Superfast Mediterranean Recipes

From Morocco, to Italy, to Greece, to Turkey, to the Middle East, these recipes are tasty and none take more than 20 minutes to make.

Lemon Basil Shrimp and Pasta

Randy Mayor

Lemon Basil Shrimp and Pasta

A hallmark of Mediterranean dishes is that they derive deep flavor from simple ingredients prepared simply. This dish is a great example: You cook the shrimp in the water with the pasta, then add herby basil, briny capers, rich olive oil, and bright lemon juice, no further cooking required. Serve on a bed of spinach or alongside broccoli, asparagus, green beans, or any other green vegetable.

View Recipe: Lemon Basil Shrimp and Pasta

Chicken Souvlaki

Randy Mayor

Chicken Souvlaki

Our version of this Greek favorite requires exactly two minutes and 20 seconds of cooking, thanks to rotisserie chicken. We replaced the traditional tzatziki sauce with a zesty mix of yogurt, feta, and dill, which boosts the flavor content without adding fat. Serve with your favorite Mediterranean side―baba ghanoush, tabbouleh, and couscous are all good choices.

View Recipe: Chicken Souvlaki

Artichoke and Arugula Pizza with Prosciutto

Lee Harrelson

Artichoke and Arugula Pizza with Prosciutto

A balance of flavors is the key to this recipe. The bitter arugula, sweet artichoke, salty prosciutto, and creamy mozzarella are in perfect equilibrium atop a crisp-and-chewy crust and pesto sauce. Not only is the combination of tastes more satisfying than pepperoni and red sauce, this pizza takes just 11 minutes to bake―no longer than a frozen one.

View Recipe: Artichoke and Arugula Pizza with Prosciutto

Superfast Kofte

Randy Mayor

Superfast Kofte

A Turkish take on the mini-hamburger, these use tangy yogurt in place of cheese and pita instead of buns. They get their unique flavor from common pantry spices in an uncommon combination. The best part is how fast they cook―eight minutes is all you need for a meaty and satisfying dinner for four. Serve with hummus and extra pita for dipping.

View Recipe: Superfast Kofte

Seared Mediterranean Tuna Steaks

Randy Mayor

Seared Mediterranean Tuna Steaks

The tuna and tomato are the stars in this dish, so be sure to use good-quality ones to let their flavors shine. A sprinkling of salt, pepper, and coriander give the fish just a hint of spice to complement its tenderness and delicate taste when cooked medium rare. The salsa-like mix of tomato, capers, garlic, and olive provides a fresh accent; you can also try it on pork, chicken, or even as a dip with pita chips.

View Recipe: Seared Mediterranean Tuna Steaks

Herbed Greek Chicken Salad

Lee Harrelson

Herbed Greek Chicken Salad

Greek seasoning―as simple as oregano and lemon―pairs fantastically with chicken and forms the base for this fresh and healthful salad. Yogurt and tahini make a creamy dressing, while kalamata olives and feta cheese add their own distinctly Greek flavors to the party. Each large, satisfying serving has only 243 calories.

View Recipe: Herbed Greek Chicken Salad

Rigatoni with Green Olive-Almond Pesto and Asiago Cheese

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Rigatoni with Green Olive-Almond Pesto and Asiago Cheese

In this deliciously different pesto, olives and parsley stand in for basil and almonds for pine nuts. It's a strong flavor, but a nice one for this dish, incorporated into a sauce with vinegar, cheese, and the pasta's cooking liquid so it adheres well to the noodles. The pesto mixture has lots of other uses, too―spread on sliced French bread and bake for a new twist on garlic bread, or try it as a tapenade spread at your next party.

View Recipe: Rigatoni with Green Olive-Almond Pesto and Asiago Cheese

Garlic-Rosemary Lamb Pita

Randy Mayor

Garlic-Rosemary Lamb Pita

Break out of a rut with this tasty dish. Juicy Greek-spiced lamb with cool-and-tangy tzatziki sauce in a pita makes for a great meal that takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. Pair with oven fries, baked potatoes, or rice pilaf, plus kalamata olives for a full meal.

View Recipe: Garlic-Rosemary Lamb Pita

Greek-Style Scampi

Howard L. Puckett

Greek-Style Scampi

Instead of drowning the shrimp in butter, this recipe sautés them in healthful olive oil, and then adds tomatoes to make a simple, speedy sauce that cooks in the time it takes to boil pasta. A sprinkling of crumbly feta on top adds tangy and creamy elements. Add your favorite salad or lightly cooked spinach on the side.

View Recipe: Greek-Style Scampi

Lemon Chicken Pita Burgers with Spiced Yogurt Sauce

Beau Gustafson

Lemon Chicken Pita Burgers with Spiced Yogurt Sauce

Green onion, Greek seasoning, and lemon ensure zesty flavor in these burgers. The recipe is very much open to variation, as well: Take the patties out of the pita and serve with couscous or rice pilaf, or just make the sauce to pair with falafel or lamb burgers.

View Recipe: Lemon Chicken Pita Burgers with Spiced Yogurt Sauce

Greek-Flavored Turkey Burgers

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Greek-Flavored Turkey Burgers

These burgers hide a surprise: Each bite yields a surge of minty flavor, a pungent crunch of red onion, or a tangy burst of feta cheese. To make a complete meal, serve the burgers with a simply cooked vegetable―steamed broccoli, sautéed zucchini, or whatever else you like―dressed with lemon, olive oil, and a little oregano.

View Recipe: Greek-Flavored Turkey Burgers

Couscous with Artichokes, Feta, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Randy Mayor

Couscous with Artichokes, Feta, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Pure and simple flavors stand out in this dish. In each bite, you'll taste the sweet tang of tomatoes, the salty bite of feta, the tender juiciness of chicken, and the briny sweetness of marinated artichoke hearts. Israeli couscous makes the recipe unique―its grains are much larger than regular couscous and they add a chewy texture that's another layer of depth.

View Recipe: Couscous with Artichokes, Feta, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Seared Scallops with Lemon Orzo

Lee Harrelson

Seared Scallops with Lemon Orzo

Scallops are a great protein for superfast dishes, as their delicate tenderness is best served when cooked fast and hot. Sear the scallops while the orzo cooks and you can have dinner done in about 18 minutes. If you're not a scallop fan, substitute large peeled shrimp, slices of pork tenderloin, or small filet mignon.

View Recipe: Seared Scallops with Lemon Orzo

Spinach, Chicken, and Feta Salad

Randy Mayor

Spinach, Chicken, and Feta Salad

Simple preparation doesn't mean this salad has simple tastes. The lemon-balsamic-Dijon mustard vinaigrette has layers of flavor that interact with all the different fresh ingredients to keep each bite interesting. And it's a nutrient powerhouse to boot: A serving provides nearly a full day's protein and almost a third of a day's fiber with only 369 calories.

View Recipe: Spinach, Chicken, and Feta Salad

Tomato-Mozzarella Pizza

Beau Gustafson

Tomato-Mozzarella Pizza

It's faster (and healthier) than delivery, plus it incorporates fresh tomatoes and basil, creamy real mozzarella, and crispy pancetta. To save even more time, use a packaged prebaked crust instead of the dough and eliminate the initial baking step.

View Recipe: Tomato-Mozzarella Pizza

Greek Lamb Chops

Randy Mayor

Greek Lamb Chops

This is almost the simplest recipe possible―cover lamb chops with a five-ingredient rub, broil eight minutes, and you're done―but it yields wonderfully satisfying flavor that's a nice departure from the weeknight-dinner norm. In the photo, the chops are served over couscous with tomato, cucumber, and feta, but you can slice and serve in pitas instead, or pair with baked potatoes, rice pilaf, orzo, or any other starchy side.

View Recipe: Greek Lamb Chops

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and Feta Cheese

Randy Mayor

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and Feta Cheese

This vegetarian entrée combines flavors from all over the Mediterranean―Spanish almonds, Italian pasta, Greek feta―to create a satisfyingly rich dish. Oil from the sun-dried tomatoes and pasta cooking water whir together in the food processor to make a creamy sauce that's amplified by the feta cheese on top. Summer vegetables like zucchini, yellow squash, or green beans would make a good accompaniment.

View Recipe: Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and Feta Cheese

Linguine with Garlicky Clams and Peas

Lee Harrelson

Linguine with Garlicky Clams and Peas

A few simple ingredients yield great Italian flavor with amazing speed. Lots of garlic, a little wine, Parmesan, and fresh basil combine in a briny sauce that makes a perfect light, summery dinner. You can substitute shrimp or scallops in place of clams, but they may have to cook a bit longer. In any case, all a bowl of this pasta needs is a basic salad, some crusty bread, and a cold glass of white wine to make a memorable meal.

View Recipe: Linguine with Garlicky Clams and Peas

Mediterranean Chicken Salad Pitas

Randy Mayor

Mediterranean Chicken Salad Pitas

Greek yogurt makes a creamy, tangy base for this simple salad with fresh accents from bell pepper, olives, onion, and cilantro. Make a batch ahead of time and stuff in pita pockets for a great workday lunch or a handheld on-the-go dinner. This recipe is a nutritional powerhouse, with about 10 percent of the calcium, a quarter of the fiber, a fifth of the iron, and more than half the protein you need in a day.

View Recipe: Mediterranean Chicken Salad Pitas

Greek Dinner Salad

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Greek Dinner Salad

Greek salads are nearly ubiquitous on restaurant menus for good reason: Their simple flavor is excellent, they are a snap to make, and their ingredients can be customized to many different tastes. Use this base of fresh veggies and lemon-oregano vinaigrette to showcase your creativity (and utilize your pantry). Try cannellini or black beans in place of chickpeas, add chopped chicken or tofu, swap in goat or blue cheese for the feta―the options are endless.

View Recipe: Greek Dinner salad

Saffron Fish Stew with White Beans Recipes

Photo: Randy Mayor

Saffron Fish Stew with White Beans

A unique blend of herbs and spices find their home in this one-dish-wonder. The broth—infused with saffron, thyme leaves, and orange rind—pairs magnificently with a white flakey fish of your choosing. We suggest sustainable options like wild-caught Pacific flounder or wild-caught Alaskan halibut.

View Recipe: Saffron Fish Stew with White Beans

Halibut with Lemon-Fennel Salad Recipes

Photo: Randy Mayor

Halibut with Lemon-Fennel Salad

The spice rub used on the Halibut in this dish is not overwhelming, but only serves as a flavor enhancer. Paired with a light and refreshing salad of sliced fennel bulb and tangy red onion tossed in a reserved portion of the spice rub, lemon juice, and oil this is a superfast meal that will not disappoint.

View Recipe: Halibut with Lemon-Fennel Salad

Lamb Chops with Pistachio Gremolata Recipes

Photo: Randy Mayor

Lamb Chops with Pistachio Gremolata

Delight in a sweet and savory supper with such depth of flavor your family will be aghast to hear it only took 20 minutes to prepare. We suggest serving a side dish of Israeli couscous tossed with golden raisins and diced red bell pepper.

View Recipe: Lamb Chops with Pistachio Gremolata

Pita Salad with Cucumber, Fennel, and Chicken Recipes

Photo: Randy Mayor

Pita Salad with Cucumber, Fennel, and Chicken

This super-simple salad is just the thing for a quick, yet impressively delicious, meal. Sliced red onion, cucumber, and fennel bulb drizzled with a light dressing are the ideal crunchy partner to baked pita bread pieces.

View Recipe: Pita Salad with Cucumber, Fennel, and Chicken

Spicy Chicken Shawarma Recipes

Photo: Randy Mayor

Spicy Chicken Shawarma

"My husband and I love this recipe. The spice mix is great and it was really easy to make. We will be making it again soon." —KALJ197

Tangy, yet cool Greek-style yogurt is the perfect counterpoint to spicy chicken tossed in a blend of Middle Eastern spices and sautéed to perfection. Your mouth will by watering from the moment smells begin wafting from your skillet.

View Recipe: Spicy Chicken Shawarma

Quick Lamb Kofta with Harissa Yogurt Sauce Recipes

Photo: Randy Mayor

Quick Lamb Kofta with Harissa Yogurt Sauce

These Quick Lamb Kofta patties pack a punch of flavor atop a bed of saffron jasmine rice. Traditional Middle Eastern tastes will abound on your plate and leave your taste buds utterly tantalized by the end of the meal.

View Recipe: Quick Lamb Kofta with Harissa Yogurt Sauce

Beef Kefta Patties with Cucumber Salad Recipes

Photo: Johnny Autry

Beef Kefta Patties with Cucumber Salad

Bursting with flavor, prepare to transport your taste buds to a scrumptious place. A little vacation without ever leaving the kitchen table—what's not to love?

View Recipe: Beef Kefta Patties with Cucumber Salad

Crisp Lamb Lettuce Wraps

Photo: Johnny Autry

Crisp Lamb Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce leaves offer a light, fresh alternative to pita or flatbread. If you can't find red pepper hummus, plain hummus is a welcome substitute.

View Recipe: Crisp Lamb Lettuce Wraps

Mini Greek-Style Meat Loaves with Arugula Salad

Photo: Johnny Autry

Mini Greek-Style Meat Loaves with Arugula Salad

Pack meat mixture firmly and evenly into muffin cups to ensure even cooking and easy release. Sprinkle with paprika for a pop of color.

View Recipe: Mini Greek-Style Meat Loaves with Arugula Salad

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