10 Examples of Perfect Mediterranean Diet Meals

With the vast variety of fad diets out there, it can be easy to get discouraged when it comes to improving your health. From cutting out carbs to drinking over-priced juice, dieting can seem like a never-ending journey with minimal results. Fortunately, the Mediterranean diet has boosted in popularity as of late, and for a good reason.

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet is an eating pattern that places emphasis on plant foods, olive oil, fish, poultry, beans, and grains. The diet takes inspiration from the habits of a variety of regions including Greece, Portugal, Italy, southern France, and Spain. Studies have linked numerous benefits to the Mediterranean diet, including:

  • Preventing heart disease and strokes.
  • Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s.
  • Protecting against type 2 diabetes.
  • Increasing longevity.

While there are many benefits to this type of eating lifestyle, there are also many recipes available, making it easy to follow and maintain. With key ingredients—including fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, eggs, legumes, and more—it’s unlikely that you’ll find yourself bored of this diet.

What are some great recipe ideas?

That being said, what are some of the delicious recipes out there for you to try? Continue reading to see 10 examples of perfect Mediterranean diet meals!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Kicking off our list of tasty Mediterranean diet recipes is this mouthwatering quinoa salad. Featured in this salad is feta cheese, greens, and a quinoa tomato sofrito blend. The concentration of healthy fats in this dish works to improve mood swings, fight stress, manage your weight, and even decrease mental fatigue. In order to recreate this delectable dish, you will need a handful of ingredients.

The Quinoa Tomato Sofrito Ingredients

In order to create the quinoa tomato sofrito, you will need:

  • 1 ½ cups of dry quinoa
  • ½ large white onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 15 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • Black pepper

The Vinaigrette Ingredients

In order to create the vinaigrette, you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon of dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil

The Salad Ingredients

In order to create the salad, you will need:

  • ½ of an English cucumber
  • 5 ounces of baby kale
  • 1/3 cup of Kalamata olives
  • ½ cup of feta cheese crumbles
  • 2 romaine hearts
  • ¼ cup of sliced almonds

Instructions

Just like most salads, this quinoa dish is fairly easy to throw together. In order to create this dish, follow these directions:

  1. Under cold water, clean the quinoa and then drain it completely.
  2. Boil the quinoa with 3 cups of water, then cover the pot and let it cook for another 17 to 20 minutes until the water is completely absorbed.
  3. After all of the water is absorbed, take the pan off the heat and let it sit for around 5 minutes.
  4. Mince the garlic and dice the onions. Over medium heat, heat the olive oil into a medium saucepan.
  5. Add the onion to the pan and cooks for 5 minutes, then pour the thyme and garlic in. Saute those ingredients for an extra minute.
  6. Add ½ a teaspoon of kosher salt, paprika and the crushed tomatoes. After covering and simmering for 15 minutes, add the ground fresh pepper and 1/ tablespoon kosher salt.
  7. In another bowl, whisk together lemon juice, kosher salt, oregano, and red wine vinegar. Gradually add six tablespoons of olive oil until it’s creamy and emulsified.
  8. Then, over a medium heat, toast the almonds. Then slice the olives in halves, dice the cucumbers, and chop the kale and romaine.
  9. When serving, place the greens in a bowl and top with a layer of quinoa, then almonds, feta, olives. Finally, drizzle with the dressing.

Lentil Soup

Even though this lentil soup is made using one plant, the soup is surprisingly full of flavor. Due to the presence of lentils, this soup is full of protein and fiber, low in fat and calories, works to protect against heart disease. This simple recipe requires several ingredients to create a tasty, hearty meal.

Ingredients

In order to create this lentil soup, you will need:

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 funnel bulb
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups of green or brown lentils
  • 28-ounce can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1-quart vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • Standard chopped spinach

Instructions

In order to create this dish, follow these directions:

  1. First, dice the onion and the fennel. Then, grate the garlic and set it aside and peel and dice the carrots.
  2. Under medium heat, heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the fennel and onions and sauté for about 7 minutes. After they have turned translucent, add the lentils, carrots, oregano, salt, broth tomatoes, paprika, and water.
  3. For 22 to 25 minutes, let it simmer until the lentils are tender.
  4. Then, add the grated garlic and the spinach while stirring. Allow it to rest for about five minutes, then serve.

Shrimp Marinara

If you’re looking for a fast yet delicious dish, this next recipe may be your new go-to dinner recipe. This shrimp marinara is extremely simple to cook and will take you only about 30 min to prepare the dish. This recipe combines tasty sautéed shrimp and simple marinara sauce to give you a delectable outcome.

Shrimp & Pasta Ingredients

In order to prepare the shrimp and pasta, you will need:

  • 8 ounces of spaghetti nodules.
  • 1 pound of deveined jumbo shrimp (can either be peeled or unpeeled).
  • 2 tablespoons of dried basil.
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter.
  • ¼ tablespoon of kosher salt.
  • Parmesan cheese.

Marinara Sauce Ingredients

In order to prepare the marinara sauce, you will need:

  • 28 ounces of high quality crushed tomatoes or can crush fire-roasted tomatoes.
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder.
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano.
  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt.
  • 8 fresh basil leaves.

Instructions

In order to create this dish, follow these directions:

  1. Thaw and tap the shrimp dry using either a clean rag or a paper towel.
  2. Using boiled and salted water, cook the pasta until al dente and then drain.
  3. On medium heat, heat the olive oil or butter. While turning them, cook the shrimp for 2 minutes on each side. Making sure you leave the juices inside the skillet, pour the shrimp into a separate bowl.
  4. Add the marinara sauce ingredients in the same skillet. Once it boils, cover it and cook for about 15 minutes.
  5. Finally, pour the shrimp into the skillet and remove the heat. Serve over chopped basil and pasta.

Mussels Marinara

While this dish may look like something straight out of a five-star restaurant, it’s actually incredibly easy to prepare. This mussels marinara is both tasty and affordable, making it ideal for the typical Mediterranean diet. To make the meal, all you’ll need is 30 minutes and a few ingredients.

Ingredients

In order to prepare the mussels marinara, you will need:

  • 28 ounces of Marinara Sauce
  • 8 ounces of bucatini pasta or spaghetti
  • 1 ½ pound of mussels
  • For serving, olive oil and freshly chopped basil

Instructions

In order to create this dish, follow these instructions:

  1. Start the smooth marinara sauce on low heat. In the mean time, clean the mussels.
  2. Boil the pasta in a large pot of salty water until it is done, then drain. For better results, wait until it is tender yet still a little bit firm on the inside.
  3. Wait for the marinara sauce to simmer for about 15 minutes, then add the mussels and cover. Cook it over medium heat for around 6 to 8 minutes while stirring several times until they open.
  4. For serving, pour the pasta in a dish, then spoon the marinara and mussels over the pasta. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and chopped basil.

Mediterranean Couscous Bowl

This next dish features a quick-cooking couscous with a creamy tahini sauce and chickpeas. This meal is best served as an easy lunch recipe or a main dish dinner salad. It is a simple meal, but it happens to be incredibly tasty.

Chickpea Ingredients

In order to prepare the chickpeas, you will need:

  • 1 15-ounce can or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of kosher salt

Couscous Ingredients

In order to prepare the couscous, you will need:

  • 1 cup of whole wheat couscous
  • ¾ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 of tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley

Bowl Ingredients

In order to prepare the bowl, you will need:

  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 8 cups of salad greens
  • Tahini sauce

Instructions

In order to create this dish, follow these instructions:

  1. Prepare the chickpeas. If you opted for dry chickpeas, use the Dutch oven method or the instant pot chickpeas method. If you chose for canned, after rinsing and draining them, stir them together with cumin, kosher salt and olive oil in a medium bowl.
  2. Prepare the couscous. Boil 1 ¼ cups of water in a medium pot. Then, pour ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and couscous and leave it to boil. As you remove it from the heat, cover and let it settle for about 5 minutes. After it has settled, add another ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt, the olive oil and the parsley.
  3. Using the tahini sauce prepare the dressing.
  4. To assemble the bowl, slice the tomatoes in half and chop the peeled cucumber. Place the greens in a larger pan then top with chickpeas, couscous, tomatoes and cucumber. Drizzle about two tablespoons of tahini dressing per bowl and serve.

Shrimp Paella

This shrimp paella is spectacular for a traditional date night. Additionally, you can serve it on family weekday dinner. This easy vegetable paella features meat or seafood flavored with spices like saffron, paprika, vegetables, rice.

Ingredients

In order to prepare shrimp paella, you will need:

  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ pound of raw deveined shrimps shell
  • ¼ cup of olive oil (divided)
  • 1 pinch of oregano
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 15-ounce can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups of uncooked white Arborio rice
  • 1 tablespoon of organic smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of organic turmeric or one pinch of saffron a substitute
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth.
  • 14-ounce can of quartered artichoke hearts
  • ¼ cup of frozen peas.

Instructions

In order to create this dish, follow these instructions:

  1. Mince the garlic and dice the onion.
  2. Over medium-high heat, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large paella pan or skillet. Add the shrimp and cook each side for about 1 minute on each side while sprinkling one pinch oregano, one pinch kosher salt, and one pinch of red pepper flakes until it turns barely opaque. Then, set the shrimps aside.
  3. Over medium heat, pour three tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet and add the garlic and onion. Let it cook for about 3 minutes until it becomes translucent. Then, pour the tomatoes and let it cook for about 6 to 7 minutes until the liquid reduces.
  4. Add the rice, turmeric or saffron, smoked paprika, and kosher salt and stir it for about a minute. Pour the spinach and the broth and let it boil. Then, place the artichoke quarters on top of the rice.
  5. For about 20 minutes, cook until the liquid is fully cooked down and rice al dente. Then, arrange the cooked shrimp and peas in the last 3 minutes.
  6. When the liquid is almost dried up, remove from the heat and let it settle for a few minutes then serve.

Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta

With bold and comforting flavors, this creamy goat cheese pasta is a recipe you’ll surely love. This recipe is not only tasty, but it also takes around 20 minutes to complete. All you’ll need is a few ingredients to complete this delicious dish.

Ingredients

In order to prepare this creamy goat cheese pasta, you will need:

  • 8 ounces of regular penne pasta
  • 2-ounce can of crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 2 cups of tightly packed baby spinach leaves
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 4 ounces of goat cheese

Instructions

In order to create this dish, follow these instructions:

  1. Boil the penne in a large pot of salty water until al dente, then drain.
  2. In the meantime, place the olive oil, crushed tomatoes, spinach, kosher salt, whole basil leaves, oregano, garlic powder, and balsamic vinegar in a large saucepan. Then, let it boil and cover. For about 10 minutes, let the pasta cook.
  3. Once it’s done cooking, drain it. Then, crumble the goat cheese into the sauce and pour the pasta. Continue stirring until a creamy sauce starts to form, then serve while still hot.

Lemon Dill Salmon

Lemon dill salmon is a relatively easy and healthy weeknight meal. This is because the lemon-dill salmon takes around 10 minutes to bake. Fish is largely incorporated into the Mediterranean diet, making this recipe perfect for staying within the diet’s guidelines.

Salmon Ingredients

In order to prepare the salmon, you will need:

  • Four salmon fillets
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper

Lemon Dill Sauce Ingredients

In order to prepare the lemon dill sauce, you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped dill
  • ¼ cup of Greek yogurt
  • 6 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons of water

Instructions

In order to create this dish, follow these instructions:

  1. First, preheat the oven to about 450 degrees.
  2. Sprinkle large amounts of ground black pepper and kosher salt on the salmon and place it on a baking sheet (preferably a parchment-lined one).
  3. For around 10 minutes, bake the salmon until it is just cooked and flaky. You can base the timing depending on the thickness of the salmon.
  4. While mixing the sauce ingredients, make sure to add water last. These should be done while the salmon is baking.
  5. While serving, do not forget to garnish each salmon fillet with two tablespoons of the dill sauce.

Baked Falafel Salad Bowl

Falafel is a doughnut-shaped patty that’s made from ground chickpeas. If you’re a fan of falafel, this next dish will definitely suit your fancy. This meal features a creamy cilantro dressing and a mix of tasty vegetables that will leave your mouth watering!

Falafel Salad Ingredients

In order to prepare the falafel patties, you will need:

  • 1 ½ cups of dried chickpeas
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small red onion
  • ½ cup of fresh parsley
  • ½ cup of fresh cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ¼ red cabbage
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1-pint cherry tomatoes
  • 14 cups of salad greens or lettuce

Creamy Cilantro Dressing Ingredients

In order to prepare the creamy cilantro dressing, you will need:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 ½ cups of Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of tahini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup of cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of water

Instructions

In order to create this dish, follow these instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, then soak the chickpeas in a bowl of water.
  2. Peel and mince the onion and garlic and pour them into a bowl. Add soaked chickpeas, cilantro, parsley, cumin, olive oil, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, and ground coriander, and process until a dough comes together and is smooth.
  3. Scoop a few tablespoons of dough and pat it flat to form falafel patties. Try to make the patties as uniform as you possibly can. Then line the on a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 24 minutes, making sure you flip them halfway through.
  4. Then, dice the cherry tomatoes and thinly slice the cucumber and red cabbage.
  5. When serving, pour the greens in a large bowl, then top with falafel patties, cucumber, cabbage, and tomatoes. Then, drizzle the dressing on top and serve.

Salmon With Capers

This is a healthy dinner recipe that is baked until it’s perfectly tender. To bring out the flavors, a few tricks are used in the recipe. For instance, lemon is added to pop out the zest, pepper, salt, and olive oil are brought into the mix for seasoning. Although oregano and fresh thyme are optional, they add that extra sweet flavor to baked salmon.

Ingredients

In order to prepare this dish, you will need:

  • 4, 6-ounce salmon fillets
  • For brushing, olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper (freshly ground)
  • Six slices from one lemon
  • Thyme or oregano (optional)
  • Three tablespoons of salted batter
  • Two tablespoons of drained, jarred capers
  • One grated garlic clove finely chopped chives, parsley

Instructions

To prepare Salmon and Capers, follow these directions:

  1. Firstly, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Brine the salon for around 15 minutes.
  3. Place the salmon on an aluminum foil sheet, then place fresh herbs and the lemon slices around it. Then, sprinkle each piece of salmon with ground pepper and 1/8 teaspoon of salt then wrap the foil.
  4. Then, bake for around 10 minutes. Unwrap the foil the bake for an additional 3 to 6 minutes depending on the thickness of your salmon.
  5. In the meantime, over low heat, melt the butter. On the melted butter, add the garlic and capers and cook for around 3 minutes.
  6. When serving, squeeze on to the salmon lemon juice from the remaining slices of lemon. Then, over each piece of salmon, you can now spoon your batter. Finally, garnish with finely chopped chives or parsley.

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