4th of July Food for Your Cookout 🍖
It’s time for some fireworks, food, and fun! All this cheer doesn’t have to sabotage your keto diet efforts. Whether you’re hosting or planning, creating a solid 4th of July menu with the right accompaniments will leave you feeling satisfied and festive.
4th of July Appetizers
I am all about the appetizers--I could practically fill up on these alone. It’s important to not let yourself get too hungry to keep your cravings and decision-making in check. All of these are packed with protein and veggies to kick the day off right.
- Buffalo chicken dip with romaine hearts
- Pickled vegetable tray with canned or jarred artichokes, olives, marinated mushrooms, and pickled peppers. Just watch out for added sugars in the ingredients listed and stick with the savory varieties.
- Crave-worthy raw vegetable tray with asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, and radishes. Whip up a low-carb “hummus” using zucchini or serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing.
- Keto seven-layer dip layered with cooked taco meat, guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheese, sliced scallions, a thin sprinkling of salsa or drained pico de gallo, and sliced olives. Serve with sliced zucchini and red bell pepper dippers.
- Set out a couple bags of HighKey Cheese Crunch for savory, crunchy noshing
Keto Dinners for July 4th
Almost any center-of-plate protein is keto approved, as long as it’s not doused in sugary marinades or sauces.
- Hamburger patties sprinkled with steakhouse seasoning. Pick your fave, selecting from beef, bison, or turkey. Sprinkle salmon burgers with lemon pepper seasoning and finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Serve in lettuce wraps or fork and knife it.
- Pounded chicken breasts marinated in apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, and your favorite seasoning blend. Or use boneless skinless chicken thighs, which I prefer due to their juicy tenderness.
- Hot dogs. Ideally, go for those that are uncured and made with more simple ingredients.
- Tofu block pressed and marinated in soy sauce. Slice thickly before grilling.
Keto Side Dishes for July 4th
I love flavorful side dishes, serving myself just a spoonful of each to begin. Then I may go back for seconds of my favorite side dish. Try out these keto-approved side dishes:
- Grilled avocado. Cut an avocado in half, leaving the skin on. Brush the grates with oil and grill for a few minutes.
- Pickled cucumbers, marinated in rice vinegar, sesame oil, and a touch of your favorite no-carb sweetener.
- Grilled vegetable skewers. Pre-soak wooden skewers for 10 minutes, then add button or baby Bella mushrooms, zucchini and onion wedges, and a few cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and a drizzle of red wine vinegar or balsamic.
When it comes to choosing keto-friendly condiments, the thing to watch out for is added sugar in the ingredient list. Here are some of my favorites that are virtually carb-free:
- Regular mayonnaise (but watch out for salad dressing mayonnaise, which contains 2 grams sugar per tablespoon)
- Yellow or Dijon mustard
- Oil and vinegar
- Rubs and spices that are free of sugar
- Italian dressing that is free of added sugar
- Ranch and blue cheese dressing
- Hot sauce, including Buffalo hot sauce
Is ketchup keto-friendly?
Not exactly. 1 tablespoon of ketchup contains 5 grams carbs, while 1 packet of ketchup contains 2 grams. If you can’t go without ketchup, try an unsweetened version with no added sugar, containing only 2 grams of carbs per tablespoon.
Keto Dessert Ideas
Since almost all traditional desserts contain added sugar and flour, you’re going to have to get creative here.
- Go red, white and blue, with a platter lined with rows of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and unsweetened coconut. Berries are one of the lowest-carb fruits, with a half cup of raspberries containing 7 grams of carbs with 4 grams of fiber (3 grams net carbs), strawberries containing 6 grams of carbs with 1.5 grams of fiber (4.5 grams net carbs), and blueberries with 11 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber (9 grams net carbs). 2 tablespoons of unsweetened coconut comes in at under 2 grams of carbs. Serve a side of whipped heavy cream sweetened with your favorite zero-carb sweetener and you have yourself a cool and refreshing 4th of July dessert.
- When it comes to your favorite recipes like cookies and cake, swap grain flours with coconut or almond flour to drastically reduce carb count while boosting fiber and use a zero-carb sweetener in place of granulated sugar. You can also buy delicious, pre-made keto treats like HighKey’s Chocolate Chip Mini Cookies and Snickerdoodles which have only 1-2 grams of net carbs per serving.
Keto Drinks for 4th of July
By July 4th, the sun and heat make for sweltering conditions so be sure to hydrate with water, sparkling water, and unsweetened iced tea.
If you’re looking for an alcoholic keto drink to help celebrate the day, stick to a low-carb beer like a Michelob Ultra which only has 2.6 grams of carbs , dry table wine, or a spirit with a sugar-free mixer like this Spicy Blackberry Smash cocktail. On long “party days,” I like to mix wine spritzers instead of drinking just straight-up wine, so I get to keep a cool drink in my hand longer. Fill a cup with ice, pour in a serving of white wine like Sauvignon Blanc, and top off with flavored sparkling water. A few sliced berries add flavor, too.
Now you’re all set for enjoying a delicious and satisfying keto-friendly July 4th menu. Have a safe, fun, and happy Independence Day!
Michelle Dudash, RDN
Michelle Dudash is a registered dietitian nutritionist, Cordon Bleu-certified chef, and author of Clean Eating for Busy Families, revised & expanded. Subscribe to her monthly clean eating newsletter with free recipes and healthy eating tips at michelledudash.com.