If you need easy PCOS recipes that taste good and will also make you feel better, I’ve got you covered!
This blog post will outline how a healthy PCOS diet can help you and what constitutes a balanced meal. I’ll provide you with 75 PCOS-friendly recipes to enjoy for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks!
PCOS: Why Your Diet Matters
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects up to 20% of women worldwide. While a PCOS diagnosis may be new to you, your symptoms probably aren’t new. Common symptoms of PCOS include irregular periods, weight gain, carb cravings, hair loss, hirsutism (aka unwanted facial or body hair growth), acne, and fatigue.
While the exact cause of PCOS isn’t known, it’s linked to insulin resistance and chronic inflammation, which are probably playing some role in your symptoms. Unfortunately, insulin resistance and inflammation increases your risk of developing certain health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes in pregnancy, heart disease, high blood pressure, and fatty liver.
The good news is that a PCOS-friendly diet and lifestyle modifications are powerful tools and can drastically lower insulin resistance and inflammation, and in turn, manage your PCOS symptoms.
There is a lot of buzz and conflicting information around the internet and social media about which diet is the best diet for PCOS. Some people recommend the keto diet or intermittent fasting, while others recommend low carb or plant-based diets. The truth is that there has not been one specific diet identified as being the best way to manage PCOS.
I base my diet recommendations off of the current research and my clinical experience working with hundreds of women with PCOS to manage their condition. That said, I recommend a balanced diet – I usually don’t recommend cutting out gluten, dairy, soy, caffeine, or sugar right off the bat, unless you have a known allergy or intolerance. Everyone is unique and there just isn’t any evidence to support that everyone with PCOS needs to or should cut these foods out of their diet.
A balanced diet will promote stable blood sugar levels and include anti-inflammatory foods to lower inflammation. My clients are always pleasantly surprised to find this non-restrictive eating pattern works so well to manage their PCOS, from cravings and weight loss to more regular periods and less chin hairs!
Now, let’s dive into how to make a balanced meal that promotes blood sugar stability.
How To Make A Balanced Meal
A balanced meal will combine nutrients that raise your blood sugar slowly and prevent it from going too high. This allows your body to react accordingly and release an appropriate amount of insulin to slowly bring that blood sugar level back down. Eating balanced meals consistently will improve insulin sensitivity, meaning your body will become less insulin resistant.
To make a balanced meal, you should combine:
- Protein. Protein maintains muscle mass, promotes satiety and balanced blood sugar levels. Put an emphasis on lean protein sources and plant-based proteins more frequently. Examples include chicken, turkey, lean red meat, fish, seafood, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and protein powder.
- Complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs contain fiber to slow down the blood sugar rise, keep you feeling full, and improve your gut health. Examples include fruits, vegetables, beans, chickpeas, lentils, edamame, and whole grains such as oats, rice, quinoa, and whole grain bread.
- Healthy Fats. Healthy fats are necessary for hormone production, the absorption of certain vitamins, inflammation regulation, and satiety. Examples include olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish.
Additionally, including anti-inflammatory foods routinely is a great way to lower inflammation. Some examples of anti-inflammatory foods are salmon, oysters, olive oil, berries, chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, beans, garlic, ginger, herbal teas, and plenty of vegetables like cruciferous vegetables, tomatoes, dark leafy greens, and bell peppers.
For more ideas and guidance on how to pull these diet principles together, be sure to check out this meal plan that is ideal for managing your PCOS: A Dietitian’s 7-Day PCOS Diet Plan (PDF Included).
Ok, now that we’ve covered that, let’s dive into those amazing recipes I promised you! These PCOS recipes are designed to be easy and use ingredients that you can find in most grocery stores. The recipe categories are broken down by meal. Then, the lunch and dinner recipes are even further broken down by protein source to make it as easy as possible for you to find what you like!
PCOS Breakfast Recipes
- Easy PCOS Overnight Oats (4 Different Flavor Variations)
- Carrot Cake Smoothie
- Spinach & Egg Scramble with Raspberries
- High Protein Chia Breakfast Bowl
- Protein Pancakes Without Protein Powder
- Southwest Tofu Scramble
- Savory Avocado Toast With Cottage Cheese
- Sweet Potato Breakfast Burrito
- Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie
- Sausage & Potato Frittata Muffins
- Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
- Raspberry Peach Mango Smoothie Bowl
- High Protein Oatmeal with Berries & Peanut Butter
- Overnight Matcha Oats with Berries
- Freezer Black Bean Breakfast Burrito
- Triple Berry Oat Tropical Smoothie (Copycat Recipe)
- Chocolate Baked Oats (and other flavor variations)
- High Protein Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
- Breakfast Salad with Smoked Salmon & Poached Eggs
- Beans, Rice & Fried Egg Breakfast Bowl
- Strawberry Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
For some more breakfast ideas, check out this post: 12 Easy PCOS Breakfast Ideas.
PCOS Recipes for Lunch and Dinner
PCOS Chicken Recipes
- Sweetgreen Crispy Rice Bowl (Copycat Recipe)
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls
- Brussel Sprout Pasta Salad
- Chicken Soup With Cabbage
- Lemony Greek Chicken Stew With Beans
- Sheet Pan Chicken Sausage With Broccoli, Peppers, & Potatoes
- One Pan Balsamic Chicken With Veggies
- Asian Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner
- Meal Prep Chili Lime Chicken Bowls
- White Chicken Chili
- Chicken & Zucchini Quesadilla
- Cashew Chicken With Broccoli – serve with brown rice or soba noodles
- Chicken Edamame and Noodles Stir-Fry
- Slow Cooker Seasoned Chicken, Potatoes, and Green Beans
- Greek Chicken Meal Prep Bowls
- Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Wrap
If you want even more PCOS lunch ideas, check out this post: 20 Easy PCOS Lunch Ideas.
- Turkey Wraps With Avocado Cream
- Ground Turkey Skillet With Zucchini, Corn, & Black Beans
- Turkey Stuffed Peppers
Beef or Pork Recipes
- Instant Pot Chili
- Beef & Broccoli
- Egg Roll In A Bowl
- Chili Topped Sweet Potatoes
- Ground Beef & Pasta Skillet
- Veggie Soup With Ground Beef
- Honey Garlic Salmon Bites with Honeynut Squash
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Tacos
- Miso Ginger Salmon with Broccoli
- Garlic Shrimp Spaghetti
- Sheet Pan Maple Dijon Salmon
- Tuna Sandwich With Avocado
- Blackened Fish Tacos
Vegetarian or Vegan Recipes
- Fall Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, Pomegranate, and Pepitas
- Carrot and Lentil Soup
- Greek Salad With Edamame (not dairy free)
- Lentil & Turmeric Soup
- Mediterranean Falafel Bowls
- Easy Cabbage Tofu Stirfry
- Chickpea Ratatouille
- Creamy Butternut Squash Butter Beans
- Vegan Buddha Bowl
- Vegetarian Chili
- Black Bean Cauliflower Rice Bowl
- Thai Pasta Salad
- Quinoa & Kale Protein Power Salad
- Three Bean Quinoa Salad
- Green Goddess Sandwich
PCOS Snack Recipes
- Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip
- High Protein Ranch Dip
- Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers
- Peanut Butter Banana Baked Oatmeal Cups
- Savory Cottage Cheese Bowl
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding
- White Bean Dip