Keto Vegetables List

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Written by Rahul Malpe, Certified Nutritionist and medically reviewed by Jennifer Olejarz

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Are you wondering which vegetables are best for keto and which should be avoided? You’ve come to the right place.

In this article, you will get a list of keto vegetables you can enjoy on a low-carb diet. From leafy greens to cruciferous veggies, there are plenty of healthy options to boost your intake of nutrients and add variety to your meals.

Let's begin!


Keto-friendly vegetables

The following is a list of low-carb keto-friendly vegetables. This is not an exhaustive list of all the keto veggies, but rather some of the most popular and commonly available you can find, and the benefits of eating them.

For a full list of keto vegetables, see this PDF keto grocery list - fresh produce.


1. Spinach


Few leafy greens can match spinach when it comes to nutrient density. 

This powerhouse vegetable is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that offer a host of health benefits. For instance, spinach is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C, two nutrients that are essential for healthy vision and immune function. 

Spinach is also a good source of iron, which is necessary for carrying oxygen in the blood. In addition to its many vitamins and minerals, spinach also contains a plentiful supply of carotenoids, which are linked to a reduced risk of various chronic diseases. 

When it comes to carbs, spinach is very low in carbohydrates compared to other vegetables. 

1 cup of fresh spinach contains less than 1 g of net carbs, making this an obvious top pick for our lowest carb veggies list. 


Keto tips for eating spinach

  • One easy way to add spinach to your diet is to use it as a green salad. Simply toss it with some olive oil and vinegar and you have the base for a healthy and delicious salad. From there, the possibilities for salad toppings are almost endless. Try adding tuna, chicken, feta, mozzarella, tomatoes, avocado, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, or strawberries, to name just a few.
  • Another option is to sauté the spinach with garlic and olive oil. This makes a great side dish or addition to other recipes. 
  • You can also use spinach in soups or stews. Simply sauté it with some onions and garlic, then add it to your favorite soup recipe. If you’re short on time, you can even add frozen spinach directly to what you’re cooking, although do be aware that this will also add water.
  • Lastly, for a more filling dish, try making creamed spinach by adding cream cheese or heavy cream after you’ve sautéed with garlic. This dish is rich and flavorful, and it makes a great side or main course. For an extra boost of flavor, you can also add Parmesan cheese or bacon bits. 


2. Broccoli


As any nutritionist will tell you, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. It is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber and antioxidants. 

Plus, there are only 3.7 g of net carbs in 1 cup of chopped broccoli. 


But what makes broccoli so good for you? Part of it has to do with the way it is grown. 

Broccoli is a cool-weather crop, meaning it is typically harvested in the spring or fall. This allows the plant to develop a higher concentration of nutrients. In addition, broccoli is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, which are known for their cancer-fighting properties. 

Keto tips to cook with broccoli

  • To retain the most nutrients, steam or cook broccoli quickly in a stir-fry. If boiling, only do so for no more than 3-4 minutes. Broccoli can also be eaten raw, although many people find it more palatable when it's been cooked.
  • When stir-frying or sautéing broccoli, add healthy fats such as olive oil or avocado oil to help promote satiety and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. 
  • Add other low-carb vegetables and protein sources such as chicken, shrimp, or tofu to create a complete meal. 
  • Spices and herbs can also be used to enhance the flavor of broccoli dishes. Black pepper, red chili flakes, and curry powder are a few ideas. Experiment until you find a combination that you enjoy, or try our Indian keto broccoli recipe
  • Finally, don't forget that leftovers can be eaten cold as part of a salad or wrap. 


3. Cauliflower


Though most commonly thought of as a white vegetable, cauliflower also comes in shades of orange and green. This cruciferous veggie is related to broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, which are all good candidates to include on a low-carb vegetable list. 

1 cup of chopped cauliflower contains only 3.2 g of net carbohydrates, making it a great choice for low-carb diets. 


It also gives you vitamins C and K, as well as dietary fiber. Though it's often eaten cooked, cauliflower can also be enjoyed raw or roasted. 

Tips for how to prepare it

  • To get the most out of your cauliflower, steam or fry it before adding it to recipes. This will help to soften the vegetable and make it more flavorful.
  • Mash cauliflower instead of making mashed potatoes — add some cream cheese or sour cream to help give it a smooth, creamy texture.
  • Cauliflower can also be used to make keto-friendly pizza crusts and rice. For the best results, cook the cauliflower rice in a pan or microwave before adding it to your recipe.
  • When shopping for cauliflower, look for heads that are firm and compact with no brown or yellow spots

4. Brussels sprouts


Brussels sprouts are a type of cabbage. They are often roasted or steamed and served as a side dish. Though they are small, they are packed with nutrients like fiber, vitamins C and K, and minerals like iron and potassium.

Brussels sprouts are low in carbs, earning them a spot on our keto veggies list. 

1/2 cup of cooked Brussels sprouts contains only 3.5 g net carbs. 


In addition to being nutritious, Brussels sprouts are also versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. They are a good accompaniment to salmon, steak, or pork chops, or you can mix them with bacon and goat cheese.

Whether roasted, steamed, or sautéed, Brussels sprouts make a delicious and healthy addition to any meal.

Tips to cook this low-carb veggie

  • To ensure that your Brussels sprouts are cooked evenly, cut them into uniform pieces before cooking. This will also help them to cook faster.
  • If you're short on time, you can cook your Brussels sprouts in the microwave. Simply place them in a microwave-safe dish with a little water, and cook on high for 3-4 minutes.
  • For a crispy texture, you can pan-fry your Brussels sprouts. Heat some oil in a pan over medium heat, and add the Brussels sprouts. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • If you want to add some flavor, try roasting them in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 Celsius), and toss the Brussels sprouts with olive oil and your favorite seasonings. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tender.


5. Green beans


Did you know that green beans are actually a fruit? They’re classified that way because they contain seeds, but most people think of them as a vegetable since we eat them as part of a savory dish. 

Green beans contain vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber and manganese. They’re also low in calories and carbs, making them a great addition to any healthy diet. 

1 cup of green beans has 4.3 grams of net carbohydrates. 


So if you’re looking for a nutritious and low-carb way to add some extra veggies to your meal, green beans are a great option.

Tips to cook them

For many people, the keto diet conjures up images of greasy bacon and piles of cheese. But it doesn't have to be all about fatty meats and dairy products. In fact, it’s very important to include vegetables and other plant foods like olive oil and nuts.

Green beans are a great addition to a keto diet. Here are a few tips and tricks for cooking with them:

  • Green beans can be roasted, sautéed, or steamed. Roasting or sautéing will help to bring out their natural sweetness, while steaming will preserve their nutritional value.
  • When roasting or sautéeing, be sure to use healthy oils like olive oil or avocado oil.
  • Green beans go well with other keto-friendly ingredients like grilled chicken, bacon, and Parmesan cheese.
  • For a quick and easy side dish, steam or sauté green beans and top with lemon juice, garlic, and sea salt.


6. Watercress


According to the United States Department of Agriculture, watercress is a nutrient-dense food. It has vitamins A and C, as well as calcium and iron. Watercress is also low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates. 

1 cup of watercress contains less than half a gram of carbohydrates. 


This makes watercress about as close as you can get to a zero carb vegetable.

Additionally, watercress is a rich source of phytochemicals, which are compounds that have been shown to have potential health benefits. In one study, participants who consumed a diet rich in phytochemicals showed significant improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol levels. 

These findings suggest that watercress may help to reduce the risk of heart disease. As such, it is clear that watercress is a nutritious and healthful food.

Tips for eating it

  • Use watercress as an alternative to lettuce in salads and wraps.
  • Sauté watercress with other greens, such as spinach or kale, for a nutrient-rich side dish.
  • Add watercress to soups and stews for an extra shot of flavor.
  • Use watercress as a garnish on cooked meats or vegetables.
  • Make a pesto out of watercress, olive oil, and nuts or seeds for a flavorful addition to keto-friendly dishes.


7. Celery


Celery is a nutritious low-carb vegetable that is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and fiber. 

Additionally, celery is low in calories and fat, making it a healthy choice for those watching their weight. Despite its low-calorie content, celery is a filling food that helps to promote satiety. Moreover, the high water content of celery helps to keep the body hydrated. 

1 cup of chopped celery contains 1.4 g of net carbs. 


How to prepare it

  • This is a crispy and refreshing snack food that can be eaten raw, either plain or spread with peanut butter, almond butter, or cream cheese. 
  • When cooking celery, make sure to cook it lightly. Overcooking can cause the celery to lose some of its nutrients.
  • To balance out the bitterness of celery, try pairing it with other flavorful ingredients like ginger or garlic.
  • If you want to add some extra crunch to your dish, try adding chopped raw celery to a salad or stir-fry.


8. Cucumber


Cucumbers are a refreshing low calorie food that is rich in nutrients. 

1 cup of sliced cucumber has around 3.3 grams of net carbohydrates. 


It gives you vitamins C and K as well as potassium. Cucumbers are mostly water, so they can help you stay hydrated. They also contain antioxidants that may help protect your cells from damage. 

Tips for eating it

  • Cucumbers can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. It pairs well with other keto-friendly ingredients like avocado, chicken, and fish. It can also be added to salads, used as a garnish, or made into pickles.
  • When selecting cucumbers, look for ones that are smooth, brightly colored, and firm. Avoid cucumbers that are dull in color, blemished, or soft. 
  • To get the most flavor from cucumber, it's best to let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before eating raw or cooking. This will allow the flavors to develop and the cucumber to soften slightly.
  • It's important to not overcook it. Cucumber should be cooked just until tender, but still crisp. Overcooking can cause it to become mushy and lose its flavor.
  • Eaten raw, this keto vegetable goes well with tomatoes, feta, olives, and red onion.

9. Mushrooms


Mushrooms are a type of fungi that contain a variety of nutrients. They are a good source of protein, B vitamins, selenium, potassium, and copper. In addition, mushrooms are low in calories and carbs. 

1 cup of sliced white mushrooms contains only 1.6 g of net carbs. 


Mushrooms are also a way to get dietary fiber. This helps to keep the digestive system healthy and prevents constipation.

Tips for eating this keto vegetable

  • Slice mushrooms thinly so they cook evenly and don't release too much water.
  • Sauté them in olive oil or butter to help keep them moist.
  • Add them to eggs for a hearty breakfast or omelet.
  • For a quick lunch or dinner, sauté mushrooms with some garlic and serve over zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice.
  • For a more elaborate meal, try stuffed mushrooms. Simply remove the stems from large mushrooms and stuff them with your favorite fillings, such as sausage, spinach, and cheese. 

10. Zucchini


Zucchini, also known as courgette, is a type of summer squash with dark green or yellow skin. The plant grows on vines and is usually harvested when the fruit is still small. 

Zucchini is a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and fiber. 

1 cup of chopped zucchini contains only 2.6 g of net carbohydrates.


Additionally, zucchini is low in calories, making it a healthy food option for people watching their weight.

Preparation ideas

When cooked properly, zucchini has a mild flavor that won't overwhelm other ingredients. Here are a few tips and tricks for cooking with zucchini on a keto diet:

  • Zucchini can be spiralized or shredded to create low-carb noodles or rice.
  • It can also be used as a replacement for pasta in lasagna or other casseroles.
  • Sliced zucchini makes a great addition to soups and stews.
  • Grilled zucchini is delicious on its own or as part of a veggie burger.
  • Zucchini can also be baked into bread, cookies, or cakes.


Non-keto veggies

Here is a chart with a list of vegetables to avoid on keto, along with their carb content per 1 cup raw. 

  • Baby carrots - 8.2 g (5.34net)
  • Carrots - 12.3 g (8.7 net)
  • Green peas - 21 g (12.6 net)
  • Corn - 27 g (24.2 net)
  • Leeks - 13 g (11 net)
  • Sweet potatoes - 26 g (22.7 net)
  • Yams - 42 g (35.8 net)
  • White potatoes - 24 g (20 net)
  • Parsnips - 24 g (17.4 net)
  • Butternut squash - 16.4 g (13.6 net)


About vegetables and macronutrients

Foods are composed of macronutrients. Macronutrients are the collective term for the three big energy sources in our food: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. 

Each gram of carbohydrate and protein contains about 4 calories, while each gram of fat provides 9 calories. 

A keto diet by design is very low in carbs (5% or less of daily caloric intake) and moderate in protein (15-20%), which forces the body to burn fat for fuel instead of glucose from carbs. This metabolic state is called ketosis, and it has many potential benefits for health, weight loss, and performance.

The best veggies for keto are those that contain the least amount of carbs. 

For example, vegetables like cucumber, spinach, zucchini, and cabbage are not only low in carbs but are rich in fiber. It is well known that fibrous foods fill you up faster, which means it is unlikely that you will overeat them.

It's important to be aware of which veggies are high in carbs, as they can quickly put you over your daily limit and kick you out of ketosis.

That being said, if you still crave the taste of starchy vegetables, it is possible to include some of them in small amounts, as long as they fit your macros.


Helpful guidance to keep in mind

The following are some general guidelines for choosing low-carb keto vegetables:

  • Leafy greens are the safest option for vegetables on keto, as they are consistently low in carbs and contain high amounts of water. These include arugula, collard greens, kale, lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and watercress.
  • Not all green vegetables are keto: peas and leeks should be avoided. 
  • Most green veggies are low in carbs, including artichokes, asparagus, bell peppers, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, cucumber, green beans, okra, and zucchini.
  • Non-green low-carb veggies include cauliflower, eggplant, mushrooms, and red bell pepper.
  • Aim for at least 3 - 5 servings of keto vegetables per day.
  • Avoid adding high-carb sauces or other ingredients with your veggies that can increase their carb count.



Would you like to know more about eating vegetables on a keto diet? We answer some more questions below

The answer depends on what type of vegetables you are eating and how many carbs they contain. However in general you can have up to 5 servings of low-carb vegetables.

Yes, they absolutely do. There are a few reasons why veggies matter on keto:

  • they provide essential vitamins and minerals that the body needs to function properly.
  • they contain fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full and satiated. 
  • they help to increase the volume of food you're eating without adding a lot of calories. 

Including low-carb veggies will make your keto diet healthier.

In most cases, yes. While some leafy greens are higher in carbohydrates than others, you can generally eat as many leafy greens as you like. This is because leafy greens are very low in calories and contain very few carbs. As a result, they won't impact your blood sugar levels or kick you out of ketosis.

So feel free to fill up on leafy greens! Just be sure to check the carb counts of individual types of greens before you go overboard.

Yes. Many vegetables are low in carbs, but others — such as corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes — can kick you out of ketosis. Non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli, and cauliflower are generally safe to eat on a keto diet, but you still have to be aware of how many carbs they have to stay within your macros.



As you have learned, there are plenty of low-carb vegetables for you to enjoy on keto, all of which offer various health benefits. 

Cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower are high in antioxidants and vitamins C and K. Leafy greens such as spinach are loaded with minerals like magnesium, potassium, and iron. 

All of these nutrients work together to keep your body functioning optimally both physically and mentally. As always, it is important to remember that variety is key when following any diet plan.