By Hayley Simpson / Last Modified On March 2, 2023
If you’re a regular reader of Gluten-Free Palate, we’re sure you’ve seen a paleo recipe here and there. While all our recipes are gluten-free, many fall into the dairy-free and grain-free paleo category, too.
The paleo diet is all about stripping down to the basic foods eaten in the Paleolithic Era. This includes meat, seafood, eggs, nuts, and seeds.
To keep you inspired and organized, we’ve analyzed the pros and cons of the top paleo recipe books – and we’ve crowned the best paleo cookbook on the market.
Looking for gluten-free cookbooks instead? Check out our list of the Best Gluten-Free Cookbooks.
The Top Paleo Cookbooks
Best Paleo Cookbook: Clean Family Paleo Cookbook
With a 5-star rating on Amazon and over 500 reviews, we’re not the only ones that think Clean Family Paleo Cookbook is the best. Blogger Ashley McCrary of Healthy Little Peach fame compiled 100 healthy and kid-friendly paleo recipes that the whole family is guaranteed to love. McCrary proves that whole-food cooking doesn’t have to be boring or tasteless.
Featuring recipes like BLT eggs benedict, chili-lime deviled eggs, and cinnamon bun energy bites, she’s onto something. McCrary covers all bases from breakfast to dinner and snacks. If you’re also unsure what clean paleo eating is all about, don’t stress: The beginning of the cookbook includes definitions, pantry essentials, and meal prep tips. When it comes to the advantages and disadvantages of this cookbook, there are truly only positives to report.
So try it yourself: Buy the Clean Family Paleo Cookbook on Amazon today.
The Paleo Bible: Practical Paleo
Practical Paleo is called the “Paleo Bible” – and for good reason! Currently in its second print, the first edition spent a staggering 97 weeks on the NYT Bestseller list. The author, Diana Sanfilippo, is a certified nutrition consultant. She includes a lot of scientific and nutritional information in the cookbook. This may be a pro or con, depending on whether you want a deep dive on the paleo diet (or are just here for the recipes).
If you’re just starting out, this is one of the best books on the paleo diet. There are 200 pages featuring recipes, a meal plan, and helpful information about living a paleo lifestyle. If you’re simply looking for more recipes to add to your weekly rotation, you might want to choose another book instead.
You can find Practical Paleo on Amazon.
Best Budget Eats: The Frugal Paleo Cookbook
Ciarra Colacino, from The Colacino Kitchen, has created The Frugal Paleo Cookbook. It features over 100 easy and budget-friendly paleo recipes that are suitable for the whole family. Yep, it ticks all the boxes: Some of the recipes include cheesy chicken enchiladas, “stupid easy” Asian beef, and tater tot casserole.
Speaking of budgets: It’s one of the most affordable paleo recipe books available. Colacino does a deep-dive and also includes budgeting tips, meal prep advice, and flavorful seasoning blends that are designed to take any meal to the next level. The only downside is that there isn’t a lot of information about starting a paleo diet. This cookbook is best for veteran paleo eaters looking for inventive recipes.
So for those budget bites, buy the Frugal Paleo Cookbook on Amazon today.
Best Meal Plans: Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain
Danielle Walker was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in her 20s and subsequently transformed her diet. Her blog, Against All Grain was created to share her favorite gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, and paleo recipes. Then along came this cookbook.
We love that this paleo diet cookbook features eight weeks of dinner ideas and plenty of make-ahead options, making this perfect for meal preppers. Walker even includes shopping lists and recipes to prepare with the leftovers. The recipes in Against All Grain aren’t complicated either. Several are 30-minute meals or made using one pot or a slow cooker. Fan favorites include barbecue salmon with peach salsa and slow-cooked pork ragu.
The biggest downside is that Walker relies heavily on coconut flour (problematic for those with allergies). Otherwise, this is one of the best paleo recipe books for beginners and busy people looking to start their meal prep life. If that sounds like you, check out Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain.
Best for Beginners: The Simple Paleo Kitchen
As the title suggests, The Simple Paleo Kitchen is all about simple and easy paleo recipes. Each recipe is made in five steps or less, which sounds all kinds of wonderful, right? But just because they’re simple doesn’t mean they aren’t packed full of flavor.
Author Jessie Bittner includes 60 gluten-free and grain-free recipes (with photos) that take you from breakfast to dessert. What's included? Make-ahead breakfast burrito bowls, buffalo chicken sweet potatoes, and German chocolate cake bars.
If you’re an experienced cook, this might not be the best fit. But if you want to keep things simple, try The Simple Paleo Kitchen.
Best All-Rounder: The Ultimate Paleo Cookbook
The Ultimate Paleo Cookbook calls itself “the most comprehensive paleo cookbook in print.” We have to agree. Nine bloggers joined Arsy Vartanian to create a paleo book that features over 900 recipes, making it the largest compilation of paleo recipes available.
We love that:
- There are specialized chapters so you can easily find what you’re looking for. That might be quick and easy weeknight meals, budget-friendly recipes, or slow-cooker dishes.
- Because it’s such a big collaboration, there’s a wide variety of flavors and styles to choose from.
- The Ultimate Paleo Cookbook equals about eight to nine regular cookbooks, making it extremely cost-effective.
When it comes to cons, people have noted that many recipes include sugar (which won’t suit some paleo dieters) and there aren’t many photos included. If these aren’t serious drawbacks to you, check out The Ultimate Paleo Cookbook on Amazon.
Best-Rated Paleo Cookbook: Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat
In terms of ratings, the award for best paleo book has to go to Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat. Just shy of five stars on Amazon (with over 2000 ratings), over 100 original recipes are featured inside. “All the Well Fed recipes were created so you can enjoy your food every time.”
There are two exclusive Well Fed premises that readers will also love:
- The Weekly Cookup involves having ready-to-go food available for daily snacks and meals.
- Hot Plates is a mix-and-match approach. You match basic ingredients to seasoning mixes that will have your tastebuds singing.
These unique sections and the lack of dessert recipes might be downsides for some, but if this is okay with you, you’ll find Well Fed on Amazon.
Best for Bakers: Paleo Baking at Home
If you think enjoying baked goods is difficult on the paleo diet, Paleo Baking at Home is here to prove you wrong. The 60+ recipes focus on minimally-processed ingredients and whole foods to bake your favorite treats, like alternative flours and natural sweeteners. Use them to make almond butter blueberry banana bread and carrot cake with cashew cream cheese frosting. How delicious does that sound?
Author Michele Rosen (from the blog Paleo Running Momma) also includes savory baked paleo recipes. So get ready to make things like sandwich bread, soft pretzels, pizza crust, and even biscuits. The paleo cookbook also includes a thorough introduction. It highlights the equipment you’ll need and ingredient recommendations. Rosen ensures you have everything you need to be successful at paleo baking at home. The only downside is that this book focuses solely on baking, so this won’t be your primary go-to when you want paleo dinner recipes.
Nevertheless, to cover all of your paleo baking needs, pick up Paleo Baking at Home on Amazon today.
What to Look for in Paleo Cookbooks
Trying to decide which paleo recipe book is best for you? Here are some categories to consider in order to help you find the right fit:
Are you beginning your paleo journey and want your cookbook to include helpful information about the paleo diet – not just recipes? Practical Paleo might be the best paleo book for you. If you’ve been eating paleo for a while and simply want more recipes to add to your weekly rotation, check out the other options on our list.
Experience also relates to your kitchen expertise. If you’re all about those quick and easy paleo meals, The Frugal Paleo Cookbook may be a perfect fit. For more variety, check out The Ultimate Paleo Cookbook.
When perusing new paleo books, keep an eye on the ingredients. Are they common or obscure ones you can’t easily get at your local supermarket? There will likely be some ingredients you’re unfamiliar with, but not all of them. The Clean Paleo Cookbook also contains a list of pantry essentials to kickstart your paleo diet more easily.
We’ve only covered a small part of the best paleo cookbooks. With so many available, several focus exclusively on a particular appliance (like the Instant Pot, air fryer, or slow cooker). If you use a particular kitchen appliance regularly, you might want to consider starting with one of these specific paleo books.
It’s also beneficial to peruse cookbooks beforehand to see what appliances are required. That way, you don’t have to go out and buy something specifically for a certain cookbook.
Why Should You Trust Gluten-Free Palate to Choose the Best Paleo Cookbook?
Gluten-Free Palate is here to show you how to live your best gluten-free life – and that includes meals that fit firmly in the paleo realm. While every delicious recipe we share is absolutely gluten-free, we go the extra mile to clearly label each recipe as dairy-free, grain-free, and paleo. We even have a section for paleo-friendly camping recipes that let you enjoy foods cooked over the fire (just like they did in the Paleolithic Era).
Click here to see all our paleo recipes.
Some of our current favorite dessert recipes include:
- Paleo Banana Bread
- this bumper list of Paleo Cookie Recipes
- Paleo Pecan Pie
Frequently Asked Questions
What Makes a Recipe Paleo?
The paleo diet is based on what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate during the Paleolithic Era, around 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago. A recipe is considered “paleo” if it’s made with fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices. It can’t include any “modern” conveniences like grains, legumes, dairy products, and sugar.
Who Invented the Paleo Diet?
Dr. Loren Cordain founded The Paleo Diet® after decades of research and collaboration with other scientists. He released his first book detailing the diet in 2002.
Can I Drink Alcohol on the Paleo Diet?
Technically, alcohol isn’t allowed on the paleo diet because it wasn’t around 10,000 years ago and is considered a processed product. Nutritionists advise that a moderate amount of alcohol is okay, but it’s all about the type of alcohol. Here are the top suggestions:
- Red wine because it contains antioxidants.
- Hard cider because it’s fermented and gluten-free.
- Gluten-free beer
- Tequila as it’s minimally processed compared to other spirits. Choose a tequila that includes 100% agave.
Pair Your New Paleo Cookbook with Cooking Classes
You might have the best paleo cookbook – but do you have the skills to use it? Available for beginners and advanced paleo dieters alike, check out one of Udemy’s online paleo cooking classes to build your kitchen expertise with delicious recipes.
To take your vegetarian cooking skills to the next level, renowned Michelin-starred chef Dominique Crenn teaches a modern masterclass. Whichever you choose, there’s plenty of inspiration when you get back to the basics with the paleo diet and follow in your ancestors’ footsteps!
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