10 Tastiest Keto And Paleo Side Dishes To Bring To Your Summer BBQ

There’s nothing quite like summer BBQs when the sun’s shining, you’re surrounded by your favorite people, and you don’t have a care in the world. That is… until you realize most of the traditional summer BBQ side dishes don’t align with your goals! 

Whether you’re following keto, paleo, or any other kind of diet that limits which foods you can eat, we’re here to help 🙂 

Following a rigid diet doesn’t mean that you have to eat tasteless foods that give you no joy. In fact, there are ways to turn your favorite BBQ side dishes so they fit into whichever diet you’re following. 

And who knows — someone might like your healthy alternative so much it inspires them to follow a healthier diet! 

In this article, we’re going to share our 10 favorite BBQ side dishes so you always have a healthy (and delicious) alternative when you show up to a BBQ. 

Quick note: I’ve found (and used) most of these recipes from other sites on the web — with some of my own creations mixed in. In order to give credit where credit is due, I will not post the instructions for recipes I found online. Instead, I will provide a link back to the website so you can read the instructions from the source. 

1. Low-Carb Buffalo Chicken Dip 

low-carb buffalo chicken dip from low-carb maven makes for the perfect Keto And Paleo BBQ Side Dish

Who doesn’t love buffalo chicken dip?! 

The problem is that most buffalo chicken dip isn’t keto-friendly. While this might not be paleo-friendly depending on your unique style of paleo, it’s fine if you’re allowed to eat full-fat cheeses). 

Just don’t overeat this low-carb buffalo chicken dip 😉 

For a serving size based on 5 tbsp, this buffalo chicken dip has 203 calories, 1.85 g of carbs, 13.6 g of protein, 14 g of fat, and only 1 g of sugar.  


Prep time: 10 minutes 

Cook time: 10 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes


3 cups shredded chicken (rotisserie or cooked chicken breast)

8 ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/3 cup Franks Buffalo Sauce

1/2 cup creamy Ranch salad dressing (good quality like Primal Kitchen)

2 tbsp chopped green onions


For the full instructions on how to make this low-carb buffalo chicken dip recipe, you can find the directions here

2. Low-Carb Coleslaw  

low-carb coleslaw from wholesum yum is a tasty Keto And Paleo Side Dish To Bring To Your Summer BBQ

Whether you love coleslaw or aren’t a fan of it, there’s no denying it’s a staple BBQ side dish — especially with smoked ribs. (Yummmmm…) 

And with a few tweaks to your normal coleslaw recipe, you can make everyone salivate with your low-carb coleslaw recipe. (As long as they already like coleslaw!) 

For a serving size based on ¾ cups, this low-carb coleslaw has 77.5 calories, 3 g of total carbs (only 1.8 g of net carbs), 0.7 g of protein, 7.1 g of fat, and 1.7 g of sugar. 

Best part? 

Most other coleslaw recipes contain up to 21 g of carbs! And this one tastes just as good, if not better 🙂  


Prep time: 5 minutes 

Total time: 5 minutes


4 cups Shredded coleslaw mix (primarily cabbage with small amount of carrots)

1/4 cup Mayonnaise (avocado mayo for Paleo/Primal!) 

2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp Besti Powdered Erythritol

1 tsp Celery seed

Sea salt (to taste)

Black pepper (to taste)


For the full instructions on how to make this low-carb coleslaw recipe, you can find the directions here

You can also try my paleo coleslaw dressing I wrote about here

3. Keto Cauliflower Potato Salad 

keto cauliflower potato salad is a delicious Keto And Paleo Friendly BBQ Side Dish

You can’t have a BBQ without potato salad. Every other side dish in this article is nice to have at a BBQ. But potato salad is necessary for all BBQs! 

I know what you’re thinking: 

“Even small potatoes are enough to overdo your carb limit!” 

Don’t worry — we’re not going to use actual potatoes. And some of your guests at your BBQ might not even realize it 🙂 

For a serving size based on ¼ of the entire recipe (aka you get BIG servings), this Keto Cauliflower Potato Salad has 338 calories, 4 g of total carbs (only 2 g of net carbs), 5 g of protein, 33 g of fat, and 2 g of sugar. 


Prep time: 5 minutes 

Cook time: 8 minutes

Total time: 13 minutes


1 small head of cauliflower, cut into small bites

3 hard boiled eggs, chopped

2 tablespoons dill pickles, minced (look for sugar free)

1 tablespoon red onion, minced

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

¾ cup mayonnaise (Primal Kitchen for Paleo/Primal)

2 teaspoons dijon mustard (look for sugar free)

½ teaspoon celery salt

½ teaspoon dried dill

Sea salt (to taste) 

Pepper (to taste)


For the full instructions on how to make this Keto Cauliflower Potato Salad recipe, you can find the directions here

4. Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

keto cauliflower mac and cheese is the perfect Keto And Paleo Side Dish for your next BBQ

Alright, this might be another side dish must-have for all your BBQs. 

Who doesn’t love Mac and Cheese? And by using cauliflower instead of macaroni, you can actually make a tasty and low-carb version that everyone will want to take home for leftovers the next day! 

For each serving, this Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese has 568.75 calories, 9.2 g of total carbs (only 7 g of net carbs), 21.95 g of protein, 50.54 g of fat, and 4.15 g of sugar. 


Prep time: 15 minutes 

Cook time: 38 minutes

Total time: 53 minutes


1 large head cauliflower cut into florets

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup heavy cream

8 ounces cream cheese diced

1 ½ cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese divided (I like Cabot)

1 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground mustard

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional if you want a little extra kick) 


For the full instructions on how to make this Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese recipe, you can find the directions here

5. Keto French Fries 

keto french fries are a keto and paleo-friendly BBQ side dish everyone will love

Nothing pairs better with hamburgers and hot dogs like french fries. But french fries are one of the unhealthiest things to eat — whether you’re following a keto or paleo diet or not! 

Keto French Fries are a healthier alternative — without sacrificing too much of the taste of regular french fries. 

Not only is this an easy recipe, but you might even be able to fool others into thinking they’re eating regular french fries. 

The recipe makes 4 total servings. Per serving, this Keto French Fry has 135 calories, 8 total carbs (only 2.1 g of net carbs), 5.2 g of protein, and 11.7 g of fat. 


Prep time: 15 minutes 

Cook time: 12 minutes (or 6 minutes for air frying) 

Total time: 27 minutes (or 21 minutes for air frying)


100 g almond flour (1/2 cup + 1/3 cup)

1 tablespoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons hot water

20 drops mashed potato flavor drops (optional for flavor) 

Olive oil for frying


For the full instructions on how to make this Keto French Fries recipe, you can find the directions here

6. Crispy Kale Chips

crispy kale chips bring the CRUNCH and are Keto And Paleo friendly for your next BBQ

Everyone loves chips. But they’re usually NEVER in the same sentence as healthy, low-carb, or Paleo. Until today, that is. 

Crispy Kale Chips don’t only give you that CRUNCH everyone loves chips for, but kale is one of the best superfoods (and my personal favorite!). And it’s almost too easy to make — perfect if you’re in a last-minute rush for a tasty BBQ side dish. 

For a serving size based on 1 cup, these Crispy Kale Chips have 3 g of net carbs, 2 g of protein, and 0 g of fat.


Prep time: 3 minutes 

Cook time: 15-20 minutes

Total time: 18-23 minutes


2 cups kale (this recipe uses dino/tuscan kale, but any type will suffice)

2 tbsp himalayan sea salt

Avocado oil spray


For the full instructions on how to make this Crispy Kale Chips recipe, you can find the directions here

7. Spiralized Zucchini Greek Salad 

spiralized zucchini greek salad is a tasty Keto And Paleo Side Dish To Bring To Your Summer BBQ

This is my personal creation that I’ve been cooking a ton of recently. My whole family LOVES it — and it’ll be a massive success when you bring it to your next BBQ. 

It’s good for keto, Paleo, and a bunch of other similar diets 🙂 

Number of servings will vary on the size of your veggies, but for about 12th the recipe, you get the following: about 2g net carbs, 1.5g protein and 6.5g fat


Prep time: 15 minutes 

Total time: 15 minutes


2 Tbsp  extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp organic lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp crushed garlic

1/8 tsp dry mustard

2-3 Tbsp red onion, diced small

2-3 zucchini spiralized, about 4 cups

1/2 large organic tomato, diced

1/2 organic cucumber, diced

15 kalamata olives, halved

2 oz feta cheese, cubed or crumbled

2 Tbsp chopped organic raw pecans

I don’t always have those ingredients on hand. But I’ve made it with regular olives and other kinds of cheese. Goat cheese mushes a bit too much. But a mild cheddar, muenster, or gouda are nice. 😉


1. Whisk the first seven ingredients together for the dressing. Add the onion and set aside for the flavors to combine.

2. Spiralize, chop and combine all other ingredients.

3. Pour the dressing over the veggies and cheese and enjoy!

If you want other spiralized zucchini recipes, you can find more recipes here

8. Tomato Watermelon Edamame Salsa

tomato watermelon edamame salad is keto and paleo friendly and will delight everyone's taste buds at your next BBQ

This is another one of my favorite paleo and vegan twists on salsa. It’s flavor is perfect for summer — especially at a BBQ while everyone waits for the main dishes. 

This may not be as keto friendly as some of the other recipes, but is definitely a hit at any event! If you get 10 servings, each has about 4.5g net carbs, 2.4 g protein, and .7 protein.


Prep time: 10 minutes 

Total time: 10 minutes


1 1/2 cups watermelon

2 pints of grape tomatoes

Organic edamame

Few handfuls fresh cilantro


Hot sauce


1. Chop tomato and watermelon and toss in a bowl. Save the liquid that comes from cutting up the fruit and add it to the bowl.

2. Add as much edamame as desired; I used one 10 oz bag of frozen Cascadian Farms Organic Edamame.

3. Add cilantro, salt, and hot sauce to taste. I added two handfuls of fresh-from-our-garden cilantro, finely chopped, and 1 teaspoon of salt.

If you want some of my other favorite paleo recipes for summer, check out this article.  

9. Asian Keto Cabbage Salad

asian keto cabbage salad is a scrumptious Keto And Paleo Side Dish To Bring To Your Summer BBQ

I got this cabbage salad recipe from the one that uses the Ramen noodle packages. But I added my own twist to make it a lot healthier 🙂 

Perfect Bone Broth Powder mimics the chicken stock in the soup packet. And this makes an awesome leftover meal — especially when you toss in grilled chicken leftovers. 

One 12th of this isn’t bad for carbs as is, but you can reduce the carbs by substituting keto sweetener for the coconut sugar. Net carbs as is: 4.2g, .8 g protein, and 9.6g fat.


Prep time: 10 minutes 

Total time: 10 minutes



1/2 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup avocado oil

1/4 tsp pure monk fruit powder

2 tsp coconut sugar

1 tsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp Perfect Bone Broth Powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

Cabbage Mix: 

About 8 cups green cabbage, shredded

About 2 cups red cabbage, shredded

2 carrots, shredded

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1/3 cup slivered almonds

2 Tbsp chopped chives to garnish


1. Combine dressing ingredients in a container with a good cover so you can shake it. Shake and set aside.

2. Combine salad ingredients.

3. Pour dressing over salad and toss well.

If you want to see other healthy low-carb recipes for chilling and grilling, check out this post.

10. Spaghetti Squash Salad

A picture of our low carb spaghetti squash salad — perfect Keto And Paleo Side Dish for any BBQ

While this might seem like a main dish (and works great as one!), it makes for an awesome and different side dish too. Plus, it never hurts to bring something new to a BBQ instead of eating the same old foods over and over again. 

Best part about this Spaghetti Squash Salad? 

It’s great hot, cold, and as a leftover! I love eating it right out of the fridge the next day. 

And it’s super simple to throw together in a rush. And you can adapt the recipe with any other ingredients you have on hand — saving you a trip to the store 🙂 

Recipe as is, one eighth has the following: about 4.5g net carbs, 4.3g protein and 8.2g fat.


Prep time: 10 minutes 

Total time: 10 minutes


1 whole spaghetti squash

1 cup of fresh baby spinach (or whatever greens you have on hand — arugula also works really well in this dish!) 

1 cup of fresh basil

4oz feta cheese, crumbled (but I’ve also made it with parmesan, fresh mozzarella, and no cheese at all) 

1/4 cup of kalamata olives, halved

1/4 cup of oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (or try halved cherry or grape tomatoes from your garden) 

2T olive oil

2T white balsamic vinegar

1/2 t oregano

Salt & pepper to taste

Mix in some toasted pine nuts or cooked chickpeas to boost the protein content (optional) 


1. To prepare the spaghetti squash, pierce several times around the squash with a knife. Microwave for 6-12 minutes. (The exact length of time depends on the size of your squash and the power of your microwave. Start with 6 minutes and check every 1-2 minutes thereafter.) 

2. It will be just slightly soft to the touch when it’s done, no longer hard and firm but not mushy. Try not to overcook it! Use oven mitts or wait for the squash to cool before cutting the squash in half and scooping out the seeds. 

3. Use a metal spoon to scrape the spaghetti-like strings into a bowl.

4. While the squash is still warm, mix in the spinach and basil and allow it to slightly wilt. Add remaining ingredients and toss well. Serve warm or refrigerate for later.

And there you have it! 

All of these side dishes will delight everyone at your BBQ — especially fellow keto and paleo fans. Or anyone else trying to eat a little healthier (without their food tasting like seasoned cardboard!). 

What about dessert? 

I’m glad you asked! 

Bonus Recipe: Cheesecake Fruit Tartlet!

Cheesecake Fruit Tartlet — a delightful paleo and keto dessert for any BBQ

Cheesecake is a great Primal or Keto dessert because there are so few ingredients to start with. The trick is getting the “graham cracker” crust to be, well, graham crackery. And that was not easy! 

There are a few tricks to making a grain free graham cracker crust look and taste believable. The first is you have to toast the almond flour. Don’t skip this step! The second is the use of egg white. The third is using a sugar that melts. These last two tips help hold the crust together in the bottom of the mini cupcake tin.

Before the dab of glaze and slices of fruit, each tart has about 2.9g net carbs, 1.9g protein, and 6.8g fat. You can reduce the net carbs by 2.2g to .7g each (before fruit and dabs of glaze) by replacing the coconut sugar in the cheesecake part of the recipe. 😉

For the “Graham Cracker” Crust

½ c fine ground almond flour

1 Tb coconut sugar

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 ½ T melted butter

2 T egg white

Pinch salt

For Cheesecake

8 oz cream cheese

¼ coconut sugar (or Keto sugar alternative*)

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp salt

For the Fruit Glaze Toppings

1 cup water

1 1/2 T Perfect Bovine Gelatin

¼ tsp lemon juice

1/8 tsp Pure Monk Fruit powder*

Small and thin sliced fresh fruit of choice


1. Preheat oven to 350° and set cream cheese in bowl to get to room temp.

2. Toast the almond flour in an ungreased pan. This step is very important. It is fairly easy but can burn very quickly and so is also fairly easy to mess up, too. 😉 Add the almond flour to a dry frying pan on medium heat. Use a spatula to stir frequently, and shake the pan to level it out. The almond flour will take a few minutes to start browning but will require constant vigilance once does. I repeatedly take the pan off the heat as I’m toasting the flour, so it doesn’t burn.

3. Once toasted, combine with other crust ingredients.

4. I used the last ½ Tb butter to grease 18 mini cupcake cups. I didn’t try with cupcake liners, so I don’t know how much sticks to those. (If you try this recipe with cupcake liners, let us know how it works!)

5. Put 1 tsp of the crust into each buttered cup and press until firmly, flattening into the bottom of the cup.

6. Cook at 350° for 8 minutes remove and set aside.

7. Add other cheesecake ingredients to the room temp cream cheese and mix on medium until smooth.

8. Spoon onto each of the crusts and cook for 15 to 18 minutes, until the top is starting to split a little. Remove and chill until glaze is ready and fruit is sliced.

9. Make the fruit glaze while those are cooking. Add 1 cup of cool water to a small saucepan. Sprinkle 1 ½ T Perfect Bovine Gelatin over the top of the water and let it sit for 10 minutes as the water warms up. Once the water is hot, stir in the gelatin so it evenly dissolves in the water and isn’t clumpy. Add the sweetener and lemon juice. I don’t like this super sweet so just used a small amount of monk fruit powder but sweeten to your taste before removing from heat. 

10. The gelatin glaze will thicken as it cools. When it is 70° – 80° is the ideal thickness for our purposes. You can use an ice bath to get to this temp of the fridge. Just stir often so it stays smooth. 

11. use a small pastry brush to paint the top of each tartlet with the glaze. Arrange the fruit and gently glaze the top of each one. Chill. Share. Enjoy!

*Sweeteners are very subjective these days. I don’t like stevia and erythritol, but I do like monkfruit and coconut sugar. If you are trying to stay in ketosis, then you want to stick with the sugar replacement combos available, like Swerve or Lankanto.  While coconut sugar has fewer carbs than regular sugar, it is not really a keto sugar replacement. The original recipe called for ½ cup of sugar, but I used ¼ cup coconut sugar and that was sweet enough for me. If you use straight stevia or straight monk fruit, you will use significantly less. Basically, sweeten with your choice sweetener to your taste.

Want more dessert recipes?

Check out this post for my favorite Chocolate Keto Dessert Recipes. Or this one for my 10 favorite keto dessert recipes for the holiday (hey, a BBQ is like a holiday anytime during the summer right?!)! 

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