One of the keys to success for sticking with a Whole30—or any eating plan that departs from the Standard American Diet—is to make meal planning and meal preparation a part of your weekly routine. These days, more and more restaurants offer Whole30, paleo or even keto menu options, but the majority of places require substitutions or too many rounds of the waiter asking the kitchen what exact ingredients are used in each dish to make dining out pleasurable. The most sanity-salvaging and economical approach is to make your food at home and bring it with you. These unfussy, everyday Whole30 lunch and dinner recipes will make you a meal-prep whiz in no time.
Avocado boats are all the rage for good reason—these creamy, rich, emerald-green beauties make the perfect portion-controlled vessel for a variety of fillings. Keep your fillings dairy-free but delicious with our mayonnaise made with avocado oil.
We stuffed these with a simple chicken salad dressed simply with avocado oil mayo, fresh lemon juice, and chives. Pair this with basic chopped romaine, sliced cherry tomatoes, and crumbled crisp bacon and you have a bread-free version of a BLT with chicken.
Tuna Salad Stuffed Avocados
Our paired-down six-ingredient tuna salad recipe uses pole-caught canned tuna, salt and lots of coarse ground black pepper, diced celery, a healthy dollop (or two) of mayo made with avocado oil, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Add different depths of flavor by subbing either our Garlic Aioli or Chipotle Lime Mayo for the regular version. Bust out the ice cream scoop (it can still come in handy during a Whole30!) to plop a generous serving of tuna salad into the middle of the avocado, and add a pop of red color with some diced red bell pepper.
An over-the-top version of a stuffed avocado, this audacious creation might be the most satisfying burger you’ll ever try—the way the burst yoke spills down the sides of the creamy moss-green avocado, the way the fresh and earthy microgreens paired with the pungent raw red onion cuts through the richness of the well-seasoned beef and oozing fried egg—is unforgettable.
Stereotypical diet or "rabbit" food, salads often get a bad rap for being low-calorie afterthoughts that leave you feeling unsatisfied and reaching for snacks an hour later. Not so when you consider Mark Sisson's Big Ass Salad. A template for packing as many nutrients into your bowl (or mason jar) as possible, the Big Ass Salad premise is to load up on greens, as many fresh or cooked veggies as you'd like, some protein, and some high-quality fats such as Primal Kitchen salad dressings, sliced avocado, nuts or seeds.
The sturdy, lightly bitter chew of kale meets the peppery, snappy bite of sliced radishes in this simple salad made of contrasts. Raw fennel provides crunch and a licorice flavor that smoothes the assertiveness of the raw kale and radishes. Thousand Island Dressing provides a surprisingly tangy, zesty way to tie these flavors together.
This one could be tucked into the sheet pan category as well. This tangle of mixed roasted vegetables tossed with creamy (but vegan!), herb- and peppercorn-studded Vegan Ranch is all you need sometimes for a light lunch or dinner. You could add the roasted veggies on top of mesclun, or tuck them inside of butter lettuce or romaine lettuce leaves to get an extra serving of greens.
We often associate buffalo chicken with the overcooked, deep-fried wings coated in spicy, syrupy sauce served at sports bars and as happy hour specials at pubs across America. You don’t want that greasy, hot mess on your fingers (and conscious) when you’re doing a Whole30. This recipe for buffalo chicken salad wraps includes the hot-and-tangy taste you remember with a guilt-free upgrade.
Warm, hearty, rich, with the deeply earthy flavors of mixed mushrooms, bacon (we have you at that, right?) and mustard dressing, this salad switches things up from mostly raw ingredients to fixings that are all cooked. A great winter veggie bowl, this template can be adapted to suit any season. Simply sub kale or dandelion greens or arugula for the chard, and swap summer squash or autumn squash (like pumpkin or butternut squash) for the mushrooms, if desired.
Sheet Pan Dinners: Roast Veggies & Protein
Sheet pan meals make life easier by delivering a flavorful, balanced meal to your table with very little cooking and cleanup involved. If you’re making meals for one, divide half of a sheet pan with strips or cubes of vegetables and the other half with sliced or small whole pieces of protein (ie. chicken thighs). If you’re cooking for a crowd, use two sheet pans—one for veggies and the other for protein. Just make sure you keep an eye on cook time and temperature for all of the ingredients. Put the food that needs to cook longer into the oven first, and then add the remaining food onto the sheet trays when it’s time.
Fajitas can be just as satisfying without corn tortillas or sour cream—just make sure to make twice as much, including guacamole, in case anyone wants seconds. Ready in 40 minutes or less, this easy weeknight dinner can be turned into tomorrow’s lunch, too. Serve any leftovers on top of chopped romaine lettuce or baby spinach, and dollop with Cilantro Lime Mayo, or DIY a sauce by adding avocado oil, lime juice, and a pinch of coarse salt to your leftover guacamole.
This meatless meal combines a unique blend of ingredients that’s a bit sweet, grassy, and creamy. Roasting broccoli gives it a lightly bronzed, caramelized flavor with lightly charred bits that pairs well with lightly toasted buttery cashews.
Roasting shredded cabbage turns the shreds into frizzled bits that are both tender and crispy. Served with fatty salmon, the combination of cabbage and fish makes for a nutrient-rich meal. Make a bowl for lunch the next day with any leftovers; bump up the veggies with mixed baby lettuce, raw coleslaw mix, or arugula, and add crunch with raw broccoli or cauliflower florets and sliced cucumbers.
Sauced simply with coconut aminos, ginger, and garlic, this sheet pan beef and broccoli may even be easier than stir-frying. Roast the broccoli (with optional cherry tomatoes) and beef in the oven, and serve over garlic- and ginger-studded cauliflower rice. Garnish with sliced green onions and crumbled toasted nori.
Frittatas and Egg Muffins
Most people consume eggs at breakfast, but this complete protein is a great way to stretch your Whole30 food budget at any meal. A dozen eggs can make a huge frittata or tray of egg muffins that freeze, thaw, and reheat beautifully.
While many frittata recipes get a salty, creamy boost from cheese, you won’t miss the dairy in this one that we recommend serving with a dollop of Garlic Aioli Mayo. This well-balanced masterpiece gets sun-ripe sweetness and toothsome chew from sun-dried tomatoes, saltiness and smokiness from bacon, and a palate-cleansing licorice flavor from fresh basil.
Primarily a steak fajita encased in baked egg blanket, you can still get your Mexican food fix sans carb- and grain-heavy tortillas. Serve with fresh cilantro leaves, lime wedges, Chipotle Lime Mayo, and maybe even some guacamole and you have a frittata fiesta.
Portable omelets baked in muffin tins make a packable, quick way to get a protein-rich lunch. Learn the simple prep method and fill the muffin tins with any Whole30-compliant ingredients you’d like. Our version includes bacon, diced bell peppers, and no-dairy mayo. Try ham or sausage, torn baby spinach, diced asparagus, sauteed mushrooms, or sliced mushrooms.
One-Pot Meat & Veggies
Tangy, moist, tender, zesty, a touch spicy and herby, versatile, quick, and easy, this Whole30 ranch chicken is a set-it-and-forget-it recipe that compliments dozens of recipes and uses. Four simple ingredients transform boring chicken thighs and bland breasts into a palate-tingling protein perfect for weekly meal prep or make-ahead meals for the family.
Faster than delivery, this wrapper-free, stir-fried egg roll bowl delivers the salty-sweet Asian flavor you crave in 20 minutes. Simply brown ground pork, stir in prepped veggies, add bottled sauce, garnish, and you’re ready to chow.
We simplified this robust, cozy dish to make it less fussy to make on a weeknight, but still be full of thick, meaty flavor. This Whole30, no-dairy bolognese uses only five ingredients and is ready to devour in about 40 minutes.
This recipe puts a well-worn, seasoned cast iron skillet to good use. To save time, cook half the amounts of sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts at the same time in the skillet, remove and then fry the bacon. Cook the eggs in the bacon fat. Leftovers taste delectable cold or at room temperature, except for the fried eggs. Pair any leftover hash with hard-boiled eggs for lunch.
Like a simplified tagine, this warmly spiced Moroccan chicken provides just enough exotic to shake up a regular hump day. The bright acid of our Lemon Turmeric Dressing adds a tart note to this dish that’s redolent of preserved lemons, and helps accentuate the cinnamon, cumin, paprika, and coriander. Keep the prep to one skillet on this dish by adding a tangle of green beans to the skillet 6–7 minutes before you’re ready to remove it from the oven.
Bursting with sun-drenched Mediterranean seaside flavors like ripe ruby tomatoes, briny olives, sun-leathered and sweet dried tomatoes, anise-flavored basil leaves, this sunshiny chicken bowl is so good you’ll want to add it to your weekly meal prep. Cook the chicken in the skillet first, remove and saute the cauliflower rice to save on dishes. Leave off the salty bite of the crumbled feta to stick to your Whole30 guns.
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