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As a general rule, pickles are keto-friendly. Pickles are just cucumbers soaked in brine that has vinegar, salt, and other seasonings, while others also use Lactobacillus bacteria to ferment the cucumber (source 1, source 2).
There are types of pickles where sugar is added to give them a sweet flavor, such as bread and butter pickles. These bread and butter pickles are not keto.
Pickles are keto-friendly because they are simply cucumbers altered slightly and cucumbers are keto-friendly.
The Keto-Friendly Pickles
Dill and sour pickles are the best types you can enjoy on keto without worrying about getting kicked out of keto. If you were to have 100 grams or about 2/3 cups of these pickles you would only be eating 2 total grams of carbs (source 3).
The pickles that should not be eaten on keto are called bread and butter, candied, and sweet (commonly called sweet Gherkin). If you were to have 100 grams or about 2/3 cups of these pickles you would be consuming 18.3 grams of sugar and 21.2 total carbs (source 4).
Often times you may hear that people are drinking pickle juice more on the keto diet. In fact, I do this myself when I have a small headache coming due to my low salt intake. To get 300 mg of sodium from pickle juice you would need to drink only about 2 tablespoons of it (source 5).
How to Make Pickles
- Wash and scrub your cucumbers.
- Slice or cut your cucumbers as you desire.
- Place them into a jar with seasonings of your choice, such as fresh dill.
- Make a brine of water, salt, and vinegar.
- Pour brine over the cucumbers in the jar.
- Refrigerate until pickled to your liking.
Keto Pickle Recipes
For those looking for an easy recipe to follow for a dill pickle, this Refrigerator Pickle recipe is perfect.
If you want pickles that are fermented with a more elaborate flavor profile, then this Tangy Dill Pickle Recipe is for you.
Keto Fried Pickle Recipes
- Fried pickles made with the air fryer.
- These Fried Pickle Chips are made with no flours.
- Pork rinds and coconut flour fried pickles.
- Parmesan cheese, pork rinds, and oat fiber fried pickles.
Other Side Dishes with Pickles
- Ham Roll-Ups
- Dill Pickle Coleslaw
- Pickle Poppers
- Dill Pickle Devil Eggs
- Bacon-Wrapped Pickle Bites
- Egg Salad with Dill Pickles
Shopping for Pickles
When you look at different brands and flavors of pickles at the grocery store, always look at the labels. Dill pickles are always almost safe and will be keto. I haven’t found a brand that hasn’t been good.
Yet, if you are never sure, always read the nutrition labels and ingredients on the jars.
I’ve made keto bread and butter pickles with monk fruit sugar. I also use Himalayan salt for my dill pickles. So good!