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AIP Diet Meal Planning: Tips and Recipes

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The Autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet is a therapeutic approach to eating that aims to reduce inflammation and support the healing of the immune system. It is specifically designed for individuals with autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The AIP diet eliminates foods that are known to trigger inflammation and immune reactions, such as grains, legumes, dairy, processed foods, and nightshade vegetables. In this article, we will explore the principles of AIP diet meal planning, provide tips for successful implementation, and offer delicious recipes to help you get started on your AIP journey.

Understanding the AIP Diet

The AIP diet is based on the premise that certain foods can contribute to increased intestinal permeability, also known as leaky gut syndrome. This condition allows undigested food particles, toxins, and bacteria to enter the bloodstream, triggering an immune response and leading to chronic inflammation. By eliminating potential triggers and focusing on nutrient-dense foods, the AIP diet aims to reduce inflammation, promote gut healing, and restore balance to the immune system.

When following the AIP diet, it is important to focus on consuming a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods that support overall health and well-being. These include:

  • Organic fruits and vegetables
  • Quality sources of protein, such as grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, and pastured poultry
  • Healthy fats, including avocado, coconut oil, and olive oil
  • Bone broth and gelatin for gut healing
  • Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and coconut yogurt, to support a healthy gut microbiome

Tips for AIP Diet Meal Planning

Meal planning is an essential aspect of successfully implementing the AIP diet. Here are some tips to help you navigate the process:

1. Plan Ahead

Take some time each week to plan your meals and create a shopping list. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you have all the necessary ingredients on hand. Consider batch cooking and meal prepping to save time during the week.

2. Embrace Simple Recipes

While the AIP diet may seem restrictive at first, there are plenty of delicious and simple recipes that you can enjoy. Focus on whole foods and experiment with different herbs, spices, and cooking methods to add flavor to your meals.

3. Prioritize Nutrient Density

Since the AIP diet eliminates several food groups, it is important to prioritize nutrient-dense foods to ensure you are getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals. Include a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, quality sources of protein, and healthy fats in your meals.

4. Be Mindful of Hidden Ingredients

When following the AIP diet, it is crucial to read food labels carefully. Many processed foods contain hidden ingredients, such as gluten, dairy, and artificial additives, which can trigger inflammation and immune reactions. Stick to whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible.

5. Seek Support

Embarking on the AIP diet can be challenging, especially if you are used to a different way of eating. Seek support from friends, family, or online communities who are also following the AIP diet. They can provide valuable tips, recipe ideas, and emotional support throughout your journey.

AIP Diet Breakfast Recipes

Starting your day with a nutrient-dense AIP-friendly breakfast sets the tone for a successful day of eating. Here are some delicious AIP diet breakfast recipes to try:

1. Sweet Potato Hash with Bacon and Kale


  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 2 cups of kale, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the bacon and cook until crispy.
  3. Add the sweet potato and cook until tender.
  4. Add the kale and cook until wilted.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve hot.

2. AIP Green Smoothie


  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 banana (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of collagen powder


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Enjoy immediately.

AIP Diet Lunch Recipes

When it comes to AIP diet lunch recipes, the key is to focus on protein, healthy fats, and plenty of vegetables. Here are two delicious options:

1. AIP Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps


  • 2 cups of cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1/2 cup of celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup of avocado mayo
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh dill, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lettuce leaves for wrapping


  1. In a large bowl, combine the shredded chicken, celery, red onion, avocado mayo, and fresh dill.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Spoon the chicken salad onto lettuce leaves and wrap.
  4. Serve chilled.

2. AIP Salmon and Avocado Salad


  • 2 cups of mixed greens
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup of cucumber, sliced
  • 1/4 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup of cooked salmon, flaked
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine the mixed greens, avocado, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and flaked salmon.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
  4. Serve immediately.

AIP Diet Dinner Recipes

For dinner, the AIP diet offers a wide range of delicious and satisfying options. Here are two recipes to try:

1. AIP Baked Chicken Thighs with Roasted Vegetables


  • 4 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
  • 2 cups of mixed root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, beets), peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. In a large baking dish, toss the diced root vegetables with melted coconut oil, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  3. Arrange the chicken thighs on top of the vegetables.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
  5. Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes before serving.

2. AIP Zucchini Noodles with Meatballs


  • 2 medium zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1/4 cup of onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper (omit for strict AIP)
  • 1 cup of AIP-friendly marinara sauce


  1. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, sea salt, and black pepper (if using).
  2. Shape the mixture into meatballs.
  3. In a large skillet, heat some coconut oil over medium heat.
  4. Add the meatballs and cook until browned on all sides.
  5. Remove the meatballs from the skillet and set aside.
  6. In the same skillet, add the spiralized zucchini and cook until tender.
  7. Add the marinara sauce and meatballs to the skillet and heat through.
  8. Serve hot.

AIP Diet Snack Ideas

Snacking can be a challenge on the AIP diet, as many common snack foods are off-limits. However, there are still plenty of delicious and satisfying options to choose from. Here are some AIP-friendly snack ideas:

  • Carrot sticks with guacamole
  • Apple slices with almond butter
  • Coconut yogurt with berries
  • Homemade kale chips
  • Beef jerky made from grass-fed beef
  • Olives
  • Hard-boiled eggs


The AIP diet can be a powerful tool for individuals with autoimmune diseases to reduce inflammation, support gut healing, and restore balance to the immune system. By following the principles of the AIP diet and incorporating nutrient-dense foods into your meals, you can take control of your health and well-being. Remember to plan ahead, experiment with delicious recipes, and seek support from others on the AIP journey. With dedication and perseverance, the AIP diet can help you achieve optimal health and vitality.

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