Skip to main content

The Mediterranean diet actually works — try these tasty recipes and see

These Mediterranean diet recipes are a must try for a healthier you

Many people are looking to change their eating habits in a quest to get healthier. Between all the fad diets, the fasting plans, and the herbal supplements, the best plan for long-term health and fitness is to adopt a healthy eating plan, preferably one that you can stick to for life. While it’s not easy to make changes in eating habits permanent, there are things you can do to begin to add in heart-healthy foods into your daily routine. 

According to Healthline, there are five diets that have been proven by science to be effective:

Related Videos
  1. Low-carb/whole-food
  2. Paleo
  3. Vegan
  4. Gluten-free
  5. Mediterranean

One of the tastiest of all the diet plans has to be the Mediterranean diet. Easy to follow and good for you, the Mediterranean diet is an eating plan you can live with — and love — for the rest of your life. And the best part is there are so many delicious Mediterranean diet recipes out there. Curious? Let’s explore…

What is the Mediterranean diet?

Based on the typical eating habits in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, the “Mediterranean diet” typically includes:

  • An abundance of fruits, vegetables, bread and other grains, potatoes, beans, nuts, and seeds
  • Olive oil as the primary fat source
  • Dairy products, eggs, fish, and poultry in low-to-moderate amounts

Wine is permitted in moderation (commonly with meals), and fruits are the typical dessert option, rather than sweets.

How good is the Mediterranean-style diet? So good that the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends it. Sticking with a Mediterranean eating plan can play a big role in helping to prevent heart disease and stroke, and reducing other risk factors, including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. There is even evidence that the virgin olive oil that’s a common ingredient in Mediterranean diets may help the body remove excess cholesterol from arteries.

2 Mediterranean diet recipes for breakfast

Trying the Mediterranean diet? These healthy recipes will keep you on track.

Hummus toast

Every day starts out with breakfast, and your Mediterranean diet eating plan is no different. For a quick breakfast, you’ll love this simple toast with hummus and fresh veggies. 

This recipe starts with making hummus from scratch — a process that takes about 20 minutes and is well worth the effort — but, if you’re in a pinch, you can always resort to store-bought hummus (we won’t tell). For this savory hummus toast, simply spread your hummus on a piece of crusty Italian bread toast and top with sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, arugula, Kalamata olives, and a sprinkling of feta cheese. Who ever said that breakfast is boring?

Breakfast egg muffins

These healthy egg muffins are loaded with veggies, fresh herbs, and Mediterranean flavor. Low carb and gluten-free, they can be prepared ahead for a quick ’n’ easy on-the-go breakfast option for any day of the week.

6 Mediterranean diet recipes for the rest of your meals

Tuscan white bean stew

This tasty vegetarian stew uses cannellini, a type of white bean that’s a common ingredient for soups and stews in Tuscany, and homemade croutons that elevate the recipe to a whole new level. Served as a main course, for lunch or dinner, this stew goes well with a simple mixed green salad for the perfect meal.

Caprese stuffed portobello mushrooms

All the key ingredients of a typical caprese salad — tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil — are piled into portobello mushroom caps to create a delicious, satisfying vegetarian main dish. At just 186 calories, it proves you don’t have to give up taste to eat healthily.

Easy pea & spinach carbonara

This recipe swaps out the pancetta found in traditional carbonara recipes with peas and spinach for a fresh ’n’ healthy twist on a classic Italian favorite. Fresh pasta cooks up faster than dried, making it a handy (and delicious) go-to for quick weeknight dinners. Since eggs are the base of the creamy sauce, and they won’t be fully cooked, opt for pasteurized-in-the-shell eggs.

Walnut-rosemary-crusted salmon

This recipe comes together in under 30 minutes — including prep work — making it a great weeknight option for busy households. Add a salad and a side dish of quinoa, and you’ve just made the perfect Mediterranean diet-approved meal that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids (thanks to the salmon and walnuts). Dress the salmon in a combination of mustard, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, rosemary, honey, salt, and crushed red pepper before coating it in panko and walnuts. So tasty, and just 222 calories per serving.

Chicken & spinach skillet pasta with lemon & parmesan

If you love the ease of a one-pan meal as much as we do, be sure to give this pasta recipe a try. It combines lean chicken breast with sautéed spinach for a one-bowl meal that delivers a bounty of garlic and lemon goodness, and it’s even better with a little parmesan on top. 

Poached pears

This warm and comforting dessert is proof positive that you don’t need to skip dessert when you’re eating the Mediterranean way. It adds a sweet finish to your meal and clocks in at just 85 calories! Pears simmer slowly in a liquid mixture of orange juice and apple juice sprinkled with ground cinnamon and nutmeg. With no added sugar, this recipe relies on the sweetness of the pears to make the dish dessert-worthy. 

We’ve pulled together eight delicious and easy recipe ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert to help get you started on your path to better eating. By adopting a Mediterranean diet you’ll never be short on tasty, filling meals you can make a part of your healthier lifestyle.

Editors' Recommendations

Can you heat up Styrofoam? What you need to know to keep yourself safe
Find out if you can microwave Styrofoam
Person holding two Styrofoam carry-out containers

Sure, you may love to cook delicious, gourmet meals that your friends and family salivate over, but sometimes, throwing something in the microwave is just easier. Whether you're heating up yesterday's leftovers or reheating lukewarm takeout, the microwave can be the busy homeowner's best friend. But do you need to take the food out of that convenient Styrofoam container first? Can you heat up Styrofoam or is it unsafe to do so?

Microwaves are easy to use, but that doesn't mean every type of food container belongs in them. Depending on what you're using to reheat food, you may need to transport it to a microwave-safe plate. Metal-based materials, for instance, can't go in the microwave since the waves can't penetrate metal. With a few exceptions, most glass and ceramic dishes are microwave-safe containers, as are some forms of Tupperware, but they may not be practical for transporting or storing foods. Styrofoam is a commonly used food container, but can you microwave Styrofoam or even heat Styrofoam at all?

Read more
Healthy ground beef recipes that are actually really tasty (we promise!)
Try these unique ground beef dishes for yummy, flavorful meals
Ground beef lettuce wrap

Coming up with new ways to feed your family can be challenging. Whether you're searching for new recipes, trying out the latest gadgets, or discovering innovative ways to incorporate common ingredients into your weekly meal plan, being open to new things in the kitchen will keep mealtime fun and satisfying. 

One ingredient that doesn’t get the respect it deserves is ground beef. A beloved meat for home chefs who want to make their own patties or create savory meals with some added protein, ground beef has a tendency to be used only in our tried-and-true recipes. Good for more than just hamburgers and meatloaf, ground beef can be used to create so many tasty, flavorful meals. From hearty ground beef recipes with rice to healthy ground beef skillet recipes, there are literally hundreds of ways to get the most out of a pound of ground beef. Let’s explore some! 

Read more
Get tasty slow cooker chicken every time with these simple tips and tricks
quick chicken crockpot recipes slow cooker curry casserole

Chicken is a go-to meal for many households because it's a fan favorite of adults and kids alike. Whether for busy weeknights, outdoor grilling, or leisurely Sunday dinners with the family, chicken is healthy, tasty, easy-to-make, and adaptable to virtually any type of cuisine or cooking method. 

Fried, baked, grilled, or sautéed, chicken is a mealtime superstar. But you can take your poultry to the next level by pulling out your slow cooker. You might use it for making beefy roasts or stews that result in fork-tender meals that never fail to satisfy. Although the slow cooking process is shorter for chicken than for beef or pork, this low-and-slow method can still bring out the best flavor and tenderness of your chicken. 

Read more