Dairy-Free Keto Diet Meal Plan

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Written by Bridget Nalwoga, Certified Nutritionist and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

Imge of Dairy-Free Keto Diet Meal Plan



If you were to group keto-friendly foods, dairy and dairy products would be somewhere in the top 3. That is no surprise as most dairy products are high in fat, protein, and relatively low in carbs.

This raises the question, can you do a dairy-free keto diet?

Yes, you most certainly can. If you are lactose-intolerant, or just choose to avoid dairy, there is a place for you on the ketogenic diet.

Keep reading to find out how you can do a low-carb program without dairy. You will also get a free sample meal plan for a day.


What is a dairy-free keto diet?

This is a low-carb high-fat diet that excludes all dairy and dairy products.

Dairy is a term used to define milk from mammals. This includes cows, goats, camels, buffaloes, and sheep. Dairy products are foods made using milk from any of these animals.

The most common products to avoid on this diet include:

  • Milk, from any mammal
  • Milk powder
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Condensed milk
  • Ice cream
  • Whey protein
  • Buttermilk
  • Cream
  • Whipping and whipped cream
  • Ghee

Apart from milk, milk powder, ice cream, buttermilk, some types of yogurt, and condensed milk, all these foods are keto-friendly.

However, a dairy-free keto meal plan will not include any of these foods. Nor will it include foods with milk as an ingredient, for example, milk cookies, cake, chocolate, and so on.


Benefits of dairy-free keto

  • Inflammation. Being dairy-free in combination with a healthy low-carb diet can be an excellent way to keep your inflammation levels in check if you replace the dairy in your diet with anti-inflammatory foods like avocados, olive oil and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Lactose intolerance. This diet is a good option for those who do not respond well to lactose but still want to try out keto.
  • Weight loss. A dairy-free ketogenic diet can result in weight loss considering most dairy products are high in calories.
  • Type of fat. Dairy is particularly rich in saturated fat and has very little of any other types. If you replace it with more diverse fats like olive oil, you can enjoy benefits like better cholesterol control and generally better heart health.
  • Vegan-leaning. For those who avoid animal products for ethical or health reasons, this diet can act as a transition diet to a completely plant-based diet.


Drawbacks of a non-dairy keto diet

  • Restriction. A ketogenic program is already restrictive as it is. Eliminating another food group means even more limits to what you can eat.
  • Muscle loss. Dairy is one of the best sources of protein on keto. If you do not find other sources of protein to replace dairy, you may suffer from muscle loss.
  • Nutrient deficiencies. The more food groups you remove from a diet, the higher your risk for nutrient deficiencies. Dairy is the primary source of calcium in most people’s diets. Removing it may put you at risk of calcium deficiency.
  • A life without cheese. Many tasty foods on keto or any diet use cheese as an ingredient. Not only will you miss out on cheese itself, you will also not be able to eat foods like cheese chips and keto pizza.


How to do keto without dairy

Starting keto requires careful planning. Starting low-carb plan without dairy requires even more planning. Here are a few points to consider while you start your diet.

  • Find dairy alternatives. Dairy plays an important role in the diet both as delicious food and a source of nutrients. Find replacements that match dairy in terms of both taste and nutrition.
  • Consider some supplements. Dairy is a good source of protein and calcium. It may be beneficial to supplement these nutrients to meet your needs especially at the start of the diet.
  • Read ingredient labels when trying new products to make sure they do not contain dairy.
  • When in doubt at a restaurant or social gathering, choose vegan options to be sure what you are eating contains no dairy. (Don't forget to check for carbs as well!)




Foods to eat on a dairy-free ketogenic diet

On a dairy-free diet, the first food group to eliminate is obviously dairy and dairy-containing products, such as:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Ghee
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream
  • Whey protein
  • Casein protein

When following a ketogenic diet, you should also do away with most high-carb foods, like rice, potatoes, soda, fruit juice, high-sugar fruits, cake, and cookies.

Dairy and dairy products are rich in two main nutrients: protein and calcium. The food group contains other nutrients like phosphorus and vitamin D (if fortified), but protein and calcium are outstanding.

For this reason, when going on a dairy-free diet, you must think about other foods that can provide these two nutrients.

Protein sources on keto come from animals or plants:

  • Meat and meat products
  • Poultry and poultry products
  • Fish
  • Nuts and seeds

Calcium can be obtained from:

  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Calcium-fortified foods
  • Canned fish (with the bones like sardines or salmon)

Other foods to add to your ketogenic diet are:

  • Fish: salmon, shrimp
  • Oils: avocado, olive
  • Low-carb fruits: avocado, lemon, cantaloupe
  • Mayonnaise
  • Other vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, eggplant


A dairy-free ketogenic grocery list

While shopping for this diet, here are a few keto-friendly substitutes for dairy products:

  • Milk: plant-based milk like almond, cashew, and coconut
  • Butter/ghee: olive or coconut oil
  • Cheese: plant-based cheese, nutritional yeast
  • Yogurt: plant-based yogurts like coconut, cashew, and almond (plain, no fruit or sweeteners)
  • Ice cream: dairy-free and sugar-free ice cream or popsicles
  • Whey protein: pea protein

Other items to add to your shopping list are:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Avocados
  • Berries
  • Greens
  • Coconuts
  • Fish


Sample of dairy-free keto meals

A meal plan that is dairy-free and low in carbohydrates should not be much of a challenge once you have found suitable replacements. 

To show you how simple it is, here’s an example for a full day of dairy-free ketogenic eating:

  • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with spinach
  • Morning snack: Almonds
  • Lunch: Beef and cabbage soup
  • Evening snack: Blackberries
  • Dinner: Pork chops and cauliflower rice

Calories: 3,137 | Macros: 32.3 g net carbs, 188 g protein, and 234.5 g fat.

BREAKFAST Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Scrambled eggs with spinach Eggs 3 units 216 0 18.7 15
  Spinach 1 cup (30g) 7 0.2 0.9 0.2
  Olive oil 1 tablespoon 115 0 0 12.8
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
338 0.2 g 19.6 g 28 g            
MORNING SNACK Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Almonds Almonds (whole) 1/2 cup 414 6.5 15 35.7
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
414 6.5 g 15 g 35.7 g            
LUNCH Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Beef and cabbage soup Ground beef 1 lb 549 0 99.9 13.6
(Recipe serves: 4) Cabbage 1/4 head 57 7.5 2.9 0.2
  Crushed tomatoes 1/2 cup 39 6.5 3 0.3
  Olive oil 3 tablespoons 345 0 0 38.4
  Olives 400g 580 2 4 61.2
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
1,570 16 g 108.8 g 113.7 g            
EVENING SNACK Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Blackberries Blackberries 1 cup 62 5 2 0.7
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
62 5 g 2 g 0.7 g            
DINNER Ingredients Serving Size Calories Net Carbs(g) Protein(g) Fat(g)
Pork chops and cauliflower rice Pork 1 chop (199g) 338 0 40.2 18
  Cauliflower 200g 70 4.6 2.4 0
  Olive oil 3 tablespoons 345 0 0 38.4
Calories Net Carbs Protein Fat            
753 4.6 g 42.6 g 56.4 g            
DAILY TOTALS   3,137 cal 32.3 g net carbs 188 g protein 234.5 g fat




FAQs about a non-dairy ketogenic diet

If you are still unsure about eating low-carb without milk and milk products, keep reading as we answer some of your questions.

Yes, you can.

There are many nutritious foods other than dairy that are keto-friendly. If you truly love milk and milk products, there are still plenty of substitute foods that can work just as well.

If plant-based milk is unsweetened and unflavored, it is usually keto-compliant. Most plant milk is made from nuts and seeds, which are low-carb, making their respective milk keto-approved. Ketogenic plant milks include almond, cashew, and coconut.

However, milk made from grains like rice and oats is not keto-friendly.

Dairy-free keto may have some benefits over regular keto. However, if one loves and maintains a moderate consumption of dairy, there is no need to eliminate it.

Yes and no.

Creamer is usually high in fat and low in carbs, so yes. However, some brands may add thickeners and other ingredients that contain carbs. For this reason, always read the nutrition label of your creamer before using it.

Yes, you can.

In place of macaroni, use cauliflower, and to get the cheesy flavor, add some nutritional yeast.

For an easy delicious dairy-free mac and cheese, try this recipe:


Cauliflower base

  • Cauliflower, one very large head
  • Olive oil, 1 tsp
  • Sea salt, 1/4 tsp
  • Black pepper

Cauliflower cashew cheese sauce

  • Cashews, 1/2 cup, soaked in hot water
  • Very soft cooked cauliflower, 1 cup (reserved from 1st step – cauliflower base)
  • Nutritional yeast, 3 tbsp
  • Fresh lemon juice, 1 tbsp
  • Dijon mustard, 1 tsp
  • Garlic powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric, 1/8 tsp
  • Sea salt, 1 tsp
  • Hot water, 1/3 cup


  • Paprika
  • Black pepper
  • Fresh herbs


  1. Soak cashews in boiling water for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Cut cauliflower into equal, bite-size pieces.
  3. Boil about 1/4 inch of water in a large, shallow pan.
  4. Add 1/4 tsp salt and cauliflower.
  5. Cook for about 6-8 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring every 2 minutes so, until tender but not falling apart.
  6. Remove some cauliflower leaving 1 cup behind.
  7. Drain in a colander.
  8. Cook the remaining cauliflower for another three or so minutes, until very soft and falls apart.
  9. Move the soft cooked cup of cauliflower to a blender or food processor along with soaked and drained cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, mustard, garlic powder, turmeric, and sea salt along with the first 1/3 cup of hot water.
  10. Blend on high until smooth to a pourable but thick consistency.
  11. In a skillet, heat to medium heat 1 tsp olive oil.
  12. Add drained cauliflower florets back to the pan along with 1/4 tsp salt and black pepper.
  13. Stir to coat in olive oil and salt and pepper.
  14. Pour sauce over the cauliflower, toss gently with a spatula to coat.
  15. Top with a little cracked black pepper, paprika, and fresh herbs if using.
  16. Serve hot.

You can lose up to 10 lbs in the first month on a non-dairy ketogenic diet. The amount of weight you lose will depend on what type of food you eat, the number of calories you consume, and your level of physical activity.


More ketogenic diet plans to try

Check out some of the many ways to switch to a high-fat, low-carb way of eating.