Our Favorite Grain-Free, Primal Cookbooks

The hardest part of changing the way you eat can be the loss of familiar foods. When we gave up gluten and grains in 2013, I didn’t know how to make a meal a meal without a side of bread, pasta, or tortillas. Don’t worry, help is on the way!

Below is a list of the cookbooks that got me started on the Primal/Paleo path over 7 years ago and that I still refer to on at least a weekly basis. They are full of amazing ideas for dinner, breakfasts, and your next potluck. Click on the image for a link to buy on Amazon (not an affiliate link). Let me know in the comments if I’ve missed any of your favorites! I’m always looking for new cookbooks to add to my collection.

Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan

All of Melissa’s recipes are bursting with flavor. You CANNOT be bored on Paleo if you are cooking your way through her books. It’s like traveling the world while eating a better-for-you version of all your favorite comfort foods. In this book she also gives you her list of pantry staples and breaks down her “Weekly Cookup,” which is a great way to make eating well throughout the week easy peasy.

My favorite recipes in this book:

  • Olive Oil Mayo – I eat this on everything.
  • The mix and match “meat + veggie + flavoring” ideas (Hot Plates).
  • Cinnamon Beef Stew with Orange Gremolata.
  • Waldorf Tuna Salad – I make a variation on this just about every week for our picnic lunches.
  • Chocolate Chili – need I say more?
  • Velvety Butternut Squash – sooo warm and delicious.

Well Fed 2, also Melissa Joulwan

Given my love of her first book, I was excited to give this one a try, and it didn’t disappoint. This one delivers an equal number of amazing, flavorful recipes, all with variations for when you are missing an ingredient or just want to switch things up. In this book she also goes through her favorite kitchen gadgets/items and gives a brief introduction to cooking techniques. One of my favorite features in this book that I turn to again and again is the Burger/Banger/Ball set of recipes, which is just a collection of ways to flavor and cook ground meat. My kids LOVE all the variations of this, and it’s great inspiration when I’m standing in the kitchen at 6:30pm trying to figure out what to make for dinner.

Other favorites from this book:

  • Sunrise Scramble
  • Pan Fried Plantains
  • Crisp-Sweet Collards

Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals

This was probably the first Primal cookbook I purchased (I have the super old-school, non-updated edition!), and I still open it up any time I need some new ideas. My favorite section is the Breakfast section, which has everything from omelets, to tacos, to a fabulous berry crumble that will have you not missing grains at all. It also has a great list of apps and snacks to bring to a potluck with your favorite non-primal humans, as well as sauces and rubs to spice up the simplest meals. 

Favorite recipes in this book:

  • The Berry Crumble!
  • Nutty Blueberry Protein Balls (these are delicious!)
  • Primal Hot Cereal (this is one of the kids’ favorites – tastes like banana bread to me)
  • Turkish Eggs
  • Pizza Frittata
  • Steak with Romesco Sauce
  • Unstuffed Cabbage
  • Chicken and Artichokes with Garlic Sauce
  • Cinnamon Walnut Crackers
  • Savory Crepes

Plenty, by Yottam Ottolenghi

This is a recent addition to my collection, and not really “Primal” per se, BUT…one of the hardest things about going Primal for me has been figuring out what to do with all the vegetables, many of which were new to me. This book provides delicious and beautiful recipes for greens and other vegetables you may not be accustomed to using daily. It’s also an amazing source of recipes to impress your vegetarian friends and family without going too far from a Primal meal plan.

My favorite recipes in this book:

  • Tamara’s Ratatouille
  • Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce (the gorgeous cover recipe)
  • Baked Eggs with Yogurt & Chile

I’m a little bit of a cookbook junkie (it’s the one thing I can’t seem to apply my minimalist nature to), so also deserving honorable mention are:

  • Nom Nom Paleo – this is probably Kevin’s favorite and is our go-to for pork belly and Paleo scones!
  • All of the Canal House cookbooks – full of nourishing and delicious real-food recipes that are, for the most part, meat and vegetable focused. These are really fun to review at the start of each new season or for holiday meal planning.

Now I’m inspired to go cook some new recipes! How about you? I hope this list helps you get started on your journey to Primal/grain-free living. I’ve seen tons of benefits from eating this way, and I’d love to help you do the same! If you’re interested in some 1:1 coaching to get you started down the right path to a healthy lifestyle (including managing sleep, stress, and exercise), click the link below to book a discovery call with me. I’d love to chat!

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Meagan Noble Health Coach

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Meagan Noble Health Coach
Meagan Noble


Meagan is a full spectrum doula and wellness coach helping families follow their intuition to discover balance in family life. With her focus on ancestral practices, relaxation, and self care, she guides her clients to a calm, confident, and connected birth and postpartum experience.