5 Simple Keto Veggie Side Dish Ideas for Summer

Whether you are a seasoned keto veteran or brand new to the lifestyle, you will likely always be in search of a some simple keto side dish ideas to round our your plate and make it a meal. 

Here are 5 simple and flexible keto friendly vegetable side dishes for your next summer BBQ, picnic, or potluck.

BLT Keto Coleslaw in tongs

While there are some recipes down below, this is not intended to be strict set of keto side dish recipes , but rather some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing and keep your keto meals exciting. 

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Seriously do it.

1. Coleslaw

Coleslaw is an absolute staple in our household. Its made primarily of cabbage which lasts in the fridge for many weeks, and a single head of cabbage can make several large batches of coleslaw. 

Much like a salad, it can be as simple or as complicated as you want, and can be ready in under 10 minutes. Fill it with all kinds of goodies like bacon, carrots, red onions, or tomatoes, or just have a simple slaw with a homemade or store bought dressing.

Basic Keto Coleslaw with Peri Peri Chicken
Basic keto coleslaw served with some Homemade Peri Peri chicken

How to Make a Basic Keto Coleslaw

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 cups cabbage (shredded or cut very thin)
  • 1 small onion (sliced thin)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Direction:

  1. Use a cheese grater, food processor, or a sharp knife to shred the cabbage of choice into small pieces
  2. Combine cabbage, sliced onions, and parsley in a large salad bowl. 
  3. In a small bowl combine, mayo, mustard, garlic powder, vinegar and season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Add desired amount of dressing to the cabbage and toss until coated evenly. 

This basic slaw is simply a starting point, feel free to get creative and make it your own!

Try these keto slaw recipes for something different !

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2. Simple Grilled Veggies

No need to heat up the house cooking on those hot summer days. Just make some room on the grill along side your favourite grilled meat and cooked some veggies until lightly charred. 

The sensational grill flavours that come through will satisfy even the skeptic at the table. 

There is no shortage of grillable vegetables to add variety to your summer keto meals. 

Sliced zucchini, peppers, onions, cauliflower, asparagus, brussels sprouts! You name it, you can grill it. 

All you need is some olive oil, salt and pepper to coat them with and you are good to go.

Grilled Brussels Sprouts on a plate
Perfectly grilled brussels sprouts

How to Grill Any Vegetable

Ingredients:

  • Low carb vegetable of choice (cleaned and sliced)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat grill to medium-high heat. 
  2. Prepare vegetable of choice and coat liberally with olive oil, salt, and pepper. 
  3. Place veg on the grill and cook until fork tender throughout and slightly charred on the outside (that’s flavour baby!)

** Different vegetables take different amounts of time to cook, as the chef its your right to sample as you go and cook to your liking!**

Of course you can change this up anyway you please by using some of your favourite grill seasoning, and spices to suit the meal you are serving this with. 

3. Simple Microwave Steamed Veg.

This option is great for a quick keto side dish year round on busy weeknights or when you are just feeling lazy. 

This work best on tender vegetables like green beans, asparagus, and even broccoli. 

A few minutes sealed in the microwave and you have a delicious and simple side to enjoy with almost no hassle. 

How to Microwave Steam Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • Tender vegetable of choice (green beans, asparagus, broccoli)
  • Butter/olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Rinse veg with water to moisten, this is important for the steaming process. 
  2. Place in a microwave safe container with a lid. (glass containers with a locking lid works best.) and coat with olive oil/butter, salt and pepper. 
  3. Snap on the lid and shake to coat. 
  4. Microwave on high for 4-5 minutes. Once finished keep the lid sealed and let it stand for 1-2 minutes to finish steaming. 
  5. Open lid carefully (its freaken hot!) and enjoy!
Microwave Steamed Asparagus on a fork
Perfectly steamed asparagus in the microwave

4. Cauliflower Rice

If you have been eating keto for any amount of time, you have surely heard of cauliflower rice. 

Its nothing fancy, just some finely grated or chopped cauliflower used in place of traditional high carb rice.

Cauliflower rice however is a blank canvas that can be jazzed up with any number of flavours.

If you have an old family rice recipe kicking around such as pilaf, pulao, Mexican rice, you can surely sub in riced cauliflower and make yourself a keto friendly version of your family favourite. 

Just be sure to adjust the cooking times and riced cauliflower only needs to be cooked until its tender.

Cauliflower also contains its own water so you may need to adjust the recipe to avoid anything too watery. 

4 Easy Ways to Get Cauliflower Rice

1. Buy it Pre-riced

Check the frozen section for some pre-riced frozen cauliflower. 

Some stores may even have freshly riced cauliflower in the produce or deli section. 

This is convenient but can get pricey if you are making it all the time. 

2. Use a Food Processor

If you are enjoying cauli rice on the regular, it can be very economical to invest in a food processor with a grating disc. 

This method is fast and make perfect cauliflower rice every time. 

3. Use a Cheese Grater

An even cheaper option is to use an regular old cheese grater. While not as quick as a food processor, a box grater will make quick work of a head of cauliflower. 

Break the cauliflower down into manageable chunks, and grate it like you would cheese. 

4. Hand Cut Cauliflower Rice

Before I had a food processor, a large knife with my ricer of choice. 

Break the cauliflower into florets and start chopping into very small rice sized pieces. 

It’s tedious, but it works!

Try these keto recipes that use cauliflower rice!

Tips for Cooking Cauliflower Rice:

  • Don’t treat it like traditional rice. It’s got lots of its own water, you don’t need to add any more. Either pan fry, oven roast, or Sautee until the cauliflower becomes tender. 
  • Oven roasting with olive oil and salt can give you wonderfully crispy cauliflower rice!
  • Season liberally, cauliflower can be bland so give it some help with salt and ward off keto flu at the same time. 

5. Seasonal Vegetable Bhaji

Originating in South Asian cuisine, a bhaji is generally seasonal vegetables such as summer squash (zucchini), cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, celeriac, or okra, fried with aromatics, herbs, and spices. 

While these can be a low carb vegetarian meal all by themselves, bhajis are full of exciting flavours that pair wonderfully with grilled kebabs, and other meats, as well as low carb curry.

Try These Keto Bhaji Recipes!

Whether you are looking for something for your next keto meal, or searching for a keto friendly option for a guest, I hope these 5 simple keto side dish ideas give you some inspiration to round out your plate.

If you are looking for more low carb recipes of all kinds be sure to look around the site, there are all kinds of great keto recipes here. 

 

Looking for a food tracker for keto?

Read about why I love Cronometer for managing my keto diet. 

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