If you haven't already heard about the Paleo diet, here's what you need to know: Paleo is short for Paleolithic, referencing the way their civilization would have eaten. This means a lot of meat, a lot of greens, a few fruits, and absolutely no grains, dairy, or processed foods. It comes from the belief that our bodies evolved on this basis of eating, and thus, we thrive when sustaining our bodies as such. As with any dietary preference, when taking on a new food regimen, be it vegan, Paleo, or Keto, one can feel overwhelmed with ideas for what you can eat now that things have been removed from your daily lineup. To help you out, we collected 12 of the best Paleo recipes on the internet, to make your (and my) transition seamless and, most importantly, enjoyable.
Read on for 12 easy Paleo recipes.
Spaghetti Squash With Paleo White Bolognese Sauce
The Hero Ingredient: A key characteristic of Paleo is being high in meat protein and low in grains, making this dish the poster child for a Paleo dinner feast. The spaghetti squash noodles allow you to enjoy a universal favorite (pasta) without the extra carbs.
Pro Tip: Phoebe Lapin of Feed Me Phoebe uses coconut milk as her cream replacement in this recipe making for an “earthy, rich, and satisfying bowl.”
Instant Pot Smoked Paprika Garlic Chicken Legs
The Recipe: Instant Pot Smoked Paprika Garlic Chicken Legs
The Hero Ingredient: We love a recipe with a short ingredient list, and this one is as simple as it sounds. The garlic and smoked paprika truly make this the flavor blast of a dinner that it is. Toni Dash of Boulder Locavore lists smoked paprika as one of her favorite spices, “a deep, earthy flavor and gorgeous burnt-red color.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Pro Tip: Dash assures us that this recipe can cook in 30 minutes or less, making it a great pick for the weeknight dinner menu.
Paleo Eggs Benedict
The Hero Ingredient: The turmeric hollandaise is the true show-stopper in this brunch recipe. The mixture of rich ghee butter, savory pink Himalayan sea salt, and tangy lemon creates a meal worth waking up for.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking for a health-conscious take on an often opulent brunch choice, the use of smoked salmon, avocado, and ghee hollandaise creates “a trifecta of healthy fats,” according to Lapin.
Sweet Potato Hash
The Recipe: Sweet Potato Hash
The Hero Ingredient: This recipe calls for a whole lot of savory, with a few touches of sweetness, one of those being the pecans tossed in for an unexpected crunch. Met by a drizzle of maple syrup, you’ll find balance with those salty veggies.
Pro Tip: Each ingredient in this recipe was “strategically created” to lend this hash a variety of textures, says Eating Bird Food’s Brittany Mullins. This allows you to really enjoy every layer of vegetables, meat, and herb for a full-bodied experience.
Paleo Ramen Burger
The Recipe: Paleo Ramen Burger
The Hero Ingredient: You may be wondering where the ramen part comes into this recipe, and trust me, it’s better than you imagined. Instead of a wheat bun, which is not Paleo-friendly, this burger is sandwiched between a pan-fried nest of spiralized parsnip “ramen noodles." Crunchy, healthy, and delicious.
Pro Tip: Lapin tells us to go in whichever direction you like when choosing the burger meat, but she opts for turkey to keep it leaner.
Paleo Sweet Potato Hash and Eggs
The Recipe: Paleo Sweet Potato Hash and Eggs
The Hero Ingredient: One of our absolute favorite combos is sweet potatoes and the smokey contrast of bacon bits. Followed by egg and creamy avocado, this hash is a crowd-pleaser.
Pro Tip: Krista Rollins of Joyful Healthy Eats says she chooses to make a big batch of this hash on Sunday evenings so that she’s set with her favorite meal for the week.
Paleo Breakfast Nachos
The Recipe: Paleo Breakfast Nachos
The Hero Ingredient: You may have done a double-take because flour tortilla chips are not Paleo, however, this recipe calls for thinly sliced sweet potato chips instead. They’re incredibly easy to make and delicious when topped with green onions, black beans, and eggs.
Pro Tip: Alison Wu of Wu Haus strongly suggests every kitchen has a mandolin: “I can’t say enough good things about it.” This is how she achieved the perfectly thin sweet potato slices with ease.
Paleo Crock Pot Balsamic Braised Short Rib Tacos
The Recipe: Paleo Crock Pot Balsamic Braised Short Rib Tacos
The Hero Ingredient: Short ribs can sound daunting, but Joyful Healthy Eats simplifies it with this crockpot take on the Sunday night classic. The kicker is that it contains dried apricots for flavor.
Pro Tip: To get those masterly taco shells, Rollins’ slices jicama with a Mandolin “so it looks like a tortilla.” They taste fresh and offer a gluten-free solution.
Crock Pot Paleo Chili
The Recipe: Crock Pot Paleo Chili
The Hero Ingredient: This clean chili option is full of flavor from the beef to the seasonal cilantro, but the jalapeño is the real star, giving it some kick. You can't go wrong with a meat dish like this.
Pro Tip: The Modern Proper’s creator Holly Erickson says many recipes from Paleo chili call for sweet potato, but she found it too sweet. Feel free to add it back in, though, if that’s your preference.
Vegan Cauliflower Cream Sauce
The Recipe: Vegan Cauliflower Cream Sauce
The Hero Ingredient: Cauliflower is such a versatile veggie, especially for those following a gluten-free or Paleo diet. In this recipe, it creates a deliciously creamy base for a flavorful sauce that can be drizzled over just about anything.
Pro Tip: Jenny of Spoon Fork Bacon won’t pretend this tastes exactly like Alfredo sauce, however she says it’s “a wonderful healthy alternative.” Pour it over a chicken breast for a Paleo-friendly dinner.
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
The Recipe: Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
The Hero Ingredient: The organic ground chicken for this dish makes meatballs that can take on a plethora of uses. Top salads with them, use them over zucchini noodles, or eat by themselves.
Pro Tip: Root and Revel’s Kate Kordsmeier adds a secret step for pure meatball perfection. Sounds counterproductive, but Kordsmeier broils the meatballs first to get them slightly crispy and then throws them into the crockpot.
Make these meatballs and keep them in the fridge during the week for an easy-access lunch. When you need a quick protein-packed meal, zap these in the microwave.
Cauliflower Potato Salad
The Recipe: Easy Cauliflower Potato Salad
The Hero Ingredient: This summer picnic dish just got a healthy upgrade. While you may be more familiar with potato salad made with mayo, this one calls for Paleo mayo, so no taste is compromised.
Pro Tip: Make sure to buy organic potatoes if you're leaving the skin on, Kordsmeier advises.