So you decided to give Whole30 a try but don’t know where to begin? Don’t worry…I feel the same way sometimes. Whole30 comes with its challenges but boy do I see results when I stick with it! This book will really help you get started.
One of the hardest parts of sticking to any new way of eating or diet is finding Whole30 recipes that keep you full and aren’t lacking in the flavor department.
Whole 30 has quite a few restrictions on what you should and shouldn’t eat and looking at that list of banned foods can leave you wondering what else is out there to eat!
Have no fears – I’m here to keep your taste buds happy as you venture into Whole30 eating.
Before we get into all these great recipes, let’s take a look at what this type of eating plan actually is.
What is Whole30
Whole30 is an elimination diet in which you refrain from eating certain foods for 30 days. For those 30 days, you’ll forgo sugar, alcohol, legumes, grains, dairy, and other foods that are considered inflammatory. This is designed to help you reset your body and start feeling better fast.
What are Inflammatory Foods?
Inflammatory foods are those foods that cause your body’s immune system to be triggered. Part of the immune response in inflammation. Basically, inflammatory foods are those that your body does not want inside of it.
When your body doesn’t know how to process certain foods, it identifies them as a harmful substance that must be expelled from the body. To do this, your body switches on its immune system to attack the invading food, causing an inflammatory response. If you continuously eat these foods, your body can enter a state of chronic inflammation, which can lead to other health issues.
It’s important to note that not all inflammatory foods are unhealthy for all people. For example, whole grains provide an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and fiber, However, if you have gluten sensitivity, these grains will wreak havoc on your body.
So while you may look at the Whole30 diet and Whole30 recipes and think, “Some of things I can’t eat are so healthy,” remember that this is an elimination diet. There is no one-size-fits-all food list to avoid, so Whole30 simply takes out all of the foods that could be inflammatory to someone but not necessarily to you.
What Happens on Whole30?
When you take away all of the inflammatory foods that most of us normally eat, your body gets a break from the constant onslaught of what it considers to be an attacking substance. This allows your immune system to basically relax and reset. Over the 30-day period, your body will gradually recover, losing its overall inflammation. This allows your body and its systems to work unimpeded by constant inflammation and, for lack of a better term, the war going on inside it.
While it may seem daunting at first, Whole30 is actually very simple program to follow. In fact, it’s one of the easiest eating plans you’ll probably ever use.
Minimally Processed Foods
One of the keys to Whole30 and Whole30 recipes is eating whole foods and food products that have been processed as little as possible. Your daily food intake will include things like vegetables, natural fats from whole nuts and olive oils, protein from sources such as seafood, eggs, and meats, some fruit, and spices and herbs. The key here is that all of it is as close to its original form as possible.
Whole30 only works if you are 100% committed to it for the entirety of the 30 days. The idea is to remove all foods that could be inflammatory to your body for an entire 30 days to allow to heal. One cookie could completely derail your body’s healing process, putting those inflammatory substances right back into you and causing a new immune trigger.
Finally, stay off the scale. Don’t weigh or measure yourself during the process. Looking at your weight fluctuation only serves to derail you. As your body changes, it will naturally gain and lose weight due to fluctuations in your body’s water content based on what’s happening inside it. Staring at the scale every day will only frustrate you. You should, however, weigh and measure yourself before beginning Whole30 and after completion to see your results.
Foods Used and Avoided in Whole30 Recipes
Because Whole30 is an elimination diet, you’ll need a firm grasp of what you can and can’t eat while on this program. Get used to reading food labels and eating more whole foods. If you understand this, you’ll be able to make the most of your Whole30 journey.
Foods Not Allowed on Whole30
- All Forms of Sugar:This includes both real sources like sugar or honey and artificial sweeteners
- Grains:All grains are eliminated including wheat, rice, corn, and sprouted grains. Even gluten-free grains like quinoa and buckwheat are no-fly zones. In addition, you’ll avoided rice bran, cornstarch, and wheat germ.
- Diary:All forms of dairy, even fermented products are eliminated.
- Alcohol:No alcohol in any form, even that used for cooking.
- Legumes:You won’t eat any beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, chickpeas, soybeans, and soybean products.
- Preservatives and Food Enhancers:No MSG, sulfites, and carrageenan.
- Baked Goods:Almost no food on earth is more processed than a baked good. They are a no no.
Foods Allowed on Whole30
- Whole-Food Protein Sources:Eat seafood, beef, pork, chicken, and eggs that are minimally processed or not processed at all.
- Healthy Fats: Fat sources include olive oil, coconut oil, and the like are allowed. Clarified butter is also allowed and is the ONLY form of dairy allowed on Whole30.
- Fruits and Vegetables:You can enjoy at whole, unprocessed fruits and vegetables you wish.
- Vinegar:Almost all vinegar types are allowed. Malt vinegar is not because it could contain gluten.
- Spices, Seasonings, and Herbs: Fresh spices, seasonings, and herbs are allowed. You can also use little spice bottles as long as no other ingredients have been added.
- Some Legumes:We just said that legumes aren’t allowed, but there are three exceptions. Green beans, snow peas, and sugar snap peas are all allowed.
One of the best ways to stay on track with Whole30 – or any eating plan for that matter – is to eat well. Just because your diet has been drastically cut doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy delicious recipes. Whole30 recipes are designed to deliver maximum flavor with minimal ingredients. These recipes deliver big flavor while staying away from all the foods that can derail your progress. In fact, they’re so good, you won’t feel like you’re missing anything at all.
I’ve gathered 30, yes 30 – an entire month worth of Whole30 recipes. These recipes are full of flavor and make Whole30 a real joy for anyone embarking on their journey to better health.
There are soups, salads, seafood, tons of veggies, meat dishes, and even some sides and snacks for you to enjoy. Once you treat yourself to these clean eating recipes, you won’t even miss sugar and dairy!
Also, don’t forget to pick up this great Whole30 Cookbook.
Whole30 Approved Lunch Recipes
1. Whole30 BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato
The Brewer and the Baker shares this recipe that’s perfect for a filling yet healthy lunch any day of the week. I love baked sweet potatoes, and this dish is perfectly complemented by the barbecue pulled chicken that it’s topped with. For a complete meal, add a salad or a side serving of green vegetables.
2. Warm Taco Style Salad
Combining ground beef, avocado, tomatoes, olives, and lettuce, The Healthy Foodie shows us how to create a Whole30 approved lunchtime salad. It’s a substantial meal that’s perfect for enjoying at any time of the year and is topped off with a cashew sour cream for extra flavor.
3. Asian Tuna Cakes
Great for both the Whole30 and paleo diet, these Asian Tuna Cakes from Peace, Love and Low Carb are packed with flavor thanks to the ginger, red pepper, coconut aminos, and garlic. They are similar in texture to crab cakes and are best served over cabbage with a dipping sauce on the side.
4. Whole30 Skipjack Tuna Salad
Sunny Sweet Days has recreated a classic tuna salad to fit with the Whole30 meal plan. This recipes makes an olive oil mayonnaise and salad dressing from scratch. You can customize the salad to fit your preferences, but lettuce, tomatoes, cashews, and a hardboiled egg are ideal accompaniments for this dish.
5. Moroccan Chicken Burgers with Special Sauce
These are a great healthy alternative to a classic chicken burger and are made with ground chicken. Lexi’s Clean Living shows us how to make these burgers that are ideal for lunch or a light dinner. Carrots and Moroccan flavors are added to the chicken, and you can dress the burger with your favorite toppings and sauces.
6. Healthy Barbecue Chicken Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust
The Soccer Mom Blog has created a healthy yet tasty pizza made with a sweet potato crust that’s suitable for anyone on the Whole30 diet. It’s a gluten-free and dairy-free pizza that’s protein-rich and contains plenty of vegetables. Kids and teens will love this pizza too, so it’s a good family-friendly option when you are trying to accommodate everyone’s dietary requirements.
7. Spicy Shrimp and Citrus Salad
This is a hearty salad that takes advantage of the best seasonal flavors during the winter. Combining some of my favorite ingredients, this colorful salad from Lexi’s Clean Living takes just a little under twenty minutes to prep, so it’s ideal for a quick lunch. The spiced shrimp with in-season citrus fruit makes for a tasty combination.
8. Chipotle Pulled Pork Lettuce Wraps with Avocado Aioli
Fashionable Foods adds slow cooker chipotle pulled pork into lettuce wraps for a delicious bite-size lunch that would also make a good appetizer during family gatherings. Topped with sliced avocado and a drizzle of avocado aioli, these lettuce wraps will be a hit with the whole family.
9. Lettuce-Wrap Chicken Fajitas Recipe
If you are missing out on Mexican food on the Whole30 plan, these chicken fajitas will help reduce your cravings. Using lettuce for your wraps, you’ll still appreciate the Mexican flavors of the seasoned chicken in this dish from The Brewer and the Baker. Served with onion and bell pepper, this is a much lighter version of your traditional fajitas.
10. Whole30 Chicken Salad
Inspired by the popular Waldorf salad, this Whole30 Chicken Salad from Well Plated will certainly make you feel like you aren’t missing out on any of your favorite foods while following this meal plan. Tahini is used as an alternative to mayonnaise, which creates a rich and creamy dressing. Combining chicken, celery, grapes, and almonds, this salad is simple to create and makes an ideal lunch when you only have a few minutes to grab something on the go.
Whole30 Approved Dinner Recipes
1. Paleo Barbecue Chicken Casserole
For a comforting dinner this winter, try out this barbecue chicken casserole from Real Food with Jessica. It’s a healthy dish that combines chicken and bacon to make a flavorful meal that everyone will enjoy. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and Whole30 friendly, yet it is still packed with flavor.
2. Paleo Zuppa Toscana made in the Slow Cooker
I love slow cooker dishes, and this recipe from Tastes of Lizzy T creates a rich soup using potatoes, Italian sausage, bacon, and kale. It’s a dairy-free dish that will require very little hands-on time in the kitchen, so it’s perfect for those busy days when you don’t feel like cooking in the evening.
3. Hearty Vegetable Soup Recipe
Using just one pot, you can create this healthy yet hearty soup thanks to this recipe from I Heart Naptime. It’s a vegetable and beef soup that is loaded with different vegetables and is also a gluten-free recipe. This is an ideal soup to cook on cold winter’s nights when you just want to snuggle up in front of the fire and keep warm.
4. One-Pan Paleo Chicken Apple Sausage & Sweet Potato Skillet
I love simple one-pan dinners, which make cooking after a busy day at work so much easier. Combining sweet potatoes, chicken apple sausage, and apples, this dish from Mom Endeavors uses some of the best flavors of fall. Requiring only three ingredients, this is an easy recipe that’s ideal for even the most unadventurous of cooks.
5. Mexican Steak with Avocado Salsa
For a Whole30 friendly alternative to your Mexican fajitas or tacos, try this succulent Mexican sirloin steak from Tastes of Lizzy T. It’s topped with creamy avocado salsa, and it makes a great special occasion meal when you have friends and family around to cater for.
6. Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Made in the slow cooker, this tortilla soup from Smashed Peas and Carrots requires only fifteen minutes of prep time and then will cook over the next four hours in the slow cooker. Combining chicken breasts, plenty of spices, garlic, onion, and pepper, this tomato-based soup makes a nice warming bowl of soup that anyone on the Whole30 plan will enjoy. To make it Whole30 approved, use plantain chips instead of regular tortilla chips.
7. Garlic Roasted Shrimp with Zucchini Pasta
This is an ideal weeknight dinner, and thanks to the zucchini pasta, you can still enjoy the feeling of eating pasta on the Whole30, keto, or paleo plans. It’s ready in just twenty minutes, and the shrimp is garlic roasted for additional flavor. You can use frozen shrimp in this recipe from Cook Eat Paleo, which are handy to keep in the freezer for quick dinners.
8. Harvest Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, and Sautéed Apples
Well Plated shares this popular dinner recipe which combines delicious seasonal flavors to make a warming and hearty dinner the whole family will enjoy. You’ll enjoy creating this dinner dish throughout the fall, and with a pinch of cinnamon and bacon added in, it will become a family-favorite meal in no time at all. It uses just one pan and is ideal for reheating the following day if you have leftovers.
9. Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping
If you aren’t sure what to serve to your family next Sunday evening, try out this comforting Shepherd’s Pie from The Real Food Dietitians. It’s a great meal prep dish, and thanks to the sweet potato topping, it’s ideal for anyone following the Whole30 plan. Kids and teens will love this dish, thanks to the creamy topping which will please even the pickiest of eaters.
10. Walnut Crusted Lemon Chicken Piccata
For a healthy twist on the classic Italian Chicken Piccata, try out this grain-free recipe from Wholesomelicious. The chicken is crusted in walnuts, and this recipe is keto, paleo, and Whole30 friendly. It’s great for a quick weeknight dinner but would also look fantastic as the centerpiece of a dinner party.
11. Pulled Tandoori Chicken
This recipe from The Big Man’s World takes your basic pulled chicken to another level thanks to its tandoori sauce. This dish takes only twenty minutes to prepare and creates a moist and tender chicken that can be served with any Whole30 approved side dish of your choice.
12. Buffalo Bacon Burger
Just because you are following the Whole30 plan, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on burger night. This recipe uses minimal ingredients and takes only twenty minutes to cook, including the prep time. Recipes like this one from Run Now, Pizza Later help to make the Whole30 plan so much easier to follow, and you’ll feel like you are having a treat night without breaking the rules.
13. Pressure Cooker Chicken Faux Pho
As you can see, just because you are following the Whole30 plan, it doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy exotic cuisines. This recipe from The Sophisticated Caveman recreates this traditional Vietnamese soup in the pressure cooker. You’ll love the spiced broth which is garnished with lime, bean sprouts, and basil.
14. Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken with Sweet Potato Rice
Little Bits of Real Food has created an amazing alternative for rice using sweet potatoes. Incorporating kale, lime, and cilantro, you’ll enjoy a flavorful dish that’s topped with tasty slow cooker chicken.
15. Chicken and Apple Sausage Vegetable Skillet
Perfect for anyone following the paleo or Whole30 plan, this one-pot meal makes a family-friendly dish that’s ideal for cooking after a busy day at work. It’s packed with fresh vegetables and is a healthy yet delicious recipe from Belle of the Kitchen that the whole family will enjoy.
16. White Fish Fillet with Braised Fennel and Healthy Coleslaw
The Healthy Foodie has created a filling fish dinner that will seem like such a treat to anyone following the Whole30 plan. Served with braised fennel, this is a great dish to serve at a dinner party as it has a sophisticated overall appearance to the plate of food.
17. Cauliflower Fried Rice
This is a paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and dairy-free alternative to the ever-popular fried rice. Coconut aminos will replace the soy sauce, which reduces the sodium content in the dish. Real Food with Jessica shares this recipe that has plenty of vegetables to make this a healthier version of the classic take-out dish.
18. Sausage and Butternut Squash Frittata
For a Whole30 friendly breakfast, brunch, or dinner dish, try out this frittata from Cook Eat Paleo. It combines sausage with butternut squash for a low-carb dish that doesn’t include the usual ingredients of potato and cheese. This recipe needs just five minutes of prep time and fifteen minutes to cook before serving.
19. Veggie Stir Fry
If you are looking for a quick and easy weekday dinner, this veggie stir fry from Everyday Dishes is the perfect addition to your recipe collection. Packed with vegetables, the recipe recommends adding potatoes, broccoli, onion, bell peppers, carrots, and zucchini, but you can simply adjust this recipe to add any seasonal vegetables. Instead of using soy sauce, you’ll add chili paste and coconut aminos to create a delicious sauce for your stir fry. With just fifteen minutes of prep time and then ten minutes needed to cook this dish, it’s a healthy dinner for when you are in a rush and starving after a busy day at work.
20. Egg Roll in a Bowl
This is the perfect recipe if you are looking to meal prep at the beginning of the week. The Bettered Blondie shows us how we can customize this recipe to your own preferences. So you can use any ground meat you like in this dish, add in extra vegetables, and even increase the spice level if you like. Be sure to make a double portion when you’re cooking this for dinner, as you’ll love eating the leftovers for lunch the following day.
If you’ve recently started the Whole30 plan, try out some of these recipes listed above. You’ll see that you can enjoy a wide variety of dishes and flavors and still reap the nutritional benefits of the Whole30 plan. With a little creativity and by simply varying your meals, you’ll never have to eat the same lunch or dinner twice.
Don’t forget these “must-haves” when completing Whole30!
Try Other Whole30 Approved Recipes:
Tip: Looking for a coffee & creamer combination Whole30 approved? This Bulletproof Grass-fed Ghee Butter will be a game-changer!
Tomato & Basil Salad
One of my favorite new recipes is the Tomato & Basil salad. You can make this salad any day of the week for lunch or have for snack. Super easy to make and did I mention it is Paleo-friendly?