Cooking has been a wonderful respite for me during this busy winter, so I am excited to share the top paleo and Whole30 meals we’ve been loving!
This winter we have been traveling pretty much non-stop. There was our trip to Mexico in November, Indianapolis, Chicago, and Boise in December, Indianapolis and Rotterdam in January, and Chicago and Indianapolis again in February! (See, I wasn’t exaggerating.)
It’s been a really exciting and fun time. Ryan and I love to travel, and we are so thankful to both have jobs we can do from anywhere with a solid wifi connection. We’ve gotten to spend a lot of quality time with our family members and close friends.
But. Traveling that much can get really tiring! Unpacking and repacking, never really having everything you wish you had, and eating food you wish you didn’t have to when rushing around just trying to make it from point A to point B.
Then there was the time we got a flat tire in Indianapolis the night before we were supposed to fly out of Chicago to go to Europe. Now that was stressful.
Needless to say, one of my very favorite ways to unwind, slow down, and enjoy myself with family, is cooking! I love trying new recipes. It’s like a fun game for me to analyze which Pinterest recipes from my boards look the best, then give them little tweaks to make them my own.
Not everyone enjoys meal planning and cooking like a game. I get that. If I was a different kind of busy, say, at home with 5 kids (like my sister), I would probably find meal planning and cooking a lot less fun! Add the challenge of trying to eat healthily and avoid food intolerances, and it can really get complicated.
And so, if you are looking for paleo & Whole30 meals that are already tried and true, guaranteed to be delicious, this post is for you!
I’ve never done a Whole30, but find that my body can digest Whole30 compliant (and paleo) recipes really well. So, I guess I kind of gravitate towards them when choosing what to cook. These paleo and Whole30 meals are all gluten-free, dairy-free, and grain-free. Four of them are paleo as well. I’ve written what I loved about each one and whether I would tweak the recipe at all below the pictures. Enjoy!
Slow Cooker Spicy Stuffed Cabbage Casserole (Whole30 & Paleo)
From Bowl of Delicious
One of my favorite foods to eat in Turkey was stuffed cabbage rolls. Cabbage rolls are delicious but take a lot of time to make! This Slow Cooker Spicy Stuffed Cabbage Casserole only takes 5 minutes to prep. You basically get to throw all the ingredients in your slow cooker and forget about it until it’s time to eat! This one of the best paleo and Whole30 entrée recipes for busy nights.
My recipe notes: I honestly wouldn’t change a thing about this recipe – it was delicious and flavorful made just like the recipe instructed! I used cauliflower rice and didn’t miss real rice one bit. My whole family loved it.
Ps… If you love this kind of food, check out our list of 14 Turkish Foods You’ve Got to Try.
Indian Saag Chicken (Whole30 & Paleo)
From 40 Aprons
Although I’ve been making quite a few Indian-style recipes lately, I had never made anything quite like this. But let me tell you, I am so glad I tried it! Made with spinach, coconut cream, chicken, and lots of yummy Indian spices, this dish is packed with flavor and nutritional goodness. This turned out to be one of my very favorite Whole30 meals!
My recipe notes: We served it with cauliflower rice, which we enjoyed. I used boneless chicken thighs to simplify the prep, and the chicken pieces were tender and flavorful. The recipe calls for 1-2 serrano chiles and I used 2 – it was not very spicy at all. The dried fenugreek leaves I left out, because I had no idea what they were and was in a hurry grocery shopping. I also only used coconut milk (not cream) because it’s what I had. Coconut cream, I can imagine, would have made it that much tastier. I skimped on salt and ended up missing it in the end, so don’t do that. The recipe calls for garam masala, which is a blend of Indian spices. You can find garam masala on Amazon, or you can make your own.
Check out our Instagram post of this recipe!
One Pan Roasted Garlic Potatoes, Asparagus, and Sausage (Whole30-friendly)
Although this isn’t labeled as a Whole30 recipe, it totally works as one if you leave out the parmesan cheese. Of all the Whole30 meals I’ve made, this one is definitely the easiest! Sometimes meals that you just throw out on a pan and put in the oven with herbs, spices, and oil, are much needed.
If you’re on a strict Whole30, you’ll need to be particular about what kind of sausage you buy to make sure it’s Whole30 compliant. This post by Life Health HQ will help: Where to Find Whole30 Compliant Sausage.
My recipe notes: I doubled the recipe for leftovers and added turmeric, because it’s yummy and incredibly good for you. Otherwise, I made it just as instructed and wouldn’t change anything.
Whole30 Chili (with Chocolate!) (Whole30 & Paleo)
From 40 Aprons
This Whole30 Chili with Chocolate recipe has held the top place as my favorite chili recipe for at least a year. And I’ve tried a lot of chilis. Don’t be weirded out by the chocolate bit. The recipe calls for cocoa powder which gives it an extra rich flavor! This is one of my very favorite paleo and Whole30 entrée recipes that I’ve tried.
My recipe notes: This makes a very meaty, hearty chili. I like that, but if you would prefer to stretch the chili or have it less meaty, I would add some extra liquid and spices. We eat this chili with avocado slices and Greek yogurt (not paleo or Whole30, but delicious!). You can buy chipotle chili powder on Amazon. If you don’t have it, though, I would substitute with some paprika or crushed red pepper.
We shared our creation of this recipe on our Instagram!
Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping (Whole30 & Paleo)
From The Real Food Dietitians
Shepherd’s pie is a really great comfort food that I enjoyed a lot of while studying abroad in Ireland. I love the way the sweet potatoes in this Whole30 and paleo version create a sweet and savory flavor combination.
My recipe notes: I doubled this recipe to have leftovers and was so glad I did! It calls for 2 large sweet potatoes (~5 cups). I don’t think my sweet potatoes came out to five cups, because I didn’t end up with very much to spread on top. Keep that in mind, and you might want to use more than two sweet potatoes. Green peppers aren’t my favorite, so I used zucchini instead and loved the substitution! When making it again, I would actually double the amount of zucchini and carrots I used just to have more veggies to balance out the meat. My final suggestion is to be sure you drain the grease from the cooked hamburger. I didn’t, and there was a pool of grease in the pie at the end.