soup on Sunday, and you'll have a satisfying lunch for the next few days — you won't miss the tortilla chips at all!
Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
Crispy on the outside yet soft on the inside, these cauliflower bites are the closest a vegetarian gets to a "real" buffalo wing experience, plus they're much lower in calories and carbs than the original. Before they're baked, a dip in the garbanzo bean batter gives each cauliflower bite a crisp coating that tastes like it's straight out of the fryer.
Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese
If you're looking to lighten things up the next time you dig into a comforting bowl of mac and cheese, opt for this twist on tradition that amps up the nutritional value as it cuts back on calories and carbs. Versatile and nutrient-rich spaghetti squash lays the base to this recipe, while broccoli adds more vitamin A.
Let fresh produce stand in for the traditional carb-laden crust. Eggplant rounds are the perfect vessel for all the saucy and cheesy goodness that comes with your favorite traditional slice. These eggplant pizzas still hit all the notes you're craving.
Paleo Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash
This Paleo spin on spaghetti and meatballs uses spaghetti squash as a nutrient-rich alternative to traditional pasta.
Bacon and Brussels Skewers
It really doesn't get much better than bacon and brussels sprouts — especially for anyone in your life who follows the Paleo diet. This recipe could not be more simple to make, which means it should be a regular addition to your party-appetizer or elegant-snack routine.
Cucumber Caprese Salad
This hydrating and low-carb cucumber caprese salad might turn into your new go-to recipe. High in protein, fiber, and anti-inflammatory omega-3s, this delicious salad aligns with your weight-loss goals!
Overnight Breakfast-For-Dinner Casserole
Take 20 minutes for prep in the morning, set your slow cooker to low while you're at work, and come home to the smell of eggs and bacon cooking in the kitchen. This hearty low-carb and high-protein breakfast casserole makes for a great dinner and leftover breakfast the next morning.
Collard Green Wrap
Instead of always opting for flour tortillas, use collard green leaves to wrap up a sandwich like this low-carb one from Kimberly Snyder's book The Beauty Detox. Don't be skeptical about the raw walnut filling; it's so satisfying!
Roasted Shrimp Over Spaghetti Squash
If you're wary of cooking with shellfish, then this easy shrimp dish is a perfect place to start. High in protein but low in calories, shrimp is a healthful option for a seafood-loving bunch. This play on the comforting flavors of traditional scampi takes the gluten and pasta out of the equation and offers a tasty vegetable in its place: spaghetti squash.