Low-Carb & Keto-Friendly Sides To Bring To Your Next Neighborhood Barbecue

Feast on deviled eggs and bacon-wrapped avocado.

Meats may be the star of many food gatherings, but that doesn't mean you can't pair them with low-carb, keto-friendly sides. Forget the cornbread and potato salad and try some of these barbecue side alternatives. You'll still get the meat of the flavor (get it?) without all the excess carbs. You might even find a new favorite side in these recipes below:

cauliflower potato salad for keto bbq sides
Photo: Lulub/Shutterstock

Cauliflower 'potato' salad

Potatoes are one of the first vegetarian things to go when you start restricting carbs, but thanks to the miracle of cauliflower, you can still manage to get a decent bowl of spuds-free "potato" salad. Pretty much every recipe can be modified with broccoli's cousin. And if you prefer it German-style, you get the distinct pleasure of curtly telling people you brought blumenkohlsalat, which just really rolls off the tongue. Crafty Morning has a great primer right here.

tomato salad for keto bbq sides
Photo: Gayvoronskaya_Yana/Shutterstock

Tomato salad

Generally speaking, a tomato salad is a blank canvas, and one that can exist with minimal carbs. But the best move might be to mate it with a cucumber salad, as this wonderful recipe from Craving Tasty does, creating an exceedingly refreshing side dish that manages to go with pretty much anything.


Courtesy of Travel Texas

There’s truly no place like Texas when it comes to barbecue. You’ll find various styles of its signature slow-smoked, pit-style brisket, pulled pork, and ribs at festivals, food trucks, and restaurants across the state — which means you’re going to need to stay awhile to try them all. Plan your Texas vacation now and travel when you’re ready to have a barbecue experience that’ll blow your mind (or at least your taste buds).

bacon wrapped avocado for keto bbq sides
Photo: Elena Shashkina/Shutterstock

Bacon-wrapped avocado

If you aren't already grilling avocado, you're seriously missing out on a stellar barbecue move that will turn heads immediately. But why not take it one step further and start wrapping that superfood in a cloak of bacon, essentially creating the greatest keto French fry substitute known to humankind. Learn how to do it at Kirbie's Craving

deviled eggs for keto bbq sides egg recipe easy
Photo: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Deviled eggs

You don't have to hack a deviled egg recipe to make it keto-friendly—it's pretty much carb free from the get-go. The best part is that you can whip pretty much everything into that yolk, including bacon, chives, curry powder, ranch, or whatever else you're feeling. Or you could follow the lead of Simply Recipe's move and turn it into something that reminds you of crushing a pile of wings

fresh coleslaw for keto bbq sides low carb
Photo: Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock


Coleslaw is basically one of those low-carb dishes you can get away with bringing without having to explain any sort of dietary restrictions. Unless you're serving it in a bread bowl, you should be cool. The Little Pine has a great low-carb version right here

cauliflower mac and cheese for keto bbq sides
Photo: Mehmet Doruk Tasci/Shutterstock

Cauliflower mac & cheese

Mac & cheese is a surefire way to win everyone over at a food gathering—or at least win over your taste buds. And just because you're ditching the elbows in favor of cauliflower doesn't mean you're not going to lose any of the amazing flavor. After all, cheese is the great equalizer between cultures, generations, and dietary lifestyles. Grab an easy and delicious version over at How to This and That, then feel free to add on to it. 

mushrooms stuffed with cheese and vegetables shrooms vegetarian sides barbecue bbq
Photo: Cristi Lucaci/Shutterstock

Stuffed mushrooms

Consider mushrooms to be a blank-slate for fillings, much like the deviled egg, but more fun. Because fungus. Basically, you can stuff them with anything, as Salty Side Dish does with these tasty, less-spicy riffs on poppers.  

texas armadillo eggs for keto bbq sides
Photo: AS Food studio/Shutterstock

Armadillo Eggs

The bacon-wrapped jalapeno is a thing of beauty, one you can really riff on: whether you just jam the hollowed-out pepper with cream cheese and call it a popper or go more elaborate, people will be impressed. But nobody's going to top the Armadillo Egg, an unholy combination of popper and Scotch egg that sees a hollowed-out jalapeno stuffed with cheese, then wrapped in sausage, then wrapped in bacon, then chased by an immediate prescription to Lipitor. Hey Grill Hey has a great version right here

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat!