27 Low Carb Recipes (Paleo, Grain-Free & Gluten-Free)

By Jess

Eating Paleo means you’re going to be eating low carb recipes that are grain-free and gluten-free by default. That’s because Paleo axes grains from the menu, and therefore does away with any gluten concerns. It’s also highly recommended not to rely on anything prepackaged at the store and make things from scratch so you know exactly what’s gone into them. Paleo has been described as a very discerning diet, and you really do have to be pretty picky because our modern world is far different from what it was 10,000 years ago and longer. Paleo followers do their best to bring things back to a more natural time, when carbs, grains, and gluten weren’t an issue.

27 Low Carb Recipes (Paleo, Grain-Free & Gluten-Free)- an awesome list if you’re looking for super healthy, low carb meal ideas.

1. Almond Crusted Baked Zucchini Crisps
When you’re in the mood for a crunchy snack, but don’t want to add a lot of carbs from potato chips and other packaged snacks, these crisps are a great way to go. They’re baked so they don’t require a lot of oil, and they’re using almond flour for the coating instead of ordinary flour, which cuts down your carbs big time. Regular flour has roughly 64 grams of carbs, while that same serving of almond flour has just 4 grams net carbs because of all the fiber it provides. On Paleo we don’t really concern ourselves with carb counts, but it’s nice to know that the ingredients and foods you’re eating are also health conscious and better choices.

chorizo cauliflower fried rice
Photo: Worthy Pause

2. Chorizo Cauliflower Fried Rice
This recipe is not only Paleo but Whole30 as well, and will keep your carbs down at the same time. Instead of regular rice they’re using cauliflower rice, which is big considering the carb difference between the two. A 100 gram serving of cooked long-grain white rice has 28 grams of carbs and almost no fiber. That same serving of cauliflower has 5 grams of carbs, 2 of which is fiber for 3 grams net carbs. Chorizo, eggs, garlic, and tomatoes are all low-carb options that make this one amazing fried “rice” dish without busting your carb count. It’s a perfect example of how a Paleo recipe is naturally healthy.

3. Spinach Cilantro Meatballs
These grain-free meatballs have gotten rid of the bread crumbs, and they’re basically packed with meat and vegetables, making them a balanced Paleo option for lunch, dinner, an appetizer, or just a snack. The use of spinach not only keeps your carbs down, but provides you with plenty of fiber to help your body digest the meat and assimilate the minerals and protein it contains. Compared to most traditional meatballs that contain bread crumbs and no vegetables, these meatballs really stand out as the healthier choice, which is no surprise when you’re eating Paleo.

4. Healthy Chicken a la King
Fancy recipes like Chicken a la King are not off limits when it comes Paleo, you just have to get rid of some of the offending ingredients like the flour and milk that comes in the traditional version. Once you take those items out and put in healthier Paleo items you get a dish that is not just flavor packed but also comes in on the low end in regard to carbohydrates. Plenty of chicken breast means you’ll top up your protein reserves, while at the same time keeping your carbs down. The other ingredients are low-carb veggies and spices, and there’s only one item that needs to be nixed, the cream cheese, which isn’t Paleo or low-carb. Once you lose that you’re good to go.

5. Beefy Cabbage Roll-Ups
These roll-ups are naturally low-carb because they’re simply constructed with cabbage and beef, but the flavor is still there thanks to the accompanying ingredients. You can tell that they’re trying to make a healthy recipe by the use of grass-fed beef. This is doubly important when you’re making such a simple dish like this because it’s one of only a few ingredients. Grass-fed is the way to go when it comes to beef because corn-fed beef just isn’t natural. Cows wouldn’t eat corn and grains, they prefer grass when they’re left to their own devices. Getting back to nature is a key tenet of Paleo.

6. Lemon Poppy Seed Poppers
These poppers sure are fun to pop, and you can have a serving without feeling like you’ve gone off track when it comes to your carb count for the day. They’ve used coconut flour instead of ordinary flour, so you don’t have to worry about the carbs because coconut flour is far lower in net carbs because of all of the fiber it contains. Wonderful things happen when you get rid of all-purpose flour because it simply doesn’t bring anything to the table in terms of nutrition, and actually causes digestive problems for many even if they don’t know they have a gluten sensitivity.

tarragon mustard chicken
Photo: Paleo Fondue

7. Tarragon Mustard Chicken
This crusted chicken isn’t big on carbs thanks to the ingredients it’s using. Most of the time when you see a crusted item on a menu it means that it’s going to be high in carbs because flour is often used to crust it. But this chicken uses a combination of crushed plantain chips and coconut flakes, two items that will provide the requisite crunch without boosting your carbohydrate number. Psychologically it’s good to have a crispy crunchy food now and then because it makes you feel like you’re not on a diet, and can be very satisfying and help curb cravings for junk food.

8. Paleo Meat Cake
An ordinary cake will blow away your carb count, but this cake is made with meat, which is low in carbs. This not only looks pretty, but is far preferable than a boring old meatloaf or meaty casserole. It is “frosted” with a mixture of sweet potatoes and tomatoes so it’s like you’re getting a three tiered meatloaf in cake form. It’s important to take the time to make your food look good, as it is well known that presentation plays a part in how you perceive the taste of your meal. Essentially this is a meatloaf at the core, but when you add a bit of novelty to it it will simply taste better. While this might not make you popular if you sub a birthday cake for it, it’s a fun way to upgrade the middle of the week.

9. Lemon Ginger Salmon Salad
Here’s a salad that you won’t soon forget, thanks to all of the amazing ingredients it has, while ranking low on the carb meter. Salmon is low carb, as is avocado, lemon, and ginger. This means that you’re filling up on wholesome foods, many of which are superfoods in their own right. Low carb, ultra healthy, with plenty of vitamins and minerals, including healthy fat and omega-3s, plus fiber and protein. You simply can’t go wrong with this salad as a light lunch or even a snack that can save you before you cheat and eat something not Paleo.

10. Beef Negimaki
These can be eaten as an appetizer, or as a main dish, and they’re definitely clocking in low in the carbs department. They’re basically strips of beef wrapped around scallions with a nice marinade for flavor. The scallions don’t provide enough in the way of vegetables so you’ll want to pair this with a veggie if you’re trying to make a complete meal out of it. Most vegetables will keep your carbs under control, which is why Paleo is a diet that you can follow if you’re worried about carbs and how they have an effect on your weight. Paleo is not just about low carbs, but eating the right kinds of carbs, the kind that will give you energy rather than slow you down.

11. Chorizo and Green Chile Frittata
Traditional frittatas are already known for being low-carb, but when they’ve been given the Paleo treatment they come out even lower in carbohydrates. Eggs form the foundation of most frittatas, and such is the case with this recipe. They’ve added chorizo and green chiles to spike the flavor without doing much to the total carb number. Avocado is used, and it has some carbs to it, but when you look at the fiber it provides the offset makes it low in net carbs. Overall this is one frittata that you can have seconds on and not make much change to your total carbs.

cheesy eggs in ham
Photo: The Paleo Princess Blog

12. Cheesy Eggs in Ham
Normally you won’t see too many Paleo recipes with cheesy in the title because Paleo doesn’t allow for cheese. But here they’ve come up with a unique way to make this ham and egg dish have a cheesy flavor without actually using any cheese. The key is nutritional yeast, and they’ve sprinkled it on top of them for the cheesiness it provides. The rest is all low carb, with spinach, slices of ham, and eggs cooked right in the cupcake cups of a cupcake tin. A delicious low-carb breakfast any day of the week.

13. Bacon Brussels Sprouts
One way to make Brussels sprouts taste better is to cook them up with bacon. You’ll be keeping things low carb, but adding massive amounts of flavor. They’ve also included radishes in this dish, which does nothing at all to the carb count, and gives your palate something else to discover. Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable with plenty of health benefits, and it’s worth it to learn to like them if you don’t already. Try them roasted with balsamic vinegar, and give them a second chance if you wrote them off as a kid.

14. Sun Dried Tomato Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash
Usually when you see spaghetti and meatballs you’re in for a carb-loaded meal. But by now we know that Paleo doesn’t allow spaghetti in the traditional sense of the word. This spaghetti is actually made from spaghetti squash, so you’re getting far less carbohydrates than you would from a plateful of spaghetti. The meatballs used here don’t pose a problem in terms of carbs because there’s no bread crumbs used, or flour, just a mix of meat and sundried tomatoes for plenty of flavor.

15. Simple Butter Scallops
An interesting thing happens when you use ingredients that individually don’t have many carbs, the end result doesn’t have many either. This butter scallops recipe shows you how to make a scrumptious scallops dish without breaking the bank on your daily carbohydrate allotment. Use coconut cream for the creme fraiche and you’ll keep this entirely Paleo. The trick is all of the seasonings being used, they provide plenty of flavor without showing up on the carb radar.

16. Paleo Cajun Crab Cakes
These crab cakes are Paleo all the way, and therefore they’re using no grains, and remain gluten-free. The Cajun flavoring means you’re going to notice these on your taste buds, with seasonings like cayenne pepper and paprika as well as a red pepper. There’s a nice remoulade to go on the top of these, and that provides even more flavor. You won’t soon forget these crab cakes, and they may end up becoming a regular on your weekly menu. It’s good to develop a list of your favorite Paleo recipes and turn to them again and again for their reliability.

low carb buffaloc hicken sandwiches
Photo: Ditch the Wheat

17. Mini Paleo Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
How in the world can a sandwich show up on our list of low-carb recipes? It’s not everyday you find a low-carb sandwich, not to mention one as delicious as this. But these don’t use the typical carb-laden bun you’ll find on most sandwiches, they’re using buns made from almond butter of all things. It’s a creative way to make a bun, and it’s something we haven’t seen before, but keeps your carbs down, keeps the grains out, and makes this a gluten free sandwich. It might not be as pretty as a traditional bun, but it’s a lot healthier.

18. Pulled Lamb’s Leg Lettuce Wraps
These lettuce wraps help you keep your carbs low for the day without sacrificing flavor, and giving your body foods it can use to power you up. You’ll get protein from the lamb and there’s a tomato chutney so you’re getting the goodness of tomatoes as well. The sauce that goes on these is optional, but recommended. It might bump your carbs up a little, but not enough to kick it off our list here. Check the yogurt at the store to make sure that it’s organic as well as what the carb count is. You can also leave it off, as it’s not strictly a Paleo item and you can use coconut milk instead.

19. Quick Beef Ragù with “Zoodles”
When you use zucchini for your noodles you can have a beef and noodle dish and come in on the low side with the carbohydrates. Pasta is notorious for being a high-carb dish, which is why you’ll often feel bloated after you eat it, and have a case of food coma if you eat too much of it. It’s also why pasta is associated with larger waistlines, but you can avoid all of that with this beefy “zoodle” dish. It perfectly combines meat and a veggie for a balanced Paleo meal.

20. Crab-Stuffed Salmon
This salmon dish is extra special because it’s stuffed with crab. Neither crab nor salmon has any carbs in it and they even have it so you make your own mayo so you get to exert quality control over the dish and make sure you’re only using top-notch ingredients. There aren’t any ingredients used that have a high amount of carbs in them, and the taste of this is something you have to try. Crab and salmon go well together, since they both have a delicate flavor the combination of the two means you’re getting twice as much flavor.

21. Simple Indian Beetroot Salad
When you keep things simple you keep things Paleo, and you’ll often keep things low-carb. This beetroot salad is made in the Indian style and is something that you can enjoy alongside a meaty dish to fulfill your vegetable requirement on the Paleo path. If beets aren’t really your thing you need to try them out in a few different recipes before making up your mind entirely. They’re just too good for you to write them off if you had pickled beets and didn’t like them.

paleo nachos
Photo: Worthy Pause

22. Chipotle-Inspired Crockpot Carnitas
It’s nice to know that on Paleo you can have foods that are inspired by what you’ll find in restaurants, and these Chipotle-inspired carnitas are made in the Crock Pot, so you can let that do the work while you do other things. Chipotle is one of the few restaurant chains that actually posts what’s in their food, including the bad stuff, so you know what you can eat there, and what you should stay away from. As a Paleo eater it’s probably best to avoid the temptation altogether, but in a pinch they may be one of the few places you could eat at.

23. Easy Creamy Buffalo Chicken Pie
This buffalo chicken pie is something you can bake up and enjoy without worrying about the carbs it contains. It’s piled high with veggies and chicken, neither of which contain many carbs, and the crust is made with vegetables and contains no grains. This is the perfect recipe to follow because it lets you know which items to leave out if you want to keep it low carb, and which items to swap out if you want to keep it Paleo.

24. Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
These stuffed squashes are filled with sausage and other low-carb high-flavor goodies so that you will have a delicious meal without worrying about what it’s going to do to your body. Take a pass on the mozzarella cheese to keep this fully Paleo, or switch to a more Paleo friendly cheese like parmesan. The beauty of this dish lies not in the cheese, but in the mix of sausage and veggies that line the inside of the squash, so you won’t be missing out on much if you leave the cheese out of it.

25. Mile High Power Breakfast Burger
This mountainous breakfast burger is sure to keep you well satisfied through the lunch hour. There’s an assortment of high-protein, low-carb items, with fiber, healthy fats, and some superfood veggies thrown in for good measure. The end result is you get all of the delicious breakfast foods you’re craving while passing on the breakfast items that cause your carb count to soar. There’s no bun on this breakfast burger, so you are only getting the good stuff that satisfies for several hours.

26. Shrimp-Avocado Salad
This salad is so fancy you can serve it up as a starter when you’re hosting a dinner, even if your guests aren’t following the Paleo diet. The combination of shrimp and avocado works because shrimp provides protein but no carbs, and avocado provides healthy fat and fiber with a low amount of net carbs. Their two flavors complement each other, and you’ll also get cherry tomatoes and jalapenos to spice things up and give it additional flavor and nutrition.

low carb pizza casserole
Photo: Beauty and the Foodie

27. Pizza Pie Layer Casserole
You might not be able to have a traditional pizza pie on Paleo but you won’t mind at all when you get to have this pizza pie casserole. It’s loaded with layers of pizza flavor without the typical pizza crust, which is what makes pizza so carb-tastic. To make this Paleo instead of Primal you simply leave off the mozzarella cheese. This leaves plenty of pizza taste, or you can leave it on if you allow cheese now and then, or reduce the amount if you just want the full taste of this dish.


Ask a Question 

  1. Jess, You always do such amazing recipe round ups ! Thank you so much for including me. Will share and pin.
    ~ Stacey

  2. Whoa! Thanks so much for including Worthy Pause (twice), Jess! Also, can’t wait to try that green chile frittata from Paleo Fondue!

  3. These all sound amazing I dont know which to try first. This week, between dark chocolate, coconut bliss ice cream, and macaroons, i realized i should cool it with the paleo treats for a while. I love vegetables too so Im going to focus on those more.

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