30 Easy Mediterranean Diet Recipes

Close-up, high-key image of a white bowl filled with a Greek salad, including tomatoes, cucumber, olives, onions and feta beans - stock photo

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Based around foods traditional to countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, like Italy and Greece, the Mediterranean diet is a popular and nutrient-dense way of eating. For the fourth year in a row, the Mediterranean diet ranks as the number one overall diet in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking.

Considering the health benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet, it is easy to see why this way of eating is so popular and highly regarded by experts. Reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes are just some of the benefits of this lifestyle. The Mediterranean diet is also considered effective for weight loss and reduced inflammation.

A Mediterranean-inspired diet is associated with various health benefits and is also known for its easy and delicious recipes. Grocery staples like chickpeas, grains, yogurt, olive oil, hummus, fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and more are accessible, affordable, and easy to cook with. If the Mediterranean diet intrigues you, get started with these healthy, easy, and tasty recipes.

Breakfast

Popular breakfast foods on the Mediterranean diet include oatmeal, whole-grain toast, yogurt, and fruit. Since the diet is focused on healthy fats, it allows for some animal products, like eggs, for breakfast though it is mostly a plant-based diet. 

Low-Carb Portabella Mushroom Baked Eggs

Portabella cap baked eggs

Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN , LD

Followers of the Mediterranean diet are encouraged to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables, which is a challenge for many people. In fact, the CDC estimates that only one in 10 adults gets the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, which can increase the risk of chronic health diseases.

One way to get more nutrient-rich veggies into your diet is by incorporating them at breakfast time. This breakfast recipe by Verywell Fit requires just five minutes of prep time and three simple ingredients: olive oil cooking spray, portabella mushroom caps, and eggs. Serve with a side of fresh fruit to start your day off with a serving of fruits and vegetables right off the bat.

Lunch and Dinner

Salads, wraps, bowls, and soups are all examples of filling lunches and dinners on the Mediterranean diet. Try to fill your plate with plenty of hearty whole grains, fiber-rich vegetables, and sources of healthy fats and proteins.

Mediterranean Shrimp Skewers with Tzatziki Sauce

Shrimp and vegetable skewers

Molly Cleary

This skewer recipe by Verywell Fit contains all the main components of a Mediterranean-approved plate: protein (shrimp), plenty of vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers), healthy fats (plain Greek yogurt and olive oil), and whole grains (barley).

Not only is this skewer recipe easy and nutritious, but it is also delicious since it is flavored with spices like paprika, sea salt, and black pepper, as well as fresh herbs like dill and mint. Since it only takes 15 minutes of cooking time, you can make these skewers for a fun, family-friendly dinner on weeknights.

Snacks

Healthy Mediterranean snacks include options such as a handful of nuts and seeds, fresh fruit, dried fruit, Greek yogurt, nut butter, chopped veggies and dip, and hummus. Like your main meals on the Mediterranean diet, your snacks should focus on nutrient-dense foods like fruits and veggies and healthy fats like nuts, hummus, and bean dips.

Hummus

Hummus

The Mediterranean Dish

Learning how to make this high-protein snack by The Mediterranean Dish is a must if you plan on following the Mediterranean diet. Like olive oil and fatty fish, hummus is a classic Mediterranean diet staple. This hummus recipe comes together in 20 minutes and requires basic ingredients like garbanzo beans, tahini, garlic, salt, and lemon juice.

Since it is made from chickpeas, it is vegetarian- and vegan-friendly. People who do not eat animal-based products while following the Mediterranean diet should incorporate plenty of plant-based snacks rich in protein like hummus, bean dip, non-dairy yogurt, and nuts.

Gluten-Free

Since the Mediterranean diet incorporates a lot of whole, unprocessed foods, it is easy to adapt it to a gluten-free lifestyle. People who follow a gluten-free diet should avoid gluten-containing foods like pasta, barley, and pita bread. However, there are plenty of Mediterranean-friendly gluten-free alternatives.

Mediterranean Sheet Pan Salmon with Zucchini Noodles

Roasted salmon with zoodles

Abra's Kitchen

This sheet pan recipe by Abra’s Kitchen is perfect for busy weeknights since you only need one pan to cook the whole meal. This is also an exceptionally easy Mediterranean diet recipe since it requires just 15 minutes from start to finish and ten simple ingredients.

Combine all ingredients—salmon, zucchini noodles, grape tomatoes, olives, red onion, garlic, olive oil, za’atar, salt, and lemon—and roast in the oven for roughly ten minutes. The aroma from the fresh lemon will fill the air in your kitchen, and the spices will come together to make for a healthy dish that is tasty and satisfying.

Vegan

Though it includes animal proteins that are great sources of healthy fats, the Mediterranean diet can be adapted to be very vegan-friendly. Since it encourages its followers to increase their intake of plant-based foods like whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, vegans can easily modify the Mediterranean diet to suit their needs.

Mediterranean Summer Vegetable Ratatouille

vegan ratatouille

Photo © hipokrat at Istockphoto

Ratatouille is an underrated dish since many people assume it is time-consuming. However, this recipe for vegan ratatouille by Verywell Fit only requires five minutes of prep time.

If you are trying to eat more veggies, try this recipe. It calls for a variety of nutrient-rich vegetables like eggplant, onion, bell pepper, and zucchini. It also contains grape tomatoes, olive oil, and fresh basil, giving this dish classic Mediterranean flavors.

Vegetarian

Vegetarians interested in the Mediterranean diet have slightly more flexibility than vegans since they may consume some animal products, like milk, cheese, eggs, honey, and yogurt. While dairy products are not as commonly consumed as other foods on the Mediterranean diet, dairy and eggs can be eaten as sources of fat and protein.

Greek Orzo Salad

Greek orzo salad

A Couple Cooks

This recipe by A Couple Cooks combines Greek flavors like tangy lemon and fresh dill with orzo. Good news! While pasta—like orzo—should be enjoyed in moderation on the Mediterranean diet, occasional consumption is not discouraged. 

This Greek orzo salad is perfect for the warmer months since it calls for fresh herbs and vegetables like cucumber, red pepper, and onion. Mixing these ingredients with Kalamata olives, white wine vinegar, and feta cheese brings out the Mediterranean flavors.

A Word From Verywell

You do not have to follow the Mediterranean diet to enjoy these healthy and easy recipes. If the Mediterranean diet inspires you, try to incorporate more dishes that are rich in vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains, and a mix of plant-based and animal protein sources. 

While following a strict diet can be challenging and may not be appropriate for all, the Mediterranean diet is less restrictive than other diets. It is more often considered a lifestyle approach to wellness, inspired by the Mediterranean culture.

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  1. Widmer RJ, Flammer AJ, Lerman LO, Lerman A. The Mediterranean diet, its components, and cardiovascular diseaseAm J Med. 2015;128(3):229-238. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2014.10.014