10 Easy-Peasy Lemon-Squeezy Paleo Dinners Prepared In Ten Minutes or Less


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No time? No interest in slaving over a hot stove? Limited attention span? Is this you? Me, too. And yet imagine great paleo meals, day after day. Home-cooked, quality ingredients, impressive and delicious. And all prepared in less than a few. I’ve written before how I’m not a good cook. It is not something I enjoy or look forward to. I do not pore over food porn. I don’t pin culinary art on Pinterest. I often make mistakes because I don’t read recipes properly (but I still expect my family to eat it. :-))

Dog-eared and gravy-smeared

I do, however, strategically look for recipes as I need them. I have a binder full of favorites. And I’ve a few grubby and creased cookbooks. And for some reason, I will pore over a freshly made jug of homemade chicken stock with immense satisfaction. Especially when the fat separates. Shrug. However, in general, I am just a so-so cook. I like my meals quick, tasty and preferably cleaned up by someone else. The smallest amount of time I can spend away from my other activities in order to cook a decent meal is my goal. So I set myself a challenge to find ten dinner meals that take less than ten minutes to prepare. That’s not cook, mind, nor does it mean I started ten minutes before I wanted to eat. It means dishes that take ten minutes out of my day to get ready.

Ten in ten

I didn’t add the time to prepare side dishes, I figured that we have to chop and peel for every meal no matter what. And it also meant that most of the cooking entailed baking or slow cooking, not standing over a pan overseeing the cooking, although one of the dishes below is so quick, I can prepare it and fry it in the time allowed. In truth, many of these dinners are billed as only five minutes for preparation, but I seem to be an inordinately slow person, because I never could get them ready that quick. Maybe you can. 🙂

10 quick and easy paleo dinners for you…

…because some of us can’t get through a recipe without wandering off, a few of us get bored watching a pot boil, and none of us have enough time. Read all the way to the end because there are some fantastic recipes here, including the best meat loaf I’ve ever had. Enjoy!

Ten Minute Recipe #1. Slow Cooker Cinnamon Beef Cheeks

Ooh, these were good and couldn’t be simpler. I skipped the veggie accompaniment and focused on the meat for the purpose of this post and we were on our slow cooker way in just a few minutes.

Ten Minute Recipe #2. Pan Fried Sole

This dish is awesome. You’ll get it made in less than ten minutes even with the frying. The recipe offers a lemon caper butter sauce which sounds yummy but we like it perfectly fine on its own. This is one of my personal favorites and it even tastes great cold for lunch the next day! (Well, I think so.)

Ten Minute Recipe #3. Chicken Satay

These are from the hefty, but comprehensive and beautiful Make It Paleo cookbook. I didn’t make it with the dipping sauce and I baked them because grilling required me to stand over them, no skewers, and they were still great. Mild and delicately flavored, they were a hit both for dinner and later, school lunches. Two thumbs up!

Ten Minute Recipe #4: 4-Hour Chef Osso “Buko”

Love or hate Tim Ferris and his “4-Hour” noodling, you have to try this recipe. He doesn’t braise the meat and advocates breaking your carrots rather than cutting them (how does that help, exactly?) but this was a ‘throw-it-in-the-pan’ dish that came out delicious. My husband made this one – he is the fru-fru chef in our house – and he said even I could make it! Recipe’s in the 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life.

Ten Minute Recipe #5. Crockpot Braised Beef Shanks

This couldn’t be easier and again, delicious and so, so good for you. All that lovely marrow in ‘dem bones’. Four ingredients, salt and pepper. Bung it all in, and Bob’s your uncle! Yum.

Ten Minute Recipe #6. Italian Beef Stew

This is from Paleo Slow Cooking* by Chrissy Gower of Growing Up Paleo. Although this recipe was originally South of the Border Beef Stew and calls for cumin and chili powder, Chrissy also suggests omitting these and adding Italian seasoning to make it, well, Italian. I also left out the cayenne as I have a spice-adverse child. It was extremely hearty and got “two thumbs-up” from the kids.

Ten Minute Recipe #7. Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

I contacted Nom Nom to ask her for her 10-minute dish recommendation and she sent me this link. My first thought was to wonder how I was going to get up at 2am to set my pork off but happily I learned a) that 12 hours was fine for my roast and b) it’s a great meal reheated so even if it doesn’t finish cooking right at dinner-time, no problem. Only three ingredients – how can you go wrong?

Ten Minute Recipe #8. Honey Chicken

My kids said this was “a keeper.” This was another subtly-flavored dish, a type they seem to like. It was mildly sweet and sour; you could adjust the ‘temperature’ of the flavors if you like. I wasn’t sure if I’d find any sherry in our cupboards but I did – a decade old, at least I should imagine. But it worked. 🙂 You’ll find this recipe in Cooking Against the Grain: Grain-free meals that are fast, freezer friendly and fabulous.

Ten Minute Recipe #9: Grass-Fed Meat Loaf

Doesn’t this look impressive? I have to say I was totally psyched when I made it. Dead easy to make – takes longer to get the ingredients out than it does to make it and will impress the family, no end! I used almond flour instead of finely chopped almonds and no ketchup. I am not a huge fan of meat loaf but this was fantastic, by far the best I’ve ever eaten. This recipe does call for cream but Pauli says full-fat coconut milk or almond milk will work just as well. She also has a recipe for paleo-friendly bread you can use instead of almond flour. Meatloaf recipe is from Primal Cuisine: Cooking for the Paleo Diet by Pauli Halstead.

Ten Minute Recipe #10: Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Thyme

Roasted chicken is always the bomb and this was no exception. I’d ripped the skin off and chowed down before it left the counter. Simple, but fragrant and tasty. This recipe is from The Garden of Eating by Chef Rachel Albert who has done the cooking demos at Mark Sisson’s Primalcon for the last four years. We ate it without sauce and it was lovely and moist. Rachel kindly attached *seven* variations to this recipe which you will find in this link to the recipe.

Bonus suggestions:

I also suggest Civilized Caveman’s Pulled Pork, Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Bake and Spice It Up Salmon from Everyday Paleo, and Turkey Meat Loaf – all recipes I’ve mentioned before. *Photo credit: Shannon Rosan Do you have a favorite paleo main dish that takes ten minutes or less to prepare? Please tell us in the comments. Maybe I’ll do a follow up post with reader recommended recipes. That would be fantastic! And if you found this information useful, please share it it with your friends.  The more we can do to spread the information, the more those that really need it can benefit. You’ll find sharing buttons below and in the floating sidebar to your left. And for more paleo goodness, please like the Paleo/NonPaleo Facebook page. I would be so grateful! Thank you!   

Are you struggling to sustain a paleo lifestyle change? Or not sure how to start? Or perhaps those around you are resistant and you’re feeling undermined and unsure. The Modern, No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo provides practical tools to ease the transition to a full-on paleo life. Each chapter includes strategies, tips and checklists to identify the actions to power you on your paleo journey and create sustainable change. Buy it at Amazon.com.


Written by 

Alison Golden writes on the topic of paleo over at Paleo/NonPaleo. She aims to share ideas, inspire and motivate readers by teaching them how to live paleo in a non-paleo world. She is also the author of the bestselling book, The Modern, No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo, a unique tool that gives the reader hundreds of strategies to navigate the learning process to successful paleo living.

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