18 Low-Carb Meals that Energize + Actually Fill You Up!

June 20, 2017
Low-carb meals - Dr. Axe

When you’re try to follow a low-carb diet, it’s easy to focus on the foods and ingredients you’re likely cutting back on and overlook how delicious meals can be sans heavy carbohydrates. After all, many of us are brought up to believe that a meal isn’t complete without a side of potatoes or a bowl of pasta, but low-carb meals can be delicious too.

That’s especially true with these low-carb meals. They focus on the healthy ingredients you enjoy, not the ones you skimp on. Whether want to limit carbs as much as possible or just lighten up a few meals, you won’t sacrifice flavor with these 18 delicious, energizing low-carb meals.


18 Low-Carb Meals

1. Balsamic Glazed Steak Rolls

Get a helping of veggies in every bite of these tender steak rolls. The beef marinates in a Worcestershire sauce and then gets rolled up around whatever crisp veggies you have on hand. Pan sear them and top with a balsamic glaze for a juicy low-carb meal.


2. Beef and Chorizo Empanadas

Not only are these empanadas low-carb, but they’re also gluten-free. You use almond flour and cheese for the dough and then stuff these with ground beef, a pork sausage alternative (I love chicken!) and eggs for a ton of protein.

Beef and Chorizo Empanadas
Photo: Beef and Chorizo Empanadas / Peace, Love and Low Carb

3. Beef Teriyaki Lettuce Cups

These lettuce cups are so hearty it’s hard to believe you’re not chowing down on noodles as well. The best part about is that this low-carb main dish cooks throughout the day in a slow cooker. My only suggestion is to use arrowroot powder to thicken up the sauce in place of cornstarch.


4. Caprese Balsamic Chicken

Add some extra protein to your Caprese salad with this balsamic chicken version. Cooking the meat with garlic, balsamic vinegar and a hint of sugar (try coconut sugar) and finishing it off in the oven with fresh mozzarella means you’ll have a juicy, melty chicken you won’t be able to stop eating. Serve atop your favorite salad for a complete meal.

Caprese Balsamic Chicken
Photo: Caprese Balsamic Chicken / Yummy Healthy Easy

5. Carrot Taco Shell

I might have cheated a little bit here, but because this recipe is so easy and so genius, I had to include it! Skip preservative-laden taco shells from the store and make your own carrot version instead! Use these shells and stuff with your favorite fillings: Tex-Mex inspired with black beans, onions and peppers, eggs, spinach and feta cheese for a low-carb breakfast version or just all your favorite salad fixings.


6. Chunky No Bean Chili

This one of the low-carb meals that’s best for those who like their chili without beans. A few unique spices, like allspice and balsamic vinegar, mean this meaty version isn’t lacking in taste. It’s easily adaptable for a slow cooker, too!


7. Curried Salmon Patties

Each patty is packed with spinach, zucchini and an egg to keep it all together — plus a zap to the taste buds, courtesy of the curry and red pepper flakes! These salmon patties freeze well, so make an extra batch to have on hand for a quick lunch or dinner.

Curried Salmon Patties
Photo: Curried Salmon Patties / The Big Man’s World

8. Easy Oven Fajitas

This veggie-heavy fajita recipe is easy on the wallet and cooked in the oven for that extra charred goodness. It’s almost as good as using the grill! I love the homemade seasoning in this one. It really elevates the quality of this low-carb main dish.


9. Julia Child’s Eggplant Pizza

Can you really go wrong with a Julia Child recipe? These little pizzas use thick eggplant slices instead of dough for a hearty, low-carb alternative. Because there are so few ingredients, go with the best quality veggies you can find. This recipe is worth it!

Julia Child’s Eggplant Pizza
Photo: Julia Child’s Eggplant Pizza / Kalyn’s Kitchen

10. Lime and Coconut Chicken Burgers

These zesty burgers are great on the grill during warmer months but also just as tasty when made in a skillet while dreaming of summer. They’re also easily adaptable to whatever fresh herbs are around. Try serving with roasted carrot sticks for a burger and fries meal that doesn’t disappoint.


11. Mexican Casserole

Most Mexican dishes are heavy on the tortillas, but this one gets creative with cauliflower as the base instead. Bursting with fresh onions, peppers, tomatoes and jalapenos, this vegetarian dish has a delicious kick to it as well. Top with avocado slices and sour cream.


12. Poached Eggs Over Turkey Sausage and Wilted Spinach

The step-by-step instructions on poaching an egg here turn another boring egg meal into quite a fancy low-carb, high-protein dish. Serve this for a breakfast at dinner night with one caveat: Skip the processed patties and use a homemade version instead, like my Sage Chicken Breakfast Patties or Turkey Breakfast Sausage.

Poached Eggs Over Turkey Sausage and Wilted Spinach
Photo: Poached Eggs Over Turkey Sausage and Wilted Spinach / Simply Gourmet in Southie

13. Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash

You won’t miss the potatoes in this low-carb version of shepherd’s pie. I love the option of using beef or lamb mince. In fact, if you have both on hand, a mix would taste terrific. Cauliflower and cheese combine for a cheesy, crumbly topping you won’t be able to stop eating.


14. Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Casserole

Even hard-core pasta lovers will fall in love with this lasagna casserole. Layered with spaghetti squash instead of noodles, the vegetable soaks up all the yummy meat, cheese and sauce flavors for a lighter Italian dinner.


15. Thai Chicken with Basil and Cauliflower Rice

For starters, this cauliflower fried rice tastes good enough to enjoy on its own. But when you top it with chopped chicken breasts seasoned with ingredients like ginger, garlic, fish sauce and fresh basil — and top it all off with a fried egg — well, there’s just no reason to call for takeout ever again. Low-carb or just amazing? You decide.

Thai Chicken with Basil and Cauliflower Rice
Photo: Thai Chicken with Basil and Cauliflower Rice / I Breathe I’m Hungry

16.  Zucchini Bake with Feta and Thyme

This veggie-friendly, creamy, low-carb dish is hearty enough to serve as a main dish but works well as a side, too. The feta, thyme and lemon juice give it a Mediterranean feel the entire family will enjoy.


17. Cauliflower-Crusted Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Using cauliflower instead of bread in a grilled cheese? Brilliant! Get a veggie boost while you go wild on the fillings. Add in fresh tomato slices and basil, or slather on some pesto and mozzarella. The possibilities for grilled cheese — or any sandwich — are endless.


18. Foil-Baked Salmon

Skip the dishes and the sides when you make this low-carb dinner. Salmon, which is full of heart-healthy fats, cooks right on top of asparagus. It’s also layered with oregano, onions, parsley and lemon slices, so it’s packed with flavor. Just bake the packets in the oven and enjoy — no muss, no fuss.

Foil-Baked Salmon
Photo: Foil-Baked Salmon / Primavera Kitchen

Read Next: 23 Low-Carb Breakfasts That Go Way Beyond Eggs & Bacon


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