Make It Paleo: 15 Paleo Food Swaps

15 budget-friendly and simple Paleo food swaps to turn any dish into a Paleo meal.

15 Paleo Food Swaps for Success

Make cooking just as easy by transforming any meal into an enjoyable one the whole family will love with these 15 Paleo food swaps!

I love making your traditional comfort foods into healthy Paleo dishes, and after reading this article, you will too!

As we all know, making our favorite meals can be hard when it comes to swapping out the traditional ingredients for Paleo compliant ones.

With these 15 Paleo food swaps making any recipe into a healthy one can be budget-friendly and simple for any household. I promise even you can do it!

Let’s Make it Paleo with These Paleo Food Swaps

Below you will find all my favorite Paleo swap outs to make any traditional meal into a Paleo-approved dish. When it comes to eating Paleo, most of the ingredients have a 1-to-1 ratio unless otherwise noted. Depending on where you are in your Paleo journey, you may already use some of these ingredients. Not everything listed below is a necessity when it comes to cooking or baking. I encourage you to experiment and find what works best for yourself and your family. Happy swapping!


1. Milk

When it comes to substituting dairy milk for a non-dairy Paleo alternative, many find that using coconut or a tree nut-based (almond and cashew) milk is ideal. These non-dairy alternatives are full of nutrients, sustainably sourced, and will keep you fuller longer.

The transition from dairy milk to one of the non-dairy alternatives listed above may be hard for some because of the nutter taste and thickness. Don’t worry! You’ll get used to it! When swapping out dairy milk for coconut or a tree-nut based milk, you can use the 1-to-1 ratio for most recipes!

2. Refined Sugars

It’s best to eliminate all refined sugars from your diet and swap them out with healthy all-natural sweeteners such as local raw honey, pure maple syrup, and coconut sugar. Refined sugar is defined as any processed sugar coming from cane sugar or sugar beets.

Because of their nutritional value, natural sweeteners are healthier than refined sugars, but all sugar is brown down the same regardless of its origin (natural or processed). When swapping out refined sugars for one of the natural sweeteners listed above, its best to use half of what the recipe calls for.

3. Peanut Butter

While eating peanut butter isn’t the worse offense, it is known to be overly processed with many unnecessary additives (such as refined sugars). If you can, source freshly ground peanut butter without additives or swap it out for a tree nut-based (almond, cashew, etc.) butter.

If allergies are an issue, substitute peanut butter with an all-natural sunflower butter on sandwiches or recipes. When swapping out peanut butter for any of the options listed above, you can use the 1-to-1 ratio.

4. Flour

Swap out your traditional grain-based flour for a nut or tuber-based flour from coconuts, almonds, tapioca, cassava, arrowroot, and tigernuts. You can still make your favorite baked goods into delicious Paleo alternatives with one or more of the flour listed above! Each one has its own unique taste and texture.

Since coconut flour is very absorbent, it can turn any recipe from a delicious dish into a dense disaster. I suggest playing around with recipes until you find the ‘sweet spot.’ If you are looking for a Paleo flour that is similar to white flour, I suggest using cassava flour 1-to-1 ratio.

5. Bread

When it comes to swapping out grain-based loaves of bread, find Paleo-friendly companies (such as base culture) for prepackaged or premade Paleo versions.

There is plenty of other budget-friendly and delicious options when it comes to enjoying your favorite sandwich without bread. Make deli roll-ups by rolling your sandwich contents in meat, wrap it in lettuce, eat it on top of a salad, or make mini cucumber and hard-boiled egg sandwiches. Honestly, the options are endless!

6. Oil

Not all oils are created equal. You’ll want to avoid overly processed vegetable and seed oils (canola, soy, corn, safflower, sunflower, and fake butter spreads. Replace these oils with saturated and monosaturated fats, such as coconut and avocado oil, and olive oils.

When substituting vegetable and seed oils with any of the Paleo-approved oils above, you can use the 1-to-1 ratio.

7. Buns

When it comes to swapping out grain-based buns, finding companies that provide low-cost Paleo alternatives is hard to come by. So, swap out your traditional bun for one of these budget-friendly, delicious, and fun ideas below!

Get creative and use large portabella mushroom caps, lettuce, sliced sweet potatoes, or use no bun at all! The options are endless!

8. Pasta

If you are missing your pasta fix, companies like Taste Republic make delicious Paleo cauliflower-based linguini noodles, but it will cost ya!

I’ve found using my favorite vegetables in the spiralizer to be the best way to enjoy my past time pasta dishes, but without the guilt! Try replacing your pasta and noodles with spiralized zucchini, yellow squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots!

9. Rice

The best rice like substitute when it comes to finding a low-carb Paleo alternative is by using a food processor and finely chopping the cauliflower into a rice-like consistency.

If you are short on time, most grocers now offer riced cauliflower in the produce section and the frozen vegetable aisle.

Recipes Featuring Riced Cauliflower

10. (Mashed) Potatoes

Depending on how strict you are, you may or may not eat white potatoes. For those who are looking for a low glycemic and Paleo-approved alternative, try mashing some of your favorite vegetables! You can never go wrong with a bowl of mashed parsnipssweet potatoes, carrots, and cauliflower at the dinner table!

11. Soy Sauce

Many recipes call for soy sauce either as the main flavor ingredient or as a flavor enhancer in marinades and sauces. For those recipes, skip the soy and opt to try a sweeter and flavorful Paleo-approved alternative like coconut aminos!

Coconut aminos are a salty and savory liquid made from the fermented sap of coconut palm and sea salt. Best of all, it contains no gluten, soy, and provides a low sodium alternative.

12. Condiments

Traditional condiments are loaded with artificial ingredients and sweeteners, among many other unmentionables. When it comes to purchasing condiments, companies like Primal Kitchen and many others make Paleo-approved dressings, sauces, and marinades.

If you are looking to stick to a budget, making a homemade Paleo recipe featuring ingredients from your Paleo fridge and pantry is optimal.

Paleo-Approved Condiments

13. Corn Starch

Thicken up your soups and sauces with arrowroot powder, also known as arrowroot flour or starch. Arrowroot can be used just like corn starch, using a 1-to-1 ratio.

14. Cold Cereal / Granola

You won’t find Fruit Loops in a Paleo form, but you can find a handful of delicious cold cereal and granola substitutes for those busy mornings or a quick pick me up an afternoon snack. Check out these budget-friendly cold cereal options!

Use these cereals as grain-free granola and top over yogurt, ice cream, sweet potatoes, or eat by the handful.

15. Butter

For those individuals looking for a butter replacement, the best substitute is ghee or coconut oil. When baking or cooking with ghee (or coconut oil), you can follow the 1-to-1 ratio.

Comment in the comment section (below) your favorite Paleo swap out or share with me on social media!