The autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet is a way to systematically identify foods that might cause inflammation in someone with an autoimmune disorder. The process requires eliminating certain foods from the diet, then reintroducing them one by one.
These quick and creative recipes prove that despite its limited ingredients the AIP diet can still have the same nutritious, flavorful, and spicy meals as any cuisine out there.
If you’re starting your journey on the autoimmune protocol (AIP), trying out the paleo diet, or if you’re just looking for healing recipes to promote gut health, this list is for you.
The AIP diet was developed for autoimmune patients to systematically find out if certain types of food are causing inflammation in their bodies. The diet starts with an elimination phase that cuts different types of food from your diet that might be causing your sensitivities or intolerances. After weeks of adjusting to the AIP diet, you can systematically begin reintroducing these foods back into your meals and watch carefully for reactions.
While the AIP diet is a great way to figure out what’s aggravating your symptoms, the process can feel limiting when you can no longer use your familiar foods and seasonings. But AIP doesn’t need to be bland! With a dash of creativity, you can enjoy the same rich flavors as everyone else, from tacos and pizza to Thai curry and Korean rice bowls. Here’s a list of tried and tested recipes that are quick and easy to make.
Source: Little Bites of Beauty
Just because you can’t eat chilli peppers on the AIP diet, that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the heat and flavor of spicy Korean food. This family-friendly recipe substitutes ginger and turmeric for chilli to make a rice bowl with a new depth of flavor. Free from nightshades (such as chilli) and soy, this recipe is easy to reheat, making it the perfect option to meal-prep for the week ahead.
If you’re on the AIP diet, it’s important to choose grass fed beef to make sure your meat is leaner and lower in saturated fat. Grass fed beef is also filled with vitamins and antioxidants that help reduce inflammation. (Source)
Ingredients: avocado, fresh ginger, turmeric, shallots, avocado oil, grass fed ground beef, carrots, zucchini, garlic powder, salt, coconut aminos, coconut oil, cauliflower rice, lettuce, chives
Source: The Castaway Kitchen
If you’re looking for a hands-off recipe you can throw into the oven, these anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense sheet pan taco bowls have it all. Spice them up with radishes and ginger, throw in some roasted onions for extra sweetness, or add arugula for a pop of pepper. These taco bowls are a prime example of why you don’t have to compromise on flavor to be on the AIP diet. Choose your own greens and veggies leftover from your fridge to make it your own.
Ingredients: avocado oil, cauliflower rice, boneless chicken thigh, red onion, radishes, Himalayan pink salt, dried parsley, ground turmeric, cilantro, lemon, apple cider vinegar, coconut butter, nutritional yeast, coconut aminos, romaine, avocado
Source: What Great Grandma Ate
What's better than guac? Guacamole stuffed burgers!
Stuff a burger patty with a scoop of tangy guacamole, grill the patty until it’s cooked and irresistibly juicy, then wrap it in lettuce and you have yourself a guacamole stuffed burger. These burgers are hard to mess up, which makes them great for beginners who are looking to try something new. To turn this into an AIP friendly recipe, leave out the cumin and use coriander instead. Cumin is a seed-based spice that can trigger allergies. Luckily, seeds are also some of the first foods to be reintroduced after the elimination phase of the AIP diet.
This recipe is paleo, Whole30, keto, and anything but boring.
Ingredients: ground beef (grass fed), sea salt, garlic, avocado, lime, cilantro, onions, pickles, tomatoes, paleo mayonnaise, lettuce
Source: Paleo Running Momma
Any fan of regular spinach artichoke dips knows they’re famous for being cheesy. But if you thought dairy-free options didn’t exist, think again. This healthy, crispy, and creamy spinach artichoke chicken gives you that warm, casserole feeling minus the dairy (and minus the regret). Instead of cheese, heavy cream, or anything in between, this recipe uses full-fat coconut milk to keep things healthy. (In fact, coconut milk’s thick consistency makes it a great plant-based option to use when making any creamy sauce.)
This dish is great on its own, or served with cauliflower rice for dinner. The best part is you can avoid the hassle and make it all in one skillet.
Ingredients: bone-in chicken thighs, sea salt, pepper, lemon garlic seasoning, garlic powder, ghee, spinach, artichoke, garlic, onion, chicken broth, lemon, full fat coconut milk, spicy brown mustard, tapioca powder
Source: Autoimmune Wellness
As a creative way to use up your leftovers, this versatile recipe can be a totally new experience every time you try it. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and can even protect against autoimmune diseases including lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. (Source)
Sweet potatoes are also excellent sources of fiber, making them great at promoting gut health. Top this hash with a crispy salad made of assorted greens and herbs and you’re left with a healthy, flavorful meal for lunch.
Ingredients: sweet potatoes, melted coconut oil, leek, fennel bulb, brown mushrooms, garlic, fillet wild sockeye salmon with the skin, radicchio, honey, sea salt, lemon zest, chives, parsley. Lemon juice and fennel fronds to serve.
Source: Healing Autoimmune
A fresh take on pizza, for pizza lovers everywhere. Once you know how to make an AIP friendly cauliflower-based pizza crust, the sky's the limit. You can turn it into any type of pizza you want. Customize it with mushroom, avocado, chicken, turkey, or anything else you’ve got.
Pesto sauce is also great to store in the fridge or freezer and have ready for quick and easy meals like spaghetti, salads, and wraps.
Ingredients: olive oil, cauliflower, basil, garlic, onion, lemon juice, salt, arrowroot flour, onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, pesto
Source: Gutsy By Nature
Dairy-free and gluten-free options are common across Thai cuisine, which means Thai-inspired foods are very aligned with the AIP diet. Shrimp is another highly nutritious seafood and one of the best sources of iodine, an element needed for optimal thyroid function. (Source)
This recipe includes a link to a recipe for AIP friendly green curry paste, made with green herbs, ginger, and no nightshades. Try to avoid buying fish sauce and coconut milk that contain preservatives or other additives. The ingredients listed on coconut milk should be just coconut and water — nothing else!
Whip this curry up in under 30 minutes and enjoy the swirl of Thai flavors.
Ingredients: coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut sugar, fish sauce, yellow onion, homemade green curry paste, lime zest, peeled shrimp, cilantro
Source: Healing Autoimmune
Warm soups are fantastic for gobbling down as much blended, nutritious food as possible, especially on a cozy winter day.
While flour is a popular choice for thickening soups, it can be a big inflammatory trigger in people with autoimmune diseases. (That’s why grains, including anything made from wheat, are eliminated from the AIP diet.) This recipe substitutes just a couple spoons of coconut cream to keep the soup thick and creamy. (Source)
Ingredients: broccoli, chicken or vegetable broth, coconut cream, salt, parsley
Source: Healing Autoimmune
Mediterranean cuisine has a reputation for being healthy. It abundantly uses olive oil (instead of butter and oils with unhealthy fats), and never fails to impress. This recipe is a mayo-free tuna salad with a Mediterranean twist
Canned tuna is usually packaged in either water or oil. When it comes in oil, check the label to see what type of oil it’s stored in. Olive oil is fine for people on the AIP diet.
Cucumbers and green onions are also great in tuna salads.
Ingredients: canned tuna, cooked artichokes, celery, olives, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, salt
Here’s another Mediterranean recipe infused with olive oil and fruity Greek Kalamata olives. Cook it in 20 minutes and have batches ready for days to come. Pair these juicy lamb meatballs with AIP friendly rice, roasted vegetables, or a side of your choice.
Ingredients: ground lamb, Kalamata olives, garlic, lemon zest, cinnamon, sea salt, extra virgin olive oil, bone broth, baby spinach
Following the AIP diet to identify and eliminate trigger foods and reduce inflammation doesn’t mean giving up the rich, satisfying flavors you love! These AIP recipes are tasty examples of how a little creativity can spice up a relatively limited diet. Enjoy!