In remembrance of our ancestors who ate what was in season without modification, the Paleo diet focuses on a variety of nutritiously rich, raw foods. This actively cuts out foods that tend to cause harm to the body, like preservatives, artificial hormones, pesticides, and processed sugars, grains, and meats. Some followers fully cut out dairy as well.
The Paleo diet is a great guideline to eat by because it encourages sticking to real foods without dangerous deficits or starving tactics. It can provide a wide range of essential vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, carbs, and protein. Having that variation of nutrients leads to more energy, less fat storage, and potentially lowers the risk of disease.
Planning time to cook fresh meals can save a lot of frustration and help you stay on track with your choices. If you’re thinking about going paleo, here are 25 dinner recipes to smooth the transition!
1. (Beef) Stuffed Peppers
This is a fun dish that families love to share. You can use a seasoning mix or create your own with unique spices, and fillings like vegetables, pulled pork or chicken.
This recipe also uses coconut oil, a great source for healthy fats. The total prep and cook time is about 45 minutes to create 4 servings with 33 grams of protein.
2. Garlic & Herb Lamb Chops
If you have an herb garden at home, this dish is the perfect use for your rosemary, mint, and parsley. The preparation calls for some extra time, about 30-45 minutes, to marinate the meat, though the actual cook time is fairly quick.
You can utilize the time to prep some fresh veggies like the recipe recommends, perhaps some grilled or baked sweet potatoes. It creates 4 servings with 23 grams of protein.
3. Steak Zucchini Boats
If your kids don’t like veggies, this may be a fun way to sneak them in. With a total prep and cook time of 40 minutes, the dish is also relatively fast to make. Each servings contains 24 grams of protein and 14 grams of carbs.
4. Butternut Squash Lasagna
This clever twist on traditional lasagna uses squash instead of pasta to keep your mind clear and your waistline happy!
While the recipe sounds delicious as it is, you can always supplement additional veggies or create a totally meat-free version.
You’ll need about an hour to complete the entire recipes, making up to 4 servings with 51 grams of protein and a rich portion of (healthy) carbs and fats.
5. Sweet Chili and Ginger Ribs
Turn up your weekend barbecue with this finger-licking-good favorite! The ginger heats up the meat a tad, but not enough to be “spicy.”
You will need some extra time for these to get the smokey flavor- 4 hours to be exact. One serving contains 68 grams of protein and pairs well with grilled asparagus, sweet potatoes, or bell peppers.
6. Pork Loin with Pesto Sauce
Personally, pesto is one of my favorite things to make at home. Fresh Basil has many health benefits including anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. This recipe can also be used for chicken, steak, or eggplant if you prefer a veggie option.
7. Apple-Cinnamon Pork Loin
This warm and inviting dish is perfect for any season.
You could pair the pork with apples as in the recipe below, or substitute them for fresh summer peaches. All that’s left is some lightly sautéed green beans or carrots! Each pork serving contains about 46 grams of protein and only 15 grams of fat.
8. Slow-Cooker Meatballs
If you’re short on time, these homemade meatballs can be prepared in 15 minutes and ready by the time you come home work. If possible, try to use grass-fed beef to gain the healthiest benefits and rich protein.
The recipe makes 24 meatballs so there is plenty for a few servings, leftovers, or to bring for a snack at work.
9. BLT Burgers
Another go-to if you’re short on time, this recipe takes about 30 minutes to complete 4 servings. You could use lettuce leaves for buns to stick to a lower carb version.
A meat-free version can be created with substitutions like mushroom burgers or black bean and mixed veggie burgers, and swapping in vegan bacon.
10. Chicken & Pork Stuffed Squash
As we get ready to welcome fall, this recipe may be one of your favorites to make ahead.
Squash is a great source for vitamins, helps calm the digestive system, and it keeps you satisfied for longer. You could also use smaller squash to create an appetizer platter and make a great impression at any get-together.
11. Chicken Korma with Cauliflower Rice
Chicken Korma hails from Asian-inspired roots and uses beautiful, immune-boosting spices in a way that takes the edge of their somewhat bitter flavors.
Cauliflower rice is more nutrient-dense than traditional white rice, although brown or wild rice can be paired just as well with this recipe.
The total prep and cook time will take about an hour, and creates 4 servings with 47 grams of protein.
12. Country-Style Chicken & Mushrooms
My grandmother used to make this dish almost every week, though she used heavy creams in her traditional southern style. This recipe uses coconut milk, fresh herbs and mushrooms (not from a can!). Fresh Mushrooms contain strong probiotic properties and can help balance natural bacteria in your digestive tract.
13. Chicken Nuggets with Avocado-Cilantro Dipping Sauce
Perfect for kids and adults alike, homemade chicken tenders are a winner in any household. With an alternative breading and dipping sauce, this dish is guilt-free and waistline friendly.
These are super easy to pack for work snacks or in the kid’s lunches. They require under 40 minutes to cook 4 servings, each with 48 grams of protein and 21 grams of fat.
14. Chicken & Cranberry Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
With only 10 grams of fat and 31 grams of protein, this recipe is great for those working hard on a calorie deficit for weight loss or for those who need to monitor their fat intake carefully.
Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins and provide digestive comfort. Fresh Cranberries are packed with vitamin C and help to cleanse the kidneys and urinary tract.
15. Balsamic Chicken Drumsticks
Another sweet and savory dish that’s perfect for party appetizers or prepping for small meals. Balsamic Vinegar contains natural detoxing properties and adds a tangy edge when baked or grilled into meat. It pairs well with crisp greens or fresh tomatoes.
16. Keto Salmon Chopped Vegetable Salad
Look no further for a light meal packed with vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and hydrating ingredients. You only need about 20 minutes to prepare this recipe and it’s an excellent option for preparing meals ahead.
You can keep leftover salmon separate and mix and match different veggies with dressings as you like.
17. Fried Fish Tacos
Fish tacos are fun and perfect for anytime of the year. If you don’t particularly like cabbage, you can try fresh cucumber, basil, papaya, and mango to create a fresh fruit salsa. Simply chop them together and add a bit of olive oil.
18. Tuna Burgers
These burgers only require about 30 minutes for 4 servings, with 34 grams of protein in each.
The recipe also calls for fresh tuna, which is far better for you than that from a can. Fresh and sustainably caught tuna provides healthy fats and protein. You can use lettuce leaves or grilled mushrooms instead of white bread buns to keep it on the leaner side.
19. Spicy Tuna & Cucumber Bites
If you enjoy making your own sushi or you haven’t quite gotten it down, these will give you a similar experience without the frustration.
Fresh Cucumber hydrates the body and helps cleanse your body on every level. You can complete this recipe in under 20 minutes and make as much as you’d like to snack on through the week. Each serving has 18 grams of protein with only 5 grams of fat.
20. Garlic Shrimp With Zucchini Noodles
Paired with fresh shrimp and rich garlic, each serving contains 54 grams of protein and only 5 grams of fat. For those of you who want to impress a special someone, there’s an option to use white wine for a little more romantic flavor.
21. Jalapeno Poppers
These are deliciously dairy-free and made with almond cheese. You can also use bell peppers if you are not really a fan of spicy peppers. Poppers make perfect to-go snacks, sides, and appetizers.
22. Beet & Tomato Soup
Beets and tomatoes both contain amazing health benefits like cleansing of the blood and detoxing the digestive tract. If you are fasting or pursuing a cleanse, this is a great option that provides a full and satisfied bang for your buck.
23. Brussel Sprouts With Balsamic & Cranberries
Honey-Balsamic is a great way to dress up the brussel sprout for a dramatic flavor that’s fresh, rich, and delicious. When roasted or baked, the brussel sprout is not nearly as bitter as it is when eaten raw. This side pairs well with just about any meat or can be made ahead and taken to-go or lunch.
24. Garlic-Butter & Spinach-Stuffed Mushrooms
This simple recipe is great for sides and healthy snacking on-the-go. You can create a variety by also stuffing the mushrooms with pesto, salsas, or mixed veggies. Each of these featured servings contains 9 grams of protein.
25. Apple Vegetable Stir-Fry
The apples add a bright crunch to the traditional stir-fry veggies and the homemade organa-ginger sauce can be made in bulk for extra meals, dipping sauces, or salad dressings.
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com