Mouthwatering Keto Osso Buco with Gremolata: A Low-Carb Italian Delight

Discover the Richness of Keto Osso Buco with Gremolata

Embark on a culinary journey that marries traditional Italian cooking with the health-conscious principles of a ketogenic diet. Keto Osso Buco with Gremolata is not just a dish; it’s a celebration of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds while keeping your carb count low. This recipe transforms a classic Italian comfort food into a keto-friendly masterpiece, ensuring that you can enjoy a gourmet dining experience without breaking your dietary commitments.

The essence of this dish lies in its ability to bring together tender, fall-off-the-bone veal shanks with a vibrant, zesty gremolata. Each bite is a testament to the richness of Italian cuisine, adapted to suit a low-carb lifestyle. Whether you’re a seasoned keto dieter or just looking for a sumptuous meal that won’t derail your health goals, this Keto Osso Buco with Gremolata is a perfect choice.

Keto Osso Buco with Gremolata

The Origins and Keto-Friendly Nature of Osso Buco with Gremolata

Osso Buco is a Milanese specialty that has warmed the hearts and homes of many, traditionally served with a saffron-infused risotto. However, in the keto adaptation, we focus on the meat and herbs, omitting high-carb grains. The Keto Osso Buco with Gremolata is a testament to the versatility of keto cooking, showcasing how high-fat and low-carb ingredients can be transformed into a gourmet meal.

At the heart of this dish are the veal shanks, a cut rich in collagen, which not only imparts a luxurious texture but also provides beneficial amino acids. The marrow within the bone is a keto goldmine, offering healthy fats that are essential for maintaining ketosis. Olive oil, another key ingredient, is a staple in keto diets due to its high monounsaturated fat content, which supports heart health and helps manage cholesterol levels.

The gremolata, a simple yet flavorful condiment, is a blend of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley. It’s a bright addition that cuts through the richness of the meat, adding a fresh dimension to the dish. This herbaceous topping not only enhances flavor but also contributes to the nutritional profile with its vitamins and antioxidants, all while keeping the carb count in check.

Preparing Keto Osso Buco with Gremolata

Mastering the Keto Osso Buco with Gremolata

The secret to a perfect Keto Osso Buco lies in the searing of the veal shanks. Achieving a deep brown crust is crucial as it builds a foundation of flavor that will permeate the entire dish. Use a heavy, oven-proof skillet or Dutch oven to ensure even heat distribution and a reliable cooking vessel that can move from stovetop to oven seamlessly.

When sautéing the vegetables, be patient. Allowing them to soften and caramelize will add depth to the dish. As for the braising liquid, the combination of beef broth and dry white wine (if you choose to include it) should be brought to a simmer before the shanks are reintroduced. This ensures that the meat absorbs the flavors fully as it cooks slowly in the oven.

Timing is everything. The veal shanks should be checked for tenderness after 1.5 hours, but they may need up to 2 hours to reach the desired fall-off-the-bone texture. And don’t forget the gremolata – its addition at the end is not merely a garnish but a burst of freshness that balances the dish’s richness.

Keto Osso Buco with Gremolata Ready to Serve

Variations to Keto Osso Buco with Gremolata

Herb-Infused Broth Variation

Enhance the depth of flavor in your broth by adding a bouquet garni. Tie together fresh herbs like rosemary, sage, and additional thyme. This herbal infusion will permeate the broth and infuse the veal shanks with aromatic complexity.

Spicy Tomato Variation

For those who enjoy a bit of heat, consider adding a pinch of red pepper flakes to the tomato mixture. The subtle warmth will complement the richness of the meat and add an unexpected twist to the traditional recipe.

Mushroom and Bacon Variation

Incorporate sautéed mushrooms and diced bacon into the dish for an umami-packed version. The mushrooms will absorb the flavors of the broth, while the bacon adds a smoky, savory element that’s irresistible.

Substitutions for Keto Osso Buco with Gremolata

While the classic recipe calls for veal shanks, you can easily substitute them with beef shanks for a more readily available and often more affordable option. Beef shanks will deliver a similar texture and rich flavor profile that’s essential for Osso Buco.

If you’re avoiding alcohol, replacing the white wine with additional beef broth is a suitable alternative. This will maintain the moisture level required for braising without affecting the keto-friendly nature of the dish.

For those who don’t have fresh herbs on hand, dried herbs can be used in a pinch. Remember that dried herbs are more potent, so you’ll want to use about one-third of the amount the recipe calls for fresh.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this dish ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare Keto Osso Buco a day in advance. In fact, letting it rest in the refrigerator can enhance the flavors. Reheat gently before serving.

Is Osso Buco keto even with the carrots and onions?
In moderation, carrots and onions can be included in a keto diet. This recipe uses a small amount, keeping the overall carb count low.

Can I freeze Keto Osso Buco?
Yes, you can freeze the cooked Osso Buco for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat gently.

What can I serve with Keto Osso Buco?
Serve with a side of cauliflower mash or roasted vegetables for a complete keto meal.

How can I thicken the sauce without adding carbs?
You can reduce the sauce over a low flame after removing the meat or use a small amount of xanthan gum to thicken it without adding significant carbs.

Keto Osso Buco with Gremolata

Tender, succulent, and rich in flavor, this Keto Osso Buco with Gremolata is a low-carb rendition of the classic Italian dish. With a focus on high-quality, fatty cuts of meat and a bright, zesty gremolata, this dish is perfect for a keto-friendly dinner that doesn't skimp on gourmet taste.
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 380 kcal


  • Oven-proof skillet or Dutch oven
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Aluminum foil (if skillet does not have a lid)


For the Osso Buco

  • 4 veal shanks about 1 inch thick, around 3 pounds total
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • ¼ cup diced carrot
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • ½ cup canned diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup dry white wine optional, can be replaced with more broth
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves

For the Gremolata

  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


  • Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C).
  • Season the veal shanks with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • In a large oven-proof skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the veal shanks and sear until they are browned on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the shanks and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, add the diced onion, celery, and carrot. Sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic and sauté for another minute until fragrant.
  • Pour in the beef broth, diced tomatoes, and white wine (if using), scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Return the veal shanks to the skillet. Add the thyme leaves and bay leaves, and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • Cover the skillet with a lid or aluminum foil and transfer it to the preheated oven. Cook for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the meat is tender and pulls away from the bone easily.
  • While the osso buco is cooking, prepare the gremolata by mixing together the lemon zest, chopped parsley, and minced garlic in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Once the meat is tender, remove the skillet from the oven and discard the bay leaves.
  • Serve the osso buco hot, topped with a generous sprinkle of the fresh gremolata.


If you are avoiding alcohol, you can substitute the white wine with additional beef broth.
The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients used.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently before serving.


Calories: 380kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 34gFat: 22gFiber: 2gNet Carbs: 6g
Keyword Italian Keto Dinner, Keto Gremolata, Keto Osso Buco, Keto Veal Shanks, Low Carb Osso Buco
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