When discussing my Ketogenic Diet with people, I usually hear things like, “I don’t have time to prepare meals.” or “I’m just not sure what to eat when I’m away from home.” I’m here to tell you that eating on the run is actually extremely easy with a Ketogenic Diet and you don’t have to eat out or spend a ton. I work part-time as an X-ray/CT tech and I love my job. But I often get called in for shifts at the last minute, meaning I need to pack up my meals to go with me with short notice. Sometimes, I just need lunch but sometimes it’s a 12 hour shift and I need to pack up 3 meals to take with me. And if I’m totally honest, packing lunches has gotten easier since starting Keto! I always try to keep a combination of things in fridge/pantry that I can throw together to make a decent lunch!
Ok, so the title says 15 lunches, which is true. I gave you 15 “concepts” for lunch on-the-go. Realistically, with all the possible combos of roll-ups, salads, dips, and “lunchables” there are a lot more than 15 options here. Whether you want a hot lunch or a cold lunch, there are plenty of easy options for packing a Keto Friendly lunch. Here is a quick list of things that I pack for my Keto lunches. Read on for more detail about those lunches!
First off, stocking your fridge and pantry is important. If you don’t keep Keto friendly foods around, then failure is probably imminent. There are certain staples that I have on hand at all times. A few of those things are; lunchmeat (Boar’s Head is a great brand), cheese, bacon, avocado, pepperoni, nuts, eggs and cream cheese. Rarely, am I ever out of these things. There are more things, like Heavy Whipping Cream and butter…but those don’t pertain to my lunches. I’m thinking maybe a Stocking a Keto Pantry/Keto fridge post might be another good blog post for the future!
Second off, having a good variety of containers makes packing lunch a breeze. I like having a variety of different shapes and sizes. It makes packing up leftovers or lunches much easier when you have some different ones to pick from!
On to the Lunches!
Hot Lunch Options:
Leftovers are always a great option. I usually can count on at least one meal of leftovers each week. However, I have a house full of men/teenagers, so leftovers aren’t always an option! Breakfast for lunch is always a good option as well. I almost never make a single package of bacon. I always make at least 2, bacon holds really well in the fridge and re-heats okay in the microwave, as do sausage links and patties. I will also share a secret; if you add bacon grease to your scrambled eggs, they re-heat very well in the microwave without drying out!
Skillet Pizza and/or Pizza bowls are another great option! Basically the same thing, just one is done in the microwave and one in a skillet! I like to keep mine simple, for skillet pizza, I simply heat shredded mozzarella in a non-stick skillet on medium heat. I add my favorite pizza toppings on top (usually pepperoni and black olives…YUM!) and heat for about 3-5 minutes. Then slide onto a plate and slice! (Pizza bowl is the same thing, just thrown in a bowl and into the microwave for about 1:30 minutes). So yummy and totally kills pizza cravings!
Cold Lunch Options:
Cold lunch is usually the way I go when I take lunch to work. It’s just easier than having to wait in line to use the microwave and eat up part of my lunch hour! So I’ve come up with lots of great, tasty options to just grab right out of your lunchbox!
Keto “Lunchables” are one of the easiest things I throw together. They really are just a bunch of Keto goodies thrown together in a container. Normally, I try to include one protein and two fats in my “lunchables”. But really, I just throw together whatever sounds good at the time! Options often include: roll-ups (see below), lunchmeat, bacon, pepperoni, summer sausage, beef sticks, salami sticks, chicken, cheese cubes or sticks, avocado, olives, nuts, hardboiled eggs, or pickles. Those are things that I always have on hand, so they are easy to grab and throw into a container! You can really add whatever you like!
Roll-ups are another one of my favorites that are easy to throw together and can give you a lot of variety. The basis behind the roll-ups is taking a deli meat and rolling it up around some tasty Keto fillings! Some of my favorites are:
- Italian roll-ups: turkey, pepperoni, cream cheese and pepperoncini peppers.
- Ham roll-ups: Ham, cream cheese and pickle
- California roll-ups: Turkey, cream cheese, cucumber and avocado
- Bagel roll-up: turkey, cream cheese, smoked salmon and “Everything But the Bagel” seasoning
- The options are endless when you choose various meat, cheese and veggie combos!
Salads are also an easy option. Green salads are great options, just make sure you choose Keto friendly veggies and dressings!
Egg salad, tuna salad and chicken salad are all great options. They are easy to make ahead and keep well in the fridge for a few days. Egg salad pairs surprisingly well with pork rinds for a good lunch! (If you aren’t a pork rind person, don’t worry…this is the combo that will convert you into a pork rind lover! I never ate pork rinds until I tried them paired with egg salad at the urging of a friend).
Bacon, cheese & avocado are all matches made in heaven. It really doesn’t even matter how you combine them, it’ll be good!
- A great way to pair bacon and avocado is to just mash avocado and scoop it up with crispy bacon. Ah-may-zing.
- Cheesy, bacon avocado bites are another great option.
- Bacon wrapped cheese sticks are another good choice. You can use bread cheese or string cheese. Simply wrap in bacon crisp up in a skillet (you can bake at 400 degrees, but the bacon doesn’t get as crispy). These can be made ahead of time and eaten hot or cold!
- Bacon wrapped avocado. These are worthy of their own post, and eventually will probably get one. One of the single best Keto recipes out there. Wrap avocado slices in bacon and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Friggin’ amazing.
Cheese crisps and dip are another great option. Cheese crisps are super easy to make and give you a nice crunch somewhat similar to chips (although not exactly…but they make a great conveyance for dip). Take your favorite cheese and slice thin into squares. Place on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10-15 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before packing up or serving. These are great with any Keto friendly dip; Rotel/sausage dip, Buffalo chicken dip, guacamole and French onion dip are some of my favorites.
Pepperoni chips and guac! So, I was skeptical about pepperoni chips when I first saw them. They sounded, well, just weird. But I can assure you that they are amazingly delish! Super easy to make too. Put pepperoni on a paper towel (helps absorb the grease and crisp them up) and place in the microwave for a minute. They come out crispy and delicious! They are amazing with mashed avocado or guacamole, but they also do well with other dips I have already mentioned above!
Deviled eggs are another great option, if you have the right containers. Don’t try sticking these in Ziploc baggies, it’ll be extremely messy! But if you have hard Tupperware like containers, you should be good! Loaded deviled eggs are one of my favorites. Make deviled eggs as normal, then top with some of your favorite Keto goodies (cheese, avocado, bacon, etc,). Phenomenal.
Shrimp Cocktail is another good one! For your Keto cocktail sauce, just mix up a little Reduced Sugar ketchup with some horseradish sauce. The benefit of mixing your own is you can make it as spicy as you like! I love horseradish…so mine usually gets pretty spicy!
And don’t forget dessert! Sugar free Jello, Heavy whipping cream and pecans or berries all make great options if you need something a little sweet to get you through your day! I don’t normally eat dessert with lunch, but sometimes it just sounds good! So it’s always nice to have some ideas to throw in!
Hopefully, some of these ideas help you come up with some of your own creative Keto lunches. Enjoy!