50 Easy Mediterranean Diet Recipes (2024)

One of the healthiest diets in the world is also the most delicious. Here are all the best Mediterranean diet recipes to get you cooking!

Want to eat the Mediterranean way? Of all the ways to describe a way of eating, the Mediterranean diet is probably the closest to what we eat. It’s been gaining traction as one of the healthiest diets in the world. And this is not what you think of as diet food, folks: Mediterranean diet recipes are real, fresh, and seriously delicious! What we love even more is that it’s not just food: it’s a lifestyle approach.

The Mediterranean diet has been called one the healthiest and best in the world. But what exactly is it? The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating and living that derives from the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea (like Italy and Greece). It’s not a strict diet, but more of loose guidelines. Here’s how the Mayo Clinic defines the Mediterranean diet:

Mayo Clinic stresses that a Mediterranean diet is plant based, not meat based. It’s kind of like a whole food plant based diet with a bit of seafood and dairy thrown in. Having a loose concept is helpful and provides flexibility (like eating “flexitarian”, a word sometimes used to describe eating mostly plants but occasionally meat).

One of the best things about the Mediterranean diet is that it’s all about thelifestyle. This eating philosophy originated based on the longevity of people in the Mediterranean, and researchers observed more than just eating habits. Simply eating Mediterranean diet recipes is not all there is to it. Here’s what’s important in addition to food:

Without further ado, here are our Mediterranean diet recipes! These recipes feature:

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Mediterranean Bowl

Try thisMediterranean Bowl, bursting with colorful veggies! It’s a simple “meal in a bowl” that stars spiced roasted vegetables, seasoned with an irresistible mix of cumin, coriander, garlic and a hint of cinnamon. Add to that quinoa or couscous, fresh cucumber and tomato, and top it all off with a creamy lemon tahini sauce.

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Greek Orzo Salad

Though it looks a little like rice, orzo is actually a small pasta in the shape of rice! It’s often used in Mediterranean diet recipes like Italian and Greek cuisine. All the flavors of Greece are in this orzo salad: salty feta cheese, Kalamata olives, and of course, powerhouse herbs like mint and dill! Leftovers save well and it's perfect for lunches.

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Salmon with Capers

This Mediterranean style salmon with capers is easy to make and results in one perfectly moist piece of fish! It's baked in foil with lemon and herbs until it’s perfectly tender. Then it’s topped with a silky butter sauce made with garlic and capers. Just a small drizzle packs a huge punch — and the modest quantity keeps it healthy. It all comes together in just 30 minutes.

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Falafel Salad

Here’s an irresistible Mediterranean diet recipe: thisFalafel Salad! Make a batch of this easybaked falafel, then layer them with crunchy veggies and top with a creamy, zingy tahini dressing. Or, use purchased frozen falafel or even repurpose take-out leftovers! This one is a massive hit with our family: and works for weeknights or dinner parties.

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Best Lentil Soup

Yes, it really is the best lentil soup! This one is easy to make and full of nutritious ingredients. Lentils are common in Mediterranean diet recipes: thy're loaded with plant based protein. The star ingredient here is fresh fennel, which adds a smoky undertone to the fire roasted tomatoes and kale. This soup is ultra cozy; enjoy a steaming bowl with a side of our bestvegan cornbread.

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Easy Shrimp and Rice Skillet

Here’s a Mediterranean Diet recipe with your name on it! Succulent, juicy shrimp sit atop a bed of fluffy rice flavored with garlic, dill and spinach. Give it a good sprinkling of feta cheese and a few spritzes of lemon juice, and it’s truly a revelation. We’re always in need of a good 30-minute weeknight meal, and this one hits the spot in so many ways.

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Baked Tilapia with Lemon

Here’s a Mediterranean diet recipe with a total wow factor: thisBaked Tilapia with Tomatoes & Feta! The tender, flaky fish is covered in a lemon garlic sauce, cozied up with burst cherry tomatoes, Mediterranean seasonings and gooey bits of feta cheese. Each bite is savory with just the right pop of brightness. It’s ready in just over 30 minutes and great for impressing on weeknights or dinner parties.

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Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Here’s a healthy lunch or dinner idea to spice up your routine: Mediterranean tuna salad! This spin adds crispyMediterranean-styleveggies and swaps out the classic mayonnaise for olive oil and vinegar. The flavor is so fresh and delicious, you may give up the mayo version altogether. Eat with crusty bread, gluten-free crackers, or make it into lettuce wraps.

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Moroccan Chickpea Stew

This Moroccan stew recipe is one of our top Mediterranean diet recipes we refer to people who want to eat more plants. Why? It’s ultra flavorful, with a blend of Moroccan spices that’s truly irresistible! It’s full of nutrient rich vegetables: sweet potatoes,chickpeas, tomatoes and spinach.

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Quick Hummus Bowls

Hello and welcome to the best quick Mediterranean diet recipe idea: theHummus Bowl! At it’s base, this simple concept requires no cooking at all: layer a dollop of hummus with crunchy veggies and greens. To make it more filling, add cooked rice (leftoveror from a pre-cooked rice packet). It takes just 5 minutes to make thisMediterranean-style mealthat’s bursting with creamy, tangy, crunchy, fresh, and savory flavors.

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Pesto Chicken

Here’s a great way to use it to make a Mediterranean dinner recipe:Pesto Chicken! Combinebasil pestowith a bit of cream and it makes a stunning fresh sauce for juicy chicken breasts! It’s a quick trick that makes an everyday dinner into something special, perfect for entertaining or just an easy weeknight meal.

Looking for an easy weeknight meal? Enter: lemon dill salmon. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s even fancy enough for a dinner party. The baked salmon is perfectly savory, and doused in a zingy lemon dill sauce it’s pretty irresistible.

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Eggplant Rollatini

Here’s a delightful Italian eggplant dish that makes dinnertime more special:Eggplant Rollatini! It’s like a combination ofeggplant Parmesanandlasagna roll ups. Tender strips of eggplant are wrapped around a creamy three-cheese filling, then baked in homemade tomato sauce and more cheese.

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Easy Veggie Wrap

In need of lunch ideas? Try this easyveggie wrap recipe! Veggie wraps can be bland and boring, but this one is anything but. Fill a tortilla with savory chickpea salad, colorful veggies, and a tasty spread, and you’ve got a lunch that will make everyone jealous! Here’s how to build a veggie wrap that’s full of flavor.

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Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Here's a favorite Mediterranean diet recipe that makes for a tasty vegetarian dinner recipe. Roast those multi-colored bell peppers until they're tender, then stuff them with the flavors of the Mediterranean. The quinoa filling features shallot and garlic, pistachios, parsley, paprika, oregano and lemon. Sprinkle that with a healthy handful of feta cheese, and you've got dinner.

The word salad doesn’t even really come close to describing the taste treat that is the traditional French Nicoise salad.Hard boiled eggs, green beans, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, tuna, and tangy potatoes sit on crunchy lettuce with a zestylemon vinaigrettethat makes you want to keep eating it for days. It’s filling enough to be a main dish, and it’s got the best carefree vibe.

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Grilled Chicken

You know it’s easy to make grilled chicken breast that tastes dry and bland? Here’s how to make grilled chicken so it comes out juicy and perfectly seasoned every time!We’ve figured out the trick to an ultra-moist piece of chicken that melts in your mouth: and it takes just 2 minutes to do.

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Spanish Paella

This traditional Spanish rice dish is actually easy to make at home: we promise! You don't even need a fancy pan: a large skillet will do. Smoked paprika adds an earthy flair to the rice, which is topped with veggies, artichokes and shrimp. It's a stunning recipe for entertaining, but easy enough for a weeknight.

Also try: Easy Vegetarian Paella

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Tuscan Soup with White Beans

This Tuscan soup is one of our favorite Mediterranean recipes -- and not just because it tastes like pizza! (OK, maybe that is why.) It's full of big flavor from hearty tomatoes and Italian spices, and it's got a smoky undertone from fennel and smoked paprika. Top with some Pecorino or Parmesan shavings and it's divine.

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Mediterranean Couscous Bowls

These Mediterranean diet couscous bowls recipe is a common repeat in our dinner recipes repertoire. Why? In just 25 minutes, you have a fresh bowl of delicious vegetables that’s smothered in atangy lemon tahini sauce. This one is a truly tasty way to eat your veggies. If you'd like, substitute couscous for awhole grainlikequinoaorbrown rice. It would also be tasty with Greek salad dressing.

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Stuffed Salmon

Want a dinner recipe that’s easy and impressive? Go for thisspinach artichoke stuffed salmonrecipe! A creamy, savory filling flavored like your favorite dip is the ideal contrast to flaky, tender salmon.

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Healthy Pizza with Arugula

Is pizza a Mediterranean diet recipe? When it's this healthy pizza, it is! It starts with ourEasy Thin Crust pizza dough. Then it's slathered with our tangy, garlickyEasy Pizza Sauce. Top that with caramelized peppers and onions, fresh arugula, and a handful of grated Parmesan cheese. It's SO flavorful and turns out with only ⅓ the calories of a typical delivery pizza!

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Simple Red Lentil Soup

Lentils are one of nature’s wonders: they’re full of protein, shelf stable for years, inexpensive, and make for some of the most satisfying filling meals. Try this simpleRed Lentil Soup! It’s deliciously hearty, featuring aromatic vegetables, lemon and a hint of smoked paprika.

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Greek Nachos with Cilantro Sauce

These nachos are all about the flavors of the Mediterranean! Juicy tomatoes, cool cucumber, and white beans are spread over crunchy pita chips and covered in a cool, brightgreen cilantro sauce. These Greek nachos are vegan, so they’re 100% plant based! Make your ownHomemade Pita Chips, but if you’re in a hurry, use storebought instead.

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Spinach Tortellini Soup

This hearty tortellini soup has a lightly sweet depth that makes you want the bowl to be never-ending. Doughy pillows of tortellini float in a tangy, tomato broth seasoned with Italian herbs and Parmesan cheese. It’s loaded up with nutrient-dense spinach and tender vegetables like carrot and fennel, which add nuance and crunch. Sprinkle with Pecorino Romano cheese and it’s a total triumph.

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Honey Garlic Salmon

Looking for delicious salmon recipes? When it comes to flavor and simplicity, thisHoney Garlic Salmonrecipe delivers. The salmon is pan fried for a brown, seared exterior, then baked in the oven until it’s perfectly tender. Drench it all in this stickyhoney garlic sauce, a sweet savory glaze that adds layers of complexity.

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Quick Shrimp Stir Fry

Here’s a go-to in the fast and easy dinner category:shrimp stir fry! It’s quick to put together and the umami-packed stir fry sauce is full of irresistible flavor. It’s our favoriteEasy Stir Fry Saucethat works with any type of stir fry. This recipe fits the Mediterranean diet by piling on colorful vegetables with protein-packed seafood.

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This white bean shakshuka recipe is a tasty Mediterranean diet recipe that works for brunch or dinner! Shakshuka is a dish of eggs poached in a tomato sauce that originates from Middle Eastern and Mediterranean regions. This one features white beans and bell peppers, and is sprinkled with feta cheese. It's so tasty, and comes together in just over 30 minutes.

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This Mediterranean veggie sandwich was inspired by our recent trip toItaly. While in Pisa, we went to a sweet little sandwich shop and had a sandwich like this. The bread is spread withbasil pestoandKalamata olive spread, and then it’s filled with grilled eggplant, juicy ripe tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. It’s pretty darn delicious, if we do say so ourselves.

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Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Looking for easy Mediterranean dinner recipes? TryShrimp Fra Diavolo! This Italian-style dish stars tender shrimp that swim in a garlicky, spicy tomato sauce. “Fra diavolo” translates to “brother devil” in Italian, alluding to the intense heat of this dish. But make it homemade and you can customize the spiciness to your taste!

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Simple Chickpea Salad

ThisMediterranean-stylechickpea salad comes together in 5 minutes! It's the best trick for a quick lunch recipe, and saves well in the fridge.

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Quinoa Tabbouleh

There’s something about the combination of herbaceous parsley, bright lemon and crunchy tomatoes and cucumber that makes magic. Traditional tabbouleh is made with bulgur wheat, a quick cookingwhole grain. But seeing as quinoa is the grain of the moment…why not try it with quinoa? Turns outQuinoa Tabboulehworks perfectly, making a delicious gluten free spin on this classic Lebanese and Greek salad.

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Easy Grilled Tilapia

If you’re looking for a healthy seafood recipe that fits into the Mediterranean diet: here’s the one! The flaky fish is bursting with savory, smoky flavor from the grill. Top it with sweet and tender blistered cherry tomatoes, and it looks simply stunning.

Don't have a grill? Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes, until flaky.

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Greek Salad

There's nothing that says Mediterranean diet more than a great Greek salad! The combination of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, Kalamata olives, and salty feta is pure perfection.

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Cozy White Bean Soup

Try thisWhite Bean Soup, full of humble ingredients and huge flavor! Tender white beans float in the cozy broth with soft potatoes and leafy kale. Lemon zest lends brightness and tarragon brings an herby nuance. The best part? It’s made of 100% vegetables and tastes like a dream.

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Pesto Salmon

Ready for the perfect Mediterranean sauce to add life to baked salmon? Try thispesto salmon! Bright green pesto goes hand in hand with tender baked fish to make a stunning dinner. Because really: what isn’t better with a little pesto on top? The savory, garlicky sauce makes the flaky fish pop: you’ll already be taking your second bite before finishing the first.

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Pasta e Ceci (Italian Chickpea Soup)

This pasta and chickpea soup is full of big Mediterranean flavors: intense vibrant tomato, leafy Tuscan kale, and a creamy broth made with Parmesan rind. Swimming in it all are the chickpeas and pasta of the soup’s title, making it hearty and filling.

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Easy Lentil Salad

Here’s a top-notch lentil recipe to add to your arsenal, and man is it tasty. This fresh and healthy lentil salad isMediterranean-style, mixed with fresh veggies and feta cheese. It’s a tasty way to add protein to a vegetarian meal as a side dish, or bring to work as a lunch throughout the week.

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Easy Mahi Mahi

Got a fillet of mahi mahi? Try this easymahi mahi recipe! It’s simply pan-fried with lemon, garlic and herbs until it’s tender and juicy. This popular fish makes a splash with simple preparations like this one: it’s got a short ingredient list and is quick to whip up as a tasty main dish. Add a sauce if you’d like, and experience the magic of pure, simple mahi mahi.

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Pan Seared Scallops

Scallops have a beautiful, mild sweet flavor that’s easy to love: and there’s nothing better than that perfect seared crispy outside. It takes a little know how to get that golden brown crust without under cooking or overcooking them. But once you know a few secrets…they're simple and take only 5 minutes to cook.

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Easy Grain Bowl

Bowl meals are popular because they're one of the easiest ways to turn random ingredients into ahealthy dinner! A good grain bowl has to be well-seasoned, and play up contrasts in color, texture and flavor. This one features Mediterranean vegetables, quinoa and a zingy tahini sauce.

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Couscous Salad

Here’s a salad that’s about as delightful as they come: this fresh and herbyCouscous Salad! It’s an ideal way to useIsraeli couscous, those delightfully chewy pasta spheres. Throw it together with fresh dill and mint, garlic, lemon and a pile of vegetables, then sprinkle with salty feta. Take a bite and it’s irresistibly fresh and savory: we couldn’t stop eating it! This deli-style Israeli couscous salad works for lunch or picnics, or as a colorful side for fish, chicken or the grill.

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Easy Baked Shrimp

Thisbaked shrimp issoeasy and the shrimp come out juicy and perfectly seasoned with Mediterranean flavors like garlic and herbs. Move over, all other shrimp recipes! This one is the perfect healthy, fast and easy dinner.

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Asparagus Risotto

Creamy, savory, crunchy, and zingy: this asparagus risotto is trulysublime. Roast up some asparagus with lemon at the same time that you’re stirring up a creamy risotto on the stovetop. Then throw the tender bright green asparagus into the risotto, right along with the lemon.

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Italian Lentil Soup

This Italian lentil soup recipe is swimming with healthy ingredients, artichokes, tomatoes, and lentils. It pairs earthy and tangy flavors in a way that draws you in bite after bite.

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Best Chickpea Burgers

These chickpea burgers full of whole foods are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, with a hint of nuance from smoked paprika. Style them however you like: we like to paint them with BBQ sauce and top with shiitake bacon and spicy mayo.

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Fried Tilapia

When it comes to easy and healthy weeknight meals, fish is ideal: it cooks quickly and it’s full of protein and omega 3s. So why not try another way to make it taste amazing: thisPan Fried Tilapia! Coat the white fish fillets in seasonings and flour and pan fry them in a bit of olive oil. The tilapia comes out savory and tender with a light crispy coating: in minutes! Spritz with lemon wedges and it’s the perfecteasy dinner ideawith a few simple sides.

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Go-To Quinoa Salad

Here’s a workhorse Mediterranean diet salad that’s fresh, delicious and ultra versatile: this deli-styleQuinoa Salad! There are loads of ways to make a salad with this fluffy grain and after experimenting for years, we’ve foundthe one. This recipe is delightfully refreshing, a jumble of crunchy, colorful veggies, fluffy quinoa grains, and a zingy Dijon mustard vinaigrette. It's great as a lunch or dinner side dish!

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Marinated Shrimp Skewers

Try these go-toMarinated Shrimp Skewers! The flavors are bold, savory, and penetrate the tender, juicy flesh in a way that a simple seasoning can’t. Throw together a few pantry ingredients, no chopping required. Even better, this marinade is versatile and works with any cooking method:grilled,sautéed,bakedand more.

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Tuna Cakes

Need mealtime inspiration? Here’s an easy healthy Mediterranean diet dinner that is always a massive hit in our house:Tuna Patties! Also known as tuna cakes, these unassuming burgers made of canned tuna might sound humble. Butau contraire: they’re so savory on the inside and golden crispy on the outside, you won’t be able to resist another bite! This recipe is spiced with Old Bay, parsley and Dijon mustard, and it’s a total treat.

50 Easy Mediterranean Diet Recipes (2024)

FAQs

What are the 2 most recognized ingredients in Mediterranean diet? ›

Key ingredients of Mediterranean cuisine include olive oil, fresh fruits and vegetables, protein-rich legumes, fish and whole grains with moderate amounts of wine and red meat.

What should be eaten every meal on the Mediterranean diet? ›

The foundation of the Mediterranean diet is plant foods. That means meals are built around vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, beans and whole grains. Moderate amounts of dairy, poultry and eggs are part of the Mediterranean diet, as is seafood. In contrast, red meat is eaten only once in a while.

What is a typical Mediterranean breakfast? ›

Common Mediterranean Breakfast Foods

Yogurt: We love Greek yogurt which is higher in protein, and lower in sugar. Eggs: A great source of protein and healthy fats. Oats: A healthy whole grain used in oatmeal and baked goods. Fruit: All types of fruit are encouraged on the Mediterranean diet.

What is not eaten in a Mediterranean diet? ›

The Mediterranean diet is high in plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Foods not allowed include processed red meats, heavily processed foods, refined grains, alcohol, butter, and refined/processed/hydrogenated oils.

Is peanut butter on the Mediterranean diet? ›

And as plant-based protein sources that are high in good and unsaturated fats, peanuts and peanut butter are a natural fit within Mediterranean and Flexitarian ways of eating. Unfamiliar with the Mediterranean and Flexitarian diets?

What is a typical lunch in the Mediterranean? ›

In Greece, lunch might include a flavorful tomato, olive, cucumber, and feta salad, along with a small piece of grilled fish with lemon and olive oil. In Eastern Mediterranean countries, you might have falafel served alongside hummus and pita, salads, and sometimes a vegetable or meat kebab.

What cheese is ok on a Mediterranean diet? ›

Cheese & Yogurt

Dairy products common to the traditional Mediterranean Diet include: brie, chevre, corvo, feta, haloumi, manchego, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pecorino, ricotta, yogurt (including Greek yogurt).

What bread to eat on a Mediterranean diet? ›

Is sourdough bread allowed on the Mediterranean diet? Any bread that is made from whole wheat, whole grains, sprouts, and sourdough is recommended while on a Mediterranean diet. You will want to avoid bread made from refined grains, such as white bread if you are following this diet.

Do you lose belly fat on Mediterranean diet? ›

The participants in the first group experienced “clinically meaningful” changes in body composition throughout the three-year experiment, according to the researchers. This included a 5% or greater improvement in fat mass, visceral (belly) fat mass and loss of lean muscle mass after only one year of following the diet.

What is a simple Mediterranean diet? ›

It includes plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans and lentils as well as seafood and healthy fats like olive oil and nuts. It also includes a moderate amount of chicken, turkey, eggs and fermented dairy, like yogurt or kefir, while limiting red meat, sweets and processed foods.

What is the Mediterranean secret to weight loss? ›

You will limit sugar and processed food

Sugary beverages are strongly linked to weight gain and replacing them with water can reduce your overall calorie intake and promote weight loss. Eating whole foods over processed ones is another reason the Mediterranean diet may help you reach a healthier weight.

What are the main ingredients of a Mediterranean diet? ›

A Mediterranean-style diet is based on these foods: • vegetables • fruits • extra virgin olive oil • wholegrain breads and cereals • legumes or beans (e.g. chickpeas, kidney beans or lentils) • nuts and seeds • fish and seafood • onion, garlic and other herbs and spices (e.g. oregano, coriander, cumin etc.)

What are the main ingredients for Mediterranean food? ›

Mediterranean Ingredients: 12 of Our Favorites
  • Olive Oil. Olive oil is the shining star of Mediterranean cuisine, renowned for its rich flavor and numerous health benefits. ...
  • Tomatoes. ...
  • Hummus. ...
  • Feta Cheese. ...
  • Olives. ...
  • Cucumbers. ...
  • Fresh Herbs. ...
  • Whole Grains.

Which of the following ingredients is one of the most important in the Mediterranean diet? ›

Fruits, veggies, whole grains and extra virgin olive oil are foods you'll eat most often with the Mediterranean Diet.

What are the three main components of a Mediterranean diet? ›

Specifically, she says, the traditional Mediterranean diet is characterized by high consumption of vegetables, fruits, legumes, and unprocessed grains, low consumption of meat and meat products (maybe two to three times per month), and low consumption of dairy products.

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