The Mediterranean Diet is one of the most popular and successful diets around. In fact, it is frequently voted the best diet to follow, period. What’s so great about the Mediterranean Diet is that it’s not a restrictive, calorie-counting kind of diet. Instead, you just switch out your processed, sugary, or refined foods for typical Mediterranean fare.
While following the Mediterranean Diet, the key thing is to increase the number of vegetables, fruit, nuts, potatoes, fish, legumes, whole grains, bread, and extra virgin olive oil you eat.
Mediterranean Diet Favorite Recipes
You can eat eggs, cheese, yogurt, and poultry in moderation. Whilst red meat should only be eaten occasionally. To be successful on this diet, you need to stay away from sugary drinks, added sugars, refined grains and oils, processed meat, and other processed foods. When we talk about refined grains, we’re talking about white bread and pasta, or those pesky cupcakes from the market.
If you can't find enough on this list to fill in your menu, you can check out our list of air fryer recipes, slow cooker pork recipes, and even some great!
Why the Mediterranean Diet?
This diet came around in the 60s after researchers discovered that people in Mediterranean countries like Greece and Italy were much healthier than Americans. The diet and the foods associated with it have been proven to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, strokes, and cardiac problems.
The great thing about the Mediterranean diet is that there are so many incredible dishes to try. Mediterranean food is so delicious it can feel like you’re not even dieting. In fact, many people describe it as a lifestyle change rather than a diet.
Katie even wrote a cookbook in 2020 featuring just Mediterranean diet recipes for the air fryer. You should check out her cookbook Mediterranean Air Fryer: 95 Recipes to Fry, Roast, Bake, and Grill. If you want to add more air fryer items to your diet, start with the ultimate guide to air fryer cooking too!
These morning meals will give you a boost of energy and keep you going till lunch.
Many of these recipes are easy to adapt and substitute if you’re out of a particular fruit or veg.
Shakshuka is common across the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and North Africa. It’s a poached egg dish that involves poaching eggs in a tomato sauce.
Mini Frittata Muffins
You can pack these mini muffins with whatever veg or seasoning you prefer.
Also, you can bake them at the start of the week and store them in the fridge if you’re into batch cooking.
Caprese Avocado Toast
What makes this avocado toast ‘Caprese’ is the mozzarella, tomatoes, and fresh basil!
Asparagus and Mushroom Frittata
The Italians love a frittata for brunch, and we can see why! This dish is incredibly yummy!
Greek Yogurt and Fruit
A staple across much of the Mediterranean, yogurt and fruit is a quick, easy, and delicious breakfast. You can mix things up by changing the fruits you use or adding nuts. For a sweet kick, add some delicious fresh honey.
Sweet Potato Hash
A nutritionally dense, brunch meal, sweet potato helps to evolve the simple hash.
Muesli with Almond Milk
Another super easy breakfast idea. You can make your own muesli in minutes or use store bought muesli.
If you’d prefer, you can have your muesli with Greek yogurt instead.
Bagels are great for breakfast, so long as they are made with whole grains. You want to avoid all forms of white bread on the Mediterranean diet.
Fruit and Grain Salad
Add some whole grains to whatever fruits you love for a deliciously simple fruit salad breakfast.
Spinach, Feta, and Egg Breakfast Wraps
These will give you a great protein and iron boost to see you through the day. The best thing about these are that they can be frozen and saved for another day!
If you’re a bit of a late riser, or you just love a good old-fashioned brunch, then try these recipes. They contain many of your favorite breakfast foods like eggs, bread, and fruit, but they’re a bit more filling and involved than a solo breakfast.
This recipe calls for chicken sausage, eggs, and veg. Bake them into a casserole and voilà! You have an easy brunch meal that you can prepare ahead of time and serve cold or warm.
Seafood is highly recommended when on the Mediterranean Diet. This brunch recipe includes eggs and salmon, so it will give you a real protein boost for the day.
Crêpes might be slightly out of the Mediterranean considering they’re from France, but we’ll let it slide. This meal is just too tasty to let go. The crêpe is filled with Mediterranean favorites like chickpeas, egg, cilantro, and lemons.
You can’t beat a frittata for brunch. They are super easy to make, keep well, so you can make them the day before, and they taste amazing!
This recipe calls for tomatoes, spinach, olives, red onion, and feta, but you can include any of your favorite foods and seasonings.
Garlicky Greens with Harissa Yogurt
This is quite possibly one of my favorite meals. I love the slight crunch of the kale and the broccoli coupled with the zingy taste of the harissa yogurt. It is perfect.
This dish is also packed with iron and other nutrients that are going to give you the best possible start to the day.
A traditional breakfast or lunch meal in Spain and Portugal, migas means crumb when translated. This name comes from the fact that leftover bread is crumbed and fried to make this dish.
If you haven’t tried migas yet, you are going to love it! It’s so moreish you’ll be making it every day.
One thing to be aware of is that Mexican migas are not the same as Spanish migas. Mexican migas are made with refried beans, tortillas, and Pico de Gallo.
Rosemary Roasted Vegetable Bowls
Brussels sprouts, beets, and sweet potatoes might not seem like your typical breakfast foods, but they should be.
These vegetables are backed with iron, fiber, and vitamin C which is an excellent way to get your morning started. Not only that, but these bowls are absolutely amazing flavor wise. Packed with rosemary and garlic, they’re a great way to start the day.
Mushroom, Ricotta, and Fried Egg Tartine
This is an awesome way to get all your food groups in early. It contains pretty much all the Mediterranean staples and tastes fantastic.
Sweet Potato and Kale Frittata
Another frittata but this time it features sweet potatoes and kale. This is a super filling meal that will hold you over until dinner if it has too. It is also incredibly delicious.
Avocado and Caprese Wrap
This is a great little light brunch meal. It’s packed with lots of yummy, good-for-you food that will fuel you throughout the day.
No Mediterranean Diet would be complete without its fair share of salads. Greek salads, caprese salads, chickpea salads, quinoa salads, they’re all delicious and all ideal for a Mediterranean diet.
What’s great about these salads is that you can mix and match the ingredients based on what you have or what you like. The key thing is to make sure you’re going to be full up. You can’t have too many vegetables on this kind of diet.
Let’s kick this session off with the good old-fashioned Greek salad. This is a classic salad that, in my opinion, can’t be beaten. It is so easy to make and incredibly delicious.
I love the contrast of the salty feta with the sweet tomato taste. It is beautiful. It reminds me of evenings spent sitting in the Corinthian sunshine!
Greek Gyros Salad
Sticking to the Greek theme, we have the gyros salad. Gyros are quite possibly the best food known to humankind. The downside, of course, is that they aren’t particularly healthy.
Enter the gyros salad. When you swap the lamb for chicken and the fries for chickpeas, you get a much healthier meal, and it’s still exceptionally tasty!
Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Salad
Now we’re heading across the Ionian Sea to Italy. This salad incorporates tuna, so you get your protein and omega-3 kick.
If you’d prefer to steer clear of tuna, you can switch it out for any oily fish.
A caprese salad features slices of tomato, mozzarella, and basil. These ingredients were chosen because they taste great, but also because they make up the colors of the Italian flag.
If you want to make it a bit more varied, you could add slices of avocado.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
Chickpeas are a Mediterranean staple. They are a great way to fill yourself up without loads of calories.
This recipe is super simple and takes as little as 10 minutes to make!
Citrus, Shrimp, and Avocado Salad
Shrimp is an awesome, light protein that you can add to your salads and meals. The citrus in this dish helps to bring out the best of the shrimp.
Couscous With Sun-Dried Tomato and Feta
Couscous might look like a grain, but it’s actually technically. Whatever it is, couscous is delicious, and it’s a great way to bulk out your salads.
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
This recipe uses roasted vegetables instead of fresh for a deeper flavor. It is beautiful to look at and to taste!
Antipasto Salad Platter
If you’re having friends or family around, give this platter a go. It is full to the brim with delicious veg, charcuterie, olives, and cheeses.
And now for the main course!
These dinner dishes will fill you up with nutritious and delicious food.
Remember that on the Mediterranean diet, you want to keep the amount of red meat you eat to a minimum. That’s why most of these recipes call for chicken or seafood.
If you’d prefer to go veggie and lose the meat entirely, you can swap it out for legumes like chickpeas or beans. These will still provide substance and protein.
The other thing to remember is that if you’re using bread, wraps, or pasta in a dish, you should try to keep it whole grain. Processed wheat that is found in white breads, pastas, and tortillas should be avoided on the Mediterranean Diet.
Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
You cannot beat a gyro! That is a hill I am prepared to die on.
This recipe swaps out the pork or lamb for chicken and leaves out the fries. It’s a healthier take on a Greek classic. You can, every once in a while, treat yourself to the lamb and chips if you want to. I know I will!
This recipe is absolutely gorgeous. The garlic and oregano are so vibrant together and that slight tang of the tzatziki really lifts the flavors.
Piccata is a sauce made with lemon juice, butter, and capers. It is usually used to cook meat or fish that is seasoned, dredged in flour, and seared in the sauce.
This dish uses trout, but any white fish can be used. You can also choose to keep the skin on if you’d prefer.
Shrimp Pasta with Artichokes
The roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts in this dish pair perfectly with the saltiness of the capers and the feta.
Chicken Skewers with Vegetables
These skewers are super easy to make and taste incredible. They are easy enough to cook on the barbecue as well as in the kitchen. This means that you don’t have to miss out on the barbecue season.
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
This delicious Italian stew will cook itself while you’re at work. You can come home to the hearty tomato-based stew and fall off the bone chicken.
Another rich, hearty meal, minestrone soup is perfect for colder winter nights. You can buy or bake some delicious bread to mop up the sauce as well!
Grilled Balsamic Chicken with Olive Tapenade
This grilled chicken could be served with the tapenade alone, or you could add vegetables for a larger meal. You can also use the left-over chicken on salads and in wraps.
Recipe: Eating Bird Food
Made with blended chickpeas, falafel is a staple in the Middle East and the Mediterranean.
This bowl is full to the brim of delicious food, you have your falafel, hummus, tzatziki, salad, harissa, and feta alongside pita chips.
Zucchini Noodle Caprese
This vegetarian dish is super simple to make. It’s a nice, light dinner for those days when you just don’t feel like cooking.
Baked Sweet Potato
You might be familiar with baked white potatoes, but have you tried baked sweet potatoes? This meal is cozy, healthy, and easy to make.
Who doesn’t love a sweet treat?
Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake
I know it sounds a bit funky, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! The olive oil gives the cake a beautifully tender texture while the blood orange creates a sharp, fresh flavor.
Balsamic Berries with Honey and Yogurt
We’re back to the old staple, Greek yogurt. You just can’t beat berries and yogurt. The honey gives it an extra layer of sweetness.
Honeyed Phyllo Stacks
Phyllo or filo pastry can be intimidating, but you should give it a go! Layered over pistachios and spiced fruit, the filo pastry adds a bit of stability to the dish.
Yogurt and Honey Olive Oil Cake
Beautifully sweet, and oh so reminiscent of Greek islands, this cake will delight you and your family.
If you’ve never had fresh baked baklava, you’re missing out!
Whipped Yogurt with Apples
When you whip yogurt, it becomes a stiff cloud able to hold your cinnamon baked apple slices. It is absolutely wonderful.
Chocolate might not be a traditional Mediterranean flavor, but there’s no reason why you can’t modernize!
Greek Yogurt Chocolate Mousse
Chocolate mousse is usually full of refined sugars. This recipe cuts back on those sugars to bring you a delicious dessert.
Turkish Yogurt Cake with Figs
Figs are huge in the Mediterranean. They’re sweet and packed with lots of nutrients and minerals your body needs.
Peanut Butter and Banana Yogurt Bowl
You can’t beat the classic banana and peanut butter combo. Mixed with Greek yogurt, you end up with a delicious, protein packed dessert.
50 Mediterranean Diet Recipe Favorites | Honey Glazed Salmon
Salmon is a perfect protein on the Mediterranean diet and this recipe is simple, easy, and delicious!
- ¼ cup raw honey
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 salmon fillets
- Preheat the air fryer to 380°F.
- In a small bowl, mix together the honey, garlic, olive oil, and salt.
- Spray the bottom of the air fryer basket with olive oil cooking spray, and place the salmon in a single layer on the bottom of the basket.
- Brush the top of each fillet with the honey-garlic mixture, and roast for 10 to 12 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F.
Serve with brown rice and roasted vegetables.
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FYI, France is one of the Mediterranean countries since it borders the Mediterranean Sea. So.. A French recipe can absolutely be considered a Mediterranean recipe.