8 Delicious Recipes to Celebrate National Eat What You Want Day

Treat yourself and reach your goals! Indulge and try out these delicious cheat day recipes.

12 min read


8 Delicious Recipes to Celebrate National Eat What You Want Day

May 11th is National Eat What You Want Day, and this year I wanted to share some of my favorite recipes to help you indulge in an epic 'cheat day'! If you're on the fence about treating yourself to a 'cheat day,' I've been there. When you're hyper focused on achieving specific fitness goals, it can feel counterintuitive to press pause and indulge.

However, many nutrition experts agree that making healthy, whole food choices 80% of the time, and having a cheat meal or treat 20% of the time is one way to make your diet realistic and sustainable while remaining healthy. It is possible to treat yourself and reach your goals!

So, ready to indulge in something delicious without any guilt? Try out some of my favorite cheat day recipes compiled below that will satisfy all of your cravings this National Eat What You Want Day! Whether you're in the mood for a big bowl of pasta, flavor-packed appetizers, fluffy waffles, or rich desserts, I have some delicious ideas for you to celebrate this fun holiday.


1. Instant Pot Spicy Chicken Sausage One Pot Pasta

Need to refuel after our Lower Body Pyramid Workout? Sometimes there's no better way to refuel post-workout, than a big bowl of pasta. This delicious one pot pasta is a lightened-up version of your favorite, rich meat sauce pasta. Since this recipe includes using your favorite jarred marinara sauce of choice, there are only a few quick steps between you and an easy weeknight meal - although the final product is more than satisfying enough for a weekend splurge.



  • 4 slices turkey bacon, diced
  • 1 LB spicy chicken Italian Sausage
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • ½ yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed from stalk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Jar of marinara sauce of choice (we used Rao's)
  • 1 Cup chicken stock
  • Salt, to taste Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Optional splash of heavy cream (half & half or milk works too)



  1. Set to sauté, cook turkey bacon with a splash of EVOO until crisp (4-5 minutes).
  2. Add more EVOO if needed – then onion, carrot, and garlic continue to cook until veggies are tender (5-7 minutes).
  3. Add the chicken sausage and cook until cooked through. Add the chicken stock, marinara sauce, bay leaves, thyme, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes. Stir until well combined. Allow simmering for 10 minutes or so to allow flavors to meld. Remove bay leaves.
  4. Break noodles in half and add to the pot in a crisscross pattern to avoid clumping.
  5. Pour water on top of noodles. Ensuring they're completely submerged (press down on noodles if needed).
  6. Cook on high, manual for 8 minutes.
  7. Vent immediately, stir breaking up noodles.
  8. Add a splash of heavy cream for creaminess if desired.
  9. Serve with fresh grated parmesan and parsley.


2. Instant Pot Light Spinach Artichoke Dip

In the mood for a savory treat? This spinach artichoke dip will be the life of the party, and better yet, no one will know it's the lighter version. When you make this in an instant pot, it all comes together in a matter of minutes for the tastiest and cheesiest dip that is sure to please!



  • 1 (14 oz) Can artichoke hearts, drained & coarsely chopped
  • 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed & squeezed
  • ¼ Cup shallots, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ Cup chicken stock
  • ½ Greek yogurt
  • ½ Cup light mayo
  • ¾ Cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 ½ Cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt & pepper to taste

For Serving:

Chips or crackers of choice!



  1. Add artichoke hearts, spinach, shallots, garlic, yogurt, mayo, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes in the instant pot. Stir until well combined.
  2. Set to manual and adjust the time to 3 minutes. When finished, quick release to vent.
  3. Stir in cheeses until melted, about 2 minutes.
  4. Pour into a serving dish and serve with your chips or crackers of choice.


3. Vanilla Bean Protein Waffles

These delicious vanilla bean protein waffles are so light and fluffy; you'd never guess they had protein powder in them. Eat these to refuel after a challenging workout, for a dreamy breakfast, or even for dinner – I won't judge! You can top them however you like, but we prefer homemade vanilla bean whipped cream, fresh berries, and a drizzle of warm maple syrup. These waffles freeze well; just reheat in the microwave or toaster until fully heated through.


Vanilla Bean Protein Waffles Ingredients:

  • ¾ Cup flour
  • ½ Cup almond flour
  • 1 Scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ Cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  • 1 Cup vanilla bean yogurt
  • ¾ Cup almond milk
  • White chocolate chips to taste
  • Cooking spray

Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)

Toppings (Optional):

  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • White chocolate chips
  • Maple syrup
  • Vanilla bean whipped cream (recipe above)



Vanilla Bean Protein Waffles:

  1. Combine flour, almond flour, vanilla protein powder, baking powder, salt, egg, sugar vanilla bean paste, and vanilla bean yogurt in a bowl and begin to mix.
  2. Slowly incorporate small amounts of the almond milk to help combine the ingredients; keep adding milk until you get the batter to the right consistency. Consistency should be light with little resistance when stirring but not too runny as your waffles won't get fluffy. (Note: To make pancakes with this batter, add a splash or two more almond milk).
  3. Heat waffle iron, according to instructions.
  4. Spray waffle iron with cooking spray.
  5. Slowly and evenly pour waffle batter into the center of your waffle iron.
  6. Sprinkle white chocolate chips (if desired) onto the top of the batter.
  7. Close the waffle iron and cook according to waffle iron instructions.
  8. Remove and place on a plate once finished.

Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream:

  1. To make the whipped cream, combine heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla bean paste in a medium bowl.
  2. Beat with a stand mixer, handheld mixer, or by hand until soft peaks begin to form or when the cream begins to hold a fluffier shape.


4. Cinnamon Roll Waffles

These decadent cinnamon rolls are baked in a mini waffle iron for the ultimate cheat day meal: cinnamon roll waffles! Light and fluffy cinnamon roll goodness with a classic waffle crunch, all drizzled with slightly sweet buttercream frosting– what's not to love? Go all out, or easily lighten this recipe by using half whole wheat flour and coconut sugar in place of brown sugar.


Cinnamon Roll Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups all purpose flour (plus a little more for dusting)
  • 1-2 Cups whole wheat flour (just enough to form a soft dough, can also use 100% all purpose flour)
  • .25 oz packet rapid rise instant yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ Cup warm almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • ½ Cup warm water
  • ⅓ Cup coconut oil
  • ¼ Cup organic pure maple syrup

Cinnamon Roll Filling:

  • ½ Cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Slightly Sweet Buttercream:

  • ¾ Cup organic cane sugar (can sub coconut sugar but won't dissolve as well)
  • 6-8 Tbsp boiling water
  • 2 Cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste



Cinnamon Roll Waffle:

  1. Combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour, instant yeast, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add warm milk, water, coconut oil, and maple syrup and blend until the mixture is combined and smooth.
  2. Knead in whole wheat flour, a little at a time, until a soft dough forms. Be careful not to add too much flour, or the end result will be hard and dry.
  3. Cover and let dough rest for 5 minutes or so. While you wait, prepare the cinnamon roll filling by combining the cinnamon with the coconut sugar.
  4. Place dough on a large flat surface and roll into a rectangle.
  5. Spread softened butter on top of the dough, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture, spreading evenly to coat all the dough.
  6. Roll the dough into a tight log.
  7. Using dental floss (or a knife), cut into 12 even rolls. You can cut off the ends and discard them, so you're left with even sized rolls.
  8. Lay in a pan or on a flat surface, cover, and let rise for 30 minutes (If making overnight, place in the fridge, then take them out to rise in a warm place for 30-60 minutes or until puffy).
  9. Turn on the waffle iron and allow it to warm. Once ready, spray the waffle iron with nonstick spray, and place a cinnamon roll in the center of the iron. Press down to flatten the roll and cook according to waffle iron instructions.
  10. And voila! Fluffy, delicious cinnamon roll waffles.

Slightly Sweet Buttercream:

  1. Combine sugar and boiling water, stirring until sugar is totally dissolved.
  2. Blend butter with a mixer or by hand until creamy (the softer, the easier).
  3. Once smooth, blend in sugar mixture until well incorporated. Taste, as you add, that way you can change the level of sweetness to your preference.
  4. Finally, add the vanilla, continuing to beat until fully incorporated and smooth.


5. Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate lovers, here's a tasty treat for you that will satisfy your sweet tooth! Try these delicious homemade chocolate peanut butter cups that are quick and simple to make and healthier than the store-bought version. Store in the freezer and enjoy anytime.


Chocolate Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Cup chocolate

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/3 Cup nut butter of choice
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Garnish (optional):

  • Sea salt
  • Almonds, chopped



  1. Combine chocolate and coconut oil and temper until melted and smooth.
  2. Combine filling ingredients – nut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla – stir mixture until smooth.
  3. Fill a muffin tin with paper liners.
  4. Fill the base of each cup with chocolate (approximately ½ Tbsp).
  5. Freeze for 15 minutes, or until chocolate is just hardened.
  6. Add a small scoop of nut butter to the center of each cup.
  7. Pour more chocolate over the top of each cup, covering the nut butter.
  8. Give the pan a light shake to smooth out any lumps and make the chocolate nice and smooth on the top.
  9. Sprinkle with garnishes of choice, such as sea salt or chopped nuts.
  10. Freeze for 15 minutes, or until chocolate is hardened, and store in the freezer until you're ready to enjoy!


6. Buffalo Cauliflower Air Fryer Recipe

These crispy, perfectly spiced buffalo cauliflower bites are the perfect crowd pleaser, or let's be real - a party of one or two (I won't tell). You won't even be able to tell that they're not buffalo chicken wings! Get ready to score some major points with every delicious bite.


Batter Ingredients:

  • ¾ Cup flour
  • ¼ Cup cornstarch
  • 1 ¼ Cup water
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into smaller pieces

Buffalo Sauce Ingredients:

  • ½ Cup hot sauce
  • ½ Cup butter, melted
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Ranch Ingredients:

  • ½ Cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp buttermilk (+ more to desired texture)
  • 2 Tbsp chives, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Toppings (optional):

  • Bleu cheese
  • Celery



  1. Make the batter by combining all batter ingredients in a medium to a large bowl.
  2. Toss cauliflower in batter, coating evenly.
  3. Place on one layer on a baking sheet, and fry in the air fryer at 400 degrees for 20 minutes (or more depending on how crispy you like it). Shake cauliflower halfway through.
  4. While cauliflower is cooking, prepare your buffalo sauce. Add water as necessary to desired texture.
  5. Prepare ranch for drizzling or dipping by mixing all of the ranch ingredients together and mixing well.
  6. Coat cauliflower with buffalo sauce.
  7. Drizzle with ranch or leave to the side for dipping.
  8. Top with desired toppings like bleu cheese and celery. Enjoy!


7. Instant Pot Fettuccine Alfredo

This one pot instant pot fettuccine alfredo is the cheat day pasta of your dreams: creamy, silky, cheesy goodness that is oh so satisfying. It's almost too easy to be true - throw in the ingredients, set the instant pot, and your entire meal comes together in a matter of minutes!



  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 4 Cups chicken broth
  • 2 ½ Cup heavy cream
  • 1 LB fettuccine
  • 2 Cups Parmesan cheese grated



  1. Melt butter in a pot on sauté.
  2. Pour in chicken broth and 2 cups of heavy cream.
  3. Add in the fettuccine noodles.
  4. Submerge noodles, lock lid, and set to sealing.
  5. Cook on high, manual for 6 minutes.
  6. Natural release for 4 minutes.
  7. Stir in grated parmesan (too thin - more parm, too thick - more cream)
  8. Place lid back on, set to vented to allow it to thicken for a few more minutes.
  9. Serve with freshly grated parmesan, parsley, more cracked pepper, etc.


8. Instant Pot Creamy Rice Pudding

Name a more comforting dessert than rice pudding; I'll wait. This creamy, sweet, delicious rice pudding will satisfy your sweet tooth craving, and the rich cinnamon paired with bright orange zest is the fresh take on this classic you didn't know you needed. Top it with chocolate, fresh fruit, and even a little extra cinnamon to customize this sweet dish however you like it.



  • 5 Cups whole milk
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • ⅓ Cup sugar
  • ⅓ Cup light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 Cup rice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Topping Ingredients (Optional):

  • Orange zest
  • Dark chocolate



  1. Set instant pot to sauté on 'high,' and combine milk, cream, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in the instant pot. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the rice and bring it back to a boil. Once the rice is boiling again, turn the instant pot off, select sauté again, and adjust heat to 'normal.' Simmer until the liquid has thickened and rice is fully cooked.
  3. Turn the instant pot off and stir in the vanilla.
  4. Cover the instant pot and set to sealing for 15 to 30 minutes or until rice pudding has set and is nice and thick.
  5. Serve immediately or chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours if you prefer your rice pudding cold.
  6. Serve with your toppings of choice; we prefer orange zest and dark chocolate shavings.


I hope you enjoy these delicious recipes without guilt this year! When you're ready to get back some balance in your life, try out 4 Delicious Smoothie Recipes to Refuel Post Workout or 8 Salad Recipes to Help You Stay On Track With Your Fitness Goals This Year.


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