Tired of making your own dinner while “sheltering in place?” Wondering what meals you can get as takeout while staying in the Keto Zone? You’re in luck. There are many great keto takeout options.
And, with rising consumer demand, many restaurants have specific entrees that are keto-friendly without alterations (1).
From Asian cuisine to Mexican cuisine to American, there are lots of low-carbohydrate options. Here are 5 keto takeout cuisine options, what to avoid, and how to turn any meal into keto takeout.
Top 5 Keto Takeout Cuisine Options
1. Burgers and Sandwich Shops
Burgers and sandwiches become a great keto takeout option with one word: bunless.
Whether “fast food” or not, almost any burger or sandwich shop will provide a bunless burger or sandwich. You can order your meat, vegetables, and wrap it all up in a giant lettuce leaf. Or, at a place like Subway, you can make any sandwich into a bowl or salad if you ask.
Some may even have low-carb bread/wrap options, but if you go this route be sure to verify the net grams of carbs.
If you want to add flavor, try mayo, oil, and vinegar, sour cream, salsa, or keto-friendly condiments from home.
Add a side salad with extra virgin olive oil to complete your meal.
What to avoid? Avoid breads, tortillas, wraps, ketchup, fries, chips, barbeque sauce, and most house sauces.
2. Chinese, Japanese, and Asian Restaurants
The king of takeout: Asian restaurants provide many keto takeout options!
You can start with hot and sour soup or miso soup (~4 grams net carbs).
Next, any combination of meats and vegetables is great. However, beware of hidden carbs in deep-fried meats and/or sauces. Stir-fried with oil and soy sauce is fine, but avoid anything breaded and fried or drenched in sauce.
Another option? Seafood from an Asian restaurant, or sashimi sushi (sushi without rice). You can now often find many sushi roll options without rice added. Make sure no sugary sauces are drizzle over your sashimi.
Low sodium soy sauce, ginger, and miso are good keto takeout condiments.
What to avoid? Avoid sugary sauces like teriyaki sauce (most all Asian sauces have sugar), deep-fried meats and tempura-battered foods, and any rice.
3. Mexican and Tex-Mex
In the mood for Mexican or Tex-Mex? Here are your keto takeout options.
A salad with sour cream and house-made salsa, especially Pico de Gallo which is normally just vegetables, jalapenos, lime juice, and vinegar, and salt, is a good start (no deep-fried tortilla salad “bowl”).
Next, try a “naked burrito” bowl with meat, vegetables, sour cream, and guacamole. Avoid any rice and beans. Or, fajitas with only meat and vegetables, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa.
Thank goodness guacamole is keto takeout friendly!
What to avoid? No tortillas, rice, or beans. Like always, watch out for sauces and dips.
4. Steakhouses and Barbeque
There are a lot of options here! Any plain meat will work. You can order steak, duck, fish, chicken, or another protein. If at a barbeque place, you must make sure the meat does not have barbeque sauce added (many add it when you order). If it doesn’t have sauce, pulled pork, ribs, and other cuts are great.
Then, add sautéed vegetables or a side dish.
At home, drizzle with olive oil or avocado slices to boost the healthy fats and replace the barbeque sauce.
What to avoid? Avoid any potato, fries, rice, and sauces.
Mediterranean food is another great keto takeout option. In fact, it can be very healthy, and full of great fresh, anti-inflammatory foods (2).
Order fish or another protein. Add fresh vegetables and/or fresh mozzarella.
At home, drizzle with olive oil and/or add avocado if desired.
What to avoid? Avoid any rice or bread.
Make Any Meal Work for Keto Takeout
If the above options don’t work for you or don’t sound appealing, you can make almost any cuisine or restaurant a viable keto takeout option. Here’s how:
- First, think about drinks. Start with water, sparkling water, tea, coffee, or another non-sugary drink (stevia-based options). Avoid regular soft drinks, lemonades, or sugary-alcoholic drinks.
- Next, if looking for an appetizer, try a salad or meat and cheese plate (without crackers). Ask for olive oil and vinegar for dressing, or use your own from home.
- When ordering your “main course,” keep it simple: Only meats/proteins and vegetables. Simply omit any starch, grain, or carbohydrate to start. For example, omit the pasta, rice, potatoes, beans, tortillas, bread, etc. Avoid deep-fried or tempura-battered foods.
- Remember, there’s a lot of foods that align with keto takeout options. Choose a nourishing protein such as seafood, steak, chicken, duck, bison, or another option. Add sautéed or fresh vegetables (verify that these are sautéed in oil or butter, without extra sauces). Bunless burgers and “bowl” can make many foods keto-friendly.
If you want takeout and a Keto Zone lifestyle, you’re in luck. We’ve provided 5 ideas for keto takeout cuisines and the steps needed to make any meal work. You can stay in the keto zone while ordering takeout, and sheltering in palce.