If you're skipping hosting the holiday feast this year and attending someone else's instead, you may feel an obligation to be easygoing (and your host will definitely appreciate that), but there is one thing you should definitely not keep quiet about: your restrictive diet. If you've worked hard to maintain your keto diet and don't want to spoil your good habits on one indulgent dinner, feel free to politely speak up.
Whether you're new to keto foods or you've been following it for months, a holiday dinner should not stop you from keeping up with the parameters of the high-fat, low-carb routine. All you have to do is let your host in on the plan—and share which dish you're going to bring with you to help. We found nine keto-approved recipes that you can make for the holiday that will surely please more guests than just you.
From beef stew and pumpkin cheesecake to cinnamon rolls and cauliflower cheddar dip, these recipes can keep you full all day and allow for others to dig in, too. And while everyone takes a bite of your creation, simply explain what keto is all about. That's one topic that's not off-limits.
Pumpkin Pie Ketogenic Fat Bombs
These pumpkin pie fat bombs from Root + Revel are not only on-theme for the holidays, but they're also easy to make in advance. Recipe creator Kate Kordsmeier makes this snack with organic canned pumpkin, grass-fed gelatin, coconut oil, coconut butter, and maple syrup, and then blends it all and pours the mixture into ice molds. They're perfectly individualized and absolutely delicious. It's almost like a mini pumpkin pie, and we guarantee you'll want a second one.
Copycat Low Carb Zuppa Toscana Soup
Before the guests arrive and the table is fully set, whip up this heartwarming recipe from Joyful Healthy Eats to keep your energy high. Food blogger Krista Rollins prepares this dish with diced onion, cauliflower florets, kale, carrots, and coconut milk and serves it up in about 30 minutes. "I intentionally added the kale after the pressure cooking stage because I think it helps keep the leaves' texture a little better," she explains. It's so hearty and filling that one bowl will tide you over for a few hours.
Low-Carb Keto Beef Stew
Beef stew may not exactly be a holiday staple, but this Root + Revel recipe proves that it still deserves a place on the buffet line. Wild mushrooms, onion, tomatoes, green beans, and carrots mix with organic beef and fresh herbs inside an Instant Pot, which delivers this steaming stew in about 40 minutes flat. She had us at "Instant Pot."
Generally speaking, a key focus of keto dishes is that they have no or very minimal carbs. That said, a stew doesn't quite feel like a stew without potatoes, so if you want to add a few diced white spuds, go right ahead.
Low-Carb Keto Pumpkin Cheesecake
No matter how full everyone may be from the main course, you can easily convince them to have a slice (or two) of this healthy keto pumpkin cheesecake from Food Faith Fitness. The blog's founder, Taylor Kiser, first makes a gluten-free graham cracker crust then adds a filling consisting of canned pumpkin, vanilla extract, cream cheese, and eggs. "Once cooled, cover and refrigerate for at least eight hours, but best if overnight," she advises. The wait will be worth it. It's light and fluffy in all the right ways, making this one of our favorite desserts for the holidays.
No Bean Whole30 Keto Chili
Another dish that you wouldn't normally serve at a holiday dinner is Food Faith Fitness' keto chili, which can be the perfect filling dish for those who can resist turkey and mashed potatoes. Kiser incorporates lean ground beef with celery, onion, garlic, and red pepper inside an Instant Pot and adds spices like smoked paprika, cayenne, and allspice.
"Once the steam is released, remove the lid and turn it to sauté mode," she explains. "Cook for two to four minutes, stirring frequently, until some of the water is evaporated." Chili may take a while to prepare, but it is so good that you'll be happy to wait.
Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
If you're looking to get the festivities started on a healthy but holiday-friendly note, then opt for this recipe from Food Faith Fitness. Kiser's gluten-free and vegan cinnamon rolls are made with pumpkin pie spice, oat flour, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and agave, while the frosting consists of dairy-free cream cheese and vanilla extract. We can't think of a better way to start the day. Even if breakfast on the morning of a big dinner-focused holiday isn't your thing, you'll have to make an exception for these amazing treats.
Garlicky Roasted Cauliflower Cheddar Dip
All the guests are going to want to try this recipe from Hello Glow, which tastes as good as it looks. Recipe creator Gina Matsoukas combines cauliflower florets, garlic, white cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt, and jalapeños in a baking dish and garnishes the golden-brown finish with green onions. “Serve with raw veggies, pita chips, and crackers,” she suggests.
We recommend serving this dish with the apps. All you have to do is set it on a coffee table, and the crowd will flock over to it. Trust us; there won't even be one crumb left.
Keto Salted Chocolate Macadamia Nut Fat Bombs
These fat bombs from Hello Glow will also be a welcome addition to your feast since there’s no such thing as an overcrowded dessert table. Roasted and unsalted macadamia nuts are mixed with chopped unsweetened chocolate, cocoa powder, and coconut oil. The mixture is divided into cups and refrigerated. “Then gently press a macadamia nut half into the top of each cup,” Recipe creator Kiersten Frase says. “Sprinkle lightly with flaked sea salt.”
Vegetarian Spinach Quiche With Almond Crust
If you’re looking for a healthy and showstopping side, this recipe from A Couple Cooks should definitely be a contender. Blogger Sonja Overhiser makes an almond crust with minced garlic, fresh thyme, and sea salt, and then adds a quiche filling of shallots, chard, white wine, and gruyère cheese. “If the edges of the crust begin to brown too quickly, place tin foil around the edges of the pan to prevent burning,” she says. This dish is almost too beautiful to eat.