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Is parmesan cheese keto: The Best Keto Friendly Cheeses for a Low Carb Diet

The Best Keto Friendly Cheeses for a Low Carb Diet

The Best Cheeses for a Low Carb Diet

Learn about the best cheeses to eat on a low carb diet, plus low carb cheese recipes for breakfast to dinner!

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to replace personalized medical advice. A low carb diet may not be suitable for you. Consult your health care provider before making any changes to your lifestyle or use this information at your own risk.

A low carb or ketogenic diet places more emphasis on foods that are rich in fats so the body can use ketones from these food sources as an alternative energy source to glucose. High fat foods include nuts and seeds, dairy, oils, fatty cuts of meat, fatty fish, avocados, dark chocolate and whole eggs. It is important to choose healthy fats on a low carb diet, which means staying away from anything that is processed, refined or fried (note that restaurants also use a lot of oil to cook non-fried foods).

In this article, we explore the best types of cheeses to choose on a low carb diet. Dairy is one of those things that we’ve been told is “healthy” for a long time – it even makes up a whole “food group” in mainstream health studies! However, dairy is not necessary in our diets by any means and in certain cases it can cause more harm than good. That said, dairy is a convenient (and tasty!) source of fat for low carb and keto dieters, if you are not lactose intolerance and consume it in moderation. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about consuming cheese on a low carb diet. Plus, discover low carb cheese snacks as well as recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Is Cheese Necessary on a Low Carb or Keto Diet? 

Dr. Mark Hyman, a practicing family physician and internationally recognized leader in Functional Medicine, states that cheese is not essential for a low carb or keto diet. Many people are able to do a vegan or dairy-free ketogenic diet. Although a lot of dietary fat can be obtained from dairy, he advises that we shouldn’t consume a lot of dairy given the current standards in dairy farming in North America. Many dairy cows are raised on poor grain-based diets and ensue questionable farming practices involving the use of chemical pesticides, which leach into the animals’ diets. In Canada, the use of growth hormones is illegal (unlike the US), however, some antibiotic use is permitted. Nonetheless, cows are large animals – meaning they produce high levels of their own natural hormones, which is not necessarily healthy for humans to consume often.

With all of that said, the right kinds of cheese and dairy can certainly be part of a balanced approach to a low carb or ketogenic diet. Some people may suffer from allergies that prevent them from eating nuts, seeds, eggs and other significant sources of dietary fat; so, they must reach for other options such as cheese and dairy. Others may choose to forgo meat and opt for a vegetarian keto diet. All of these options are perfectly fine and doable! The choice is up to you, and what works for one person may not work for another. Find what fits into your budget, health goals, and taste preferences.

The Best Cheeses for a Low Carb Diet

If you are shopping in Canada, always look for cheeses made from 100% Canadian dairy. Canadian dairy farmers are held to higher standards than American dairy farmers, so this is one step in the right direction towards making healthy choices. Another thing you can look out for is dairy from grass-fed cows. Grass-fed cows obtain significantly more nutrients from this type of diet and as a result, their meat and dairy contain more antioxidants and healthy fats.

Finally, consider other dairy options such as goat’s or sheep’s dairy. Since these animals are much smaller than cows, their milk contains less hormones. In addition, it also tends to contain less lactose (the naturally occurring sugar found in dairy), smaller and easier to digest fats, and potentially more vitamins and minerals.

Here are some of the best cheeses for a low carb or ketogenic diet:

  1. Goat Cheese 

Aside from the above-mentioned benefits of choosing goat’s cheese over cow’s cheese, goat cheese also happens to be very low in carbs! A ¼ cup serving of crumbled goat cheese contains less than 1g of net carbs (0.7g), 10g of fat, 8g of protein and 125 calories.  Depending on how it is processed, goat cheese may also contain healthy probiotics which can aid in digestion. Goat cheese has a tart and tangy taste that is not too overwhelming. It is a type of soft cheese with an almost spreadable texture.

Check out these low carb recipes using goat cheese:

  • Keto Goat Cheese and Mushroom Frittata (you could also make an omelet or quiche, instead!)
  • Low Carb Breakfast (Lunch or Dinner!) Hash with Chorizo and Goat Cheese
  • Keto Goat Cheese Salad with Caramelized Walnuts – check out Swerve Brown Sugar Replacement, the perfect low carb substitute that browns and caramelizes just like regular sugar!
  • Baked Asparagus with Lemon, Dill and Goat Cheese
  • Low Carb Goat Cheese & Pistachio Covered Blackberries
  1. Feta Cheese

Feta cheese and goat cheese are often mistaken for one another, since they are both used in several delicious Mediterranean recipes! They are also very similar in taste, texture and appearance, but the main difference is that feta cheese is made from sheep’s milk. It also tends to be higher in sodium, giving it a sharper taste. A ¼ cup serving of crumbled feta cheese contains 1.5g net carbs, 8g of fat, 5g of protein and 100 calories. Like goat cheese, feta also contains beneficial bacteria (probiotics) and many essential vitamins and minerals.

Below are some recipes containing feta cheese. You could substitute either goat cheese or feta cheese in these recipes, as well as the ones above for goat cheese.

  • Low Carb Feta, Tomato and Olive Muffins
  • Keto Spinach & Feta Hasselback Chicken
  • Baked Feta Cheese
  • Low Carb Tabbouleh Salad with Feta Cheese (this recipe uses riced cauliflower instead of the traditional bulgur wheat!)
  • Keto Tomato Soup with Feta Cheese
  1. Halloumi

Halloumi cheese originates from Cyprus (an island in the Mediterranean) and is traditionally made from goat’s or sheep’s milk, but sometimes from cow’s milk, as well. It is often referred to as “grilling cheese” because it grills perfectly! It is on the harder side, meaning that it doesn’t melt and lose its shape when grilled. It is perfect for replacing meat on skewers or in salads if you follow a vegetarian diet or just simply enjoy vegetarian meals once in a while. One serving of halloumi cheese (about 80g or slightly more than ½ a cup) contains 1.5g net carbs, 20g of fat, 16g of protein and 250 calories. Check out some fun ways to use halloumi cheese below!

  • Keto Halloumi Fries
  • Mediterranean Cauliflower Rice with Halloumi
  • Keto Grilled Halloumi Salad
  • Keto Halloumi Zucchini Balls
  • Low Carb Spiced Halloumi Veggie Skewers
  1. Brie

Brie cheese is absolutely delicious in so many recipes, and it is also very low carb- and keto-friendly. One ¼ cup serving of brie cheese (about 36g) contains just 0.2g net carbs, 10g of fat, 7.5g of protein and 120 calories. Brie is a type of soft cheese, meaning it is best enjoyed warm and melty! You can also serve it on a low carb charcuterie board (check out our blog post on how to create the perfect low carb charcuterie board!). Some other great ways to use brie cheese are listed below.

  • Keto Oven-Baked Brie with Herbs and Roasted Nuts
  • Mushroom and Brie Keto Cauliflower Risotto
  • Brussels Sprouts Sliders with Bacon and Brie (substitute the brown sugar in this recipe for Swerve Brown Sugar Replacement)
  • Brie Spaghetti (substitute the traditional spaghetti noodles in this recipe for zucchini noodles or a low carb pasta alternative!)
  • Low Carb Brie Appetizer Bites with Raspberry
  1. Blue Cheese

Some might say it’s an acquired taste, but the bold taste of blue cheeses gives you a lot of flavour, even when used in small amounts! However, feel free to use as much blue cheese as you like since a ¼ cup serving contains less than 1g of net carbs (0.8g)! This amount of blue cheese will also provide 10g of fat and 7g of protein at just 120 calories. Blue cheese offers a significant amount of calcium, even when compared to other cheeses. The enzymes in blue cheese also help break down the fat and proteins, making it one of the more easily digestible cow’s cheeses. Besides the standard “blue cheese”, other blue-veined cheeses include Roquefort, Danish Blue, Gorgonzola and Stilton.

Here are some low carb and keto-friendly recipes using blue cheese:

  • Homemade Keto Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Low Carb Blue Cheese Burgers
  • Keto Spaghetti Squash with Bacon and Blue Cheese
  • Keto Steak and Blue Cheese Salad
  • Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
  1. Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan is one of the highest protein cheeses. Although protein is not a main component of ketogenic diets, parmesan cheese is also a decent source of fats and is very low in carbs. A ¼ cup serving of parmesan cheese contains 0.6g net carbs, 5g of fat, 7g of protein and just 80 calories. It is one of the most popular and versatile cheeses that can be used in several Italian-inspired dishes. It is a great addition to salads and low carb pasta dishes. Check out some recipe ideas below!

  • Keto Caesar Salad
  • Keto Chicken Parmesan or Eggplant Parmesan
  • Keto Almond and Parmesan Crackers
  • Easy Keto Parmesan Crisps – a great substitute for traditional high carb crackers and chips!
  • Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower
  1. Cream Cheese, Ricotta Cheese or Cottage Cheese

Cream cheese is another great option for low carb and keto dieters, but it is important to note that some processed cream cheeses contain sugar and other additives. Always check the ingredients before buying packaged cream cheese from the grocery store, or see if your local deli counter has any unprocessed options. A ¼ cup serving of cream cheese contains 2.5g net carbs, 20g of fat, 3.5g of protein and 200 calories. This is definitely one of the higher fat options on this list, and a little goes a long way! Check out some recipe inspiration below.

  • 3 Ingredient Cream Cheese Keto Pancakes
  • Chocolate Cream Cheese Fat Bombs or Cheddar Ranch Savoury Fat Bombs
  • Cream Cheese and Bacon Jalapeno Poppers

Other “spreadable” cheeses that are safe in moderate amounts include ricotta cheese and cottage cheese. These are both produced by the natural coagulation of fresh milk, making them some of the healthiest, most unrefined choices. A ¼ cup serving of ricotta cheese contains 2g net carbs, 8g of fat, 7g of protein and 110 calories. It also contains one of the highest calcium contents among other cheeses. Meanwhile, a ¼ cup serving of cottage cheese contains 2.5g net carbs, 2.5g of fat, 6g of protein and just 55 calories. Here are some more low carb recipes using ricotta or cottage cheese:

  • Keto Lemon Ricotta Cake
  • Keto Ricotta Gnocchi
  • Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl
  • Keto Breakfast Muffins with Cottage Cheese
  1. Paneer

Paneer is a type of cow’s milk cheese that is a staple in Indian cuisine. Indian recipes are great inspiration for vegetarian dishes, since most of the culture follows a vegetarian diet. Paneer is a soft cheese that doesn’t melt when cooked and has a tofu-like texture. It also has a very mild flavour on its own, so it can be used in many other recipes discussed in this article, as well. One ¼ cup serving of paneer contains about 2g net carbs, 6g of fat, 3g of protein and 85 calories. Below are some traditional and non-traditional recipes using paneer cheese. You can likely find paneer at a local ethnic foods store or in the international aisle of your supermarket.

  • Paneer Tikka Kebabs
  • Keto Spinach and Paneer
  • Low Carb Paneer Makhani (Tangy Sweet Curry)
  • Keto Paneer Steak with Spiced Cauliflower Rice

Cheeses to Avoid on a Low Carb Diet

Now that we’ve covered some of the best cheeses to try on a low carb diet, we also want to mention cheese varieties that are best avoided on these types of diets.

The main type of cheese to avoid on a low carb or ketogenic diet (or any diet, really) is processed cheese, such as American Cheese. This type of cheese is engineered, refined and loaded with preservatives. It also tends to be made from “modified milk ingredients” rather than fresh, whole milk – it’s classification as “cheese” seems far from reality! Low carb and keto dieters must be mindful of the quality of their food – not just the macronutrients – and avoiding anything that is highly processed or refined is key. One slice of American cheese also contains about 2g net carbs, which could comprise 10% of your daily carb allowance if you follow the standard guidelines for a ketogenic diet, which encourages 20g of carbs or less a day.

Similarly, you should avoid other forms of processed cheese found in things like string cheese, spray cheese, and pre-packaged shredded cheese.

More Low Carb Cheese Products 

The Low Carb Grocery carries a large selection of cheese snacks suitable for low carb and keto dieters! We love Ivanhoe Nothing But Cheese shelf-stable crunchy cheese snacks, which are made with 100% Canadian cheese! Our customers also love Cello Cheese Whisps in Parmesan and Cheddar and Just The Cheese Snacks (try the Grilled Cheese Snack Bar!). Check out our full inventory of low carb cheese snacks here.

As a special thank you our readers, we would also like to offer an exclusive discount on the products mentioned in the section. Simply apply code VXK7DJ at our online checkout for 10% off your purchase of Ivanhoe, Cello Whisps or Just The Cheese products. Offer valid from January 1, 2021 thru June 1, 2021. This offer may not be combined with other offers. Limit 1 per customer. Promotion may end without notice and/or while promotional quantities last. No substitutions or rainchecks, please.

Stay Connected

We hope you enjoyed our list of the best cheese for a low carb diet. Have any thoughts or suggestions to add to the conversation? Join our communities on Facebook and Instagram.

Also, feel free to leave your thoughts about The Low Carb Grocery with a Google Review! We’d also love to see you join our free newsletter subscription for weekly sales and keto news!

Is Parmesan Cheese Keto? | Sure Keto

Is Parmesan Cheese Keto?

Parmesan Cheese is keto-friendly because it is both low in net carbs and high in fats.

Low in Net Carbs

Parmesan Cheese is good for keto because it is low in net carbs (3.22g of net carbs per 100g serving).

It is important to limit your net carb consumption to 20g – 30g per day to stay in ketosis.

You can calculate your ideal daily net carb allowance by using this keto macros calculator. Then use the serving calculator below to determine a serving size that fits your net carb budget.

High in Fats

Parmesan Cheese is a good source of fat because it does not contain any non-keto ingredients. (See ingredients list: sweeteners, oils, and food additives)

However, most of your fats should still come from natural and minimally processed sources like virgin olive oil, MCT oil, and grass-fed butter.

It is important to get your fats from healthy sources so your body can burn clean fuel while on ketosis.

Minimally Processed

Parmesan Cheese is minimally processed and free of harmful ingredients like non-keto sweeteners, highly refined oils, and food additives.

It is important to check both macros and ingredients of your foods to achieve a healthy weight loss on keto.

Net Carb Calculator

Parmesan Cheese


3.22 g

net carbs

3.22 g


0 g


25 g


35.8 g




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Net Carbs per 100g

Moderate Carb

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Keto in Moderation


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High in Fats

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Best Keto Parmesan – Cooking Recipes

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Delicious Keto Parmesan Cheese that tastes just like your favorite classic recipe. Made with a crispy layer, mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce.

Keto Chicken Parmesan

I’ve always longed for an easy recipe that I know takes a lot longer than it actually does. Chicken Parmesan is definitely one of those recipes.

The first time I had Chicken Parmesan was at one of my favorite Italian restaurants and it became one of my favorite recipes as an adult. I love how this recipe has so many layers of flavor.

It starts with a crispy, flavored breading layer and then layered with marinara sauce, finished with a cheesy topping.

This is a simple Chicken Parmesan recipe that does not use breadcrumbs. Instead, I use a mixture of grated parmesan, almond flour, and parsley. This is the same “keto breadcrumbs” mix I use in my Southern keto style roll. With this Keto Chicken Parmesan, you still get all the flavor without the carbs!

How to Make Keto Parmesan


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  • Chicken breasts: cut into thin slices. If they are too thick, be sure to cut them in half.
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg: used as a binder. This helps the breading stick to the chicken.
  • Garlic and Onion Powder
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese is a great low carb bread substitute that also adds great flavor.
  • Almond flour is another great low carb bread substitute.
  • parsley
  • olive oil
  • Marinara sauce – I used Rao. Just make sure what you are using has no added sugar.
  • Grated mozzarella


  1. Start by dipping the chicken in the egg mixture, then coat it with the parmesan and almond flour mixture, one at a time.
  2. Lightly brown each piece of chicken in a large skillet for about 1 minute on each side. This gives the coating a nice crisp texture as well as a nice brown color.
  3. Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Then spread the chicken evenly over the marinara sauce.
  4. Pour an even amount of marinara sauce over each piece of chicken.
  5. Bake uncoated for 20 minutes. Sprinkle each piece of chicken with an even amount of mozzarella cheese, then return to the oven for another 10 minutes.

Keto Chicken Parmesan Sides

4 servings

Prep Time: :
5 minutes 90 003

Cooking time:
30 minutes

Total time:
35 minutes

Easy Keto Parmesan Chicken recipe ready in 30 minutes.


  • 4 chicken breasts, thinly sliced ​​

  • salt and pepper to taste (I used 1/2 teaspoon each)

  • 1 beaten 1 egg

  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 cup almond flour

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon parsley

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 cup marinara sauce in a bottle (I used Rao)

  • 1 cup grated mozzarella


  1. Reheat turn the oven up to 375 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray and spread a small amount of marinara sauce on the bottom of the baking sheet. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Whisk 2 eggs in a medium bowl. In a separate medium bowl, combine grated parmesan, almond flour, parsley, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  3. Top each piece of chicken first in the egg mixture and then in the grated Parmesan mixture. Make sure each piece of chicken is completely covered.
  4. Add olive oil to a skillet heated to medium. Lightly brown each piece of breaded chicken for about 1 minute on each side. Be careful not to let the breading fall out of the chicken.
  5. Place each piece of chicken on a baking sheet. Coat each piece of chicken with an equal amount of marinara. Note: I like to add a bit of extra sauce to the pot surrounding the chicken. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and cover each piece with the same amount of grated mozzarella. Return the plate to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted and bubbling. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Yield: 4

Serving Size: 1

Amount Per Proportion:

Calories: 375 Total Fat: 21g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans fat: 0 g Unsaturated fat: 13 g Cholesterol: 124 mg Sodium: 712 mg Carbohydrates: 9g Net Carbs: 7 g Fiber: 2 g Sugar: 3 g Protein: 37 g 180 Back to top button

Keto Eggplant Parmesan – KETO- MOJO

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Here, almond flour, pork panko and parmesan cheese create a deliciously crunchy, savory glaze for tender eggplants. Baked and topped with keto-friendly marinara sauce and sticky mozzarella, this is a dream dinner without the soggy and pan-fried traditional eggplant parmesan. If you prefer an easy cleanup to a beautiful baking dish, cook the eggplant on a baking sheet or in a baking dish lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with cooking spray.

Serves 6 One Serving: 1 eggplant slice

IMPERIAL | metric

  • food spray
  • 1 large or 2 medium eggplants (1¼ lb total) with ends cut off
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 3/4 cup fine almond flour
  • 3/4 cup pork panko
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. sea ​​salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened marinara sauce (such as Yo Mama’s or Rao’s)
  • 1 cup 3 oz grated whole milk mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup lightly packaged fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

90 002 IMPERIAL – metric

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Make sure you test your individual food sensitivity and bio-personality.


  • Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Spray an 11″ x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray.

  • Slice the eggplant lengthwise into 6 1/2-inch thick slices.

  • Whisk eggs and water in a small baking dish.

  • In another baking dish, combine the almond flour, pork panko, half the parmesan and garlic powder, salt and pepper.

  • Dip each eggplant slice into the egg mixture, allowing any excess egg to drip off, then push it through the almond flour and panko mixture. Arrange the eggplants in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake, halfway flipping, until the breadcrumbs are deep golden and the eggplant is very tender, about 40 minutes.

  • In the meantime, combine the remaining parmesan cheese and mozzarella in a small bowl.

  • Remove the eggplants from the oven, pour over each slice with a little marinara sauce and then with the parmesan and mozzarella mixture.