62 Healthy Recipes to Cook While You're on the Mediterranean Diet
62 Healthy Recipes to Cook While You're on the Mediterranean Diet
Mediterranean Chicken and Bulgur Skillet
You'll be delighted by the incredible results from this one-pot wonder: tender, fluffy bulgur; creamy feta; and moist chicken. You don't even need a sauce since there's so much flavor in the pan. It's a complete meal, though you could serve with a side salad if you'd like.
Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Dressing
Make this recipe even easier by picking up riced cauliflower from the store; you’ll usually find it in the freezer section and sometimes with the prepped produce. This is a great dish to make ahead of time; add the fresh herbs just before serving.
Crispy Salmon Salad With Roasted Butternut Squash
Small touches like the charred lemon vinaigrette and tart pomegranate arils elevate this speedy salad into a showstopping main dish. Preheat your sheet pan to get a jump-start on cooking the squash and onions.
Pesto Yogurt Dip
Our tangy Greek yogurt dip is the perfect light appetizer before a heavy meal. Pair with an assortment of fresh sliced vegetables such as carrots, radishes, cucumbers, little gem lettuce leaves, and mini bell peppers.
Braised Artichokes, Favas, and Carrots in Creamy Lemon Sauce With Fennel
We love the artichokes in this dish—they add their unique flavor and somehow make everything taste just a little sweeter. The olive oil emulsifies with the braising liquid to create a silky sauce that deliciously coats the bright spring veggies. Thin lemon slices, charred and caramelized in a cast-iron pan, make a nice garnish.
Falafel, Feta, and Tomato Salad
Think of chopped falafel as a tasty, protein-packed crouton—it adds texture to the salad and instantly turns a simple side into a substantial main dish. We chose a Mediterranean theme here, but you could use any nuts, cheeses, or vegetables you like.
Grilled Chicken Pitas With Sesame Drizzle
Look for jars or cans of tahini on the international aisle of the supermarket. It adds nutty flavor and keeps the sandwich moist.
Greek Eggplant Skillet Dinner
Protein-rich tofu teams up with meaty eggplant in this Greek-inspired skillet supper. Pick up San Marzano tomatoes if you can find them; their sweet flavor and low acidity balance the flavors of this dish. Crush them gently with your hands before chopping to release any excess juices. Be sure to purchase extra-firm tofu so that it holds its shape. Serve with toasted whole-wheat pita bread.
Tuna Melt With Olive Salsa
This tuna melt is a delicious departure from the heavy-handed classic. It highlights heart-healthy fats, with omega-3 fatty acids in the tuna and monounsaturated fat in the olives and olive oil. Castelvetrano olives have a mild flavor and buttery texture that works well in this salsa, but if you have trouble finding them, any mild green olive will do. When purchasing canned tuna, look for the words “pole-and-line caught” on the label for the more sustainably-caught fish. We like Wild Planet brand.
Roasted Salmon with Oranges, Beets, and Carrots
This sheet pan main is as elegant as it is easy. Serve on any weeknight, or for guests with a whole-grain side and seasonal salad. One large (1 1/2-lb.) fillet, also called a side of salmon, will stay moist at the higher oven temperature. If using individually portioned fillets (about 6 oz. each); bake at 400°F for 10 minutes, roasting the vegetables on a separate pan for about 15 minutes or until tender, then combine and sprinkle with the lemon juice and tarragon.
Quinoa Breakfast Bowl With 6-Minute Egg
Embrace breakfast’s savory side with this whole-grain bowl. This simple one-dish meal is crowned with a soft-boiled egg; the nutrient-rich yolk creates its own creamy sauce. New research shows that eating eggs with raw vegetables like tomatoes increases your absorption of carotenoids—antioxidants that may protect against heart disease.
Saucy Skillet-Poached Eggs
If you've ever had Italian eggs in purgatory, this recipes makes a similar Israeli breakfast dish called shakshuka. If you need to stretch the meal, simply add another egg to the pan. Top with any herb, such as cilantro, chives, or oregano.
Pistachio Granola With Yogurt
Inspired by the classic Greek dessert baklava, this just-sweet-enough granola also makes a filling, protein- and fiber-rich afternoon snack.
Seared Salmon Salad with Beets and Blackberries
A lime-forward vinaigrette adds pucker and punch to the salmon and salad, rounded out by earthy-sweet beets and juicy blackberries. Mint with blackberries is a favorite cocktail combo that also works in a fresh entrée salad. If you have leftover mint leaves, steep in simple syrup and refrigerate for sweetening lemonade or tossing with fresh fruit for a brunch salad. The trick to perfectly cooked salmon on the stove is to keep the heat no higher than medium. This allows the skin to crisp slowly while the fish cooks to the perfect doneness.
Smoky Red Lentil Hummus
Use this fun riff on classic chickpea hummus to anchor a tray of fresh, seasonal vegetable dippers—we recommend multicolored carrots, radishes, and cauliflower florets. You can prepare the hummus up to three days ahead; wash and trim the crudités a day in advance, and store them in ziplock plastic bags lined with paper towels.
Flattened Chicken With Almond and Paprika Vinaigrette
While pounding the chicken breast thin and searing is a French technique, the flavor profile here is decidedly Spanish.
Orange-Honey Oatmeal With Pistachios, Figs, and Saffron Yogurt
Bring a punch of protein to your morning oats with a dollop of Greek yogurt and chopped pistachios. Dried figs and a drizzle of honey add a touch of sweetness.
Lentil Cakes With Mint Yogurt
Precooked lentils are a convenience item we love, saving nearly 30 minutes of simmering. Look for plain, steamed lentils (such as Melissa's), in the grain aisle. The food processor not only combines the patty ingredients; it coarsely chops the lentils so the finished cakes will hold their shape in the pan. While we love fat-free and reduced-fat Greek yogurt, go ahead and use full-fat here for a richer mouth feel and less tang in the sauce.
Braised Chicken With Olives, Capers, and Prunes
This recipe for a braised chicken with olives, capers, and prunes is inspired by Chicken Marbella, the recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook that went “viral” in the 1980s. It’s been updated with far less added sugar (the original recipe calls for a cup of brown sugar) and the welcome addition of citrus.
Toasting quinoa, like with toasting nuts or other whole grains, draws out its aroma and deepens and intensifies its flavor. For a vegan version, simply substitute unsalted vegetable stock for the chicken stock. The onion, carrot, red pepper, and garlic serve as the soup’s mirepoix, a sautéed melange of veggies that make up the flavor base for the broth.
Simply Steamed Salmon and Corn With Dill Yogurt
This easy weeknight dinner comes together in 15 minutes. The entire meal is steamed in a bamboo basket, a gentle cooking method that preserves the natural flavors of each ingredient. To finish, whip up a quick Dill Yogurt Sauce to drizzle over everything on the plate.
Fig and Arugula Salad With Walnuts and Goat Cheese
Chickpeas, goat cheese, and walnuts pump up the protein in this arugula salad, making it a hearty meatless main. Dried figs add a big fiber boost—more per serving than any other fruit.
Radish, White Bean, and Olive Salad
This quick side is all about texture, from the meaty olives to the creamy cannellini beans and crunchy radishes. The mild bean makes the salad a great match for nearly any main.
Avocado, Black Bean, and Charred Tomato Bowl
This meatless bowl offers a range of textures and flavors, including cumin-scented black beans, blistered tomatoes, corn, and fresh avocado that are equally good at room temperature. If you don’t have time to stew your own beans, canned unsalted beans work just as well here. Feel free to mix it all together instead of portioning into quadrants. Finish it with a squeeze of lime, if you like.
Kale-and-Chickpea Grain Bowl With Avocado Dressing
Canned beans are under-sung heroes. We always keep a few cans on hand in the pantry—they're an endlessly adaptable resource for quick weeknight meals. Beans are fiber-rich, budget-friendly, and just dang tasty, so we've collected our favorite meals that start with you guessed it, a humble can of beans.
Lemon-Dill Salmon Salad
Easy Greek Salmon Bowls
Heart-hero salmon teams up with protein- and fiber-forward quinoa to fill you up; spinach delivers a hit of iron, while green beans and cucumber up the veggie count. Great warm or at room temperature, this also makes a standout packed lunch.
Lentil Salad With Beets and Spinach
Precooked lentils make this healthy lunch come together in 10 minutes (or less!). You can also roast the beets ahead of time—look for the golden variety in grocery stores. They're much less messy than red beets, which can stain your hands and your cutting board.
A whole-grain protein bowl is the perfect solution for when lunch needs to be quick—as well as tasty, filling, and healthy. Cook quinoa ahead of time (or buy precooked, available in pouches near the rice). To complete the lunch, serve with 1/2 cup steamed green beans as shown. Dairy-free option: Use 2 teaspoons toasted chopped walnuts instead of feta cheese.
Roasted Grape and Goat Cheese Wheat Berry Bowl
Save time in the morning by prepping the batch of perfect wheat berries and the grapes the night before. You can store the grapes in a microwave-safe container in the fridge. When ready to use, microwave grapes for 30 to 45 seconds before spooning them over your grains.
Nectarine and Bulgur Salad
No nectarines? Sub in your favorite stone fruit, such as peaches or plums. You can make this side dish gluten-free by using quinoa in place of the bulgur.
Crispy Cauliflower With Chili-Tahini Sauce and Farro Pilaf
We like to think of cauliflower as a blank-canvas brassica; diverse enough to be blended into a creamy sauce or soup, or blitzed into “rice” as a lower-carb alternative to grains. Roasting brings out its sweeter side, though it takes on just about any flavor profile you throw its way.
Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Chicken and Farro
Capturing the simplicity found in sun-drenched Mediterranean cuisine, these chicken thighs hold up nicely in the slow cooker, surrendering rich juices that make this fiber-packed farro extra-satisfying. Castelvetrano olives are bright green and buttery; look for them at your grocery’s olive bar. Having trouble finding pearled farro? Pick some up here.
This salad combines brain-boosting farro, chickpeas, and olive oil with the bright crunch of fresh celery. It's simple, quick, and delicious.
Kale, Farro, and Feta Salad
This satisfying winter salad is full of texture and color. Pair with roasted chicken thighs or as a side for pureed veggie soup. Top leftovers with cooked chicken and diced apple for tomorrow's lunch.
Creamy Turmeric Cauliflower Soup
Briefly cooking the pumpkin seeds and cumin in hot oil—a process known as blooming—draws out the aroma of the seeds and spice and deepens their flavor. Turmeric pairs fantastically with winter produce like cauliflower or root veggies, where its brightness, astringency, and tartness balance the earthy sweetness of the plants. Use plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, if you prefer.
Beet Chips With Turmeric-Yogurt Dip
Here's a lighter, more colorful take on the usual chips and dip. Beet chips crisp up in a flash in the microwave. Keep close watch on them to make sure they won't scorch.
Lemon-Feta Green Beans
Searing lemons is one of our favorite tricks for upping the ante on any dish. The tart juice mellows out, providing the perfect balance for the briny capers and feta in this skillet side. If you have any leftovers, try adding halved cherry tomatoes and enjoying as a cold salad; some cooked chicken or shrimp would turn it into a lovely main dish.
Crunchy Cucumber, Feta, and Almond Salad
This cucumber feta salad boasts plenty of texture, the most satisfying element of any salad. Crunchy and crisp vegetables signify freshness—and they taste as vibrant as they look. We dial up the crunch even more with crisp romaine hearts, sliced cucumber, and coarsely chopped almonds. Creamy feta and fresh dill add another element of flavor to the cucumber salad.
Fennel, Tomato, and Feta Skillet Bake
Fresh fennel becomes mellow and sweet once sautéed and braised in chopped, strained tomatoes. If you can’t find Pomì brand, drain about 1/3 of the liquid from a (15-oz.) can of unsalted diced tomatoes. Pair this simple, beautiful side with baked fish or lemon-and-herb roasted chicken.
Feta-Quinoa Cakes With Spinach
While most precooked grains call for some cooking to reheat and finish hydrating, we skip that step here. The quinoa will plump in the liquid from the batter and finish cooking in the skillet.
Smoky Eggplant Zaalouk
This creamy, smoky dip is Morocco's answer to baba ghanoush. Serve with grilled meat or fish, or as a spread in a sandwich.
Lemon Chicken With Artichokes and Kale
This dish gets a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese, which becomes satisfyingly rich when stirred into the kale, artichoke hearts, and baked chicken. We found that smaller chicken breasts (about 5 ounces each) will cook more easily in the time frame. Trim larger breasts and use the remaining chicken for tomorrow’s soup or stir-fry. Avoid thin cutlets here; the thickness of the breasts will keep them juicy as they roast.
Curried Sweet Potato–Yogurt Dip
Sweet potatoes make a wonderful base for a creamy dip, creating a smooth texture and faintly sweet flavor. Toasting the curry paste in the first step helps to deepen the flavor and is worth the extra couple of minutes.
Grilled Lemon-Rosemary Chicken and Leeks
Chicken cutlets get great flavor from a lemon-rosemary marinade while the leeks cook into a silky, caramelized vegetable side dish. If you’ve never enjoyed the darker green leek tops, give them a try in this recipe.
Mussels With Spicy Tomato Sauce
Za'atar-Roasted Carrots With Labne
The za'atar we know (available at Whole Foods) is a blend of ground sumac, sesame seeds, salt, and the dried, ground za'atar plant. It's slightly sour and slightly earthy, a bit like dried marjoram but completely unique. You can also sprinkle it over hummus, roasted chicken, or grilled flatbread. Labne is Greek yogurt to the extreme, drained of almost all its liquid until very thick. Serve with the carrots for a cool, creamy, tangy contrast.
Tahini-Dressed Chicken With Squash and Kale
The chicken and squash soak up all the flavors in this dish from the garlic, ginger, and the lemony tahini sauce; the rice is there to make sure no sauce gets left on the plate. You can purchase pre-chopped butternut squash in the produce section of the supermarket. Curly kale works well in place of Tuscan.
Roasted Carrot and Parsnip Batons with Tahini Dip
Deep caramelization from roasting brings out the natural sweetness in carrots and parsnips. Try to cut the vegetables into the size we call for in step 2. If the pieces are too large or too long, they may cook unevenly or end up limp; if they’re too small, they will likely burn. You can make the dip a day or two ahead, but bring it to room temperature before serving for the best flavor.
Chicken and Cucumber Salad With Parsley Pesto
This hearty supper salad is a lean-protein powerhouse thanks to chicken, chickpeas, and edamame; the parsley pesto delivers bone-boosting vitamin K. Pick up frozen shelled edamame to make this meal extra speedy.
Beet and Citrus Salad With Almond Gremolata
To offset all those deep rich flavors typically found in holiday food, you want something bright and fresh, with enough flavor to cut through those other dishes. This salad is like a breath of fresh air at any table: The tangy yogurt and bold citrus will ensure it quickly becomes a favorite.
Almond-Crusted Trout With Swiss Chard
A light coat of mustard is all it takes to keep the gluten-free almond flour on these trout fillets. Breading with almond flour gives a nice crispy texture to the fish without using a lot of oil. To expedite cleanup, the fish and greens are cooked in batches in one skillet so there's just one pan to clean. You only need a splash of white wine to add a hit of acidity to balance the garlicky greens so you'll have plenty leftover for a glass with dinner. Any type of chard works here, but for the most colorful plate, go for rainbow chard.
Salmon With Kale, Walnut, and White Bean Salad
Boost your brain and treat your taste buds with this quick and easy salad. The vinaigrette features turmeric, Dijon mustard, honey, and red wine vinegar for a beautiful balance of peppery, savory, sweet, and tangy flavors.
Brussels and Quinoa Bowl With Orange-Thyme Vinaigrette
Brussels sprouts are petite cabbages that transform under heat, turning soft and sweet after roasting or sauteing. Their peppery leaves also work well shaved raw in salads and deliver a healthy punch of vitamin C.
Quinoa-Crusted Fish Nuggets with Tartar Sauce
Quinoa is a gluten-free source of protein, iron, and fiber, plus it's a quick and flavorful way to get in a serving of whole grains. You can find beige, red, black, or tricolor quinoa in stores; they all taste the same, so use whichever color you prefer. These freezer-friendly quinoa nuggets give store bought ones a run for their money. Any firm white fish will work, such as grouper, halibut, flounder, or cod. Use rice flour to make gluten-free nuggets.
Tahini Cardamom Granola
This homemade granola is miles ahead of anything you could buy off the shelf. Tahini and cardamom are the wildcard ingredients here, adding savory depth to balance out the sweetness of the maple syrup. With each successive stir, the tahini mixture fully coats the oats and works its way into the nooks and crannies of the walnuts, creating ultra toasty, delightfully sweet nuggets of crunchy goodness. Packed with heart-healthy fats and fiber, this granola is great stirred into yogurt with fresh berries or simply enjoyed plain by the handful.
Basic Overnight Oats
Kale Salad With Spiced Chickpeas and Berries
When you make this salad, put the dressing on the bottom of your container, and arrange all of the other ingredients (except the chickpeas) on top. When it's time to serve, simply shake to combine, top with chickpeas, and enjoy.
White Bean and Vegetable Bowls With Frizzled Eggs
This easy bowl of brothy goodness is loaded with both veggies and umami depth. The eggs add great protein and staying power to the veggie-heavy dish. The ingredients are similar to what you find in a traditional chili, but the results are anything but that.
Lemon-Garlic Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups
These fresh lettuce wraps are a cinch to throw together thanks to a smart use of leftovers. Serve them with whatever variety of lettuce leaf you prefer—romaine, iceberg, or green leaf. If you’re packing this to take to work, wait until you’re ready to eat before filling the leaves, so the lettuce stays crisp.