When you’re watching your carbs, parties can be tricky. Luckily, our list of Keto-Approved party foods is perfect for parties both big and small. Plus, we’ve got all the details on how to choose the perfect wine pairing!
Summertime has long been associated with backyard barbeques, picnics, and parties. While social distancing has made these gatherings smaller and more intimate, they’re still bursting with grilled classics, frozen treats, and carb-heavy confections. When you’re watching your carbs, however, this can be particularly tricky territory to navigate.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of keto-approved party foods. We’ve even come up with some classic low-carb wine pairings (plus a few creative drinks that’ll give you those perfect vacation vibes).
Once you master a few of these shockingly simple recipes, you’ll easily be able to avoid carb cravings. We’ve got a few of our classic recipes and some new ones too. So be sure to stock up on ingredients, because you’ll be wanting to munch on these all summer long 😉
Before we jump right in, let’s cover a few of the basics. The keto, or ketogenic, diet is a low-carb style of eating that focuses on moderate protein and higher fat content. This can include meat, fish and seafood, eggs, cheese, natural fats like butter and olive oil, minimal berries, and vegetables that grow above the ground.
The main foods to avoid are carb-heavy items like potatoes, pasta, bread, rice, candy, sugary fruits, and beer. With moderation and a fair amount of planning, you can absolutely still drink wine on the keto diet. Just remember that alcohol slows down ketosis, so it’s important to maintain your nutrition and opt for low-alcohol wines.
In case you’re new here, we’re pretty passionate about two things: wine and healthy lifestyles. Luckily, with a few tips and tricks (like the following recipes) you can still enjoy delicious wine that compliments a healthy lifestyle.
Food and Wine Pairing Basics
We’ve gone ahead and given you a wine recommendation for each of the following recipes, however, you’re more than welcome to get creative! Wine is meant to be enjoyed and the same goes for food. What we consume should nourish our bodies and souls. So if you have a favorite bottle that you think goes with EVERYTHING, feel free to choose that one!
If you’ve tasked yourself with expanding your palette by trying new food and wine combinations, you’ll definitely want to check out our Wine Pairing 101 blog. There we explore the many subtle nuances of wine pairings so you can get started on your journey towards wine mastery!
But what if you’re just starting your low-carb journey and you’re not sure which bottles you’ll even like? Fear not, we’ve written an entire blog about How to Choose a Low-Carb Wine You’ll Love. There you’ll find low-carb wine alternatives to all your favorite wines, plus a breakdown of how to select wines based on your favorite flavors.
Low-Carb Party Drinks
Obviously, the easiest way to keep your beverages low-carb is to either just drink water or to sip on your low-carb wine of choice. Don’t get us wrong, the wines we recommend are phenomenal all by themselves! But it’s hard not to look on with envy when your friends are sipping margaritas or daiquiris.
That’s why we’ve come up with a few mouthwatering drinks just for you that will really get the party started! Just remember that moderation is key 😉
Zesty Watermelon Slushie
Watermelons are low in sugar, high in water content, and have lots of Vitamin A, B6, and C. Not only are these drinks surprisingly low in sugar, but they’re also absolutely delicious! We recommend blending and straining your watermelon chunks, then blend together with ice, the juice of one lime, and add as much of our PALO61, Toscana Rosato as you like. You can muddle it with mint leaves, or just use them as a garnish. Yum!
Sangria has a special place in our hearts because it’s just so dang delicious! Traditional sangria, however, is pretty high in sugar and can often be made with high-alcohol liquors. Luckily, we’ve cracked the keto code and designed a keto-friendly sangria that’ll turn your backyard picnic into a five-star vacation.
We recommend first adding low-carb, low-sugar fruits like lemons, limes, and berries to your pitcher. For a red sangria, we recommend our Tenuta Santa Lucia for its blueberry and cherry notes. If you prefer white sangria, the apple and peach flavors of our Castellani will complement the berries beautifully. Add your wine of choice to the berries, let it sit in the fridge for 30 min, then pour over ice, and top with seltzer and mint leaves.
You can add brandy or a carb-free sweetener if you like, but we tend to keep things as simple as possible.
Some parties are made up entirely of appetizers, and who can blame you! The right appetizers are great for more social parties where people are mingling and moving around. Unfortunately, they can also mean carb-heavy foods like potato chips and pasta salad. With the following recipes though, you won’t even miss them!
Keto-Friendly Balsamic Watermelon Feta Salad
This SECCO Wine Club favorite is bright, fresh, and is perfect as an appetizer or even as an entre when made in bulk. Imagine juicy watermelon, crisp spinach, balsamic dressing, and savory feta cheese. Plus, if you want to ramp up the protein you can even add grilled shrimp. Yes, please!
You can find all the details on this recipe here, and we would definitely recommend our PALO61, Toscana Rosato. Its tart, sweetness will contrast perfectly with the acid and fat content of this dish.
Keto-Friendly Pizza Dip
Yes, you read that right. Pizza Dip! This appetizer has all the best parts of pizza with none of the carb-heavy bread. Plus, one serving (about ½ a cup) only has 6 grams of net carbs, 22 grams of protein, and 41 grams of fat. So, when we say it’s pretty filling we really mean it.
Preheat your oven to 375 while you brown ½ lb of Italian sausage in a pan. In a large bowl mix together 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, ½ cup of ricotta, ¼ cup of parmesan, and your desired seasonings to taste (we recommend basil, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper). Dice ½ an onion and one whole green pepper and add both to the browning sausage. Add roughly 30 slices of pepperoni to the sausage mixture and cook for another 3 minutes. Add one cup of your preferred low-carb tomato sauce to the pan and let it all simmer for an additional five minutes.
Take your creamy cheese mixture and spread it on the bottom of a pan (either a round or 8×8 works fine). Spoon meat and vegetable mixture on top of the cheese mixture, then top with another ½ cup of tomato sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake for 25 minutes or until cheese has browned.
This can be eaten with veggies, pork rinds, or even just a fork! And if you’re looking for a delicious wine to pair it with, try our Supertuscan Tenuta di Burchino. It’s complex and savory with a surprisingly soft mouthfeel. This congruent wine pairing creates a rich, savory experience.
Keto-Friendly Charcuterie Board
Wine and charcuterie are an iconic food pairing. Charcuterie can be a simple appetizer, evening snack, an afternoon treat, or even an entire meal. It all depends on what you decide to include. Traditionally, a charcuterie board may include a variety of bread (baguette, crackers, breadsticks, etc). However, our low-carb lovers will want to avoid those and instead op for additional meats or even pork rinds.
This is an old classic of ours, and you can find all the details here! For this particular appetizer, we would pair it with our PALO61, Toscano Rosso. Its black pepper and cherry notes will highlight the savoriness of any meats and cheeses you select.
If your social events are smaller and more intimate, you may opt for a more traditional meal that includes a full entree. This is a great time to impress friends with meals that look complicated but are surprisingly simple to throw together.
Keto-Friendly Salmon with Avocado Salsa
Not only is this dish Kaleo-Friendly, but it’s also paleo, Whole30, and full of healthy fats to keep you full and satiated. Ready in roughly twenty minutes, this flavorful dish is surprisingly simple yet bursting with delicious flavor, textures, and color. Plus, you have the option of grilling, searing, or even baking your salmon. So choose whichever method you prefer!
We’ve got all the details on this SECCO Wine Club classic recipe here, and we recommend pairing it with our PALO61, Toscana Bianco. This crisp, floral white wine pairs perfectly with this salmon dish and would be best served chilled.
Low-Carb Sheet Pan Steak Fajitas
For many people new to the keto diet, giving up the tortillas classic to most Mexican dishes can be painful. Luckily, you can still get all those classic savory fajita flavors without the carbs! Plus, everything in this recipe is made using one sheet pan. So prep work and clean up are a breeze.
You’ll need 2 cloves of garlic, 1 whole onion sliced thinly, ½ tsp of chili powder, 1 tbsp of ground cumin, 60ml of coconut or olive oil, 1 lime (you’ll use the juice and zest), 1 lemon (same deal here), 750 grams of steak (thinly sliced), 1 sliced red pepper, and 1 sliced yellow pepper, and finally salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 350 and while it’s warming up, mix together all the ingredients on the sheet pan. You’ll bake the mixture for 15 minutes, but halfway through you should take it out and mix everything up again. This ensures that the steak is thoroughly cooked and everything is well seasoned. A few minutes before it’s finished you can add your favorite cheese, but that’s entirely optional.
Once it’s ready, you can eat it with a fork or even pork rinds! For this spicy, savory meal, we’d recommend our Tenuta Ceppaiano. It’s complex orange and aniseed flavors will help you savor the spiciness of the dish.
Honestly, we feel a little silly putting the word “low-carb” in front of kabob because they’re so obviously keto-friendly! Seriously, we’re not even going to give you an official recipe for this one because YOU get to decide what goes on your kabob stick. You even have the option of preparing them ahead of time or allowing your guests to choose their meats and veggies themselves!
Items you could include would be steak, shrimp, chicken, peppers, mushrooms, and even zucchini. Just make sure to choose vegetables that aren’t high in carbs. Throw them on the grill until the meat is cooked, and voila! Plus, since there might be a variety of different kabobs, we would just have a few different bottles of wine on hand so each guest can choose what works best for them.
Seriously, could it get any easier?
Preparing and eating food together is at the heart of every community. It’s how we share traditions, nourish one another, and just let loose and have a good time! So missing out because of your dietary choices is just silly. Plus, the more you share your low-carb recipes and wine, the more people are going to understand and maybe even join you!
Make your wine journey a little easier and consider subscribing to our wine club for wine safely delivered to your door every month. Not sure if full membership is right for you? Don’t sweat it! You can still purchase delicious low-carb wine from our website even if you’re not an official member. Either way, make sure to let us know what you think of our wine in the comments below and follow us on social media for all the latest updates.