20 Mouthwatering Mediterranean Recipes

Falafel sandwich on plate
Falafel sandwich on plate - Alexandra Shytsman/Mashed

The Mediterranean diet is not restrictive or based on specific dishes but rather on the use of fresh seasonal ingredients, healthy fats, whole grains, and fish. Because of its core philosophy, it's heralded as a supreme eating style that can help you live better and longer. Luckily, switching up your dietary habits to incorporate more Mediterranean-style dishes is not complicated, but if you need inspiration, we've collected our best recipes with a distinctive Mediterranean flair.

These dishes rely on simple culinary techniques that result in mouthwatering creations you'll want to cook and eat often. They're built with wholesome ingredients that aren't masked or overpowered with robust flavors, usually only complemented by Mediterranean herbs and lemon juice. Indeed, these recipes will have you covered whether you're looking for hearty main courses, light dips and spreads, or loaded salads. Plus, we even added baklava to the mix for a sweet, sugary kick.

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Copycat Panera Bread Mediterranean Bowl

Copycat Panera Bread Mediterranean bowl
Copycat Panera Bread Mediterranean bowl - Catherine Brookes/Mashed

This nutritious bowl blends various textures and flavors to create a nutrient-rich salad bursting with Mediterranean character. It starts with fresh arugula and a mix of quinoa and brown rice. Grape tomatoes, cucumbers, and kalamata olives go on the top, followed by sliced chicken breast and crumbled feta. For an extra dose of flavor, the salad includes tahini, lemon juice, Greek yogurt, and hummus.

The biggest advantage of this recipe is that you can prep it ahead of time. It makes for an excellent, nutritious lunch that's easy to transport.

Recipe: Copycat Panera Bread Mediterranean Bowl

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean quinoa salad
Mediterranean quinoa salad - Kristen Carli/Mashed

This salad uses quinoa as the base and combines it with cucumbers, red onions, bell peppers, grape tomatoes, chickpeas, parsley, and basil. We suggest cutting the veggies in different sizes for more textural diversity. The salad is finished with a classic Mediterranean dressing with lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar.

This is a versatile salad that allows you to play with textures and flavors to create your signature version. It's a great option to prep ahead of time and keep in the fridge, and it'd be great as a light lunch or dinner.

Recipe: Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Tuna Pasta

Mediterranean tuna pasta
Mediterranean tuna pasta - Kristen Carli/Mashed

This salad is a nutritious meal that can be prepared in under half an hour. Most ingredients used in the recipe are pantry staples you usually have on hand, so you can make it any time you run out of ideas.

The salad starts with cooked rigatoni, but you can use any short pasta variety. Just make sure to cook it al dente, so it retains a little chew. Top the pasta with drained canned tuna, capers, diced tomatoes, and chopped parsley. Finish with a zesty olive oil and lemon juice dressing, then serve immediately.

Recipe: Mediterranean Tuna Pasta

Grilled Salmon Greek Salad With Herb Dressing

Salmon Greek salad in bowl
Salmon Greek salad in bowl - Kate Shungu/Mashed

This dish combines Greek-inspired flavors with a grilled salmon fillet. It starts with a salad of arugula, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions, and it comes topped with crumbled feta and kalamata olives. A salmon fillet is nestled on top, and the dish is finished off with vinegar and olive oil dressing that's infused with mustard and herbs.

This is the perfect summer meal that can work as lunch or dinner. Feel free to swap the ingredients, and instead of salmon, use any protein of choice.

Recipe: Grilled Salmon Greek Salad With Herb Dressing

Caramelized Onion Hummus

Caramelized onion hummus in bowl
Caramelized onion hummus in bowl - Catherine Brookes/Mashed

This is the perfect recipe for anyone who wants to give their homemade hummus more character. Besides caramelized onions, it uses tahini, chickpeas, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to make a creamy hummus packed with sweetness and depth. We suggest using a food processor and, optionally, reserving a spoonful of caramelized onions to use as garnish.

This hummus is a great option to serve as a classic dip, preferably paired with carrots, celery sticks, or pita chips. However, it would also work as a sandwich spread or salad topping.

Recipe: Caramelized Onion Hummus

Lemon Hummus

Lemon hummus in bowl
Lemon hummus in bowl - Catherine Brookes/Mashed

This classic hummus recipe relies on lemon zest and juice to provide a zesty kick that'll help brighten all earthy flavors. The hummus is assembled in a food processor and -- along with lemon, tahini, olive oil, and garlic -- it uses canned chickpeas as an easy and reliable base.

You can serve this hummus as is, but we suggest a sprinkle of chopped cilantro for the perfect finishing touch. Serve this hummus as a dip with veggie sticks or chips or as a spread on sandwiches and wraps.

Recipe: Lemon Hummus

Air Fryer Baba Ganoush

Baba ganoush in bowl
Baba ganoush in bowl - Miriam Hahn/Mashed

Baba ganoush is a delicious multipurpose spread that originated in the Middle East. Traditionally, this recipe uses roasted eggplant, but in this no-frills version, eggplant is cooked in an air fryer, and the soft flesh is then scooped and blended with salt, olive oil, tahini, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and lemon juice. Serve your baba ganoush with your favorite garnish.

This is a great dipping sauce, but the smooth consistency allows you to use it as a spread that's perfect for sandwiches and wraps. It goes especially well with fresh or roasted veggies.

Recipe: Air Fryer Baba Ganoush

Moroccan Pumpkin Stew

Moroccan pumpkin stew in bowl
Moroccan pumpkin stew in bowl - Miriam Hahn/Mashed

Don't be scared by the long list of ingredients that go into this hearty recipe. The prep is quite simple, and waiting for the stew to cook is the most demanding part of the process. Diced pumpkin is the star of the recipe, but this colorful dish also includes sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beans, carrots, and raisins. A combination of ginger and warming spices provide a delicious background.

The stew is finished with kale and a squeeze of lime juice for some zesty brightness. Serve and enjoy immediately.

Recipe: Moroccan Pumpkin Stew

Moroccan Carrot Salad

Moroccan carrot salad in bowl
Moroccan carrot salad in bowl - Miriam Hahn/Mashed

This salad looks to Moroccan cuisine for inspiration. Shredded fresh carrots are elevated with chopped parsley, toasted sunflower seeds, and sweet golden raisins. The ingredients are assembled and tossed with a flavor-packed dressing that uses Dijon mustard, curry, olive oil, vinegar, honey, and garlic.

This salad works great on its own but can also act as a side dish or an ingredient in sandwiches. You can prep it ahead of time and store it for up to five days in the fridge.

Recipe: Moroccan Carrot Salad

Moroccan-Inspired Whole-Roasted Branzino

Roasted fish on plate
Roasted fish on plate - Michelle McGlinn/Mashed

Branzino is appreciated for its tender white flesh, and it's the ideal fish to grill or roast and infuse with Mediterranean flavors. In this recipe, cleaned and scaled branzino is roasted whole. The fish is smothered with a zesty olive oil dressing enhanced with cumin and coriander. Tangy slices of persevered lemon are stuffed inside for an extra flavor kick.

Serve the branzino whole and dressed up with salt, fresh parsley, and pepper flakes. Remove the lemon slices before serving, and pair with a side dish of your choice.

Recipe: Moroccan-Inspired Whole-Roasted Branzino

Chickpea And Roasted Eggplant Salad

Eggplant salad in white bowl
Eggplant salad in white bowl - Catherine Brookes/Mashed

This is a colorful and nutritious salad with a hearty base of roasted eggplant, pepper, and chickpeas. It gets tons of freshness from tomatoes, arugula, and cilantro plus an extra flavor boost from a dressing that combines balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, and roasted garlic.

You can serve this salad as a main course, but it's also an excellent side dish with any choice of protein or grains. To stick with the Mediterranean theme, incorporate it into a mezze-style meal with other small dishes.

Recipe: Chickpea And Roasted Eggplant Salad

Vegetarian Lentil Moussaka

Lentil moussaka in serving dish
Lentil moussaka in serving dish - Catherine Brookes/Mashed

This vegetarian take on Greek moussaka calls for a good amount of time and prep, but the results are worth the effort. The dish starts with thin slices of potatoes and eggplant layered with a tomato-based lentil sauce and creamy béchamel.

This hefty casserole is topped with grated parmesan and cheddar then baked until it's golden and crisp with a center that remains soft and gooey. The moussaka is a great vegetable-based main course and is perfect with some bread or salad on the side.

Recipe: Vegetarian Lentil Moussaka

Spanish Paella-Ish Chicken Casserole

Paella-ish chicken casserole on plate
Paella-ish chicken casserole on plate - Feta Topalu/Mashed

Spanish paella is an inspiration for this dish, in which saffron-laden rice gets paired with chicken, chorizo, peas, onions, peppers, and tomato paste. Meat and veggies are cooked first and then layered with short-grain rice, tomato paste, and chicken broth. The dish is baked until the rice cooks and the casserole becomes firm and homogeneous. It's topped with fresh parsley and lemon wedges.

This paella makes a great main course. Serve it with Spanish-inspired dishes such as tomato bread, garlic aioli, or romesco sauce.

Recipe: Spanish Paella-Ish Chicken Casserole

Instant Pot Lentils And Rice

Lentils and rice close up
Lentils and rice close up - Susan Olayinka/Mashed

This recipe combines green lentils and rice for a nourishing meal that can be assembled quickly and effortlessly. It also includes garlic, onions, and bell peppers along with curry and turmeric for extra flavor. An Instant Pot is necessary, as it cuts down the cooking time, and you'll have the meal cooked in 30 minutes.

This dish makes an amazing mid-week lunch, and you can easily store the leftovers and have them throughout the week. Lentils and rice work well on their own, but you can always serve them with meat or fish.

Recipe: Instant Pot Lentils And Rice

Spicy Roasted Garbanzo Beans

Roasted garbanzo beans
Roasted garbanzo beans - Susan Olayinka/Mashed

A perfect year-round treat suited for any time of the day, these spicy roasted garbanzo beans are the ideal nutritious snack. The recipe includes only a few ingredients but yields spectacular results. The beans are doused with olive oil and sprinkled with salt before being roasted for the first time.

The second time around, they're tossed with onion and garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, and cumin. They'll come out of the oven perfectly crisp with a medley of spicy, smoky, and earthy flavors.

Recipe: Spicy Roasted Garbanzo Beans

Baked Haddock

Baked haddock and lemons
Baked haddock and lemons - Susan Olayinka/Mashed

Haddock is a tasty fish with firm, tender fillets that can be used for various dishes. In this recipe, the fillets are coated in a beautifully seasoned marinade and baked in the oven. The marinade combines butter, lemon juice, dried oregano, and extra virgin olive oil, which impart the fish with tangy, herbal, and buttery flavors.

Garnish the fish with freshly chopped parsley, and serve on a large platter or make individual portions. This fish calls for a side dish, and it would work best with roasted or mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, or a simple salad.

Recipe: Baked Haddock

Pomegranate Couscous

Pomegranate couscous with lemon wedge
Pomegranate couscous with lemon wedge - Susan Olayinka/Mashed

This is a colorful and light dish bursting with fruity and herbal flavors. It uses couscous as a base that gets dressed up with freshly chopped cilantro and mint. Pomegranate seeds and toasted pine nuts round out the combination to provide texture and crunch. The dressing is quite simple and uses only olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, allowing other ingredients to come through.

Serve this dish immediately. You can enjoy it as a light main course or top it with chicken, pork, or lamb for a protein-rich meal.

Recipe: Pomegranate Couscous

Classic Falafel Sandwich

Falafel sandwich on patterned plate
Falafel sandwich on patterned plate - Alexandra Shytsman/Mashed

This recipe yields a classic falafel sandwich with patties baked in the oven. First, you'll have to make falafel by combining soaked dried chickpeas, garlic, herbs, and onions.

After baking, we suggest pairing the patties with tahini sauce, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and sliced onions then serving them in halved pita bread. For an even more nutritious version, skip the bread and whip all of the other ingredients into a salad.

Recipe: Classic Falafel Sandwich

Greek-Inspired Stifado Lasagna

Lasagna in white dish
Lasagna in white dish - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

This is a unique and delicious twist on traditional Italian lasagna. This recipe finds inspiration in stifado, a classic Greek stew consisting of chunks of beef and pearl onions doused in tomato sauce. Besides the beefy stew, pasta sheets are coated with a fluffy cheese layer that combines ricotta, feta, garlic, and herbs.

When assembled, the lasagna is topped with shredded cheese and baked until the top is nicely browned. This is a great dish to prep ahead and pop in the oven when it's time for dinner.

Recipe: Greek-Inspired Stifado Lasagna


Baklava close up
Baklava close up - Erin Johnson/Mashed

Baklava is a decadent dessert with a rich history that is surprisingly easy to recreate at home. It's a Mediterranean classic and a perfect option to round out a meal.

In this version, the dessert is assembled with thin phyllo sheets brushed with butter and sprinkled with a mix of chopped pecans and cinnamon. After the baklava is layered, it's sliced and doused in a sweet lemon-infused honey syrup. Let the baklava sit for several hours and serve when it has soaked up all of the syrup.

Recipe: Baklava

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