Quick Paleo Meals

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Quick paleo meals

The pretty and sophisticated recipes are all fine and dandy, but more often than not what we really need on a day to day basis is a bunch of quick and easy recipes that we can prepare without much involvement or fancy ingredients. It surely helps to stick to the paleo diet when cooking doesn’t seem like a chore or a puzzle three times a day. You’ve got to have some time off when you don’t spend any time or energy in the kitchen while you still eat the best food for your health.

Paleo meal coverIn its most basic, paleo meal construction is in itself very simple. Simply fry, bake, stew or poach a nice piece of good quality meat, fish or seafood and then steam, bake or boil a side of fresh or frozen vegetables, making sure to add a good amount of tallow, butter, Ghee, lard, coconut oil or olive oil in the process for taste, energy and health. The process is similar for making delicious stews or omelets: choose your source of protein and your favorite vegetables and cook them in a fresh stock in the case of a stew or with eggs in the case of an omelet. Of course, on top of all this, onions are almost always welcome, as are fresh and dried spices. As you get used to play more and more with the different flavors available to you, you’ll create amazing dishes without even thinking about it.

Even though this explanation of how most paleo meals end up looking like seems pretty simple and straightforward, it’s easy to get bored or to eat the same things over and over again. For this reason, I’ve decided to include here 10 simple recipes you can all prepare in about 20 minutes or less and that call for very few ingredients, but still have something in them that makes them very special and tasty. I hope you’ll find here a new favorite that you’ll be able to prepare over and over again when you’re either on the go, not in the mood for cooking or simply because sometimes the simplest meals are really the best.

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Steak & eggs

Steak and eggs are two of the cornerstones of the paleo diet so why not enjoy both together for even more goodness. This combination though is not new and steak & eggs have been enjoyed for a long time, either in the morning for breakfast or at night for dinner. It also coulnd’t really get simpler than this. This is a single recipe, but calculate about two eggs per steak. You can enjoy your eggs pretty much the way you like them usually, but in this recipe the classic sunny side up eggs are prepared. I like to make it so the yolks are still runny and can drip on my steak, enhancing flavor and texture at the same time.

Ingredients

  • 1 good quality large steak (filet, sirloin, ribeye, …);
  • 2-3 tbsp of your favorite cooking fat (tallow, butter or ghee are excellent here);
  • 2 free range eggs;
  • Paprika to taste;
  • Salt and pepper to taste;

Preparation

  1. Note: Let stand your steak for about 40 minutes at room temperature for a perfectly cooked and juicy result.
  2. Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tbsp of your chosen cooking fat.
  3. Season your steak with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and add to the hot pan.
  4. Cook the steak to your liking. About 3 minutes of each side will usually give you a nice and medium rare steak.
  5. Remove the steak from the pan, set aside and lower the temperature to medium-low. Add the rest of the cooking fat.
  6. Crack open the eggs in the hot pan, cover, season to taste with some paprika, salt and pepper and cook until the whites are just set.
  7. Serve the steak with the eggs either on top or on the side and make sure to dip the juicy hot meat in the runny yolk for complete satisfaction.

Paleo Chicken Fajitas

Fajitas are a classic in Tex-Mex cuisine and are adored universally by kids and adults alike. The classic fajita calls for skirt steak and is served with a choice of toppings over corn or wheat flour tortilla, but this Paleo take on the classic fajita meal is just as delicious without the tortilla. Today, fajitas are also commonly prepared with pork, chicken or shrimp and the usual vegetables include bell peppers and onions. Enjoy making a big batch and pleasing the whole family with this classic do it yourself dinner. This recipe serves about 5 people, but be sure to make more for leftovers.

Quick paleo meals

Ingredients

  1. 3 lbs chicken breast, cut in thin strips;
  2. 3 bell peppers;
  3. 3 onions, sliced;
  4. 2 tbsp oregano, chili powder, cumin and coriander;
  5. 6 chopped garlic cloves;
  6. Juice of 5 lemons;
  7. 4 tbsp cooking fat (coconut oil, tallow or ghee are excellent here);
  8. Butter lettuce to serve;
  9. You choice of toppings: diced tomatoes, fermented pickles, sauerkraut, sliced avocados, salsa, guacamole, mayonnaise and/or salsa verde;

Preparation

  1. Combine the chicken, bell peppers, onions, spices, garlic and lemon juice in a bowl and mix well;
  2. If preparing ahead of time, let marinate in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.
  3. When ready to cook, heat a large skillet on medium heat and cook the whole preparation with the cooking fat until the chicken is cooked through and the onion and bell pepper are soft.
  4. Put the hot chicken preparation in a large bowl and let the people prepare their own fajitas on top of lettuce leaves with their favorite toppings.

Liver & onions

I think liver and onions are secretly best friends and the combination even have the potential to make someone love liver. The caramelized onions are very simple to prepare and this recipe doesn’t need anything else to be a complete meal. Liver by itself is so full of nutrients that it could be considered mother nature’s multi-vitamin. I enjoyed liver and onions for ages before I learned that the combination is actually a classic in many European countries and is enjoyed all over the world. The ingredient list really couldn’t be shorter. This recipe serves 4 people.
Liver & onions

Ingredients

  • 4 large slices pork or beef liver;
  • 5 large onions, sliced;
  • 6 tbsp butter or lard;
  • Salt and pepper to taste;

Preparation

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add 5 tbsp of the butter and the sliced onions. Cook slowly, stirring often, for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the onions are really soft and caramelized.
  2. Near the end of the cooking process of the onions, heat another pan over a medium-high heat and cook the liver with the rest of the cooking fat, about 3 minutes on each side.
  3. Serve the liver topped with the delicious and creamy cooked onions. This is also delicious served with a little bit of homemade salsa on the side.

Bacon, spinach & mushroom casserole

This is a very simple dish all prepared in a single casserole and using some traditional favorites like bacon and mushrooms. Spinach brings everything together and helps create a very filling and savory dish. The rendered bacon grease created during the cooking process will help cook and give taste to the spinach and mushrooms.
Bacon, spinach & mushroom casserole

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lb good quality smoked bacon, cut into medium sized strips;
  • 3 big handfuls of fresh spinach, stems removed;
  • 1 lb button mushrooms, sliced;
  • 1 large onion, chopped;
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced;
  • 2 tbsp lard, butter or ghee;
  • Salt and pepper to taste;

Preparation

  1. Heat a large casserole over a medium heat and cook the bacon, making sure it’s still soft.
  2. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute, until fragrant.
  4. Add the mushrooms and cook for about another 8 minutes, until soft.
  5. Add the spinach and butter, cover and let cook for another 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is well cooked.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Baked salmon with asparagus & roasted beets

Beets and asparagus are two vegetables that go wonderfully well with salmon and that tend to be forgotten in our day to day meals. This simple dish can of course be prepared with any fresh fish and vegetables. This recipe serves 4 people.
Baked salmon

Ingredients

  • 4 fresh wild salmon fillets;
  • 4 tbsp butter or coconut oil;
  • 4 tsp chopped dill;
  • 16 sprigs of fresh asparagus, hard base removed;
  • 4 medium red beets, cut in cubes;
  • Salt and pepper to taste;

Preparation

  1. Preheat your oven to 500 F.
  2. Line four large pieces of foil and place a salmon fillet on a bed of beet cubes and 4 asparagus. Do that for the 4 fillets.
  3. Add 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tsp dill on top of each fillet and close the foil to form a little pocket.
  4. Bake in hot oven for about 10 minutes for each inch of thickness of the fish.
  5. Make sure to check on the fish so it doesn’t get overcooked.
  6. Serve topped with some more of your favorite fresh herbs. More dill is perfect, but cilantro is also really good.

Chicken & zucchini hot salad

This is a very simple hot salad featuring chicken and zucchinis, two items that go hand in hand with a lemon and garlic mayonnaise. Serves 4 people.
Chicken & zucchini hot salad

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lb chicken breast, cut into cubes;
  • 5 zucchinis, cut into cubes;
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, butter, ghee or lard;
  • 1 tbsp oregano;
  • 1 large onion, chopped;
  • 7 tbsp homemade mayonnaise;
  • Juice of 2 lemon;
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced very finely;
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, washed and shredded;
  • Salt and pepper to taste;

Preparation

  1. Heat a large pan over a medium-high heat and cook the chicken cubes until well cooked. Set aside
  2. In the same pan, with the rest of the cooking fat, add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes;
  3. Add the zucchini cubes and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the zucchini cubes are soft.
  4. In a bowl, mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice and garlic.
  5. Add the hot and cooked chicken, onion and zucchini to the mayonnaise preparation and mix well.
  6. Add the romaine lettuce, mix well and serve in bowls. This hot salad is delicious topped with some fresh almonds.

Sausages with parsnip mash & mushrooms

Bangers and mash are a classic English dish, but you don’t have to indulge in potatoes to enjoy some delicious mash. Sweet potatoes, or, as in this recipe, parsnip, is also perfect. Of course, this meal is high in carbs than most paleo preparations, but from a natural source and in a reasonable quantity, it shouldn’t be any problem. This meal is especially great as an after workout meal or when you need some quick energy for the rest of your day. This recipe serves about 6 people.
Sausages with parsnip mash

Ingredients

  • 12 large good quality beef or pork sausages;
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced;
  • 2 lb parsnip, coarsely chopped;
  • 2 tsp cooking fat;
  • 5 tbsp butter or ghee;
  • 1 lb button mushrooms;
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk or heavy cream;
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano;
  • Pinch of nutmeg;
  • Salt and pepper to taste;

Preparation

  1. Boil the parsnips for about 15 minutes, until soft.
  2. Drain the water, add half the butter, the coconut milk or heavy cream, a pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste and mash well with a potato masher. You can also use a food processor for convenience. Reserve the mashed parsnips in the covered pot so they stay warm.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the sausages in a large skillet with the cooking fat for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally.
  4. Set the sausages aside and add the mushrooms to the already hot skillet with the other half of the butter. Cook until well browned, about 5 minutes and add the chopped oregano.
  5. Serve the mashed parsnips covered with the sausages, mushrooms and all the drippings.

Canned salmon salad

It’s not because it comes from a can that you can’t prepare something really delicious out of canned salmon. After all, we are fortunate enough that farmed salmon doesn’t hold well to the canning process so we are blessed with an easy and cheap source of wild salmon year-round. In this recipe, I use olive oil and lemon juice, but homemade mayonnaise is also excellent.
Canned salmon salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cans wild salmon;
  • 2 diced cucumbers, peeled or not;
  • 1 chopped onion;
  • 1 large diced tomato;
  • 1 diced avocado;
  • 5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil;
  • Juice of 2 lemons;
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill, optional;
  • Lettuce leaves for serving;

Preparation

  1. Drain the liquid from the canned salmon, place the salmon in a bowl and mash well with a fork.
  2. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and mix well into the salmon.
  3. Add the cucumbers, onion, tomato and avocado and mix again.
  4. Add the dill, if using, season with salt and pepper and serve the cold salad over lettuce leaves.

White wine & garlic mussels

Mussels are rarely what comes to mind when it comes to a quick, simple and cheap meal, but I think it’s a mistake. When fresh and in season, mussels are usually pretty cheap and they are so quick to prepare that you won’t believe dinner can be ready in such a short time. It’s also a great occasion to eat seafood, something we tend to forget as an important part of a paleo diet. Nutrition and taste wise, mussels are amazing. They are packed full of iron, selenium, vitamin B12, manganese and a host of other essential nutrients. The steam from the white wine and garlic sauce is  what cooks the mussels here. The butter in the sauce adds richness and flavor. This kind of preparation is called moules marinières in France, where the dish comes from. Another classic sauce for mussels is a tomato marinara sauce. About a pound of mussels is about what’s needed per person. This recipe is for 4 people.

Try to buy your mussels the same day you prepare them and, if not, keep them in the refrigerator covered with a damp cloth. When ready to prepare, plunge them in cold water, wash them, remove the beard (a stringy-like membrane attached to most of them) and discard any that are opened, even if only slightly. The opened ones are dead and the closed ones are still living. Don’t worry if you have to discard a bunch of them, it’s part of the game.
Mussels

Ingredients

  1. 4 lbs fresh mussels;
  2. 2 cups white wine or chicken stock;
  3. 2 chopped onions;
  4. 5 finely chopped cloves garlic;
  5. 1/3 cup of your favorite chopped fresh herbs (parsley and basil are excellent);
  6. 6 tbsp butter or ghee;

Preparation

  1. Wash, remove the beards and discard any of the opened mussels prior to cooking.
  2. In a stockpot, combine the whine or stock, onions and garlic, bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes;
  3. Add the mussels to the pot, cover and increase the heat to medium-high so the sauce boils and creates steam that will cook the mussels.
  4. As soon as all the mussels have opened, add the herbs and butter or ghee and remove from heat.
  5. Serve in bowls with the whine wine, garlic and butter sauce.

Pork chops with apples and onions

Apples are always a good match with pork especially around the time of the year when apples are available locally and fresh. When simple pork chops served with a side of vegetables doesn’t cut it anymore, this recipe will remind you of the deliciousness of savory pork and sweet apples.
Pork chops

Ingredients

  • 4 bone-in pork chops, with the trimmings;
  • 3 tbsp lard, butter, ghee or coconut oil;
  • 2 large onion, sliced;
  • 4 sliced and cored apples;
  • Salt and pepper to taste;

Preparation

  1. Heat a large pan over a medium-high heat. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Melt 2 tbsp of the cooking fat and fry the chops, about 5 minutes on each side, until well cooked and browned;
  3. Set the pork chops aside, reduce the heat to medium-low, add the other tbsp of cooking fat and add the onion and apple slices;
  4. Cook for about 4 minutes, until the onions have caramelized and the apple slices are slightly soft.
  5. Serve the chops with the topping of apple and onions.

P.S. Have a look at our Paleo Recipe Book. It's a cookbook we've created to help you eat the best Paleo food. It contains over 370 recipes and covers everything you need.

+ Your Guide to Paleo, our handy Paleo Guide, is now also available. It'll help you avoid common pitfalls and reach your health and weight loss goals faster.

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