If you're new to the diet, be sure to learn the keto diet basics first. One of the first things you'll learn about the diet is that it focuses on fatty animal proteins and low-carb vegetables. So how do you create keto chicken recipes when chicken is a lean protein? For starters, keep the skin on or add more healthy fats such as avocado and oils. Each of these recipes uses strategies like that to meet the needs of someone on a keto diet.
Chicken thighs (with the skin on) are perfect for when you’re on the ketogenic diet. The meat is a little richer and fattier than breast meat, plus keeping the skin on ups the fat count. In this keto chicken recipe, 70 percent of the calories come from fat, and there are a mere 3 grams of net carbs thanks to mushrooms and green onions serving as the veggie portion of the keto chicken dinner.
Thanks to avocado, buttermilk, and the chicken skin, this keto chicken thigh recipe delivers more fat than protein and only 5 net carbs. (You can calculate net carbs by subtracting the grams of fiber from the grams of carbohydrates.) If you follow a version of the keto diet that doesn't allow buttermilk, substitute a sour milk made from 1 cup coconut milk and 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar.
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This 30-minute keto chicken skillet dinner includes veggies, but low-carb asparagus and summer squash keep it keto-friendly with only 3 grams net carbs and 50 percent of the calories coming from fat. Its bounty of fresh veggies makes it one of our favorite springtime keto chicken recipes.
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With only 2 grams of carbohydrates per serving, these grilled chicken thighs are one of our lowest carb keto chicken thigh recipes. For a little extra fat, use skin-on chicken thighs instead of skinless. A generous drizzle of olive oil adds fat grams too. Serve with a simple side salad of nonstarchy veggies to round out the meal.
Chicken thighs make this recipe so keto-friendly, and the mushrooms help keep the net carb count quite low (only 5 grams). But it’s the delicious herb-infused sauce that really transforms simple chicken thighs into a must-make meal that you’ll want to put on your keto dinner rotation regularly.
This is hands down one of our favorite keto chicken thigh recipes. Using pickle juice (that's right, don't dump that empty jar of pickles, put the juice to work) to brine chicken thighs makes them that much more succulent. Although you coat the chicken thighs in a touch of flour, this recipe is still low-carb, clocking in at just 5 grams. Don’t get overzealous with the fat drippings: stick to using just 1 Tbsp. or your sauce could end up too oily.
Related: Our best pickled recipes
Yes, keto chicken breast recipes exist, you just need to find recipes with added fats like this salad. Thanks to olive oil (and actual olives), this recipe gets 62 percent of calories from fat, almost all of it the healthy monounsaturated kind. Thanks to the fiber in the veggies, net carbs drop from 7 grams to 5 grams. Dig in!
Add this dish to your collection of must-make keto baked chicken recipes. It is packed full of flavor—and a little bit of heat—courtesy of harissa and other key spices. The higher fat count and moderate amount of protein are what make it so perfect for keto. Pair the thighs with a low-carb veggie like cauliflower to round out your meal while keeping carbs in check.
Related: DIY Harissa Paste
The combination of chicken thighs and peanuts, which are fairly low in carbs and have a nice amount of fat, really makes this recipe ideal for a keto diet. As long as you skip the optional rice, your carb count clocks in at 8 net grams. And there’s more fat than protein in this recipe, so you should have no trouble staying in ketosis.
This chicken wing appetizer is a real keto diet winner because it will also appeal to the non-keto eaters you’re feeding. In fact, chances are they won’t even know it’s keto-friendly. Chicken wings give you a nice balance of protein and fat. But the real keto hero is the creamy, rich peanut butter that’s the backbone to the dipping sauce.
Pairing keto chicken thighs with lower-carb beans, rich and creamy avocado, and salty blue cheese makes for a delicious all-in-one meal. All that fiber (7 grams) pulls your net carb number down to 8 (out of your day’s worth of 15 grams). Look for a bottled salad dressing low in carbs and, preferably, without any added sugar.