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The best keto recipes for watching the big game

No carbs? No problem.

queso-lisa-fain
Lisa Fain for Chowhound

If you're trying to keep it keto, winter is a bit of a minefield. For starters, the cold weather has us all craving d'em starchy comfort foods. Then the holidays bust in, bringing an onslaught of dreamy carbohydrates and sugary sweets with it. And, of course, there's football; that glorious junk-food-filled Sunday tradition that's oh-so-American and oh-so-good. It's all enough to send any diet packing, never mind the regulation-heavy keto diet.

If you're one of the many who've joined the keto movement of late, you know getting your body into a state of ketosis (and staying there) is a tricky business. And, if you've put in the time (and exercised the restraint) to get it there, you're not gonna want to give it all up for a few lousy beers and plate of chili nachos, right? Well... maybe, but the good news -- as it relates to the keto-fication of a game day menu -- is that meat and cheese are cornerstones of the trendy keto diet and also happen to be what most people are expecting for watching the big game (or any game). Well, that and beer. 

Read more: The best low-carb beers in 2020The best meat delivery and subscription services in 2020 | The best keto snacks to buy online

So worry not. We've got ideas and lots of low-carb or no-carb recipes for throwing a delicious keto-friendly football watch party with so much cheese and meat-laden deliciousness nobody will know the difference.

Snacks and appetizers

Queso and keto chips

queso-lisa-fain
Lisa Fain for Chowhound

You're going to want some salty, cheesy indulgences and, lucky for you, cheese is fair game. Bust out the Instant Pot or slow cooker to keep the queso from congealing during the event. Check out our guide to healthier queso and use this Texas Queso recipe or try the above Indian Queso with Jalapeno Chutney recipe for something different, but be sure to sub in a low-carb, gluten-free flour -- like almond flour -- for cornstarch when thickening the dip.

If you're not into the dairy scene (and we're certainly not judging), there is an amazing vegan queso imposter on the loose that tastes an awful lot like the real thing. 

Guacamole bar

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Westend61 / Getty Images

Avocado is truly the crown jewel, recruiting superstar and, in many ways, the face of the keto movement. It's high in healthy fats and low in carbs, and most people absolutely love it so consider making a few variations on guac to keep things fun. You can start with a standard base and then add fun mix-ins like crab meat, shrimp, diced ahi tuna or bacon. See our easy guacamole recipe and our dungeness crab guacamole with endive recipe for serious avocado-based inspiration.

When in doubt... wing it!

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Chowhound

Wings are perhaps the most classic of sports snacks and you don't really even have to do much to make them keto. Check out our guide to healthier baked chicken wings, but be careful to focus on the Alton Brown-approved method of steaming wings for crispy skin and leave out the flour coating. Get our keto-friendly easy buffalo wings recipe and a few great store-bought keto barbecue sauces in case buffalo isn't really your thing.

Bigger things

Keto chili

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Chowhound

Chili is a sleeper when it comes to keto busters, and beans are mostly the culprit, although somewhat-high-in-sugar tomatoes take some of the blame. Since you're ditching the beans in this version, feel free to amp up the onion and pepper count (maybe add a few different kinds and colors) or add in diced zucchini for texture. Read Chowhound's complete guide to making great keto/paleo chili.

Buffalo chicken dip

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Chowhound

Buffalo chicken dip, or "buff chic dip" as it's known in my home state of Rhode Island, is another keto recipe that gives hope we might actually be able to pull off this low-carb game day menu. Totally addicting, is how I'd describe it and most people I've encountered tend to agree. Just be careful with dipping devices: celery sticks or red pepper slices are best, and swap out the bread and crackers for these nifty keto chips. Get our buffalo chicken dip recipe.

Lettuce wraps

lettuce-wraps
Chowhound

Lettuce be the first to tell you that lettuce cups or wraps can make keto snacking a lot of fun and easy, too. Anything from steak and cheese to pulled pork (with a low-sugar BBQ sauce) can nestle up in those healthy green wrappers and keep the carb count down. Get our lettuce wraps recipe.

Drinks

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Chowhound

Historically, light beers -- specifically lagers -- are better than other types, but there are some really interesting new low-carb, low-cal beers on the market (including IPAs) to choose from. 

But you can also take this opportunity to explore more interesting boozy beverages and whip up a few low-carb cocktails. There are some low-sugar, keto-friendly wines on the market, but if football doesn't feel much like a wine affair to you, how about a tasty large-batch cocktail? Keep it low-sugar, of course, like vodka (or even slightly carb-ier whiskey) and unsweetened peach tea with fresh lemon juice. Get this not-so-sweet lemon tea & Bourbon cocktail recipe.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.