What side dishes can you have on the keto diet with chicken? What sides have zero carbs? Is cauliflower keto?

This is the supreme guide to keto side dishes and is perfect for beginners. Discover the BEST side dish recipes that are keto-friendly.

collage of easy keto side dishes
What to serve with chicken? The best keto side dishes for beginners.

I am often asked what side dish recipes can you enjoy on your keto diet when you are making chicken. Can you have sweet potatoes on keto? Can you have green beans? Are there any side dishes that are zero carb? Are there keto onion rings?

You can also see what to serve with beef, what to serve with salmon, and what to serve with pork.

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These are the best keto side dish recipes for beginners, plus sauces, and even keto bread recipes too.

Is chicken low carb?

Yes, chicken is zero carbs, high protein, and low fat or moderate fat depending on the cut of chicken you buy. Chicken is versatile and can be used in so many ways.

Chicken nutrition will depend on which part of the chicken you are cooking so calculate your food tracker accordingly.

I am often asked, “do I calculate raw or cooked chicken”? It doesn’t matter as long as you choose the correct raw or cooked value in your carb tracker.

Nutritional values from cronometer.com

Per 100g (3.5oz) raw meatNet CarbsProteinFatCalories
Chicken breast, skinless030.9g4.5g173
Chicken drumstick, skin eaten027.3g10g206
Chicken drumstick, skinless024.2g5.7g155
Chicken skin020.4g40.7g454
Chicken thigh, skin eaten028.2g13.2g239
Chicken thigh, skinless027.7g6g173
Chicken wing, skin eaten023.8g16.9g354
Chicken nutrition per 100g/3.5oz serving

Frozen vegetables vs fresh vegetables – which is best?

Diagram showing the carb value in vegetables
Carbs in vegetable charts

It is a common misconception that fresh vegetables are always better than frozen vegetables or canned vegetables. But it’s often not the case. There are so many factors to consider such as, have the vegetables (fresh or frozen) been blanched? Deodorised? Bleached or irradiated?

Vegetables are full of water, fibre, vitamins, and anti-oxidants. Frozen vegetables are picked when they are their best and are often immediately snap-frozen and retain a higher nutritional value than fresh.

Fresh fruit and vegetables are often picked weeks before they are fully ripened to allow them to spend weeks in cold storage and transported to your grocery shelf and then stored in your fridge.

So the real question is…is a frozen vegetable frozen at its peak better or worse than fresh vegetables that have been recently picked, cared for, and stored properly and at their prime? And no, not the old wilted, dried, gnarly salad bag at the back of your chiller drawer!

If you know you are always throwing away fresh vegetables, then it’s probably better for you to buy frozen vegetables. It’s an easy way to make low-carb and keto cheaper too. (1) (2)

Keto side dishes for chicken (that don’t need a recipe)

collage of easy keto side dishes
4 easy keto side dishes that you can buy from the grocery store.

When you start your low carb diet or keto diet the first thing you will do is cut back on unnecessary carbs, which are often the high carb side dishes such as bread, pasta, and rice. So what side dishes can you have on keto?

Choose simple low-carb vegetables that are quick and easy.

You can cook fresh vegetables or convenient frozen vegetables.

Cauliflower – is cauliflower keto? Yes, it is the most versatile low-carb vegetable that can be boiled, steamed, fried, mashed, or baked. The easiest method is to boil or steam and serve with butter and season with salt and pepper.

Broccoli – steamed or boiled in a small amount of water to preserve as much nutrition as possible. Do not overcook, no one wants soggy limp broccoli.

Pre-made salad – it’s the perfect convenience food. Fresh salad ingredients already washed, cut, and prepared for you. Serve onto a plate along with one of the easy side sauces below.

Pre-made coleslaw – crunchy and extremely low carb, pick up a bag of cabbage coleslaw from your grocery store. Coleslaw has a longer shelf life than a leafy green salad once opened too.

Keto side dishes (easy vegetable recipes)

collage of easy keto side dishes
The supreme guide to what to serve with chicken

Many of these can become vegetarian or vegan friendly if you omit the bacon or swap the cheese for vegan cheese.

Some of these keto recipes can even be served as an entire keto meal. Just double or triple the serving size.

Keto Caesar salad – is low-carb and high-protein so makes for the perfect healthy meal in a flash.

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Cauliflower couscous – regular couscous is often served as a starchy side. Low carb cauliflower couscous is such a tasty keto side dish instead.

  • ½ C of Couscous = 18g carbs
  • ½ C of Cauliflower Couscous = 5.4g carbs
Cauliflower Couscous Recipe (With Dukkah)
A wonderful healthy low-carb vegetarian dish, straight from the Mediterranean. Easy Cauliflower Couscous. 
Check out this recipe
A bowl of cauliflower couscous the wooden board with an antique fork

Keto broccoli salad with cauliflower – the perfect keto potato salad alternative. Keto broccoli salad can be served warm or cold with a chicken dinner or BBQ.

fathead pizza base 1
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Creamy cauliflower mac and cheese – this side dish goes with almost every keto recipe. It’s a firm family favourite and your kids won’t miss the pasta.

Creamy Cauliflower Bacon Mac And Cheese Recipe
This is THE BEST recipe for easy Creamy Cauliflower Bacon Mac And Cheese – print it off and keep this one!
Check out this recipe

Zoodles – a vegetarian pasta that is naturally low carb and can be enjoyed as a hot side dish or a cold side dish. it can be the base of a chicken salad or a creamy chicken pasta dish.

Stir through some grated parmesan cheese and garlic to make it a quick keto carbonara pasta dish with leftover cooked chicken.

Low-carb Mexican coleslaw (with lime dressing) – is crunchy, tasty, colourful, and incredibly easy. Can be served as a side dish with all keto Mexican recipes and it pairs well with chicken tandoori too.

Check out this recipe

Mashed cauliflower – it’s never boring. The trick is to flavour it with butter, heavy cream, mustard, garlic, and of course plenty of shredded mozzarella cheese or cheddar cheese.

Even parmesan cheese and cream cheese work. Read my top tips to NEVER have soggy mashed cauliflower ever again.

Low-Carb Bagels with Everything Seasoning
Check out this recipe

Baked spaghetti squash – tastes buttery and soft, and it is the perfect low-carb pasta alternative. Spaghetti squash can be cooked in the oven or microwave and it is wonderful to serve as a side dish to any low-carb chicken recipe.

It can be eaten hot with baked chicken, or cold for a quick keto chicken salad.

11 Amazing Low-Carb Dessert Recipes
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Curried cauliflower rice – the perfect side dish for any curry, especially chicken curry with pumpkin and coconut.

Curry Cauliflower Rice Recipe (no mess method)
The perfect addition to any low-carb and keto curry night. Easy Curry Cauliflower Rice with turmeric and coconut.
Check out this recipe

Creamed Brussels sprouts – with garlic and parmesan creamy sauce is the perfect keto comfort food.

Creamed Brussels Sprouts Recipe (Garlic Parmesan)
EASY tender garlic creamed Brussels sprouts with parmesan are the perfect delicious cheesy side dish.
Check out this recipe

Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus – the smokey salty tasty of crispy prosciutto (or bacon) wrapped around soft delicate cooked asparagus with shredded parmesan sprinkled all over.

Sound complicated? It’s not! This is an easy recipe and only takes 5 minutes to prepare.

chocolate swirl baked cheesecake
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Buttery Brussels sprouts with bacon – these will turn everyone into a fan of Brussels sprouts. A delicious low carb side dish for 2 cheese pesto chicken.

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Check out this recipe

Keto cheesy baked asparagus – can be cooked in the oven, BBQ, or air fryer.

Keto Cheesy Baked Asparagus Recipe
Your whole family will love this keto cheesy baked asparagus. This asparagus is perfect if you are looking for a tasty low-carb side.
Check out this recipe

Eggplant and cauliflower couscous – can be served as a low carb side dish or as an entire meal.

Low-Carb Eggplant And Cauliflower Couscous Recipe
This takes eggplants to the next level. Aromatic low-carb cauliflower couscous and a mint yoghurt sauce – the perfect vegetarian low-carb dinner.
Check out this recipe

Cheesy baked broccoli and cauliflower (with bacon) – an easy broccoli casserole with a cheat’s cheese sauce makes this the perfect filling and tasty side dish.

Ruth Soukup
Check out this recipe

Greek stuffed mushrooms – can be made ahead of time and served as a side dish for BBQ chicken.

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Zucchini fritters (courgette fritters) – served with a tangy yogurt sauce. You can even add some chili powder to the sauce if you want a spicy sauce.

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Cauliflower rice – is an absolute classic keto side dish. It can be plain cauliflower rice or added herbs and spices depending on which chicken recipe you will be serving it alongside.

Check out the nutrition of brown rice, white rice, and cauliflower rice. You can see why everyone loves keto cauliflower rice so much. It’s a quick and easy side dish and it bulks up a meal without the carbs.

  • 1C cooked cauliflower rice = 5.3g carbs
  • 1C cooked white rice = 53.2g carbs
  • 1C cooked brown rice = 44.8g carbs
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Check out this recipe

Creamed leeks – can be served alone, or pureed in your food processor or a stick blender, with some chicken broth or chicken stock to make a quick and easy chicken and leek soup.

Check out this recipe

Mashed cauliflower (4 flavors) – a healthy alternative to mashed potatoes. If you don’t like mashed cauliflower, you probably haven’t tried these delicious recipes.

Check out this recipe

Whole roasted cauliflower – perfect for a winter side dish.

7 Good Reasons to Switch to a Low-Carb Diet
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Keto side dishes (keto bread and pasta)

All the low-carb keto recipes are naturally gluten-free and perfectly portioned. You can incorporate them into your healthy eating and favorite meals.

Cheesy keto garlic bread – if you only ever make one keto bread, this is the one. There is something about garlic bread and garlic butter that is addictive and difficult to give up entirely. Can be made with almond flour or coconut flour.

sugar free mint sauce
Check out this recipe

Keto dinner rolls – made with an adapted mozzarella dough have a crunchy crust and are soft and pillowy n the inside.

Easy Keto Dinner Rolls Recipe
These mozzarella dough keto dinner rolls are soft, pillowy, and delicious with a crunchy crust!
Check out this recipe

Easy keto pasta – only 3 ingredients and 1g net carbs make this pasta dish perfect to serve alongside a creamy chicken meal.

3 Ingredient Easy Keto Pasta Recipe (egg-free)
This easy keto pasta will blow your mind. It can be made from scratch in a few minutes and doesn't contain gluten, eggs, or nuts. The perfect recipe for 2 or double to feed 4.
Check out this recipe

Keto cornbread stuffing – you don’t need to wait for Thanksgiving or Christmas to enjoy keto stuffing inside a roast chicken or served as a chicken side dish.

Low-Carb and Keto Stuffing Recipe (Cornbread)
Delicious keto cornbread stuffing 3.4 g net carbs (low-carb and keto stuffing) – the perfect healthy Thanksgiving side dish the whole family will LOVE.
keto cornbread stuffin served with a wooden spoon

Low-carb focaccia bread – grilled chicken on the BBQ served with a Mediterranean salad and low-carb focaccia is the perfect summer meal.

Keto Focaccia Bread Recipe (Gluten-Free)
A traditional keto focaccia bread with olives and rosemary. Stuffed with feta and sundried tomatoes for an authentic Meditteranean taste.
Check out this recipe
baked focaccia bread on a wooden bread board

Almond flour bread – if you’re still craving bread at the dinner table, this is the perfect low-carb bread and keto bread substitute. It needs only a few ingredients and is dairy-free.

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Keto side dishes (sauces)

Diagram showing the carb values in various sources
Carbs in sauces charts

It can be confusing to understand the carbs in sauces, which sauces have added sugars, which sauces to enjoy, and which sauces to avoid on your keto diet.

You also need to understand what is a portion size for sauces (because food companies often reduce the suggested serving size so to make the nutritional information appear better than it is).

Luckily these low-carb sauces are the perfect sauce to go with chicken and the chicken side dishes above.

Store-bought sauces – always check nutrition labels for added sugar. However, the most popular sauces that are keto-friendly are:

  • Dijon mustard
  • tabasco
  • chipotle tabasco
  • keto-friendly oils such as lime flavored extra virgin olive oil
  • small amounts of balsamic vinegar
  • black pepper
  • other spices and seasonings such as lemon pepper or everything bagel seasoning.

Homemade sugar-free ketchup – this is the perfect way to get your children off the sugar ketchup PLUS you can hide as many vegetables in there as you like. It’s an easy recipe and perfect for picky eaters too.

Sugar-Free Instant Pot Ketchup Recipe
Make sugar-free ketchup easily in the Instant Pot using fresh tomatoes.
Check out this recipe
Sugar-free ketchup in a glass bowl

Tangy keto BBQ sauce – avoid all the traditional store-bought BBQ sauce that’s full of added sugar, and enjoy this healthy recipe for sugar-free keto BBQ sauce instead.

Tangy Keto BBQ Sauce Recipe (sugar-free)
This easy tangy keto BBQ sauce is so delicious it will become your go-to for all your grilling and barbecue needs.
Check out this recipe

Crazy 1-minute mayonnaise – with 15 flavors to choose from, this easy side sauce can be served alongside any chicken meal.

CRAZY EASY 1 Minute Homemade Mayonnaise Recipe
Follow the video exactly as it is shown to make the 1-minute mayonnaise recipe. Place the blender over the yolk in a tall slim jar. As you turn on the stick blender, bring the blades up slowly and emulsify the egg and the oil together until thick and creamy.
Check out this recipe

Cream cheese mushroom sauce – whilst this recipe is served as a side sauce for steak, the same method can be used when serving with chicken.

Fry your chicken in a frying pan or skillet then remove the chicken when cooked. Cook fresh chopped mushrooms in the same skillet, then deglaze the pan with cream cheese.

Voila! An instant creamy chicken mushroom sauce and keto gravy.

Check out this recipe

Avocado salsa – perfect as a sauce for keto meals such as keto Mexican recipes.

Keto Guacamole Recipe (Low-Carb Avocado Salsa)
The best chunky keto guacamole recipe you'll ever make. You only need 5 ingredients and it takes less than 5 minutes. Serve with low-carb tortilla chips, keto nachos, and even pork rinds.
Check out this recipe
a bowl of keto guacamole with keto tortilla chips

Herbed butter 4 ways – always keep a supply of these homemade butter flavors in your fridge. Perfect to place on top of vegetable side dishes or a plain grilled chicken breast.

Herbed Butter Recipe (4 Flavours)
How to make 4 creamy herb butter recipes. Perfect for spreading over keto garlic bread.
Check out this recipe
four pots of homemade herbed butter

Kale pesto (nut-free) – healthy and green sauce for salads, grilled chicken, and over steamed vegetable side dishes.

Ruth Soukup
Check out this recipe

For more keto recipes and side dish recipes that are keto-friendly, you can use the recipe index. Search by name, vegetable, meat, ingredient, or by recipe category.

Please leave a comment below and tell the community what is your favorite side dish recipe.

collage of easy keto side dishes
Print and save the best keto side dishes

Best low-carb keto chicken dishes

These are the most popular low-carb keto chicken recipes the whole family will love. They are all quick and easy, gluten-free, sugar-free, grain-free, low-carb, and keto-friendly. Some are dairy-free and egg-free too.

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  1. This is great information and I really like this website; but, would you forgive me for casting a bit of a thundercloud on cauliflower and its cruciferous kin, for the sake of people who have to watch their sugar/fructose intake? I recently learned the hard way that cauliflower is low carb, but strangely high-fructose. I figured it out after many tests over the years that kept showing I was getting too much fructose–in spite of going gluten-free, dairy-free, starch-free, sweetener-free, leaving off coffee and its add-ons, disavowing fruit except for a very few berries once every few weeks. It was a very frustrating process of elimination that had me afraid to put anything in my mouth, especially fruit. I thought cauliflower was my friend and learned how to remake many old favorite dishes with it, but, alas, it too must go into strict rotation. My fructose count has leveled out. The other upside is that after figuring that out, I’m not afraid of fruit anymore and have a better idea of how to rotate foods in and out.