Not planning dinner is normal. It’s bound to happen to all of us at one time (or 13 times) or another. And everyone can use some ideas for 15 minute paleo meals.
No matter how many plans I have or visions in my head, there’s always a time I find myself wondering what’s for dinner at 4 pm. At times like these, we need easy paleo dinners we can serve without giving too much thought or stress.
I always pick up these back ups when I go grocery shopping. They aren’t complete meals in themselves (though I have served only these to my family and pass no judgement if you do), but pair with a green smoothie or a salad and you are all set. A sweet potato is also a great side. If you are short on time, make sweet potato toast instead of baking. They bake in 15 minutes instead of 45!
If your family eats salad, mason jar salads are the bees knees. Just add everything to a mason jar and it’s ready to dump in a bowl and add dressing whenever you are. Primal Kitchen makes a bunch of paleo dressings, but there are a ton of easy recipes online as well.
Here’s my list of perfectly acceptable 15 minute paleo meals:
I list brands I buy, mostly from Trader Joe’s, but you can look for the same things anywhere. Just be sure they are gluten, dairy, soy and refined sugar-free for paleo. And most importantly, if you have no idea what an ingredient is, it probably isn’t clean eats.
- Frozen chicken chili patties from Trader Joe’s – These are really good in a lettuce wrap with paleo mayo, but you can also cut them up and make patty stripes or use them as a salad topper.
- Chicken sausages from Trader Joe’s – They have all kinds of flavors. and if you have a little more time, are delicious sauteed with peppers and onions.
- Pre-made frozen turkey Burgers – I get mine from Trader Joe’s. This seems silly when you can just buy the ground turkey, but trust me, when you forget to cook your turkey and it ends up in the freezer, you will be thankful that you don’t have to thaw it to make burgers.
- Frozen grass fed ground beef burgers – Surprise! I get these from Trader Joe’s, but you can find them just about anywhere. For reasons listed above, these are great to have on hand.
- Hot dogs – Clean ingredient hot dogs are important here. I love the hot dogs and Polish sausages from Teton Water Ranch and find them at Costco, but Applegate brand has clean ingredients and can be found at most grocery stores.
- Frozen leftovers – Generally we eat our leftovers for lunches so we don’t have to plan lunch, but after we have had them for a dinner and a lunch, if there is anything leftover, I freeze it in a freezer bag and label it. Even if it’s just a small portion. I hate wasting food and I love when I can open my freezer and have good meals ready on a whim. Sometimes I have individual portions of different meals and everyone gets to pick what they want. Like a buffet.
- Clean lunch meat roll ups – Costco and Trader Joe’s both sell inexpensive organic turkey lunch meat with only turkey, salt and water as ingredients. Applegate is common in most grocery stores. Roll them up and call them “turkey roll ups.”
- Trader Joe’s Grass Fed Beef Sirloin Roast – Not only is this steak pre-cooked, it’s also sliced. It’s totally ready to go. Perfect as a salad topper, or if there’s a little time, saute it with peppers and onions (Trader Joe’s also has a frozen bag of these pre-chopped) for a fajita.
- Eggs – More than I like to admit, I serve scrambled eggs for dinner. It totally works because it’s fun to eat breakfast for dinner. If your family is into it, you can scramble them in a blender with a little coconut milk and spinach for green eggs.
- Canned tuna – I buy these in bulk from Costco and I always have paleo mayo around so I can make a quick tuna salad. I love sweet potato toast topped with onions and tuna salad.
In addition to these items, I have a few easy meals I always have ingredients for. Like turkey burgers and chicken tacos that can be made from frozen chicken. I find if I always keep options around, we are less likely to order a pizza or spend a fortune on Uber Eats. Do you have back up meals? What are your favorites?