What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Red Lobster? Is it the lobsters in an aquarium? The famed Cheddar Bay Biscuits? The loads of melted butter?
All three, I’m guessing—along with how it’s probably not the best dinnertime destination if you’re trying to lose weight. But, luckily, keto dieters don’t have to totally forego their cravings when the Lob is calling—it’s pretty damn keto-friendly, TBH (you know, minus those biscuits).
A few things to keep in mind before you go HAM on some lobster and melted butter: Lots of things on the RL menu come with a carb (fries, baked potato, wild rice), so go ahead and nix those for an extra side of veggies (or, if you’re feeling crazy, an extra order of shrimp scampi). And go easy on the apps, too, so you can save your carbs for the main event.
Next time you’re at Red Lobster, try these keto-friendly meals (so yeah, later tonight, after you’re done reading this).
1. Hand-Crafted Garlic Shrimp Scampi
Shrimp scampi and pasta go together like, well, shrimp scampi and pasta—but Red Lobster’s option has no noodles in sight. And honestly, nothing is more keto-friendly than something cooked in a rich butter sauce.
Per serving: 440 calories, 35 g fat (7 g sat fat), 1940 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrates, 1 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 24 g protein.
2. Side Caesar Salad
Instead of ordering something carb-heavy as a side—like a baked potato or French fries—opt for a side Caesar salad and go ahead and pour on the dressing (it’s chock-full of fat with zero carbs). But remember to skip the croutons—and maybe add some shrimp on top.
Per serving: 290 calories, 25 g fat (5 g sat fat), 600 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrates, 2 g of sugar, 2 g fiber, 5 g protein.
3. Live Maine Lobster 1 1/4-pound steamed (or stuffed)
You wanna know the best thing about lobster? It has exactly zero carbs and a good serving of fats, so consider this permission to go ahead and order a full one. If it’s in your keto allowance, you could even opt for a stuffed version for just 11 grams of carbs.
Per serving (steamed): 440 calories, 34 g fat (21 g sat fat), 398 mg sodium, 0 g carbohydrates, 0 g sugar, 0 g fiber, 33 g protein.
Per serving (stuffed): 570 calories, 38 g fat (23 g sat fat), 800 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrates, 2 g sugar, 0 g fiber, 44 g protein.
4. Buffalo Chicken Wings
Okay, so you’re probably not going to Red Lobster for chicken wings, but if you’re not a fan of fish—or you just want a chicken appetizer—these spicy wings are the way to go for keto dieters. Go ahead and eat ’em with a side of blue cheese dressing for an extra two grams of carbs and 24 grams of fat.
Per serving: 660 calories, 48 g fat (11 g sat fat), 2870 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrates, 2 g of sugar, 1 g fiber, 52 g protein.
5. Wild-Caught Snow Crab Legs
Crab legs are another huge winner in the carb department. Go ahead and dip the crab legs (or the lobster) in a serving of 100 percent pure melted butter for an extra 33 grams of fat—and exactly zero carbs.
Per serving: 440 calories, 34 g fat (21 g sat fat), 1600 mg sodium, 0 g carbohydrates, 0 g of sugar, 0 g fiber, 32 g protein.
6. Salmon New Orleans
This dish is basically a Cajun version of shrimp scampi—on top of a piece of salmon, a.k.a., a keto-lover’s dream. Choose those sides carefully, though—veggies like asparagus are your safest bet.
Per serving: 890 calories, 60 g fat (14 g sat fat), 1360 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrates, 3 g of sugar, 2 g fiber, 74 g protein.
7. Create Your Own: Wood-Grilled Scallops and Sirloin
If you wanna freestyle and choose your own meal combo, opt for the “Create Your Own” option, and pick the wood-grilled scallops and sirloin—you can typically choose two options for this meal or, if you’re feeling extra hungry, add a third option like the wood-grilled tilapia
Per serving (scallops): 80 calories, 2.5 g fat (0.5 g sat fat), 540 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrates, 0 g of sugar, 0 g fiber, 12 g protein.
Per serving (sirloin): 310 calories, 14 g fat (7 g sat fat), 980 mg sodium, 1 g carbohydrates, 0 g of sugar, 0 g fiber, 44 g protein.
Per serving (tilapia): 220 calories, 6 g fat (1.5 g sat fat), 440 mg sodium, 0 g carbohydrates, 0 g of sugar, 0 g fiber, 41 g protein.
8. Today’s Catch
Okay, technically this isn’t one specific dish, but RL has a bunch of different options—Arctic char, grouper, haddock, you name it—that, with the exception of the crab cake dinner, are super keto-friendly; I’m talking three grams of carbs, on average, for one serving. And with 19 different fish options (on the keto diet), you’ll likely never get bored. Even better: There are seven different toppings to choose from (but steer clear of the soy-ginger glaze—anything with the word “glaze” in it might contain some sugar.
Per serving (arctic char): 360 calories, 16 g fat (4 g sat fat), 150 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrates, 1 g of sugar, 1 g fiber, 41 g protein.*
*Similar to most other fish options.