30+ Mediterranean Diet Recipes You'll Love - Dr. Axe

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30+ Mediterranean Diet Recipes You’ll Love


Olive tapenade recipe - Dr. Axe

The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest ways of eating because Mediterranean diet recipes are full of leafy greens and non-starchy veggies like eggplants and artichokes — among other Mediterranean diet foods.

The meals burst with flavor thanks to herbs and spices, and Mediterranean diet recipes have generous helpings of olive oil and whole grains, lots of high-quality poultry, and a little red meat — it even includes wine!

Following a Mediterranean diet meal plan (or a green Mediterranean diet) 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 among these Mediterranean diet recipes!


Mediterranean Diet Recipes

1. Garlic aioli

You’ll often see different type of aioli sauces in Mediterranean diet recipes and dishes because that’s where it originated. This healthy condiment can be whipped up in just 10 minutes and includes a slew of healthy Mediterranean ingredients.

This particular take uses basil leaves, cloves, Himalayan salt, avocado oil and extra virgin olive oil, in addition to eggs and lemon juice. This aioli works well as a dip or a sauce on your next healthy sandwich.

2. Olive tapenade

You’ll find olives in all sorts of Mediterranean diet recipes, and olive tapenade just may be the most famous. A staple of the Mediterranean diet, this recipe uses both black and green olives, along with capers (another favorite in the region), sun-dried tomatoes and a host of spices.

What spices, you ask? Sea salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder, oregano, basil and parsley make up the herbs in this popular dish, and you can use either olive oil or avocado oil.

Enjoy this olive tapenade with crackers, bread or even as a condiment on a sandwich, such as the classic New Orleans muffuletta.

3. Mediterranean grilled lamb chops

Lamb is staple in Mediterranean-area countries like Greece and Turkey, and once you try these grilled lamb chops, you’ll understand why.

This one takes a while, but it’s quite delectable and bursting with healthy ingredients.

In addition to the lamb itself, this recipe combines avocado oil, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, rosemary, basil, nutmeg, cinnamon and coriander for a unique blend that tastes great. It’s certain to be among your favorite Mediterranean diet recipes.

4. Mediterranean chicken

Chicken is utilized in several Mediterranean diet recipes, and this one is a simple classic. The star of this recipe is, of course, the free-range chicken, and instead of butter, it calls for ghee.

So what makes it Mediterranean chicken? The goat cheese, tomato slices and spices combine to give it a Mediterranean feel.

5. Garlic lamb roast

If you have the time to fire up the slow cooker, this garlic lamb roast makes for a hearty, healthy dish inspired by the flavors of the Mediterranean. While it calls for a six- to 10-hour cook time, it’s well worth it.

The lamb is spiced with cloves, sea salt, black pepper and rosemary, while chopped carrots, onions and butternut squash make this a well-rounded meal that’s sure to be filling but won’t weigh you down.

6. Tzatziki sauce

If olive tapenade isn’t the most well-known Mediterranean diet condiment, perhaps tzatziki sauce is.

This famous Greek and Turkish dipping sauce combines Greek yogurt with cucumber, olive oil, lemon, dill, cloves and sea salt — and paprika can be added as well. Best of all, it takes all of five minutes to blend and make.

It’s often used as a dip or sauce for falafel, and you can eat it with just about any recipe you want.


7. Greek chicken souvlaki

As you can see, many of these Mediterranean diet recipes have their origins in Greece, including this Greek chicken souvlaki.

What is souvlaki? It’s a favorite Greek fast food, a la gyros or kebabs.

Ready in just 40 minutes, it combines chicken with avocado oil, white wine, lemon, onion and garlic powder, oregano, and basil for a delicious and quick meal.

8. Tuscan white bean soup

There are no shortage of Mediterranean diet recipes that come from Italy, one of the most popular cuisines around. Enter Tuscan white bean soup.

The star ingredient in this one is the white cannellini beans, which are loaded with fiber and protein. To take the flavor up a notch in this soup, it also has onion, carrots, celery, garlic, sage, parsley, tomato, zucchini, squash, cabbage, kale, and either vegetable or chicken broth.

For added flavor, you can crumble goat cheese on top.

9. Greek avgolemono soup

Staying on the soup train, this Greek classic really hits the spot. The term avgolemono means egg lemon, so naturally this recipe calls for egg and lemon to provide the proper texture.

To make the soup, combine four to five cups of water to bone broth powder, sprouted brown rice, eggs, lemon, butter and paprika. You can top it off with organic brown rice crisps and/or chopped green onions for a dish that will transplant your tastebuds right to Greece.

10. Romesco sauce

From the Catalonia region of Spain, this sauce was said to have been originally used by fishermen to put on their fresh seafood catches. The ingredients list can be long, but it takes just five minutes to make.

The main players include roasted red peppers, almonds, fire-roasted tomatoes, parsley, harissa paste, garlic, lemon, olive oil, salt and black pepper. You can add Kalamata olives and/or apple cider vinegar for a bump in flavor and health benefits.

Romesco sauce recipe - Dr. Axe

11. Harissa

Speaking of harissa paste, this North African condiment is a spicy paste that is chock-full of healthy ingredients. It begins, unsurprisingly, with dried peppers, and uses other spices like garlic, coriander, fennel, allspice and nutmeg.

It also includes apple cider vinegar, lemon, avocado oil and tomato paste.

Whip this up to add spice to any dish you want. It goes especially well with shakshuka.

12. Easy chicken cacciatore

A dish that combines chicken, tomato, mushrooms and red wine? Yes, please!

Chicken cacciatore is an Italian meal that uses those ingredients in addition to onions, garlic, coconut oil and Italian seasoning. Best of all, it takes less than a half hour to make!

Other Mediterranean-style chicken recipes to try include:

13. Shakshuka

Are you looking for a North African Mediterranean diet recipe that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner? Shakshuka, popular in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and beyond, is what you’re looking for.

This version takes just 35 minutes to come together, and it’s loaded with Mediterranean ingredients, including:

  • avocado oil
  • harissa
  • tomato paste
  • red peppers
  • garlic
  • paprika
  • chili powder
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • crushed red pepper
  • fire-roasted tomatoes
  • fresh tomatoes
  • eggs

Optional ingredients include yogurt, sauerkraut and basil.

14. Classic hummus

Hummus is popular all over world, and it’s easy to see why. With beneficial chickpeas as the base, this healthy, protein-packed condiment is made with garlic, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and paprika.

There is no shortage of ways to use it: as a dip for veggies, spread for a sandwich or a sauce for falafel, for example.

You can also try beet hummus or even baba ganoush, two other popular Mediterranean diet recipes.

15. Tahini

Speaking of tahini, this sesame paste is a delicious condiment in its own right, and it’s brilliance is in its simplicity. In fact, it has among the fewest ingredients among Mediterranean diet recipes.

How many? Just two: sesame seeds and olive oil.

To make it, bake the sesame seeds for about 10 minutes, and once they’ve cooled, blend them with the olive oil until it forms a creamy paste. You can use it on its own as a condiment, or you can make orange tahini dressing, lemon tahini salad dressing, hummus, or other sauces and dips.

16. Egg tahini salad

This is an egg salad recipe with a Mediterranean twist. Instead of hard-boiled eggs mixed with globs of mayonnaise, this version actually makes a mayo-free salad that’s topped with the eggs instead of combined into it.

Really, it’s more salad than egg salad, with mix greens, sun-dried tomatoes and green onion topped with a tahini, apple cider vinegar and dijon mustard dressing.

It’s delicious, refreshing and sure to be added to your list of favorite Mediterranean diet recipes.

17. Falafel

Falafel has become a popular vegetarian and vegan dish all over the world. This classic version does take some time to make, but it provides that delicious falafel flavor you know and love.

First, it requires blending the base chickpeas with black-eyed peas, flour, baking powder and a slew of spices — namely onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, cayenne, cumin, coriander, cardamom, salt and pepper.

To make it healthier than many food truck versions, fry it avocado oil instead of other vegetable oils.

You can also try zucchini falafel, which combines chickpeas with gluten-free crackers, zucchini, red onion, egg, sea salt and coconut oil served over lettuce leaves. You can top it mint leaves and goat milk, yogurt or kefir.

18. Cauliflower tabbouleh salad

Another Middle Eastern Mediterranean diet recipe, this cauliflower tabbouleh salad is delicious and nutritious. The main ingredients in this salad include cauliflower, lemon juice, olive oil, green onions, tomatoes and parsley.

The traditional versions of tabbouleh usually use bulgur wheat, but the cauliflower make this one easier on the gut.

19. Roasted fennel bulb with pecorino romano and pistachios

Fennel is synonymous with the Mediterranean, so naturally this roasted fennel bulb recipe was bound to make the best Mediterranean diet recipes list. Not only is it mouth-watering, but it also takes just 30–40 minutes to make.

This version utilizes fennel bulbs, pistachios, fresh mint, butter, cheese, lemon, salt and pepper. That’s it!

Enjoy this one any time of day.

20. Curried cauliflower soup

If you want a filling soup that is ready in just 40 minutes, this Mediterranean- and Middle Eastern-inspired cauliflower soup does the job. It’s delicious, hearty and healthy.

In addition to curry powder and cauliflower, this soup includes leeks, kohlrabi, chicken broth, turmeric, ginger, cayenne, lemon, garlic and coconut milk. This version also includes chicken, but you can skip it if you want to keep it vegetarian.

21. Cucumber salad with tomato and onion

Cucumber salad is perfect for a quick lunch. This Mediterranean take includes tomato, basil, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and onions for a simple, refreshing salad that provides a wealth of vitamins, minerals and even healthy fats thanks to the olive oil.

22. Gluten-free Tuscan pasta

Pasta isn’t always the healthiest food to eat, but in this Tuscan favorite, brown rice pasta is used in place of traditional white pasta, amping up the health benefits and keeping it gluten-free.

This Italian meal takes roughly 40 minutes to make, so it’s not too time-consuming for such a satisfying dish. It combines tomato and tomato sauce with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, zucchini, mushrooms, onion, sea salt and black pepper with coconut sugar and coconut oil to bring out a wealth of flavors.

23. Healthy fried chickpeas

Fried chickpeas may not sound healthy, but this version is pan-fried in coconut oil and steers clear of the hydrogenated oils often used in deep fryers. You can even use avocado oil instead if you prefer.

To make this recipe, the chickpeas are mixed with cumin, chili powder, garlic, paprika, sea salt and pepper and pan-fried in the oil for 10–12 minutes. That’s it!

Enjoy these fried chickpeas as a healthy snack.

24. Deviled eggs

There are lots and lots of deviled egg recipes out there, but this one uses the Mediterranean region as inspiration. Ready in 15 to 20 minutes, it combines the hard-boiled eggs with parsley, capers, lemon, Paleo or vegan mayo (or even avocado instead), dijon mustard, and a dash a paprika.

25. Quinoa pilaf

Quinoa is a high-protein grain that is bursting with nutrition, and pilaf is a popular dish across the Mediterranean region. This quinoa version takes just a half hour to make and uses a blend of flavors to really bring the tastebuds to life.

The ingredients list includes onion, bell pepper, clove, currants, almonds, quinoa and cayenne pepper, among others.

26. Tuna pasta salad with Kalamata olives and cherry tomatoes

It’s no secret that Mediterranean diet recipes include more fish and less red meat than the Western way of eating, such as this tuna pasta salad. It, of course, combines tuna fish with Mediterranean staples in olives and cherry tomatoes for unique take on pasta salad.

To make this one a bit healthier, it uses brown rice macaroni pasta instead of refined white pasta. In addition to the tuna, olives and tomatoes, this recipe also has onion, peppers, capers, Paleo mayo, dijon mustard, salt and pepper.

You can top it with green onions and microgreens if you’d like as well.

27. Salmon kale salad

This salad combines the protein-packed healthy fats of wild-caught salmon with supergreen kale, one of the healthiest leafy greens around. Best of all, it takes only 20 minutes to make, including cooking the salmon.

For the salad, the kale is combined with green onions and red pepper, while the dressing uses mustard, honey, goat milk, cashews, chipotle powder and garlic powder.

Other salmon Mediterranean diet recipes you can try include almond-crusted salmon, grilled honey glazed salmon and salmon patties.

28. Eggplant wrapped goat cheese

Eggplant and goat cheese are Mediterranean staples, so naturally eggplant wrapped goat cheese makes the best Mediterranean diet recipes list!

This recipe is quick and simple to make with limited ingredients and cook time. Basil, raisins and ghee combine with the two main players for a delicious side dish or snack.

Other eggplant recipes that double as Mediterranean diet recipes include:

29. Goat cheese and artichoke dip

If you’re ready to take your dips to the next level, it’s time to try this tasty and healthy artichoke dip recipe made with goat cheese. Ready in minutes, it combines artichoke hearts and goat cheese in a blender with olive oil, lemon juice, clove, parsley, chives and basil for a delicious dip.

You can make spinach artichoke dip as well.

30. Red lentil soup

Want a healthy, low-calorie vegan soup loaded with vitamin A, C and K and that will also keep you satisfied for hours? This red lentil soup is what you’re looking for.

Ready in 45 minutes, it combines red lentils with carrots, celery, onion, cloves, vegetable broth, thyme and greens. (Kale or Swiss chard work well.)

Use coconut oil or grass-fed butter as the healthy fat, and add sea salt and ground black pepper for added flavor.

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