Do you need to lose a few pounds but need some ideas for some Cheap Keto Meals? We’ve got you covered!
Trying to navigate the expense of the Keto lifestyle can be daunting but we’re going to keep it simple – and sane. (See what I did there?!) If it isn’t simple I can’t do it and I’ll bet I’m not alone!
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Cheap Keto Meals – Basics
These meals aren’t going to be complicated – most won’t have a real ‘recipe’. You can do these by feel, mostly.
As a matter of fact, I can’t call them recipes at all. The dishes in this collection are ones I make from memory or taste that I’ve been making for years. It’s just good old country cooking for the most part, with a few substitutions because country cooking can be carb heavy. On the bright side, it’s fat heavy too. That’s why so many good old country cooks are on the fluffy side.
These are just a few ideas to give you a jumping off place to get started. A little nudge in the right direction.
I won’t insult your intelligence by adding “bacon and eggs” and “sausage and eggs” or telling you that you need to cook meals in a certain pot. You can use your stovetop, your oven, your Instant Pot or your Slow Cooker.
I use this Instant Pot, this Slow Cooker, this food scale, and this Food Processor in case you’re wondering. They all work just as well as those higher priced brands. It’s not like I’m a chef on Food Network for goodness sake!
Adding Fat Easily
With just a few adjustments you can get more fat into your diet.
Cook your eggs in bacon grease you’ve reserved.
Whip up your scrambled eggs with heavy cream – more fat and fewer carbs than half-and-half and milk, even whole milk.
Make a super easy cream gravy when you fry up any meat. Heavy cream means no flour. Just add some to your pan when you take the meat out and whish away. Just don’t WALK away. It’s quick. I love this over chicken thighs and pork chops.
Avocado – I have at least one every day. I add it to salads and on the side to meals. Mash it and add lime juice and sour cream for a quick guac.
Add dressings and sauces to everything – except cake. You’re not eating cake.
Garnish with high fats – cheese, nuts, olives etc.
Add fats to your coffee.
Try to have (good) fatty snacks.
Cheap Keto Meals – Breakfast
- leftover meat – chopped
- spinach or vegetables of choice
- eggs – beaten
- shredded cheese
- cream – heavy or half-and-half
- seasonings of choice
Use as much meat as you want. If I’m making a single quiche, I use a half-cup to a cup. Grease your dish, add the spinach and meat and cover with cheese. Beat enough eggs to cover your meat and add some cream and the seasonings; pour over the meat. Bake at 350 until the center is set.
The great thing about this – especially for a single-serve – is that you can mix it all in a quart freezer bag, press the air out and flatten it, and freeze. Thaws out super easy on the counter or in warm (not hot!) water in just a few minutes. Great for breakfast or pair it with a salad for lunch or dinner.
Eggs with Avocado and Cream Sauce
- fresh spinach -a couple of handfuls
- 2 T butter (divided)
- eggs – 2-3 or more
- salt and pepper to taste
- other seasonings you like
- Avocado – as much as you like, sliced or cubed
- splash of heavy cream
- 1-2 T shredded cheese (or some crumbled feta or goat cheese if you have it handy)
Melt 1T of butter in a pan and toss in spinach with a pinch of seasonings. Cook until it’s wilted, move to the side of the pan. Add rest of butter to melt, add eggs and seasonings and cook as you like them. When done, remove spinach and eggs to your plate. Add just a splash to the butter residue and whisk around until it warm/hot but not browning. The idea is to incorporate any butter left in the pan into the cream. Pour over your eggs and add just pinches of cheese – about 1 or 2 tablespoons.
Cheap Keto Meals – Lunch
Shredded Chicken Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup shredded chicken
- 1-2 cups fresh spinach
- 1-2 T sunflower seeds
- 3 T bacon grease
- sprinkle of sweetener, to taste
- 1 t prepared dijon mustard
Place your bed of spinach on your plate and top with shredded chicken. Sprinkle the sunflower seeds around. Heat bacon grease until it’s warm, add mustard and mix. Add sweetener to your liking.
- 1-2 skinless boneless chicken breasts (more if you are feeding more folks – 2 breasts makes enough for us two of us to have several servings each week)
- seasonings you like
- 1/2 -3/4 cup small-diced celery, optional
- Mayo – as much as you like
I usually do my seasoned chicken breasts in the Instant Pot, mainly because I get distracted and forget to thaw them – if you are using an electric pressure cooker, follow your pots instructions. You can poach them on the stove, if you prefer, or even roast them in the oven or add a little butter and cook them in a frying pan. Using the same seasonings but varying the cooking method can give completely different depths of flavor.
Use your preferred cooking method, then cut into chunks. Add celery (if using) and mayo and mix to the consistency you like. You can put it on Keto-approved bread, on a bed of lettuce, or even put some in an over-proof dish and add cheese on top – bake at 350 until heated through – 10-15 minutes.
This is so easy that it’s embarrassing. I do this one quite frequently when I lack inspiration or brain-space.
- A few tablespoons of approved pizza sauce
- A few handfuls of shredded mozzarella cheese – or any kind you prefer
- A few pepperoni slices
Spread the sauce in an oven-proof dish and toss the cheese over it. Add pepperoni on top. Bake at 350 until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Cheap Keto Meals – Dinner
- 1 lb hamburger
- salt and pepper
- any other seasonings you like
- heavy cream
Brown the hamburger and drain. Return to pan and add heavy cream (eyeball it – you can always add more) and cook until it becomes the consistency of gravy, stirring constantly. Add more cream if you need to thin it out. Serve it over mashed cauliflower or keto bread for an open-faced sandwich.
Fried Pork Chops
- Pork chops – whatever thickness you like
- 2 T butter
- sugar-free seasoning
- Heavy cream
Melt butter in pan. Season the chops and fry until done. Remove from pan and add enough cream to cover the bottom and use to deglaze the pan – whisk until thick. It will thicken quickly so be ready with extra in case it thickens too much for you. The seasoning you used will be concentrated in the cream gravy so taste it before you add any more.
Sometimes I just use my George Foreman grill but then I make the sauce with butter, cream, and seasonings.
Fried Chicken Thighs
- chicken thighs – bone and skin on
- 2 T butter
- sugar-free seasoning
- Heavy cream
Melt butter in pan. Season the thighs and fry until done. Remove from pan and add enough cream to cover the bottom and use to deglaze the pan. It will thicken quickly so be ready with extra in case it thickens too much for you. The seasoning you used will be concentrated in the cream gravy so taste it before you add any more.
Cajun Cream Chicken
- 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (or thighs) – about a pound
- 1 8-oz block of cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup chicken broth (eyeball it to get the sauce a ‘saucy’ consistency)
- 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of cajun seasonings – sugar-free – to your taste
There’s no way to mess this up. I’ve made it in a pan, slow cooker, and Instant Pot. Make it your own – add mushrooms or whatever you like.
Cut chicken into strips. Melt some butter or bacon grease and cook the chicken. Put the other ingredients in the blender and blend. Move chicken to one side and add the cream sauce; stir as it warms. When it’s nice and bubbly, move the chicken into the sauce, turn down to simmer and cover. Let it bubble to 10 – 15 minutes. You may need to add extra broth to keep the sauce from getting too thick and clumping up. Serve over spaghetti sauce (for you) or pasta for them.
Add chicken to slow cooker. Blend sauce in the blender and pour over the chicken. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until done. Shred the chicken in the slow cooker and mix with the sauce. Serve over spaghetti sauce (for you) or pasta for them.
Cook chicken under pressure until done, according to your pot’s instructions. Leave it in the pot. Mix sauce and pour over the chicken. Turn on the saute function and adjust to simmer the chicken for 10-15 minutes. You may need to add extra broth to keep the sauce from getting too thick and clumping up. Serve over spaghetti sauce (for you) or pasta for them.
Cheap Keto Meals – Sides
- 1-2 yellow squash (sliced)
- 2 T butter
- sprinkle of sweetener
- salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a pan and add the sliced squash. Cook it down until soft, breaking up the squash as it cooks. Season with salt, pepper, and sweetener. It will release liquid as it cooks down. It’s done when it’s as soft as you want it.
- 1 lb cauliflower – break into florettes or buy frozen florettes (thaw)
- 1/2 cup of sour cream
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups of finely shredded cheese – your choice
- 3 T butter
- 2-3 T snipped fresh chives
- 2-3 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled coarsely
- salt, pepper, garlic powder – to taste
Steam the cauliflower until tender – either in the microwave or on the stovetop. Let it sit for a few minutes to drain well so it isn’t watery and fluffs up better. Process in food processor until fluffy – a mashed potato consistency. Add butter, sour cream, and the seasonings. Process again and taste. Put cauliflower mixture into a bowl and stir in most of the chives (save enough for garnish) and half of the cheese. Taste again and adjust seasonings as needed.
Put in a casserole dish and top with remaining cheese and chives. Sprinkle bacon on top. Either microwave to melt cheese on top or place under the broiler for a few minutes. This will make 4 to 6 servings.
Cheap Keto Meals – Snacks
- 6 eggs
- 1 T mayo
- 1 t mustard
Hard boil eggs and peel. Slice in half and remove the yolks. Mash yolks with mayo and mustard. Add more mayo if needed. Stuff mixture in egg halves and chill.
I’ll be adding more cheap Keto meals as time goes on – this is just to a few to get you thinking about ways to cut the budget and make your meals more simple. Keto really isn’t hard and cheap Keto meals aren’t just possible – they are normal!
Other posts in this Series:
When your budget can handle it, here are a few cookbooks to make it more interesting: