Keto Diet Beginner’s Guide – Substitutes for potatoes, pasta and rice

LCHF-substitut för potatis, pasta och ris

Are you having a hard time figuring out side dishes for your meals? Do you have no idea of what you can use as a substitute for potatoes, pasta and rice since you started your keto diet? There is a lot of options, and in this article I list some of my favorite keto substitutes.

The hardest part for me when starting the keto diet was that I felt that something was missing on my plate. I stopped eating potatoes, pasta and rice and I wasn’t sure of what I could use as keto substitutes. Below I have complied a list of my favorite keto substitute for potatoes, pasta and rice – the best side dishes for a keto diet.


  • Swede – I usually cut my swede into striped and deep fry. That way I can use them as a substitute for fries. You can also cut your swede into cubes and cook in the oven, or as a substitute for soups that contain potatoes.
  • Daikon – I love daikon (sometimes called white radish)! A raw daikon taste like a radish, but as soon as you cook it it looses it’s strong flavor and start to taste more like potatoes. I use daikon as a substitute for potatoes when I make my keto version of potato gratin. The recipe can be found here.
  • Yellow beans – they don’t taste anything like potatoes, but they are a the best substitute for french fries! They get so crispy when you deep fry them. Recipe for deep fried yellow beans can be found here.
  • Cauliflower – I always use cauliflower when I want to make a keto substitute for mashed potatoes. All you need to do is to cook the cauliflower with salt until soft, and then mash it together with butter or full fat cream using an electric beater.


  • Carrot or swede – You can spiralize carrots or swede using a spiralizer. It looks just like spagetti!
  • Zucchini – You can make zoodles by using a spiralizer, it’s so yummy! If you don’t own a spiralizer you can use a cheese slicer instead.
  • Shirataki noodles – Shirataki noodles are Japanese noodles made from the konjac yam and barely contain any carbs. You can buy them in all grocery store or online.
  • Soybean pasta – Even if it’s not the best substitute (since it contains about 17g carbs per 100g), soybean pasta can be an ok substitute for pasta if you’re not trying to loose weight.
  • Spaghetti squash – spaghetti squash is incredibly tasty and simple to make. You oven-cook it for 60 minutes and use a fork to scoop and separate squash strands – you now have spagetti squash!


  • Shirataki rice– Shirataki rice is the same thing as shirataki noodles, but they have a different shape. You need to buy your shirataki rice online, since no grocery stores seems to have them yet.
  • Cauliflower rice – Grated cauliflower is a great substitute for rice! It’s low carb and delicious. Boil it for three minutes and then serve. Can’t get much easier than that, huh?


There are some other side dishes that works perfectly for a keto diet, but is perhaps not a great substitute for potatoes, pasta or rice. Below I have listed some of my favorites:

  • Cabbage– Butter-fried cabbage is so tasty!!!
  • Casserole – Make a casserole using cauliflower, broccoli or cabbage. Here you can find my recipe for a simple cabbage casserole. You can replace the cabbage with any vegetable of your liking.
  • Oven-roasted vegetables – You can oven-roast vegetables such as pumpkin, different kinds of cabbages, onion, carrot or parsnip (note that carrot and parsnip contain a bit more cabs and should perhaps be avoided when trying to loose weight).
  • Side salad – make a side salad using your favorite vegetables. It’s simple, quick and is a good combo for any dish!
  • Baby spinach – I often place a handfull of spinach on the side of my main dish. It can’t get much simpler than that.
  • Asparagus – Asparagus doesn’t contain much carbs at all. I love butter-fried asparagus as a side dish for a steak.
  • Brussels sprouts – just as all other kinds of cabbages Brussels sprouts is a good substitute for potatoes, pasta and rice when you’re on a keto diet. They don’t contain very much carbs.

There you go! I hope you have an idea of what kind of vegetables you can use as keto substitutes for potatoes, pasta and rice when you’re on a keto diet. If you have any tips you’d like to share, please leave a comment below.

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3 thoughts on “Keto Diet Beginner’s Guide – Substitutes for potatoes, pasta and rice

  1. I recently bought a swede and I have a spiralizer.

    Can I make swede noodles to go with my chicken chilli and how? Do I boil it briefly in boiling water?

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