Already have an account?
Get back to the
Diets

Lazy Keto Meals for People Who Hate Diet Math But Still Want to Lose Big

They helped Cheri Hurst, 63, lose 86 lbs — and we’ve got 17 recipes to get you started!

It’s no secret keto can help you lose weight: It’s been hugely popular for years, with millions of people getting great results. But for some, the diet — which drastically restricts daily carb intake, often to 20 grams a day — can be a struggle. That’s why when we saw #lazyketo starting to rack up more than 200 million hits on TikTok, we had to know more. Turns out, lazy keto meals are making it easier than ever to get the weight-loss benefits with a lot less stress.

For proof, just look to Cheri Hurst — she lost 86 lbs at age 62 eating meals she loved like pizza and treating herself to cocktails like espresso martinis. Read on to learn more about lazy keto and how Cheri found success, then keep scrolling for the lazy keto meals that can help you reach your weight-loss goals too.

What is lazy keto?

Lazy keto — a term coined by the popular blog DirtyLazyKeto.com — is, simply put, a very relaxed version of traditional keto. Some people also refer to it as dirty keto. Instead of worrying about diet math, you just fill up on whatever low-carb foods suit your fancy, so you can take your pick of protein, fat, veggies, even zero-carb sweetener and low-carb bread and tortillas. Nothing to measure, no pressure to eat veggies, no need to avoid packaged keto foods. On lazy keto, shortcuts are encouraged. (Click through to learn more about the difference between clean keto and dirty keto.)

Like any version of keto, “this strategy helps drastically reduce consumption of foods that turn into blood sugar, which forces the body to begin fueling itself with fat instead of sugar,” explains keto expert and The A-List Diet author Fred Pescatore, MD. While the doctor does encourage you to eat nutritious foods for overall health, “it’s far more important to be consistent over the long-term than to be ‘perfect’ for two weeks and revert back to eating high-carb junk.”

Duke University’s Eric Westman, MD, agrees: “Making keto doable long-term is the key,” he says. And it’s why he tells folks to eat what they love — bacon, keto cookie cereal, even bun-less Big Macs. Because simply skipping most carbs in lazy keto meals gets our bodies to turn fat into fuel called ketones. And ketone production is proven to help boost overall health and significantly increase fat burn.

The best way to start lazy keto

To get started on lazy keto, start keeping track of net carbs — the total carbs in a food minus any fiber grams. Why bother? Because fiber is a type of carb the body can’t absorb, it doesn’t count toward your daily carb limit. Example: An avocado has 12 grams of carbs and 9 grams of fiber, leaving 3 net carbs. “Aim for 20 to 50 net carbs per day,” suggests Stephanie Laska, author of Dirty, Lazy, Keto and Extra Easy KetoThen when you feel ready, simply eyeball portions and keep a rough tally of carbs. That’s all there is to it! 

How Cheri Hurst used lazy keto meals to lose 86 lbs

Before and after of Cheri Hurst who lost 86 lbs with lazy keto meals
Josh Huskin, Shutterstock

Cheri Hurst was in the midst of a few rough years. One after another, loved ones had been diagnosed with serious health problems. Her mom and best friend, both battling cancer, died just 27 days apart. As the Texas grandmother grieved, sadness had given way to worry. She’d learned that sugary, processed diets may have contributed to their cancers. 

Cheri couldn’t stop thinking how she still ate the same sugar and junk they did. At 62 years old and nearly 100 pounds overweight, she knew if she didn’t get her eating under control now, it’d be too late. But how? She’d gained on Weight Watchers, hated shakes, found keto and fasting too hard. If it weren’t for her grandbaby, Sutton, she might give up.

Cheri’s lazy keto revelation

Later that week, Cheri was waiting in line at the local H.E.B. supermarket when a copy of Woman’s World caught her eye. “Discover the ‘dirty keto’ secret women over 50 rave about,” the cover said. Intrigued, Cheri bought the issue. She was soon reading about how low-stress, low-carb tricks make it easier to get into ketosis — a state where the body must burn fat as its main fuel. Shortcuts and wiggle room were encouraged. She decided to give it a try 

Cheri went back to the store to buy a stack of H.E.B.’s heat-and-eat meals — some with salmon and asparagus, others with chicken and veggies. She also found “lunch packs” with cubed cheese, turkey, nuts and veggies. She already had eggs and sausage she could make for breakfast.

Getting off to an easy start 

Cheri’s first day on lazy keto, there was little to figure out, cook or clean up. All day she felt full. And after years of an eight-a-day Tums habit, she didn’t have indigestion once.

Cheri kept at it, her mood and energy up. She ordered a book called Dirty, Lazy, Keto that gave her pointers on the easiest way to get pounds off fast. “I didn’t buy grass-fed or organic anything. I went for things that were convenient, tasty and kept me losing,” she says Favorites included Slim Jims, ready-to-eat boiled eggs, Real Good brand frozen chicken enchiladas and frozen pork fried cauliflower “rice.” Her absolute go-to: Outer Aisle brand cauliflower sandwich thins. “Add cream cheese, lox and red onion. You’ll never miss bagels!”

Cheri today: 86 pounds slimmer and healthier than ever

Dropping up to 19 pounds in a month, Cheri’s confidence quickly soared. To avoid feeling deprived, she treated herself the lazy keto way: “I’m not off-track. I’m living life and figuring out what works for me,” she told her husband , as she sipped an espresso martini one evening. On nights when she wanted a potato, she had a buttery one, saying, “I might not lose, but I won’t gain either.” 

All told, Cheri has shed 86 pounds. “This is the only thing that ever worked for me. And it was easy from the beginning.” Her blood work is amazing and her chronic GI issues have disappeared. Best of all: “I can get down on the floor and play with my granddaughter, something I couldn’t do with my own babies. Our girls are always watching us. I love that Sutton’s only going to see me being healthy.”

Easiest-ever lazy keto meals

Ready to get started? These recipes make it low-stress and delicious. We’ve got everything for your whole day, from breakfasts to snacks and main meals, even desserts. Keep scrolling and just try to pick your favorite:

Spinach-and-Feta Egg Muffins

Keto egg muffins with ham, cheese and vegetables
Elena Shashkina/Shutterstock

Make a big batch on Sunday for grab-and-go breakfasts all week.

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • ⅓ cup thawed frozen leaf spinach, squeezed dry
  • ¼ cup diced baked ham
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 Tbs. drained diced pimientos

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Coat 6 muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk together eggs, 2 Tbs. water, ¼ tsp. pepper and pinch pepper until blended; with spoon, stir in spinach, ham, cheese and pimientos.
  3. Evenly divide mixture among muffin cups. Bake until set in centers, 18-20 min.

Mixed Berry Smoothie Bowls

Lazy keto berry bowl
Olga Miltsova/Shutterstock

These pretty breakfast bowls are a feast for your eyes and a treat for your taste buds.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tbs. chia seeds
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries, thawed (don’t drain)
  • ¾ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • Assorted fresh berries, sunflower seeds and basil leaves (optional)

Directions:

  1. In bowl, combine ¼ cup almond milk and chia seeds; let stand until milk is absorbed, 15 min.
  2. In blender, combine berries, yogurt, chia seed mixture and remaining almond milk; puree until smooth. Evenly divide between 2 bowls; cover. Chill until ready to serve. If desired, top with fresh berries, seeds and basil.

Bacon, Egg and Avocado Sandwiches

Lazy keto breakfast with eggs and bacon sandwiched inside an avocado
Olga Miltsova/Shutterstock

This morning delight is proof that avocado makes everything better.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup sugar-free mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs. lime juice
  • 4 avocados, halved, pitted, peeled
  • 2 leaves green leaf lettuce, torn
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, halved
  • 4 eggs, fried
  • 1 tsp. black sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Mix mayonnaise and lime juice.
  2. Dividing evenly, top 4 avocado halves with lettuce, mayonnaise mixture, tomato, bacon and eggs; top with remaining avocado halves. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bacon Brussel Bites

Keto bacon wrapped Brussels sprouts
Iryna Pospikh/Shutterstock

These two-ingredient snacks would be delicious dipped in creamy blue cheese dressing.

Ingredients:

  • 8 Brussels sprouts
  • 4 slices bacon, cut in ½

Directions:

  1. Roll each Brussels sprout in ½ slice bacon; secure with toothpick.
  2. Bake at 380°F for 30 min., flipping once.

Baked Cheesy Zucchini Chips

Keto zucchini chips with dip
rlat/Shutterstock

Customize these with whatever shredded cheese you have on hand.

Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchini, about 1¼ lb., cut crosswise into ¼”-thick slices
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup shredded Fontina cheese (1½ oz.)
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Coat 2 large rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray. In large bowl, gently toss zucchini with oil, garlic powder and pepper until coated, then toss with Parmesan.
  2. Dividing equally, arrange zucchini slices in single layer over baking sheets. Bake until just tender, 10-12 min., flipping halfway through baking time and sprinkling with Fontina after flipping. Transfer to serving plate; sprinkle with basil. Serve immediately.

Lemon-Pepper Kale Chips

Seasoned kale chips
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

So simple and simply delicious! With the help of olive oil and a sprinkling of seasonings, fresh kale is transformed into an addictive crunchy munchie.  

Ingredients:

  • 10 cups torn kale leaves (about 5 oz.)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. lemon pepper
  • ⅛ tsp. salt

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 300°F. Coat large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. 
  2. In large bowl, toss kale with oil, lemon pepper and salt. Spread out in single layer over baking sheet. Bake until crisp, 15-20 min., stirring halfway through baking time.

Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

Fried cauliflower bites with a dip
Food Collection/Shutterstock

Spicy, buttery chunks of fried cauliflower are impossible to resist.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, about 2 lbs., trimmed, cut into florets (5 cups)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup super-fine blanched almond flour
  • 3 Tbs. butter, melted
  • 2-3 Tbs. cayenne pepper sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot
  • Oil
  • Sugar-free ranch dressing (optional)

Directions:

  1. In large pot of salted boiling water, cook cauliflower until almost tender, 3-5 min. Drain well; cool until just warm. In bowl, whisk together eggs and almond flour. In separate large bowl, combine butter and pepper sauce; reserve. 
  2. In 10” skillet, heat ½” of oil over medium heat. In batches, using fork, dip cauliflower into egg mixture; let excess drip off, then add to oil. Cook, turning, until lightly browned, 2-3 min. Drain on paper towels. Toss cauliflower in reserved butter mixture. If desired, serve with dressing.

Cheesy meatball casserole

Keto meatball skillet

This meaty dinner will satisfy even the heartiest of appetites.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. ground beef 
  • 3 cups mozzarella, divided
  • ½ cup Parmesan
  • ½ cup pork rinds, finely crushed
  • 2  eggs
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 24 oz. no-sugar marinara sauce

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients except sauce and 2 cups mozzarella. Form 30 meatballs; bake at 400ºF to cook through, 15–20 min.
  2. Transfer to greased casserole dish. Top with sauce and remaining cheese. Broil to melt cheese.

No-Fuss Chicken Nuggets

Keto chicken nuggets with almond flour
Azra H/Shutterstock

Add your choice of seasonings to the almond flour to customize these to your liking.

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb. chicken tenders
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup almond flour

Directions:

  1. Dip chicken tenders in beaten egg, then almond flour.
  2. On an oiled sheet, bake 16 min. in 450°F oven, flipping once. Serve with your favorite sugar-free dip.

Pizza Casserole 

Lazy keto pizza casserole with pepperoni
Elena Shashkina/Shutterstock

We transformed a takeout favorite into a comforting casserole that’s sure to be your new go-to meal.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups riced cauliflower
  • 2 Tbs. oil
  • 1 cup low-sugar marinara
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 2 oz. pepperoni slices

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, mix riced cauliflower, oil and salt; press mixture in 9×13” casserole. Bake in 425°F oven for 20 minutes.
  2. Remove casserole from oven. Spread marinara evenly over cauliflower, sprinkle with mozzarella and top with pepperoni. Broil until cheese is melted.

Keto Tacos 

Keto tacos with ground meat in lettuce wraps
julie deshaies/Shutterstock

Our from-scratch seasoning is super-easy, but feel free to swap in a store-bought mix.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. each ground cumin, garlic powder and paprika
  • ½ tsp. each oregano and onion powder
  • Lettuce leaves
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh cilantro

Directions:

  1. In large pan over medium-high heat, cook beef until brown, stirring, about 7-10 minutes. Add dried spices, salt and pepper and ½ cup water to pan; stir until well combined. Bring to simmer; cook 5 minutes.
  2. To assemble, add ground beef mixture to lettuce leaf. Top with avocado slices, diced tomatoes, sour cream and cilantro. 

Pigs in a Blanket

Keto Mexican cheese corn-tortilla wrap hot dogs with hot sauce
Ezume Images/Shutterstock

All the flavors you love from the classic appetizer reimagined with a lazy keto twist.

Ingredients:

  • 2 hot dogs
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese
  • 2 low-carb taco-size tortillas

Directions:

  1. Roll hot dogs and cheese in warm low-carb tortillas; secure with pick.
  2. Bake at 350ºF for 15 min. Add keto condiments.

Spinach-Artichoke Stuffed Mini Peppers

Keto stuffed mini peppers
Food and Photo

Crisp peppers combine with tangy filling in these no-cook bites that come together in just 20 minutes — add in shredded rotisserie chicken for a heartier dish.

Ingredients:

  • 9 mini multi-colored peppers
  • 2½ cups frozen leaf spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
  • ¾ cup frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, drained, chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 scallions, sliced, white parts only

Directions:

  1. Halve peppers lengthwise; remove seeds; reserve. In bowl, combine spinach, artichoke hearts, mayonnaise, Parmesan, lemon juice, garlic powder, and cayenne.
  2. Dividing evenly, spoon spinach mixture into pepper halves. Transfer to serving plate. If desired, garnish with scallions.

Grilled Zucchini & Squash Roll-Ups

Lazy keto cheese-stuffed yellow squash
Food and Photo

Tender slices of summer squash grill up in a flash, then get dipped into a quick-from-scratch garlicky red wine dressing. 

Ingredients:

  • 12 (scant ¼” thick) ribbons zucchini and/or summer squash, from 2-3 vegetables
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil 
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 3 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 Tbs. fresh mint leaves 

Directions:

  1. 1Heat grill for medium-high direct-heat cooking. In large bowl, gently toss zucchini and/or yellow squash ribbons with 1 Tbs. oil, ¼ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper.
  2. Arrange ribbons in single layer on grill. Grill, flipping once, until tender and browned, 1-2 min. per side. Remove.
  3. In large bowl, whisk together vinegar, ¼ tsp. salt, garlic and remaining 3 Tbs oil; gently toss in grilled ribbons. Roll up each ribbon; arrange on platter. Garnish with tomatoes, cheese and mint.

Chaffles 

Burger on a keto chafe
Shebeko/Shutterstock

Just 2 ingredients and a waffle iron are all you need to whip up this keto sensation that can be used in place of bagels, bread and more.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup shredded Cheddar or any full-fat cheese 

Directions:

  1. Heat waffle iron to medium-high. Distribute half the cheese on hot iron, pour on egg and top with remaining cheese.
  2. Close iron and cook until you no longer see steam, 3-5 minutes. (Be sure to cook a minimum of 3 minutes to allow cheese to set.) Keeps in fridge 3-5 days. 

For a Bagel Chaffle: Layer chaffles with cream cheese, smoked salmon and capers.

For a Burger Chaffle: Stuff two chaffles with a cheeseburger and your favorite keto-friendly toppings.

For a Chaffle Sundae: Drizzle hot chaffle with keto chocolate syrup; top with berries, nuts and keto ice cream. 

Lazy Keto Mousse

Lazy keto chocolate mousse
PHILIPIMAGE/Shutterstock

These chocolaty bowls of yum will satisfy a dessert craving fast.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream 
  • 6 oz. whipped cream cheese, at room temp.
  • 1 Tbs. cocoa powder 
  • ⅛ tsp. cinnamon
  • 12–15 drops liquid keto sweetener
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. With mixer, beat together cream and cream cheese. Gradually beat in remaining ingredients until fluffy.
  2. Divide into four portions; chill. Enjoy with any keto-friendly garnishes.

Dessert Crepes

Keto crepes topped with berries and whipped cream
Whiteaster/Shutterstock

For an extra-indulgent treat, top these with your favorite keto-friendly whipped topping.

Ingredients:

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 (15 oz.) cont. ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup super-fine blanched almond flour
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Mixed berries and mint sprigs

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to lowest setting. In bowl, whisk together eggs, cheese, almond flour, vanilla and baking powder.
  2. Coat griddle with cooking spray; heat over medium-low heat. In batches, drop batter by ¼ cupfuls onto hot griddle. Cook until lightly browned, flipping once, 2-3 min. per side.
  3. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet; keep warm in oven in between batches. Top with berries and mint.

Want even more keto recipes? Check out these articles:

9 Keto Bread Recipes That Are Low-Carb and Highly Delicious

15 Keto Recipes That Are Perfect For Autumn

15 Low-Carb Recipes to Make in 2023 That Actually Taste Good

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.