20 Best Low Carb Side Dishes (Summer Favorites)

5 image collage for 20 best low carb side dishes (summer Favorites) with zucchini upper left, salad, upper right and lower left to right: turnips, shrimp salad and air fryer radishes
Posted On: July 8, 2024

It’s summertime and some of you may be searching for healthy recipes to stay more fit in the hot months. Everyone’s grilling, chilling and packing in some good food, because summer food is great!  The good news is you’ve come to the right place.  You can enjoy healthy eating in the summer months just by making some minor adjustments to your summertime menus.

Keep enjoying those amazing main course grilled proteins, but lower your carbs with a healthier side dish.  Skip the heavy BBQ sides and enjoy some fresher, flavorful low carbs sides that will keep your summertime delicious without sacrificing your delicious fun!

Here is a great collection of 20 best low carb side dishes from top notch bloggers.  From colorful creamy salads and elegant asparagus to turnips, some of these recipes are sure to become some of your summertime favorites. It’s a mix of Keto and low-carb sides you can match up with your cook-out proteins for lighter summertime meals without heavy carbs.  

Grilled Zucchini and Yellow Squash | Mad Creations Hub
A slice of zucchini on a fork over a white platter of zucchini and squash with lemon wedges.
Megan from Mad Creations Hub shares a fresh squash and zucchini slices recipe with creamy feta, perfect for a summer cook-out with some grilled protein! In her words, "Make dinner special with Grilled Zucchini and Yellow Squash. This Italian side dish is delicious with herbs, lemon and feta cheese!"
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Pickled Beet Salad with Feta and Walnuts | The Rustic Foodie
Close Up shot of pickled beet balsamic feta salad recipe with greens
Have this delicious, sweet and salty, crunchy salad ready to enjoy in 30 minutes! My mouth waters just thinking about it. It's a great fresh salad to enjoy on a hot day or any time of year for that matter. In the words of Christine from The Rustic Foodie, "This easy Pickled Beet Salad recipe is healthy and tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette dressing along with feta cheese, walnuts, and greens!"
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Air Fryer Japanese Eggplant
Spicy Air Fryer Japanese Eggplant on white serving plate with chopsticks, dressing and more eggplants on a red napkin
Spicy Air Fryer Japanese Eggplant is about to become one of your favorite vegetable dishes! A bit of heat, a tad sweet & lots of flavor!!!
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Vietnamese Cucumber Salad | Low Carb Simplified
This amazing cucumber salad is a great way to use up garden cucumbers or if you just need a change from a usual summer salad. The bold flavors give you that umami experience to help elevate your summer meal. Cathy and Ishan say, "This Vietnamese cucumber salad bursts with flavor, thanks to the nuoc cham dressing, which is deliciously sweet, salty, tangy and spicy."
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Zucchini Scarpaccia | Divalicious Recipes
This delicious zucchini side is a dough free flat bread made with almond flour. It's a great low carb side that's even a great grab and go summer picnic dish. Angela from Divalicious says, "In This tasty keto zucchini scarpaccia is a low carb and gluten free version of the classic Tuscan dish. Delish as a side or appetizer."
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Creamy Pea Salad with Bacon & Hard Boiled Egg
Bacon Pea salad with hard boiled eggs in white serving bowl with hard boiled eggs beside on white napkin
This pea salad is great to serve with BBQ's or parties. A family favorite! Great for a holiday meal, BBQ or parties. If you're making it for a crowd, I suggest doubling the recipe.
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Cucumber Shrimp Salad | The Short Order Cook
You have no idea what you're missing, if you haven't had the pleasure of trying this delectable salad. The combo might sound odd, but it is one shrimp lovers will swoon over. In Angela's words, "Creamy Cucumber & Shrimp salad is cool, refreshing, & protein-packed. The chilled seafood is the best light lunch or side for shrimp lovers."
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Curry Roasted Cauliflower | Baked To Perfection!
Sometimes the simplest dishes are the best! With just a handful of ingredients you can enjoy this fabulous roasted cauliflower dish in 30 minutes! If you love curry flavors, you know it can take your meal to the next level with robust flavor. Alli from Dancing through the rain adds, "Curry Roasted Cauliflower is a great way to jazz up your veggie side dish! With only a few different spices, this will be a huge hit any time of year!"
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Mayo Free Pineapple Slaw (Vegan-Great for Tacos)
Up close shot of pineapple slaw with jalapeno, red onion and cilantro on white spoon spatula with bowl of slaw in background on wooden counter
This flavorful slaw is amazing on seafood, tacos or really anything needing a crunchy sweet fruity addition. Give it a try on your next pulled pork sandwiches to bring their flavor to the next level!
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Keto Italian Hoagie Coleslaw Recipe | Culinary Lion
Who doesn't love the flavors of a great Italian hoagie?! You can skip the bread and still enjoy it if you're watching your carbs. It's a creamy, meat filled smorgasbord of flavors in your mouth! Frank from Culinary Lion says, "Italian Hoagie Coleslaw is my favorite low carb way to enjoy all my favorite parts of the hoagie without the roll."
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Mashed Kohlrabi with Roasted Garlic | The Rustic Foodie
This is a delicious side dish that goes great with some grilled chicken, fish or pork chops. If you're tired of eating a lot of cauliflower rice, this is a delicious recipe for you! So, if you're craving the comfort of mashed potatoes in the summer, this dish will fulfill that craving without all the starchy carbs of mashed potatoes. Christine says, "This Mashed Kohlrabi recipe makes a great vegetarian side dish! It’s made with pureed kohlrabi, oven roasted garlic, and heavy cream."
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Artichoke Salad | Whole30 | Keto
Close up of cold artichoke salad in ramekin with fork and some crostini to the left side.
If you love artichokes and are searching for a satisfying cool low carb dish, here it is! It's easy to make and you can cheat just a little with 1 crostini to give you the pleasure of some carbs without too much carb loading. Tessa says, "This artichoke salad is a unique way to eat up one of nature’s most beloved vegetables: artichoke hearts! Whether you eat it as a salad or use it as a dip, this dish is a healthy and flavorful addition to your summer menus! As an added bonus, it is low carb, Whole30 approved, and keto!"
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Strawberry Spinach Salad Recipe | Joy Food Sunshine
The beauty and taste of this salad will enchant you. You'll love the slightly sweet poppy seed dressing with the strawberries and tangy goat cheese. It's a win win for you low carb eating foodies out there and looks amazing on your dinner table! Not sure how anyone can resist this fabulous salad! Laura says, "This easy strawberry spinach salad is simple and delicious! Baby spinach, strawberries, candied pecans, green onions and goat cheese are tossed in a light and flavorful homemade poppy seed dressing."
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Balsamic Roasted Turnips with Onion (Pellet Smoker or Oven)
Over the top and close up view of caramelized roasted turnips in shallow blue bowl with silver serving spoon and turnip with purple top to the left on a light blue towel
No need to heat up your house with the oven if you have a pellet smoker grill. Roast these turnips in the smoker and get even more delicious caramelization and flavor. Or you can roast them the old fashioned way, in the oven. Either way, you will enjoy this delicious low carb alternative to potatoes. It's a great low carb side for summer grilling made some olive oil and balsamic vinegar to elevate the humble turnip.
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Air Fryer Radishes with Garlic and Herbs | Finding Zest
Who knew you could enjoy radishes cooked as well as raw? I sure didn't until I found this recipe. It's an unexpected treat to enjoy earthy radishes in a mellower way after being cooked. It's another great low carb alternative to potatoes. Emilie says, "Air fryer radishes are a great low carb potato alternative! Once cooked, radishes lose their spicy flavor and tasty amazing with sour cream and fresh herbs!"
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Bacon Fried Cabbage Recipe | Bensa Bacon Lovers Society
Once again, sometimes simple is best, if you need a change from cabbage steaks, this simple cabbage and crispy bacon is a great side dish for you. With minimal ingredients this side will leave you satisfied from the salty bacon and tender, sweet cabbage. Enjoy it with a grilled steak or some summer time ribs! Eliza from Bensa says, "Tender chopped cabbage is fried with savory thick cut bacon in this flavorful keto friendly recipe that can be a side dish or an easy dinner."
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Sauteed Green Beans and Asparagus | Healing Tomato
Low-carb vegetables are elevated with this buttery delight from Healing Tomato made with fresh green beans and asparagus. It's cooked with an amazing blended butter. Rini says, "Sauteed green beans and asparagus is the perfect side dish for any meal. It’s flavored with an aromatic scallion butter that makes the veggies taste so delicious."
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The Best Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower with blue cheese crumbles on top
This air fryer buffalo cauliflower is a great vegetarian, low carb side dish with a kick for a delicious change to fried buffalo wings. It’s so easy and a favorite side dish in our household; a perfect quick side for a busy weekday when you want bold flavor!
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Mexican Zucchini Boats Recipe | Rachael Hartley Nutrition
Zucchini Boats don't have to be just stuffed with ground beef. You can add boat loads (no pun intended) flavor with a bit of seasoning and some yummy creamy cheeses and herbs that make a thick creamy sauce atop the zucchini. Dive into the delicious flavors of this low carb Mexican inspired zucchini summer side! Rachael says, "These grilled Mexican zucchini boats, inspired by the flavors of Mexican street corn, are the perfect side dish for summer grilling! Hallowed out zucchini halves are rubbed with a flavorful mix of spices, grilled, then fill with creamy cotija before finishing off with a splash of lime!"
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Smoked Jalapeno Poppers (Bacon-wrapped, Optional)
Smoked Jalapeno Poppers, bacon wrapped on top and plain below them on a wooden board with a raw green jalapeno in the upper left.
The smoky flavor of these jalapeno poppers will have you going back for more. Without breading they're low carb, so you can enjoy more with less guilt. They are amazing on their own with the cream cheese and cheddar cheese filling. Bacon-wrapped is optional if you need them to be vegetarian. I love to add a little lime zest to the poppers after smoking/broiling to a delicious extra subtle zing! So good!
Click Here For Recipe

If you love this post, you’ll probably enjoy checking out this collection of the Best One-Pot Low Carb Meals. Check it out!

Have you tried any of these low carb side dishes? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts. And don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family!

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