No grains? No problem. Paleo eaters may shun grains, processed vegetable oils, and refined sugars, but that doesn’t stop them from enjoying plenty of delicious dishes—and creating some downright ingenious recipe substitutions. Whether you’re a longtime primal-eating fanatic or just curious about what it’s like to go back to dietary basics, we’ve got 39 delicious Paleo-approved snacks for whenever hunger strikes.
Corn is a Paleo no-no, so replace the movie theater favorite with a more nutritious cauliflower version. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, then sprinkle with onion powder and chives. It’s not exactly the same, but you’ll get a similar satisfying crunch.
Going Paleo means saying good-bye to traditional hummus. This recipe swaps soaked cashews for chickpeas, giving it a slightly nutty taste that works oh so well with pumpkin purée. Serve with slices of your favorite dip-able vegetables, Paleo crackers, or just spoon it right into your mouth—we won’t judge.
We could eat guac all day, every day. This version keeps the classic cilantro and lime juice, but adds in green onions and radishes to keep it nightshade free. A little pink Himalayan salt and garlic powder goes a long way here. And we are adding a touch of hot sauce too.
Sure, you can’t have chickpeas, but that’s no reason to ditch hummus for good. This Mediterranean alternative uses cauliflower and eggplant instead, plus red pepper, tahini, and lemon juice. Throw in some spices and a touch of olive oil, and snack away.
Eggplants are Paleo friendly for most, but store-bought baba ghanoush can still contain loads of hidden mayo—and that can mean unwanted vegetable oils. Go for a simple, mayo-free recipe with lots of garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice for a fresher take that won’t weigh you down. Try pairing this dip with some Paleo-friendly homemade rosemary sesame crackers.
A sweeter combo than most Paleo snacks, this easy recipe requires zero cooking. Pick a favorite melon (cantaloupe and honeydew work well) and wrap with preservative-free prosciutto for a juicy snack with a salty kick. Mint leaves and a balsamic vinegar and olive oil drizzle take this to an A+ level finger food.
Boil asparagus, cool in ice water, then wrap in a preservative-free prosciutto and roast for seven minutes, or until the prosciutto is crispy. This salty snack will also impress as an appetizer. Serve with a little olive oil drizzled on top and a dash of lemon pepper.
Ah, Brussels sprouts. We’ve learned to love this veg in almost every form. Roast with diced bacon, chopped apples, and pomegranate seeds, and there’s even more to celebrate.
Mash hard-boiled egg yolks with avocado, cilantro, garlic salt, and pepper, then stuff into egg whites for a greener take on deviled eggs. Bet you can’t eat just one. (We couldn’t eat just four.)
Make these three-ingredient egg cups on Sunday and enjoy them throughout the week for breakfast or a quick snack. Each muffin tin slot gets a slice of bacon, an egg, and a few asparagus spears. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on top and pop in the oven for 12-17 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs.
Presentation is on point in this simple, protein-packed snack. Cut an avocado in half and scoop out the middle, mixing the good stuff in a bowl with lemon juice, onion, tuna, salt, and pepper. Scoop the mixture back into avocado halves and dig in.
Let’s face it: A lot of the best-tasting trail mixes aren’t the best for Paleo peeps, since sugar-coated dried fruit, milk chocolate morsels, and peanuts often take center stage. Make your own version at home by opting for walnuts, cashews, unsweetened banana chips, and Paleo-friendly fudge chunks for just the right amount of sweetness.
We’re pretty much down for bacon-wrapped anything, and lucky for us, it’s often Paleo approved. Try this sweet and savory combo for a snack that’s great served hot and cold. Experiment with different thicknesses and varieties of bacon for a twist on flavor.
Stuffed peppers just got way simpler. Cut off the top of the pepper, toss out the seeds, and bake for 15 minutes. Then stuff with spinach and a raw egg, and bake for another 15-20, or until the egg whites are no longer transparent. No scooping necessary!
Sweet potatoes are a Paleo favorite, especially since they can be cooked so many different ways. This simple recipe lets the potato be the star, with just four other ingredients: fresh rosemary, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Course almond flour gives these crisps restaurant-style breading—without the bread. Garlic powder, thyme, sea salt, and pepper, bring out the flavor in these bad boys, and an egg ties it all together while also packing in some protein. Even non-Paleo eaters will love these.
No crust? No problem. These bite-size snacks use preservative-free pepperoni or salami as their base. Top with sweet peppers, tomatoes, sauce, almond “cheese,” and a sprinkle of fresh basil for the full pizza experience.
There are endless ways to serve chicken, but this recipe gets a special nod for proving wings don’t need to be breaded and deep-fried to taste great.
Paleo enthusiasts have revamped the art of making meatballs, and this recipe goes above and beyond by using almond flour to ensure they actually stay together. The spicy hot sauce and fragrant Italian seasoning makes you forget all about the spaghetti that’s usually underneath.
Say good-bye to fried mystery meat. These coconut-crusted nuggets bring back some major childhood memories, but are way less sketchy than whatever comes out of a drive-through window. Best of all, these nuggets come with a recipe for Paleo honey mustard dipping sauce for a condiment we won’t have to write off as a cheat meal.
Miss muffins on Paleo? Try this version—basically mini omelets baked in a muffin tin—for an infinitely customizable snack. Fill with your favorite veggies and meats, like chicken sausage or ham, and enjoy for breakfast or whenever a snack craving hits.
Jerky lovers were eating Paleo before it was cool (well, before it was cool again). Dried or smoked meat is the modern caveman’s ultimate snack. This simple recipe has to go in a dehydrator for a few hours but lasts for about two weeks, so we think it’s worth the wait.
Here’s a three-ingredient kebab combo that’s great to prep ahead of time (and trust us, they keep well enough in the fridge for a next-day snack). Cut chicken breasts into cubes and marinate in Tessemae’s Lemon Garlic Dressing for 1-3 hours. Thread cubes onto a skewer and grill for about 15 minutes, then garnish with fresh parsley. No extra sauce needed.
Hand-tear kale into bite-size pieces, coat in olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and bake until the edges are crunchy and brown. Serve with garlic aioli for a Paleo-approved snack that tastes anything but.
While this recipe is probably easiest around Halloween, roasted pumpkin seeds keep great in bags for a truly mobile snack. Sprinkle with cumin or curry powder for a slightly spicier version.
Crackers can be tough to replicate with Paleo-approved ingredients, but these taste pretty frickin good to us. A blend of nut flours, plenty of fresh herbs, and toasted sesame seeds give these crackers big flavor. Serve with any of the guac, hummus, or dip recipes above.
Pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, and chia seeds combine to make the ultimate crispy-crunchy Paleo crackers. These can be used as dippers if made thick enough, but are just as good on their own, especially when you add some herbs and spices, such as garlic, thyme, or basil.
Energy bars are great on the go, but sometimes their complex ingredient lists don’t make for the cleanest eating. Make some Paleo bars on the cheap by blending figs, cashews, coconut flakes, vanilla, and a dash of sea salt, then pouring a thin layer of melted dark chocolate chunks on top.
DIY roasted nuts are easier than you’d think—all you need is a bag of mixed nuts, an egg white, and go-to spices: sea salt, pepper, rosemary, sage, garlic powder, and paprika. Coat the nuts in the egg white in one bowl, and mix all the spices in another. Pour the spice mix over the nuts, transfer to a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper, and roast for 16 minutes.
Sweet treats that actually contain a ton veggies? Sign us up. Shred carrots and pecans, then mix with egg whites, cinnamon, raw honey, coconut flour, and ground flaxseed. Form into balls and bake for 12-15 minutes. Eat a few warm and save the rest for hikes, morning commutes, or that 3 p.m. hunger pang.
It’s not quite as easy as one-ingredient banana ice cream, but it’s definitely as tasty. This recipe calls for coconut cream to give the finished product a smooth texture, and can be made with or without an ice cream maker.
Halve fresh peaches and coat the cut sides in ghee or coconut oil instead of grapeseed oil, then grill on medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes, flesh side down. They’re sweet enough as is, but serving with some natural honey or a sprinkle of cinnamon can boost the flavor even more.
A Paleo work-around for an ice cream truck classic? We thought it was impossible, till we tried these fudgy chocolate bars. They’re avocado based (obviously) and use cocoa powder, honey, and coconut milk to mirror the original’s taste and consistency.
Four-ingredient recipes are always a winner in our book. This one uses frozen strawberries and bananas, plus almond milk and vanilla. Blend them all in a food processor or high-speed blender and freeze for a few hours. Sweet sweet sorbet, here you come.
Avoid added sugars and preservatives with this homemade fruit leather. Use blackberries, mint, lime juice, and zest, and honey for a tart but sweet flavor combo. All the ingredients get blended together, then rolled out onto parchment paper and baked till dry.
Core fresh apples and fill with almond butter, pecans, raisins, coconut, and pumpkin seeds, plus a pinch of sea salt and cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and enjoy a dense, flavorful dessert (or breakfast!).
Another take on the no-bake energy balls, this recipe uses dates, nuts, unsweetened cocoa powder, coconut, and vanilla for a sweet treat that tastes like a healthed-up brownie bite.
Paleo cookie bars sounds like an oxymoron, but with coconut milk, honey, coconut flour, almonds, and coconut oil, it can be done. Warning: Dairy-free dark chocolate chips and unsweetened coconut flakes make it reallyyy hard to eat just one.
Ditch the pumpkin pie and make this sweet custard instead, using dates, puréed pumpkin, creamy nut milk (like coconut or cashew), chia seeds, and all the fall spices—cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and salt.
Originally published June 2013. Updated January 2017.