The keto diet changes the kind of energy your body runs on, by lowering carbohydrate intake and increasing fat intake (source). Chayotes, in addition to a crunchy, sweet texture, are rich in B-complex vitamins and compounds that remove free radicals (source). Chayote is an excellent substitute for apple flavoring while on the keto diet.
The keto diet can cause us to repeat a lot of meals as we search for new keto-friendly foods and recipes. Chayotes are a delicious, unique food that helps me get some variety into my keto diet! Let’s take a look at some mouthwatering keto-friendly chayote recipes.
Keto-Friendly Chayote Recipes
#1 Sauteed Chayote (source)
Your basic chayote recipe.
Use parsley, butter, green onions, and garlic and bring them together in a pan with heat. Chop the chayote and toss it into the pan, sauteeing for about 3-5 minutes on medium-high heat.
Chayote has a lot of versatility. Use a cooking herb chart to figure out what pairs well with what, and adjust the recipe accordingly (source).
Using a variety of spices and herbs will allow you to vary the flavor of your sauteed chayote almost endlessly. Check out some of the great videos on YouTube, like this one, for some advice on pairing spices (source). As kids, we learn about the color wheel which helps us pair colors in art, but many of us never learn about a “spice wheel” which helps us pair flavors in cooking!
Once you’ve mastered the sauteed chayote, you’ll be able to introduce it as a part of more complex meals. I’d definitely recommend starting with the sauteed chayote to get a feel for the vegetable, before trying the more complex recipes here. Once you understand the flavor profile, you can remix and reinvent it!
#2 Ground Beef with Chayote Squash and Green Beans (source)
One of the more savory recipes on this list, the Ground Beef with Chayote Squash and Green Beans will bring crispy vegetables to pair with tender ground beef.
You’ll need a pound of ground beef, 4 chayote squash, and around a half-pound of green beans.
Add some oil into a skilled and cook the ground beef for a couple of minutes on medium to medium-high heat. Then add a couple tablespoons of water and saute the meat for a few minutes. Add any spices, like pepper, soy sauce, or my favorite–Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning. Ground beef should be sauteed for 7-10 minutes total (source). We’ll increase this time a little, however, because we’ll be adding other ingredients which will steal some heat and pan-surface away from it.
Now cut the squash and add it in, cooking for 5-10 minutes or until you can slide a fork into the squash. Don’t overcook the chayote, or it will break down into a mush that will not pair well with the beef. You want the fork to slide, in but you also want some snap to the squash.
Finally, add the green beans and cook for 3-6 minutes or until cooked but still with snap. The green beans and squash should have a crispness after cooked that will contrast with the beef.
#3 Chicken Noodle Chayote Soup (source)
No carbs can be tough for dishes associated with carbs, like pasta and noodle based soups. Luckily, vegetable substitutes can help you indulge in your favorites without kicking keto.
You’ll need a spiralizer for this dish. If you’ve been going after the keto diet without a spiralizer, that’s very brave of you, but it’s time to add one to the team (source). There’s a great video on how to use one here (source).
You’ll need 1 pound of pre-cooked chicken. Make sure it is cooked completely but on the tender side, and then have it shredded to release the flavor into the soup. If you hate stringy chicken pieces floating around, you can chop it instead.
Melt a tablespoon of butter in a large pot, and cook a half cup onion and half cup celery in it for a few minutes.
Then add 6 cups of chicken broth, 1 cup of water, and the pound of chicken. Also add some spices, like a pinch of basil and oregano, or a few red pepper flakes for a kick. Bring the soup to a boil then drop the heat to medium high.
Take 2 chayotes and spiralize them. After the soup has cooked on medium high for about 10 minutes, drop the noodles into the broth and simmer for another 10 minutes.
#4 Keto ‘Apple’ (Chayote) Crisp (source)
All over the internet and Pinterest, the most popular Chayote keto recipe is a knockoff apple crisp. Delivering those savory, faux-carb notes on a keto diet is notoriously difficult Chayote’s have a similar texture, crunch, and sweetness to apples. When prepared correctly, they can form a delightful chayote fake apple crisp that can please even non-keto dessert critics.
Check out a simple video on how to make a chayote crisp (source).
When Chayote squash is cut, it looks like green apple slices. It will need a bit of help and creativity to taste like green apple slices, however.
To make the filling, combine 5 cups of chayote squash with 1 tablespoon of cream of tartar, 4 teaspoons of cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir in a half-cup of your favorite keto-friendly sweetener.
Spread the filling evenly in a baking dish. Make sure to treat the recipe like a cake, and use these tips and tricks to spread it well (source).
For the topping, combine a little salt and cinnamon with 2 cups of your favorite flour substitute and a half cup of butter. Sprinkel in a bit of the keto-friendly seasoning, and add maybe a touch of pumpkin pie spice to give it a more savory edge. Mix well, then carefully sprinkle and spread the topping over the baking dish.
Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees, then let sit for a few minutes before digging into the “I can’t believe it’s not apples” goodness.
Did you enjoy the list? Those are some of my favorite chayote keto-friendly recipes that I use to keep my diet interesting! Let me know what you think in the comments, and please do share the article if you liked it. There are a great variety of keto recipes out there if you just start looking.