No pasta? No pizza? No rice? No bread? Now you are telling me that I also have to skip condiments?? My food is going to have no flavor and no fun!
What will I even eat? Where does it end?! You can’t possibly expect me to eat a dry burger with no bun. I can’t eat chicken wings with no hot sauce. What even is a stir-fry with no teriyaki sauce? Baby back ribs WITHOUT barbecue sauce?!
Not to worry!
The Keto diet is meant to restrict carbohydrates, not flavor. If you are on keto, condiments (at least most of them) are going to need to be either kept to a minimum or modified so that you stay within your net carb count.
However, with a little extra work and meal prepping, all the above foods can be made keto-style, and that even includes condiments! If cooking and meal prepping aren’t for you, and you have found yourself doing the caveman version of keto (i.e., a slab of meat and cheese with some veggies – who’s hating?
That sounds delish!) there are plenty of ready-made versions that you can buy at most chain grocery stores or order online.
Luckily, keto-friendly condiments exist, and with the diet’s rise in popularity, there are likely many more on their way to the market.
If you are wondering what condiments are keto, read on to learn how to keep your taste buds happy and your waistline small! We will even share a couple of modified recipes.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s talk about the truth around condiments. Most people dip their fries in up to an entire ounce of ketchup or lather their baby back ribs with half of a bottle of barbecue sauce without much thought. We don’t blame you.
That sounds delicious! Sadly, a lot of condiments taste so good because they are loaded with sugar, or worse, high fructose corn syrup.
In either case, those directly translate to carbohydrates, which is a no-no for anyone trying to stay in ketosis. Let’s look at the facts. In 1 tbsp of ketchup (depending upon the brand), you will consume a whopping 3.76 grams of net carbs! Most people will consume at least double that amount on whatever they are eating.
If you are trying to keep your carb macros under 20 grams for the day, two tiny scoops of ketchup will get you almost halfway there. Barbecue sauce is even worse, with one tbsp at 6.5 grams net carbs. That is just about the same amount as a tbsp of Hershey’s chocolate syrup.
Sweet and sour sauce will cost you nearly 4 grams of net carbs per tbsp. Are we making sense yet? This all means that none of the above qualify as condiments that can be eaten on keto. Below we have outlined a keto condiment list, broken down by how much time you have in your life to prep your food.
Keto-friendly Condiments for Every Lifestyle
If you are feeling lazy, but still want to add flavor:
The good news for the non-meal-preppers is that several ready-made options qualify as keto condiments. Mustard, for example, contains zero grams of net carbs. ZERO! That means you can dip into it with no restraint, and more importantly, no regret.
Be careful and read labels because honey mustard or any variety that has been sweetened will not necessarily make the cut for keto-friendly condiments. That being said, you could add stevia or other keto-approved sweeteners to mustard to imitate the honey mustard flavor. (If you read to the end, we will even give you our recipe for keto-approved honey mustard.)
Another contender for condiments on keto is most brands of hot sauce. Tobasco, Cholula, Tapatio, and Sriracha all make the cut! If you like your food hot and spicy, you don’t need to hold back—most of the hot sauces listed clock in at zero net carbs. But, watch out for any kind of “sweet chili” flavor. (Sorry, Mae Ploy.
You are delicious. Sadly, you are loaded with high fructose corn syrup.) If chicken wings are your jam, Frank’s Buffalo Sauce is also a keto-friendly condiment. And while you’re at it, go ahead and dip those bad boys into some ranch or blue cheese to up your fat intake.
With one of the keto diet pillars being that you need to consume mostly fat, mayonnaise is a reliable option. While it doesn’t come free and clear from carbohydrates, you would have to eat an entire cup of it to accrue 7 grams of net carbs. (If you are eating a whole cup of mayonnaise, you have bigger fish to fry than counting carbs.)
One tbsp of mayonnaise contains 10 grams of fat. You can reach your macro count with ease! Try blending mayo with keto-approved ketchup (store-bought or homemade, but more on that below) and relish to make something similar to “spread,” the “secret” (and albeit, delicious) condiment that comes on every In-N-Out burger. YUM!
The Definitive Guide to Tracking Macros on Keto) (< hyperlink article. Medium was giving me an error code when I tried…)
If you have time to shop for a convincing alternative:
If sticking to mustard, hot sauce, and mayonnaise is too limiting for your palette (or if you are craving ribs or barbecue chicken), check out the G. Hughes line of condiments. They are carried in many chain grocery stores and most Walmart stores. This bottle of barbecue sauce is a standard 17 ounces, costs less than $5, and comes in several varieties.
They also make ketchup, teriyaki, honey mustard, sweet chili, steak sauce, orange ginger marinade, lemon herb marinade, and an entire line of salad dressings (raspberry vinaigrette, Asian miso, honey Dijon, Italian, sweet vinaigrette, and balsamic vinaigrette). Any condiment you could possibly miss on the keto diet hath been found! Now, go forth for the kitchen awaits!
If you want to make your own Keto Condiments:
For some keto enthusiasts, cooking and meal prepping is a cherished ritual. Time in the kitchen is more about leisure than about maintenance or survival. If we are speaking to you right now, you will love experimenting with making your own keto-friendly condiments!
Keto Ketchup: No need to leave that burger sans bun dry! Whip up a batch of this keto-friendly ketchup. It is sugar (and high fructose corn syrup) free and tastes better than the real thing. Actually, technically speaking, this is a lot closer to the real thing than the processed version you squeeze out of a packet.
You will need 1 cup of water, 6 oz of tomato paste, ¼ cup of powdered sweetener of your choice (we like Swerve), 3 tbsp white vinegar or apple cider vinegar (your choice), 1 tsp sea salt, ¾ tsp of onion powder, ½ tsp of garlic powder, ¼ tsp of paprika, 1/8 tsp of ground cloves, and 1/8 tsp of mustard powder.
All you have to do is whisk all of the ingredients together in a small saucepan. Put the pan on medium heat, allowing the mixture to simmer for about 30 minutes. This will allow everything to reduce and blend. The mixture will thicken, especially when cooling down. You can puree everything in a blender to make it smooth. Voila! It is super easy to make ketchup.
Keto BBQ Sauce: To make keto barbecue sauce, follow the above instructions for ketchup, but before heating, add in 1 tsp of hickory liquid smoke, ½ tsp of dried thyme, ¾ tsp ground chipotle pepper, 2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce, ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, and 4 tbsp of butter.
Keto Honey Mustard: Sometimes honey mustard is just what a dish needs to go from bland to bomb. When that is the case, you will want to gather the following ingredients.
You will need ¾ cup of mayonnaise, ½ cup of Dijon mustard, ¼ cup of heavy cream, 3 tbsp keto-friendly sweetener (again, Swerve is the jam), 1 tbsp of lemon juice, ¼ tsp granulated garlic powder, ¼ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp dried tarragon, 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste.
Mix the mayo and mustard together in a small bowl. Add in the cream in small amounts at a time. Add the vinegar and all remaining ingredients. Make sure the mixture is homogenous. (Use a whisk.) Set in the fridge overnight.
This will give the ingredients a chance to thicken and for the flavor to deepen. It will be perfect for eating the next day. This keto-friendly condiment is good (as long as it is stored in an airtight container and kept refrigerated) for up to ten days.
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