It’s that time of year when just about everybody is resolved to get healthy and start eating clean. That’s where the Whole 30 Challenge comes in to play. Encouraging followers to cut sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes and dairy from their diets for a full 30 days, this plan is designed to eliminate all the bad stuff from your eating so your body can reset. This strict health plan — which has gone viral over the past few years — is designed to be a short-term intervention that’ll help you make better choices for your body going forward. (Want to learn more? We’ve got your ultimate guide to the Whole 30 program.)
Only problem is, if you’re used to ordering takeout or grabbing dinners on-the-go, the meal prep and planning required on Whole 30 might feel like a drag. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with 25 quick and simple Whole 30 recipes that are all compliant with the diet (with minimal substitutions!). From butternut squash soup to grilled pork tenderloin with mango-habanero salsa, this detox is definitely not about deprivation.
25 Insanely Delicious Whole 30 Recipes
1. Whole 30 Chimichurri Beef Kebabs
Straight from The Whole 30 book, this kebab recipe is sure to impress. Don’t skip the marinade on these delicious skewers — it takes the veggies and beef from ordinary to awesome. Too cold outside to fire up the grill? Use a grill plate or make ‘em in your broiler instead.
2. Whole 30 Eggplant Buns
Bread is a no-no when you’re on the Whole 30, which is why we’re obsessed with these eggplant buns. (They don’t get soggy like real bread does, either.) Not into eggplant? Try Portobello mushrooms or squash, instead.
3. Whole 30 Romesco Garlic Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles
Satisfy your pasta cravings with zoodles (that’s zucchini-noodles, FYI) topped with shrimp and a savory romesco sauce. Whip up an extra large batch of sauce so you can use it all week long.
4. 10-Minute Gazpacho Recipe
This no-bake recipe requires only a food processor. Packed with watermelon, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper and lots of seasoning, it adds up to only 265 calories for a two-cup serving (so dig in.)
5. Grilled Eggplant Recipe with Lemon-Tahini Dressing
Skip the honey in this salad’s dressing for a perfectly Whole 30-compliant meal (tahini is totally allowed though!). Two large eggplants make this plate plenty filling.
6. Matcha Chia Seed Pudding
Just because you’re avoiding added sugar, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a delicious chia pudding bowl. Just skip the sweetener (like honey or maple syrup) and add some additional fruit on top for just the right amount of flavor. Disclaimer: The Whole 30 discourages you from recreating desserts or treats, so technically this dish is only “borderline” Whole 30. Perhaps you can save it for your post-diet reintroduction phase?
7. Winter Greens and Citrus Salad Recipe
Take advantage of all the citrus on sale at your local grocery store with this seasonal salad. (Here’s the best cheap winter produce to buy now.) Skip the honey in the dressing, or replace it with a simple oil and balsamic vinegar mix instead.
8. Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
As long as it’s free of carrageenan (an additive) and sugar, the coconut milk that goes into this soup is completely Whole 30-approved. Watch for added sugar or MSG in the broth you buy, too.
9. Vegan Scalloped Potatoes Recipe
This dish is dairy-free thanks to the cashews, almond milk and nutritional yeast that replace heavy cream and cheese. Plus, potatoes are a great source of healthy carbohydrates that are ideal for fueling high-intensity workouts.
10. Winter Brussels Sprouts Salad Recipe
This side dish is a must-try at only 177 calories per serving, especially if you love sprouts. Serve it either warm or cold, depending on your mood.
11. Fall Cleanse Kale Salad Recipe
Packed with squash, kale, beets, nuts and other hearty ingredients, this salad is nothing if not satiating. (Top it with some grilled chicken or steak if you’re craving extra protein!) Plus, the tahini-based dressing follows all the Whole 30 rules, too.
12. Turkey Sausage and Kale Frittata Recipe
Breakfast is all about the eggs when you’re on the Whole 30. (Sorry, no protein pancakes allowed!) Luckily, this tasty frittata takes just 35 minutes to make — with only three minutes of prep time. Just make sure your turkey sausage is sugar- and additive-free.
13. 5-Minute Blender Salsa Recipe
You’d be surprised how many salsas contain added sugar. This delicious mix relies on fresh, whole ingredients like tomatoes, jalapeno, onions and cilantro for a spicy flavor that can brighten any dish (like grilled chicken or scrambled eggs).
14. Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Mango-Habanero Salsa Recipe
Tenderloin is one of the leanest cuts of pork — and packs a whopping 43 grams of protein. The spicy-sweet salsa gives your dish a tongue-tingling flavor kick, no additives required.
15. Baked Tilapia with Radish Relish Recipe
A white fish full of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, tilapia is also high in protein, which will help you stay full. The colorful spray of radishes adds some fiber to your plate — and the whole meal tops out at 230 calories per serving.
16. Rosemary Beet Chips Recipe
Yup, these chips are diet-friendly! Thinly sliced, baked beet chips will satisfy your cravings for something crunchy while still being oh-so guilt-free.
17. Seared Tuna Nicoise Salad Recipe
Take your salad game to the next level by adding seared tuna on top. Green beans, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes and hardboiled eggs make a rainbow of nutritional goodness on your plate. (Just don’t forget to skip the maple syrup in the dressing!)
18. Cleansing Spring Salad Recipe
Replace this salad dressing with a simple oil and vinegar mix, then dig into your super-healthy plate of veggies. Add some grilled chicken on top if you’re looking for something heartier.
19. Healthy Low-Carb BLT Recipe
Good news, bacon lovers. You can have your BLT and eat it, too, with this bread-less version. (Just read your labels to make sure your meat is completely sugar-free.) Wrapped in lettuce and combined with avocado, hardboiled eggs and a big, juicy slice of tomato, this sammie can’t be beat.
20. Chia Fresca Drink Recipe
Alcohol might not be allowed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fix yourself a delicious drink. Look for sugar-free coconut water, then sweeten it up with pineapple juice and a dose of fiber-packed chia seeds.
21. Orange and Fennel Salad Recipe
You’ll get a great hit of vitamin C, fiber and folate in this juicy winter salad. At just 116 calories per serving, it makes the perfect side dish to practically any protein.
22. Steak with Chimichurri Sauce Recipe
This lean cut of steak still packs plenty of flavor thanks to the tangy chimichurri sauce you’ll spread on top. With just 10 minutes of prep and cooling time until this makes it to your plate, we guarantee your hunger won’t get the best of you.
23. DIY Almond Butter Recipe
Slather this on an apple or slices of celery for a super filling Whole 30-approved snack. Many store-bought brands are packed with sugar, but this easy recipe has just the natural, nutty basics.
24. Sweet Potato Veggie Scramble
Nix the bread from your plate and this veggie-packed scramble makes the ideal morning meal. (Or, breakfast-for-dinner, if that’s more your thing.)
25. Homemade Larabars
These popular energy bars are on the Whole 30’s ‘use sparingly’ list — but when you’re in a pinch, it’s better than reaching for a Snickers. Made with nuts, medjool dates, dried fruit and a touch of sea salt, these homemade bars are high in sugar but great for satisfying your hunger when there’s not much else at hand.
Originally published January 2016. Updated January 2017.