The paleo diet may not be the new kid on the block anymore but it remains a popular and a powerful way to lose weight and improve your health overall. The basic idea is that you’re following the eating approach of our ancestors. By doing so, you’re focusing on food that our bodies should be strongly adapted to. Likewise, you’re avoiding refined foods, along with the heavy reliance on sugar that plagues modern society.
Instead, the diet has you strongly relying on lean protein, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables. Doing so can seem restrictive at first. But, as the cookbooks in this post show, it doesn’t have to be. Instead, there is no shortage of food that you can make and eat while still following the approach.
Now, paleo cookbooks are somewhat tricky. The challenge is that there are many individual variations on the paleo diet. For example, some people argue that specific types of dairy (such as grass-fed and organic butter) can be included, while most people disagree. As a result, it’s still important to pay attention to the specifics of any recipe or cookbook, even if it claims to be paleo.
As part of this list, we focus on highlighting any of these issues, wherever possible to help make sure you get cookbooks that meet your needs. Nevertheless, the process isn’t an exact science, so you may still find that you need to make substitutions on occasions.
But, even with that limitation, this list is still a great place to start if you’re looking for more ideas and inspiration for your paleo meals, snacks and desserts. If nothing else, the cookbooks highlighted can be ways to expand your repertoire and try some fantastic new meals while on the paleo diet.
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Table of Contents
- Paleo Cookbooks
- Practical Paleo
- Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple
- Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook
- Nom Nom Paleo
- The Big 15 Paleo Cookbook
- The Paleo Slow Cooker
- Paleo for Beginners
- Paleo in 28
- Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Celebrations
- The Paleo Kids Cookbook
- Well Fed Weeknights
- The Performance Paleo Cookbook
- The Healing Kitchen
- Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry
- My Paleo Patisserie
- Paleo Comfort Foods
- Paleo Takeout
- Against All Grain
- Paleo Cooking with Your Instant Pot
- One-Pot Paleo
- Well Fed
- He Won’t Know It’s Paleo
- Real Life Paleo
- The Frugal Paleo Cookbook
- The Paleo Kitchen
- Easy Paleo Snacks
- Paleo Indulgences
- The Zenbelly Cookbook
- Down South Paleo
- Make-Ahead Paleo
- The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook
- Top Pick
Practical Paleo is more than just a recipe book. Instead, the book acts as a particularly effective introduction to the paleo diet, offering information and steps about what you can expect from the beginning all the way through. Some of this information may even be new to people who have been following paleo for a while, especially as there is a discussion about gut bacteria and various ways to live a paleo lifestyle effectively.
So, with this in mind, the book makes for a great reference guide, especially for anybody who isn’t sure about paleo. At the same time, it is also a cookbook and contains more than 150 recipes. These are designed to be easy to use and follow, even if you’re not very familiar with paleo foods.
Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple
Against All Grain is one of the most popular series for paleo cooking out there and this book is one interesting entry. The idea with this particular book is easy meals that can be made for dinners throughout the week. The cookbook also includes tips and tricks about getting the best outcomes, along with shopping lists to help people plan effectively. The cookbook is also visually stunning, with many photos to inspire you.
The one catch worth mentioning in the amount of content, as the cookbook offers 100 recipes. There are many shorter cookbooks out there, so 100 recipes is still a decent amount. Nevertheless, some readers may be expecting more, especially when considering all the hype that surrounds the book.
Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook
This cookbook is a little franker than most, which isn’t that obvious from the cover. In particular, you’ll find the odd expletive in place and much of the writing is more conversational than other cookbooks. To me, this makes for a fun book, especially as it also has many stunning photos of the food that you’ll be making. But, some people simply don’t like the approach.
The recipes themselves cover many different types of dishes, including breakfast, drinks, snacks, desserts and, of course, main meals. With around 100 recipes in total, there is not a large number of recipes in any given category but that scarcely matters. Instead, the book acts as a great source of paleo recipes, regardless of your preferences for food.
Nom Nom Paleo
The cover for this cookbook may make it seem fairly unappealing. But, as is often the case, that concept isn’t accurate at all. Instead, Nom Nom Paleo is a very popular paleo cookbook, with more than 100 different recipes on offer. Unusually, the cookbook has considerably more images than recipes, meaning you get amazing visual instructions of the entire cooking process.
= = > Get Nom Nom Paleo Here!
The Big 15 Paleo Cookbook
The idea behind this cookbook is interesting. Basically, the author is relying on 15 key ingredients. With these, she offers 150 different recipes and a total of 450 variations. Now, this doesn’t mean that the book only uses 15 ingredients. Instead, those ingredients act as bases for the recipes and are expanded upon. So, you will still need some other ingredients.
Nevertheless, the style is powerful. It offers people the information and direction that they need to make paleo food easily. The large number of variations is also a nice touch, simply because people vary so much in their food preferences.
The Paleo Slow Cooker
In terms of recipes and formatting, this cookbook may not be the most amazing option out there. But, what does make it stand out is the slow cooker focus. The nature of paleo cooking means that you can use a slow cooker, although most cookbook authors choose not to. As such, there are relatively few slow cooker recipes for paleo dieters.
The cookbook itself works well and the recipes are great for people who don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen. For that matter, the cookbook works perfectly as an introduction to paleo simply because it makes the cooking processes seem less overwhelming.
Paleo for Beginners
Not surprisingly, Paleo for Beginners focuses on teaching people how to get started with a paleo diet. To do this, the author includes information about the diet itself and recommended foods, along with a transition plan, a shopping guide and, of course, the recipes themselves. The information provided isn’t as comprehensive as Practical Paleo, which was discussed earlier. Nevertheless, Paleo for Beginners does achieve its goal well and is effective if you want something a little more concise.
The recipes themselves are a subset of the book and are on the simple side. As a result, they may not work for everybody, especially as there are few images accompanying them. Basic recipes may not be a problem if you’re just getting started but if you’re wanting more unusual recipes, this book wouldn’t be the right choice.
Paleo in 28
Paleo in 28 is designed to get people started with the paleo diet and it performs this role well. By relying on relatively few ingredients overall, this book means that you’re not forced to go out and buy a large number of ingredients all at once. There will still be some new ingredients if you’ve never tried paleo before but the nature of the book means that this shouldn’t overwhelming.
Because this is designed as an introductory book, it may not be a good fit for anybody who has already been following paleo for a while. But, even then, there are 130 different recipes on offer, so you may find some options that interest or inspire you.
= = > Get Paleo in 28 Here!
Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Celebrations
While most paleo cookbooks focus on general dishes, this option is a little different. Here, Danielle Walker offers 125 recipes that would work well at a wide range of occasions. For example, some of the recipes are designed for Christmas or Thanksgiving, while others may be good choices for barbecues or birthday parties.
The choice of recipes means that this cookbook would be most relevant to you if you were truly looking for dishes to serve at a specific event. If not, there are more relevant paleo cookbooks out there, including others from Danielle Walker.
The Paleo Kids Cookbook
Getting kids to eat the food put in front of them can be a tough battle at the best of times, especially as they are often picky eaters. Trying to get them to like specialized food is more challenging still, which is where this book comes in. With that in mind, the design and recipes here are all about finding paleo dishes that kids will genuinely love.
One thing to mention is that the book does focus almost entirely on kid-type foods. This includes some meals and many finger foods. For many families, these probably wouldn’t be dishes that would serve the adults as well. Now, that may not be an issue. But, for people who want to cook a single meal for everybody or who are looking for kid-friendly dinners, the book may not be quite right.
Well Fed Weeknights
Well Fed Weeknight has an unusual style to it and the book ends up being fun to read and to use. As with many other options on the list, there is also an introduction to paleo, along with important information about the various foods, what to expect and how to follow paleo. Nevertheless, the emphasis is still strongly on the recipes.
When it comes to those recipes, a key advantage is the speed. Most options are designed to be fast to make. Likewise, the formatting of the recipes makes it easy to be efficient throughout the process. While the book doesn’t offer images of every recipe, there are more than enough photographs to keep the book interesting and to guide you on your cooking journey.
The Performance Paleo Cookbook
As the name suggests, this paleo cookbook specifically targets people who are training while also on the paleo diet. This could include many different groups of people, including those who participate in sports, bodybuilders and individuals who simply want to increase their muscle mass. The overall style works well, especially for people who are already interested in performance but are new to paleo.
The one thing to note is that the complexity of the recipes is somewhat divisive. Some people feel that the recipes are simple and easy to follow, while others find them overly complicated. As is often the case, reality is somewhere in the middle. By paleo standards, the recipes aren’t too bad, especially given you need a good balance of macros to maximize performance. Nevertheless, if you are new to paleo, the recipes may seem a little confusing at first, although you would get used to them.
The Healing Kitchen
A key selling point of The Healing Kitchen is that it goes beyond the basic paleo diet. Instead, the authors also focus on providing information and inspiration about cooking for people with a chronic illness or autoimmune diseases. This approach is powerful for anybody who focuses on food as medicine, especially as the meals we eat can play a large role in our health.
But, beyond this, the cookbook is also a powerful paleo option in its own right. For one thing, the authors offer more than 175 recipes, which is a greater number than many other paleo cookbooks. At the same time, many of the recipes are easy to make and some are specifically designed for time-saving.
Like the previous example, Nourish is focused on paleo recipes that are also relevant for people with autoimmune conditions. In this case, there are 120 recipes on offer and no shortage of images to inspire. The cookbook also has detailed information about why food is relevant to the body’s immune response and the types of food that you need to consider.
As with any cookbook in this field, some of the recipes do use ingredients that are hard to find. However, the author does a good job with this and most of the ingredients are still obtainable even in rural areas or locations with few specialized stores.
= = > Get Nourish Here!
Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry
Elana’s Pantry is a fairly popular food blog and this cookbook compiles a range of recipes that would be perfect for anybody following paleo. One key aspect of the book is a focus on making meals as streamlined as possible, meaning that you’re not spending any more time in the kitchen than you need to.
There are also many recipes that are paleo versions of regular dishes. This makes the cookbook a good choice for people who miss conventional meals and those trying to get other people to enjoy paleo meals.
My Paleo Patisserie
This particular book has been featured in a few different lists now, simply because it is one of the best options if you want paleo desserts and baking. Here, the author highlights many fundamental elements of patisserie and you end up with treats that look fantastic.
The one thing to note is that this is a baking and desserts cookbook, so you cannot expect the healthiest recipes on the planet. For example, many are still high in carbs, calories and sugars. But, then again, that’s to be expected for desserts, especially as you shouldn’t be eating them every day anyway.
Paleo Comfort Foods
I love the concept of this cookbook. There are many great paleo dishes and cookbooks out there but they can often be overly complicated and result in unusual meals. For many people, such an approach might be desirable but it’s nice to get back to comfort meals as well.
The book is also appealing simply because it is well-designed and easy to follow. At the same time, there is no shortage of food photography to show you exactly what meals you’re making and how they are supposed to turn out.
Junk food and takeout tend to have a strong hold over people, even when they’re attempting to eat healthily. This cookbook attempts to tackle that problem by introducing a range of different paleo dishes that are variations on common takeout meals. This includes recipes from many different cultures, including Indian, Mexican, Greek and American meals.
Even if you’re not interested in takeout food, the book is still worth using simply for the inventive techniques. The recipes on offer also provide great ideas for ways to get the most out of paleo and to make sure your meals are extremely appealing. Plus, not only are the recipes tasty but most are also healthier than the takeout alternatives.
= = > Get Paleo Takeout Here!
Against All Grain
We mentioned two other cookbooks in the Against All Grain series earlier but this one here is the original book that started it all off. In this case, the cookbook offers 150 different recipes, all of which fall under the paleo diet. For many people, the cookbook would be a great place to start, especially as the recipes have been tried by so many different people since it was first released.
The book does also have a wide selection of different types of recipes, including dinners, desserts and snacks. This is both a good and a bad thing, depending on what you’re looking for. In particular, the style is great for variety. But, if you’re specifically looking for main meals, you may be disappointed, as a significant proportion of the recipes are for snacks and desserts.
Paleo Cooking with Your Instant Pot
Following paleo often involves spending a considerable amount of time in the kitchen, which simply doesn’t suit everybody. This cookbook offers a way around that issue by providing you with a selection of recipes to make in an Instant Pot (or another product with similar functions).
The recipes here go beyond the basics as well. For example, many teach readers new and effective ways to use the Instant Pot, so you’re bound to learn a few new tricks along the way.
On a side note, this cookbook does use potatoes as ingredients, along with ketchup and some other options that are debatable in relation to paleo. Now, potatoes are often considered paleo and there are paleo versions of ketchup out there, so both ingredients do fall within the diet. However, not everybody will agree about them.
This is another cookbook that focuses on making paleo meals easy to create. As the name suggests, the recipes here can all be made in a single pot or pan. Doing so can dramatically cut down on the amount of washing up you have to do, along with the some of the energy and effort involved in cooking.
Nevertheless, this is one paleo cookbook that slightly varies the diet. In particular, the author’s definition of paleo includes both potatoes and rice. There is a coherent argument provided for why this is the case and many paleo followers do agree. Still, the decision won’t sit well with everybody on a paleo diet, so it is something to bear in mind.
= = > Get One-Pot Paleo Here!
Well Fed is a popular cookbook series for anybody who loves food and is also a great place to get started with paleo. With more than 115 different recipes, there is considerable variation on offer, along with many different styles of recipes. The book itself is also fun to read and is a little different than most other cookbooks.
The main limitation to mention is the layout. In particular, the overall design and font size means that some parts of the recipes are hard to read – especially if you’re trying to follow the recipe while cooking. The problem may not be dramatic for everybody but it would be a particularly significant issue for anybody with even minor vision challenges.
= = > Get Well Fed Here!
He Won’t Know It’s Paleo
Introducing paleo food to a family can be tough, especially as many people are resistant to the idea. As a result, this cookbook offers one potential way around the problem, by focusing on recipes that aren’t obviously paleo. The meals would also work well for many families because they don’t use incredibly obscure ingredients and often don’t have as many steps as other paleo recipes.
Of course, whether or not your family members would notice that the meals are paleo is more debatable. Paleo is a very different style of eating and even these recipes have many significant differences. As such, most family members would realize that the food is made in an unusual manner, even if they didn’t specifically know that it was paleo.
Real Life Paleo
In many ways, the most interesting thing about this cookbook isn’t the recipes but the other information that is provided. With this cookbook, the authors strongly focus helping people to transition to the paleo diet and then stick with it in the long-term. This type of information can be particularly useful because the paleo diet is often overwhelming, especially when people first get involved.
As such, the book is one of the best ways to get started with the diet and would work well for anybody who is somewhat resistant to the overall idea. The recipes themselves also work well and result in many appealing meals.
The Frugal Paleo Cookbook
This cookbook addresses one of the key challenges of the paleo diet, affordability. While paleo is a powerful approach for health and nutrition, it’s certainly true that many of the ingredients are expensive and are often somewhat unusual as well.
In this book, the author offers 100 different affordable paleo recipes, along with advice and tips for saving money and making the most of your ingredients. The style also means that the recipes are easier to make than many other alternatives, although the meals do still end up tasting great.
The Paleo Kitchen
In many ways, The Paleo Kitchen is similar to other cookbooks on this list – offering a general introduction to paleo cooking along with a range of recipes. But, that style is hardly surprising, as cookbooks do tend to operate off the same underlying concepts.
The significance with this particular option would be partly how well it is received, with many people loving the recipes. At the same time, there are some interesting flavor options on offer, including recipe ideas that you probably wouldn’t have thought of yourself.
Easy Paleo Snacks
Most paleo cookbooks will contain at least some recipes for snacks. But, it’s nice to find a book that just focuses on this area, especially if you find yourself missing the snacks that are common on a conventional diet. With that in mind, many of the recipes on offer here are on the simple side but they are great for tackling cravings.
On a side note, the cookbook is mostly designed for people already following the paleo diet. You can still use it in the beginning but the book doesn’t have all that much information about the paleo diet as a whole. That’s not a bad thing though because a snack cookbook wouldn’t be the best place to start with a paleo diet anyway.
Paleo Indulgences is a good reminder that you don’t have to entirely cut out treats and sweets while on a paleo diet. Instead, the recipes here are all paleo options that you can include in your diet. These would help to decrease cravings for non-paleo food and should make the diet easier to follow as a whole.
The Zenbelly Cookbook
The concept behind The Zenbelly Cookbook is basically high-quality food. After all, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality, taste or visual appearance simply because you’re following the paleo diet. The cookbook is also more visual than most, making it much easier to use overall.
At the same time, the cookbook does have an emphasis on beginners. So, you don’t need many skills in the kitchen to be able to take advantage of the recipes provided. Instead, you can do so with relative ease.
Down South Paleo
What I love the most about this cookbook is that it is different. Most paleo cookbooks tend to follow the same general patterns and styles, often resulting in dishes that are fairly similar to one another. But, that’s not the case here. Instead, the recipes take their inspiration from southern cooking and give you the chance to still enjoy those flavors and styles of meals.
As with other paleo cookbooks, some of the ingredients used in the recipes may be somewhat obscure. However, many can be purchased through Amazon easily enough and the author also has substitution lists on her blog in case people can’t find specific ingredients.
Make-ahead meals work well in so many situations, especially for people who have busy households or simply don’t have much time for cooking. This particular cookbook takes advantage of that concept and directly applies it to paleo cooking. In it, the author offers 85+ different recipes, which are designed so that they can be easily frozen and reheated. Likewise, many of the recipes use a slow cooker, which can act as another way to save time.
Beyond the recipes themselves, there are also various tips and resources to help people take advantage of their time in the kitchen. More than anything, the cookbook is perfect anybody that struggles with the complexity that often comes with paleo cooking. Plus, the recipes themselves are attractive as well.
The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook
This final cookbook is another example of paleo recipes for anybody with an autoimmune condition. Indeed, this type of book also works well for people who simply want to lower inflammation or decrease adverse reactions to food.
In this case, the cookbook provides detailed information about an autoimmune protocol and specific foods to avoid. All of the recipes provided tie into that protocol and also to the paleo diet. The end result is 112 recipes that rely on whole foods and ingredients, while still producing tasty outcomes.
Paleo continues to be an immensely popular diet type and there is no shortage of amazing cookbooks out there. In fact, many of the ones on this list had hundreds of 5-star reviews, if not more. Because of this, it’s hard to go wrong with any of these books, especially if you’re simply looking for recipes and inspiration.
But, that being said, the one book that we do strongly recommend is Practical Paleo. This book is particularly valuable because it offers so much information all in one place. As a result, it is a powerful guide to beginning paleo and being successful with the diet approach. At the same time, there is a decent number of recipes on offer as well, so you’re not missing out in that area.