Chicken Keto Lunch Box Recipes

Last updated on June 11th, 2024 at 06:05 pm

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Keto Italian Chicken Skewers [Video]

Keto Italian Chicken Skewers are incredibly easy to make, require only a few ingredients, and are healthy and full of flavor and protein. They’re perfect for lunch, dinner, and lunchboxes.

This homemade Italian chicken skewers recipe is a staple in my house. It’s quick, it’s easy and the best part is that it can be served as is or paired with so many yummy side dishes. I love serving it with Keto Mashed Cauliflower and a light salad on the side.

I love this easy recipe because it is seasoned perfectly, juicy, and tender, keto-friendly and tastes just wonderful. You do not have to count calories or carbs with this one. It is just enough to fill you up and satisfy your taste buds without overfilling you or making you feel stuffed.

If you are looking for a keto treat after this delicious meal, keto peanut butter chocolate bars are rich and chocolatey with only five ingredients! To make this chicken taste even better, add some of your favorite dressing or barbecue sauce as long as it is sugar-free. But since it is already marinated in Italian herbs, garlic, lemon, parsley, and buttermilk, it does not need anything.

Why you will love this recipe

  • The simplicity: One ingredient and some marinade. It does not get much easier, right?
  • You can make it quick: In less than six minutes, you can cook these skewers on the grill. The longest part of this recipe is letting the chicken marinate.
  • The marinade: Speaking of the marinade, it is delicious. It contains creamy buttermilk, which makes it tender and tangy, and Italian herbs, garlic, and lemon for amazing flavor.
  • It is inexpensive: You can feed the whole family for under $20.

What you’ll need to make these keto Italian chicken skewers

Special items:

  • Grill – I use a gas grill, but you can use what you like.
  • Skewers – For grilling the chicken pieces.
  • Bowls – To mix ingredients.


  • Chicken – I prefer boneless, skinless chicken breast because it is easy and tastes great. You can use what you like.
  • Olive oil – Extra-virgin olive oil is best for marinating and cooking. It is lighter and milder in flavor.
  • Buttermilk – I love thick and creamy buttermilk for marinating chicken. It adds a wonderful tangy-sweet taste and tenderizes it well.
  • Italian seasoning – Try my homemade Italian seasoning. It is made with sage, parsley, rosemary, basil, marjoram, thyme, and oregano.
  • Parsley – Adds a grassy fresh flavor with a hint of pepper.
  • Garlic – You will get extra garlic flavor from chopping your fresh garlic cloves.
  • Lemon zest – Again, take the extra few minutes to zest your lemon for the best flavor. It will also save you money.
  • Lemon juice – Squeezing your own juice saves money and produces the freshest taste.
  • Salt – I use kosher salt for a clean, salty taste with no additives.
  • Pepper – Take the time to grind your pepper for the freshest tongue-tingling taste.

How to make keto Italian chicken skewers?

  1. Prep the chicken: First, clean the chicken under running water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut and remove fat. Then, cut into three-inch pieces and place in a large zipper baggie.
  2. Marinate: Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl until fully combined. Pour into the bag with the chicken. Seal the baggie and shake to coat the chicken. Place it inside a large shallow bowl so all of the chicken is coated, and let it marinate in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight.
  3. Heat the grill: When ready to cook, heat the grill and spray it with cooking oil. Or place a grill pan on medium-high heat with olive oil on it.
  4. Cook and serve: Next, skewer the chicken and place it on the grill. Cook for three to 5-8 minutes on each side until it is no longer pink in the middle. Remove from heat and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Expert tip

Wood or metal skewers

There are a lot of different names for them—kebabs, skewers, souvlakia, brochettes, satays, suya, yakitori. Skewered food is called something different in every part of the world, but everyone seems to love to put pieces of meat, veggies, and fruit on sticks and cook them. Just think about it. That is how the caveman cooked his food, so we are just following in his footsteps. Today, however, we have many choices of what to skewer our food with.

I have used stainless steel and wooden (bamboo) skewers, and I have to say that stainless steel is best for convenience. You do not have to wait for them to soak in water before you can use them, and you never have to worry about them catching on fire. However, they do cost more, and you will have to buy quite a few of them if you plan to have a big crowd of people over. In the case of party kebabs, I choose wooden. You can get a box of 100 for about $6, so everyone can have their own.

The stainless-steel skewers have quite a few different extra features like double tongs for extra-big pieces of meat and veggies and food pushers to push the food off the skewer. Some are designed fancy, but that can be a problem when cooking, and the round ones roll around on the grill. You have to do some thinking before you buy your skewers, or do some research online.

Recipe variations and add-ins:

  • Different meat: You could use turkey, ham, veal, beef, or pork instead of chicken.
  • Add vegetables: Make this meal more of a meal. Add your favorite vegetables like bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes.
  • Seafood too: Your chicken would taste great with shrimp, scallops, and chunks of halibut.
  • Make them spicy: For extra spicy kebabs, sprinkle red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper on your chicken before grilling.
  • Sweet and savory chicken: The kids love it when I add some sweet pineapples and then drizzle some honey on the chicken before I grill it.   

Serving suggestions:

You can serve these on the skewer or off. Try some of these ideas for serving.

  • Serve the skewers with some grilled eggplant on the side.
  • To keep it a keto meal, grilled cabbage would pair wonderful with these chicken skewers.
  • Add an array of dipping sauces, like blue cheese dressing, or horseradish sauce.
  • Remove the chicken from the skewer and place it in a salad with your favorite salad dressing.
  • You could also serve it in a pasta dish with carb-free pasta made from egg noodles.
  • For dessert, try my low-carb keto cheesecake. It is incredibly rich and delicious. 
  • This is a perfect lunch on the go when taking the kids to the park or for a picnic.
  • It is also great part of lunch boxes with some veggies on the side.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best cut of chicken for this recipe?

I use and highly recommend boneless, skinless chicken breast. However, if you are worried about it drying out, you could also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. The dark meat stays juicier than white meat. I like using boneless meat because it is easier to cut into pieces. Just slice and chop into cubes, then toss them into a bag for marinating. It is much easier than cutting around bones and skin.

Why do you use buttermilk for marinating?

Not only does buttermilk tenderize your chicken, but it also adds a beautiful tangy and subtly sweet taste. The mild acidity breaks down the proteins well enough to make it tender without toughening it the way lemon juice can sometimes do. If you do not have buttermilk, do not use milk mixed with butter. You can replace it with one cup of milk and a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Stir and let it sit for five minutes.

Can I add other ingredients to these skewers?

Absolutely. I made these as simple as possible for a keto diet. They are just all meat. You can add any vegetables, fruits, other meat, or seafood to your skewers, too. Red, yellow, and orange bell pepper chunks would be great, as would chunks of pineapple, onion, mushroom, zucchini, tomatoes, apple chunks, orange, lemon, and lime wedges, shrimp, and broccoli.

What else can I use for skewers?

If you do not have metal skewers or something made explicitly for cooking meat on a grill or in the oven, you can soak wooden chopsticks in water for 30 to 45 minutes and use those. The stores also sell bamboo skewers and other kinds of sticks you can use as skewers if you soak them first. Always make sure they are food-safe before using them first. If you are out in the woods making this meal, grab some sticks off a tree, trim the leaves, soak them in the cooler, and use them.

How to store leftovers:

  • Refrigerate: Remove from skewers and place in heavy-duty zipper baggies in the fridge for up to three days.   
  • Freezing: Put leftovers in a freezer bag to save for up to three months in the freezer.   
  • Defrost: Thaw overnight in your refrigerator for the best texture.
  • Reheating: Heat chicken in the microwave for 30 to 90 seconds, depending on how much you reheat. 

More Keto recipes:

Recipe tips:

  • If you do not have a barbecue grill or the weather is bad, use a grill pan on the stove.
  • Also, if you do not have metal kebab skewers, use wooden ones soaked in water for at least 30 minutes.
  • This is a simple chicken dish for the keto diet. You can add whatever you like, such as veggies, fruit, meat, and seafood.
  • This recipe uses chicken breast, but chicken thighs would also work great.
  • Bone-in and skin-on are okay, too, but require more work.
  • Chicken can become rubbery if you overcook it. Check it with an instant-read thermometer and remove it when it reads 163 degrees F.

Keto Italian Chicken Skewers

Keto Italian Chicken Skewers are incredibly easy to make, require only a few ingredients, and are healthy and full of flavor and protein.

  • Prep Time10 MIN
  • Cook Time20 MIN
  • Servings 6 servings


  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken breast cut into 3 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus extra for cooking
  • 1/2  cup  buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon  dried Italian seasoning herbs mix
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Clean chicken by running it under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut and discard any fat pieces.
  • Cut chicken into 3-inch cubes and add to a large ziplock bag.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients: olive oil, buttermilk, Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Whisk until fully combined. Pour the mixture over the chicken.
  • Close the ziplock bag, shake to coat the chicken evenly in the marinade, and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight. Preferably, shake and toss the chicken during this period a few times so it marinates evenly.
  • For outdoor grilling, heat the grill until hot and spray it with cooking oil. For indoor cooking, place a cast iron grill pan over medium-high heat and add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to it.
  • If you'd like, please arrange the chicken pieces on wooden skewers. Grill for 5-8 minutes on each side or until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle.
  • Serve with a salad, lemon, and your favorite dressing for dipping.

Nutrition Facts

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Rhonda Keelin

Rhonda Keelin

At what temp and how long in the oven? Please



AMAZING chicken recipe. I made this for some extended family we had over the other night and everyone loved them. A few even asked for the recipe so they could make them at home. Definitely recommend. Thank you!

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

I am so happy that you liked it!

Mike Zuchowski

Mike Zuchowski

Hi all! Lots of comments about thinking of making, however made this yesterday for dinner tonight. I chose the 24hour marinade path. I was a little concerned with the lemon juice in buttermilk. That being said this was really good served with tzatziki sauce . I do recommend!



what is the serving size?

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