24 Colorful Mediterranean Recipes to Feel Good About

24 Colorful Mediterranean Recipes to Feel Good About

We've heard for years about the wonders of the Mediterranean diet. Featuring foods like olive oil, whole grains, fish, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, it's considered an all-around healthy way of eating. Even if you don't adopt it completely, it's easy to work a few more Mediterranean-inspired meals into your weekly menu plan, even if it's just for the bright and satisfying flavors alone.

Here are 24 of our favorite recipes — from breakfast to dinner to snacks — that will help you do just that.

(Image credit: Megan Gordon)

1. Mediterranean Turkey Meatballs with Herbed Yogurt Sauce

We love this flavorful dish as a party appetizer, but it also makes a great main dish when served with pita or a side of rice. The fiber and protein in these meatballs gets a bit of a boost from the cooked lentils that are mixed in.

(Image credit: Karen Biton-Cohen)

2. Baked Red Lentil Falafel Salad

There are numerous ways to make falafel, and this red lentil version is a good one to add to your repertoire. It makes a great weeknight meal since the falafels are baked instead of deep-fried. Not only will you save time and mess, but you'll end up with a lighter dish with no loss of flavor.

(Image credit: Andrea Bemis)

3. Mediterranean Cauliflower Couscous Salad

Don't be fooled by the name of this salad — there isn't actually any couscous in it. Instead, cauliflower processed to resemble the texture of couscous takes its place. It's a great way to add some extra veggies to your family's dinner.

(Image credit: Andrea Bemis)

4. Mediterranean Veggie Pita Sandwich

We'll take a pita sandwich for lunch or dinner any day; it's one of the easiest ways to assemble a really full and hearty sandwich without having to worry too much about the fillings falling out. This veggie version is stuffed with carrots, spinach, chickpeas, feta, and hummus or baba ghanoush.

(Image credit: Karla Conrad)

5. Mediterranean Breakfast Pitas

Don't limit your pita consumption just to lunch time — this bread also makes it easy to enjoy a healthy breakfast sandwich on the go. We especially like to stuff ours with cucumbers, tomatoes, and hard-boiled eggs for a fresh and filling start to the morning.

(Image credit: Stephanie Barlow)

6. Mediterranean Chicken Stew with Cinnamon Couscous

This weeknight dinner is easier than it seems, thanks to a time-saving trick. Use a rotisserie chicken for the stew and you can have the flavorful dish on the table in just 20 minutes. Plus, once you try the raisin-studded cinnamon couscous, we doubt you'll want it any other way.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

7. Mediterranean Chickpea and Feta Wraps

Like many of the dishes in this list, this simple wrap makes use of a few key Mediterranean ingredients: chickpeas, cucumber, feta, and tomatoes. Make these in advance so you have a quick meal or snack handy at a moment's notice.

(Image credit: Sabra Crock)

8. Ortine's Mediterranean Platter

One of the best things about Mediterranean cuisine is the meze platter filled with olives, pita, cold salads, and dips. This platter from the now-shuttered restaurant Ortine is one of our favorites, thanks to the five-bean salad and curry pickled eggplant. It's great as an appetizer or a light meal.

(Image credit: Megan Gordon)

9. Mediterranean Freekeh Salad with Collard Greens and Chickpeas

If you haven't cooked with freekeh before, consider this dish your invitation. The collards and fennel give it a fresh taste, and if you buy the cracked version of the grain, it only takes about 15 to 20 minutes to cook.

(Image credit: Olga Massov)

10. Mediterranean Tri-Tip Steak

This steak recipe makes use of one of our favorite specialty ingredients: pomegranate molasses. The tart-tangy syrup is combined with mint and garlic to create the sauce that goes on this steak after it's cooked in a searing-hot cast iron pan.

(Image credit: Matkonation)

11. Spicy Cheese Sticks Served with Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus and Green Olive Tapenade

We'll never say no to cheese straws, and this spicy Mediterranean version made with cayenne pepper is one of the best we've tried. If you have the time, make the hummus and tapenade from scratch as well.

(Image credit: Andrea Bemis)

12. One-Pot Orzo Pasta with Feta, Olives & Artichokes

This dish is the perfect choice when you need something comforting and flavorful. The artichokes and parsley keep things light, while the cheese and olives add a satisfying saltiness.

(Image credit: Karla Conrad)

13. Beef Kofta with Tzatziki

Don't be fooled into thinking this is just an ordinary meatball — it has a strong Mediterranean flavor profile and is filled with onion, ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cloves. It's best served with a healthy slathering of tzatziki atop pillowy flatbread.

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

14. Yogurt-Marinated Chicken and Creamy Greek Sauce

If you want a crowd-pleaser, go for this recipe. The yogurt helps tenderize the chicken, making it nearly impossible for it to dry out. Tossed with cucumbers, tomatoes, and a creamy sauce, it's a lunch or dinner combo that can do no wrong.

(Image credit: Andrea Bemis)

15. Carrot Tahini Salad

Think of this as a kind of Mediterranean slaw, but instead of cabbage and mayonnaise, it's filled with shredded carrots and a creamy tahini dressing. There's also a bit of crunch from the spiced chickpeas that are mixed in.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

16. Greek Chicken Pasta Salad with Olives and Feta

If you're looking for a lighter pasta salad, look no further. This simple version doesn't rely on a heavy dressing; it gets its flavor from the salty feta, olives, and a light lemon vinaigrette.

(Image credit: Cambria Bold)

17. How To Make Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolmades)

Yes, it's a bit intimidating to make grape leaves on your own, but it's better than relying on a bad canned or takeout version. This recipe is best for a large party, as it makes upwards of 60 dolmades. Consider this a project to tackle for your next big bash.

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

18. Easy Lamb Kebabs

If you're a little wary of cooking lamb, this recipe is a perfect gateway into enjoying the meat. You can buy ground lamb from your grocery store or butcher, and then simply shape the patties or cylinders to be grilled or cooked in the cast iron pan. If lamb isn't to your liking, you can sub in ground beef.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

19. Yotam Ottolenghi's Chickpea Sauté with Greek Yogurt

This simple, vegetable-forward dish filled with chard, chickpeas, and carrots proves that healthy and delicious can also be fast. The veggies get an extra-special boost of flavor from the combination of spices used to season the dish.

(Image credit: Coco Morante)

20. Greek Chicken Salad

You can't go wrong with this classic. It combines romaine lettuce, cucumbers, red onion, and chicken with salty olives and feta for a decidedly Greek flavor profile. Make your own lemony croutons and top with a creamy yogurt dressing for a final touch.

(Image credit: Michelle Peters-Jones)

21. Couscous & Goat Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes

These stuffed tomatoes are one of our go-to summer side dishes. The blistered tomatoes are the perfect vessel for the cheesy couscous salad. If you can't wait until prime tomato season to try this, you can serve the couscous salad as a side on its own.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

22. Kalamata Olive Tapenade

Whether you add it to a meze platter or serve it as an afternoon snack, this salty tapenade is one we like to keep on hand for a quick cocktail-hour nibble. It's incredibly easy to make — all it takes is whirling together the ingredients in a food processor.

(Image credit: Karen Biton-Cohen)

23. Grilled Eggplant Burgers with Halloumi Cheese

We're always on the lookout for vegetarian recipes for the grill, and this eggplant "burger" doesn't disappoint. Of course, the thick slabs of halloumi cheese definitely earn points in its favor.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

24. Lamb Pitas with Cucumber Mint Tzatziki

When you end up with leftover lamb from a spring dinner party, the ideal solution is to make next-day lamb pita sandwiches. Add in plenty of veggies or greens and a healthy dollop of your favorite tzatziki before digging in.

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