79 Easy Paleo Substitutions

The Paleo diet has become very popular in the last few years, and that has led to some amazing innovations in new recipes and substitutions for old favourites. In this Guide to Paleo Substitutions, we share all of our favourite healthy swaps you can use to follow the Paleo diet deliciously!

What’s Allowed on The Paleo Diet?

These are some of the foods you can enjoy while following a Paleo Diet:

For animal products, choosing organic, sustainable and ethical sources is optimal.

What To Omit on the Paleo Diet

These are the prohibited foods on the Paleo diet:

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Guide to Paleo Substitutions

No need to miss out when these amazing Paleo substitutions are on the scene!

Paleo Bread Substitutions

Instead of wheat bread or gluten-free bread, try:

Noodle Substitutions

Instead of wheat noodles or gluten-free noodles, try:

  • Kelp noodles
  • Konjac noodles (they are often labeled as ‘miracle noodles’ or ‘shirataki noodles’)
  • Zucchini noodles
  • Carrot noodles
  • Sweet potato noodles
  • Beet noodles
  • Squash noodles

In a nutshell, if you can put a vegetable into your spiralizer you can make noodles out of it!

Paleo Flour Substitutions

Love to bake? Instead of wheat flours or gluten-free grain flours, try:
  • Almond flour – almond milk pulp can also be ground into almond flour
  • Coconut flour
  • Cassava flour
  • Tigernut flour
  • Arrowroot flour
  • Tapioca flour
  • Walnut flour
  • Sunflower seed flour
  • Pumpkin flour
  • Hazelnut flour

If you have a high speed blender, you can whiz any nut or seed into flour – smaller seeds can even be broken down in a coffee or spice grinder. You can grab more baking flour ideas in our Gluten-Free Flour Guide + Substitution Reference.

Paleo Dairy Substitutions

Instead of milk, try:

  • Nut/Seed milk – it’s easy to make at home with no preservatives using our nut milk formula
  • Coconut milk

Instead of yogurt, try:

Instead of cheese, try:

Instead of butter, try:

  • Coconut oil
  • Ghee – it has the milk solids removed, and some people on the Paleo diet choose to add ghee to their diets

Instead of ice cream, try:

Instead of cream or sour cream, try

Paleo Sugar Substitutions

Skip the white, refined sugars and corn syrups for:

  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Coconut Sugar/Syrup
  • Molasses
  • Lucuma
  • Fresh Fruit

More great options in our Guide to Natural Sweeteners.

Paleo Grain/Rice Substitutions

Instead of eating grains as a side dish, try:

Essentially, you can mince any veggie in your food processor to use raw as ‘rice’, or sauté them for cooked ‘rice’. Some people on the Paleo diet choose to eat pseudograins such as quinoa or buckwheat, which are the seeds from the plants.

Mashed Potato Substitutions

Instead of white mashed potatoes, try:

  • Mashed sweet potatoes
  • Mashed cauliflower
  • Mashed butternut squash
  • Mashed carrots
  • Mashed peas
  • Mashed turnips
  • Mashed rutabagas
  • Mashed celery root
  • Mashed parsnips

It’s easy to apply your prep tips for regular mashed white potatoes to any other veggie. With some olive oil, a dash of coconut milk and some herbs and spices, you’ll end up with something creamy and delish.

Paleo Bean Substitutions

Depending on what you’re making, you can use a few things instead of beans. Try:

  • Mashed veggies for ‘hummus’ – you can add tahini, lemon juice, salt and spices to mimic the flavour
  • For soups, stews, chilli and one-pot meals, use chopped poultry, meat or fish
  • For salads or dinner bowls, use hard-boiled eggs

Paleo Oil Substitutions

Instead of refined and processed vegetable oils, try:

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Walnut oil
  • Almond oil
  • Camelina oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Hemp oil

More great oil substitutions in our Guide to Healthy Cooking Oils

Paleo Peanut Butter Substitutions

Instead of peanut butter, try:

  • Almond butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Hazelnut butter
  • Tahini
  • Pumpkin seed butter
  • Sunflower seed butter (sunbutter)
  • Walnut butter
  • Macadamia nut butter
  • Brazil nut butter

Paleo Chocolate Substitutions

Instead of milk chocolate, try:

  • Dark chocolate (check labels to ensure it’s dairy-free)
  • Cacao nibs
  • Carob

Soy Sauce Substitutions

Instead of gluten-free soy sauce or tamari, try:

  • Coconut aminos
  • Fish sauce

With all of these incredible Paleo substitutions, there is no need to feel deprived on the Paleo diet. Don’t be afraid to experiment – give them a try!

Paleo Substitution Guide