Because everyone deserves comfort food, no matter what diet they're on. 

Gillie Houston
January 09, 2019
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Lindsey Lower

With every new year comes a slew of new resolutions, from exercising more, to decluttering, to eating healthier. That’s why January and February are some of the most popular months to give the massively popular Whole30 program—which eliminates grains, dairy, sugar, legumes, alcohol, and more from your diet—a try. 

Unfortunately for those who kick off their Whole30 during the start of the year, they have to overcome their cold weather comfort food cravings during the months when they need their hearty, creamy, and carb-heavy dishes the most. Luckily, over the years some ingenious home cooks and food bloggers have created cozy, comforting dishes inspired by our favorite indulgences that just so happen to be completely Whole30-approved. So, the next time you’re craving the kind of meal you can hunker down with on a freezing night, turn to one of these seriously satisfying recipes. 

Beef Stew 

Nothing says comfort like a warm, home-style beef stew, and this classic take will hit the spot every time. Simply sub in organic beef broth for the recipe’s red wine, and get ready to savor some hearty chunks of beef and all the super-filling vegetables you can handle. Get the recipe here. 

Loaded Cauliflower “Mac and Cheese” 

Made with Whole30 standbys coconut milk and nutritional yeast—which is often used as a paleo-friendly cheese substitute—this indulgent recipe by blogger Fake Ginger, which is made with chunks of sugar-free bacon, is sure to satisfy your cheesiest, creamiest cravings. Get the recipe here. 

Sheet Pan Chicken with Roasted Baby Potatoes 

When you’re running low on time and need to throw together a healthy, filling, and altogether satisfying dinner, sheet pan chicken can’t be beat. This flavorful dish, which is packed with fresh herbs, is about as easy and enjoyable as it gets. Get the recipe here (just be sure to hold off on the white wine). 

Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice 

When the cravings for your favorite Chinese delivery spot hit hard, this Whole30-approved fried rice will satisfy your urges. While this recipe calls for shrimp, you can sub in your favorite proteins and add the vegetables of your choice to make this dish entirely your own. Get the recipe here. 

Slow Cooker Meatballs in Marinara Sauce 

A plate of warm meatballs in a hearty red sauce is guaranteed to evoke the comforts of home, so when you’re craving that happy, homespun sensation, turn to this comforting dish by blogger Paleo Running Mama. Serve the sauce and meatballs atop some roasted spaghetti squash or spiralized vegetable noodles to take this Italian experience to the next level. Get the recipe here. 

Chicken Pot Pie Soup 

While it’s no secret that pot pies are banned during Whole30 given the prominent crust, this craveable recipe by blogger My Heart Beets mimics the iconic comfort food by using creamy full-fat coconut milk to recreate the pie’s trademark indulgent texture. Get the recipe here. 

Bun-Free Bacon Burgers

Though you’ll have to ditch the bun, indulging in your bacon burger cravings is otherwise easy on Whole30, as long as you stick with sugar-free bacon and a classic beef patty recipe. Top your creation with some onion, tomato, whole grain mustard, and Whole30-approved paleo ketchup, and serve it between pieces of Bibb lettuce or on a “bun” of baked sweet potato slices. Get the recipe here. 

Sweet Potato Fries

While you’re grilling up some of those bacon burgers, don’t forget to give them an all-star side with these sweet potato fries, which are naturally Whole30-approved and more nutritious than your standard French fries. Get the recipe here. 

“Fettuccini” Alfredo with Caramelized Leeks and Bacon

This pasta-inspired recipe is so creamy and satisfying, even your non-Whole30 friends and family will be asking for seconds. With caramelized leeks, paleo-approved bacon, and a dairy-free take on alfredo sauce, this recipe by Meatified, which replaces fettuccini pasta with sweet potato noodles, will be one of your favorites year round. Get the recipe here.

Beef Chili 

A cold winter’s night often calls for a big bowl of hot chili, and luckily this timeless dish is mostly Whole30-friendly by nature, as long as you withhold the beans (and beer) from your batch of Classic Beef Chili. Or, opt for a meatier, chunky version that will warm you up in no time. Get the recipe here. 

Loaded Burrito Bowls with Cilantro Sweet Potato Rice

While your favorite build-your-own burrito bowl spot might be off-limits during Whole30, this flavorful recipe is a fantastic replacement. With a base of bright cilantro sweet potato rice—which could be swapped with cauliflower rice, depending on your preference—and flavorful toppings like green onion guacamole and a coconut cream “yogurt sauce,” this dish by Meatified is sure to please. Get the recipe here. 

Watch: How to Make 4 Easy Whole30 Recipes

 

Shepherd’s Pie

For the ultimate meat and potato fix, you can’t go wrong with a classic Shepherd’s Pie, which can easily be adapted to be program-approved. Simply sub in ghee for the required butter in this recipe by Noshtastic and you’ll be digging into this homey, crowd-friendly comfort food in no time. Get the recipe here. 

Meatloaf 

This is not your grandma’s meatloaf… unless she also happened to rely on sugar-free paleo ketchup for her glaze. This classic comfort food dish, reinvented by blogger Jay’s Baking Me Crazy, uses some smart, simple swaps to achieve a Whole30-approved dish that tastes just as good as the one you grew up with. Get the recipe here.  

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes 

While your favorite buffalo chicken pizza is definitely out of the question, these stuffed sweet potatoes given a kick of heat with Whole30-compliant hot sauce will satisfy all of your burning buff-chix cravings. Plus, this dish by bloggers The Real Food Dietitians is made with the help of a slow cooker, saving you time in the kitchen. Get the recipe here.  

Cinnamon Apple Sweet Potato Waffles

Whether you’re in need of a extra special breakfast, or a sweet treat at the end of a hard day, these cinnamon-infused sweet potato waffles will do the trick. Bonus points if you add homemade almond butter on top. Get the recipe here.  

For more hearty Whole30-approved breakfasts, check out this helpful roundup