Keto diets usually require us to pretty much do a 180° on our normal diets, so we totally get it if you’re struggling to think of keto lunch ideas that are easy, practical and – most importantly – taste good!
That’s why we’ve put together some quick, easy keto lunch ideas to help all your busy bees out there stay on track, whether you need keto lunches for work, on-the-go antics or for simply enjoying it at home.
Read more: What is the keto diet
What can I have for lunch on keto diet?
If you want a lunch in-keeping with your keto diet, you simply have to follow the same nutritional guidelines as you do for the rest of the day, with meals containing:
- 70-80% fat
- 5-10% carbohydrates
- 10-20% protein
This means most of the lunch-on-the-go options at the local supermarket or café offerings like sandwiches and pasties may be off the menu.
Don’t let that put you off though, you simply have to dedicate some time to meal prepping at home or get a little ‘creative’ if you venture out for lunch. We’ve got some ideas for both!
What can I eat for lunch with no carbs?
Few boiled eggs for lunch? Couple cans of tuna? Mmm, sounds good… not!
You don’t need to totally ditch carbs when it comes to keto – in fact you need some carbs – like the ones you find in veggies to help you stay healthy. The avocado didn’t become god-tier keto food for no reason.
It’s just about getting creative with your carbs to create quick keto lunches that don’t throw you out of ketosis. Yes, you may have to avoid the bread isle in the supermarket, just make sure not to avoid the produce aisle too!
Keto lunch meal prep / keto lunch recipes
Being able to prep keto lunches in advance will take all the stress out of scrambling round trying to find something last minute and ending up either hungry or unsatisfied. So, if you want to stick to keto, and don’t want to live off basic shop salads and protein, we highly recommend getting organised.
Here’s some of our favourite keto packed lunch ideas:
1. Keto cauliflower fried rice
Ah who doesn’t love a bit of fried rice? Especially when it’s left over from the night before and all the flavours have soaked in beautifully – mmm!
Alas, rice is definitely off the menu when it comes to keto, but cauliflower fried rice isn’t. Here’s how to make it:
- Take a fresh cauliflower, wash and peel away the leaves.
- Grate the cauliflower into a bowl and season with salt, black pepper, and any other seasoning you fancy.
- Fry up some spring onions, mushrooms and red bell peppers in olive or avocado oil and fry on a medium heat until softened.
- Add the grated cauliflower with a dash of soy sauce or fried rice seasoning and allow to fry for a few minutes more
- Move the veggies to the side of the pan, pour in a little extra oil and add in beaten eggs and leave to cook a little before mixing in with the rice OR use a vegan egg replacement OR use silken tofu.
- Wrap it up
Although we said traditional bread-based sandwiches were off the menu, that doesn’t mean you have to give up your beloved lunch-time staple.
One of the easiest keto lunch ideas for work is to take whatever you like on a sandwich and wrapping it up with lettuce leaves or egg/tofu omelettes instead. Here’s some inspo:
- Avocado, smoky tofu and chipotle mayo
- Sliced and grilled courgette, tomato, peppers + any low-carb veg you fancy with mayo
- Smoked salmon and cream cheese
- Tempeh, tomato, lettuce and guacamole
- Mozzarella and pesto / olive tapenade
- Grilled portobello mushroom, eggs and cheese
- Vegan sausage and egg / egg alternative
2. Keto veggie chilli
Like a hearty lunch? A low-carb, keto-friendly vegan chilli could sort your right – just add in some meat if you want to make it non-veggie.
You can find our vegan chilli recipe here – just remove the carrots, chickpeas, beans and sweetcorn and substitute in vegan mince (around a 25g serving for each person) or add more mushrooms (chestnut mushrooms are nice and meaty)
Now comes the fun part – increasing the fat content! Top this chilli with as much avocado, cheese, sour cream – or low-carb alternatives – as you like. You can also add serve with some cauliflower rice if you wish!
3. Scrambled eggs / tofu
You may stink the office out a little… scrambled eggs, or the less-pungent scrambled tofu, is a great way to get your protein and fats in, with very little carbs.
Try these vegan scrambled tofu tacos – minus the corn and tortillas – you can use a lettuce / egg wrap instead of tacos or a side of cauliflower rice.
Other easy and cheap keto diet lunch ideas
- Low-carb cauliflower mac ‘n’ cheese
- Taco bowls – no bread necessary
- Stuffed avocados
- Greek salad with feta and olives – minus the bread
- Cheesy stuffed peppers
- Simply roasted veggies and a creamy dip
- Keto sushi – just use cauliflower rice
- Stuffed portobello mushrooms
- Roasted pepper and tomato soup
- Mushroom omelette
- Egg salad
- Butternut squash / courgette spaghetti
Can you eat rice on keto?
Unfortunately not, but grated cauliflower rice is a fantastic alternative.
What can I eat for a snack on keto?
Anything as long as it’s low carb! Here are some popular examples:
- Low-carb, like macadamia, pecan and brazil nuts
- Keto shakes
- Cucumber and pepper batons with a creamy mayo dip
- Keto-friendly protein bars
- Boost ball keto raw choc
Last updated: 7th January 2021
Author: Donia Hilal, Nutritionist
Donia started her career as a freelance nutritionist, later she joined Nestle as their Market Nutritionist to help support their healthier product range, before joining the team at Holland & Barrett in January 2018. Donia has 6 years experience as a Nutritionist and also works with clients on a one to one basis to support their goals which include weight loss, prenatal and postnatal nutrition and children’s health.
Donia has a special interest in; weight management, plant-based nutrition, pregnancy nutrition, special diets and disease risk reduction. Donia’s LinkedIn profile