Learn to love one of my favourite super foods – liver – with these delicious, nourishing, paleo liver recipes for even the pickiest eaters. Yes, it’s possible to enjoy liver!
The liver is a nutritional powerhouse and it’s always food I recommend incorporating into a real food diet. It can fill in so many nutritional gaps for people in small doses, offering up a unique concentration of hard-to-get vitamins and minerals like vitamin D and iron. It is also rich in vitamins A and B, and of course, protein!
If you think about it as a supplement, a daily dose of the liver is potent, effective, and highly available to the body for absorption – especially compared to most store-bought vitamins and supplements.
The caveat? Well, it probably goes without saying that most folks don’t love the taste of liver. I’ll even admit that it is an acquired taste, but the transformation happens during the cooking process. Any ingredient that gets cooked improperly isn’t going to be palatable. You wouldn’t like burnt chocolate, would you? Even the best foods can be ruined. With that mentality, we can assume that even the strangest foods can be delicious (yes, even sardines). Let’s talk about the liver.
Learning to love this food has amazing benefits. Not only is it good for you, but it’s good for your budget. Good quality pastured/grass-fed livers can be bought at bargain prices most of the time. They’re versatile, easy to use, and can even add bulk to other meats to stretch your dollar further. Oh, and I really encourage eating “nose-to-tail” because it’s so sustainable, considering how much food waste we produce.
If you’re curious about how to use liver, I’m going to share some of my favourite recipes today. I promise – they are good, and they’ve got potential to turn a liver hater into a liver lover!!
The key to making chicken livers taste awesome? Well, you could deep-fry them. Otherwise, it’s all about adding the right spices and flavour profile. Garlic and leeks pair up for a striking and somewhat distracting flavour combination, deepened with a few sprigs of thyme. These are fabulously tasty paired with simple veggies.
2. Chicken liver meatballs from Fed & Fit
One of the best ways to hide the taste of the liver is to make it a component of the dish rather than the star. A mild recipe like these meatballs is great to get you started. The bulk of this recipe is made with ground beef. Simply process the mince and the liver together with sauerkraut and spices, and fry up in some grass-fed butter. What’s not to love?
3. Tex Mex stuffed meatloaf from The Healthy Foodie
At first glance, you can’t even tell there’s a smidge of liver in here! This meatloaf features so many other strong flavours and textures that you’ll notice before the liver. Instead, your body will just reap the benefits effortlessly. Tangy olives, creamy avocado to stuff, zesty spices and a hearty dose of cacao baked in, and spicy jalapenos will distract you plenty with this standout loaf!
4. French pate from Wholesome Yum
Pate is perhaps one of the most popular foods made from liver. It’s a great introduction to liver because it is highly palatable and easy to eat with crudites, crackers, or bread. It’s not strictly paleo as it does require butter, but it’s oh-so-worth-it. Besides, if I know one thing about cooking, it’s that butter makes everything better… even – especially – liver.
5. Calf’s liver with bacon gravy from Paleo Leap
For the meat and potatoes lover in all of us, this recipe really hits home with a comforting vibe. You can even swap out the potatoes for mashed cauliflower for an ultra healthy, low-carb rendition of the classic dish. The bacon gravy will bring in that smoky flavour to balance out the distinct taste of liver, and you’ll love every bite of it.
You might think grapes make a strange pairing for liver, but as a rule, liver pairs well with fragrant, sweet, and acidic foods. Just like cooking certain meats with wine, the fruity, musty flavour of grapes paired with a crispy fried outside and perfectly caramelised onions makes for some seriously decadent dinner!
7. Liver & onions with bacon & mushrooms from Natural Fit Foodie
This is likely the dish your grandma was trying to serve you as a kid. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a great reputation. A recipe like this with gorgeous spices and additional ingredients that breathe new life into this bland dish will change your mind. Bacon and mushrooms are a dynamic duo when it comes to smoky, mouth-watering, umami flavour!
8. Bacon-wrapped chicken livers from Dishes Delish
This two-ingredient recipe is no-fuss and no surprises. These make a tasty appetiser and of course, a generous wrap of bacon doesn’t hurt. This is a lovely way to serve up something tasty to snack on and despite it containing liver, it’s a total crowd-pleaser. Consider adding dates or fresh herbs to the mix!
9. Warm chicken liver & apple salad from The Healthy Foodie
Like any protein, chicken liver can be a fantastic salad topper to help you fill up and enjoy a full, balanced meal. Serve warm liver and caramelised apple wedges atop a heap of fresh crispy greens. Then, finish it all off with a creamy hazelnut vinaigrette. It sounds amazing, right?
10. Crispy spiced chicken livers from Mel Joulwan
One of my favourite ways to eat liver – and one of the best introductions you could give to someone who is sitting on the fence – is fried. The crispy outside and creamy inside are comparable to a chicken finger, perfect for dipping and munching on. This paleo version avoids refined oil and wheat breading for healthier alternatives while still nailing that fast food texture.
I hope that I could convince you to just give the liver a chance. I know if you give some of these recipes a go, you will learn to love this true superfood the way that I do!