20 Delicious Paleo Recipes for Every Meal of the Day

20 Delicious Paleo Recipes for Every Meal of the Day

From grocery aisles to restaurant menus to primal vending machines, the paleo lifestyle has officially gone mainstream. And if you’re still not clear on what it entails, there’s no need to crawl under a rock. The paleo diet is based on the idea that our bodies are function best when fed the same diet our caveman ancestors enjoyed. That means saying yes to grass-fed meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits and seeds, and no to dairy, grains, legumes and processed foods. While these restrictions can seem hard to follow at first, fear not — maintaining a paleo diet can easily be delicious and healthy. Plus, it might make your body feel better, too. Before heading out into the wild, bookmark these paleo recipes that will have you covered from sunrise to sundown — breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert included.

RELATED: 15 Paleo-Friendly Recipe Substitutions

Paleo Breakfast Recipes

Paleo Egg McMuffin

1. Paleo Sausage Egg McMuffin
Try one of these paleo breakfast sandwiches and you’ll never look at an English muffin again. Egg patties make the perfect paleo substitution for breakfast sandwich buns. Biscuit cutters help shape the egg buns and sausage center so everything is uniform in size and shape. If sausage isn’t your thing, slices of bacon or a round piece of crisped pancetta would work perfectly, too. (Note: The recipe says guacamole optional, but we have to disagree — it’s essential!) Photo and recipe: Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo

Carrot Waffles

2. Grain-Free Carrot Waffles
Chestnut flour is the key ingredient to these healthier waffles. While similar to other nut flours in texture and flavor, chestnut flour works better in this recipe thanks to its lower fat content and higher starch content, creating a fluffy waffle instead of a gummy, dense one. The sweet, slightly nutty flavor works complements the grated carrot and cinnamon to produce that signature carrot cake flavor. Photo and recipe: Kasia / Cook It Lean

RELATED: 7 Quick and Easy Paleo Pancake Recipes

Acorn Squash Egg in A Hole

3. Acorn Squash in the Hole
Forget toast — acorn squash is an ideal paleo substitute for the classic breakfast favorite “egg-in-a-hole.” This recipe calls for acorn squash, but other varieties such as delicata would likely work just as well. Top with chopped bacon, or some sautéed greens if you’d rather keep the dish vegetarian. Photo and recipe: Julia Mueller / The Roasted Root

Paleo Mini Bagels

4. Paleo Mini Bagels
These protein-rich mini bagels make a great on-the-go breakfast or paleo-friendly snack. Plus, they’re much easier to make than regular gluten-filled bagels, and you bake them right in the oven — no boiling required! The recipe says to top with poppy seeds, sesame seeds and onion flakes, but you can easily customize to your tastes (cinnamon and coconut sugar, anyone?). Photo and recipe: Elana Amsterdam / Elana’s Pantry

Blueberry Scones

5. Gluten-Free Blueberry and Coconut Scones
At just 163 calories per serving, these gluten- and dairy-free scones can find a place in just about anyone’s meal plan. Almond flour serves as the base for these breakfast treats. While the recipe calls for blueberries to mix in, feel free to swap in apples, raspberries, cranberries or nuts as you see fit. (Pro tip: substitute the egg in this recipe to make the scones vegan, too.) Photo and recipe: Miryam / Eat Good 4 Life

Paleo Lunch Recipes

Tuna Salad Recipe

6. Tuna Nicoise Salad
This 350-calorie salad makes is one satisfying paleo lunch. With six different types of vegetables, this salad is packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Plus, the seared tuna and hard-boiled egg serve up a hefty 38-gram dose of protein that’s sure to keep you full until dinnertime. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

Spicy Tuna Burger

7. Spicy Tuna and Tomato Burgers
Whether they’re served on top of a salad, wrapped in lettuce or in a paleo bun, these protein-filled tuna burgers make a satisfying lunch (or dinner). Don’t skip the avocado and Greek yogurt topping — the creamy texture and cool flavors complement the spicy burger perfectly. Photo and recipe: Emma / Better with Cake

RELATED: What is Paleo? Breaking Down the Paleo Diet Food List

Shawarma Chicken Bowls

8. Shwarma Chicken Bowls with Basil-Lemon Vinaigrette
Meal planners, this recipe is perfect for you! Once the chicken has been cooked and cooled and the veggies are prepped, pack individual portions with a small container of the dressing. When it’s time for lunch, pour on the dressing, shake it up and you have a healthy and protein-rich lunch in one minute flat. Photo and recipe: Mike / The Iron You

Shawarma Chicken Bowls

9. Paleo Chinese Chicken Salad
Asian chicken salad is a restaurant menu staple. Sadly, it is rarely paleo-friendly and one salad can contain upwards of 1,000 calories (compared to the 533 in one serving of this salad!). Instead of plain old lettuce, shredded napa cabbage and carrots make up the base of this recipe. The homemade dressing offers up all of those classic Asian flavors with a fraction of the fat, calories and sugar found in store-bought varieties. Photo and recipe: Linda Wagner 

RELATED: Can the Paleo Diet Improve Health?

Butternut Squash Soup

10. Butternut Squash Soup
On a cold winter’s day this soup is the perfect way to warm up from the inside out. Coconut milk gives it a creamy texture while also keeping it dairy-free and paleo-friendly. Play around with the garnish to kick up the flavor a notch: The recipe recommends cilantro, paprika, fresh ground black pepper or sunflower seeds, but crispy coconut chips, toasted cashews or even some shredded chicken would be great additions. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

Paleo Dinner Recipes

Sweet and Spicy Paleo Chicken Bites

11. Sweet & Spicy Chicken Bites
Fact: You can eat boneless chicken wings and maintain a paleo diet at the same time. Instead of fried gluten-filled breading, these babies are coated in almond four and baked until crispy before taking a bath in a sticky sweet and spicy sauce made from honey, hot sauce and garlic powder. Now that’s finger lickin’ good. Photo and recipe: Kristen / The Endless Meal

Chicken Zucchini Noodle Soup

12. Chicken Zucchini Noodle Soup
Make classic chicken noodle soup paleo by skipping the noodles and opting for spiralized zucchini (aka zoodles)! If zucchini isn’t your favorite or you’d prefer something with a bit more bite, let turnip or carrot noodles be the star to this soup show! Photo and recipe: Ali Maffucci / Inspiralized

Short Rib Tacos

13. Slow Cooker Short Rib Tacos
Start a batch of these tacos in the morning and arrive home to a healthy, filling meal. Unlike many of the gluten-free options out there, the coconut and tapioca flour tortillas that serve as the base for these tacos bend perfectly without snapping — an essential taco-making quality. If you’re short on time or don’t want to make tortillas, the slow cooker short ribs would also go perfectly on top of cauliflower rice or mixed greens. Photo and recipe: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

RELATED: 9 Creative Low-Carb Noodle Recipes

Baked Tilapia with Radish Relish

14. Baked Tilapia with Radish Relish
Get dinner on the table in 15 minutes flat with this simple, low-calorie and high-protein recipe. Tilapia is an affordable protein choice — an eight-ounce serving of the sturdy white fish has a whopping 47 grams! Cooking in a parchment pouch with capers and lemon traps in flavor while allowing for easy cleanup. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

Chimichurri Steak

15. Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
When topped with a fresh, herbaceous sauce such as arugula chimichurri, a lean cut of well-cooked meat makes a perfectly satisfying healthy dinner. Pair it with a green salad or some grilled vegetables for a well-balanced meal. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

Paleo Dessert Recipes

Paleo Chocolate Mousse

16. Paleo Chocolate Mousse
Forget about all those mug cake recipes that have been floating around the internet lately — this paleo chocolate mousse is about to become your go-to dessert for two. Instead of refined white sugar, this recipe relies on honey or maple syrup for a hint of sweetness while coconut milk helps achieve a super-creamy texture. Once it’s set in the fridge for at least an hour, top with fresh fruit or toasted nuts for some extra texture and flavor. Photo and recipe: Linnaea / I’m Gluten Free

Walnut Pears

17. Baked Pears with Walnuts and Honey
This dessert is so simple and healthy it could easily pass as breakfast. When pears aren’t in season, apples or stone fruit of any kind would also work perfectly (and feel free to swap in any type of nuts you like, too). Photo and recipe: Gina Homolka / Skinny Taste

Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

18. No-Churn Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream
Forget about dairy — this combination of coconut milk, dates, cocoa powder and almond milk make the perfect super-creamy and paleo-friendly ice cream alternative. Swirl in some paleo chocolate ganache or toasted nuts for texture. Photo and recipe: Minimalist Baker

Almond Joy Bars

19. Raw Almond Joy Bars
When baked goods are calling your name but you can’t bear to turn on the oven, these raw coconut-almond bars are here to help. This healthy alternative to the classic candy bar favorite has all of the elements — a chocolaty crust, sweet coconut filling, and toasted crunchy almond top — without the guilt. Photo and recipe: Rawmazing

RELATED: 10 Delicious Paleo Cookie Recipes

Cashew Cream Fruit Parfait

20. Cashew Cream and Fruit Parfait
Here’s an easy breakfast, snack or dessert recipe to keep in your back pocket. Cashew cream is full of flavor and is higher in protein than its dairy-based cousins. The creamy fro-yo substitute pairs perfectly with any type of fresh fruit or paleo granola. They don’t call it “parfait” for nothing. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

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