A lot of people, dieters inclusive generally believe that carbohydrates are ‘devils’ but that is not the case. Carbohydrates in themselves are not bad, however, certain carbs may be healthier than others. In fact, the Mayo Clinic explains that the body needs carbs to function optimally. There are actually some low-carb dinner recipes.
Carbs that are high in sugar and low in fiber and other nutrients can raise your blood sugar, causing an unhealthy insulin spike. Fiber-rich carbs that have lots of other nutrients can provide a clean fuel that your body can use for energy.
Cooking with fewer carbs can be daunting when you’re used to slapping a large portion of rice, pasta or potatoes next to your meat and veggies. However, eating veggie-rich meals can provide the ideal amount of carbs and deliver more nutrients than heaping your plate with noodles.
These low-carb dinner recipes can make eating low-carb fun, delicious and part of your healthy lifestyle. Plus, It doesn’t take a long time to put them together. They may save you from heading through the fast-food drive-thru after work.
Read Also: 7 Make Ahead Healthy Meals
8 Low-Carb Dinner Recipes
Here are 8 amazing low-carb dinner recipes. They are easy to make, delicious and healthy too.
3 to 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder/butt cut into five pieces. You can trim off a little bit of the fat or leave it all on. (1.4 to 1.8 kg)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cinnamon stick
Water, for braizing
1 bay leaf
1 onion, chopped or thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 350 ºF (177 ºC).
- Mix together the salt, cumin and chili powder and rub all over the meat.
- Place the meat in a large, heavy pot with the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, garlic, and onion.
- Ideally, the pot is large enough so that the meat is in a single layer.
- Add enough water to almost, but not entirely, cover the meat.
- Put the pot in the oven, uncovered, and braise for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
- Stir the meat just a few times while it cooks.
- You’ll know the pork is done when it’s really tender, slightly browned and most of the liquid is gone.
- Remove the pork from the oven.
- Put the meat on a cutting board and cut or shred it with your hands into thin strips.
- Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf from the pot.
- Add the shredded meat back to the pot and return it to the oven.
- Roast the meat, mixing occasionally, until the meat is as dark and crispy as you like it. (The process will go even faster if the meat is spread out on a roasting pan or baking sheet with any remaining liquid that was left in the pot. If time is tight, you can also put the meat under a broiler).
- If you’re making carnitas ahead of time, cook the meat for 3 hours until tender.
- The final crisping up in the oven can be done right before serving the meat.
- The entire cooking process for carnitas can also be done on a stovetop but the oven is a little easier.
- A slow cooker can also be used to cook the meat until tender (add only about 1/2 cup of water).
- The meat can then be transferred to the oven to brown.
2. Shrimp and Sausage Paleo Skillet Meal
1 lb of medium or large shrimp (peeled and deveined)
6 oz of pre-cooked smoked sausage, chopped (choose your favorite)
3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
3/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 of a medium yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 zucchini, chopped
2 garlic cloves, diced
Salt & pepper to taste
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
Olive oil or coconut oil
Optional garnish: chopped parsley
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with some olive oil or coconut oil.
- Season shrimp with Old Bay Seasoning.
- Cook shrimp about 3-4 minutes until opaque – remove and set aside.
- Cook onions and bell peppers in a skillet with 2 Tbsp of olive oil or coconut oil for about 2 minutes.
- Add sausage and zucchini to the skillet, cook another 2 minutes.
- Put cooked shrimp back into the skillet along with the garlic, and cook everything for about 1 minute.
- Pour chicken stock into a pan and mix through to moisten everything.
- Add salt, ground pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.
- Remove from heat, garnish with parsley and serve hot
3. Egg Roll in A Bowl
1 lb ground sausage
1 bag dry coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup soy sauce (low sodium preferred)
1 teaspoon ginger
sliced green onion
- In a large, deep skillet, brown sausage. Meanwhile in a small bowl, combine garlic, soy sauce, and ginger; set aside.
- Once sausage is cooked through, add dry coleslaw mix to skillet and stir to combine.
- Pour soy sauce mixture into the skillet and stir.
- Continuing to cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until cabbage is wilted, but still a bit crunchy.
Serve with sliced green onion.
4. Shredded Chicken Tacos
2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts [butterflied]
2 cups chicken broth [enough to cover the chicken]
1/2 Tsp coriander
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/4 Tsp cayenne
2 tbsp lime juice
12 artisan romaine lettuce leaves [or any lettuce that has a small “cup” form]
- Add the chicken, chicken broth, lime juice, salt and spices to a small/medium saucepan.
- Be sure that the liquid covers the chicken.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
- Shred the chicken with 2 forks.
- Now assembled you lettuce tacos: lettuce, sour cream, chicken, pico de gallo, black beans and cheese.
5. Smoked Salmon, Avocado, and Rocket (ARUGULA) Salad
Rocket leaves (arugula), about 60g (2 oz)
1/2 of a full sized Lebanese cucumber
100g (3 oz) smoked salmon (I used Tassal brand)
1 tbsps sesame seeds
Dressing (Measure of Taste):
about 1/2 cup of olive oil (adjust to your preference)
Salt to taste
A drop of sesame oil *optional*
- In a small dry pan, toast 1 tbsp of sesame seeds over medium flame until lightly brown.
- Wash and dry the rocket leaves.
- Slice cucumber.
- Halve a lime and squeeze the juice into a small bowl.
- Then add olive oil, sesame oil (if using), salt to taste and 1/2 tbsp of the toasted sesame seeds. Whisk until it emulsifies.
- In a salad bowl, add rocket leaves, cucumber, and hand torn smoked salmon.
- Use an avocado slicer to slice the avocado. To avoid the avocado from turning brown.
- Dip slices of the avocado in the dressing and add to the salad bowl.
- Scatter the remaining toasted sesame seeds as a finishing touch.
Serve with the dressing separately.
6. Broccoli Salad With Bacon
1 pound broccoli florets about two big heads and stalks cut and trimmed
1/4 pound bacon
1/2 bunch green onion
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons Swerve or powdered erythritol or stevia glycerite to taste
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional but included in nutritional info.)
- Cook and crumble the bacon.
- Trim and cut broccoli into bite-sized pieces.
- Slice the scallions.
- Mix the ingredients for the dressing.
- Assemble before serving and garnish with your favorite topping. Makes 8 cups with 1 cup per serving.
7. Grilled Pork Chops with Asparagus and Pesto
4 (about 1-inch thick each) bone-in pork chops
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, divided
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 bunch asparagus, woody bottoms removed
1 cup cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup clean eating pesto, store-bought or homemade
1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
4 medium bamboo skewers, soaked for 20 minutes in warm water, or metal skewers
1/4 cup basil leaves for garnish, optional
- Rub pork chops with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper on both sides.
- Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Oil the grate of a grill and set to medium heat. Add chops and grill for 20 minutes.
- Flipping halfway through. Internal temperature taken with a meat thermometer should read 145 to 160 degrees.
- Toss the asparagus in 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Add alongside the pork chops, after the chops have cooked for 15 minutes.
- Thread cherry tomatoes onto skewers and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper.
- Grill asparagus and tomatoes for about 5 minutes, until asparagus is slightly tender and tomato skins have blackened a bit in places.
- After removing pork chops from grill, allow resting for 5 minutes before serving.
- Cover veggies until ready to serve.
- Tomatoes may be served on skewers or removed from skewers.
Serve asparagus and tomatoes alongside pork chops and drizzle with pesto.
8. Low-Carb Chicken Stir-Fry Sheet Pan Meal
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into pieces at least 1-inch square
2 red bell peppers, core cut out and cut into strips the size of sugar snap peas
2 cups trimmed sugar snap peas
1 1/2 T peanut oil
1-2 T sesame seeds, preferably black
1/3 cup soy sauce (gluten-free if needed)
1 T Stevia Granulated Sweetener or another low-carb sweetener
2 T unseasoned (unsweetened) rice vinegar
1 T agave nectar or maple syrup (or use another tablespoon of sweetener if you prefer)
1 T sesame oil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- Trim the chicken breasts and cut into pieces at least 1-inch square. Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, Stevia, agave or maple syrup, sesame oil and garlic powder. Put the chicken into a Ziploc bag and pour in HALF the marinade. Let chicken marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours (or all day)
- When you’re ready to cook, cover a large baking sheet with foil, then put it in the oven and let the pan get hot while the oven heats to 425F/220C. Drain the marinated chicken well in a colander placed in the sink. Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and spread the chicken out over the surface (so pieces are not touching). Put the baking sheet into the oven and cook chicken 8 minutes.
- While the chicken cooks, trim ends of the sugar snap peas. Cut out the core and seeds of the red bell peppers and discard; then cut peppers into strips about the same thickness as the sugar snap peas. Put veggies into a bowl and toss with the peanut oil.
- After 8 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and arrange the veggies around the chicken, trying to have each vegetable piece touching the pan as much as you can. Put back into the oven and cook about 12 minutes more, or until the chicken is cooked through and lightly browned. Brush cooked chicken and vegetables with the remaining marinade and sprinkle with black sesame seeds. Serve hot.
These low-carb dinner recipes are packed with filling meats, veggies, and healthy fats, making them great options for anyone on a low-carb diet. You’ll find a variety of creamy, flavorful sauces made with clean ingredients.
Many of these low-carb dinner recipes are keto- and Paleo-friendly, and can easily be adapted to fit many other diets. Go ahead and indulge; these 8 recipes are guilt-free!