The keto diet may be all about the fat, but that doesn’t mean protein doesn’t play an important role too. Too much of it, and you’re no longer in ketosis. Too little of it, and you risk losing important muscle mass. So while you’re busy cooking everything in butter, don’t forget that 15 to 30 percent of your calories should be coming from a protein source. And what’s one of the most popular, accessible, and easy-to-cook proteins available? Chicken, of course.
Use it in these 19 recipes, which will help you keep your protein portions in check while sticking to the high-fat, low-carb keto commandments.
With a sauce made of a full cup of heavy whipping cream plus Parmesan cheese, this chicken dish isn’t kidding around about helping you get your keto-friendly fats in. To balance out the dish a bit, spinach and mushrooms provide some color and fiber.
With no beans in sight, this chili is all about the chicken—well, the chicken plus the flavorings that take it over the top, including a spiced tomato mixture with cream cheese stirred in for richness. You’ll go crazy for this even if you’re not living a strictly low-carb life.
Almond flour is already a keto staple, but once you use it to make a crust for this low-carb pot pie, it’ll claim the top spot on your list of favorite ingredients. With the cheesy dough on top and creamy chicken filling underneath, this may even beat out the traditional recipe for the ultimate comfort food title.
Coconut milk and almond butter might make for a pretty unorthodox take on a classic Indian dish, but spices like cumin, garam masala, and coriander keep the flavors authentic. Enjoy it with cauliflower rice so you have a grain-free substitute to soak up all that gravy.
While chicken gives these enchiladas their protein power, a special shoutout goes to the zucchini slices, which stand in for the tortilla. Once they’ve been stuffed with the meat and topped with the sauce and cheese, you’ll hardly notice that there are barely any carbs in the dish.
When bread is a no-no and a cauliflower crust seems like too much work, simply pile your tomatoes and melt your cheese on top of chicken. Your keto lifestyle will remain intact, and your pizza cravings will be satisfied.
Pistachios are some of the most underrated nuts out there, but they totally steal the spotlight here, as the crust for the pan-fried chicken breast. In fact, there’s so much to love about the coating—the nuts, the crunchy sesame seeds, the bold chipotle spice mix—that it practically outshines the protein.
Ground chicken, lots of cheese… what’s not to love about these carb-conscious meatballs? Just make sure your marinara sauce doesn’t come with any added sugar to make this totally keto-compliant.
Dredge a couple of chicken breasts, pan-fry them, and whip up a creamy sauce all in 30 minutes? This recipe makes it possible without requiring you to break a sweat. Serve on top of zucchini noodles to add some fiber and keep the carb count low.
There are a million chicken curry recipes to choose from, but when it comes to one that works for a keto diet, this one might just be your winner. Beginning with ghee, finished off with a cupful of heavy cream, and with a smattering of spices added in-between, it doesn’t skimp on fat or flavor.
When you’re on the keto diet, bring on the mayo! Half a cup gives this chicken salad just enough creaminess without making it soggy, while sunflower seeds add extra crunch and more healthy fat.
Bake your toppings right into your crust with this creative, carb-free twist on pizza. When the mixture of chicken, cheese, and veggies cooks up into sliceable wedges, you won’t miss the bread at all.
Any take-out version of this dish is almost guaranteed to come with a sauce that’s heavy on the sugar. This homemade keto recipe goes for a more savory flavor, going heavier on ingredients like garlic and sesame oil and getting its subtle sweetness from only a splash of rice vinegar.
Cream sauces are undoubtedly rich, but they can also be pretty bland without enough seasonings. You won’t be running into that problem with the sauce that coats this chicken; with a spoonful each of Dijon and grainy mustard, plus the addition of garlic and thyme mushrooms, it’s got full-bodied flavor.
You’ll find everything you love about the classic French dish here: the golden-brown crust on the meat, the ham and cheese tucked inside, even a bonus recipe for a cheese sauce. The only difference is that instead of bread crumbs, it’s shredded coconut coating this bird to make the cordon bleu totally keto.
Casseroles usually involve some sort of grain, but we’re guessing that no one will be complaining about this one swapping out the carbs for chicken and extra bacon. Plus, with coconut cream and coconut oil, this dish is also a great option for keto eaters who don’t do dairy.
The juicy chicken patty is one thing. But what really takes these burgers over the top is the fried cabbage (lettuce is way too blah) and the whipped tomato butter, which serves as the low-sugar, high-fat, and totally mouthwatering keto answer to ketchup.
When breading your chicken isn’t an option on a low-carb diet, dredge the meat in a combination of egg and crushed macadamia nuts instead. You’ll get a super-crunchy coating, and as if that isn’t enough, a drizzle of butter over the top gives it a golden-brown crust and makes it taste even better.
Any diet that still finds a way to include mac and cheese can’t be so bad, right? There may not be any actual macaroni in this recipe, but with cauliflower in its place, chicken for extra protein, and two types of cheeses for gooey goodness, pasta will be the last thing on your mind.