Carnivore Diet Meal Plan for Beginners
May 23, 2023
It's one of the hottest topics in ancestral eating: the carnivore diet. This mostly-meat elimination diet is adored by meat-loving keto devotees and primal folks for its low-carb approach. Wondering if the carnivore diet is for you? Check out our post, “What is the Carnivore Diet?” to learn more about this buzzy lifestyle, and read on to see our tips for a carnivore diet meal plan* made more delicious with cleaned-up condiments and sauces.
*Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any diet.
What Can You Eat on the Carnivore Diet?
While the answer might seem simple (meat, meat, and, you guessed it…more meat), tackling this trend is a bit more nuanced than just eating meat. This kind of diet usually calls for grass-fed, pasture-raised meats and wild-caught seafood. Most carnivore dieters fill their cart with “nose-to-tail” cuts of meat and fish, which can include organ meats as well as oft-overlooked parts of the animal ranging from fish eyes to bone marrow. Depending on personal preferences, a carnivore diet list might also include eggs, full-fat dairy (including cheese and yogurt), herbs, spices, condiments, and some non-starchy vegetables.
Carnivore Diet vs. Keto: What's the Difference?
Though keto and carnivore diets overlap, they are not the same thing. Because it allows vegetables and plant-based fats, the keto diet is actually less restrictive than the carnivore diet. While keto diets differ based on the individual, many are already focused on lean meats that are included in carnivore diet plans, so you'll likely find many keto-friendly recipes in a carnivore meal plan.
Coffee on the Carnivore Diet
Coffee is a staple of the keto diet, so is it carnivore-friendly too? The short answer is no. Coffee and other plant-based beverages are not allowed on a true carnivore diet, though some less strict meat eaters choose to continue drinking small amounts of coffee and tea. If you’re looking to eliminate coffee, try slowly weening yourself off for a month instead of going cold turkey.
Carnivore Diet Meal Ideas for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
A true carnivore eats meat for every meal of the day. To get you started, we've compiled a quick list of carnivore diet recipes for every meal of the day. These meat-focused recipes keep flavor on the menu, even with a limited list of ingredients. Mix and match the recipes below to create a weeklong rotation of savory and satisfying dishes.
- 3 Canned Fish Recipes for Breakfast & Beyond
- Breakfast Meatza
- Ham and Egg Cups
- Steak Fajita Frittata (minus the veggies)
- Keto Eggs Benedict
- Keto Chili without Beans
- Grilled Buffalo Chicken Breast
- Dijon Mustard Salmon
- Air Fryer Steak Bites
- BBQ Shrimp
A Sample Carnivore Diet Food List
Ready to channel your ancient ancestors and put more meat on your plate? Before heading out to the grocery store or local butcher shop, take along this helpful list of carnivore diet essentials.
- Sugar-free bacon
- Sausages (pork, chicken, or turkey)
- Pork: chops, roasts, and belly
- Steak: porterhouse, ribeye, top side, filet, t-bone, flank
- Ground beef
- Organ meats: liver, kidney, heart, tongue, sweetbreads
- Bone marrow
- Sardines (fresh or canned)
- Canned fish, e.g., tuna, anchovies
- Cod liver
- Bone broth
- Spices like oregano, pepper, salt, or cumin
- Keto-friendly sauces (try our Keto Starter Kit for lower-carb options to add flavor to your dishes)
- Cooking oils (try our Oil & Vinegar set or purchase Avocado Oil and Olive Oil separately)
- Animal fats: tallow, lard, chicken, or duck fat
- Coconut oil
- Optional: avocado, olives (not for strict carnivores)
Mark Sisson’s Favorite Carnivore Diet Recipes
Though he's not a hardcore carnivore, Primal Kitchen founder Mark Sisson is known for adopting a variety of low-carb and keto plans that focus on meats. Take a peek at what Mark chows down on every day.