Air fryer salmon in a white plate with sides.

Wondering what’s the best fish for keto? We’ve got the breakdown from tuna to lobster and more.

Red meats and poultry are often the go-to protein sources for those on a keto or low-carb diet, but many often forget the benefits of including fish or seafood regularly! 

Not only is fish delicious and versatile, but it’s packed with protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients that can support a healthy keto lifestyle. Fish also cooks fast, making it a convenient option when times get busy. If you find yourself with not enough time to cook, check out my 10 Five Ingredient Low-Carb Recipes!

Air fryer salmon in a white plate with sides.

I love incorporating seafood recipes into my ketogenic diet because it keeps things interesting and is a great way to add a variety of flavors and textures. Plus, it’s always a good idea to mix up protein sources so you get a full spectrum of health benefits.  

Here, I’ll share the best types of seafood and fish to include in your low carb diet, along with some keto-friendly recipes I make on the regular.

Best Seafood for Keto

There are plenty of seafood options that are low-carb and provide essential vitamins and minerals needed for overall health. To get the best out there, look for seafood with a higher fat content and high protein content. 

While leaner fish is still a good choice, they lack the amount of fat necessary to keep your macros in check. I recommend boosting the fat content with healthy fats from sources like avocado, olive oil, and cheese. Ideally, you’re looking to get 70-80% of your daily calories from healthy fats, so don’t skimp on them! 

Courtesy of Doctor Kiltz, here are some of the best seafood choices for a keto diet:
  • Salmon: Salmon (preferably wild salmon) is a top choice for those on a keto diet. It’s high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids and provides ample amounts of protein. It’s also a versatile fish that can be cooked in various ways, making it a great option for meal prep.
  • Tuna: Another fatty fish with high levels of omega-3s and protein, tuna is an affordable option that works well in salads, wraps, and casseroles.
  • Sardines: These small but mighty fish are packed with nutrients and healthy fats. They’re also budget-friendly and can be eaten straight from the can or used in recipes.
  • Shrimp: Shrimp is a great source of protein, low in carbs, and easy to prepare. It’s also the perfect choice if you don’t typically enjoy fish.
  • Lobster: While it may be more expensive, lobster is a decadent and delicious option for a keto diet. It’s low in carbs and high in protein, making it a luxurious treat.
  • Cod: Cod is a leaner fish, but it’s still an excellent source of protein and is easy to cook. It has a nice, mild flavor that can be enhanced with healthy fats like butter or olive oil. Whether you bake it, grill it, or pan-fry it, each cooking method will give you a different texture and flavor.
  • Mackerel: Mackerel is a fattier fish that’s high in omega-3s and provides a good amount of protein. It has a strong flavor, so it works well in dishes with bold flavors like curries or marinades.
Close up of saucy shrimp on a fork dipped in sauce.

Nutritional Value of Keto Seafood 

Now that we know some of the best seafood options for a keto diet, let’s take a closer look at their nutrition info. 

A 100g serving of each of the seafood options listed above contains approximately: 

  • Wild Salmon: 195 calories, 12g fat, 22g protein, 0 net carbs
  • Tuna: 116 calories, 3g fat, 23g protein, 0 net carbs
  • Sardines: 130 calories, 8g fat, 18g protein, 0 net carbs    
  • Shrimp: 90 calories, 1.5g fat, 17g protein, 0 net carbs
  • Lobster: 90 calories, 1.5g fat, 17g protein, 0 net carbs 
  • Cod: 189 calories, 3.4g fat, 39g protein, 0 net carbs
  • Mackerel: 290 calories, 20g fat, 27g protein, 0 net carbs

With these options, you don’t even need to worry about carb intake! What you really need to consider is everything else: how many calories, how much fat, and how much protein you’re getting. 

My Favorite Keto-Friendly Fish Recipes

There’s nothing quite like the taste of fresh seafood, especially when you know how to compliment it with flavorful keto-friendly ingredients. Here are some keto fish recipes that I absolutely love and recommend you try out: 

1. Baked Mediterranean Cod

A serving of baked Mediterranean cod on a plate with lemon and garnish.

Take mild white fish to a whole new level with this Baked Mediterranean Cod. This easy recipe features a vibrant and flavorful topping made with garlic, herbs, artichokes, lemon juice, and walnuts. This fish has a wonderfully flaky texture, and the topping adds a delicious crunch. Ready in 30 minutes, this dish is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. 

2. Cucumber Sushi Boats

A serving of cucumber sushi boats recipe on a wooden cutting board.

Looking to satisfy your sushi craving without the carbs? These Cucumber Sushi Boats are IT. Choose between fresh sushi-grade salmon or ahi tuna, mix it with a spicy mayo sauce, and top it off with your favorite sushi toppings. The hollowed-out cucumbers make the perfect vessel, offering a refreshing and crunchy contrast to the creamy and savory filling. They’re easy to make, customizable, and perfect for a light lunch or appetizer. 

3. Keto Lettuce Wraps (Shrimp Louie Style)

Keto lettuce wraps on a striped plate with garnish.

Inspired by the classic San Francisco Crab Louie dish, these Keto Lettuce Wraps are a delicious low-carb alternative that is full of flavor. I use juicy shrimp as the main protein and butter lettuce cups as the vessel. The dressing is what brings everything together, made with truffle mayo, lemon juice, chili sauce, and more. These wraps are perfect for a light lunch or dinner or even as an appetizer at your next party. 

4. TikTok Salmon Bowl

TikTok Salmon Bowl with sides on a white plate.

This TikTok Salmon Bowl is my take on the viral food trend, and let me tell you, it does not disappoint! With perfectly crispy salmon cubes, fluffy cauliflower rice, and flavorful chipotle adobo sauce, this dish is a quick and delicious meal that you’ll definitely want to add to your meal prep rotation.

5. Spicy Garlic Shrimp

Spicy garlic shrimp on a patterned plate with sauce and toppings.

You haven’t had shrimp quite like this Spicy Garlic Shrimp recipe! With bold flavors and a short cooking time, you’ll have juicy shrimp coated in a mouth-watering Thai curry-inspired sauce in just 10 to 15 minutes. It’s the perfect dish for any seafood lover or those looking to spice up their weeknight meals. 

6. Taco Tuna Lettuce Wraps

Taco tuna lettuce wraps on a wooden cutting board with toppings and seasoning.

Whether you miss sandwiches or miss tacos, these Taco Tuna Lettuce Wraps are the perfect solution for a satisfying meal. The creamy fresh tuna salad is elevated with tangy dill pickles and bold taco seasoning, all wrapped up in crisp lettuce leaves. It’s an easy and flavorful option for a low-carb, high-protein lunch that can also be prepped ahead of time.

7. Air Fryer Frozen Salmon

Air fryer salmon in a white plate with sides.

This Air Fryer Frozen Salmon is a tasty and nutritious dinner option that everyone in the family will enjoy. The saffron-coated salmon filets paired with a refreshing yogurt sauce infused with lemon and dill create an explosion of flavors that will make you want to have this dish on repeat. Trust me, it’s a crowd-pleaser! 

8. Low-Carb Sushi Wraps

Low-carb sushi wraps on a wooden cutting board with sauce.

These delicious Low-Carb Sushi Wraps were inspired by the popular tortilla trend, but instead use a seaweed sheet as the wrap. The result? A mouthwatering sushi roll filled with creamy salmon salad, fresh avocado and vegetables, and cream cheese. To top it off, I created a tasty spicy mayo sauce that adds even more flavor to this dish. It’s a must-try for all sushi lovers! 

9. Low-Carb Saucy Shrimp Recipe

Saucy shrimp on a gray plate with sauce.

This Saucy Shrimp Recipe is a game-changer, taking only 10 minutes to prep and less than 5 minutes to cook. The sauce is so irresistible that you might find yourself licking your fingers (I won’t judge!). With a mouthwatering roasted red pepper and ginger sauce, this dish rivals any fancy restaurant meal. It’s the perfect blend of smoky, fresh, and tangy flavors that will leave you wanting more. 

FAQ

Which fish is lowest in carbs?

Plenty of fish options are low in carbs, making them perfect for a healthy and balanced diet. Some of the best low-carb fish choices include salmon, cod, halibut, sardines, and tuna. These types of fish are not only low in carbs but also high in protein and essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids.

Can you eat white fish on keto?

Yes. White fish like cod, halibut, and tilapia are all keto-friendly options as they are very low in carbs. They are also a good source of protein and healthy fats, making them a great addition to your keto meals. You can bake, grill, or pan-fry white fish with some low-carb seasonings and vegetables for a delicious low-carb meal. 

What seafood is NOT keto?

The carb count in shellfish can vary by type, but most are low in carbs and suitable for a keto diet. The exceptions are oysters, octopus, and imitation crab meat, which have slightly higher carb counts. You also want to stay away from breaded or battered seafood, as these are high in carbs.

A prepared salmon powerbowl with a fork.

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