Lazy Keto Meals: Quick and Easy Low-Carb Recipes for Busy People

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Curious about lazy keto meals? It can have different meanings, depending on who you ask. Some people use it to describe quick keto meals or easy keto recipes that are simple to prepare, making it easier to stick to the keto diet without spending hours in the kitchen.

A collage of four keto meal images with the title "Easy & Delicious Lazy Keto Meals". The images show: 1) A creamy keto ground beef and green bean casserole being scooped with a wooden spoon from a skillet. 2) A plate of ground beef with vegetables. 3) A cheesy casserole with meat and vegetables being served from a baking dish. 4) The main image features the creamy chicken and green bean dish in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

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Others, however, use “lazy keto” to refer to a less strict approach to the keto diet, often called “dirty keto.” In this approach, you focus on staying within your daily net carbs limit but don’t worry as much about the quality of your food choices. So, which definition are we talking about here? Well, both.

One of the biggest advantages of lazy keto is that it’s much easier to stick to than other diets. You don’t have to worry about counting calories or measuring portions, so you can enjoy your low-carb meals without feeling guilty. Plus, “dirty” keto meals are often quick and easy to prepare, which is perfect for busy people who don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen.

I have tried both types of laziness, lol. Being low-carb and keto for so many years, there have been seasons of lazy keto where my food choices may not have been the strictest when it comes to true keto. Also, my busy life, time-deprived schedule, and big family demand easy and simple meals that can be on the table in 30-45 minutes.

Basics of Lazy Keto

If you’re new to the ketogenic diet, you might be overwhelmed by the strict rules and complicated meal planning. That’s where lazy keto comes in – a simplified approach focusing on limiting carbs and increasing fat intake. Here are the basics of lazy keto:

Understanding Macros

Macros, short for macronutrients, are the three main nutrients in your diet: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. On the lazy keto diet, your goal is to keep your carb intake low (usually under 20-30 grams per day) and increase your fat intake to promote ketosis. This means you’ll eat more high-fat foods like avocado, nuts, and cheese and less high-carb foods like bread, pasta, and sugar.

eggs, avocado, and nuts on a cutting board

Essential Foods

Focusing on nutrient-dense, whole foods is important for the keto diet. Some essential foods to include in your diet include:

  • Protein: Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and tofu are all great sources of protein that can help you stay full and maintain muscle mass.
  • Healthy Fats: Avocados (oil), nuts, seeds, olive oil, butter, cheese, heavy cream, and coconut oil are all great sources of healthy fats that can help you reach your daily fat intake goals.
  • Low-Carb Vegetables: Leafy greens (lettuce, spinach, kale, arugula, chard, collards), broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, cucumbers, and peppers are all low-carb vegetables that can provide essential vitamins and minerals.

Meal Timing

On lazy keto, there are no strict rules about when or how often you should eat. Some people prefer to stick to three meals a day, while others prefer to snack throughout the day. Intermittent fasting is another option for spacing your meals out. The key is to listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry. However, it’s important to note that lazy keto is not an excuse to eat junk food or overeat. It’s still important to practice portion control and choose nutrient-dense foods.

My husband says this is one of his biggest challenges when living a lazy or dirty keto lifestyle. The thought of eating anything you want as long as it is low-carb can definitely lead to some poor food choices and eating decisions.

By understanding the basics of lazy keto, you can simplify your approach to the keto diet and still achieve your health goals. Remember to focus on nutrient-dense, whole foods, and listen to your body to find a meal timing that works for you.

Simple “Lazy” Keto Meals

The other type of lazy keto meal is quick and easy meals with dinner on the table ASAP. Picture a busy parent getting home from work, helping kids with homework, having 1 hour to cook, eat, and get out the door to a kid’s sporting event. This is my definition of a lazy keto meal—limited time to prepare with minimal effort because a million other things are calling your name.

If you are looking for easy keto recipes, you have come to the right place! These recipes are perfect for those short on time but still want to eat healthy and tasty meals. Here are some simple, lazy keto recipes to try:

Easy Keto Breakfast Ideas

Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is essential unless you are practicing intermittent fasting, and these lazy keto breakfast ideas are perfect for busy mornings.

Alt text: Close-up of golden brown waffles topped with fresh strawberries and blueberries on a white plate. The waffles appear to have a slightly grainy texture, since they are keto-friendly.

Keto Waffles: These crispy and airy keto waffles will hit your comfort food spot—meal prep by doubling or tripling the recipe and freezing the leftovers for quick and easy breakfasts. I love to meal prep these on a Saturday morning. I store all of the leftovers in the freezer for simple low-carb breakfast ideas throughout the week.

Close-up view of a stack of fluffy pancakes on a light blue plate, with a fork lying in front of the stack after cutting out a wedge-shaped bite from the pancakes.

Keto Pancakes: Who says you can’t have pancakes on a keto diet? These light and fluffy keto pancakes, made with coconut flour, cream cheese, and a hint of pumpkin spice, are a delicious way to start your day. This recipe is another great meal-prepping option for easy breakfasts.

Close-up view of four burritos stacked on top of each other on a white plate, with a fork lying in front of the burritos, holding a small bite-sized piece.
Breakfast Burritos: These delicious make-ahead burritos are stuffed with eggs, sausage, and cheese. Make extras for easy meal-planning mornings.

Simple Low-Carb Lunch Inspirations

When it comes to lunch, you want something quick and easy to prepare but also satisfying and filling. Here are some lazy keto lunch inspirations:

Keto Italian Grinder Salad Recipe Served in Mixing Bowl

Keto Salads: Salads are a great quick and healthy lunch option. Focus on fresh veggies, protein, and healthy fats. Fresh veggies will add flavor and texture. Watch out for the dressing; some are high in carbs. Grab a bowl and fill it up!

A serving of unwich casserole on a small plate, with a fork resting on the front of the plate. A white napkin and a light blue casserole dish are visible in the background.

Hot Unwich: This has everything you’d find in a sandwich without the bread. Piping hot ham with ooey, gooey melted cheese makes it an ideal lunch for anyone following a keto or low-carb diet! It tastes great, and it’s a breeze to put together. If you’re looking for the ultimate keto casserole, this is it! There are some low-carb meals that are a hit for everyone. This is one of them. Our kids love this recipe. It’s super easy and very satisfying.

Overhead view of sheet pan dinner with slices of smoked sausage links nestled around broccoli, red bell peppers, purple onions, squash, and zucchini veggies that have been drizzled in oil and seasoning then oven roasted
Oven Sheet-pan Sausage and Veggies: You’ll love this easy one-pan meal. The crisp and juicy smoked sausage and roasted veggies have tons of flavor and are super simple. Make it ahead of time and take it with you. It warms up great and is delicious!

Quick Dinner Options

After a long day, you want a tasty and easy-to-prepare dinner. Here are some great lazy keto dinner recipes:

Close-up overhead view of a golden brown keto crustless pizza with crispy pepperoni slices, baked in a cast iron skillet. A small silver spoon rests on top of the pizza.

Crustless Pizza: Who doesn’t love pizza? This one-skillet meal has your favorite ingredients…melted cheese, crisp pepperoni or bacon, and yummy and tender vegetables. There is no reason to give up Friday night pizza night…we didn’t!

Close-up view of bubbly keto friendly ground beef and green bean casserole steaming hot straight from the oven in a cast iron skillet, being served up by a wooden serving spoon

Ground Beef Casserole: Did someone say down-home comfort food? Ground Beef Casserole is my most popular recipe year after year. There is a reason. It’s delicious, simple, satisfying, and will have your whole family asking for seconds.

chicken alfredo bake with keto alfredo sauce in a skillet
Chicken Alfredo Broccoli Bake: This ultimate feel-good food is easy to make, low carb, and delicious. The great thing is you can have it on the table in less than 30 minutes!

These lazy keto recipes are perfect for those who want to eat healthy and delicious meals without spending hours in the kitchen.

Meal Planning Strategies

Preparing your lazy keto meal plan in advance can greatly improve your success with a low-carb lifestyle. If you struggle to put a meal plan together (like the rest of us), check out my page with over 100 meal plans. Check out these easy meal-planning strategies to help you stay on track.

Shopping List Essentials

When you’re making your shopping list, be sure to include the must-haves for lazy keto meals:

  • Protein sources: chicken, beef, pork, fish, eggs
  • Low-carb vegetables: spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, asparagus, green beans, cabbage
  • Healthy fats: avocado, olive, and coconut oils, nuts, seeds
  • Dairy: cheese, heavy cream, butter
  • Flavorings: herbs, spices, hot sauce

Prepping and Storage Tips

Follow these tips and tricks to help with your meal prepping:

  • Cook in bulk: Cook a bunch of protein and vegetables at the beginning of the week so you can easily throw together meals throughout the week.
  • Use storage containers: Invest in storage containers to easily portion out your meals for the week.
  • Freeze meals: If you don’t think you’ll eat a meal within a few days…freeze it.
  • Label everything: Be sure to label your storage containers with the date and contents to keep track of what you have. This is my ADHD downfall. I don’t label it, and I totally forget when and what I cooked.

two people looking cat a restaurant

Eating Out on Lazy Keto

Eating out on keto can be a challenge. However, with some planning and preparation, you can still enjoy meals at restaurants and even fast food stops while pursuing your health goals.

Restaurant Guide

Most restaurants offer various options that can be adapted to fit a lazy keto diet. When eating out, look for dishes that are high in protein and healthy fats and low in carbs. Many restaurants also offer salads, which can be a great choice for lazy keto dieters. Just make sure to ask for dressing on the side and skip the croutons.

You can also order grilled or roasted meats like chicken breasts and vegetables. Ask for a side of avocado, guacamole, or butter to add healthy fats to your meal. Don’t be afraid to ask your server for recommendations or to make substitutions when in doubt.

Fast Food Choices

Fast food is a convenient option when you are on the go. I’m not saying it is the best; it is just a convenient option. While most fast food places are known for their carb-heavy meals, there are still some options for lazy keto dieters.

At burger joints, you can order a burger without the bun and ask for extra lettuce, tomato, and avocado (if they have it). You can also order grilled chicken sandwiches without the bun and add additional veggies, bacon, and avocado. I have found that many restaurants now offer lettuce wraps to make your sandwich low-carb. Just make sure to skip the fries and soda.

Mexican fast food places offer a variety of options for lazy keto dieters. You can order tacos without the shells and ask for extra lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, and guacamole. You can also order a salad with grilled chicken, steak, or shrimp and top it with salsa, queso, and avocado.

Overall, eating out on a lazy keto diet requires some planning, but enjoying meals at restaurants and fast food places is still possible. Just remember to look for high-protein, low-carb options, and don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions.

Maintaining a Lazy Keto Lifestyle

Maintaining this lifestyle can sometimes be challenging, especially when staying motivated and tracking your progress. Here are some tips to help you stay on track.

Motivation and Mindset

It’s so important to stay motivated to maintain your keto lifestyle. Remember why you started this lifestyle in the first place, and keep that goal in mind. Whether you want to lose weight, improve your health, or feel better overall, reminding yourself of your goal can help you stay motivated.

Another way to stay motivated is to surround yourself with like-minded individuals. Join a keto support group or find a friend who is also following a similar lifestyle. Having someone to share your successes and struggles with can be incredibly motivating.

Finally, it’s important to maintain a positive mindset. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up or have a bad day. Remember that this is a journey, and there will be ups and downs. Stay positive and keep moving forward.

I always say, “You do you.” Don’t worry about what others say, and don’t listen to anyone who may criticize your version of keto. Any positive change is a change in the right direction!

close up of feet on a scale

Tracking Progress

While lazy keto is a more relaxed approach to the traditional keto diet, tracking your progress is still important. This can help you stay motivated and make adjustments as needed.

One way to track your progress is to keep a food journal. Write down everything you eat and drink, along with the macronutrient breakdown. This can help you identify patterns and adjust your diet as needed.

Another way to track your progress is to take measurements and photos. While the scale can be helpful, there are other ways to measure progress. Taking measurements of your waist, hips, and other areas can help you see changes in your body that may not be reflected on the scale.

Photos can also be a helpful way to track progress and see how far you’ve come. Yes, taking those first pictures may be cringe-worthy if you’re unhappy about how you look; however, as your body changes, it is great to look back and recognize how far you have come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some simple keto dinner options for a busy weeknight?

Short on time? I totally know the feeling. There are plenty of easy and quick low-carb options. Some simple keto dinner options include smoked sausage with roasted vegetables, Ground Beef Stir Fry, and Creamy Chicken and Asparagus.

Can you provide a list of keto-friendly foods for beginners?

If you’re new to the keto diet, it can be overwhelming to know which foods to eat. Here are some keto-friendly foods to add to your grocery list. For a more complete list, click HERE.

  • meat (beef, chicken, pork)
  • seafood (salmon, shrimp, tuna)
  • low-carb vegetables (spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, cabbage, asparagus, etc.)
  • eggs
  • cheese
  • nuts and seeds (almonds, chia seeds, flaxseeds)
  • healthy fats (olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil)

How can I plan a lazy keto meal schedule for the entire week?

Planning your meals can make it easier to stick to the keto diet. You can start by creating a list of keto-friendly recipes you want to make and a grocery list based on those recipes. You can also prepare some meals in advance, such as casseroles or soups, for later in the week. Consider using a meal planning app or template to help you stay organized.

What are some affordable keto meal ideas that won’t break the bank?

You can eat keto on a budget! Some affordable keto meal ideas include Mexican Chicken Skillet, Ground Beef Casserole, and Chicken Alfredo with Broccoli Bake. You can also buy in bulk and freeze meat, poultry, and seafood to save money. Don’t forget to shop for seasonal produce and look for sales and discounts.

What are family-friendly keto meals that everyone will enjoy?

Finding keto meals that everyone will enjoy can be challenging if you’re cooking for a family. However, there are plenty of family-friendly keto meals you can try. Some ideas include keto-friendly pizza casserole, chicken fajitas with low-carb tortillas, and Italian ground beef skillet. You can also try making keto-friendly versions of your family’s favorite meals, such as lasagna or chili.

A collage of six keto meal images with the title "LAZY KETO MEALS". The images include: a cheesy broccoli casserole, a low-carb sandwich, a chicken casserole topped with jalapeños, a sheet pan of mixed vegetables and sausage, a bowl of ground beef chili, and a creamy chicken and green bean dish being scooped with a wooden spoon


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