With its emphasis on whole foods and its rejection of grains, preservatives and packaged ingredients, cooking for a paleo diet may seem complicated and time-intensive. It doesn’t have to be. These recipes all cook up with a minimum of fuss and muss—including cleanup time after. You’ll also find tips that make cooking paleo recipes easy, even if you’re new to the lifestyle.

Paleo Breakfasts on the Go: Muffin Tin Frittatas

Frittatas are a favorite paleo go-to for any meal, but they’re especially welcome at breakfast, where they fit in with most people’s expectations of morning food. They’re also tasty hot or cold, making them a perfect make-ahead food. But carrying a slice of frittata can be a bit sloppy. The solution? Mini-size them in muffin tins. Bake up a batch on the weekend and store them in the fridge to have grab-and-go paleo breakfasts for the week. Bonus score: it’s a great way to use up leftovers from dinner.

Muffin Tin Frittatas

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup cooked meat, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked vegetables, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Coconut oil spray (or coconut oil)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Spray or grease the muffin tins, or line them with cupcake papers.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, then stir in the cooked meat and vegetables.
  4. Add salt and pepper. If desired, spice with your preferred flavors.
  5. Ladle the mixture into 6 jumbo or 12 standard size muffin tins.
  6. Put a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven. It will keep the mini frittatas from getting dried out as they cook.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the frittatas don’t jiggle when you shake the pan.
  8. Let the frittatas cool and store covered in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

Paleo Breakfast Variations

If you’re looking for more inspiration:

Mini Ham and Broccoli Frittatas

Sun-dried Tomato and Bacon Mini Frittatas

Prosciutto-wrapped Mini Frittatas

Quick Lunch Paleo Recipe: Avocado Tuna Salad Boats

Packing a paleo lunch can be a challenge, but here’s a pro tip that makes it easier: stock your pantry and fridge with paleo-friendly convenience foods—yes, they do exist. You just have to be vigilant about ingredients. Look for good quality canned fish, like tuna, salmon and anchovies, and get to know which deli meat brands avoid added sugar, salt and preservatives. Then, get creative about serving—think outside the bread to lettuce wraps, avocado shells, tomato baskets and pickle boats. Here’s one quick and easy paleo recipe that isn’t just simple to make, it’s easy to pack and take.

Avocado Tuna Salad Boats

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 whole avocado
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 6 oz. tuna
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit.
  2. Scoop out about half the avocado flesh from each half and put it in a bowl. Brush the avocado halves with lemon juice, or just cut the lemon in half and rub it on the avocado. This will keep the avocado from turning brown between making and serving.
  3. Mash the avocado, mixing in the onion and juice from the lemon. Go easy with the lemon juice at first; just add a squeeze and taste, then keep adding until the flavor is just about right.
  4. Add the tuna and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Scoop the tuna salad into the avocado shells.
  6. Store in an airtight container until ready to eat.

Paleo Quick Lunch Variations

Paleo Italian Tuna Salad (served in celery)

Avocado and Apple Chicken Salad (lettuce wraps)

Quick Paleo Meaty Vegetable Rollups

Cucumber Turkey Rollups (try these with tuna or chicken salad instead of veggie dip)

Fast Paleo Snack Ideas

You could spend a fortune on Larabars and other store-bought paleo-friendly snacks, but why would you when it’s so easy to make your own? Some of these paleo snack ideas are so simple, you can hardly call them a recipe.

  • Ants on a Log. Make these childhood classics paleo-friendly by swapping out the peanut butter for almond butter, cashew butter or sunflower butter. Spread the nut butter on stalks of celery, top with raisins and enjoy.
  • Not-Potato Chips. What do you do when you’re craving something salty and crisp, but potato chips are not on the menu? Crisp up another vegetable, of course. The basic process is the same. Slice the vegetables thinly and sprinkle them with salt. Let them sit a bit to sweat out the extra liquid. Pat them as dry as you can with a paper towel. Toss them with a little healthy oil and your choice of seasonings, and bake in a low oven for an hour or so. Try zucchini chips, kale chips or eggplant chips.
  • Fruit Snacks. You can’t get much more paleo than snacking on a handful of naked berries, but if you really want to dress your fruit up a little, you can make paleo fruit gummies, baked apple chips or paleo banana snack cake.
  • Energy Bars. Mix up some healthy nuts and seeds, dried fruits and a few other ingredients, add something sticky to hold them all together, and bake them in the oven—that’s all it takes to turn out your own high-protein energy bars. Check out recipes that use bananas, dates and chocolate.

Fast and Easy Paleo Dinner Recipe: Salmon and Asparagus Bake

On those nights when you’re hungry and don’t feel like cooking, it’s tempting to throw out the paleo guidelines and call GrubHub for delivery. One-pan paleo dinners to the rescue. They take less than five minutes to put together, and will be on the table before a delivery order leaves the restaurant. This salmon and asparagus bake is just one example.

Salmon and Asparagus Bake

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 portions of wild-caught salmon
  • 24 asparagus spears
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a pan over low heat, heat the oil.
  2. Layer the asparagus in a single layer in the bottom on the pan.
  3. Put the salmon on top of the asparagus.
  4. Top with minced garlic, salt and pepper.
  5. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve.

One Pan Paleo Dinner Variations

One Pan Herb and Lemon Chicken

Asparagus Beef Stir Fry

Salsa-Simmered Fish

Amazing Paleo Dessert Recipe: Paleo Whipped Cream

Refined sugars may be a no-no when you go paleo, but sweets are definitely not off the menu. The secret to tasty, paleo-friendly desserts is knowing your flour and dairy substitutes. Once you get to know almond flour, arrowroot powder, coconut milk and cacao powder, you’ll be set to create your own fabulous paleo dessert recipes. Here’s a paleo dessert pro tip: keep a can of full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream in the fridge so you’ll always be ready to whip up some coconut paleo whipped cream, because everyone knows that whipped cream turns just about anything into dessert.

Paleo Whipped Cream

Start to finish: Overnight, plus 20 minutes

Servings: 7

Ingredients

  • 14 oz. can full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream, chilled overnight
  • Sweetner to tast
  1. Chill a mixing bowl and beaters or whisk in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  2. Scoop out the hardened coconut cream from the can, leaving the liquid for another use.
  3. Beat the coconut cream on medium speed until it’s light and fluffy and forms stiff peaks.
  4. Use immediately, or store in the fridge for up to a week. You’ll need to whip it up again if you refrigerate it, or fluff it with a fork.

Paleo Dessert Recipes to Go with Whipped Cream

Guilt-free Banana Pudding

Almond Butter Brownies

Paleo Strawberry Crumble

Chocolate Pistachio Mousse

Cooking paleo is a lot easier than you think. You don’t have to be a gourmet chef with time to burn, as long as you have the right ingredients and a few cooking techniques in your repertoire.