Many consider the Mediterranean diet to be the healthiest food regimen one can follow. Doctors and nutritionists praise the diet’s emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes, and according to Mayo Clinic, research has shown the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease.
Luckily for us, meals inspired by the Mediterranean diet aren’t lacking vigor, and they’re typically full of healthy fats and fresh flavor thanks to the plants, olive oil, and nuts that make an appearance in many dishes. If you’re inspired to eat healthy the Mediterranean way, try one of these seven recipes that subscribe to the regime. They’re packed with protein thanks to chicken and fish, and you’ll be surprised just how delicious homemade Mediterranean-inspired dishes can taste.
1. Mediterranean Baked Fish
If you’re feeling ambitious, try your hand at this Mediterranean baked fish recipe from Taste of Home. It teaches you how to master herbed fish from the comfort of your own home, and it’ll only take you 20 minutes to bake. The fish is flavored with leeks, olive oil, garlic, and basil, and then topped with tomatoes, olives, and lemon. This fish will come out looking almost too good to eat, but then you’ll take one bite of the dish and change your mind.
- 1 cup thinly sliced leeks
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 12 large fresh basil leaves
- 1½ pounds orange roughy fillets
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 plum tomatoes, sliced
- 1 can sliced ripe olives, drained
- 1 medium lemon
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
Head to Taste of Home for the full recipe.
2. Mediterranean Pasta with Olives, Artichokes, and Tomatoes
Next up is a pasta recipe from Martha Stewart. This carb-lover’s dish stars the main ingredients traditionally found in Mediterranean-inspired recipes: artichokes, tomatoes, olives, basil, and cheese. That tasty combination flavors the pasta and keeps the dish nutritious while also allowing it to taste delicious. It also proves that wholesome ingredients right from the source are not only the most fresh, they also always taste best. Make this Mediterranean pasta with olive, artichokes, and tomatoes in 30 minutes or less and enjoy comfort food the healthy Mediterranean way.
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 12 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ medium onion, thinly sliced, lengthwise
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced crosswise
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, and quartered lengthwise
- ⅓ cup pitted kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more serving
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn
Head to Martha Stewart’s website for the full recipe.
3. Chopped Mediterranean Salad with Chicken
Next is a healthy yet hearty salad recipe found on Food Network that also features classic fresh, Mediterranean flavors. This chopped Mediterranean salad is packed with flavor and crunch thanks to cucumbers, onions, olives, and tomatoes. Feta cheese and cooked chicken breast also make a star appearance, and a red wine vinaigrette finishes it off. The salad is filling enough to suffice as a full meal but it could also be served alongside a main dish. Food Network’s recipe serves 4 but yields a dish that could easily be eaten by one all week.
- 2 precooked chicken breasts, diced
- 1 bag romaine hearts
- 1 English cucumber, sliced
- 1 cup chopped kalamata olives
- ½ medium red onion, diced
- ½ cup red wine vinaigrette
- 1 teaspoon Greek seasoning
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese, plus extra for garnish
- 3 Roma tomatoes, sliced, for garnish
Head to Food Network for the full recipe.
4. Mediterranean Tacos
Here’s a fun twist on traditional tacos from The Olive Crush. Instead of going Mexican, try these Mediterranean tacos and enjoy your finger food while eating healthy, too. These tacos are packed with veggies, cheese, chicken, and hummus, and instead of tortillas serving as the vehicle for the fresh ingredients, pita bread takes its place. Fold up your pitas like tacos and enjoy the doughy bed of carbs that hosts our favorite Mediterranean flavors.
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon pink sea salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 container hummus
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced
- 1½ cups shredded lettuce
- 1 can artichoke hearts, drained sliced black olives
- ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 4 pita breads
Head to The Olive Crush for the full recipe.
5. Mediterranean Chicken with Potatoes
For a more traditional dish, try this Mediterranean chicken with potatoes featured on Cooking Light. The food formula yields 8 servings and combines roasted red peppers, red onions, chicken, Parmesan cheese, and wine. And as is the case with most Mediterranean dishes, artichokes, tomatoes, olives, and basil are on the ingredients list, too. This Mediterranean chicken is easy enough to serve on a weekday but delicious enough to serve on a weekend. One bite of this meal and you might have a new favorite chicken dish on your hands.
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 12 small red potatoes, halved
- Cooking spray
- 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup vertically sliced red onion
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- ¾ cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup chopped pepperoncini peppers
- ¼ cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
- 2 cups chopped plum tomato
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
- ½ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- Thyme sprigs, optional
Head to MyRecipes for Cooking Light’s recipe.
6. Mediterranean Pizza
Dare to try Mediterranean pie? This pizza recipe from Seeded At The Table is your ticket. Take a step back from takeout and instead indulge in this delicious yet nutritious treat. Homemade or store-bought pizza dough will be the bed for two types of cheese, olives, red onions, artichoke hearts, chicken, and plum tomatoes, and the pizza can be perfected in 20 minutes or less. This pizza is proof that Italians aren’t the only ones who know a thing or two about pie.
- 1 batch pizza dough, homemade or store-bought
- Olive oil
- Garlic salt
- 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 6 ounces grilled chicken breast strips, chopped
- ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
- 2 plum tomatoes, diced
- 6 to 8 pepperoncinis from the jar, sliced
- ¼ cup canned quartered artichoke hearts, chopped
- ¼ cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced in half, lengthwise
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
Head to Seeded at the Table for the full recipe.
7. Mediterranean Fish Soup
Last but not least: Mediterranean fish soup. Campbell’s recipe, found on Epicurious, may look intimidating but as long as you can get your hands on all the fish listed on the ingredients list, you’re good to go. Slurp up this seafood soup that is loaded with mussels, shrimp, and a white fish of your choice.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- ¼ cup dry white wine or chicken broth
- 4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 24 sliced fresh mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
- 1 pound firm white fish fillets (cod, haddock or halibut), cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ pound fresh or thawed frozen large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Shredded fresh basil leaves
Head to Epicurious for the full recipe.