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The Best Low Carb High Protein Recipes, Meals, & Snacks

Written by
June 30, 2019
Updated May 11, 2023

What Are the Benefits of a Diet consisting of Low Carb, High Protein Recipes?

The beauty of life is we are all different. This also accounts for the at-times frustration of finding the best diet for you. 

Every. Body. Is. Different. 

A simple blood sugar or genetic test can tell you how you process carbohydrates, glucose at its simplest form. Some people are more insulin sensitive, meaning one would require less insulin to lower blood sugar levels (good). While some are more insulin resistant, the body’s cells don’t respond normally to insulin, causing a build of glucose in the blood (bad).

A low-carb, high-protein diet can be an effective lifestyle approach for those looking to lose weight, gain lean muscle, and even therapeutic approaches for some conditions. Distinguishable from the ketogenic diet, a low-carb, high-protein diet allows more carbohydrates from whole food sources, more protein from plant and animal sources, and decreases the need for high-fat consumption.

According to Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac., “both the research and my clinical experience suggest that low-carb diets can be incredibly effective therapeutic tools for certain conditions.

Whether you’re aiming to include more whole foods, shape up for summer, or to feel overall better consuming fewer carbohydrates, these low-carb high-protein recipes

What Foods Can I Eat, What Are Foods to Avoid, What’s Good for Snacking


  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Red Meat
  • Some Dairy; including eggs, cream, cheese
  • Non-Starchy Vegetables: leafy greens, zucchini, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, onions, most vegetables are allowed and encouraged
  • Certain fruits: lemon, lime, tomato, avocado, coconut (berries are your lowest sugar options and can be included moderately)


  • Oils: avocado oil, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, butter, ghee; stick to unrefined and organic whenever possible
  • Avocado
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dairy: Egg yolks, raw cheese, organic cream


  • While vegetables are technically considered a carbohydrate, they are very low on the glycemic index and carbohydrate scale. Most vegetables are allowed and encouraged with the exception of some starchy vegetables like white potatoes. Lower glycemic carbohydrate-rich root vegetables like sweet potatoes and beets can be consumed in moderation.


  • Fermented vegetables, like kimchi or sauerkraut 
  • Fermented tea, like a low-sugar kombucha
  • Unsweetened Greek or Skyr yogurt should be limited, but is OK in moderation


  • Coffee, cold brew 
  • Unsweetened teas
  • Unsweetened flavored or unflavored soda and mineral waters


  • Unsweetened BBQ, ketchup, mustard, mayo and vinegars


  • Processed sugars: candy, chocolate, cookies, cakes, soda, fruit juice, energy drinks, high fructose corn syrup
  • Grains: pasta, bread, oats, rice, quinoa, ancient grains
  • Fibrous Starches: potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn
  • Beans and legumes: chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, lentils, edamame, peas 
  • Fruit: most fruit should be limited, berries, orange, and apple have lower sugar content, so these can be consumed in moderation. Tropical fruits like banana, pineapple and mango have a high sugar content should be avoided. 
  • Alcohol: no cocktails, sugary mixers, wine and beer. Liquor in moderation.
  • Dairy: milk and yogurts tend to be higher in sugar and should be limited.


  • Hydrogenated oils like vegetable oil, peanut oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil
  • Canola oil, unless organic


  • Raw veggies dipped in avocado-oil based dressings like Primal Kitchen 
  • Flax crackers with goat cheese and prosciutto
  • Raw cheese with antibiotic-free, natural deli meat 
  • Soft-boiled eggs
  • Smoked salmon over almond-flour cracker smeared with organic cream cheese
  • Tuna fish salad on cucumber slices
  • Nuts and seeds, preferably dry roasted to avoid consumption of hydrogenated vegetable oil and canola oil
  • Energy bites, without added sugars or oats
  • Low-sugar protein shake; thicken with frozen avocado, frozen cauliflower, frozen coconut meat, unsweetened acai.

Easy, Great-Tasting Low Carb High Protein Recipes & Meals

Breakfast: Cauliflower Hash with Sausage and Peppers

Yields: 2 servings
Difficulty: Easy 
Cook Time: 20 minutes


1 ½ cups cauliflower, chopped (about ½ small head)
3 tbsp. avocado oil
2 bell peppers, thinly sliced 
¼ small red onion, thinly sliced 
2 spicy chicken sausage*, diced
4 large eggs, pastured
1 teaspoon hot sauce of choice*
Salt and pepper, to taste
*Look for USDA organic, uncured, and nitrate-free when possible
**We used Cholula’s Chipotle hot sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 400-degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spread bite-sized cauliflower onto a microwave-safe plate, cover with a paper towel and heat for 3 minutes, until lightly steamed but slightly undercooked.
  3. Meanwhile in a large cast-iron skillet, heat two tablespoons oil on high heat. When lightly smoking, add the cauliflower pieces and diced sausage. 
  4. Cook and toss occasionally to brown on half the sides, about five minutes. Add in the bell peppers and onions, and continue to cook and char on some side for about five more minutes. Add in the hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Make four wells in the mixture and carefully crack one egg into each well. Cook in the oven for three to four minutes, or until the whites are set, but the yolks are still slightly runny. Serve immediately.

Lunch: Smoked Salmon Nicoise Salad

Yields: 2 servings
Difficulty: Easy 
Cook Time: 20 minutes


½ pound smoked Scottish salmon, preferably wild-caught
3 large eggs, pasture-raised
1 cup haricots verts (thin green beans)
1 cup frisee or butter lettuce
¼ cup shaved radish
¼ cup niçoise olives pitted
1 tbsp. capers, drained
1 tbsp. shallot, sliced
½ lemon, juice, and zest
¼ orange, juice, and zest
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 
Sea salt, to taste 
Black pepper, to taste
Fresh dill, to garnish 


  1. In a medium pot, bring salted water to boil.
  2. Boil green beans for about two minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water. Chill until cold, about 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels and pat dry. 
  3. In the same pot, bring water back to a boil. Add the eggs when water is boiling. Time for exactly six minutes, which is the perfect soft boil. Transfer to an ice bath for 3 minutes, then peel while still warm under running water to prevent the shell from sticking to the white. 
  4. For the vinaigrette, add the olive oil, lemon juice, zest, orange juice, zest, capers, shallot, salt, and pepper to taste. Whisk to combine.
  5. Half the eggs lengthwise. Break the salmon into large flakes with a fork. Shave radish on a mandolin. 
  6. Assemble the plate. Frisee or lettuce on the bottom. Drizzle half the dressing. Top with the salmon, halved eggs, olives, radish slices, and green beans. Top with remaining dressing. 

Dinner: Chicken and Bacon Caesar Spaghetti Squash Boats

Yields: 4 servings
Difficulty: Easy 
Cook Time: 55  minutes


1 spaghetti squash
2 chicken breasts, look for USDA organic and pasture-raised 
4 slices bacon, look for uncured, nitrate-free 
2 tbsp. avocado-oil-based Caesar dressing*
½ cup shaved Parmesan and Asiago Cheese, plus ¼ cup for top
¼ cup Pork Panko “breadcrumbs”
Chopped parsley, garnish (optional)
*We used Primal Kitchen Caesar dressing for this recipe.


  1. Preheat oven to 425-degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you have at least two racks: one for the spaghetti squash and one for the bacon.
  2. Half the spaghetti squash lengthwise, remove the seeds, lightly coat with avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Place flat side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes, or until it can be easily pierced and shreds easily with a fork. Be careful to not overcook because it will turn less spaghetti-like and more mushy. 
  3. Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on another rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes, or until crispy. Chop into small bit,  and set aside.
  4. While the squash and bacon is cooking, heat a cast-iron greased lightly with avocado oil to medium-high heat. Pat dry the chicken breasts, and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. When the cast-iron is hot, cook the chicken breasts for about 6 to 8 minutes on each side. Set aside to cool before chopping. Chop into bite-size pieces. 
  5. When the spaghetti squash is done and has cooled enough to handle, hold the bottom for stability with one hand and with the other hand shred with a fork. Try to not break the skin because you’re going to use for serving.
  6. Raise the oven temperature to broil.
  7. Transfer the spaghetti squash to a large mixing bowl, and add in the Caesar dressing, cheese, chopped chicken, and chopped bacon (reserve 2 tbsp. for garnish). Toss to combine, and transfer back into the squash “bowls.” 
  8. Sprinkle ¼ cup of the cheese on top, 2 tbsp. bacon crumbles, and Pork Panko. Broil for 1-3 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired. Enjoy! 

Snack: Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites

Yields: 15  bites
Difficulty: Easy 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Set Time: 10 minutes


½ cup Creamy Peanut Fat Butter
¾ scoop vanilla grass-fed whey protein powder
3 tbsp. Lily’s Stevia-sweetened dark chocolate chips
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, plus 1 tbsp. extra for rolling
3 tbsp. flax meal of ground flax seed
3 tbsp. hemp seeds


  1. Add all ingredients except for 2 tbsp. shredded for rolling (optional) to a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Mix with {clean} hands until fully combined. It should be malleable and soft but hold together easily without it sticking to your hands. 
  3. In a small bowl, add the shredded coconut for rolling. Cacao powder would work well here too. Take a quarter-size amount, and roll into a ball, then dip into the coconut, and place in a Tupperware or plate to set in the fridge for 10 minutes. They’ll keep well in the fridge for up to one week.

Dessert: Coconut Protein Popsicles

Yields: 4 popsicles
Difficulty: Easy 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Freeze Time: 4-6 hours


10.8 oz canned organic coconut cream
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut 
1 scoop grass-fed vanilla whey protein powder 
⅛  tsp. Himalayan Salt


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender. Pulse until incorporated. 
  2. Pour into popsicle molds, and keep in the freezer until set, about 4-6 hours. 

The Ultimate Meal Plan Containing Low Carb, High Protein Recipes


Breakfast: Sausage and Egg Breakfast Skillet
Lunch: Smoked Salmon Nicoise Salad
Dinner:  Chicken and Bacon Caesar Spaghetti Squash Boats
Snack: Chocolate Chip Coconut Almond Energy Bites 
Dessert: Coconut Protein Popsicles


Breakfast: Eggs Benedict (sub-English muffin with low-carb biscuit*)
Lunch: Kimchi Ceviche
Dinner: Bison Marinara Over Zucchini Noodles
Snack: Keto Mint Chip Protein Shake
Dessert: One spoonful Chocolate Hazelnut Fat Butter


Lunch: Cucumber sushi rolls (no rice) 
Dinner: Turkey Cauliflower Burger (sans the bun)
Snack: Cinnamon Bun Fat Bombs (add 1 scoop grass-fed vanilla whey protein + 1 tbsp. unsweetened almond milk to the batter) 
Dessert: Collagen Peanut Butter Cups


Breakfast: Overnight N’Oats (add 1 scoop grass-fed vanilla whey protein) 
Lunch: BLT Chicken Salad Stuffed Avocado 
Dinner: Big-Ass Salad
Snack: 2 soft-boiled eggs sprinkled with Trader Joe’s “Everything But Bagel” seasoning, sliced raw veggies like cucumber and bell peppers with lemon and sea salt
Dessert: Avocado Pudding (sub maple syrup for monk-fruit-sweetened maple syrup by Lakanto)


Breakfast: 1 Acai Peanut Butter Cup Protein Shake
Lunch: 2-4 Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Dinner: 1 serving Keto Open-Face Elk Patty Melt
Snack: ¼ cup Sweet & Savory Granola Mix (sub maple syrup with monk-fruit-sweetened maple syrup by Lakanto)
Dessert: 2-3 squares Lily’s Stevia-Sweetened Chocolate Bar 

With a B.S. in journalism and a minor in business administration from the University of Florida, Liv Langdon contributes research-supported articles and educational recipe ebooks to the Onnit website. A former personal chef, she translates her skills in the kitchen to recipe development, food styling, and built the organic, locally sourced menu for the Onnit Cafe & Smoothie Bar and Food Truck. Her knowledge and experience in holistic nutrition has allowed her to cook and support some of our professional and collegiate athletes. She has previously worked as an online diet & lifestyle coach, nutrition consultant, personal chef, freelance journalist, and corporate sales director for a fresh meal delivery service. She has been a guest on the Total Human Optimization podcast and the Touching Base podcast. You can find her work in Men’s Fitness Magazine, Born Fitness, and is publishing her first cookbook this summer. Follow her on Instagram @livlangdon.
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