The twinkling lights, cozy fireplaces, friends and family all around… Christmastime is nothing short of magical. Many people have Christmas traditions that they hold dear, most of which involve food. While cooking and eating together with your family may be a huge part of the holidays, it isn’t always easy for those adhering to the keto diet.
The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that involves consistency and dedication in order to work. By limiting your carbohydrate levels and increasing fat content, your body begins to enter an alternative metabolic state called ketosis. When executed correctly, the keto diet can help you lose more fat, lower blood sugar levels, lower triglyceride levels (fat in the blood), and lower inflammation.
With its growing popularity, people all over the world are discovering the amazing health benefits that the keto diet has to offer. But, sticking to the keto diet all year round is easier said than done, especially with all of those Christmas cookies taunting you. Thankfully, with just a few ingredient swaps, many of your favorite Christmas recipes can be made keto-friendly, without sacrificing the taste.
21 of 2018's Tastiest Keto Christmas Recipes
Something magical happens when you roast radishes in the oven; They begin to look and taste like potatoes! It’s a keto dieter’s dream!
- 1 pound radishes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ himalayan sea salt
- 1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Wash and cut all radishes in half.
- 2. Drizzle on the olive oil and sprinkle in the salt. Toss to combine.
- 3. Place on a sheet tray, cut side down so the bottoms will brown. Bake for 18 minutes until browned on the bottom.
- Serve hot!
Nothing says Christmastime like some sweet, crunchy pecans. Toss them on top of a salad, or keep them around for when you’re craving something sweet.
- 30 g sesame seeds
- 250 g pecans
- 5-8 tablespoons liquid stevia
- 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 egg white
- flakey sea salt to taste
- Lightly toast sesame seeds over medium/low heat for 4 to 6 minutes. Watch out they do not burn, or they'll taste bitter! You know they're ready when they're lightly golden, and you press one between your fingertips and it turns to powder. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 250°F/120°C. Line a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper.
- Add sesame seeds, sweetener and molasses (optional) to a food processor and pulse a couple times until roughly powdered and mixed thoroughly.
- Mix sesame sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Beat egg white with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
- Toss pecans onto the sesame and cinnamon sugar and fold in the egg white.
- Spread pecans onto prepared baking tray in a single layer and sprinkle generously with flakey sea salt. Bake for 35-45 minutes, checking every 15 minutes or so and tossing them about a bit. Allow to cool completely, as they'll continue to crisp up while cooling.
- Store in an airtight container for a couple weeks.
They’re crispy, salty, and make for the perfect Christmas dinner side dish.
- 2 pounds Brussels Sprouts, shredded
- 5 ounces pancetta, chopped
- Olive oil spray
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Add the Brussels sprouts and pancetta to a large baking sheet and mix well.
- Spray evenly with oil and sprinkle salt and pepper, mix well and spread into an even layer.
- Roast for 18 minutes until brown and crispy. Serve warm.
4. Keto Eggnog
Eggnog is a staple of Christmas festivities, and this keto-friendly version is just as creamy and delicious as the traditional.
- 2 cups unsweetened nut milk, macadamia or almond
- 2 cups coconut cream
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated, plus more for garnish
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/2-3/4 cup liquid stevia
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2-1 cup dark rum or bourbon to taste (optional)
- Add nut milk, coconut cream, cinnamon and nutmeg to a medium saucepan and simmer for about 8-10 to infuse. Remove from heat and set aside while you prepare the yolks.
- Add egg yolks and sweetener to a large bowl and, using a whisk or an electric mixer (easier), beat them until light, fluffy, and most of the sweetener has dissolved.
- Gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Tempering means adding the hot milks (very!) little by little to your egg mixture while whisking constantly, so your eggs don't curdle.
- Return everything to the saucepan, and cook over medium/low heat for roughly 8-10 minutes, or until your mixture reaches 160°F/70°C and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and sieve onto a medium mixing bowl. Stir in vanilla and liquor of choice, to taste. Cover and transfer to the refrigerator to chill.
- Your eggnog will continue to thicken while chilling. So give it a good stir right before serving, and feel free to thin it out with a little nut milk until desired consistency is reached.
Thankfully, stuffing no longer needs to be banned from the keto diet! This version uses gluten-free keto bread, plus tons of delicious veggies.
- 4 Slices keto bread (or rolls) crumbled
- 3 tbsp ghee, melted
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 1/4 cup leeks chopped
- 1/2 tsp garlic minced
- 1 tsp Italian Blend Seasoning, dried
- 1/4 tsp sage
- 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
- Olive oil
- 1/2 tsp celery seasoning, optional
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- Crumble the keto bread, drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 5 minutes until lightly browned.
- Saute chopped veggies in olive oil for a minute or two to bring out flavors.
- Mix together with melted butter and chicken broth
- Bake on 350 covered with foil for 10 minutes and uncovered for 5 minutes.
Let this ham be the main attraction on your Christmas Dinner menu. It’s a definite crowd pleaser!
- 8-12 lb bone-in ham shank
- 1¼ cup stevia
- 1 tsp. ground mustard
- 1 tsp. champagne vinegar
- 2 oz. bourbon
- Trim fat and crisscross the ham
- Place in a roasting pan, add an inch or two of water and cook covered for an hour at 325 degrees
- Prepare glaze by combining all the glaze ingredients except the cloves
- After an hour, drain most of the water
- Apply the glaze to the ham and place the cloves inside the crisscross regions
- Cook for another hour uncovered
- Slice and serve!
Everyone loves potatoes as a side, but they’re way too high in carbs. Give this cauliflower mash a try; Believe me, you won’t miss the real thing.
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 head cauliflower (about 800 grams)
- 4 tbsp ghee
- 1 tbsp rosemary (or 2 sprigs)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- To roast your garlic cloves, make a little aluminum foil tray and place your garlic cloves in. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil in and bake at 400°F for about 10-12 minutes.
- While the garlic is roasting, cut your cauliflower into evenly sized florets and place them into a steam basket over simmering water. Make sure the lid you're using is a good fit!
- Steam until a fork pierces through easily- about 10 minutes.
- Drain all the water from the pot and place your steamed cauliflower back into it. Add ghee and your seasonings, as well as the roasted garlic cloves.
- Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth and creamy.
It doesn’t take much to pull off this delicious roasted pork leg, and the presentation will definitely impress your guests.
- 4 pounds of pork leg, boneless
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 tablespoon of rosemary, dried
- 1 tablespoon garlic, granulated
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 6 medium button mushrooms
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- Preheat oven to 220C/430F.
- Rinse the pork leg and pat dry with paper towel.
- Rub the pork leg with the salt, rosemary, granulated garlic and olive oil.
- Slice the onion and mushrooms into thick slices and line the base of your roasting dish.
- Sprinkle over the whole garlic cloves and fennel seeds.
- Place the pork on top of the onion, mushrooms, garlic and fennel seeds. Place into the oven.
- Roast for 40 minutes (or until Crackling is to your liking, keep an eye on your leg of pork after around 30 mins) at 220C/430F then turn the oven down to 180C/355F and roast for a further 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and slice to serve.
This recipe is simple, has few ingredients, and can be made super quickly in just 1 pan. For added spice, crack as much black pepper in there, as your heart desires.
- 200 g fresh green beans trimmed and chopped
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 4 slices of cooked bacon chopped
- black pepper
- Cook the beans in boiling water for four minutes or until tender. Drain then rinse with cold water.
- Melt the ghee in a skillet, then add the beans, bacon and black pepper. Stir well.
Another remedy to potato cravings, these rutabaga wedges are starchy, low-carb, and the perfect side dish.
- 15 oz. rutabaga
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp chili powder or paprika powder
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Rinse and peel the rutabagas. Smaller roots will bake faster in the oven.
- Divide into wedges and spread out on a baking sheet.
- Salt and pepper. Sprinkle olive oil on top and mix well.
- Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the wedges have turned a nice color. Use a knife to check if they're ready. They bake faster towards the end, so pay attention.
- Serve with meat or fish of your choice.
Use this salad as a starter before the main Christmas feast. It’s packed with nutrients, and the walnuts add a festive touch.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ¾ cup plain coconut milk yogurt
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp chili powder
- 2 zucchini
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 head of Romaine lettuce
- 4 oz. arugula lettuce
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives or scallions
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
- In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the dressing. Reserve the dressing to develop flavor while you make the salad.
- Split the zucchini lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut the zucchini halves crosswise into ½-inch pieces.
- Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, until it shimmers. Add zucchini to the pan, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until lightly browned but still firm.
- Trim and cut the salad. Place the romaine, arugula and chives in a large bowl. Stir in the cooked zucchini.
- Roast the nuts briefly in the same pan as the zucchini. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon nuts onto salad, and drizzle with salad dressing.
Not only is it tasty, but it also adds a beautiful touch of red to your Christmas dinner table. The orange and cinnamon notes are perfectly holiday appropriate.
- 30 oz. red cabbage
- 4¼ oz. ghee
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 orange, juice and zest
- 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
- Shred the cabbage finely, ideally with a mandolin slicer or in a food processor.
- Fry in ghee on medium high for 10–15 minutes. Fry the cabbage gently until soft and shiny - not too brown.
- Salt and pepper. Add cinnamon, vinegar and orange juice. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Add zest and dill towards the end or when serving.
13. Keto Cottage Pie
This cottage pie is the ultimate comfort food, which is perfect for sharing with friends and family during the holidays.
- 1 head of cauliflower (600 g), broken into florets
- 2 Tablespoons of ghee
- 1/4 cup of avocado oil (60 ml), to cook beef with
- 1 medium onion (110 g), finely chopped
- 1.5 lbs of ground beef (675 g)
- 2 carrots (100 g), grated
- 2 Tablespoons of Italian seasoning (6 g)
- 2 Tablespoons of fresh parsley (2 g), finely chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C).
- Steam the cauliflower until fork-tender, about 5 to 10 minutes (depending on the size of the florets). Drain well.
- In a food processor or blender, combine the cauliflower with the ghee. Season with salt, to taste. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, add the avocado oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the ground beef and carrots to the skillet. Saute until the ground beef is browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the Italian seasoning and parsley to the skillet, stirring well to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Place the beef mixture in the bottom of a greased baking dish (9-inch x 9-inch (23cm x 23cm) or large oval dish would work). Place the reserved cauliflower mash on top of the beef mixture.
- Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.
14. Keto Meatballs
Pop a few of these onto toothpicks, and you have an easy and versatile appetizer!
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tsp gelatin
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 cup almond flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with foil.
- To a mixing bowl, add ground beef, ground pork, eggs, parsley, gelatin, salt, oregano, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes before combining ingredients.
- Add almond flour to mixture and combine all ingredients using hands.
- Roll mixture into balls (approximately 65-70g per meatball) and place on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake meatballs for 30 minutes on middle oven rack.
- After 30 minutes, transfer baking sheet to top oven rack and broil meatballs until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove meatballs from oven, serve warm, and enjoy!
This bread is a showstopper with its texture and delicious, nutty flavor.
- 1/2 cup (60 g) almond flour
- 1/2 cup (50 g) whole almonds
- 1 cup (100 g) raw pecans
- 1/2 cup (50 g) hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup (56 g) flax meal
- 1/2 cup (96 g) chia seed
- 1 cup (256 g) pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup (125 g) sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup (56 g) poppy seeds
- 1?3 cup (90 ml) olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
- 4 eggs, whisked
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
- Mix everything together and pack well into a loaf pan.
- Bake for 45 min.
Everyone loves bacon, which makes this appetizer an obvious choice for Christmas Dinner.
- 2 zucchinis (240 g), cut into 8 strips
- 8 thin slices of bacon
- 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) chili powder
- 1 teaspoon (3 g) garlic powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil.
- Place zucchini strips into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat well.
- Wrap a slice of bacon around each zucchini strip and place, seal side down, on prepared pan.
- Bake 35 minutes.
- If you want the bacon crisper, place under broiler for 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven let cool slightly before serving.
This is the perfectly sweet ending to your Christmas festivities, and the antioxidants from the cacao make it a healthy choice.
- 3.5 oz (100 g) 100% dark chocolate
- 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) coconut oil
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut cream (skim from the top of a can of coconut milk)
- 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract
- Stevia, to taste
- Coatings: 100% cacao powder, unsweetened shredded coconut, or chopped almonds
- Melt your dark chocolate – you can use the microwave or a double broiler. Add in the coconut oil (melted or softened).
- Warm up the coconut cream and stir in as well. Then add in the vanilla extract and sweetener.
- Mix well and freeze for 2 hours.
- After removing from the freezer, let it thaw for a few minutes so that the chocolate is soft enough to scoop out with a spoon.
- Using a melon scoop or just using a spoon, scoop out small chunks of chocolate and form it into balls in your hands.
- Add the coating of your choice by rolling the chocolate ball through the coating.
These are adorable to look at, and the buttery, crumbly texture will make it impossible to eat just one.
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup coconut flour (+ 1-2 tbsp for end)
- 1/2 cup ghee, melted
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup swerve confectioner
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 50 drops liquid stevia
Another cookie recipe for good measure. And who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned chocolate chip cookie?
- 3/4 cup softened ghee or coconut oil
- 2/3 cup stevia (not liquid)
- 2 Eggs
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3 cups Almond Flour
- 1/2 tsp Baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cup cacao nibs
- Preheat oven to 350. Add softened ghee (or coconut oil) and swerve sweetener in a stand mixer, mix on medium until combined.
- Add 2 eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Combine almond flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined.
- Fold in Lily's Chocolate Chips. Scoop 18-20 cookies onto lined baking sheet (you may need 2 depending on how big your sheets are). Bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Let cool on the cookies sheets for 30 minutes or so, unless you've already ate them all! These will stay soft and delicious for at least 4 days in an airtight container.
Fat bombs are highly recommended while on the keto diet, and these gingerbread ones will definitely keep you in the holiday spirit.
- 2 cups finely ground almond flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp liquid stevia
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 Tablespoons melted ghee
- 1 teaspoon molasses (optional)
- Add all of the dry ingredients to a medium sized bowl and mix to combine.
- Stir in the melted ghee and molasses to form a thick dough.
- Using a small cookie scoop, scoop out a portion of dough and roll it into a ball.
- Place the balls in an airtight container and refrigerate for 1 hour. Keep in the refrigerator for snacking! Makes 16 balls.
For all you fruit-lovers out there, this dessert is a dream. It’s light and refreshing; Just what you need after a heavy Christmas Dinner.
- 2 cups coconut cream
- 3 oz. fresh raspberries or fresh strawberries or fresh blueberries
- 2 oz. chopped pecans
- ½ lemon the zest
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- Pour the coconut cream into a bowl and whip with a hand mixer until soft peaks form. Add the lemon zest and vanilla towards the end.
- Add berries and nuts to the whipped cream and stir thoroughly.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for 3 or more hours for a firm mousse. You can also enjoy the dessert immediately if you don't mind a less firm consistency.
Enjoying delicious, festive treats should never be off limits! So keto-dieters, you can rest assured that all of these recipes are keto-friendly, not to mention super tasty. Give them a try this Christmas season; You and your family are sure to love them. Who knows, maybe one of these recipes will even start a new holiday tradition!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - LINDSAY WARE