20 Awesome International Paleo Recipes

On the surface, it can seem like paleo ingredients are kinda boring: meat, veggies, fruits, fat. Taken as a list like that, it’s not very exciting. But…

Think of paleo ingredients like paints in a palette!

Suddenly, a colorful world of flavor opens up before you. These recipes from around the world show you how to mix-and-match simple ingredients to create exciting meals that are easy to cook, pretty to look at, and fun to eat.


Where It’s From: Puerto Rico

What It Is: A side dish made from cooked plantains, crushed chicharrones (or crumbled bacon), garlic, salt, and luscious cooking fat.


Schnitzel Patties

Where It’s From: Czech Republic

What It Is: Ground pork patties, breaded with a light coating of crushed pork rinds, then baked in the oven.


Tandoori Chicken

Where It’s From: India

What It Is: Chicken marinated in coconut milk and fragrant spices, then baked or grilled — with lovely cauliflower rice on the side.


Basil-Coconut Curry

Where It’s From: Thailand (sort of)

What It Is: Shrimp in a spice blend inspired by Thai curries, combined with coconut milk, basil leaves, bright veggies, and lime.


BBQ Pork

Where It’s From: Southern USA

What It Is: Pork butt, rubbed in Memphis-influenced spices, smoked on a gas grill, then finished in the oven and topped with a North Carolina style sauce.



Where It’s From: Russia

What It Is: Lamb marinated in lemon-seltzer with earthy spices, then skewered, and grilled. Meat on a stick is the best meat! Don’t miss the crunchy carrot salad on the side.



Where It’s From: Korea

What It Is: Riced cauliflower, savory beef,  crisp vegetables, and a sauce made from dates and sriracha, all in one bowl.



Where It’s From: Poland

What It Is: A slow-simmered stew of sauerkraut, kielbasa, mushrooms, bacon, and love.


Kibbeh Sinayee

Where It’s From: Middle East

What It Is: Riced cauliflower is mixed with lamb, then layered in a pan and baked for an exotic twist on meatloaf.


Hungarian Goulash

Where It’s From: Hungary

What It Is: Hunks of beef are simmered until they’re fall-apart tender in a sauce richly seasoned with Hungarian paprika.


Gado Gado

Where It’s From: Indonesia

What It Is: A mix of raw vegetables, steamed vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, crispy chicken, and a luscious nut-butter dressing topped with crispy fried shallots and ginger.


Cobb Salad

Where It’s From: Hollywood

What It Is: Iceberg lettuce and baby spinach topped with oven-roasted chicken, black olives, avocado, hard-boiled egg, bacon, and a tangy dressing.


Caesar Salad

Where It’s From: Tijuana, Mexico

What It Is: The classic! Romaine lettuce drizzled with a dressing made of eggs, olive oil, anchovies, and garlic, finished with homemade yucca root croutons.


Thai Larb

Where It’s From: Thailand

What It Is: Ground pork combined with irresistible garlic chips, cashews, cucumber, lime, mint, and cilantro, served in fresh lettuce leaves.


Chicken Bastila

Where It’s From: Morocco

What It Is: A savory pie — made a little sweet with dates. It’s an almond-flour crust, stuffed with spice-infused chicken and a touch of cinnamon. It’s savory-sweet-salty-chewy-crunchy magic.


Lamb Souvlaki

Where It’s From: Greece

What It Is: Cubed lamb, beef, or pork, marinated in lemon, garlic, and thyme, then skewered and grilled.


Spicy Yuca Fries

Where It’s From: Latin America

What It Is: Chewy, starchy yuca root is cut into strips, then tossed with your favorite fat and baked, for alternative fries that are crazy-delicious.



Indian Carrot Pudding

Where It’s From: India

What It Is: Grated carrots are simmered slowly in a sweet coconut milk-cardamom sauce and finished off with raisins, cashews, almonds, and pistachios.


Maple-Vanilla Shortbread

Where It’s From: Scotland

What It Is: Luscious cookies made from ghee, almond flour, potato starch, and maple syrup. Try them dipped in dark chocolate for an extra treat!


Chocolate Mousse

Where It’s From: France

What It Is: Decadent chocolate mousse made from just two ingredients: dark chocolate and ice. Top with whipped coconut cream and coarse sea salt to make it extra indulgent.


Ambrosia Salad

Where It’s From: Southern USA

What It Is: Pecans, shredded coconut, oranges, raspberries, and pineapple chunks in a ‘dressing’ of sweet whipped coconut milk.

Thai Yummy Salad

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Reykjavik Salmon Salad

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  • Laurie says:

    Hi Mel! I am eating my usual toast with a cup of coffee and wondering, “What does she eat for breakfast?” Husband and I try to eat only Paleo, but struggle giving up toast for breakfast! Would love to see 20 breakfast ideas?
    I so enjoy your emails with recipes, book suggestions and your trips around foreign neighborhoods (Prague). Keep up the good work! And Thanks for all you do!

    • I suspect this might be an unpopular answer, but on weekdays, I eat the same things for breakfast that I eat for lunch and dinner. Usually leftovers from previous dinners—reheated chili or stew, or a saute with some kind of cooked protein, leftover veggies, and potatoes. Recently, my favorite breakfast is hard-boiled eggs, cold cooked chicken, raw veggies, and these paleo “tortillas” https://www.stephgaudreau.com/simple-paleo-tortillas/ made with potato starch instead of arrowroot (only because I can’t find arrowroot here). On weekends, I sometimes have an omelet but I’m not a superfan of breakfast foods.

      Toast is my favorite food in the world, and it was a drag to give it up, but it’s been, like, 20 years since I ate toast regularly, and I think I’m finally healed from the trauma of giving it up. Sometimes I treat myself to gluten-free toast at home, and when we eat out for breakfast, I sometimes eat one piece with butter (because the gluten in Europe doesn’t affect me the way US gluten does).

      You can find my breakfast recipes in the “Egg” section in the nav above, or here: https://meljoulwan.com/category/recipes/eggs/

  • Kathy Smith says:

    Recipe for orange , fennel and olive salad
    Left my book at home and I’m on vacation.

  • Janine Snyder says:

    Hi Mel! Love your cookbooks. Any chance there’s another one coming?? Thanks for sharing such delicious and healthy recipes.

    • I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying our recipes! Thanks for letting me know 🙂

      We don’t have plans for a new cookbook right now — but if that changes, we’ll definitely post about it here.