This collection of paleo comfort food recipes will keep you warm and nourished all winter long!
Raise your hand if you could use some comfort food right about now! Between the cold weather and the seemingly incessant parade of Christmas treats, I’ve been craving healthy, hearty, hot dinners. In case you have been, too, I put together this collection of my very best and favorite paleo comfort food recipes. Between all the cookies and the shopping and whatever else you’re up to, I hope you can find time to share some of these dishes with your family (or just make them for yourself!). Many of these recipes are great to make ahead and/or Whole30 compliant, so I’ve noted details like that below. Which one will you try first?
Here’s to a healthy and happy holiday season filled with plenty of satisfying meals!
Beef & Pork Paleo Comfort Food Recipes:
Pressure Cooker (or Slow Cooker) Ropa Vieja: This satisfying Cuban dish is full of flavor (but not spicy) and easy to make in your slow cooker or Instant Pot. Ropa vieja reheats well in the microwave or on the stovetop (but tostones and guacamole are best made right before serving).
Stuffed Squash with Sausage (Whole30): This is one of my favorite meals of all time and the only way I can get my husband to eat winter squash. These are great made ahead and reheated in the oven or even the microwave!
Deep-Dish Paleo Tamale Pie: This paleo tamale pie is basically a veggie-packed chili with an irresistible almond flour “cornbread” baked on top. It reheats well in the oven. You can also make the chili layer ahead of time, and then whip up the super-quick “cornbread” layer and bake right before serving.
Paleo Pork Scaloppine with Caper Butter Sauce (Whole30): This restaurant classic is even more delicious when made at home. It’s best served right after it’s made but is quite quick. For Whole30, make sure to use ghee instead of butter and stock instead of wine, and serve over zucchini noodles or with mashed potatoes.
Slow-Cooked Bolognese Sauce with Sweet Potato Spaghetti (Whole30): There’s nothing more enticing than the smell of this sauce simmering away, and sweet potato noodles are a surprisingly satisfying substitute for spaghetti.
Slow-Cooker Short Ribs (Whole30): A few simple spices, a shallot, and some lime juice heighten the wonderful flavor of beef short ribs. These succulent shreds of meat go well with just about anything and reheat beautifully in a hot skillet with a little oil or ghee (or in the microwave).
Shepherd’s Pie with Rutabaga (Whole30): I make this all the time because it’s my husband’s favorite meal (and I love it, too). It reheats well in the oven or microwave. If you don’t have rutabagas, you can use potatoes instead. If you’d like to add more veggies, you can throw in finely chopped carrots and celery with the onions and stir some frozen green peas into the meat layer right before baking.
Slow-Cooker Balsamic Short Ribs with Parsnip Puree (Whole30): The combo of super-savory short ribs and nutty parsnips is a winning one. This meal is best right away but can also be reheated in the microwave.
Bacon & Sweet Potato Chili (Whole30): Out of all the recipes I’ve made for my blog, this is probably the one I cook most frequently. The recipe makes a big batch, freezes well, reheats wonderfully in the oven, on the stovetop, or in the microwave, and just may be the most comforting food on earth. I love leftovers of this with a crispy egg on top for breakfast!
Paleo Swedish Meatballs (Whole30): This version is so much better than Ikea’s! The tender meatballs and creamy, slightly sweet sauce are hard to turn down. You can reheat this in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Five-Ingredient Instant Pot Carnitas (Whole30): These carnitas make the best burrito bowls, salads, tacos, lettuce wraps, etc. They reheat and crisp up so well with a little oil in a hot skillet and are extra amazing with an egg on top.
Paleo Comfort Food Recipes with Chicken:
Simple Roast Chicken with Carrot Top-Kale Pesto (Whole30): Ina and Jeffery are onto something with their Friday night roast chicken dinners–there’s really nothing like it! Pesto brings a welcome hit of freshness to this wintry meal. The skin-on chicken is best right away, but leftover chicken meat can be shredded and repurposed. The pesto can be made a day or two ahead.
Pan-Roasted Chicken with Figs & Olives (Whole30): This flavorful dish uses chicken thighs so the crispy skin to tender meat ratio is maximized. This is served right after you make it, or you risk missing out of the crispiness.
Cider-Glazed Chicken with Roasted Cauliflower Rice (Whole30): The nutty roasted cauliflower rice (with brussels sprouts!) is a wonderful foil for the sweet cider sauce. This is best served right away but doesn’t take too long to make.
Instant Pot Chicken Stock (Whole30): Bone broth is made quick thanks to the Instant Pot! This is wonderfully comforting on its own and adds delicious nourishment to any dish that calls for chicken stock. It’s great made ahead and reheated on the stovetop or in the microwave (or added to whatever other recipe you’re making–there are several soup suggestions in the next section!).
Braised Chicken with Leeks and Scallions (Whole30): The sauce you’ll end up with is unbelievable and you’ll swear there’s wine in it (but there’s not). Shiitake mushrooms and plenty of alliums give this dish amazing flavor.
One-Pot Turmeric Chicken & Rice: What’s more comforting than chicken and rice? Chicken and rice with turmeric! This is best served right away but can also be reheated in the oven or microwave.
Comforting Paleo Seafood Recipes:
Crispy Honey Butter Salmon: I make this for lunch and dinner all the time because it’s so easy but tastes phenomenal. To up the comfort food factor, serve with mashed potatoes. This is not one to make ahead, but it’s super quick!
Shrimp & Sausage Gumbo (Instant Pot or not) (Whole30): This one’s for those of us that are comforted by a little spice! Best served right when you make it. Try it with cauliflower rice, mashed potatoes, or sweet potatoes for Whole30.
Seared Salmon with Red Curry Vegetables (Whole30): Simply seared salmon on top of a coconut milk curry made with winter vegetables=comfort food for the discerning palate. The red curry vegetables can be made ahead and reheated on the stovetop but the salmon is best right after you cook it.
Curry Butter Shrimp: Can you tell I think curry equals comfort? This is best eaten right away but takes about two minutes (read: ten) and three ingredients to make.
Paleo Comfort Food Soups & Sides:
Paleo Flatbread: This is one of my most popular recipes because it tastes just like real naan! It’s fabulous alone or with any number of curries or saucy dishes (see above!). This flatbread is at its very best hot off the pan but can be reheated in a dry skillet or wrapped in foil in the oven.
Butternut Squash & Potato Soup: This soup is velvety and flavorful, even without the garnishes. It freezes and reheats well. I like to heat up a serving in a small saucepan and poach an egg in the soup once it’s simmering–it makes the perfect quick and simple lunch.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes (Whole30): Mashed potatoes are quicker and easier in the IP, with no draining required! Best right away, but reheatable in the microwave or oven.
Roasted Beets & Sweet Potatoes (Whole30): This recipe is simple but so delicious. Roasted vegetables are best right away, but I like to reheat any leftovers in the oven on a sheet pan at 400°F, forming a well and cracking an egg or two in the middle once the vegetables are hot. Baked eggs and veggies is one of my favorites for breakfast or lunch!
Patatas Bravas (Whole30): This classic Spanish tapa will win you all kinds of friends. Even if you skip one of both sauces, you’ll still have the best and crispiest roasted potatoes ever! These can’t be made ahead and do take a while, but they’re SO worth it.
Smoky Sweet Potato Latkes (Whole30): With sweet and smoky undertones, these crispy cakes are even better than their white potato counterparts. Best served right away.
Instant Pot Potato Leek Soup with Cauliflower (Whole30): This soup is easy and full of flavor, but also more nutritious thanks to some sneaky cauliflower. It’s a great one to make ahead and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave!
Paleo Comfort Food Breakfast Recipes:
Eggs in Purgatory with Sausage and Kale (Whole30): Shakshuka’s Italian cousin, eggs in purgatory offers comfort in the form of spice (and runny yolks, if you like!). Best served right away.
Weekday Morning Paleo Dutch Baby: I make this an average of once a week because it’s so easy and so good! Best served right away, but if you somehow have leftovers, don’t throw them away–they’re good reheated briefly in the microwave for a little snack.
Quiche Lorraine with Leeks: This grain-free quiche is so creamy and delicious. You can make the dough ahead of time, and the quiche itself reheats well in the oven or microwave.
Paleo Breakfast Casserole (Whole30): This casserole is packed with everything good and perfect for fueling a long day of work, shopping, or cookie baking. It reheats well in the microwave.