Even in an age of iPhones and cooking apps, some people still prefer a recipe they can prop up on the dish rack, highlight at will, and get a little dirty without risking a very expensive disaster. Although traditional cookbooks and recipe books probably won’t be much help on the Paleo diet, aspiring Paleo chefs are lucky enough to have several cookbooks written just for them. As well as helpful resources, these Paleo cookbooks also make great gifts for anyone considering a Paleo diet but not completely convinced.
by Diane Sanfilippo, Bill Staley, and Robb Wolf
Practical Paleo is a great “beginner Paleo” cookbook: it starts with the basics and includes advice for people trying the Paleo diet for weight loss, athletic performance, and several different health conditions. As well as recipes, the book also includes a brief overview of the theory and reasoning behind the Paleo diet. Robb Wolf and Diane Sanfilippo (of the site Balanced Bites) are both active members of the Paleo community. Packed with useful information, this is a great addition to any Paleo bookshelf.
by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig
Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, the power couple behind Whole 9 Life, take a no-holds-barred approach to Paleo nutrition. The Whole30, their version of Paleo bootcamp, is certainly one way to start off your Paleo journey with a bang, but even if you’re not interested in such a strict approach, It Starts With Food is an inspiring book that’s half Paleo cookbook, half tough-love manifesto. If you feel like you’re losing momentum with Paleo, this is the book to read.
by Melissa Joulwan, David Humphreys, and Kathleen Shannon
Well Fed is a Paleo cookbook for people who don’t have hours every day to lovingly craft three meals fit for the Queen. The book focuses on practical time-saving tips and that all-important ounce of preparation that can save you a pound of last-minute scrambling. Written by Melissa Joulwan of The Clothes Make the Girl, Well Fed is as enjoyable as it is informative, a wonderful Paleo resource for the chronically busy. This book was such a hit that the authors came out with an amazing follow-up featuring even more recipes, Well Fed 2.
by Julie Sullivan Mayfield, Charles Mayfield, Mark Adams, and Robb Wolf
Whether we like it or not, human beings don’t just eat for fuel. Food carries a huge weight of cultural meaning, and many people are unwilling to give up that culture even for the health benefits of a Paleo diet. Luckily, you don’t have to: Paleo Comfort Foods is a Paleo cookbook that re-creates classic, well-loved recipes with Paleo ingredients. It’s a great transitional Paleo cookbook, since all the basic recipes are familiar – if you need to slowly convert a Paleo skeptic, this is the book for you!
by Mark Sisson and Jennifer Meier
The Primal Blueprint is Mark Sisson’s slightly more relaxed version of the Paleo diet. Designed to accompany the Primal Blueprint, this Paleo cookbook does include some of the “gray area” foods on the <<PALEO FOOD LIST>>. But even if you follow a stricter version of Paleo, this book has a wide variety of easy recipes that banish every excuse about “not having time” for real food – none of them take more than 30 minutes to cook. Slightly less intense than It Starts With Food, this book would make a great gift for any young person leaving home for the first time.
by Loren Cordain, Nell Stephenson, and Lorrie Cordain
Written by the same man who published the original Paleo diet book, this Paleo cookbook includes recipes, shopping tips, and a two-week meal plan. This book is based on Cordain’s original low-fat version of the Paleo diet, rather than the newer, high-fat diets underlying the Whole30 and the Primal Blueprint. While it doesn’t have any wildly creative recipes, The Paleo Diet Cookbook is a solid guide to starting up a Paleo kitchen, especially for someone without much experience cooking anything at all.
by Bill Staley, Hayley Mason, and Mark Sisson
Where Paleo Comfort Food adapts classic American meals to a Paleo diet, Make it Paleo embraces ethnic cuisines from around the world. Bill and Hayley of The Food Lovers’ Kitchen include both simple Paleo recipes like omelets and more complicated Paleo versions of dishes that wouldn’t ordinarily make the cut. A resource for all occasions, this Paleo cookbook includes special holiday recipes and mouthwatering photos that will make you want to cook everything at once, just to see if it smells as good as it looks.
by Sarah Fragoso and Robb Wolf
Everyday Paleo, written by a mother of three with firsthand experience raising a Paleo family, is one Paleo cookbook that’s especially great for parents interested in the Paleo diet. This Paleo cookbook also includes practical fitness and workout plans, to complement your new diet with a healthy level of physical activity. While Fragoso isn’t a gourmet chef, her energy is contagious, and her pragmatic approach is inspiring for anyone struggling to explain to a five-year-old why goldfish crackers are off the menu for good.