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36 Paleo Junk Food Alternatives (No Guilt Involved)

Louise Hendon | May 30
36 Paleo Junk Food Alternatives (No Guilt Involved) https://paleoflourish.com/paleo-junk-food-alternatives

When that infamous craving for junk food hits you it can be a struggle to stay strong and stick with your healthier way of living. But what if there was a Paleo alternative for your old junk food favorite?

It’s completely ok to give in and indulge when it comes to these recipes! They look and taste just as good (or probably even better), and there’s no need to feel guilty for eating them.

For those of us who love that crispy crunch, I’ve included a whole section of paleo-friendly chips recipes. Everything from kale chips to pork rinds, to tortilla chips – which, by the way, taste amazing with your favorite dip.

If you’re looking for a little bit more than just a snack, try the chicken wings or Mexican tacos. I promise even your teenagers won’t realize this fast food is actually healthy…

Your sweet tooth can be tamed with some butter cookies, chocolate truffles, or tropical gummies. If it’s a hot day, you’ll be glad to know there are a couple of ice cream recipes on the list, too!

To make sure you’ll always steer away from the unhealthy options, here are my tips for making Paleo junk food alternatives:

  • Make some of these recipes ahead and store for those moments when the cravings attack you.
  • Even though these are made with healthy ingredients, try to practice portion control. We all know how easy it is to overeat ice cream!
  • Choose the ingredients wisely (for example, make sure your chocolate is at least 85%).
  • Try not to eat “junk food” every single day. Even the healthy options can become a bad habit if you consume them all the time.

Here are just a few of the Paleo Junk Food Alternatives we’ve included:

If you click or tap any of the links above, it will instantly take you to the recipe below. Or download the entire list by clicking on the green button below.

Salty Paleo Alternatives

Coconut Oil Fried Plantain Chips

– Paleo Flourish

Coconut Oil Fried Plantain Chips

Ingredients: plantains, coconut oil, salt, cumin (or paprika).

These wonderful golden chips look so pretty and they taste great too! This recipe is gluten and grain free and makes paleo snacks for you and the family to munch into next time you have a game night. Season with salt, paprika or any other spice you like. The main thing to remember is to use green plantain and keep the slices as even as you can so they will all crisp up right through.

Dehydrated Kale Chips

– Paleo Flourish

Dehydrated Kale Chips

Ingredients: kale leaves, salt, olive oil, red chili flakes (optional), paprika (optional).

Kale chips can be a great alternative to potato chips when you are eating healthily and they are quite easy to make. However, they can burn really easily so don’t be tempted to leave them to cook while you do something else! You can make them spicy like the ones in this recipe, or simply season them with some salt for a tasty treat. These Paleo chips make great party food served with a low carb dip.

Paleo Crispy Salmon Skin

– Paleo Flourish

Paleo Crispy Salmon Skin

Ingredients: salmon skins, avocado oil, salt.

It is quite common on a diet to find it hard to get anything crispy, since you are not advised to eat chips, so here is a really clever idea that will cut out any waste from your salmon. This is a very easy recipe that gives you crispy, salty snacks to munch on their own or as a side with a paleo salmon dish. There are only a couple of ingredients, so these are also very wallet friendly!

Paleo ‘Parmesan’ Kale Chips

– Paleo Flourish

Paleo ‘Parmesan’ Kale Chips

Ingredients: curly kale, olive oil, nutritional yeast, freshly ground black pepper.

Kale chips are becoming more and more popular now, so here is a great way to ramp up the flavor of these crispy, paleo snacks. Nutritional yeast gives these chips a great cheesy flavor and can even persuade the kids to try them! These amazing chips taste best eaten right away, so next time you are having a family film night you can rustle up a big batch for everyone to share.

Spicy Paleo Beef Jerky

– Paleo Flourish

Spicy Paleo Beef Jerky

Ingredients: beef roasting joint, vinegar, cayenne powder, onion powder, garlic powder, gluten-free tamari sauce or coconut aminos, salt, black pepper.

Store-bought beef jerky can be packed with all manner of unhealthy ingredients, so why not try making it yourself so you know it has no ‘nasties’ in it by following this paleo jerky recipe? It keeps well in an airtight container for up to six months, although we doubt it will last that long! When you are preparing the meat, try to remove all the fat before cooking as it goes off really quickly.

Paleo Pork Rinds

– Paleo Flourish

Paleo Pork Rinds

Ingredients: pork skin, salt, spices of choice (suggestion – paleo cajun seasoning).

Pork rinds make the best and tastiest paleo snacks and if you make your own you can control what ingredients you use, making them so much healthier than store bought ones. You have the choice of what flavorings you use – mild curry flavor is good! And remember that crushed pork rinds can be used as a crispy coating for chicken breast or chops. I also sprinkle some on salads to give a nice crunch.

Keto Tortilla Chips

– Keto Summit

Keto Tortilla Chips

Ingredients: chia meal/seeds, almond flour, Italian seasoning, salt, water.

When you are following a specific eating plan it can be difficult to get crunchy snacks that are not full of carbs, so homemade tortilla chips can be a great snack to try. These ones are easy to make and can be cooked in the microwave or oven, then you can enjoy them with your choice of keto dip or with salsa or salad. Now finding crunch is not a problem!

Keto Pepperoni Chips

– Keto Summit

Keto Pepperoni Chips

Ingredients: pepperoni.

Sometimes we need a good salty snack to munch while we are relaxing, so this keto recipe would be just the thing! With only one ingredient this is also a cheaper option than some, but it is packed with flavor. These tasty zero carb and sugar free chips are great on their own or you could serve them with a dip like keto guacamole. Perfect for parties!

Biltong Keto Beef Jerky

– Keto Summit

Biltong Keto Beef Jerky

Ingredients: beef roast, vinegar of choice, garlic powder, onion powder, gluten-free tamari sauce or coconut aminos, salt, coriander seeds, ground coriander, black pepper.

With the flavors of coriander seeds, garlic and onion, this beef jerky is very similar to traditional South African biltong, and it can be very useful as a tasty snack for keto people. It is easy to transport and makes a good snack for travelling or hiking. If you are wondering why we use vinegar in this recipe, it is to stop bacterial growth on the beef, so don’t skip this step!

Paleo Fast Food Alternatives

Italian Paleo Zucchini Fries

– Paleo Flourish

Italian Paleo Zucchini Fries

Ingredients: zucchinis, coconut flour, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, tomato salsa (optional).

If you have been missing the crunchy fries you were used to before going Paleo, then here is the answer! These fries are crispy and full of Italian flavor and, served with a tomato dip or other one of choice, make a great dish for parties or for sharing with the family on film or game nights. This recipe is low in carbs and calories and can be useful if you have been missing your usual snacks.

Mini Paleo Burgers [Keto, Low-Carb, Grain-Free]

– Paleo Flourish

Mini Paleo Burgers [Keto, Low-Carb, Grain-Free]

Ingredients: ground beef, mustard, lettuce leaves, salt, avocado oil (or coconut oil or ghee), almond flour, baking powder, salt, eggs.

Sometimes when you are following a specific diet you miss things like burgers, but there is no need to go without! Making your own burgers is easy and quick and you can be sure there are no additives in them. These mini paleo burgers are great for a lunch or for a kid’s party as they make perfect finger food and are a great way to encourage children to eat healthy.

Paleo Garlic Chicken Nuggets

– Paleo Flourish

Paleo Garlic Chicken Nuggets

Ingredients: chicken breasts, coconut flour, egg, garlic powder, salt, ghee (or coconut oil).

Even the thought of chicken nuggets can make your mouth water, especially when the coating has garlic in it! These are an ideal way to get the kids involved in healthier eating options. This recipe says to fry the nuggets in ghee, but if you do not to add any fats at all they can be baked instead. Serve with homemade paleo tomato ketchup and let the whole family enjoy!

Paleo Chili and Guacamole Topped Parsnip Fries

– Paleo Flourish

Paleo Chili and Guacamole Topped Parsnip Fries

Ingredients: parsnips, salt, olive oil, tomato sauce or diced tomatoes, ground beef, coconut oil, garlic cloves (optional), onion (optional), Italian seasoning, pepper, guacamole.

When you are trying to eat a healthy diet, it can sometimes be a bit bland, so here is a fantastic paleo dish you can enjoy that is a fusion of color, taste and texture! You have velvety guacamole, meaty chili and the tasty parsnip fries, giving you comfort food in a bowl. Once you have tried this recipe, why not try changing the flavor by adding taco seasoning instead, then you can serve this for Taco Tuesday!

Mini Zucchini Avocado Burgers

– Paleo Flourish

Mini Zucchini Avocado Burgers

Ingredients: zucchini, ground beef, avocado, olive or avocado oil, salt, Paleo mayo (optional), mustard (optional).

The overall appearance of these little bites is so impressive that they would make a great dish to serve if you have guests over for a few drinks. Using zucchini instead of buns makes these snacks lighter and less filling, making them a good idea for children too. Simply serve with some mustard and a green side salad for a lovely summery AIP and Paleo lunch.

Paleo Sweet Potato Pizza Toast

– Paleo Flourish

Paleo Sweet Potato Pizza Toast

Ingredients: sweet potatoes, avocado oil, salt, Paleo pizza sauce, cashew cheese.

If you are a pizza fan, these tasty little toast slices would make a great paleo compliant lunchtime dish! You have the flavors of pizza from the tomato and cashew cheese, loaded onto a slice of sweet potato which has been ‘toasted’, and these are very easy to eat! This recipe is grain free and the sweet potato has anti-inflammatory properties, so perfect for paleo people!

Paleo Buffalo Chicken Wings

– Paleo Flourish

Paleo Buffalo Chicken Wings

Ingredients: chicken wings, coconut flour, cayenne pepper, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, paprika, garlic powder, salt, ghee, hot sauce.

These are a definite plus for paleo picnics, dinner parties or for an easy kids’ lunch, and are healthier because they are baked instead of fried. With the heat of the pepper, these wings are delicious! After preparing them, put them back in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before cooking and that should help the coating to stick better. These wings taste amazing warm or cold.

Paleo Mexican Tacos

– Paleo Flourish

Paleo Mexican Tacos

Ingredients: ground beef, onion, roma tomatoes, bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic cloves, cumin powder, paprika, dried oregano, chili powder, salt, pepper, cilantro, coconut oil, lettuce leaves.

These tacos are packed with the flavors of Mexico, thanks to the traditional spices of cumin, garlic and jalapeno, so these would be a fun dish to serve at your next paleo friendly Mexican meal. You can serve the taco mixture with lettuce wraps, and this is a great idea for the little ones too, as they can fill their own. But if you just can’t wait that long, grab a spoon and dive in!

Paleo Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Mushrooms

– Paleo Flourish

Paleo Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Mushrooms

Ingredients: head of cauliflower, almond flour, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, olive oil, egg, salt, freshly ground black pepper, white button mushrooms, arugula.

This recipe gives you a light and delicious paleo pizza base that you can use as a blank canvas for your imagination! You can add a sauce or pesto, some different meats or vegetables – pizzas are a great way to use up any leftovers you find in the fridge. You could also get the kids involved in making their own and decorating it with their favorite toppings, as this can encourage picky eaters to experiment.

Crispy Keto Onion Rings

– Keto Summit

Crispy Keto Onion Rings

Ingredients: pork rinds, coconut flour, egg, oil, onion, salt, freshly ground black pepper, parsley.

Although these delicious onion rings are being described as a snack, and yes, they do make good snacks, I actually serve these as a side dish with steak or grilled chicken too. These are crunchy and full of flavor, but are quick and easy to make, and definitely do not taste like ‘diet’ food! So, next time you have friends around or have a family barbecue, you can serve a bowl of these crunchy treats!

Sweet Paleo Alternatives

Bacon Almond Chocolate Bar

– Paleo Flourish

Bacon Almond Chocolate Bar

Ingredients: chocolate chips (dark), bacon bits, almonds.

If you are wondering about savory ingredients in chocolate, just remember that it is added to dishes like chili to increase richness, so why not give this a try! You can use leftover bacon or fry up a couple extra slices in the morning to use in this chocolate bar later. Because you are using dark chocolate, this is a dairy and gluten free paleo recipe.

Paleo Lemon Gummy Bears

– Paleo Flourish

Paleo Lemon Gummy Bears

Ingredients: fresh lemon juice, gelatin powder, honey.

This easy paleo recipe is perfect for families with children, or just for the bigger people, after all, who doesn’t love a gummy bear! This one uses fresh lemon juice which gives the bears a lively citrus zing and the honey makes them just sweet enough to satisfy. You can use whatever moulds you have, buy bear shaped ones or just pour the mixture into a dish and chop it once it has set.

Paleo Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

– Paleo Flourish

Paleo Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Ingredients: fresh mint, full-fat coconut milk, avocado, maple syrup, 100% dark chocolate.

For the ultimate in luxury ice cream, you don’t need to look further than this great paleo recipe. The ice cream is rich and creamy, partly because of the avocado, which gives it a smooth and velvety texture. You can either use chocolate chips here, but I prefer to add chocolate shavings too. Homemade ice cream is at its best eaten within the first week or so, ideal for a dinner party dessert.

Amazing Butter Cookies

– Paleo Flourish

Amazing Butter Cookies

Ingredients: almond flour, coconut flour, eggs, ghee, vanilla extract, raw honey.

Once you have tried these delicious butter cookies, you will never buy the regular ones again! I even make these as gifts for friends now and then. They taste like shortbread and go really well with a nice cup of tea or coffee. These cookies are gluten and dairy free and totally compliant with the paleo eating plan, but don’t get carried away – treats are for once in a while, not every day!

Tropical Paleo Gummies

– Paleo Flourish

Tropical Paleo Gummies

Ingredients: tropical juice (or use a different juice with no added sugar), gelatin powder.

Gummies like these can be a great treat for people on Paleo or AIP food plans as they are full of health-giving nutrition and can be made very easily. These ones use tropical fruit juice as the base for the flavor, but obviously you can make them whatever flavor you like by using other fruit juices, but be careful of the added sugar. Gummies can also be a good idea for the elderly as they can help to strengthen bones.

Vermont Maple Doughnuts from World’s Easiest Paleo Baking

– Paleo Flourish

Vermont Maple Doughnuts from World’s Easiest Paleo Baking

Ingredients: almond flour, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, eggs, dark maple syrup, vanilla extract.

One of the best things about maple syrup is the rich aromatic flavor it gives to baked goods like these amazing Paleo doughnuts! They have the traditional springy texture and taste fantastic with a cup of coffee. They make a lovely dessert served with coconut cream and fresh berries, or just for a quick and easy breakfast. These doughnuts can be stored in the freezer, but they taste best freshly cooked.

Paleo Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe (Dairy-Free)

– Paleo Flourish

Paleo Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe (Dairy-Free)

Ingredients: coconut cream, raw honey, cacao powder, vanilla extract, salt.

This is a very helpful recipe as you don’t need to have an ice cream maker! Just imagine being able to treat your family to chocolate ice cream all through the summer, knowing that it is paleo friendly and much healthier than store bought. Obviously, you can add in other ingredients if you want to, chopped nuts for example, but my family love this just as it is. Just remember to taste the mix to adjust for sweetness.

Paleo Double Chocolate Cookies

– Paleo Flourish

Paleo Double Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients: almond flour, coconut flour, unsweetened 100% cacao powder, baking soda, salt, coconut sugar, honey, dark chocolate chips, egg, vanilla essence, ghee.

Since starting on the paleo journey, one of the things I was surprised about was the number of recipes for cookies that are paleo friendly. This recipe is one of the best, as the cookies really taste like the regular ones you are used to, and the flavor is so rich and chocolatey! These little cookies make the perfect treat to enjoy when you are having a tough day or just need a bit of luxury.

Paleo Chocolate Truffles

– Paleo Flourish

Paleo Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients: 85% dark chocolate, coconut oil, coconut milk or coconut cream (skim from the top of a can of coconut milk), vanilla extract, coatings: 100% chocolate powder, unsweetened shredded coconut, or chopped nuts.

Now is the chance for you to experiment with paleo chocolate truffles! The ones in this recipe look so good that they would make an ideal gift for a friend or partner, or take some into work to share round. The joy of these sweets is that they can be a good way of involving the kids in baking and maybe let them choose their own coatings.

Other Paleo Alternatives

Paleo/GF Popcorn Shrimp [Dairy-Free, Nut-Free]

– Paleo Flourish

Paleo/GF Popcorn Shrimp [Dairy-Free, Nut-Free]

Ingredients: shrimp, eggs, paleo cajun seasoning, coconut flour, coconut oil.

If you are looking for a tasty but healthy snack to serve on game nights or for a simple lunch, why not try this amazing popcorn shrimp! It combines the texture of the crispy coating with the seasoned tender shrimp in little bite-size pieces that can be enjoyed by even your non paleo friends and family. They might even prefer it this way! This delicious recipe is dairy and nut free.

Paleo Garlic Flatbread Recipe

– Paleo Flourish

Paleo Garlic Flatbread Recipe

Ingredients: unsweetened coconut milk, nutritional yeast, coconut flour, almond flour, baking powder, garlic powder, garlic, dried oregano, salt, pepper, egg, egg whites.

This delicious paleo-compliant flatbread makes a great substitute for traditional naan bread to serve with curries. This is a low carb and gluten free recipe, and this bread could also be used as a tear and share along with chili, soups and stews, or even as a sandwich for breakfast or lunch. The recipe uses one egg and two egg whites, so you could scramble the other two egg yolks and serve along with this!

Cinnamon Paleo Pancakes

– Paleo Flourish

Cinnamon Paleo Pancakes

Ingredients: almond flour, coconut sugar, ground cinnamon, unsweetened almond milk, eggs, ghee.

Pancakes can be a great dish to make for breakfast as they are quick to make, popular with the whole family and can fill you up through the morning. Making them in small sizes cam also help with portion control if you are tempted to overeat. However, these are made with coconut sugar which is healthier than regular white sugar, but it can still cause your blood sugar level to rise, so these should be an occasional treat, not a regular meal.

Coconut Bliss Dark Chocolate Bar

– Paleo Flourish

Coconut Bliss Dark Chocolate Bar

Ingredients: coconut milk, unsweetened cacao powder, vanilla extract, raw honey, coconut sugar, salt (or vanilla bean salt).

To look at these bars you would not believe that they are dairy free, as they are creamy and chocolatey. Chocolate and coconut taste so good together that you will really enjoy these treats on a hot summer day, or as an indulgent snack. You might be surprised at the addition of salt, but chocolate and salt are also good together and it adds a different dimension to the flavor.

Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta

– Paleo Flourish

Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta

Ingredients: chicken breasts, ghee or coconut oil, diced tomatoes, basil, coconut milk, garlic cloves, salt, zucchini or spaghetti squash.

This is a quick and easy Paleo recipe which is ideal for a fast meal after a busy day. It can also be made quite cheaply so it is a great meal for students! The rich flavors of tomato and fragrant basil are so appealing and make this dish taste amazing. If you don’t have a spiralizer it doesn’t matter, you can simply shred the zucchini in a food processor or by using a grater.

Paleo Chocolate Waffles Recipe

– Paleo Flourish

Paleo Chocolate Waffles Recipe

Ingredients: coconut flour, cacao powder, erythritol, salt, baking powder, eggs, unsweetened almond milk, ghee.

You know those days when you just need something a bit special? Paleo chocolate waffles could be the answer! Start the day off with a crispy chocolate waffle and everything could look brighter! You can eat it on its own, or scatter a few fresh berries on top to liven up the flavor even more. This recipe also gives you measurements for different sized waffle makers.

Keto Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

– Keto Summit

Keto Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Ingredients: head of cauliflower, avocado oil, garlic powder, salt, ghee, hot sauce.

As we can see in loads of keto recipes, cauliflower can take on the flavors of other strong-tasting ingredients like garlic, making these not just about the flavor of the cauliflower. These lovely bites are spicy and make the perfect party food served with any keto dip of your choice. This recipe would also work with broccoli florets if the family just don’t ‘do’ cauliflower!

AIP Baked Pita Chips

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Baked Pita Chips

Ingredients: arrowroot, tapioca or cassava flour, olive oil, cold water.

Pita chips are such a versatile food – they can be eaten on their own as gluten-free, paleo and AIP friendly snack, or pair them with a healthy dip when you are watching a movie. They also taste great served with chili or soups or as a crunchy addition sprinkled over a salad. These chips can also be flavored quite easily by sprinkling them with your favorite seasoning.

36 Paleo Junk Food Alternatives (No Guilt Involved) Collage https://paleoflourish.com/paleo-junk-food-alternatives