Quick Mediterranean Diet Recipes for Healthy Eating

Isaac K

When people hear the term ‘diet” the first thing that comes to mind is weight loss and counting calories. Well, the Mediterranean diet is the extreme antithesis. Mediterranean diet recipes are full of ingredients popular in Greece, Italy, Israel, Spain, and other parts of the Middle East.

The diet focuses on whole grains, veggies, beans, low-fat dairy, fish, nuts, lean red meat, and olive oil.

Best of all, the following recipes have been scientifically proven to boost your mood, help you lead a healthy lifestyle, and achieve a manageable body weight.

Here are quick and easy – and extremely delicious – Mediterranean diet recipes to try for breakfast, lunch, and dinner:

Mediterranean Diet Recipes for Lunch

1. Fattoush

Preparation: 15 minutes

Size of Meal: 6 servings

Fattoush is an eastern Mediterranean salad. It has many types of recipes but it mainly combines fresh produce and herbs, toasted pita bread, and bright, tangy sumac.

Our recipe is for a delicious salad topped with a remarkable dressing. Just ensure that you don’t forget to add both the mint and the parsley.

Ingredients

  • 2 pita loaves (whole wheat)
  • 8 sliced scallions with both white and green parts
  • 2 sliced and peeled cucumbers
  • 3 medium-sized tomatoes sliced into thick chunks
  • 1 small head of lettuce (romaine lettuce)
  • ⅓ cup flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
  • 2 tsp crumbled dried mint or ⅓ cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • 8 sliced or halved radishes
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves for seasoning
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Slice the bread in half so that you have four pieces of thin rounds in total. Toast the pieces until they are golden and crispy.
  2. Remove and break them then place the crisp toast on a large salad plate or bowl.
  3. Pile the vegetables on top of the bread starting with lettuce, radishes, scallion, cucumber, then the tomatoes in that order. Sprinkle the parsley and the mint thereafter.
  4. Crush another garlic on a chopping board and cut it roughly.
  5. Bring it to another bowl and mash it with a pinch of salt. Add the lemon juice and oil into the bowl and beat with a bought tool or a fork to ensure they mix well.
  6. Pour the mixture over the salad and top it with ground black pepper.
  7. Finally, bring the bowl of your salad to the table and toss the contents a little before serving. This prevents the dogging of the pieces before they’re served.

2. Barley-Stuffed Bells

Preparation: 15 minutes

How Long It Takes: 2 hours 15 minutes

Size of Meal: 6 servings

Barley can easily fit into bell peppers, they can be used with spaghetti sauce, and stuffed beef or chicken or turkey.

Ingredients

  • 1 and a half cups cooked whole grain barley (directions on how to cook are below)
  • 1-pound beef/turkey/chicken, ground
  • 3 halved and seeded bell peppers
  • 2 pots of ready pasta sauce (26 ounces each)
  • ¼ cup finely sliced onion
  • 3 tbsps bread crumbs, Italian seasoned
  • 2 tbsps Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (set aside some for use later – optional)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper, round

Directions

Cooking Barley:

  1. Boil 3 cups of water in a medium pot with a lid and add a cup of whole-grain barley kernel and leave it.
  2. Adjust the heat low and leave it to cook for about 50 to 55 minutes till most of the water is gone and the barley is tender.
  3. Use only one and a half cups of the cooked barley in this recipe and place the rest in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week. You can use them with barley, salads, casseroles, stews, or any of your favorite meals to add flavor.
  4. For the best result, always ensure that the frozen or refrigerated barley is brought to room temperature before using it.

NOTE: If the barley hasn’t absorbed all the barley, pour off the remaining water. Whole barley, compared to the pearl variety, tends to absorb less moisture.

Peppers:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl – this includes the ground meat, the cooked barley, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, egg, onion slices, and the breadcrumbs.
  3. Split the mixture into 6 portions and press each into a bell pepper half to adopt the shape of the pepper.
  4. Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and put the pepper pieces in it.
  5. Pour the pasta sauce over the meal and conceal tightly with aluminum foil. Leave it to bake for an hour and fifteen minutes.
  6. Remove after the time is up and serve by arranging them on a platter.
  7. Add some sauce over each piece and garnish with the additional parmesan cheese. The remaining sauce can be used at the table for serving.

Mediterranean Diet Recipes for Dinner

1. Mediterranean Lamb Stew

Preparation: 20 minutes

How Long It Takes: 1 hour 10 minutes

Size of Meal: 7 servings

Mediterranean lamb stew is one of the easiest Mediterranean diet recipes for dinner that you could ever make. It is delicious, spicy, and highly satisfying.  

Ingredients

  • 1.25lbs stew meat of lamb shoulder chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 1 cup medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced into 0.5 inches
  • 1 15 oz garbanzo beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup celery ribs, also cut into 0.5-inch pieces
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 10 oz roughly chopped leafy greens
  • 5 shoots of rosemary or thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsps minced garlic
  • 2 cups chicken broth, homemade
  • Freshly crushed black pepper
  • 1/2 wedge cut lemon
  • Cooked brown rice

Directions

  1. Dry the lamb and season with salt on all sides.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium to high heat and fry the lamb on all sides till they turn brown.
  3. Remove and put it on a plate.
  4. Adjust the heat to medium level and add the onions and carrots.
  5. Cook while stirring until the onions are translucent, that should be for approximately 5 minutes.
  6. Add garlic and cook for a minute and a half then add the reserved lamb and its juices together with the rosemary leaves or thyme, the bay leaves, and tomato puree and lower the heat to medium-low and cover the pot.
  7. Leave it to simmer for one hour. This should be enough for the lamb to be fully cooked.
  8. Add the olives, garbanzo leaves, and leafy greens to the stew. Cover and cook to heat the leaves and the vegetable to become wilted. It takes 10 minutes.
  9. Serve with wedge lemons, rice, and or noodles.

2. Meatballs with Smoky Eggplant Pulp

Preparation: 15 minutes

How Long It Takes: 20 minutes

Size of Meal: 4 servings

This Mediterranean diet recipe for dinner combines meat seasoned with the smoky flavor of the eggplant for an amazing and delicious taste.

Ingredients

  • 480 grams eggplant pulp, grilled
  • 450 grams beef, ground
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil, and lemon juice
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tbsp of cumin, sweet paprika, and ground allspice
  • 2 tbsps bread crumbs, whole wheat
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups tomato sauce
  • 3 tbsp parsley, and whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Pepper for seasoning and finely chopped parsley for garnishing

Directions

  1. Put the eggplant pulp into a large bowl and add the olive oil and lemon juice.
  2. Add salt and mix them well then set aside.
  3. In another bowl, place the meat, and add some salt, allspice, paprika, cumin, and olive oil. Also, add the onion, mix, and form them into small balls.
  4. Roll the formed balls in flour then heat the vegetable oil in a large pot and add the meatballs.
  5. Cook until all the sides are brown. Remove them and set them aside.
  6. In the same pot, add the garlic and tomato paste and cook again for not more than a minute.
  7. Stir in the tomato sauce and add water. Then add salt, pepper, and oregano to season. Cover the pot and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes on medium heat.
  8. Add meatballs to the tomato sauce and allow to cook on low heat until warm.
  9. Garnish with the parsley and serve with the eggplant puree set aside.

Mediterranean Diet Snack Recipes

1. Chocolate Walnut Macaroons

Preparation: 20 minutes

How Long It Takes: 10 minutes

Size of Meal: 8 servings

Chicken walnut macaroons are dark and fitted for in-between meals or special occasions. They are delicious snacks that can also be used in a Mediterranean diet for breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups walnuts, chopped
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon whipping cream
  • 1 cup walnuts, carefully chopped

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Use a mixing bowl to beat the egg whites and salt using a mixer and with a slow or medium speed. While at it, add vanilla and sugar.
  3. Continue beating until rigid peaks begin to form. Tenderly crease in the walnuts and chocolate.
  4. Fill a pastry bag with dough. The bag should be fitted with a 1-inch round tip. In a non-stick cookie sheet, pipe 1 tablespoon of dough for every cookie and ensure there is enough space between the cookies, about 2 inches.
  5. Allow them to bake on the rack for approximately 15 minutes till they are puffed and the front sides are dry.
  6. Allow one to cook for a minute then move the whole rack to fully cool down.
  7. Prepare the drizzle by mixing the chocolate and cream in a bowl and melting it in the microwave for a minute.
  8. Continue stirring until the mixture is completely smooth, then pour the melted chocolate into a plastic bag. Pinch the bag at the bottom to create a temporary piping bag.
  9. Channel the chocolate over the macaroons then sprinkle with the walnuts and serve.

2. Fresh Spinach Salad with Hard Boiled Eggs and Cumin

Preparation: 15 minutes

How Long It Takes: 30 minutes

Size of Meal: 6 servings

This salad highlights a spicy tomato vinaigrette and can also be prepared using escarole instead of spinach. Still, you can choose any other type of green to use, whichever is at hand will work.

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe, peeled, and seeded tomatoes chopped into 1/4 -inch cubic pieces
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin, the same amount of sweet Hungarian paprika, and a pound of fresh flat-leaf spinach or escarole
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided into 2
  • 12 salt-cured Moroccan olives
  • 2 halved lengthwise olive-walnut Mediterranean nutrition bars or half a cup of nuts of your choice
  • Freshly ground black pepper and salt

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cayenne, garlic, paprika, cumin, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and vinegar.
  2. Allow it to marinate for half an hour.
  3. Cut the greens coarsely then wash and spin them dry.
  4. Throw them into the remaining extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  5. Season the mixture with salt and pepper before adding the greens.
  6. On top of the salad, decoratively put the eggs and the olives then sprinkle it with the chopped Mediterranean nutrition bars.
  7. Before serving, make sure that you pour the dressing over the salad.

Mediterranean Diet Recipes for Breakfast

1. Baked Cod in Parchment

Preparation: 15 minutes

How Long It Takes: 30 minutes

Size of Meal: 1 serving

One of the best ways to prepare fish is by using the parchment to bake. It locks in the flavors of all the ingredients you add.

Our recipe, therefore, uses tomatoes, potatoes, and olives. However, you can use any of your favorites. It can be served on a bed of ready-made whole grains.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz cod, haddock, or a fish of your choice patted dry
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 thinly sliced waxy potatoes
  • 1/2 juiced lemon
  • 5 halved cherry tomatoes and 5 pitted olives
  • 1/8 tsp kosher
  • More salt and freshly ground pepper, and a splash of white wine for seasoning

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the potato slices on one side of a folded parchment paper, about 20 inches long
  3. Place the cherry tomatoes, olives, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
  4. Pat dry the fish fillet and apply salt and pepper on both sides to taste.
  5. Put the fillet over the chopped potatoes and tenderly pour the mixture on top. Add the splash of the wine and seal the meal with the other half of the parchment.
  6. Ensure that the parchment is tight to prevent the steam from escaping as you cook.
  7. Place it on a baking sheet and leave it to cook for 18 to 20 minutes. Once cooked, the fish should flake easily with a fork. Serve.

Bottom Line:

There are almost limitless combinations of Mediterranean diet recipes that you can try. They are healthy, satisfying, and quite beneficial to your overall health. The above are only a few examples to get you started.

Got any fresh ideas? Share with us one or two of your favorite Mediterranean diet recipes. We would love to add them tour list!

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