The Paleo diet craze might seem fairly new, but it’s based on one of the oldest diets out there: the caveman diet. Today, I’m going to share an Easy Spicy One Week Paleo Meal Plan to make eating Paleo simple and spicy!
Brought to the mainstream by Dr. Loren Cordain in 2002 with his book, The Paleo Diet, eating Paleo means eating anything that cavemen would have been able to hunt or gather. Research shows that the Paleo diet can decrease fat mass.
I’ve eaten strictly Paleo as one strategy to keep my diet simple. It also helped me stay consistent with my happy weight. Once you get the hang of it and learn the foods you can and can’t eat, the Paleo diet is so easy to follow. I always use my tasty spices to flavor the food which makes the “diet” part much more enjoyable.
I decided to make a Paleo meal plan in addition to my vegetarian and vegan plans. If you eat meat, it can be beneficial to explore the Paleo approach as well throughout your weight loss journey. How else will you figure out what works best for you and makes you feel as amazing as you are?
Note that if you’re vegan or vegetarian, eating Paleo is tough. The Paleo diet relies heavily on protein from animal products with dairy, legumes and grains (like quinoa) out of the picture. I wouldn’t advise trying this plan if you’re strictly vegan or vegetarian, but instead check out my other plans linked here:
It’s also important to note that salt is not Paleo-friendly! None of the recipes here include salt, which I think is a fun challenge to try for a week. There are other ways to make your food taste amazing without any salt!
The Benefits Of Eating Paleo
While the Paleo diet isn’t for everyone, there are several benefits for meat-eaters to be aware of. Having processed foods, grains, sugar and dairy on the “no” list means you’re likely to eat significantly less processed foods which contributes to weight loss. And of course, you’re going to get more vitamins and nutrients by increasing the amount of fruit, vegetables, oils, nuts, seeds and meat in your diet. You may also feel more satisfied for longer because the Paleo diet is focused on protein and fats, but is lower in carbs.
Here’s a list of foods that are allowed on the Paleo diet, just in case you were interested in exploring it more in depth.
- Chicken, turkey, pork, lean beef, and buffalo (bison)
- Fish and seafood
- Fresh fruit
- Non-starchy vegetables like lettuce, asparagus, green beans, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and spinach
- Almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, and pistachios (no peanuts)
- Seeds, like pumpkin and sunflower
- Plant-based oils like olive, walnut, grapeseed, and coconut oil
Here’s a list of foods that are not allowed on the Paleo diet. You won’t find them in this meal plan!
- All grains like wheat, barley, and rice. No cereal, bread, pasta, bagels, crackers, or granola bars!
- Starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn. No potato and corn chips, tortillas, and popcorn
- Legumes or beans like peanuts or peanut butter; no soy foods like soy milk, tofu, or edamame and no hummus or beans of any kind
- Dairy products
- High-fat meats like salami, bologna, pepperoni, hot dogs, ground meat, rib roast, and ribs
- Any product with sugar in it
- Processed foods or trans fats like doughnuts, french fries, fruit snacks, or macaroni and cheese
- Salty foods like crackers, chips, pretzels, soy sauce, added-salt foods, or sports drinks
After reading the restrictions list, you can probably see why most lose weight on this diet! Just note that there are no portion requirements on the Paleo diet, which can still lead to weight gain if you overeat. This diet can also be tough for athletes because it’s so low in carbohydrates, which are necessary for extra energy during exercise.
Whether you’re new to Paleo or were simply waiting for a MasalaBody.com meal plan that includes meat, this meal plan will make your weekly meal prep a breeze.
When starting any new diet or approach to eating, meal prepping your meals ahead of time is so important. It helps you take your mind off your new diet because the meals are right there in your fridge, waiting to be eaten. You don’t have to decide in the moment between whipping up a healthy meal or getting takeout! Plus, because diets require so much cooking in general, prepping meals in advance saves you time during the week when you’re super busy running errands, shuttling the kids around and taking care of random stuff at home.
If you’ve never meal prepped before, check out my vegetarian meal plan post which breaks down meal prep basics and essentials. I also have a vegan meal plan where you’ll learn more about the benefits of meal prep and have access to even more yummy, spicy recipes.
Easy Spicy Paleo One-Week Meal Plan
Optional Breakfast: Egg Veggie Cups
Quick lunch idea: Red & Green Salad
Monday Dinner: Hawaiian BBQ Chicken
Tuesday Dinner: Golden Cauliflower Rice Beef Stir Fry
Wednesday Dinner: Leftovers Over Zoodles
Thursday Dinner: Spiced One-Pot Turkey Chili
Friday Dinner: Spicy Turkey Lettuce Wraps (repurposing the chili)
This is what your week could look like using the recipes and planning/packing advice in this post. Some of the recipes are for an extra meal, which you could eat on the weekend or have dinner for two and then take the other serving to lunch for yourself.
Recipes were adapted and photos provided with permission from Workweek Lunch.
Here is the link for the 5-min Detox Salad With No-Mix Dressing
Grocery List For The Week:
- Coconut oil OR olive oil
- Regular cooking spray
- Spinach or kale
- Cherry tomatoes
- Baby bella mushrooms
- 11 oz. (311 g) can tomato puree*
- 6 oz (170 g) tomato paste*
- Apple cider vinegar*
- Raw honey*
- Coconut aminos (only if strictly following Paleo, if not then Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or soy sauce will work)
- 1 bunch of garlic
- 1 pound (450 g) of chicken breast
- 1 ½ cups (6.5 oz. or 192 grams) of pineapple (fresh pre-chopped is preferable, frozen is good too)
- 24 oz. / 680 g) green beans
- 2 inches (5cm) of ginger
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 pound (450 g) of skirt steak OR flank steak OR top sirloin
- 1 Yellow onion
- Carrot sticks
- 1 package of zoodles – found at Whole Foods (or buy 1 zucchini to spiralize and make zoodles at home)
- 1 pound of ground turkey
- 1 14oz. (396 g) can diced tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 bunch of celery ribs
- 1 red onion
- Chicken OR veggie broth
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- 1 lime
- 1 head of butter lettuce
- 2 avocados
- 1 package of walnuts (or a nut of your choice except for peanuts)
*= for the Paleo BBQ sauce recipe. If not following a strict Paleo diet and/or you want a simpler option, I recommend this low-sugar BBQ sauce instead.
In your skinny spice collection:
- Black Pepper
- Turmeric powder
- Red chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Crushed red pepper
Optional breakfast: Egg Veggie Cups (make on Sunday night and Wednesday night)
Paleo Egg Recipe (Prep for 2 days ahead!)
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes (more or less depending on your taste for heat)
- coconut oil or olive oil cooking spray
- 2 cups chopped spinach / kale (Or other greens)
- 1/2 - 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 1/2 cups baby bella mushrooms, chopped
- ANY other veggies you like or need to use up
- Whisk eggs in a bowl with pepper, turmeric powder and chili flakes and set aside.
- Prepare your muffin tin or baking dish with cooking spray/liners.
- Add the chopped veggies to the muffin tin or baking dish and spread evenly. Then pour the egg mixture into the baking dish or muffin tin. If using a muffin tin, fill cups about ¾.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until just set. There should be no jiggle in the center of the egg cups/baking dish.
- Let cool before removing the egg from the dish/tin. If using a baking dish, slice the egg frittata into four pieces. Store egg cups/frittata slices in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.
This breakfast is one of the easiest to prep and change up for variety. Packed with protein and veggies, it’s guaranteed to fill you up and give you energy to get you through the morning without feeling hungry or tired. This is such an easy breakfast to grab while you’re running out the door and eat on your commute or at your desk at work.
This meal comes together in about 20 minutes and most of that is baking time! If you’re using a muffin tin, make sure to generously grease the pan OR use liners because the egg can get a little sticky making the tins a pain to clean. That’s why I prefer a regular, square glass baking dish for baked eggs.
Check out the cravings-curbing PB&J Smoothie in my Easy Spicy Vegetarian Meal Plan. Use almond, sunflower seed butter or coconut oil to keep it Paleo!
Optional quick lunch: Red & Green Salad
Red & Green Salad
- 1 1/2 cups spinach
- 1/3 cup walnuts (substitute any nuts except peanuts)
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 avocado sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- black pepper to taste
- . Optional add ins: leftover chicken or beef from prepped meals, radishes, cucumbers, cabbage (really any raw veggie you like)
- Add the spinach, walnuts and cherry tomatoes to your meal prep container. Add any optional ingredients as well if using. Close the container and refrigerate.
- Before going to work, add the avocado, olive oil and pepper.
If you want another salad option, try the “5-minute Detox Salad With No-Mix Dressing” in my Easy Spicy Vegan Meal Plan here!
Monday night: Hawaiian BBQ Chicken (Prep on Sunday or Monday)
OK, maybe the cavemen didn’t have barbecue sauce, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get creative with the ingredients available on the Paleo diet. Paleo Hawaiian BBQ chicken is one of those meals that makes you forget you’re actually eating something that’s healthy because it tastes that good! The sweet pineapple mixed with the tangy barbecue taste of the chicken will make you want to add this meal to your regular rotation. Your family will love it too.
For the Paleo bbq sauce:
Use regular, low-sugar BBQ sauce if not strictly following Paleo or if you want a simpler option. I like Stubb’s Original or Spicy BBQ Sauce)
Paleo Hawaiian BBQ Chicken
- 1 tbsp butter (butter is ok for Paleo)
- 11 oz tomato puree
- 3 oz tomato paste
- 1/4 ccup apple cider vinegar
- 1/8 cup raw honey
- 1/3 cup coconut aminos (if not strict Paleo, use Braggs Liquid Aminos or soy sauce)
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tbsp onion powder
- 1/2 tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tbsp black pepper
- 1 pond chicken breast sliced into strips
- 2 tbsp coconut oil divided
- 3 cloves minced garlic divided
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pineapple
- 3 cups chopped green beans ends removed
- black pepper to taste
- For the sauce: Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk together until fully combined. Let it simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl to let cool.
- Place the sliced raw chicken breast in the bowl with the sauce. Use a fork to toss so each piece is covered evenly. Cover with saran wrap and place in the fridge until ready to use. Chicken can be marinated for 24 hours in advance.
- Heat a large pan (or grill pan if you have one) on high and add coconut oil and ½ of the minced garlic. After a minute, turn it down to medium and add the chicken breast. Make sure the pieces are not touching in the pan. (You may need to do two batches) Add the pineapple to the pan and sprinkle a pinch of cayenne over the chunks. Cook chicken on each side for four to five minutes. Flip the pineapple with the chicken too.
- Once cooked through and browned, remove chicken and pineapple from the pan and set aside. Remove the pan from the heat and wipe it out with a cloth or paper towel. (Note: This step is written to decrease the number of pans used. If you want to save time, you can do this step at the same time as steps 3&4 with a separate pan).
- Return the pan to the stove and add 1 tablespoon of oil and remaining garlic. Heat pan on medium for about a minute, then add the green beans with pepper to taste and a splash of water. Cover the pan to let the green beans steam for about eight to 10 minutes on medium heat (until they’re a bit soft).
- Divide the chicken, pineapple and green beans into three portions. Eat one immediately for dinner. Place the other portions in glass or BPA-free plastic containers and let it cool for about 30 minutes. Then place in the fridge to eat the following day(s) for lunch! This meal reheats well in the microwave or on the stove and keeps for up to four days in the fridge.
Tuesday night: Golden Cauli Rice & Beef Stir Fry
Since there are no rice or grains on the Paleo diet, cauliflower rice makes an excellent veggie substitute. Cauliflower rice can be made in the food processor or the blender. You can also buy it pre-”riced” at certain stores. After processing it, all you need to do is saute the riced cauliflower for a few minutes and it’s done! And what better meal to serve with cauli rice than a satisfying beef and veggie stir fry?
Paleo Beef Stir Fry with Golden Cauli Rice
For the Sauce
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 1/8 cup raw honey
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
For the stir fry
- 1 head cauliflower chopped
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 2 tbsps cocout oil divided
- 1 pound of beef of your choice chopped into chunks or strips
- 1/2 tspn black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 in ginger minced
- 1 head broccoli chopped
- 4 carrot sticks peeled and chopped
- Add any extra veggies of your choice! Baby bok choy, sugar snap peas, green peas etc
- 2 tsps turmeric powder
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp red pepper crushed (omit if no heat desired)
- In a small saucepan on medium heat, combine the stir fry sauce ingredients. Whisk ingredients until combined. Bring the sauce to a quick boil and then turn down to simmer while you cook the stir-fry.
- Cauli rice: add the onion to a blender or food processor and mince. Then add the chopped cauliflower and process until it’s uniform. Be careful to not over-process because it will turn into mush. You may have to pull out some of the larger cauliflower pieces to keep it in “rice” form.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet on medium heat for a minute. Then add the cauliflower rice mixture. Season with pepper to taste and saute for about five minutes. Then transfer it to a bowl and set aside.
- Give the pan a quick wipe with a paper towel or cloth and return it to the stove.
- Season the beef with black pepper to taste. Then heat the remaining coconut oil in the skillet on medium high heat. Add the garlic and ginger to the pan, stir and cook for a minute. Turn down the heat to medium, then add the broccoli, carrots, any extra veggies of your choice and stir thoroughly. Add the turmeric, cumin, black pepper and crushed red pepper if using. Stir again until the veggies are evenly covered. Cook for about 5-10 minutes, until veggies are soft.
- Push the veggies to the sides of the pan (or remove them and set aside if the pan is too crowded) and add the steak to the center. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until cooked through.
- Add the veggies back to the pan if you removed them and cover the beef and veggies with the sauce. Stir well.
- Divide the cauliflower rice into three portions. Place two portions in glass or BPA-free plastic containers. Top each with a portion of the beef and veggie mixture. Let the meal cool for 30-40 minutes before covering and storing in the fridge. This meal will last for up to four days refrigerated and heats up well in the microwave or on the stove.
- Eat the remaining third of the cauli rice and beef/vegetable mixture for dinner!
Wednesday night: Leftovers On Zoodles
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: less than 10 minutes
Zoodles AKA zucchini noodles are basically thin strips of zucchini made with a spiralizer tool to look like pasta. They’re a very popular replacement for pasta, especially if you want to eat more veggies AND comfort food at the same time.
You can usually find zoodles in the produce section of stores, near pre-chopped and sliced vegetables. Whole Foods always has them available. If you can’t find them or want to make them yourself, all you need is a spiralizer, which you can order on Amazon. Here’s one that’s easy to use (and you can make noodles out of other veggies with it too).
Zoodles take exactly 3 minutes to saute and can be paired with pretty much anything. Whether you have leftover stir fry, Hawaiian chicken or want to quickly make a zoodle salad with leftover veggies, you’ll be satisfied. Here are a few easy ways to add Paleo-friendly flavor to zoodles:
- Squeeze lemon over them
- Make a Paleo-friendly pesto
- Saute with garlic
- Add paprika and chili powder for spice
Thursday night: Spiced One-Pot Paleo Turkey Chili
When we think “chili” we usually think of beans. But since the Paleo diet doesn’t include beans, you won’t find any in this chili! Instead, you’ll find a heaping amount of vegetables and ground turkey. Most of the time spent cooking this meal is completely hands-off, which is nice on a Thursday night after a busy week. This recipe would work well in a crockpot with adjusted cooking times!
Spiced One-Pot Paleo Turkey Chili
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 cup carrots chopped
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 1 pound turkey ground
- black pepper to taste
- 2 tsp paprika (or cayenne pepper for spicier chili)
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken or veggie broth
- 2 tbsp cilantro chopped
- juice of 1 lime
- In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, warm up olive oil on medium heat for a minute or two. Then add the onion, garlic, red pepper, carrots, and celery. Stir to combine and cook for about 7-10 mins.
- Then add ground turkey. Break up the meat and cook until it’s no longer pink.
- Add pepper, chili powder, paprika, oregano and cumin. Stir constantly for a minute until the veggies are fragrant.
- Add the whole can of diced tomatoes (with juice) and broth or water. Stir, turn up the heat slightly and let the mixture come to a simmer. Then, reduce the heat, cover and let the chili cook for 30 minutes.
- This step is optional, but to get the best texture, take about 1 and ½ cups of chili and add to a blender. Blend until smooth, pour it back into the pot and stir.
- Add cilantro and lime juice and stir!
- Divide the chili into three portions. One serving you’ll have for dinner immediately. One will be stored for the following night’s dinner. The third serving I suggest freezing! (Instructions below). Before placing the chili in the fridge, make sure to let it cool for 30 minutes, then seal in a glass or BPA-free container and store in the fridge for up to four days.
Freeze it for later!
If you have extra chili, this makes an excellent freezer meal. Before placing leftover chili in the freezer, allow it to cool to room temperature. Then seal it in an airtight container (glass or BPA-free plastic works) and label it with the date. This will keep well for up to three months in the freezer. When ready to use, pull it out the day before you want to eat it and let it thaw in the fridge. Then, reheat it in a pot or skillet on the stove with a little bit of oil on medium heat for best results.
Friday: Spicy Turkey Lettuce Wrap
Prep time: 5 mins
Total time: Less than 10 mins
On Fridays, we like to take it easy, right? Well, it doesn’t get much easier than repurposing the yummy chili you made the previous night into some fresh, crisp lettuce wraps.
All you need is rinsed butter lettuce leaves for the “taco” shell part of this meal.
This works best if you reheat the chili in the microwave or on the stove until it’s not piping hot, just warm enough. Then spoon the turkey chili into your lettuce leaves. I also suggest adding sliced avocado on top of the wraps for an extra dose of healthy fat.
Another option: chopping up the butter lettuce and making a taco salad with the turkey chili instead. Do whatever you’re in the mood for!
Think of Paleo as a tasty challenge
If you eat meat regularly, then using this Paleo plan is the perfect opportunity to discover more ways for making your diet even healthier by cutting out processed food, sugars and more.
When using this plan, I want you to pay attention to how your body feels. Check in with yourself in the morning, middle of the day and before bed. Do you feel leaner than usual? More energetic than usual? What about your cravings?
This is important because cutting out certain foods from our diets for a short amount of time can tell us a lot about what our body needs more or less of. You’ll probably find that you feel amazing and strong after not eating processed foods, dairy and sugar for a week.
If you make any food on the plan, I’d love to see it! Tag @masalabody on Instagram or use the hashtag #masalabody.