Zero-Carb Diet Recipes and Ideas (2024)

Zero-Carb Diet Recipes and Ideas (1)
What can you eaton a Zero-Carb Diet?

I recently received an email asking mefor help in overcoming the boredom that results from eating a carb-free diet.

Hot Wings and Heroine Wings can get pretty monotonousafter a few weeks, so the reader asked if I had recipes ormenu ideas that would fit into a zero-carb diet.

I haven't talkedabout zero-carb diets very much because my own personal experience with going zero carb wasn't a pleasant experience. I prefer to talk about subjects that I have personal experience with.

However, many people do find no carb and very low-carb diets to be extremely helpful in peeling off the pounds. Zero carb just makes them feel better.

Even though I did give zero carb a couple of tries, it never got beyond the diet mindset stage.

Since my experience with this is limited, I have spent the pastfew days thinking about how I would go about upgrading a meat-only diet to be more of a lifestyle.

Here's what I came up with:

Zero-Carb Diet Recipes and Ideas (2)

What is Zero Carb?

There is a lot of confusion online as to what a zero-carb diet is, so I thought I'd give you a brief explanation first.

A no-carb diet is a subset of a low-carb diet.

And it's exactly what it sounds like. You eat no carbs at all or only the carbs found in a few incidentals, such as eggs, cheese, and heavy cream.

Maximum daily carb limit is about 5 grams, or less. This gives you room for coffee and eggs to go along with your meat.

Zero-carb options easily fit within the context of all low-carb diets. At the very heart of carbohydrate restriction, meat dishes are the mainstay and focal point for everyone.

If you don't have time to cook, want to keep things simple, are extremely insulin resistant, or havedecided to go dairy free, restricting carbs further than Induction levels can make your keto diet easier to live with.

Most people who follow a no-carblifestyle don't eat dairy, but some still do, so the following ideas and suggestions will cover both types ofzero-carb diets.

Whether you're doing just meat, meat and eggs, or meat, eggs, and cheese, I'm sure you'll find something useful here.

Meat-Crust Pizza

Pizza on zero carb?

You bet!

In fact, a Meatza Pizza was very popular among low carbers back in the late '90s. Instead of using fancy low-carb products or cream cheese, eggs, and tons of mozzarella to make the crust, driving up the carb count, you can simply use ground meat.

Any type of ground meat will work:

  • ground beef
  • ground turkey
  • ground chicken
  • ground lamb
  • bulk sausage

Whatever you have on hand or is cheap that week. Do be careful if you opt for the sausage though. You want something that will enable you to fit within the less-than-5 carbs per day limit for this type of diet.

You'll need about a pound ofground meat. Mix it with an egg. If you can't eat eggs, just leave it out. It willstill work. With no eggs, though, you'll need a fattier grade of meat. Or crush up some zero-carb pork rinds and use that as a binder instead. A little dried Parmesan cheese would also work here.

Season the meat with salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings. Pat itinto a pie plate, square baking dish, or small pizza pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 15to 20 minutes.

Drain off the grease as it accumulates. Once baked, top it with whatever youlike.

Tomato-based pizza sauce isn't allowed on a no-carb diet, but you don'treally need it. You can opt for a little Alfredo or just skip the sauce all together.

Use a variety of meats -- I used pepperoni andsausage, so it had that familiar pizza taste -- and whatever cheeseallowance will keep you within your 5 grams of carbs per day.

Mozzarella cheese is about 1 gram per 1/4 cup of cheese. Same for Parmesan. Cheddar is only about half of that, but it won't have the same pizza flavor.

Pop the Meat-Crust Pizza back into the oven just long enough to melt the cheese.

Meat Soups

Zero-Carb Diet Recipes and Ideas (3)
While meat-and-vegetable soups are all the rage for
low-carb diets, you can simply leave out the veggies.

Traditionallow-carb diets take advantage of nature's bounty to whip up creativesoups and stews, but a no-carb diet can do the same thing using a variety of meats and a good homemade soup broth.

Fill a pot with a combination of:

  • chicken legs or whole chicken
  • turkey parts
  • pork steak or cubed roast
  • chunks of beef chuck
  • or sliced sausage

Add enoughwater to cover the meat. If you're a zero-carb purist, simply bringit to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cover with a tightfitting lid. Let it cook over a low heat until the broth is as flavorful as you want it to be.

If you are just using a zero-carb diet because you're not losing weight on 20 net carbs, you can season thebroth with:

  • minced garlic
  • minced ginger
  • salt
  • pepper
  • herbs
  • andother spices

I usually add some minced fresh cilantro to mine.

Once the soup is done, chop or shred the meat and add it to the broth. If you are eating eggs, you can drizzle a well-beaten egg or two into the hot broth, and the egg stream will cook as soon as it hits the water.

Burger Fun

Bunless burgers are astaple of any low-carb diet.

Even those who just eat beef and drinkonly water eat a lot of hamburgers.

If you're just keeping your carbs below 5 carbs a day and don't mind a little bit of vegetable matter, you canadd some minced jalapeno or pickled peppers to the ground meat to spike the flavor.

  • Crumbled bacon
  • minced garlic
  • grated cheese
  • crushed pork rinds
  • and avariety of spices

will season your raw hamburger meat before you form it intopatties. Some people have even used chopped pepperoni or salami to give their burgers an extra kick.

Also, don'tlimit yourself to just beef.

  • ground turkey
  • ground pork
  • bulk sausage
  • ground chicken
  • ground lamb

All make nice, flavorful burgers. If you can eat eggs,topping your burger with a fried egg and a slice of cheese makes the burger a bit more special.

When I was eating zero carb, our local diner would make something they called a Hawaiian Burger. You can do the same thing at home. Just top your cooked burger with a slice of ham, a slice of cheese, and a fried egg.

Burger Buns and Sandwich Bread

Zero-Carb Diet Recipes and Ideas (4)
If you're doing a meat, eggs, and cheese diet,
Dr. Atkins Original Revolution Rolls make a great
zero-carb cloud bread.

When Iwas doing a zero-carb diet a few years ago, eggs and cheese werefrowned upon. Today, many no-carbers are doing zero carb for a different reason, so they take advantage of the super-low carbohydrate content of cheese and eggs.

Several traditional low-carb foods will fit into the 5-carbs a day limitation.Dr. Atkins Original Diet Revolution Roll, sometimes referred to as Cloud Bread, is one of them.

The recipe can be easily adapted to fit whatever macros you're doing. If you don't want to use protein powder, just leave it out. I've used mayonnaise and cream cheese in these with equal success.

Some people have even spread the batter in acookie sheet or pizza pan and then used it for a pizza crust.

**The key to making these rolls work is to notovercook them.

Use a low temperature, and only bake for about 30 minutes. Assoon as they are cool enough to handle, pop them off the cookiesheet and place each roll in a zip lock bag.

Put the rolls into therefrigerator, and don't touch them until the next day.

This is essential.

It is NOT optional!

The texture and taste of the rolls will change from dry, crumbly, and eggy bread to something closer to a sponge cake after they have sat inthe refrigerator overnight.

Meat-Only Stir-Fry

Stir-fries often focuson the vegetables to provide color and flavor, but you don't have to make your oriental masterpiece with peppers and other stir-fry veggies.

Why not use just meat instead?

One of my favorite lunches is Chili Garlic Chicken. It uses chickenbreast cut into cubes and takes advantage of a little bit ofgarlic-chili sauce. Garlic-chili sauce does have a carb or two, butit has no sugar and makes the chicken really, really tasty.

Here again, don't limit yourself to just chicken. It's easy to fall into a rut that way. Try stir-frying one or a combo of:

  • beef
  • veal
  • lamb
  • pork
  • turkey breast
  • or shrimp

You can even stir-fry ground meat. It doesn't have to be cubes or strips. Toss in some crumbled bacon, lots of butter or coconut oil, and season the mixture with hot sauce, soy sauce, or garlic chili sauce.

Tasty Mustard Sauce and Dip

Eggs are about 1/2 a carb each, so most people can eat a couple of eggs a day, without problems. But even if you're not eating eggs, check out our fake honey-mustard sauce in the Chili-Garlic Chicken Stir-Fry I linked to above.

Fake honey mustard makes a great dip forsimple grilled meats, pan-sauteed meats (like ham), and hard boiled eggs.

The key to making grilled or sauteed meats tasty is the marinade, fat, herbs, or sauce you use to perk up the flavor.

Shish Kabob

Zero-Carb Diet Recipes and Ideas (5)
Vegetables are traditionally used for Shish Kabob,
but you can use a variety of meats instead.

Most Shish Kabobsare filled to the brim with vegetables. Often, more vegetables than meat. But, just like no-carb soups,stews, and stir-fries, you can simply use meat on your skewers:

  • chicken breast chunks
  • pork cubes
  • beef strips or cubes
  • and even Italian Sausage chunks

All these would work well. Justmake sure that you don't place meats on the same skewer that need differentcooking times.

If you mix chicken with pork, forexample, like I did once, the chicken breast will come out overcooked before the porkis cooked through.

Barbecue sauce isn't allowed on a zero-carb diet,but you can use butter mixed with a flavorful oil-and-vinegar marinade to keep your kabobs from drying out on the grill.

The Bottom Line

Finding recipes that fit within azero-carb diet isn't hard, but it does take a bit of creativity.

Theeasiest way to add some variety to your meals is to search the webfor low-carb main dishes and low-carb meat recipes, and then simplyeliminate the vegetables or other ingredients that are not allowed on a zero-carb diet.

Tweaking already existing recipes will enable you to come up with your own variations and ideas.

For example, our Pizza-Chicken Recipe can both be adapted to a zero carb diet. Just skip the pizza sauce and top your partially baked chicken with grated cheese, sausage, and pepperoni. Some chopped ham or Canadian bacon would also be a good choice.

For our Chicken Alfredo Bake, just leave out the broccoli, or use some chopped ham or shelled shrimp instead.

Zero carbers have a wide variety of:

  • grilled meats
  • flavorful marinades
  • barbecue spice rubs
  • herbs and spices

they can use. The trick is to justsubstitute meat, eggs, or cheese for some of the other ingredientsyou'd normally find in a traditional low-carb recipe.

Even casseroles are not off-limits.

Add more than one meat to give your palate the banquet its craving. Or just let the recipe spark an idea of your own.

Zero-Carb Diet Recipes and Ideas (6)
Don't look at a recipe and think: I can't have that.
Twist it into something you CAN have!

A bacon-wrapped hot dogrecipe isn't exactly off-limits for a zero-carb diet, except for those who insist on only eating pure meats. But you can also convert that bacon-wrapped hot dog into something entirely new.

Try wrapping partially fried bacon around a chickenstrip and baking it to crisp instead of using a pork-rind breading.

A pork roast could also bethrown into the crock pot with a little bit of soy sauce, garlic,sesame oil, and water. Instead of serving it inside low-carb tortillas, spoon it into a bowl and top with grated cheese and sour cream.

Chicken breast can be sauteed in a non stickpan, then topped with crumbled bacon, pepperoni, and Parmesan cheese.

You could even whip up a casserole using mayo and cheese for thesauce and use a variety of meats instead of the veggies.

Meatloaf andmeatballs can also be easily made carb free.

Think in terms of "how can I adapt this recipe to get rid of all the carbs," and you'll quickly come up with atreasure chest of your own ideas.

Additional Zero-Carb Recipes For You:

How to Make Your Own Salty Chicken Broth
Chicken Nuggets or Strips Made with Pork Rinds
Crispy Sesame Chicken Wings
Pork Chops with Spicy Cream Sauce (Leave Out the Mushrooms)

Zero-Carb Diet Recipes and Ideas (7)

Zero-Carb Diet Recipes and Ideas (2024)
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