If you’re under the impression going keto means eating everything with a thick coating of Brie, you’re not entirely wrong. For some of us, dairy plays a key role in keeping us full and happy in a carb-less world—but it’s definitely not the only thing that keto’s got going for it. Once you believe it’s not (just) butter and peel back the infinite cheese sticks, you’ll see there’s so much more to going keto than doubling down on dairy. So whether you’ve recently gone a little too hard on the halloumi or are looking to fully cut dairy from your diet, know that you can come back to this list to find a few killer dairy-free keto recipes that pass on the cheese.
1. Skillet Chicken Fajitas
No sour cream and no tortilla? No problem. This naked fajita proves less is more. Flour tortillas and heaps of sour cream can overpower the complex flavors of meat that really matter. Sans wrap, you can taste all of the flavors of chili, paprika, and cumin in this pan-seared chicken, pepper, and onion dish.
2. Keto Paleo Sushi
There’s no cream cheese in here, but hey, we can roll with that. Fill these cute cuke wraps with salmon, avocado, wasabi, and a drop or two of mayo, and serve up for a keto-friendly sushi night.
3. Sri Lankan Fish Curry
Starting to feel the dairy withdrawal? Put down the Brie—you’ve got bigger fish to fry. This intensely flavorful dish is full of coconut cream and soft, buttery white fish, so you’ll forget why you thought you needed any kind of dairy in the first place.
4. Zucchini Patties
Whether you’re keto, vegetarian, dairy-free, Paleo, gluten-free, or all of the above (overachiever!), this dish is all yours. Packed with fresh, grated zucchini, cilantro, and garlic, these patties are as easy to make as they are to inhale. Served on a bed of warm arugula or—for those who like burgers a little meatier—use them as buns.
5. Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
In keto-speak, “stuffed” almost always implies cheese. (And lots of it.) But this dish ditches the dairy—without ditching the flavor. Tender shredded chicken, sweet spaghetti squash noodles, bell pepper, celery, onion, and homemade buffalo sauce come together to make an awesome stuffing.
6. Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Pesto Zoodles
If you’re a pasta-loving keto-vore, you’re probably already pretty familiar with zoodles. But unlike most zoodle creations, this one doesn’t need to be drowned in Parmesan or cream sauce to have flavor. Packed with warm chicken, savory pesto, and sweet sun-dried tomatoes, this zoodle bowl can be served hot or cold.
7. Zucchini Lasagna With Basil-Cashew Cheese Sauce
Yep, lasagna sans cheese is real. Fill the dairy void by subbing in homemade cashew cheese sauce with basil, whip up a hearty artichoke tomato sauce, and pack with zucchini.
8. 4-Ingredient Maple Salmon
This salmon dish may look difficult to prepare, but don’t be fooled. With just a few ingredients, it’s a quick and delicious dinner option for beginner cooks and top chefs looking to impress. All it requires of you is caramelizing a few onions (which reeeally just means forgetting about them for 10-20 minutes) and tossing some salmon into a pan. Doable? Very.
9. Keto “Crack Slaw” Stir-Fry
We tend to think of coleslaw as that lackluster guy at the bar who you’ve met how many times (?) but can never remember his name. But that limp cabbage is in our past… for good. This crack slaw is filled with beef, sesame, garlic, and tons of flavor.
10. Tempeh Stir-Fry
Tempeh slathered in tahini? Yes, please. This garlicky dish brings together savory shiitake mushrooms, crispy broccoli, and hearty tempeh in a sweet-and-savory sesame stir-fry.
11. Butter Chicken Meatballs
Butter chicken without butter? We know, it sounds oxymoronic. But a simple swap of ghee makes this intensely savory, creamy dish totally fair game when you’re dairy-free. You can eat these meatballs on their own, though we suggest whipping up some easy coconut cauliflower rice to go along with it.