50 Yummy & Healthy Brain Food Recipes

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Last updated December 20, 2021.
Edited and medically reviewed by Patrick Alban, DC. Written by Deane Alban.

These brain food recipes feature ingredients that supply your brain with essential nutrients most diets lack. See how you can make any meal brain-healthy.

One of the hardest parts of eating healthy for your brain is coming up with new recipe ideas.

There are literally millions of recipes online if you want to lose weight, shed belly fat, reduce carbs, or go gluten-free.

But there are very few sources of recipes created specifically with brain health in mind.

I’m always on the lookout for new recipes for personal use.

So, I’ve amassed quite a stash of recipes that are delicious, easy to make, and rich in brain foods like blueberries, walnuts, salmon, green leafy vegetables, chocolate, avocado, and coconut.

In this article, I’ve compiled a list of 50 recipes from my personal favorites that supply essential brain nutrients lacking in the typical Western diet.

Note: Below each recipe link, I’ve listed the key ingredients that make it brain-healthy.

Brain-Powering Breakfast Recipes

fried eggs with peppers

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.

Skipping breakfast is strongly linked to heart disease and obesity. 

The brain can’t store energy, so by morning, your brain is starving for nutrients.

Ideally, you should break your fast from the night before with high-quality nutrition.

But typical modern breakfasts are high in sugar, white flour, and processed foods — a nutritional nightmare.

Eating a bad breakfast, or no breakfast at all, can leave you mentally foggy, unable to focus, anxious, or depressed.

In these brain-powering breakfast recipes, you’ll see typical breakfast foods like eggs and coffee.

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You’ll also see some foods not normally associated with breakfast, like bison, avocado, and broccoli.

Whether you’d rather grab a smoothie or a muffin or sit down to a hearty meal of sausage and eggs, I’ve got every breakfast preference covered.

Here are 8 breakfast recipe ideas that will get your brain fueled right for a great start to your day.

1. Bison Breakfast Sausage Patties

bison, spices

2. Toasted Coconut Mocha Frappuccino

coffee, coconut milk, coconut flakes, cocoa powder

3. Chocolate Blueberry Smoothie

blueberry, cocoa powder, coconut milk

4. Ezekiel French Toast

sprouted grain bread, eggs, cinnamon, coconut oil, strawberries

5. Spinach, Goat Cheese and Chorizo Omelet

eggs, spinach, avocado  

6. Paleo Pumpkin and Carrot Muffins

eggs, carrots, pumpkin, almond flour, almond butter, cinnamon

7. Easy Breakfast Casserole

eggs, coconut oil, sweet potato, spinach 

8. Egg Bake Casserole

eggs, spinach, broccoli, coconut oil

Brain-Boosting Soup Recipes

carrot soup

There’s a reason that soup is often served to someone who’s “under the weather.”

A bowl of homemade soup is nutritionally dense — high in nutrients and low in calories.

It is easy to digest and widely associated with being loved and cared for.

Soup may be the most versatile food.

You can eat it hot or cold and there are soups for every occasion — main course, appetizer, and even dessert.

If you aren’t much of a cook, making soup is foolproof since it’s hard to burn!

Here are a few of my favorite soup recipes, featuring brain-boosting foods as diverse as wild salmon and blueberries.

9. Salmon Chowder

wild salmon

10. Blueberry Soup

blueberries

11. Warming Carrot, Ginger and Turmeric Soup

carrots, turmeric, ginger, coconut milk

12. Turkey, Kale and Cauliflower Soup

kale, peppers, cauliflower, coconut oil

Brain-Healthy Main Course Recipes

salmon with cranberries

When cooking a brain-healthy main course, the quality of the ingredients really does matter.

Wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, and free-range poultry are by far the healthiest choices.

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Compared to regular supermarket fish, meat, and poultry, they are low in contaminants and high in brain nutrients, particularly omega-3 fats.

Any dish can get an extra brain boost by adding herbs and spices like turmeric and rosemary, and using brain-healthy cooking oils — extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil.

13. Grilled Salmon with Blueberry-Horseradish Glaze

wild salmon, blueberries, horseradish, cinnamon

14. Baked Super Foods: Salmon, Kale & Sweet Potatoes

wild salmon, sweet potatoes, kale

15. Chicken Piccata

chicken, almond flour, coconut oil, olive oil, portobello mushrooms

16. Baked Whitefish with Tomatoes & Olives

whitefish, olives, tomatoes, olive oil

17. Slow Cooker Coconut Cashew Chicken

chicken, coconut milk, cashews, turmeric

18. Honey-Glazed Salmon with Wasabi

salmon, coconut oil, wasabi

19. Beanless Chili

bison, tomatoes, red peppers, hot peppers

20. Rosemary Lemon Roasted Chicken Breasts

chicken, olive oil, rosemary

21. Thai Curry Chicken

chicken, coconut milk, winter squash, coconut oil, curry paste

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22. Blackened Fish Tacos with Avocado-Cilantro Sauce

whitefish, cabbage, avocado, hot peppers, spices

23. Salmon Beet Salad with Spicy Dressing

canned salmon, avocado, beets, pistachio nuts, olive oil

24. Supercharged Coconut Curry

coconut milk, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, kale, coconut oil, curry paste, turmeric

25. Paleo Salmon Cakes

wild Alaskan canned salmon, sweet potato, almond flour, eggs, coconut oil

26. Crock Pot Mocha Pot Roast

grass-fed beef, coffee, coffee beans, cocoa powder, spices

27. Creamy Dill and Garlic Salmon

salmon, eggs, avocado oil

28. Coconut Curry Salmon

salmon, coconut milk, curry, ginger, spinach

Brain-Enhancing Side Dish Recipes

red cabbage avocado salad

Almost all vegetables are brimming with antioxidants and other phytonutrients that make them excellent foods for the brain.

But a few standouts include green leafy vegetables, colorful root vegetables, peppers of all kinds, and avocado (which is technically a fruit).

The experts recommend eating 9 servings of fruit and vegetables per day. 

But meeting this goal can be a challenge!

It’s tempting to steam some broccoli or throw some lettuce in a bowl to try meeting the quota, but that gets boring.

If you want to eat plenty of veggies and still enjoy them, here are some interesting ways to prepare them.

If you are a vegetarian, some of these side dishes, especially those that contain beans, can be your main course.

29. Cinnamon Inspired Broccoli Coleslaw

broccoli, walnuts, olive oil, cinnamon, ginger

30. Coconut Curry Roasted Sweet Potatoes

sweet potatoes, coconut oil, curry powder

31. Indian Spiced Spinach

spinach, coconut oil, turmeric, ginger

32. Teriyaki-Braised Turnips and Greens with Bacon

turnips, collard greens, ginger

33. Roasted Curried Cauliflower

cauliflower, coconut oil, curry powder, turmeric

34. Roasted Red Peppers

red peppers, olive oil

35. Lemony Cabbage-Avocado Slaw

cabbage, red cabbage, bell peppers, avocado

36. California Avocado Red, White & Blueberry Salsa

avocado, blueberries, hot peppers

37. Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Balsamic

beets, green leafy vegetables, walnuts, olive oil

38. Asian Cucumber and Sea Vegetable Salad

sea vegetables, ginger, carrots

39. California Avocado Deviled Eggs

eggs, avocado, hot peppers, spices

40. Kale Salad with Cherries and Pecans

kale, dried tart cherries, pecans, olive oil 

Brain-Smart Dessert Recipes

blueberry crisp

There are healthy ways to appease a sweet tooth and nourish your brain.

These recipes avoid sugar and use healthier sweeteners like honey, stevia, and maple syrup in moderation.

When you start with delicious basic ingredients like fresh berries, dark chocolate, and coconut milk, you don’t need much added sweetener to make desserts that are enjoyable and satisfying.

41. Fresh Blueberry Crumble

blueberries, almond flour, walnuts, coconut oil

42. Chocolate and Raspberry Pot de Creme

dark chocolate, eggs, coconut milk, raspberries

43. Blueberry Rosemary Ice Cream

coconut milk, blueberries, rosemary, eggs

44. Jaden’s Flan

eggs, coconut milk

45. Chocolate Coconut Milk Mousse

coconut milk, cocoa powder, dark chocolate

46. Raw Walnut Fudge

cocoa powder, coconut oil, walnuts, almond butter

47. Coconut Chocolate Cake

almond flour, almonds, dark chocolate, shredded coconut, coconut milk, eggs

48. Avocado Banana Chocolate Cookies

avocado, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, eggs

49. Nourishing Dark Chocolate Gelatin Pudding

dark chocolate, coconut milk, cinnamon

Bonus: A Healthy Brain Meal Plan

If you’d like an example of an entire brain-healthy dinner, the folks at My Brain Test created this 3-in-1 recipe post.

50. Bonus: The Complete Healthy Brain Dinner Recipe

  • Roasted Kale Salad w/Kidney Beans, Walnuts & Chia
  • Coffee-Spice Rubbed King Salmon
  • Turmeric & Toasted Flax Risotto

Brain foods in these three dishes include kale, avocado, walnuts, chia seeds, coffee, salmon, olive oil, and turmeric.

Brain Food Recipes: Take the Next Step

There aren’t a lot of places online to find recipes specifically for brain health.

But now, you’ve got lots of recipes that include foods rich in the nutrients you need for optimal brain health and performance.

Try one new recipe each week; in a year, you’ll have 50 new recipes that will delight your taste buds and please your brain.

We discuss what makes a food a “brain food” and why you should include them in your diet in Brain Foods to Boost Memory & Mood (in-depth guide).

For more ideas on how to incorporate the best brain foods in your diet, check out 25 Tasty Snacks Featuring the Best Brain Foods and The MIND Diet: Eating for a Healthy Brain (detailed guide).

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