Best Paleo Cookbook

There are lots of people switching to a paleo-inspired food regime and if you’ve ever wondered why, it’s because they swear by the many health benefits that come with it.

Not sure what a paleo diet is? Sometimes referred to as the ‘caveman diet’, it harkens back to a time when our ancestors hunted and gathered foods rich in lean protein and nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. The notion behind paleo is that many of today’s health issues are associated with, and the result of, eating foods such as refined sugar, grains, beans and legumes, all of which are forbidden on a paleo diet.

Figuring the ins and outs of this diet can be confusing, so the best way to start your paleo adventure is with a good cookbook filled with information and recipes. With so many choices, it may be overwhelming to find one that suits you. We’ve done some of the work for you. Below, we feature six of the best paleo cookbooks you can purchase online. Read on to find the one that’s suits you.

1. Top Pick: Paleo Meal Prep: Weekly Meal Plans and Recipes

If you’ve adopted the paleo lifestyle, you know that grabbing a bite at the local fast food joint for a quick lunch during work is not an option. Neither is ordering in something to munch on at your desk. Being able to meal prep for the week so there is always something on hand to bring for lunch, to snack on or pop into the oven for dinner, is one of the best ways to successfully navigate a paleo diet while enjoying delicious meals every day.

This paleo cookbook lets you stay on track with your eating regime no matter how busy your life is. If you are new to the game, there is a great overview of the paleo philosophy and way of life, including which foods to eat and which to stay away from.

From there, it’s a step-by-step guide to the ins and outs of batch food prep to help you optimize your time and ingredients, with easy instructions to make flavorful, nourishing meals stocked and ready to enjoy throughout the week.

There are tips for safe storage and reheating, portion control, and smart shopping, along with the best part of any cookbook – the recipes. You’ll find more than 50 easy recipes free of added sugar, grains, dairy, and legumes. The cookbook authors also arrange everything to accommodate three lifestyle plans – for those new to paleo, those already following the diet, and for experienced paleo eaters – and create two-week meal plans for each scenario.

With this 164-page paleo cookbook, whether you are a beginner or a novice, you’ll master the art of batch food prep so you’ll always have the food you want to eat on hand no matter how busy you are.

 Pros:

  • 50 recipes
  • Food prep and batch cooking
  • Available on kindle and as a paperback

Cons:

  • Batch cooking is not for everyone

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2. Runner Up: The Big Book of Paleo Cooking: 175 Recipes & 6 Weeks of Meal Plans

If you’re considering going paleo but have no idea where or how to begin, The Big Book of Paleo Cooking is a great place to start.

It’s not called the Big Book for nothing; at 282 pages, its not only filled with 175 recipes that span every meal and include snacks, beverages, and sauces, but it takes all the hard work out of meal planning. For all the times you thought ‘what should I make for dinner’, this cookbook lays out six weeks of meal plans so you can mix and match and customize the kind of meals you and your family love.

Not only will you discover how to stock your fridge and pantry with the right foods, but the book also offers up substitute ingredients and kitchen tips to make the transition to a paleo lifestyle easier. When you’re ready to switch to a new lifestyle, this paleo cookbook will show you how.

Pros:

  • Available on kindle and in paperback
  • 175 recipes
  • Includes six weeks of meal plans

Cons:

  • More expensive than other paperback cookbooks

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3. Best for Two People: The Paleo Cookbook for Two: 100 Perfectly Portioned Recipes

Many people find it difficult cooking for one or two people. This can seem particularly daunting for anyone switching to a paleo diet. That’s where this cookbook is really helpful as all the recipes have been created and designed to accommodate anyone who prepares meals for one or two people.

The 192-page paperback cookbook contains 100 paleo-friendly recipes, and includes everything from chocolate banana bread and vanilla bean ice-cream to avocado baked eggs and ginger beef stir-fry, all scaled to feed two people with few leftovers. Whether you’re cooking with a partner, family member, a roommate, or alone, this cookbook will inspire you to enjoy nourishing, satisfying meals every day.

The book includes practical advice on pantry and kitchen staples, and has beginner-friendly recipes that include one-pot, five-ingredient, and 30-minute options. And if you’re following paleo to lose weight, each recipe has nutritional information to help you reach your goals.

Pros:

  • 100 recipes
  • All recipes are scaled to feed two people
  • Includes low-carb, vegetarian and diabetes friendly options

Cons:

  • Not useful if cooking for many people

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4. Best One-Pan Meals: The Paleo Sheet Pan Cookbook: 60 No-Fuss Recipes

You might love cooking but you hate cleaning all the pots and pans when the prep, cooking and eating is over. While some meals can be prepared in one pot – and that’s where a slow cooker is useful – sheet-pan meals are becoming increasingly popular. This is because all the ingredients for a meal are contained on one big cookie sheet, popped into the oven, and then cooked together for a conveniently prepared meal that also makes cleanup a snap.

This one-pan solution to meal prep has been lovingly extended to this 144-page paleo cookbook that offers up 60 easy recipes. You’ll find everything from breakfasts and main meals to sides and desserts, all cooked in the oven in one pan. Some of the recipes include fajita meatballs with squash and cilantro-lime dressing; Mediterranean pizza; apple-dijon stuffed pork loin; tomato-basil-bacon frittata and blueberry pancakes.

The advantage of sheet-pan cooking is that everything fits onto one sheet pan: you just set-it-and-forget-it, without the hassle of checking different pots and pans, and the ease of having only the sheet pan to clean. This is certainly the ideal paleo cookbook for anyone with a busy life who wants a simple, time-saving cooking solution.

Pros:

  • Available on kindle and in paperback
  • Convenient sheet-pan meals
  • Easy cleanup

Cons:

  • Sheet-pan cooking may not be to everyone’s liking

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5. Best Paleo-AIP: The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

People turn to paleo for many reasons, but an increasing contingency of people is adapting the lifestyle to help with their autoimmune disease. From colitis and multiple sclerosis to rheumatoid arthritis and IBS, individuals suffering from these disease look to nutrition and lifestyle changes to help with their symptoms.

The author of this cookbook provides a rich resource for anyone looking to try the autoimmune protocol (AIP), which is a version of the paleo diet in that is focuses on removing potential food triggers and healing the gut. If you are suffering from an autoimmune disorder, the recipes in this book can help you start a healing process while enjoying delicious meals.

The book explains the premise behind AIP – what it is, why it works, and which foods you should eat and avoid while on the elimination diet. There are simple to follow guidelines on getting rid of questionable ingredients and replacing them with nutrient-dense whole foods, plus a shopping guide, tips and tricks and ideas for batch-cooking and breakfast.

But all that information goes nowhere without easy-to-follow recipes that are tasty. This 300-page cookbook doesn’t disappoint in that department, offering up 112 unique and flavorful recipes suitable for anyone on the strictest phase of the AIP. These are simple recipes that anyone can make for a weeknight dinner, as well as more elaborate preparations for company or special occasions. This is truly a great cookbook that combines a paleo philosophy with the autoimmune protocol.

Pros:

  • Ideal for anyone combining paleo with autoimmune protocol
  • Filled with tips
  • 112 easy to follow recipes

Cons:

  • Only available in hardcover

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6. Best for Families: Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans

If you love to cook and want to get your kids into the act, then this funny paleo cookbook will introduce your children to the joys of cooking and eating paleo.

The authors of this humorous cookbook offers a fun, fresh approach to cooking with whole, unprocessed ingredients that are free of grains, legumes and added sugar. With more than 100 paleo and gluten-free recipes and more than 900 step-by-step photographs and cartoons, the visual appeal of the cookbook will have you and your family poring over it for hours looking for just the right recipe for each meal.

Many of the author’s Asian and California-inspired recipes are bursting with flavor, with her paleo sriracha, magic mushroom powder, and paleo mayonnaise laying the flavor foundation for many of the dishes in the rest of the book. Think walnut prawns, eggplant “ricotta” stacks, and devils on horseback, as well as down-home comforts like Yankee pot roast, and chicken nuggets, Siu Yoke (crispy roast pork belly) and mulligatawny soup.

Along with the funny cartoon and recipes, the 288-page book also contains everything you need to know to save time in the kitchen while you transition to a real-food paleo lifestyle.

Pros:

  • Great introduction to paleo for adults and kids
  • Asian and California-inspired recipes
  • Available on kindle and in paperback

Cons:

  • Style is not for everyone

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What to look for:

Adapting a paleo lifestyle may make you feel better, but ditching a lot of your favorite foods to do so is not easy. There are a lot of foods that are restricted on this diet, and for many people, it can be confusing to figure out what’s acceptable and what is not, and how to even incorporate the accepted food into daily meals.

The best way to be successful with a paleo diet is with a good cookbook, but what features should you be looking for so you don’t waste your time and money?

Education: An important factor to look for in a paleo cookbook is a section that clearly and easily explains what paleo is and how it can benefit your health. It’s hard to adapt to a completely new way of eating without understanding the basics behind it.

As well, part of that education should include a section on how to prepare your kitchen in a paleo-friendly way. This means explaining which foods you need to get rid of and which foods you are allowed to eat. It should also include shopping tips and which staples you should keep on hand in your pantry.

Style: We all like to cook in different ways. Some of us like one-pot meals, while others prefer large batch cooking. Then there are the home cooks who prefer five-ingredient meals or who love to meal plan a couple of weeks in advance. When it comes to paleo cookbooks, there’s pretty much everything out there, including ones to help you lose weight and take the stress out of meal planning. Look for one that meets your cooking style while also incorporating a good section on education.

Recipes: So of course, when it comes down to it, it’s all about the food, right? Whether you are a novice to paleo or an expert, if you don’t like the recipes, you’re not going to stick to the diet, and neither will your family. Look for a cookbook that reflects your tastes, since there are books that focus on Asian flavors, down-home comfort food and a variety of recipes that cover all styles. Easy-to-follow steps and a reasonable amount of ingredients coupled with colorful photographs will also make the experience more enjoyable.

Photo credit: AnastasiaKopa/Shutterstock

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