My husband announced recently that he was going Keto. I’ll admit that I wasn’t exactly thrilled. It’s hard enough to cook for a large family, considering the allergies and preferences without throwing a new diet into the mix! But I knew that if I could find some good make ahead keto meals, it would be doable. Almost all of our dinners are freezer meals. This enables me to make them ahead of time and have them ready to go. It cuts back on time and saves us a lot of money. Most of all, it saves me sanity because I never have to think, “what’s for supper?”!
I knew that some of our staple freezer meals were already keto friendly, but I set about to find others I could use.
My husband has been doing a lot of reading about keto. One of the things that keeps coming up is that food prep is the key to success. I want him to be able to succeed with this, so I am on board with helping. We’ve had several friends have tremendous health results by going keto.
I know how busy our lives are, so I realize that being prepared is the only way we are going to be able to make this work.
As I’m preparing another freezer meal assembly day, I’m putting together a list of make-ahead meals that are keto or can be easily adapted to be keto with just a small substitution or two.
This list came about as a way for me to be able to support my husband with this lifestyle change and I hope that in sharing it with you, it can make things easier for you to get organized as well.
What is keto?
Keto is a high fat and very low carb way of eating. The keto diet aims to put your body into a metabolic state of ketosis. Bodies usually burn carbohydrates as their fuel. It is when you restrict the amount of carbs that you consume that your body can begin to break down stored fat. This creates molecules called ketones for the body to use as fuel.
While many choose a keto diet for weight loss reasons, others choose it for health reasons, particularly reducing blood sugar and insulin levels.
Make Ahead Keto Meals:
Beef Dip – Skip the bun and use lettuce or cabbage leaves instead.
Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos – Use these keto taco shells or make it into taco salad.
Italian Wedding Soup – Make without the pasta.
Beef Fajitas – When serving this, use low carb tortillas or cabbage leaves for wrapping.
Stuffed Pepper Soup – Make this without the rice for it to be keto friendly.
Cabbage Roll Casserole – Replace the rice with cauliflower rice.
Easy Chicken Marsala – Make as directed, but without the flour.
Chili Glazed Chicken – You’ll need to replace the honey for low carb sweetener like monk fruit or erythritol.
Make ahead bone broth:
One of the tips that many on a keto diet suggest is to have bone broth on hand. It’s nutritious and good to have when the temptations for sweets hit.
This Instant Pot bone broth recipe is a great way to get you started. It’s easy and faster to make in the Instant Pot than on the stovetop. Once you make your bone broth, allow it to cool. Pour it into ice cube trays or a silicone tray and place in the freezer. Once the broth is frozen, pop the cubes out of the tray. Place them into a large resealable freezer bag and seal.
Place the bag back in the freezer. You will now have individual portions of bone broth that can be taken out whenever needed. Using this method, you can pull out enough for a small snack or for an entire meal.
Other ideas for prepping ahead for keto:
If you have favourite keto meals and aren’t sure what can be made ahead and frozen, you can read about what freezes well, what doesn’t and how to adapt your existing recipes. This will allow you to freeze your own best recipes and have them ready to go. This Broccoli Cauliflower Salad isn’t a freezer meal, but it can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for up to 5 days. It’s great for lunches or to have as a side dish.
Brown ground beef or turkey and season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool. Fill medium sized resealable freezer bags. Remove the excess air. Freeze. This will allow you to pull out the bags when needed.
Make stir fry bags and freeze them. These are so quick and easy to cook up.
Bake keto muffins and freeze them for handy snacks.
Make Ahead Keto Breakfasts:
Smoothie bags in the freezer make for an easy on-the-go breakfast or snack. Be sure to include keto approved ingredients such as berries and spinach.
Make keto pancakes ahead and freeze them. I find that freezing them flat on a cookie sheet first before placing them in resealable freezer bags makes them easier to separate later.
Grain free sausage and cheese biscuits can be frozen and then warmed up in a toaster oven.
Low carb breakfast balls can be made ahead and frozen.
Whip up a frittata and freeze (before cooking). Then, simply thaw and bake in a casserole dish or bake individual portions using a muffin tin.
These meal prep sheet pan eggs can’t be made and frozen, but they can be kept in the fridge for up to a week, allowing you to have breakfast ready each morning.
What are keto friendly foods?
- heavy cream
- low carb vegetables in moderation (a general rule of thumb is that vegetables grown above ground are low carb and vegetables grown below ground are higher in carbs and therefore, not keto friendly)
- small amounts of berries
Please note that this is a very simplified version of the keto diet. You can find a more comprehensive list of what to eat on a ketogenic diet here.