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 30 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.
30 Insanely Delicious Whole 30 Recipes
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
This Whole30 meal proves that weeknight dinners don’t have to be complicated. The rosemary, garlic, sage and lemon zest transform the chicken breasts from an ordinary meal into a mouthwatering dish. The roasted cabbage turns buttery and tender in the oven, and wrapping it in bacon strips infuses it with even more flavor. The best part is you only need one sheet pan to make the entire meal!
There are a lot of things you might miss on the Whole 30: pizza, pasta, cookies. But one thing you’ll be guaranteed is flavor, and this pork chops dish doesn’t miss a beat. Lemon and thyme infuse the pork with mouthwatering flavor, while the crispy green onions enhance its juices. The butternut squash is also roasted to perfection so it tastes sweeter and the texture more tender. Consider all your cravings fulfilled!
These breakfast egg muffins are the perfect dish to meal prep on a lazy Sunday. Lay ham slices in a muffin tin to create a little basket or nest for the eggs. Then, sauté the spinach and mushrooms in a nonstick skillet until they’re both fully cooked and then layer them over the ham slices before cracking an egg in the middle. Pop the muffin tin in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the egg whites are set. And voila, Whole30-approved breakfasts for the week!
While there aren’t specific rules around fruit on Whole30, it’s recommended you enjoy at least two servings a day. This orange and fennel salad makes the perfect side dish and helps you hit your fruit quota for the day. Made with Cara Cara oranges, blood oranges, fennel, pistachios and microgreens, you get just the right amount of sweetness to balance the bitterness of the greens.
Meet your new breakfast BFF: baked avocado egg. If you love avocado toast, you’ll love this dish even more because you get to use the actual fruit as your “bread.” Simply cut the avocado into halves and crack an egg into the center of each halve. Bake them in the oven for about 15 minutes, and then top with the flavorful tomato and jalapeno salsa.
Originally published January 2016. Updated January 2018.