Starting something new is exciting but it can be overwhelmingly difficult, too. That’s why a handful of keto meal ideas for beginners is a great place to start.
There are so many low-carb options and lazy keto meal ideas. That’s the fun part! One by one, you can recipe test.
What a yummy way to learn keto and this spaghetti squash shrimp scampi is an excellent place to start.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you purchase through our link(s) at no extra cost to you. This information is not intended to be medical education and is not medical advice. It should not be used as a substitute for your or any medical professional. You should always seek counsel from your physician before beginning any new diet or exercise regime. Yes, this means talking with your doctor even if we’re simply highlighting a delicious way to prepare shrimp scampi. Also, Nom nom, nom.
Pack in delicious low-carb veggies and let the oven do all of the heavy lifting here. Finish this dish on the stovetop with a quick saute of the shrimp and you have one delicious and easy low-carb dinner.
This recipe has all the flavors of a classic shrimp scampi served with a creamy twist and prepared low-carb. You’ll want to try this one for sure!
Make This One Of Your Favorite Keto Meal Ideas For Beginners
Here’s My Easy Keto Plan For Beginners
Goals all start from some place. They vary in size and in length. A low-carb diet can be lifelong or you can pop in and out for short-term reasons.
The first step is to decide how many carbs you’ll have each day. There are many ways to research the options available to you. Here’s a great article from Healthline: The 8 Most Popular Ways To Do A Low-Carb Diet.
Whatever your goal is, be kind to yourself as you learn something new. You’ll find success in setting a daily carb limit. Give yourself a few days and see if that limit is reasonable. Without a doubt, attempting perfection through a strict and untested number seldom works.
Confidently change your daily limit up or down as you get to know yourself within keto and don’t give up.
In addition, become excited that you’re trying something new and have fun with it!
The fun part is definitely found in this next step. What could be more fun than planning recipes to support this shift in your diet?
You’ll Be Surprised At The Number Of Keto Recipes
If you’re like me, you’re drawn to certain foods and you have probably formed recipe habits around those foods. For example, consider cheese and red sauce. Someone who falls in love with a gooey cheese ravioli in a silky marina would probably also enjoy lasagna, chicken parmesan, definitely pizza, and even a meatball grinder. I would bet that some, if not most of those then make the weekly or monthly list.
What images did you just conjure about your favorite dishes? You should write down whatever those were. This is an excellent place to start. Your comfort foods could be a gateway to the change you want for yourself. Your comfort foods are low-hanging fruit in a way. Let’s start with the easy steps, and enjoying what you already love is relatively easy on keto.
The second step is testing your recipes for their low-carb status. I think you’ll find that some of your favorites are already low-carb. Others can be tweaked to mimic a normally high-carb dish. I will bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the many options available to you!
Easy To Cook Keto Meals
The last step, keeping with the simple theme, is to pick easy low-carb recipes for your first week. You should make this exciting transition as easy as possible.
Now, let’s also be truthful. It’s not going to help anyone to lie here. If you’re the kind of person who loves a classic shrimp scampi served over al dente pasta, well, spaghetti squash isn’t going to pull its weight as an exact dupe. But what it will do, is cut the net carbs in half while providing nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and Magnesium.
It’s also surprisingly delicious as it picks up on the flavors that make up the total sum of shrimp scampi. I’m talking garlic, oil, red pepper flakes, salt, lemon, and parsley. I think you will happily adopt (and adapt) this recipe.
Pair This Snack Recipe As The Perfect Appetizer:
Cheap Keto Dinner Recipes
Spaghetti squash is so versatile and inexpensive. I think shrimp is a splurge. It is in my house. Therefore, I have also tried this dish with garlicky and buttery chicken. I’ve tested it with crunchy tofu cubes. They were shockingly delicious.
Do you have leftover pork chops? Try them with this and don’t be afraid to shake up the flavors and the items you mix with the squash.
This really is a super easy and flexible way to enjoy a low-carb dinner that matches what you already have in the house or what your budget is looking like at the market.
So, let’s get into it!
Easy Keto Dinner Recipes For One Or For A Family
The squash part comes first. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Next, cut the squash in half. I find that inserting the knife at the opposite end of the root, where the core holds the seeds and membranes is the easiest spot. You’ll have less resistance with the hollow-like core.
You don’t need to be perfect with this step but please be extra careful! We aren’t looking to lose any fingers here. Then, lay each side of the cut squash on a sheet pan and scoop the seeds and membrane creating a little pocket that you’ll stuff with yummy goodness.
You’ll bake the squash for about 90 minutes. The cooking time is based on the size of the squash and how ‘al dente’ or ‘smooshy’ you want the final product. I start checking the perimeter of the squash with a fork until it easily moves in and out of the flesh around the 70-minute mark. My cooking average is 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Next, remove the cooked squash from the oven, and using thongs, hold each piece over a large bowl and use a fork to break apart the inside creating spaghetti-like tendrils.
Finally, on the stovetop, saute the shrimp in garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and a touch of oil and lemon. The shrimp will cook quickly on high heat. All that’s left is to load up your plate and enjoy.
Keto Meal Ideas For Beginners
The above (pre-oven) picture shows a lot of tomatoes. I love a lot of tomatoes. I’m an easy sell if tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, and oil are combined and then baked. I cannot get enough of that flavor combination.
But, tomatoes have a fair amount of carbs. 1 cup of tomatoes is about 5 carbs. Whereas 1 cup of zucchini has 3.5 carbs. I’ve tried both with this recipe and both are equally delicious. You should experiment, test, re-test, and enjoy until you build the exact dish that pleases you.
You shouldn’t forget to experiment while you begin keto!
When you do, this could be the dinner on your table tonight.
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Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Scampi
- 1 Spaghetti Squash
- 2 T Avocado Oil
- 3-4 Garlic Cubes, Minced
- 1 Block Feta Cheese, Cut in Half
- 1/2 C Sliced Red Onion
- 2 C Zucchini, Cubed Substitute tomatoes or any veggie of preference
- Salt & Pepper, To Taste
- 10 - 12 Each Shrimp More or less based on preference
- 1 T Olive Oil
- 1 T Unsalted Butter
- 1 T Minced Garlic
- Red Pepper Flakes, To Taste
- Dash of Salt
- Lemon Squeeze to Garnish
- Parsely to Garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Cut the squash into 2 halves and scoop out the membrane and seeds, please onto a sheet pan
- Drizzle the avocado oil on both pieces of the squash and fill with the garlic, onion, feta, and zucchini
- If you like crispy garlic, add it on top of the zucchini (I do both, over and under for maximum garlic happiness)
- Bake uncovered for about 90 minutes, checking a few times after the hour mark until a fork easily moves in and out of the squash
- Remove the squash and using thongs, hold each side over a large bowl and scrape the squash and the inside ingredients leaving only the skin out of the bowl
- Add salt and pepper as desired
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, then add the oil and butter
- Next, saute the shrimp for about 1-2 minutes per side and finish with garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt
- Plate the shrimp on a mound of your spaghetti squash and hit it with a touch of lemon and a parsley garnish