Christmas Keto-Friendly Recipes
The holidays are tricky for those of us on diets. But let’s be honest, it’s frustrating because we just want to eat “normal” stuff, right? I typically spend the holidays falling off the wagon and then feeling guilty.
It would be better to approach this holiday season with a new attitude. First, permit yourself to sample various “non-diet” versions of tasty dishes. You are not going to eat a whole serving of it, however.
Second, set yourself up for success by making these holiday recipes which are great stand-ins for the original classics. Many of these recipes are better than the original.
How great would it be to head into the holidays without feeling guilty and be able to satisfy those cravings?? Let’s do it together! Check out these fantastic recipes and let me know how you like them.
All you need to do is pick one from each you’ll have yourself a fabulous Thanksgiving menu planned for you and your family.
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Grilled Stuffed Turkey Breast With Goat Cheese, Bacon, and Mushrooms
This is a nice change from the traditional roasted turkey. These savory turkey breasts are stuffed full of mushrooms, goat cheese, bacon, and more.
Stuffed with sliced mushrooms, spinach, goat cheese, and sunflower seeds, then grilled, this is not your average turkey dinner.
The large stuffed turkey breast will feed a small crowd, and there’s no wheat or starch insight. If desired, add chopped rosemary and thyme to the stuffing for more holiday flavor.
- 1 (7 to 10-pound) boneless turkey breast
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 slices of bacon
For the Stuffing:
- 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 2 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 2 ounces sunflower seeds
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon
- Gather the ingredients and preheat the grill for high heat.
- Place a sheet of plastic wrap under and over the turkey so that it’s covered.
- With a heavy pan or kitchen mallet, flatten turkey breast evenly.
- Squeeze excess fluid from thawed spinach.
- Coarsely chop and add to mushrooms, sunflower seeds, goat cheese, pepper, nutmeg, and eggs.
- Remove turkey from plastic wrap and season with minced garlic and black pepper. Fill breast with stuffing and fold. Make sure to keep it intact. Use twine or toothpick to keep the breast closed. Top with bacon slices.
- Place turkey breast on a roasting rack. Set over the burners that are not turned on. This will cook the turkey indirectly.
- Close lid and let cook until internal temperatures reach between 160 to 165 F/70 to 75 C, usually about 20 minutes per pound.
- Take out the turkey breast from the grill, cover, and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Discard bacon, twine, or toothpicks. Serve and enjoy!
Sweet-and-Smoky Cedar-Planked Salmon
Fire up the grill to create this flavor-packed fish dinner.
Who says you need to have a Christmas ham? Go for a lighter entrée, like this tasty salmon dish. To keep it keto, be sure to use a brown sugar substitute.
- 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 2 1/2-pounds skin-on salmon fillet
- Soak a large cedar grilling plank (about 15 inches by 7 inches) in water, 1 to 2 hours.
- Heat grill to medium. Combine sugar, paprika, lemon zest, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a bowl. Season salmon with salt and rub spice mixture all over the flesh side.
- Place salmon on the soaked plank, skin side down. Grill, covered, to the desired doneness, 25 to 28 minutes for medium.
Baked Fresh Ham with Herbes de Provence
Ham baked with a crust of fresh Provençal herbs brings the zest of spring to your table and makes an elegant main dish at any spring party or holiday feast.
Typical cured Christmas hams are too sugary to be keto-friendly. But this fresh ham packs in tons of savory flavor thanks to a combo of thyme, tarragon, rosemary, and lavender.
It’ll perfume the house with delicious aromas!
- 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp. fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp. tarragon leaves
- 1/2 tsp. lavender
- 1/2 fresh bone-in ham
- coarse salt
- In a small bowl, combine thyme, rosemary, tarragon, and lavender. Place ham in a roasting pan and season with salt and pepper. Rub herbs all over the ham and set aside until the ham reaches room temperature, 30 to 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake ham until an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone reaches 155 degrees F for 2 to 2-1/2 hours (for about 25 minutes per pound).
- Transfer ham to a wire rack. Cover it loosely with aluminum foil and let stand until the center of ham registers 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Meanwhile, skim and discard fat from pan drippings.
- Transfer defatted drippings to a small saucepan, add chicken stock, and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium, then season it with salt and pepper, and keep warm until serving.
- Once the ham has rested, transfer to a cutting board, carve, and serve au jus on the side.
Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin
You can trick your children into eating their vegetables this Thanksgiving with our broccoli and cauliflower gratin. Isn’t that something to be thankful for?
Yes, you’ll want to include vegetables in your dinner spread—but be careful which ones you choose.
Broccoli and cauliflower are both keto-friendly, especially when you load them up with cheesy, creamy goodness. Just be sure to use a keto-friendly flour substitute, like almond flour.
- 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
- 1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1 large head broccoli (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 6 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 3 c. whole milk
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 8 oz. Gruyère, grated (about 2 cups)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a shallow 3-quart baking dish. Arrange cauliflower and broccoli in the prepared dish.
- Melt the butter in a medium pan over medium heat.
- Add flour and stir it for two minutes (do not let it darken).
- Slowly whisk in milk. Let it simmer while occasionally whisking, until slightly thickened.
- Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg and 1 1/4 cups cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour over vegetables. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese.
- Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the foil then bake until vegetables are tender and the top is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Garlic and Herb Crusted Pork Loin Roast
A simple coating of chopped garlic and fresh herbs gives this pork loin roast tons of flavor.
Start this recipe several hours before the meal and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing to keep the meat moist. For the herbs, a combination of rosemary, sage, and thyme would be holiday-appropriate.
This succulent pork roast can be made with a rib roast or center-cut bone-in pork loin roast. Serve it with baked or mashed potatoes and a corn dish or your favorite side dish.
This roast is a beautiful choice for a holiday meal or Sunday dinner. Prepared with only three ingredients plus mixed herbs and salt and pepper, it’s as easy as it is impressive. This recipe is easy to customize.
Try the suggested herbs, or use what you have on hand. Some other good choices for pork include tarragon, parsley, coriander, and cumin.
- 1 pork loin rib roast (bone-in, about 4 to 5 pounds)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs (such as a combination of thyme, sage, and rosemary)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Line a large baking pan or roasting pan with foil and place a rack in the pan. Place the roast on the rack and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
- Combine the herbs, garlic, and olive oil and mix well. Rub over the pork roast.
- Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
- Heat the oven to 450 F.
- Roast at 450 F for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 F and continue roasting for about 20 minutes per pound, or until the temperature reaches at least 145 F.*
- Tent the roast with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve and enjoy!
Herbed Cheese Ball
Toasted pine nuts look lovely on the outside of a creamy, herb-filled cheese ball. You won’t have to encourage your guests to dig into this gorgeous holiday appetizer!
Your appetizer table needs this cheese ball packed with flavorful herbs and coated in crunchy pine nuts.
- 8 oz. goat cheese, at room temperature
- 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
- 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 c. toasted pine nuts
- Sliced baguette, for serving
- Beat goat cheese, cream cheese, parsley, chives, thyme, and lemon zest with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
- Chill until slightly firm, about 30 minutes.
- Place pine nuts in a shallow dish. Roll cheese mixture, with slightly wet hands, into a ball.
- Roll cheese ball in pine nuts to thoroughly coat. Chill until completely firm, 1 to 2 hours.
- Serve with bread.
This simple turkey recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
If you’re the kind of household that loves a good Christmas turkey, then you’re in luck: The holiday’s centerpiece dish is keto-friendly as-is!
This simple recipe gets plenty of flavors—and extra crispy skin—from lots of butter and a generous dash of salt.
- 2 carrots, halved
- 2 celery ribs, halved
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 12-lb. turkey, giblets discarded
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter softened
- Kosher salt
- black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place carrots, celery, onion, and 2 cups water in a roasting pan and put it on top with a roasting rack.
- Loosen skin on turkey breasts, starting at the neck, and rub butter under the skin.
- Season turkey (including the cavity) with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, then place it on the roasting rack. Tie legs together with kitchen twine and tuck wings under.
- Roast, basting every 30 minutes and tenting with foil if skin becomes too dark until the internal temperature (in the thickest part of the thigh) reaches 165 degrees F.
- Gently tilt the turkey to release the juice from the cavity into the pan. Transfer turkey to a cutting board and rest it for at least 30 minutes before carving.
- Scrape up brown bits from the bottom of the pan and transfer, along with vegetables and transfer, along with vegetables and pan juices, to a large, straight-sided skillet.
Salt-and-Pepper Charred Green Beans
Forget butter and sauces and, instead, try this simple (and healthy) grilled green bean recipe.
You won’t believe how flavorful these green beans are with just a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- 2 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Flaked salt
- Coarsely ground fresh black pepper
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until it’s boiling.
- Toss the green beans, oil, and 3/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Add about a quarter of beans to the skillet and cook, without stirring, for 2 minutes, then toss and cook again until it is charred and just tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a platter and repeat with remaining beans. Season with salt and pepper.
Creamy Garlic Parmesan Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
This cheesy, creamy casserole-like dish is cooler and packed with fat and protein, keeping it keto-friendly. You may need extra helpings of both dishes to decide which one is better.
These pan-fried Brussels sprouts with bacon and parmesan are served with a homemade garlic aioli dipping sauce.
This quick and easy meal is perfect for a healthy game day appetizer or a side dish for dinner. They’re also family-friendly and a great way to make your kids eat Brussels sprouts!
Ingredients for Garlic Aioli:
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- juice of one lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Ingredients for Brussels Sprouts:
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, stems, and outer leaves removed and halved
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- Prepare garlic aioli by mixing mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Meanwhile, soak the sprouts in water for 15 minutes. Transfer sprouts to a pot and boil in salted water for 5 minutes. Transfer the sprouts to a paper towel and set aside.
- Heat a large 12-inch cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp and the fat has rendered about 7 minutes.
- Remove the bacon from the skillet. Coarsely chop bacon, drain on a pepper towel-lined plate, and set aside.
- Add the sprouts, cut side down, to the skillet with bacon grease and cook until charred around the edges, about 5 minutes.
- Stir and continue cooking another 5 minutes or until the Brussels sprouts have softened some. Remove the sprouts from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer the sprouts to a plate and top with chopped bacon and parmesan cheese. Serve with garlic aioli. Enjoy!
For a classic Dickensian-style Christmas dinner, prepare a roast goose. The bird is brined overnight (leave out the sugar if you like) for maximum juiciness and slowly roast. It makes an impressive centerpiece for a festive holiday meal.
This depiction of a Victorian-era English Christmas dinner has become part of American holiday culture.
Take a hint from Dickens and make this an old-fashioned Christmas dinner with roasted goose and all the fixings.
The overnight brining in this recipe ensures flavorful and moist meat. Filling the cavity with fruit not only gives the roasted goose a wonderful flavor and scent—but it also makes your kitchen smell divine.
Also, carefully pricking the skin is the secret to a beautiful, crispy finish.
- 1 1/2 gallons of cold water
- 1 cup salt (kosher or sea salt)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 10 to 12 pounds young goose (fully thawed)
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 apple (peeled and quartered)
- 1 onion (peeled and quartered)
- 1 orange (quartered)
- 1 lemon (quartered)
- Gather the ingredients and fill a container or stock pot large enough to fit the goose and brine mixture with 1 1/2 gallons of cold water.
- Add the salt, sugar, bay leaves, and peppercorns; stir to dissolve the salt and sugar.
- Unwrap the goose and remove anything in the cavity.
- Rinse and trim any excess fat from the goose’s neck and tail end and place it into the brine so that it is completely submerged. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.
- Take out the goose from the brine and pat dry, inside and out, with paper towels.
- Sprinkle the goose cavity generously with salt and pepper. Put the apple, onion, orange, and lemon into the cavity.
- Place the goose, breast-side up, in a large roasting pan with a rack to keep the bird at least 1 inch off the bottom.
- Season the goose with salt and pepper to taste and add 2 cups of water to the pan’s bottom.
- With a small sharp knife or large needle, poke the goose skin all over, especially where you can see and feel fat under the surface. Be careful not to pierce the flesh, only the skin and fat. This will let the fat to drain during the cooking and make for a crisper skin.
- Roast at 350 F for 2 1/4 to 3 hours, until it reaches an internal temperature in the thickest part of the meat of 170 F.
- Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for at least 25 minutes before carving. Serve and enjoy!
Would Christmas time be Christmas time without the food?
We all know that food and eating have helped define the holiday season, which is excellent!
Being able to connect with family and friends over food is a beautiful thing. What’s not so beautiful is the fact that the majority of holiday dishes are loaded with carbs.
You’re either stuck trying to navigate through all those carby Christmas dishes and hoping you aren’t screwing up your diet. Or you can take matters into your own hands and make a keto-friendly Christmas dish.
These keto Christmas recipes should help you plan your low carb holiday menu course by course. From make-ahead breakfast casseroles to festive appetizers, main dishes, to sides and desserts, consider your Christmas menu planned!