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Best UK keto takeaway foods – Top low carb meal options

Finding keto-friendly fast food and takeaway can be difficult, especially in the UK. Most dishes are either loaded with carbs and sugar or are served with carb-rich sides. Luckily, there are some options available for us keto folks. Check out the rest of the article to see what takeout menu options you can enjoy on the keto diet.

Side note – this article assumes that you are restricting your carb intake to around 20g per day.

Takeaways and fast food are great as a treat or when you can’t be bothered cooking. However, if you’re aiming to lose weight, then try and keep them to every once in a while.

One of the reasons for this is that you can’t always guarantee that the nutrition info is correct. Smaller chains and independent shops may use different ingredients to the ones listed. Many of them may contain additional hidden carbs. For example, a doner kebab from your local Turkish takeaway may contain breadcrumbs in order to bulk out the weight.

Basic keto takeaway rules to follow

  • Avoid sugary drinks – stick with diet versions or just water. Also, that means no juice or milkshakes. Hot drinks like coffee and tea can be had but without dairy milk and sugar.
  • Avoid traditional sides – most come with chips, pasta or rice. Avoid, and where possible go for a side salad. Just be careful on the high-carb vegetables such as onions, tomatoes and sweetcorn.
  • Keep it simple – Stick to meat, veg and dairy products. The more ingredients a dish has the harder to know if it contains hidden carbs.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some keto-friendly takeaway options!

Turkish kebab shops

Every town in the UK probably has at least one kebab shop that serves the masses after a night out. Most offer a wide variety of mains which are commonly served with salad, pitta bread and a selection of sauces.

keto doner kebab takeaway

Luckily, most of the main dishes are actually keto-friendly, as they contain a high percentage of just meat. However, sides like pitta bread and most of the sauces are not OK on keto. The sauces tend to contain too much sugar, even ones like Chilli and Mayo.

DishDescriptionKeto-friendly?
Chicken ShishCubes of chicken marinated & skeweredYes
Lamb ShishCubes of lamb, marinated & skeweredYes
Kofte KebabMinced lamb, spices & herbs skewered and cooked on grillOK – it depends on the what other ingredients have been used. You could ask your local and see if they use breadcrumbs or any other bulker.
Chicken DonerMixed pieces of chicken, marinated and cooked on a spitOK – the quality of the meat can vary wildly amongst shops. Some may be bulked out with other carb-heavy products.
Doner KebabMixed pieces of meat including Lamb, Beef, and Chicken. Marinated and cooked on a spit.OK – the quality and cut of meat can vary wildly amongst shops. Some may be bulked out with other carb-heavy products.
SaladWide variety of options. Avoid tomatoes, white onions, sweetcorn and other high-carb vegetablesOK – but keep high-carb vegetables to a minimum

McDonald’s

McDonald's Fast food takeaway

One of the biggest fast-food chains in the world. Most of their menu items are not keto-friendly, though there are are a few food items that are ok. You can also request that a burger be bunless when ordering. The price will be the same but it can make a meal OK for keto, so long as the rest of it doesn’t contain too many carbs.

If you want to get an accurate count of the nutrition of a dish. Check out the McDonald’s Nutrition Calculator. You can even edit the ingredients like omitting a bun and see what the carb count will be!

McDonald Nutrition Calculator

Be wary of the sauces as they can contain a few carbs. A small portion (50g) of Big Mac sauce contains around 5.6g of carbs. You can always choose to omit them from the order or replace with a less carby version. Check the nutrition calculator for options.

DishCarbs (per serving)Keto-friendly?
Hamburger (Bunless without ketchup)0.6gYes
Cheeseburger / Double / Bacon Double (Bunless without Ketchup)Less than 5gYes
Grilled Chicken and Bacon Salad6.2gYes
Grilled Chicken Salad6.1gYes
Side Salad2.1gYes
Big Mac (Bunless)5.0gYes

Burger King

Burger King Fast Food Takeaway

Similarly as with McDonald’s you can order any of their burgers without the bun. Just avoid most of the sauces and fried food. Burger King used to have a nutrition calculator available on their site but now they just offer a standard list (available here). As such it’s harder to get an accurate carb count.

Note – All dishes listed below are bunless and with no ketchup.

DishCarbs (per serving)
Bacon Cheeseburger / Double / Double XL<0.5g per patty
<0.5g per streaky bacon
0.9g per American cheese slice
Bacon King / Jr<0.5g per patty
<0.5g per streaky bacon
Cheeseburger / Double<0.5g per patty
0.9g per American cheese slice
Double Whopper / Cheese / Bacon & Cheese / Triple<0.5g per patty
<0.5g per streaky bacon
0.9g per American cheese slice
Whopper / Cheese / Bacon & Cheese / Jr / Jr with Cheese<0.5g per patty
<0.5g per streaky bacon
0.9g per American cheese slice
Hamburger <0.5g per patty
Garden Salad4.2g
Sausage Butty0.7g per patty

Nando’s

Nando's chicken restaurant and takeaway

Home of the legendary flame-grilled Peri-peri chicken. They sell a wide range of dishes, most unsurprisingly contain chicken! Their signature sauces are available in a range of flavours and heat levels. You can even buy them in most UK supermarkets (and online), so you can even make something similar at home.

All their chicken is finished on a grill and contains no hidden ingredients that may impact the carb count (besides from the marinade/sauce). Of course, most of their sides are heavy on the carbs, so need to be avoided.

Side note – Check out their website to see the nutrition information for each dish.

It’s good to remember the calorie count for some of these dishes. Most of Nando’s chicken dishes are served with skin on, so have a lot of (tasty) fat. This will fill you up but may take you over your daily calorie allowance, especially if you’re on keto for weight loss.

Starters, sides & extras

CourseDishCarbs (per serving)
StartersSpicy Mixed Olives4.7g
ExtrasChicken Breast Fillet0.1g
SidesHouse Salad9.7g (bit high on side, ok if it fits in your macros)
SidesMixed Leaf Salad3.0g
Sides (Seasonal)Long Stem Broccoli4.8g
ExtrasGrilled Chicken Breast FilletPlain – 0.1g
Passion Fruit & Mango – 3.7g
Lemon Herb – 0.4g
Medium – 0.3g
Hot – 1.0g
Extra Hot – 1.8g
Extras2 Chicken ThighsPlain – 0.1g
Passion Fruit & Mango – 3.7g
Lemon Herb – 0.4g
Medium – 0.3g
Hot – 1.0g
Extra Hot – 1.8g
Extras1/2 Avocado1.6g
ExtrasGrilled Halloumi1.3g
ExtrasPortobello Mushroom0.3g
ExtrasChargrilled Peppers4.3g

Side note – Extras have to be ordered with a main.

Mains

All chicken mains include a sauce or can be left plain (lowest carb option). Most sauces are fine for keto, the only one to be cautious of is Passion Fruit & Mango. That adds about 4g of carbs to any main. Nice for a treat but only if it fits in your macros.

DishCarbs (per serving)
3 Chicken Wings
5 Chicken Wings
0.3g
0.4g
(sauce can be added)
1/4 Chicken LegPlain – 0.3g
Passion Fruit & Mango – 3.9g
Lemon Herb – 0.6g
Medium – 0.5g
Hot – 1.2g
Extra Hot – 2.0g
1/4 Chicken BreastPlain – 0.2g
Passion Fruit & Mango – 3.8g
Lemon Herb – 0.5g
Medium – 0.4g
Hot – 1.1g
Extra Hot – 1.9g
1/2 ChickenPlain – 0.5g
Passion Fruit & Mango – 4.1g
Lemon Herb – 0.8g
Medium – 0.7g
Hot – 1.4g
Extra Hot – 2.2g
Whole ChickenPlain – 1.0g
Passion Fruit & Mango – 4.6g
Lemon Herb – 1.3g
Medium – 1.2g
Hot – 1.9g
Extra Hot – 2.7g
4 Boneless Chicken ThighsPlain – 0.2g
Passion Fruit & Mango – 3.8g
Lemon Herb – 0.5g
Medium – 0.4g
Hot – 1.1g
Extra Hot – 1.9g
Chicken ButterflyPlain – 0.2g
Passion Fruit & Mango – 3.8g
Lemon Herb – 0.5g
Medium – 0.4g
Hot – 1.1g
Extra Hot – 1.9g

Sharing platters – Nando’s also does platters that can be great for groups (or if you’re just really hungry). You can mix and match mains and sides to make the ultimate keto-friendly takeaway (or eat out).

Five Guys

five guys keto fast food takeaway

The burger chain from the states. It’s simple, it just serves burgers and fries (plus some other stuff). At first glance not that great for keto as we can’t have fries and bread. Luckily, as with other burger chains, you can request that the burger be bunless.

Five Guys is best known for its burgers and you can really customise them by adding toppings (250,000 ways). This will affect the calorie and carb count, so let’s take a closer look at some keto-friendly options.

Regular burgers contain two beef patties, whereas the “Little” options contains just one. All burgers come with an unlimited amount of free toppings.

Side note – You can view the full nutrition information directly here.

Burgers & Dogs

MenuDishCarbs (per serving)
BurgersHamburgerRegular – 0.2g
Little – 0.1g
BurgersCheeseburgerRegular – 2.4g
Little – 1.2g
BurgersBacon BurgerRegular – 1.6g
Little – 0.8g
BurgersBacon CheeseburgerRegular – 3.8g
Little – 1.9g
DogsAll Beef Hot Dog2.1g
DogsCheese Dog3.2g
DogsBacon Dog2.8g
DogsBacon Cheese Dog3.9g

Toppings

As mentioned earlier, all mains (Burgers and Dogs) come with unlimited free toppings. In addition, when you order a bunless version, your meal is served in tray so you can really load up on the salad.

ToppingCarbs (per serving)
Cheese (1 Slice)1.1g
Green Peppers0.4g
Grilled Mushrooms2.0g*
Hot Sauce0.1g
HP Brown Sauce2.8g*
Jalapeno Peppers0.5g
Tomato Ketchup3.2g*
Lettuce0.3g
Mayonnaise0.3g
Mustard0.3g
Onions1.89g
Grilled Onions2.5g*
Pickles0.4g
Relish3.5g*
Tomatoes1.3g

* a bit on the high side for carbs. Be careful to not go over your daily carb limit (average 20g per day).

Subway

Subway keto low carb takeaway salads

I’m sure when you think of Subway, you think sandwiches. No exactly keto-friendly right? Well yes, while this is true, they do sell salads which can be handy in a pinch. Let’s take a closer look at some low carb keto takeaway options.

Side note – be careful with the sauces (omit where possible). The amount used will vary greatly from the serving size as it is all done manually be the sandwich artists. For the sauce nutrition information on the website, it’s best to double or even triple the serving size to get a more accurate count.

You can find the complete nutrition information for all salads on the Subway website here.

SaladCarbs (per serving)
Chicken Breast9.0g
Chicken Tikka7.5g
Turkey Breast7.8g
Turkey Breast & Ham7.1g
Ham7.7g
Italian B.M.T8.4g
Tuna9.1g

Indian

Indian takeaway dishes on keto

Who doesn’t like a nice curry from time to time? Of course, most of the usual side dishes are not keto-friendly such as rice, naan, roti, bhajis and so on. However, some of the mains are OK. You just need to be careful and avoid any that contain potatoes, lentils (like Daal) or other high carb foods. Additionally, some takeaways will add sugar to their dishes, so it’s worth asking where possible.

Starters

Look for dry dishes that are marinated in a mixture of herbs and spices. Some great keto-friendly examples include:

  • Tikka Chicken or Lamb
  • Garlic Chicken
  • Shami / Seekh Kebab
  • Chicken / Lamb Kofta
  • Tandoori Chicken
  • Mixed Kebab

Mains

Tandoor / Grilled

Many of the starters listed above are also available in larger quantities as mains. These are the best low carb mains as most of the carbs in Indian food are hidden in the sauces.

  • Tandoori Chicken / Lamb
  • Tandoori Mixed Grill
  • Chicken / Lamb Tikka
  • Paneer / Chicken / Lamb Shashlik
  • Lamb Chops

Curries

Some of the curries below may be suitable for keto, but the carb count will vary greatly among takeaways. Where possible, ask the restaurant for no added sugar. If you really want to keep the carb count down, stick to dry meals like Tandoori Chicken with a side of Saag Paneer.

  • Tikka Masala
  • Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani)
  • Korma
  • Rogan Josh
  • Keema Bhuna

Sides

Tip – having an Indian keto takeaway at home? Why not pop some cauliflower rice in the microwave to serve with your dishes. Most only take 4 minutes to cook.

Popular keto-friendly Indian sides:

  • Saag Paneer
  • Lamb / Chicken Saag
  • Bhindi Bhaji (Okra)
  • Raita
  • Green salad – not strictly Indian, but commonly served (even included free with some takeaways!)

Thai

Thai keto takeaway

Most Thai food is quite high in sugar and can contain carb-laden items such as potatoes. Your options are pretty much limited to Thai red or green curry. However, depending on the takeaway a few other keto-friendly options can include:

  • Red Curry
  • Green Curry
  • Chicken Satay (without sauce)
  • Hed Pad Khing
  • Roast Aubergine Salad
  • Yam Nua
  • Pad Prik King

Chinese

keto chinese takeaway UK

Probably one of the nations favourite takeaways. However, almost all the popular dishes contains carbs, especially sugar! The likes of Sweet and Sour are a strict no go for keto.

That being said, if you really fancy a Chinese, then there are a few dishes that might be keto-friendly:

  • Egg Foo Yung – Chicken. Pork and Prawn. Avoid anything with extra sauces like Oyster & Black Bean.
  • Crispy Aromatic Duck – avoid the pancakes and Hoi Sin sauce, just stock up on the Spring Onions and Cucumber!
  • Clear /Thin Soups – some of them may be fine such as Seafood Soup (e.g. Clear soup with Prawn, Scallops & Squid).
  • Chicken Satay – marinated meat on skewers, the spicy peanut side dip/sauce is unlikely to be keto.
  • Stir Fried – such as Mushrooms and Bean Sprouts. Avoid extra sauces like Oyster sauce as they are high in carbs.
  • Omlette – usually found in the English dishes menu section.

Wetherspoons

wetherspoons steak

The national chain of pubs & hotels. Want a cheap drink and good food? Look no further. Every town seems to have at least one.

Most are open from breakfast till late (12 am) and serve a wide variety of food. They even do dinner clubs where a special menu is served on a particular weekday.

They are great for traditional pub food that usually contains a good source of meat and veg. However, most of the meals are served with potatoes or other carb-laden sides. Luckily, there are a few (not many) meal options that are keto-friendly. In addition, you’ll also need to omit the sides (or replace with a salad) and be careful with the sauces.

Grill

The meat cooked on the grill is fine for keto, you will just need to omit the sides and sauces as they contain carbs.

  • Mixed grill
  • Large mixed grill (omit onion rings)
  • 14oz / 8oz Aberdeen Angus Rump Steak
  • 8oz Sirloin Steak
  • 10oz Rump steak
  • 10oz Gammon with eggs

Grill optional extras

  • Garlic & parsley butter – 1g carbs
  • Peppercorn sauce – 4g carbs
  • Fried Egg – 0 carbs

Sides

  • Side salad (with dressing) – 5g carbs
  • Coleslaw – 3g carbs

Chicken Club

Only available on Wednesdays at participating restaurants. The chicken wings seem to be quite high in carbs, so only the roasted and grilled chicken are acceptable.

Chicken

  • Roast half chicken – 3g carbs
  • Grilled chicken breast – 3g carbs

Sauce

  • Sriracha sauce – 6g carbs
  • Peri-peri sauce – 2g carbs

Sides

  • Side salad with dressing – 5g carbs

Lebanese

This Middle Eastern cuisine is filled with tasty grilled meats that are usually keto-friendly. Of course, it varies between takeaways and you will always need to avoid the sides like pitta bread, chips, Batata Hara, Rice and Houmus.

Some keto safe dishes include:

  • Chicken Shawarma – Grilled marinated chicken slices
  • Lamb Shawarma – Grilled marinated lamb slices
  • Kafta – Chargrilled minced lamb on a skewer
  • Chicken Shish – Chargrilled diced chicken on a skewer
  • Lamb Shish – Chargrilled diced lamb on a skewer
  • Shish Tawouq (Tawook, Taouk) – Chargrilled diced chicken on a skewer

Sides – Most of these dishes are served with pitta bread or rice. Ask the vendor if you can exchange it for salad or omit it completely.

Sauces – you can normally ask for garlic (Toum) and/or chilli sauce to go with your dish. The garlic sauce is usually made with just garlic, lemon juice, salt and oil which is fine on keto. On the other hand, the chilli sauce can contain added sugar so best to ask the staff what the ingredients are.

KFC

kfc

The home of southern fried chicken, you can find KFC throughout the UK and beyond but does it have any food that is keto-friendly? Short answer – No.

Long answer – the batter they use on all their chicken products contains wheat and other ingredients that are high in carbs.

A typical KFC drumstick contains 6.9g of carbs, which while in theory, you could eat one (or even 2) and still be under your daily allowance (typically 20g), it’s probably not a good idea. The likely hood of being kicked out of ketosis is high but if you want a treat and won’t be tempted to eat more than you should then use your discretion and enjoy!

SectionFood / DishCarbs per serving (g)
Original Recipe ChickenKeel7.3g
Drumstick6.9g
Thigh8.1g
Rib9.5g
Wing4.9g
Chicken PiecesSmall Popcorn Chicken8.4g
Hot Wing (per piece)3.4g
SidesRegular Coleslaw8.2g
Regular Gravy6.3g
Garden Salad8.9g
CondimentsGarlic Buttermilk Mayo Dip Pot4.0g
Spicy Supercharger Dip Pot2.7g

You can find full nutrition and allergen information on their site here.

Chipotle

Chipotle Mexican Grill logo

Chipotle is more popular in the US but they do have a few stores in London. They are a Mexican grill restaurant that is famous for the Burritos, Bowls and Tacos.

Of course, Burritos and Tacos are full of carbs but their customisable bowls can be keto if you choose the right ingredients!

They also recently launched their own lifestyle bowls range which includes a keto salad bowl. It contains romaine lettuce, carnitas, red salsa, cheese and guacamole. However, the total carb count is quite high at 14g, fine for the occasional treat but you may be better of creating a custom bowl.

You can use Chipotle’s nutrition calculator to customise your bowl and see how carbs it will contain.

Keto burrito bowl combination ideas

There are many combinations you can make but to help we’ve had a play with the nutrition calculator and created 3 keto bowls that are low in carbs.

Chipotle burrito bowl meat fillings

Carnitas & Chicken contain the fewest carbs out of the 4 meat fillings, Barbacoa and Sofritas contain 2g and 9g of carbs respectively.

#1

Fillings: Carnitas & Chicken

Toppings: Fresh Tomato Salsa, Monterey Jack Cheese, Sour Cream, Romaine Lettuce

Carb count: 9g

Other nutrition: 450 kcal, 35.5g protein, 26.5 fat

#2

Fillings: Carnitas & Chicken

Toppings: Fajita Vegetables, Monterey Jack Cheese, Roasted Tomato Red-Chili Salsa, Romaine Lettuce

Carb count: 10g

Other nutrition: 360 kcal, 34.5g protein, 17.5g fat

#3

Fillings: Carnitas & Chicken

Toppings: Guacamole, Monterey Jack Cheese, Roasted Tomato Green-Chili Salsa, Romaine Lettuce

Carb count: 14g

Other nutrition: 555 kcal, 35.5g protein, 39.5g fat

Any more takeaways to add?

Do you have a favourite UK takeaway that is not on the list? Let me know and we’ll try and find the best keto-friendly dishes.

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Sam
Sam
4 months ago

Great list but about Chinese takeaway?

Sam
Sam
4 months ago
Reply to  Robert

The section added is super helpful. Thank you so much!

Kayleigh Houghton
Kayleigh Houghton
11 days ago
Reply to  Robert

For Chinese Could you have dry spare ribs do you think?

Julie
Julie
3 months ago

Please could you check meals at Wagamama.

Shannon
Shannon
6 hours ago

This has been SOOOO helpful – Thank you very much 🙂