When you’re cooking to meet the needs of someone with type 1 diabetes (T1D), whether that be yourself, a family member or even a dinner guest, it can be challenging to find recipes that are healthy, carb-conscious and tasty.
That’s why we asked our JDRF community to submit their go-to T1D-friendly recipes and kitchen hacks! After reading hundreds of our supporters’ responses, we’ve compiled a collection of some of our favorites for everything from school lunches to last-minute dinners.
In each recipe, we’ve included our best estimates of carb counts. Counting carbs is an important part of diabetes management, but it can be tricky—take the Hidden Carbs quiz to see for yourself! Tools like Calorie King can be especially useful for figuring out how many carbs are in foods without a carb count listed.
Chocolate Chip Cookies, ~6 carbs each
¼ cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups almond flour
½ tablespoon baking soda
¼ tablespoon salt
⅓ cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix ingredients in a large bowl. Make ~24 small cookies on a non-stick cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Let cool and serve.
Chicken & Spinach Lasagna, ~24.5 carbs per roll
9 lasagna noodles (boiled for 6 minutes)
2 cups cooked cubed chicken
15 ounces low fat ricotta cheese
10 ounces chopped spinach – thawed and squeezed
1 egg, beaten well
½ cup parmesan cheese
¼ tablespoon Italian seasoning
¼ tablespoon minced garlic
2 ¼ cups prepared Marinara sauce
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Coat the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan with ¼ cup of marinara sauce.
Combine ingredients (minus noodles and sauce) in a large bowl.
Place boiled noodles flat on waxed paper to dry.
Once dry, lie noodles in the pan.
Divide combined ingredients equally onto noodles.
Roll noodles and cover with remaining sauce.
Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
Savory Acorn Squash & Feta Cheese Muffins, ~7 carbs each
1-2 cups cooked acorn squash
3 cups almond flour
1 cup feta cheese
1 cup spinach (cooked and drained of water)
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
¼ cup milk or buttermilk
Mix wet and dry ingredients well in separate bowls. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Scoop batter into a papered muffin tin and bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes.
Frittata, ~0 carbs per serving
12 eggs (whisked and seasoned to taste)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1/2 pack (6 ounces) bacon
2 cups cheese of your choice
(optional) 1 cup ham cubes or slices cut in 1/2″ squares
Brown bacon until extra crispy in cast iron pan. Drain, but reserve 2 tablespoons bacon drippings in pan.
Cook onions in bacon drippings until translucent.
Combine eggs, ham, cooled bacon, cooled onions, and cheese. Add a few tablespoons of water.
Pour egg mixture into cast iron pan and bake at 350°F for 25 minutes or until mixture is firm in the center and makes a dome shape in the pan.
Carbless Spaghetti and Meatballs, 0 carbs each
1 pound ground chicken
5 cloves of garlic
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons parsley
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 container zucchini noodles
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix ingredients (minus zucchini noodles) in a bowl.
Cook in a skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, until they are cooked thoroughly.
Serve with zucchini noodles for a no-carb meal, or substitute with pasta.
Meyer Lemon Ricotta Pancakes ~17 carbs per pancake
3 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch kosher salt
Finely grated zest of 1 large Meyer lemon
1 cup homemade ricotta (store-bought works fine)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Jam and/or maple syrup, for serving
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, salt, lemon zest, ricotta and flour.
In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, or a whisk, beat the egg whites to medium-stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the ricotta mixture.
Heat 2 non-stick or well-seasoned frying pans over medium heat. Add a bit of butter to the pans, enough to coat the bottom.
Dollop heaping tablespoonfuls of the pancake batter into the pans, leaving a bit of space in between each pancake. You should be able to fit 3 or 4 pancakes into each pan, depending upon how large your pan is.
Cook for about 1 minute, until the bottom is golden brown. Carefully flip the pancake to brown the other side, and cook until the pancake is cooked throughout, another minute or so.
Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps ~17.5 carbs per wrap*
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce (optional)
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 celery rib, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (8 ounces) water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 medium carrot, shredded
2 cups cooked brown rice
8 Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves
1 lime (optional)
In a small bowl, whisk soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and, if desired, chili sauce until blended.
In a large skillet, cook turkey and celery 6-9 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink, breaking up turkey into crumbles; drain.
Add ginger and garlic to turkey; cook 2 minutes.
Stir in soy sauce mixture, water chestnuts and carrot; cook 2 minutes longer.
Stir in rice; heat through.
Serve in lettuce leaves.
Tip: Squeeze some fresh lime over the cups to add some acid!
*Recipe from Taste of Home
Do you have a go-to recipe that’s not listed? Submit it here and it just might show up on social media or on our blog!
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