Following the Mediterranean Diet is a great way to lose weight, improve your health, and reduce your risk of disease. The meal plan’s rules are simple: Eat plenty of produce, opt for seafood and lean meats, incorporate plenty of whole grains into your diet, and use healthy fats, such as olive oil, in place of butter. Health notes that you should be able to find almost all of these items by shopping the perimeter of your grocery store. Not only is this diet simple to follow, but its meals are just as easy to make, particularly when you prepare them in your slow cooker. To help make healthy eating easier, we’ve compiled 7 Mediterranean recipes that can be made in the crockpot. Easy, delicious, and nutritious — it doesn’t get any better than that!
1. Slow-Cooker Crustless Mediterranean Quiche
Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dinner, Betty Crocker’s Slow-Cooker Crustless Mediterranean Quiche features spinach, sausage, red bell peppers, and feta cheese. This recipe delivers great flavors and wonderful health benefits. Plus, it is unbelievably easy to prepare: Beat your eggs, milk, and Bisquick, mix together, place all of the ingredients in the crockpot, and stir. You can cook this quiche on high for 3 to 4 hours, or on low for 5 to 6 hours; the recipe yields 9 servings.
- 8 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup Original Bisquick mix
- 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 1½ cups crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup chopped roasted red bell peppers and/or sun-dried tomatoes
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 (9.6-ounce) package fully cooked sausage crumbles
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese for garnish, if desired
Directions: Spray 4- to 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In slow cooker, beat eggs, milk and Bisquick mix with whisk until well mixed. Add spinach, 1½ cups feta cheese, the bell peppers, basil, garlic, and sausage; stir well. Cover; cook on high heat setting 3 to 4 hours or on low heat setting 5 to 6 hours. Quiche is done when center is set and edges are deep golden brown. Cut into pieces to serve. Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of feta cheese.
2. Slow-Cooked Mediterranean Eggplant Salad
Apron Strings creates a mouth-watering midday meal using eggplant, peppers, onion, tomato, lemon, and seasonings. Eggplant is the star of this recipe, providing it with rich, creamy flavors and noteworthy health benefits. Care2 states that eggplant contains iron, calcium, fiber, vitamin K, and phytonutrients, which are compounds found in plants that can help improve blood circulation. It can also lower your blood pressure and bad cholesterol, and may help relieve stress. We recommend serving your eggplant salad on toasted pita or teff bread, or over rice.
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 2 bell peppers, sliced
- 1 large eggplant, quartered and sliced
- 1 (24-ounce) can whole tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Fresh black pepper to taste
- Juice of one lemon
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large slow cooker and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. Serve, and enjoy!
3. Artichoke Pasta
Herb-coated tomatoes pair perfectly with olives, feta cheese, and artichoke hearts in Better Homes and Gardens’ recipe. Mayo Clinic notes that the Mediterranean Diet emphasizes whole grains, which is why we suggest using whole-wheat pasta in place of the recipe’s recommended white noodles. To prevent your noodles from sticking to the bottom of your crockpot, you’ll want to thoroughly coat your slow cooker with cooking spray before adding your ingredients.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 3 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with basil, oregano, and garlic
- 2 (14-ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 12 ounces dried linguine, fettuccine, or pasta of your choosing
- Sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives and/or sliced pitted ripe olives, optional
- Crumbled feta cheese or finely shredded Parmesan cheese, optional
Directions: Coat the inside of a 3½- or 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Drain two of the cans of diced tomatoes. In the prepared cooker, stir together drained and undrained tomatoes, the artichoke hearts, and garlic. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 4 hours. Stir in whipping cream; let stand about 5 minutes to heat through. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Serve sauce over hot cooked pasta. If desired, top with olives and/or cheese.
4. Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta
Shrimp is Mediterranean Diet-approved, making this recipe, which is in Michele Scicolone’s cookbook The Mediterranean Slow Cooker, a great dinner go-to. Livestrong explains that a six-ounce serving of shrimp has 39 grams of protein and contains zinc, selenium, and vitamins A and B-12. If you’d like to create an even lighter seafood dish, feel free to cut back on olive oil and use water in place of white wine. It yields 6 servings.
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- 1½ pounds medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, about 4 ounces
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Directions: In a small skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Scrape onion into large slow cooker. Stir in tomatoes, wine, oregano, salt to taste, and crushed red pepper. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours. Rinse shrimp and pat them dry. Stir shrimp into sauce. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and cook on high for 10 to 15 minutes, or until shrimp are tender and cooked through. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot.
5. Mediterranean Chicken
Healthy eating is made easy thanks to Hamilton Beach Brands’ recipe for Mediterranean Chicken. Chicken thighs pair perfectly with an assortment of fresh and healthy ingredients, including mushroom, zucchini, chickpeas, tomatoes, and capers. Lemon juice, oregano, and garlic infuse this dish with bright and refreshing flavors, creating a chicken dinner that is far more flavorful than most. It yields 12 servings.
- 6 chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 1½ cups fresh mushrooms, quartered
- 2 small zucchini cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
- ½ cup sun-dried tomato packed in oil, chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons capers
Directions: Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Brown chicken on both sides. Remove from heat and set aside. Place onion, zucchini, and mushrooms in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place chicken on top of the vegetables. Spread chickpeas over the chicken. Combine tomatoes, olives, sundried tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, and oregano in a small bowl. Pour over the chicken. Sprinkle capers over the top of the mixture in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 until done.
6. Mediterranean Pork with Couscous
Tender pork marries well with a variety of fragrant spices and couscous in Mel’s Kitchen Cafe’s recipe. Because the Mediterranean Diet encourages whole grains, we suggest serving this dish with whole-wheat couscous. Start this recipe in the morning before you head to work, and you’ll come home to a lovely smelling kitchen and a ready-made dinner.
- 2 to 2½ pounds boneless pork loin, trimmed of fat
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- ½ tablespoon paprika
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- 2¼ teaspoons dried sage
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 to 2 cups couscous, prepared according to package directions
Directions: In a liquid measuring cup, combine the oil, broth and spices. Cut small slits with a paring knife into the pork roast. Place the pork in a 4-quart slow cooker and pour the broth/spice mixture over the top of the pork. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours until the pork is tender. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and shred into pieces. Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker and toss with the juices/liquid. Serve the meat/juices over couscous.
7. Slow Cooker Mediterranean Succotash
Don’t settle for unhealthy takeout on hectic weeknights. Instead, prepare Chew Nibble Nosh’s Slow Cooker Mediterranean Succotash, which combines couscous, feta cheese, tomatoes, beans, olives, pepper, zucchini, and seasonings. This recipe is the perfect combination of nutritious ingredients and simple preparation, making it a great dinner dish to serve any night of the week. It yields 6 servings.
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup chopped zucchini
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
- ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Cooked pearled couscous
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
Directions: Place first 7 ingredients in a 4-quart slow cooker. Stir well. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Stir in parsley, vinegar, and lemon juice. Add black pepper, stir well. Serve over cooked couscous and sprinkle with crumbled feta.