If you’re on a keto diet, paleo, or another low-carb diet, you’ve probably experienced a hankering for some comfort foods. For most of us, low-carb comfort foods might seem like a distant fantasy. The majority of foods we crave to give us an emotional boost are often carb-heavy.
But there are solutions! We've rounded up some of the best low-carb alternatives to your favorite dishes to help you answer the eternal question: what should I eat? Explore the best keto comfort food recipes from It's Skinny.
Why We Crave Comfort Foods
Whenever you’re feeling emotions like stress, frustration, sadness, and even joy, you likely seek out classic comfort food recipes. Food cravings have less to do with the identity of the emotion and more to do with the strength of the emotion.
In other words, when you’re feeling really happy, you might turn to comforting foods like birthday cake, ice cream, or a big plate of spaghetti to keep those celebratory feelings going. Similarly, when you're feeling sad or down, you might seek out serotonin-increasing and cortisol-reducing (often carb-heavy) food. There's a good reason behind this. Classic comfort foods make us feel happy, and some studies have shown that these foods can even make people feel calmer.
It's not all chemical, though. Some of the power of comfort food is nostalgia. You might remember those happy times in childhood when your Bubbe made chicken noodle soup with chicken broth and fresh herbs or when your Nonna made hearty stews of sausage and peppers.
Food can remind us of vacations and travel too. You might crave a yummy bowl of curry or Pad Thai that reminds you of your past adventures. Paella may take you back to that time you were in Spain, or you might crave a Poke bowl reminiscent of your Hawaiian honeymoon. The best comfort foods take us to a place where we feel happy.
There’s so much tied to our food and appetites—memories and feelings of being cared for. A smell or a bite can seemingly transport you to a long time ago—right back to your favorite place, time of year, or experience.
When you’re trying to watch your weight, these comfort foods and classic dishes can sabotage your success and cause you to spiral. What happens when you break your low-carb streak and cave to your cravings? You feel guilty or bad. You end up reaching for another bowl to make yourself feel better. It becomes a pattern.
One of the issues is the feeling of, “Well, I’ve already screwed up. Might as well give up,” and it can take weeks or months to get back on track after a slip.
Compounding the issue is that when something is "forbidden," people often want it even more. When you tell yourself there are dishes you can't have, your inner rebel takes over. You might feel like you can't stop thinking about that plate of fettuccine Alfredo or the slice of lasagna because you know you "can't" have it.
One major step to diet success (for any diet) is to avoid deprivation. It’s important to recognize that deprivation leads to desperation, and when people get desperate, they give up.
So how do you keep things in check? The best thing to do is discover new favorites and find ways to modify your old favorite comfort foods to fit your diet. Low-carb comfort food recipes can still be delicious and hit all the right flavor notes to keep you feeling satisfied. A piping hot bowl of soup or a delicious keto-friendly pasta can fill you up and give you that sense of home and love (and really, isn't that what it's all about)?
If you want to ditch the cravings, find a way to scratch the "itch" without going off the rails. Look for easy low-carb recipes with a keto-friendly twist. Explore low-carb comfort food recipes and low-carb alternatives to your favorite treats. Fortunately, there are some great options out there, including our own It's Skinny Pasta and It's Skinny Rice.
Using It’s Skinny, you can remake almost any comfort food recipe you can think of. All your favorite carb-heavy pasta dishes and rice dishes get a lightened-up makeover with It’s Skinny. It couldn’t be easier or more delicious.
Why It’s Skinny is the Best Comfort Food Alternative
A package of It’s Skinny Pasta or It’s Skinny Rice is the ultimate keto comfort food. Each pack has only 9 calories and zero net carbs. It’s Skinny is kosher, plant-based, gluten-free, and suitable for almost any diet—that's because It's Skinny is made with a not-so-secret, super ingredient called konjac.
What's konjac? It's a unique root vegetable that resembles a turnip or a potato. It is also an excellent ingredient for making pasta (and rice)! One of the extraordinary properties of konjac is that it's high in satiating glucomannan fiber, which some studies have shown can keep your blood sugar steady (helping you avoid that feeling of post-carb crash that often comes with classic dishes). It's perfect for a low-carb diet.
Moreover, It’s Skinny products are easy to use. You simply open the package, drain, rinse, and add It's Skinny to the rest of your ingredients at the end of cooking. The texture is perfect—just like traditional pasta or rice, and unlike other shirataki noodles, It's Skinny won't overpower the other ingredients. Rather, It’s Skinny Rice and Pasta take on the flavor of the surrounding components, helping you recreate your memories (in a low-carb form). It's the perfect way to make all your favorite easy low-carb dinners and remake those comfort food classic recipes.
It's Skinny is available in four great varieties:
- Angel Hair
While all the varieties are delicious and work interchangeably for nearly any low-carb comfort food recipe, it helps to choose the style that’s closest to the pasta you want to mimic. For dishes that use rice or orzo, choose It’s Skinny Rice. For rice noodles, vermicelli, and angel hair, use It’s Skinny Angel Hair. For traditional spaghetti, soup noodles, or ramen noodles, choose It’s Skinny Spaghetti. Finally, for larger noodle applications, like deconstructed lasagna, select our wide It's Skinny Fettuccine noodles.
If you aren't sure which style to order, get the variety pack! You'll get all the types and can add a low-carb twist to your favorite recipes to see which is the best fit. It's Skinny is so versatile we've used it for breakfast rice scrambles, rice pudding, and more!
12 Best Low-Carb Comfort Food Recipes It’s Skinny
For all the ways to remake your favorite recipes, explore our vast recipe section. We've rounded up a dozen of our very favorite low-carb comfort food makeovers here. Check to see if your favorite comfort dish is on the list, and treat yourself to a delicious low-carb meal tonight!
One of the best low-carb alternatives is this take on the classic comfort food, chicken noodle soup. It doesn’t get much more cozy than a yummy bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup with simple ingredients. Whether you're warming up a cold night or powering through a head cold, serve yourself up a hug in a bowl with this low-carb chicken noodle soup.
Pad Thai is a classic noodle dish that hits all the right notes. If you’re craving takeout, put down the menu and whip yourself up a bowl of low-carb vegetable Pad Thai instead. It’s yummy and so satisfying that you’ll instantly feel a boost.
For many of us, the answer to comfort food cravings is spice. This low-carb Mexican chipotle chicken and rice bowl is spicey enough to scratch the itch. You can give it more kick and adjust the heat to your liking, but no matter how you make it, it doesn't get much better than the smoky-sweet flavor of chipotle peppers.
Mushroom rice is a classic dish that serves as a side or a main course, depending on the situation. Top it with some steak, pork, or chicken for a satisfying dinner. Need a lunch idea? Low-carb mushroom rice is great as a lighter main course or a yummy lunch that comes together quickly.
For so many people, kugel makes us think of home and holidays. This sweet and creamy noodle pudding gets a low-carb makeover so that you can enjoy your fill guilt-free. It’s Skinny Noodles are kosher and plant-based, making them suitable for all sorts of recipes.
How about a simple spaghetti aglio e olio? One of the best low-carb comfort foods out there, this dish combines garlic and noodles for a satisfying bite that will take you right back to your childhood. This is one of those easy recipes you can make in minutes, too—slice up your garlic, and you're already halfway there!
If you're looking for low-carb comfort food that evokes all the flavors of fall, reach for this low-carb butternut squash pasta recipe. It takes the yummy flavors of your favorite butternut squash ravioli and deconstructs them into a delicious noodle bowl. The secret to this dish is that you can enjoy it any time of year (spring, summer, winter, or fall—we'll never tell)!
Creamy and comforting low-carb sesame noodles are so satisfying—one of our favorite main dishes. We use peanut butter to get the creamy, nutty flavor that made these noodles famous. You can enjoy them hot or cold, for lunch or dinner (heck, even breakfast if you want). These noodles are so fun and filling; you're going to love them!
Does comfort food make you think of biting into a big burrito? Get all the flavor without the carbs in this low-carb chicken burrito bowl. This low-carb alternative tastes as if it came from your favorite fast-casual restaurant, but it comes together in less time than it would take to drive there and order. Plus, you can enjoy it guilt-free with ZERO net carb It's Skinny Rice.
How about a classic pasta dish? Chicken pesto with Angel Hair is one of those restaurant-worthy dishes that hits all the right notes. The pesto is flavorful and bright. Chicken is comforting and pairs perfectly with It’s Skinny Angel Hair. Top this dish with some extra Parmesan cheese because you deserve it!
Whether you’re pre-gaming or post-gaming after a big night out, drunken noodles are a great low-carb comfort food! These noodles are salty, savory, and packed with plenty of umami flavor. They are easy to make too. We’re not saying that they can cure a hangover, but it never hurts to try.
Fettuccine alla Bolognese is reminiscent of Sunday dinners at grandma’s house. The sauce tastes like it took all day (spoiler: it does not take all day), and this yummy recipe will make you feel right at home, no matter where you are. We strongly recommend making this low-carb comfort food any time you could use a little boost.
Comfort food doesn’t have to be high-carb to be satisfying. Thanks to It’s Skinny Pasta and It’s Skinny Rice, you can have all your favorite dishes remade your way. We have plenty of keto recipes to help you stay on your plan. Don’t give up on your diet just because your boss is bossy or your significant other is crabby. Treat yourself to self-care that keeps you healthy and on track.
Enjoy these low-carb alternatives to your favorite comfort foods and remember tomorrow is another day!