The 5 Recipes That Got Me Through Whole30

updated May 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

When I did my first Whole30 a couple years ago, I did all the things you’re supposed to do. I read through all the books, I meal planned for every single meal, and I mostly avoided the SWYPO (sex with your pants on) foods that Whole30 strongly looks down on (enter: small eye roll.) It was challenging, but I felt great after it was over.

During those 30 days I found a few key recipes that made my life a whole lot more enjoyable on such a strict program. These recipes were either so delicious that I forgot I wasn’t eating pasta, or made my life a little easier (read: batch cooking). These five recipes in particular I made multiple times and still eat today even though I’m done with Whole30.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

I was warned before starting Whole30 that I would end up hating eggs by the end of the 30 days. I’m happy to say I never did, and I think in part it was because of this recipe. I made a big batch of salsa at the beginning of the week so all I had to do was scramble some eggs in the morning. I also added avocado to this, which was an excellent decision.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

There will come a time in those 30 days when you don’t want to cook another thing. That’s where this easy chili recipe comes in. I made it without the beans and corn, obviously, and put some of it in the freezer for emergency meals. I would eat it by itself or use it as a topping for a baked potato.

3. Curried Chicken Salad from Ina Garten

This is my secret weapon for lunch fatigue during Whole30. It’s basically impossible to get bored of this chicken salad. I made it with compliant ingredients (no white wine, bought a Paleo avocado mayonnaise, etc.) and I also didn’t use the chutney or raisins because that’s not my jam.

I added this chicken curry salad onto a simple arugula salad with some berries for a complete and satisfying meal.

(Image credit: Gina Eykemans)

I got pretty sick of eating so much meat during Whole30, but this meal had a great balance of greens, meat, and fat. I used dates instead of apricots in this meal, which worked so well with the leafy greens. I also added an egg to the meatballs so they were a little more moist. The whole meal came together surprisingly fast and was something I made multiple times in 30 days.

5. Crispy Swoodles with Bacon from Nom Nom Paleo

This was my favorite recipe I made during my 30 days of Whole30. It takes a lot of work up front, but it’s so satisfying without having a ton of meat. I even ate it for breakfast a few times – it’s almost better the next day after it’s had time to sit in the fridge. When you’re buying bacon, make sure that there’s no added sugar.

So this emergency snack is definitely controversial, and before you jump on me and say Wait, didn’t you read what Melissa wrote about RxBars? Did you just break all the rules? I want to tell you that, yes, I did read Melissa’s statement on RxBars and I never used them as a meal replacement or as an everyday snack.

Yes, Whole30 does not technically promote these bars, but many of them do include compliant ingredients. The chocolate sea salt one in particular is totally heavenly and delicious and something I had very sparingly. To all the haters: You’re missing out.

What recipes helped you through Whole30? Let us know in the comments!