Have you heard of the Mediterranean diet? It’s one of the healthiest ways of eating: full of leafy greens and non-starchy veggies like eggplants and artichokes. The meals burst with flavor thanks to herbs and spices, and they have generous helpings of olive oil and whole grains, lots of high-quality poultry, and a little red meat — it even includes wine!
Eating the Mediterranean way is really a lifestyle, and it’s one that’s easy to stick to. You’ll also reap the benefits of the fresh foods, heart-healthy fats and mood-boosting foods that are staples of the diet. If you’ve been looking for inspiration, you have to try my favorite Mediterranean diet recipes. Because of the focus on vegetables, many of them are perfect for vegetarians and meat lovers alike. You’re guaranteed to find a new favorite!
24 Mediterranean Diet Recipes
Too often, egg salads are loaded with mayonnaise and not much else. This super simple version is packed with nutrient-dense tomato, avocado and sweet corn for a salad that’s perfect with toast or on crackers for a light summertime dinner. Mix the avocado with lime juice to ensure the fruit keeps its green color, and if you have the time, grill the corn before adding it to the salad to give it even more flavor.
This Greek recipe by healthy chef Jamie Oliver is a bake that’s packed fresh with vegetables. Don’t let the British-fied ingredient list deter you: aubergine is eggplant, courgettes are zucchini and tomato passata is basically tomato puree. The end result is a lovely, easy-to-make dish that’s hearty as well.
Big portobello mushroom caps are stuffed with the traditional caprese salad ingredients: mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, basil and all the benefits of heart-healthy olive oil. Use the freshest tomatoes you can find, as they’ll soak up all the accompanying flavors for an amazing, juicy taste. And because these bake right on aluminium foil, there’s almost zero cleanup!
If the only cream of cauliflower soup you’ve tried is the canned stuff, you’re in for a treat. Roasting the cauliflower first means the dish is full of smoky flavor even before it’s immersed in a broth with garlic, turmeric, sumac, paprika and cumin. I love leaving the soup chunky so you can really munch on the cauliflower, but you can blend to your own desired consistency. Don’t forget to top with fresh dill!
Photo: Cream of Roasted Cauliflower Soup With Paprika, Cumin and Fresh Dill / The Mediterranean Dish
This easy Mediterranean diet recipe is so simple, it’s barely a recipe. Slice a cucumber razor-thin and spread protein-packed hummus on it; I’m partial to this Hummus Recipe! Add roasted red pepper and feta cheese, roll and devour. It doesn’t get better — or quicker — than this!
Have you eaten a gyro before? This Greek fast food staple isn’t the type of meal you’d get at an American fast food restaurant. Juicy chicken, a cool and creamy sauce, and fresh fixings like feta and red onions are stuffed into a pita (go whole wheat, gluten-free or substitute lettuce wraps). This Mediterranean diet recipe is perfect when you need to get dinner on the table fast — and the leftovers taste great for lunch, too!
Loaded with Mediterranean staples like balsamic vinegar, olive oil and basil, these benefit-packed mushrooms are meant to be a side dish, but they will steal the show. Pair these with a grass-fed steak and salad, or just enjoy them on their own. Plus, you can make them year-round; they can be roasted in the oven or grilled.
This classic Greek salad gets extra “oomph” — plus nutrients and flavor — from the addition of avocado. This recipe makes a big batch; take it to your next barbecue or potluck. Because the vegetables release juices as the salad sits, either serve immediately or reserve some of the dressing until right before eating. Want to add more protein to it? Grilled chicken is a great addition.
Attention, meat eaters: This grilled chicken is guaranteed to become one of your go-to Mediterranean diet recipes. I love how it uses boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which are juicier (and cheaper!) than breasts. You’ll want to plan ahead for these, because the chicken should marinate for several hours, though overnight is best. Top the grilled meat with a simple probiotic yogurt-based sauce for a dose of flavor, and enjoy!
This is such an easy recipe, but it’s one where the fresh ingredients make all the difference. Oregano, rosemary and garlic pair with extra virgin olive oil, crushed red chili flakes and lemon juice to turn what could be plain chicken into a dish that will impress the entire family.
Haven’t tried whole-grain farro yet? It has a similar flavor and texture to brown rice, and this stew is the perfect intro for it. Throw in vitamin K-rich kale and protein-full cannellini (white beans), and you have a filling, nutritious stew for cold nights. Don’t forget to top each bowl with feta!
I love when recipes take less time to put together than ordering takeout. Saute kale, cook the pasta (opt for whole-grain or rice noodles), give it all a healthy drizzle of olive oil and stir in crumbled feta. It’s fast, easy and, best of all, feels like comfort food.
Spinach. Feta. Sun-dried tomatoes. Extra virgin olive oil. Chicken tenderloins. Your favorite pasta. This Mediterranean diet recipe has it all. It’s also perfect for prepping ahead of time: Make the garlic wine sauce and store in the fridge, and boil the pasta ahead of time. When it’s dinnertime, just prepare the chicken and put the rest of the pieces together. This one gets an A+.
Put a new spin on Greek salad with this version. With the addition of chickpeas, your salad gets a super boost of protein and fiber with little fat. Make a big serving: It’s hearty enough to serve as a meal and tasty enough that everyone will want seconds!
Is breakfast for dinner a favorite in your home, too? Then you’ll really love this recipe. Caramelized onions bring a huge amount of flavor and take these eggs from breakfast to dinner. Stir in garlic, feta and sun-dried tomatoes, and say hello to a new supper favorite.
We usually think of tacos as a Mexican-inspired meal, but I love the Mediterranean twist on these — and they’re so easy to make. Mix Greek salad with grilled chicken and spread on a whole-grain pita with hummus. Fold like a taco and enjoy! This is a great recipe to have the kids help out with; let them assemble the tacos to pique their interest in the kitchen!
I don’t know about you, but to me, “casserole” often brings up images of heavy meals filled with “cream of” canned soups and Ritz crackers. So I was so pleasantly surprised when I stumbled upon this dish. It’s one you can feel good about serving your family. It uses superfood quinoa as its base and then adds in nutritious lentils, spinach and tomatoes. This is one casserole that looks and tastes terrific.
No matter how much you enjoy it, tuna salad — except my own Tuna Salad Recipe version — can get predictable. That’s why this Mediterranean diet recipe is so great. There’s no mayonnaise in this version; instead, the salad’s loaded with veggies and herbs we don’t use nearly enough, like radishes (when is the last time you ate a radish?!), cucumbers, Kalamata olives and mint leaves. The mustard vinaigrette really sets this one apart, too. Serve this tuna salad on tomatoes, as a sandwich or on its own for a light lunch or dinner.
Who needs bread to enjoy a tasty bruschetta? Serve it on chicken, instead! While your breasts bake, slice and dice a fresh Mediterranean bruschetta, giving the tomatoes time to soak in all the balsamic vinegar flavors. If you decide to grill your chicken, make the bruschetta about half-hour ahead of time. This recipe is fast, easy and tastes great — a winner in my book!
Slow cooker recipes are lifesavers for busy households. They make complicated recipes simple: Just drop in the ingredients, step away and return hours later to a home-cooked meal. While this recipe does recommend sauteeing the beef, onions and mushrooms before adding to the slow cooker to get extra color and flavor, you can skip that step if you’re in a time crunch. Thanks to rosemary, balsamic vinegar, olives and capers, you’ll still wind up with a mouthwatering dish.
Loads of flavor and minimal fuss — that’s what you get with this hands-off Mediterranean diet recipe. Because it uses a mix of chicken legs and thighs, it’s a wonderful dish to make when these pieces are on sale. Swap out the brown sugar for coconut sugar, and let the crockpot do its magic. When it’s time to serve, quinoa or a salad make a healthy side.
A handful of fresh ingredients like leafy greens and carrots brighten up this soup that’s made mostly of pantry staples and seasonings. Use it when you need a healthy reset on your diet or just a bowl of comforting soup. And since it’s vegan, all are welcome to enjoy it!
A one-pan dish that doesn’t require a side and tastes like you’ve been slaving in the kitchen for hours? Sign me up. You could even swap the chicken in this dish for your favorite type of fish and achieve similar results; just reduce the cooking times to ensure it doesn’t dry out. Add or subtract ingredients according to your tastes. This is a good recipe to adapt as you wish.
Do you have an overflow of zucchini in your garden? Make these zucchini sticks! They’re chock-full of Mediterranean ingredients — the usual suspects like olives, feta, tomatoes and peppers all make an appearance — but with zucchini as the “boat,” these sticks keep things feeling fresh.
They’re versatile, too. Serve these as a side dish or an appetizer. They’re healthy snacks kids will love, too, because they’re fun to eat. And if you feel like you want a little something extra, add in crumbled pieces of beef bacon. It might not be super authentic, but it sure tastes good.
Photo: Zucchini Sticks / iFoodReal
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