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34 AIP Junk Food Alternatives That Are Good For You

Louise Hendon | July 18
34 AIP Junk Food Alternatives That Are Good For You https://healingautoimmune.com/aip-junk-food-alternative-recipes

It’s strange how we sometimes crave those unhealthy foods that we used to eat, even though we know they’re filled with ingredients that can cause inflammation in our system.

But what if there was a way to enjoy these “junk foods” in an AIP-friendly way? No sugar, no gluten, no added preservatives or anything that could make you feel unwell.

That’s exactly what I’m about to present to you here! A collection of 34 amazing recipes that will make you forget your old junk food favorites exist.

If you’re looking for an AIP recipe to replace fast food options, you might enjoy the baked onion rings, crispy zucchini fries, or chicken nuggets – who wouldn’t?

Sometimes my sweet tooth won’t leave me alone and that’s when I reach for treats like AIP marshmallows, sweet potato cookies, or even creamy coconut ice cream. I guarantee no-one in your family will realize these are healthy treats!

Some of these AIP junk food alternatives are great for breakfast, as well. I would suggest giving the coconut cassava pancakes a try. They go fast, so be prepared to cook another batch soon!

If you’re finding it hard to ditch junk foods, here are 3 tips that could help you.

Here are just a few of the 34 AIP Junk Food Alternatives That Are Good For You we’ve included:

If you click or tap any of the links above, it will instantly take you to the recipe below. Or download the entire list by clicking on the green button below.

AIP Fast Food Alternatives

AIP Baked Onion Rings Recipe

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Baked Onion Rings Recipe

Ingredients: pork rinds, gelatin, onion, salt.

Whether you want onion rings to serve as an AIP snack at a party or a film night, or to serve as a side dish for a good steak, this delicious recipe is one of the best! It uses crushed pork rinds instead of breading to coat the onion, and this makes them so crunchy and full of flavor, you won’t be able to eat just one! Pork rinds can have a salty flavor, so try the onion rings before adding any more salt.

AIP Chicken Wings

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Chicken Wings

Ingredients: chicken wings (with skin on), salt, coconut aminos, honey, olive oil, garlic paste, ginger paste, sea salt flakes, cilantro.

Using ginger and garlic and a little touch of coconut aminos gives these delicious AIP wings a lovely Asian flavor, reminiscent of Chinese cuisine. They are easy to prepare and cook, and served with a fresh green salad, they make a really tasty family lunch. However, chicken wings are also ideal for party food or as a starter for a Chinese meal. The choice is yours!

Crispy AIP Zucchini Fries

– Healing Autoimmune

Crispy AIP Zucchini Fries

Ingredients: zucchinis, coconut flour, onion powder, salt.

If you are missing the crispy crunch of a good snack while you are on the AIP, then these zucchini fries could become your new go-to for film or game nights! They are quick and easy to make, are totally compliant with the autoimmune way of eating, and make great snacks to share. These are best eaten immediately as the zucchini tends to go soft if left for a while.

AIP Carrot Fries Recipe with Coconut and Cinnamon

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Carrot Fries Recipe with Coconut and Cinnamon

Ingredients: carrots, coconut oil, cinnamon powder, salt.

It is important that on the AIP way of life we keep our system nightshade free, but what to do about fries? Well, believe it or not there are loads of vegetables you can use instead of potato! Carrot fries have a crispy texture but have the natural sweetness we expect from carrots. These can be seasoned and used as a snack or as a side with different dishes. You could also try adapting this recipe and using half-carrot, half-parsnip.

AIP Cauliflower Pizza with Pesto

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Cauliflower Pizza with Pesto

Ingredients: olive oil, fresh basil leaves, garlic cloves, lemon zest and juice, salt, head of cauliflower, arrowroot flour, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano.

When it comes to making AIP pizza, the cauliflower is your best friend! You end up with a delicious crust which, although it does not have the texture of traditional pizza crust, can cut well and can be used as a platform for other ingredients. Here we are using pesto instead of a nomato sauce and you can feel free to add other toppings as well if you want to.

AIP Italian Burgers

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Italian Burgers

Ingredients: grass-fed ground beef, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder.

This is one of the simplest AIP compliant burger recipes out there and it is totally adaptable to any kind of eating plan. Sometimes simple is best – mix the meat and seasoning, form the patties and cook! A tasty meal ready in minutes! If the weather is not grilling-friendly, you can shallow fry these burgers indoors, but they make a lovely dish for a paleo friendly family barbecue!

AIP Crispy Chicken Drumsticks

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Crispy Chicken Drumsticks

Ingredients: chicken drumsticks (with the skin on), olive oil or avocado oil, rosemary leaves, sea salt.

For this simple drumstick recipe, the choice of flavoring is up to you – go along with using rosemary, or try an Italian herb mix for a totally different flavor. This recipe is ideal for AIP and can be served on its own or with vegetables or a fresh green salad for a lighter lunch option. Try to use the best oil you can for an increased flavor and to make sure the skin is crispy.

AIP Turkey Burgers with Slaw

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Turkey Burgers with Slaw

Ingredients: ground turkey, olive oil, cabbage, coconut cream, lime juice, fresh cilantro, shredded coconut, lettuce, salt.

I really love making my own AIP burgers as I have often been shocked by the ingredients found in store-bought ones! These delicious turkey burgers are so easy to make and then you can serve them in lettuce leaves with slaw and crunchy coconut on top for added texture. These are really low in carbohydrates but very easy on the digestive system so they would be ideal for little ones.

AIP Chicken Lettuce Wraps

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients: avocado oil, mushrooms, garlic cloves, ginger, ground chicken, lemon juice, coconut aminos, iceberg lettuce leaves, spring onion, cilantro.

One of the things I like most about serving lettuce wraps is that they encourage the picky eaters in the household to try different ingredients because they are easy to make and eat! Kids love to construct their own! If you can get it, romaine lettuce works better than iceberg, as it can split quite easily – romaine is easier to roll! These make a really tasty AIP lunch dish.

Paleo Crispy Chicken Nuggets (AIP, Chick-fil-A Copycat)

– Wellness Unbound

Ingredients: chicken breast, coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, plantain chips, dried parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, coconut cream, mustard, BBQ sauce, honey, lemon juice.

This is such a good recipe because the chicken nuggets taste so much like the ones we used to enjoy before AIP that you will want to make them regularly! The plantain chips make a really great crunchy coating and the recipe gives links to two types of dipping sauce you can serve them with. These are good for kids’ or adults’ parties or to serve for film night.

AIP Salty Alternatives

AIP Cheesy Garlic Kale Chips

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Cheesy Garlic Kale Chips

Ingredients: kale, olive oil, nutritional yeast, garlic powder.

Kale chips can be a really useful replacement to potato chips as they are crispy and tasty, but don’t have the high carb content or the issues relating to nightshades. In this recipe the nutritional yeast gives the chips a cheesy flavor and, along with the garlic, makes these a great snack to enjoy when you are watching the game or just to keep you going till dinner.

AIP Pork Rinds

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Pork Rinds

Ingredients: pork skin, sea salt, spices of your choice.

This is a simple recipe, but a clever one that allows you to make your own pork rinds to use as snacks, or crushed as a type of breading for nuggets and chicken. The choice of flavoring you use is up to you, but to keep things plain and AIP friendly, think about adding just a little salt or garlic. As these snacks have zero carbs, this is also a keto friendly recipe, and they make the ideal food for a drinks party!

AIP Beef Jerky

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Beef Jerky

Ingredients: beef roasting joint, apple cider vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, gluten-free tamari sauce or coconut aminos, salt, turmeric.

If you are lucky enough to have a dehydrator, this great beef jerky could become your snack of choice when you are travelling as it is easy to pack and very portable. It has the Asian flavors of garlic and ginger, rounded off by the coconut aminos which makes the flavor richer. The jerky can be dried to the level you like and with only one gram of carbohydrate per serving, this is a really low carb recipe.

AIP Baked Pita Chips

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Baked Pita Chips

Ingredients: arrowroot, tapioca or cassava flour, olive oil, cold water.

Pita chips are such a versatile food – they can be eaten on their own as a gluten free, paleo and AIP friendly snack, or pair them with a healthy dip when you are watching a movie. They also taste great served with chili or soups or as a crunchy addition sprinkled over a salad. These chips can also be flavored quite easily by sprinkling them with your favorite seasoning.

Crunchy Paleo Crackers

– Paleo Flourish

Crunchy Paleo Crackers

Ingredients: arrowroot, tapioca or cassava flour, olive oil, cold water.

Crackers can be one of the foods we have to avoid when eating Paleo, as they are normally grain based, but this clever recipe uses cassava flour and arrowroot to give you Paleo friendly crackers with that special crunch! These are great for snacks on game days or film nights and are safe for even little ones to eat. Just remember to keep an eye on them in the oven, as they can burn quite easily

Paleo Crispy Salmon Skin

– Paleo Flourish

Paleo Crispy Salmon Skin

Ingredients: salmon skins, avocado oil, fine salt.

It is quite common on a diet to find it hard to get anything crispy, since you are not advised to eat chips, so here is a really clever idea that will cut out any waste from your salmon. This is a very easy recipe that gives you crispy, salty snacks to munch on their own or as a side with a paleo salmon dish. There are only a couple of ingredients, so these are also very wallet friendly!

Coconut Oil Fried Plantain Chips

– Paleo Flourish

Coconut Oil Fried Plantain Chips

Ingredients: plantains, coconut oil, salt, cumin (omit).

These wonderful golden chips look so pretty and they taste great too! This recipe is gluten and grain free and makes paleo snacks for you and the family to munch into next time you have a game night. Season with salt, paprika or any other spice you like. The main thing to remember is to use green plantain and keep the slices as even as you can so they will all crisp up right through.

Dehydrated Kale Chips

– Paleo Flourish

Dehydrated Kale Chips

Ingredients: kale leaves, salt, olive oil.

Kale chips can be a great alternative to potato chips when you are eating healthily and they are quite easy to make. However, they can burn really easily so don’t be tempted to leave them to cook while you do something else! You can make them spicy like the ones in this recipe, or simply season them with some salt for a tasty treat. These Paleo chips make great party food served with a low carb dip.

Sweet AIP Alternatives

AIP Creamy Coconut Ice Cream

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Creamy Coconut Ice Cream

Ingredients: shredded coconut, coconut milk, coconut cream, honey.

Making your own ice cream can be a really useful thing on a specific diet, as you are totally in control of the ingredients. This ice cream is creamy and rich, but dairy free and ideal for the AIP diet. If you like a bit of added texture, sprinkle the top of the dish with a little toasted coconut. This ice cream tastes best when you use an ice cream maker.

AIP Sweet Potato Cookies

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Sweet Potato Cookies

Ingredients: sweet potato, coconut oil, powdered gelatin, honey, coconut flour, baking powder.

Just like you can use zucchini or carrots in cakes, sweet potatoes make lovely cookies! They also have a really pretty orange color, and if you don’t admit what’s in them, they can be used to encourage the picky eaters in the family! Thee are soft and sweet, with just the right bite to make them a great AIP cookie alternative!

AIP Marshmallows

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Marshmallows

Ingredients: cold water, gelatin powder, honey, warm water, avocado oil, arrowroot powder or carob powder.

Unlike the big, fluffy pink and white marshmallows of our childhood, the ones packed with sugar, these dainty little AIP friendly marshmallows will not cause the same dietary issues. The worst thing about making them is the fact that everything can end up sticky! Just make sure to coat everything with oil to avoid problems cleaning up.

AIP Carrot Gummies

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Carrot Gummies

Ingredients: carrot juice with some of the pulp, gelatin powder.

With only two ingredients, this has got to be one of the simplest AIP snack recipes ever! The carrot gives these gummies a great color and a natural sweetness so you don’t have to add in any sweetener. They are really budget friendly and can be enjoyed by anyone of any age and you don’t need specialist equipment to prepare them – these can be made in an ice cube tray.

AIP Sweet Beet Cookies

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Sweet Beet Cookies

Ingredients: coconut flour, baking soda, gelatin, hot water, beet, honey, coconut oil, vanilla extract.

Since you can’t use normal flour on AIP, this recipe uses coconut flour. This is great, but it is very absorbent, so no matter what, follow the recipe exactly, even if you think there is too much liquid. These lovely little cookies are sweet and delicious, with a lovely color from the beets, and they taste at their best once they are cooled – serve along with your afternoon tea or coffee!

AIP Golden Milk Popsicles

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Golden Milk Popsicles

Ingredients: coconut milk, raw honey, turmeric powder, ground ginger, cinnamon.

We all know that golden milk has long been used as a drink that supports health and has the benefits that come from the turmeric, but now we can enjoy it in a frozen treat! You have the gentle spice of cinnamon and ginger in a sweet and creamy popsicle, and these are really easy to eat so would be ideal for anyone recovering from illness. This recipe is sugar and dairy free.

AIP Avocado Pudding

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Avocado Pudding

Ingredients: avocados, raw honey, carob powder, cinnamon, salt.

Just because you are having to follow a strict eating plan for dietary or health reasons does not mean you have to give up on every treat! You can still enjoy a richly decadent and luxurious chocolate pudding that is velvety in texture and does not taste of avocado! You can have this ready to eat in just a few minutes, so next time you are entertaining, just rustle up a batch and watch your guests enjoy it!

AIP Coconut Turmeric Snack Balls

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Coconut Turmeric Snack Balls

Ingredients: unsweetened shredded coconut, coconut butter, turmeric powder, raw honey.

If you are having a really busy day or find that your energy levels have fallen during the afternoon, these amazing golden snack balls would help. They are a true mix of earthy and sweet and are a great energy source to get your system back on track. These treats are dairy free and don’t involve using refined sugar so you can enjoy these whenever you need a bit of a boost.

AIP Raw Brownie Bites

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Raw Brownie Bites

Ingredients: soft dates, carob powder, coconut oil, unsweetened shredded coconut.

These raw brownie bites have a rich and fudgy texture, thanks to the dates, which are also a great source of slow-release energy. They provide just enough sweetness, without making these little bites too sickly sweet. The carob gives these a lovely flavor of chocolate but without any of the issues associated with regular chocolate. These bites can be stored for a few days in the refrigerator.

AIP “Chocolate” Cookies

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP “Chocolate” Cookies

Ingredients: coconut flour, cassava flour, carob powder, coconut oil, gelatin, hot water, honey.

As we know, chocolate is not allowed on the autoimmune protocol, and for days when you just need a chocolate hit, this can be a problem. So that’s where these cookies come in handy. They are completely AIP compliant, but use carob instead of regular chocolate and flours that also fit with this eating plan, so you can treat yourself from time to time with a cookie that can satisfy the need for chocolate.

Other AIP Alternatives

AIP Chocolate Waffles

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Chocolate Waffles

Ingredients: gelatin, hot/boiling water, cassava flour, cacao powder, salt, cream of tartar, baking soda, ghee, runny honey.

If you find you are in need of some chocolate taste, these lovely waffles might be the answer! They are crispy on the outside, and drizzled with honey, make a delicious, sweet and chocolatey treat for breakfast. AIP waffles can be tricky to get right, so we recommend you follow the recipe exactly to get the best results. AIP does not mean you have to miss out!

AIP Coconut Cassava Pancakes

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Coconut Cassava Pancakes

Ingredients: gelatin, boiling hot water, coconut flour, cassava flour, cinnamon, coconut milk, honey, coconut oil, berries.

Although this is a grain free recipe, the pancakes are full of flavor and would make a delicious breakfast or even a tasty dessert served with fresh berries and drizzled with honey! Cassava flour goods can be quite filling, so you will find you don’t need many of these for a satisfying meal. Instead of cinnamon, I like to use a little vanilla extract instead.

AIP Bread Rolls

– Healing Autoimmune

AIP Bread Rolls

Ingredients: coconut oil, coconut flour, baking soda, Italian seasoning, salt, gelatin, hot water.

It can be so satisfying if you can serve your family a home-cooked meal, right down to the bread rolls! These little AIP and Paleo rolls are simple to make and are delicious on their own, but I like to serve these with a warming bowl of homemade soup. This recipe gives you two rolls, but it is quite easy to double up the ingredients to make a larger batch if you are entertaining.

Healthy Shamrock Shake

– Cook Eat Paleo

Healthy Shamrock Shake

Photo Credit: Lisa from Cook Eat Paleo

Ingredients: coconut milk, ice, avocado, organic vanilla extract, fresh mint, stevia, local raw honey, or maple syrup.

Shamrock shakes are now very common, and not just on St. Patrick’s Day! This one is a lovely green color, despite not using any coloring at all. The green comes from the avocado and mint, and a little bit of sweetness can be added by using raw honey. However, if this drink is to be made AIP and vegan, you should use maple syrup to sweeten the shake.

Copycat Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl

– Wellness Unbound

Ingredients: cauliflower, avocado oil, broth, bay leaves, sea salt, lime, cilantro, chicken breast, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano powder, romaine, red onion, avocado.

With the rise in popularity of Mexican food across the globe, I was delighted to find this chicken burrito bowl which does not involve using nightshades, but gives you all the other Mexican flavors we associate with traditional cuisine. Although this recipe is not strictly AIP compliant, any omissions are clearly listed and won’t make much difference to the overall flavor.

AIP Copycat Orange Julius

– Joy Filled Nourishment

Ingredients: orange juice, coconut milk, banana, vanilla bean powder, ice cubes.

Orange Julius drinks were traditionally full of sugar and ingredients that would not fit with AIP, so this recipe comes in handy to replicate the type of flavor we expected from the original ones. The vanilla adds a lovely depth to the flavor, and you have the option to add in some collagen, which is helpful for anyone with joint issues. This is a great way to use up oranges and increase the family’s vitamin C!

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