The Best Paleo Cookbooks for Diet-Friendly Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Dessert

"The Clean Paleo Family Cookbook" takes our top spot

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Commerce Photo Composite

The Spruce Eats / Amelia Manley

The Spruce Eats Top Picks

The "Clean Paleo Family Cookbook" is a well-rounded, family-focused cookbook filled with 100 tasty paleo recipes. Newcomers to the paleo diet will find the streamlined recipes in "The Simple Paleo Kitchen" refreshing and helpful.

The paleo diet means sticking to proteins like fish and lean meats, while also eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Dairy products, legumes, and grains are all items that the paleo diet avoids. While these tenets may sound simple enough to follow in writing, putting them into practice in the kitchen is an entirely different challenge. With these paleo cookbooks, you’ll be set up for success and feeling like a paleo pro in no time.

Here, the best paleo cookbooks.

Best Overall

Clean Paleo Family Cookbook

Clean Paleo Family Cookbook: 100 Delicious Squeaky Clean Paleo and Keto Recipes to Please Everyone at the Table

Amazon

What We Like
  • Includes kid-friendly meals

  • Paleo-specific pantry suggestions

What We Don't Like
  • Smaller type font

This family-friendly cookbook is the perfect addition to your cookbook collection, particularly for those interested in paleo and keto, which share many similarities. This book of 100 recipes was designed to ensure maximum flavor while following the guidelines of these diets. Recipes including peach crisp, zucchini and onion fritters, and creamy mushroom and bacon chicken thighs will have your family excited for dinnertime.

If you’re unsure about the rules of paleo, keto, or what “clean paleo” even means, rest assured the helpful introduction section explains everything you need to know to get started, including pantry essentials, meal prep tips, and definitions.

Number of Recipes: 100 | Pages: 192 | Date Published: 2020 | Formats: Paperback, e-book

Best New Release

The Frugal Paleo Cookbook

The Frugal Paleo Cookbook: Affordable, Easy & Delicious Paleo Cooking

Amazon

What We Like
  • DIY spice mixes

  • Meal prep guidance

What We Don't Like
  • Not much background info on eating paleo

Paleo professional and cookbook author Ciarra Colacino curated a large selection of the most popular recipes from her former blog Popular Paleo. Not only are the recipes suitable for everyday cooking in terms of time and budget, but each one is meant to appeal to the kids at the table just as much as the adults.

Dishes such as teriyaki stackers, sweet potato tater tots, potsticker meatballs, and beef stroganoff are low maintenance in terms of number of ingredients and kitchen appliances necessary, and they showcase how to use affordable protein sources (like ground beef and eggs) to make scrumptious, satisfying meals.

Number of Recipes: 100+ | Pages: 240 | Date Published: 2021 | Formats: Paperback, e-book

Best for Beginners

The Simple Paleo Kitchen

The Simple Paleo Kitchen: 60 Delicious Gluten- and Grain-Free Recipes Without the Fuss

Amazon

What We Like
  • Photo for each recipe

  • Easy directions

What We Don't Like
  • Not much new info for experienced cooks

This new release is all about saving you time. With five steps or fewer per recipe, this cookbook is most helpful to beginners who don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. According to the publisher, this book is all about ease, with meals designed to be efficient and take away some of the kitchen cleanup time.

The 60 paleo dishes are all gluten-free and grain-free, but with recipes such as Buffalo chicken–stuffed sweet potatoes and no-bake German chocolate cake bars, you will forget you’re following any sort of diet.

Number of Recipes: 60 | Pages: 168 | Date Published: 2021 | Formats: Paperback, e-book

Best for Comfort Food

Clean Paleo Comfort Food Cookbook

Clean Paleo Comfort Food Cookbook: 100 Delicious Recipes That Nourish Body & Soul

Walmart

What We Like
  • Keto-friendly

  • Has sweet treat ideas

What We Don't Like
  • Less than half of recipes have photos

Paleo comfort food seems like an oxymoron, but this cookbook is out to do just that. These 100 recipes, many of which happen to also be keto-friendly and low FODMAP, include favorites such as baked mac and cheese, chicken bacon ranch meatloaf, and ham and potato soup (the author believes that “no diet, no matter how healthy, is sustainable if the only thing you can eat is plain protein with a side of green vegetables.”)

An introduction section details the author’s story, and the book covers essential equipment and basics. Each recipe notes allergy tags clearly, so you can be confident and safe if you’re working with any food allergies or sensitivities.

Number of Recipes: 100 | Pages: 192 | Date Published: 2021 | Formats: Paperback,

Best One-Pot

The One-Pot Paleo Cookbook

The One-Pot Paleo Cookbook: 100+ Effortless Meals for Your Slow Cooker, Skillet, Sheet Pan, and More

Amazon

What We Like
  • Has condiment recipes

  • Relies on minimal ingredients

What We Don't Like
  • Only photos at beginning of each chapter

This cookbook makes paleo easy with one-vessel meals. These vessels include stockpots, sheet pans, skillets, and electric pressure cookers, lending plenty of variety to your meal routine. There are even a handful of 15-minute recipes for those days you’re extra time-crunched. The book also includes pantry basics and essential kitchen equipment, so you can be sure your kitchen is well-stocked with paleo-friendly ingredients so you can be ready to go.

For those new to the paleo diet, a helpful introduction section explains the basics and benefits of the diet. Recipes such as lemon blueberry pancakes, chocolate chia pudding, and sweet potato hash and eggs will have you rethinking just how much you can do with one cooking vessel.

Number of Recipes: More than 100 | Pages: 184 | Date Published: 2020 | Formats: Paperback, e-book

Best Bowls

Unbelievabowl Paleo

Unbelievabowl Paleo: 60 Wholesome One-Dish Recipes You Won't Believe Are Dairy- and Gluten-Free

Amazon

What We Like
  • All recipes have photos

  • Family-friendly recipe yields

What We Don't Like
  • Some recipes require a lot of ingredients

There’s a good reason that bowls have become a popular meal option recently; from the ease (fewer dishes) to the Instagram appeal (who doesn’t love a tidy bowl shot full of vibrant produce?), these power bowls lend themselves quite well to the paleo diet.

This cookbook goes beyond the usual salad bowls, proving that there are many more bowl recipe opportunities to be had, like in desserts (microwave double chocolate cake bowl, anyone?) and even comfort foods like meatloaf (who wouldn’t want to try the meatloaf and mashed potato bowl on a cold winter evening?).

Number of Recipes: 60 | Pages: 160 | Date Published: 2020 | Formats: Paperback, e-book

Best for Baking

Paleo Baking at Home

Paleo Baking at Home: The Ultimate Resource for Delicious Grain-Free Cookies, Cakes, Bars, Breads and More

Amazon

What We Like
  • Has weight and volume measurements

  • Breakfast staples

What We Don't Like
  • Bake times are not always accurate

If you didn’t think it was possible to make delicious baked goods on the paleo diet, this book is here to prove you wrong. Even if you aren't paleo, this cookbook is filled with plenty of recipes to work into your lifestyle. These 60 recipes include both savory and sweet baked goods, covering everything from soft pretzels and hearty paleo sandwich bread to creamy lemon bars and double chocolate frosted layer cake.

A thorough introduction section includes equipment and ingredient recommendations to ensure you have everything you need to be successful.

Number of Recipes: 60 | Pages: 293 | Date Published: 2020 | Formats: Paperback, e-book

Best Quick Cooking

Quick Prep Paleo

Quick Prep Paleo: Simple Whole-Food Meals with 5 to 15 Minutes of Hands-On Time

Amazon

What We Like
  • Short Cook Times

  • Has full page photos

What We Don't Like
  • No beverages

If you’re short on time but still determined to avoid takeout and cook your own meals (the preferable scenario especially when following a diet), this recipe collection is right for you. Recipes only take five to 15 minutes of hands-on effort, letting “the oven, stove, slow cooker or Instant Pot do all the work while you enjoy extra free time at home.”

Even recipes notorious for longer cook times can be done quickly, such as quick creamy Bolognese sauce, Mississippi pot roast, and asparagus and mushroom risotto.

Number of Recipes: 75 | Pages: 176 | Date Published: 2020 | Formats: Paperback, e-book

Best for Two

The Paleo Cookbook for Two

The Paleo Cookbook for Two: 100 Perfectly Portioned Recipes

Amazon

What We Like
  • Nutrition info for recipes

  • Includes desserts

What We Don't Like
  • Not many photos of recipes

Sticking to a new cooking regime is no easy task, but it’s a lot easier if you have the support of a partner and a cookbook that has tailored recipes made for two. Enter this book, which is here to support your food journey and lends itself to couples or roommates. This cookbook of 100 recipes is a great choice for beginners as well since it includes an introduction section to explain paleo basics, one-pot recipes, five-ingredient recipes, and 30-minute recipes.

There is nutritional information provided for each dish, and there are low-carb, vegetarian, and diabetes-friendly options for those with more specific needs. Recipes including avocado baked eggs and chicken and shrimp gumbo will satisfy you and your partner while reducing waste, minimizing leftovers, and saving you money.

Number of Recipes: 100 | Pages: 192 | Date Published: 2020 | Formats: Paperback, e-book

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a well-rounded, family-focused cookbook that not only covers paleo, but also includes keto and “clean paleo” recipes, the "Clean Paleo Family Cookbook" will be perfect for your recipe needs. If you’re new to paleo, we love the simplicity of "The Simple Paleo Kitchen."

What to Look for in Paleo Cookbooks

Experience Level

Cookbooks are written for all kinds of experience levels, so consider your level of familiarity with the paleo diet. If you're brand new, you might need a cookbook that's more introductory and comprehensive than someone who's already immersed in the topic. You could also consider your experience in the kitchen, more generally, in addition to how well you know paleo cooking. Some books will be geared more toward those looking for a culinary challenge and increased time in the kitchen, and others court home cooks who want to get dinner on the table quickly during the week.

Ingredients

One of the main concerns when buying any cookbook pertains to the ingredients. This may feel especially pertinent with a paleo cookbook because some of the ingredients could be unfamiliar. However, look at the recipes and see if they include ones you're familiar with. Often a cookbook will contain notes about the best places to purchase unusual or potentially unfamiliar ingredients. Do they ask you to find obscure or expensive ingredients that will require special ordering or sourcing online? Or are the ingredients ones you already have or are likely to easily find at the grocery store?

Equipment

Some recipes are focused exclusively on one particular appliance, such as an Instant Pot or an air fryer, which can make your time in the kitchen much more efficient. Some might just require other kinds of equipment, such as an immersion blender, a grill, and so forth. Be sure to take a look at the book closely, usually in the front, to see what kind of equipment is needed before making a purchase.

FAQs

What makes a recipe paleo?

A paleo recipe is one that favors meats, seafood, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds; if you could forage for it, you can eat it on the paleo diet. It follows the diet of our ancestors, so it forbids processed food and refined sugar, along with dairy, legumes, and grains. Paleo recipes favor natural sweeteners, such as honey and maple syrup, although sparingly.

Who invented the paleo diet?

Despite the fact that this diet has recently become very popular and the way of eating itself, paradoxically, goes back to our ancestors, the term was coined in the 1970s by gastroenterologist Walter Voegtlin. He believed that a return to this old style of eating would provide health benefits.

What's the difference between paleo and keto diets?

These diets are similar in several ways. They both exclude grains, legumes, and sugar, and emphasize whole foods. The paleo diet, however, places its emphasis on what you are eating and not calorie counting, whereas the keto diet requires you to count the macronutrients of what you consume. The keto diet prioritizes the restriction of carbohydrates and emphasizes fats and protein.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Alyssa Langer is a licensed registered dietitian and a cookbook enthusiast herself, collecting dozens over the years and always turning to them for inspiration, whether it’s a time-consuming weekend baking project or just a quick Monday night dinner. Having worked in the cookbook publishing world in the past, she knows what it takes to create a quality book that delivers something new and exciting to readers—particularly in an increasingly online world.

Rachel Werner, who updated this roundup, is a culinary writer who has been reviewing food-focused books and businesses for almost a decade. Her food photography and recipes are also featured in content she creates for a variety of regional and national publications, such as TOPS News, The Gourmet Insider, and Fabulous Wisconsin. See examples of Rachel’s work behind the camera capturing shots of plant-based eats on Instagram @trulyplanted.

Updated by
Carrie Havranek
Carrie Havranek
Carrie has 10+ years experience as a food writer and editor. Her work can be found in her cookbook, Tasting Pennsylvania, and her site, the Dharma Kitchen.
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
Additional reporting by
Rachel Werner
rachel werner

Rachel Werner is a writer and author whose work has appeared in Fabulous Wisconsin, Entrepreneurial Chef, and the book "Wisconsin Cocktails."

Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Butler, Stephanie. History. "Going Paleo: What Prehistoric Man Really Ate."

Continue to 5 of 9 below.
Continue to 9 of 9 below.