Keeping Summer BBQs Low Carb Friendly
Enjoy low carb or keto-friendly backyard barbeques this summer with these recipes, tips and products!
Backyard grilling is one of the best parts of summer; it’s great to spend time with family and enjoy food in the great outdoors! However, traditional backyard barbecues can also be a host to high-carb foods that low carb dieters should be aware of and plan for. Fortunately, there are a lot of great low carb products and recipes to have the best barbeque possible!
This guide to planning a fantastic low carb, or keto-friendly, backyard barbecue will help you choose tasty low carb food alternatives that you’d normally eat at a backyard barbecue including buns, sauces, condiments, drinks, desserts and more!
Luckily, low carb and keto dieters are pretty much in the clear when it comes to the meat selection for a cookout! But, there are still a few things to keep in mind. Some homemade burger recipes can call for breadcrumbs in the patty mixture. So, if someone else is bringing the burgers to the barbeque, just make sure you ask them to skip the breadcrumbs. If you like the taste and texture of breadcrumbs in your burgers, there are some low carb bread crumb mixes that you can add in! There are also ways to make your own low carb bread crumbs, using either pork rinds, crumbled low carb bread or a mixture of almond flour, coconut flour, olive oil and seasoning.
If you are buying any other packaged meat products, be sure to check the nutrition facts label as some of these products can contain added sugars, fillers and other additives that may contain carbs. It is always better to choose fresh cuts of meat from your local deli or butcher; and aim to buy grass-fed, organic, wild caught or farm/humanely-raised where possible, as these types of meats are of the highest quality and contain the most nutrients, healthy fats and are free from chemical additives.
Hamburger and Hotdog Buns
No need to skip the buns at a low carb barbecue – although, you could opt for a lettuce bun, which tastes perfectly delicious, too! But, if you prefer something more traditional, there a number of delicious low carb (and gluten-free!) bun and bread options that still taste, feel and toast very similar to bread made from wheat.
- Greek Salad Pita Pockets with Grilled Chicken
- Mexican Street Tacos
- Middle Eastern Chicken Shawarma
- Korean Bulgogi Short Rib Tacos
Salads and Dressings
Veggies are a super important part of any diet – low carb or otherwise – so don’t forget to have some greens with your barbequed meat. Of course, if you want to keep it low carb, avoid salads with a lot of fruits and sweet dressings. Some high carb vegetables to also look out for include squash, corn, peas, beans and other legumes, beets and carrots. Also, potato salad is unfortunately not invited to this barbeque! However, there are still lots of ways to enjoy this type of side salad with cauliflower, fennel, kohlrabi, radishes, turnips or other low carb potato substitutes.
Some great choices for keto-friendly salad additions include avocados, olives, hard boiled eggs, cheeses and, of course, barbequed meat. Also, when choosing a dressing to accompany your salad, make sure to choose low carb and sugar free salad dressings. Typically, these are sweetened with a natural sugar replacement, if they require sweetness. You could also make your own dressing from a simple mixture of oil, vinegar, citrus juice, salt pepper and any other seasonings you like.
Sauces and Condiments
This is one part of the backyard barbecue where low carb dieters should pay extra attention to, as traditional sauces and condiments can be loaded with sugars – and, not to mention, other artificial colours and ingredients. Luckily, there is a wide variety of delicious low carb sauces and condiments made with low carb dieters’ needs in mind. Check out our selection of ketchup and barbecue sauces, mustard, relish, hot sauces and more!
Seasonings and Marinades
Dry rubs and seasonings are a great low carb and low-calorie alternative to traditional BBQ sauces and marinade. Plus, you can choose from so many flavours and it’s an easy way to really elevate any meat or vegetable dish!
Check out some of our favourite low carb and low sodium spice rubs by Hot Mamas and Fire in the Kitchen Spice Co.! These brands both feature a number of savoury, spicy and globally-inspired spice blends. Shop from our complete range of dry seasonings and spices here.
Below, you’ll find a list of keto-friendly and low carb wet marinades:
- Keto Italian Chicken Marinade
- Lemon Dill Keto Marinade
- Keto Indian Tandoori Marinade
- Low Carb Teriyaki Sauce and Marinade
- Chili Lime Marinade (this recipe calls for maple syrup, but you could use a sugar-free syrup or natural sweetener to make it low carb-friendly!)
Side Dishes and Snacks
The meat isn’t always the star of a backyard barbeque – check out some of these incredible side dish recipes that will blow your family and guests away!
- Keto-Friendly Cole Slaw
- Roasted (or BBQed!) Eggplant Dip served with some low carb crackers
- Sweet Broccoli Salad
- Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
- Low Carb Cucumber Salad – take advantage of fresh, crunchy cucumbers that are in-season during the summer!
We also have a large selection of low carb and keto-friendly snacks that are great to put in bowls for everyone to grab and enjoy while the rest of the food is being prepared. Cheese snacks are a great hit with everyone, whether on a low carb diet or not! Low carb chips are also easy to throw in a bowl or munch on grill-side. If you’re feeling adventurous, try these low carb vegetable crisps from Bert’s Foods made with just three ingredients: whole okra, expeller-pressed, non-hydrogenated canola oil and sea salt.
Sodas, fruit juices, lemonade, sweet cocktails and coolers usually comprise the drink selection at backyard barbeques. However, these sugar and carb-filled drinks are not great for low carb and keto dieters. Fortunately, there are many options available for cold drinks that are compliant with these diets. Check out our selection of low carb and sugar-free sodas and carbonated drinks, iced teas, cocktail mixers and other cold beverages here!
What backyard barbecue would be complete without some dessert? Classic summer desserts such as ice cream, popsicles, cupcakes and other sweet treats can be a great ending to a backyard barbeque. Check out our selection of low carb frozen treats, puddings and Jell-O, and other sweet treats.
Here are some other great summer-inspired low carb or sugar-free dessert recipes to make the best of your backyard barbeque party:
- Blueberry-Mint Keto Popsicles
- Creamy Avocado Popsicles
- Instant Keto Ice Cream (all you need is a blender!)
- Sugar-Free Key Lime Pie
- Keto Blueberry Crumble Bars
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