15 Best Mediterranean Diet Recipes (2024)

For the fourth year in a row, the Mediterranean diet has been named the very best by U.S. News & World Report rankings. Since 2018, experts have agreed that the Mediterranean diet doesn't just aid in weight loss, but it also focuses on the type of foods and flexibility that is most beneficial for our longevity and wellbeing.

Focusing on vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices, nuts, beans, and whole grains, the Mediterranean diet isn't even remotely close to fad dieting but is more so a way of life. Add in moderate amounts of dairy, poultry, eggs, and seafood, and you've got a full fridge to cook up basically anything your heart desires. If you're looking to make the switch in 2021, we want to help. Here are 15 Mediterranean diet recipes to get you started.

And for more, don't miss these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.

Simple Homemade Hummus

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While the Mediterranean diet is so much more than hummus, the creamy, vegan dip is a staple for good reason. Full of nutrient-rich fats and fiber, all you need is a can of chickpeas, lemon, and garlic to get started. The rest is up to you.

Get our recipe for Hummus.

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Roast Salmon with Lentils

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For a fish dish that you can set and forget, try this easy roasted salmon with lentils. As the salmon cooks to perfection in the oven, the lentils steep in flavor thanks to chicken broth, bay leaves, carrots, onion, and garlic.

Get our recipe for Roast Salmon with Lentils.

Air Fryer Falafel

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If you already love falafel (and come on, who doesn't?) then you're in luck. This staple of Middle Eastern culture is a popular dish on the Mediterranean diet thanks to ingredients like chickpeas, fresh spices, and fresh herbs. Our recipe goes one step further and uses an air fryer instead of deep frying in oil. Try it out for yourself.

Get our recipe for Air Fryer Falafel.


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Grab your cast iron skillet, some beautiful, fresh tomatoes, and eggs to start making this Shakshuka. The traditional Middle Eastern and North African baked egg dish is best served with a side of whole-grain bread or pita for dunking.

Get our recipe for Shakshuka.

Easy Olive Tapenade

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Because olive oil—an extremely healthy fat—is at the core of the Mediterranean diet, it shouldn't surprise you to see this delicious tapenade here. Made with Kalamata and Castelvetrano olives along with lemon, capers, and other goodies, this appetizer comes together in just minutes. Pair with crostini and your favorite red wine.

Get the recipe from Cookie and Kate.

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Kale, Grape, and Farro Salad with Feta and White Wine Vinaigrette

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To add a heartiness to your salad, try adding farro. This ancient grain is better for you than rice or even quinoa, as it's rich in fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. What makes this salad sing is its combo of sweet, tangy, and nutty ingredients. Don't skimp!

Get the recipe from Cooking Classy.

Spiced Lamb and Couscous Stuffed Peppers

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Stuffed peppers are traditionally made with rice and ground beef, but this Mediterranean twist uses decadent lamb and protein-packed couscous. Spices including cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, and nutmeg give this dish layers of flavor before it's topped with crumbly feta cheese.

Get the recipe from The View from Great Island.

Citrus Olive Oil Cake

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As a reminder that the Mediterranean diet isn't a diet per se but a better-for-you way of eating, behold… cake. It's not forbidden, nor is it even frowned upon. This one simply focuses on whole ingredients like olive oil and orange juice (fresh-squeezed is better) for its rich and lively flavor.

Get the recipe from Bigger Bolder Baking.

Baked Feta Cheese with Tomatoes

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Long before baked feta cheese and pasta went viral on TikTok, lovers of the Mediterranean diet recognized its creamy deliciousness and simplicity. This recipe is made in one baking dish and uses minimal ingredients: just feta, cherry tomatoes, parsley, garlic, oregano, and the almighty olive oil. Serve it as an appetizer with bread or try things the TikTok way and mix in your favorite pasta.

Get the recipe from I Heart Vegetables.

Chicken Souvlaki

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If you're a meat-eater, you know it doesn't get better than perfectly spiced chicken on an open grill. Using high-quality ingredients, even the most humble of meals like this one—skewered chicken served with a crisp veggie salad, fresh pita, rice, and Tzatziki—can end up being your favorite.

Get the recipe from The Seasoned Mom.

Asparagus & Feta Quinoa Salad

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Not only is this salad Mediterranean diet-friendly, but the fresh veggies, cheese, and grains will also keep you full and satisfied. For the extra-hungry family members, try tossing in some grilled chicken to pack an added punch of protein.

Get the recipe from The Creative Bite.

Greek Yogurt Apple Blueberry Bread

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Regardless of your diet, it's always a good idea to cut back on refined sugar where you can. This delicious bread—great for breakfast or a midday snack—is sweetened with honey, vanilla extract, and fresh fruit. Plus, Greek yogurt not only acts as a leavening agent but also gives it added flavor.

Get the recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction.

Cauliflower Tabbouleh

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A spin on classic Lebanese Tabbouleh salad, this version gets its added heartiness from finely diced cauliflower. But don't worry, the super herbaceous and fragrant dish is still packed with all the classics: parsley, mint, cucumber, and tomatoes. Serve on the side of your main or as part of a Mediterranean mezze platter.

Get the recipe from The Healthy Maven.

Asparagus Phyllo Bundles

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Your life will be exponentially better once you introduce phyllo dough into it. The flaky Greek pastry dough is used in a number of dishes, both sweet and savory, and can be purchased frozen at most grocery stores. This recipe uses phyllo as a blanket for delicious roasted asparagus and seasoned feta.

Get the recipe from Diethood.

Shrimp in Lemon Sauce with Olives

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Though fresh shrimp is the star of this dish, it's only made possible by the flavors infused with tangy lemon juice and briny olives. Want to feel like you're sailing off the coast of Greece? This is the dinner for you.

Get the recipe from The View from Great Island.

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15 Best Mediterranean Diet Recipes (2024)


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

A true Mediterranean diet is characterized by:
  • High Consumption of Olive Oil: A primary source of healthy monounsaturated fats.
  • Abundance of Fruits and Vegetables: Provides vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Whole Grains: Emphasis on whole grains over refined grains.
Oct 27, 2023

What are the top 10 foods on a Mediterranean diet? ›

10 foods to add to your Mediterranean lifestyle
  • Extra virgin olive oil. ...
  • Walnuts. ...
  • Lentils. ...
  • Blueberries. ...
  • Wild salmon as a healthy animal protein. ...
  • Garlic for a reduced risk of cancer. ...
  • Oregano as an anti-inflammatory agent. ...
  • Mushrooms for a mental health boost.
Feb 3, 2022

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 the fastest way to lose weight on the Mediterranean diet? ›

If you want to lose weight following a Mediterranean diet here are my 5 tips that work.
  1. Eat your main meal early in the day. ...
  2. Eat vegetables as a main course cooked in olive oil. ...
  3. You should drink water mostly and sometimes tea, coffee and wine (for adults) ...
  4. Consume the right amount of olive oil. ...
  5. Move.
Jan 17, 2024

What is a typical Mediterranean breakfast? ›

Spain and Italy: toasted bread + soft cheese + fresh fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice. Greece: paximadia (bread made from whole wheat, chickpea, and barley flour) + olives + cheese. Syria: tahini yogurt with chickpeas + pickles + sliced radishes. Morocco: fried egg in olive oil + soft cheese + olives + flatbread.

What is not allowed on Mediterranean diet? ›

Foods high in sodium or saturated fat. Refined carbohydrates, like white bread and white rice. Highly processed foods, like some cheeses. Fatty or processed meats.

Are bananas OK on the Mediterranean diet? ›

You can base your diet on these foods: Vegetables: tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips. Fruits: apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches.

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?

Are potatoes allowed on Mediterranean diet? ›

Potatoes are also part of the Mediterranean diet. Potatoes get a bad reputation, as they are not included in our five-a-day and are often fried or processed. But the Mediterranean diet includes about 3-4 portions per week. Eating potatoes with their skins on is a better way to get the fibre and nutrients in potatoes.

What cheese is OK on 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 is the best bread for 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.

Is rice allowed on Mediterranean diet? ›

The Mediterranean diet is centered around whole grains, such as farro, millet, couscous and brown rice. With this eating style, you'll generally want to limit your intake of refined grains such as white pasta and white bread.

What are 3 cons of the Mediterranean diet? ›

There may be health concerns with this eating style for some people, including:
  • You may gain weight from eating fats in olive oil and nuts.
  • You may have lower levels of iron. ...
  • You may have calcium loss from eating fewer dairy products.
Jul 30, 2022

How to lose belly fat on Mediterranean diet? ›

Choose Lean Proteins: Focus on fish and poultry over red meat. Include beans, nuts, and other plant-based proteins. Moderate Wine Intake: If you consume alcohol, switch to wine and drink in moderation. Stay Active: As the study suggests, coupling the diet with regular physical activity yields better results.

What is the Mediterranean hack to lose weight? ›

Fruits and vegetables are also a big part of the Mediterranean diet, eaten at most if not all meals. Fruits and veggies pack in a lot of water and fiber and are low in calories, so you can eat basically as much as you want. Eating more vegetables can prevent weight gain or even lead to loss, research has shown.

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.

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.

What is the majority of protein in the Mediterranean diet? ›

Most of the protein comes from legumes and whole cereals; the average daily vegetable protein content of the traditional Mediterranean diet is approximately 40 g.

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