Next Week's Meal Plan

A Week of Absolutely Easy Mediterranean Diet Dinners

updated Mar 9, 2022
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Credit: From Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Joe Lingeman, Ghazalle Badiozamani, Kristin Teig, Lauren Volo, Joe Lingeman

If you’re curious about trying out the Mediterranean diet or you’ve been following it for a while, you’re likely on the lookout for satisfying dinner recipes that fit the bill. Not only do the recipes in this meal plan meet all the guidelines, but they’re also pretty low-effort and easy to pull off during the week.

The Mediterranean diet isn’t so much a diet in the traditional sense: Rather than focusing on restrictions, it’s rooted in general healthy-eating guidelines that focus on filling your plate with vegetables, whole grains, seafood, healthy fats, and lean protein. It doesn’t totally restrict things like wine or dessert — instead it suggests keeping them to a minimum.

To guarantee a week of easy cooking, these feel-good dinners come together in a single pot or pan, require minimal hands-on attention, or lean on pantry staples. Here’s what I’m cooking this week.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

Monday: Mediterranean White Bean Soup

There are few ways more comforting to start the week than with a rich and hearty bowl of soup for dinner. Even though this protein-rich soup comes together in 30 minutes, I like to make it over the weekend, so all that needs to be done when dinnertime rolls around is reheating the soup and slicing a few pieces of bread for dunking.

Get the recipe: Mediterranean White Bean Soup

Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Tuesday: Lemon Pepper Chicken

I keep this five-ingredient chicken dinner in my back pocket for the nights I don’t have a lot of energy to cook. It requires the bare minimum when it comes to prep, and easily partners with whatever vegetables need to be used up in the crisper (for me, it’s Broccolini this week).

Get the recipe: Lemon Pepper Chicken

Credit: Kristin Teig; Food Styling: Catrine Kelty

Wednesday: Salmon in Crazy Water

Since it’s poached in a tomato-kissed broth, this salmon turns out incredibly tender, juicy, and fragrant every single time. I plan to serve the salmon in bowls over a bed of brown rice, in an effort to soak up every last drop of broth.

Get the recipe: Salmon in Crazy Water

Credit: Lauren Volo

Thursday: 10-Minute Black Bean Tacos

Tonight’s dinner is inspired by a can of pinto beans (which I’ll use in place of the black beans in the recipe) that’s been lurking in the back of the pantry and a bag of broccoli slaw on its last leg in the crisper. While the spiced beans heat up, there’s just enough time to warm the tortillas, dice an avocado, and slice a lime.

Get the recipe: 10-Minute Black Bean Tacos

Credit: Photo: Joe LIngeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Friday: Slow Cooker Lentil and Mushroom Bolognese

There might not be any beef, but this plant-based sauce is still completely hearty and satisfying. I’ll drop all the ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning, then right before dinner I’ll cook up a pot of pappardelle pasta and warm the leftover bread from the beginning of the week.

Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Lentil and Mushroom Bolognese

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