60 Mediterranean Diet Dinner Recipes You Can Make in No Time

mediterranean diet dinner recipes
Pinch of Yum

When we hear the word “diet,” we think calorie counting, restrictions and way too many dry chicken breasts. But the Mediterranean diet is the total antithesis—it’s full of ingredients that are popular in Greece, Italy, Spain, Israel and other parts of the Middle East, with a focus on whole grains, veggies, beans, low-fat dairy, nuts, fish, lean red meat and olive oil. Best of all, following the diet for three months or more has been scientifically proven to boost your mood. Here are 60 quick (and extremely tasty) Mediterranean diet dinner recipes—like one skillet sun-dried tomato chicken, sesame-ginger salmon and pasta e fagioli—to try for your next meal. (Did we mention they’re perfect for weeknights?)

1. Garlicky Spinach and Chickpea Soup with Lemon and Pecorino Romano

For all its rich flavor, you’ll hardly believe it comes together with pantry staples (like canned chickpeas and store-bought broth).

2. Spicy Sweet Potato Tacos

Oh hello, delicious and nutritious 20-minute dinner. For what it’s worth, you could also wrap the filling in flour tortillas for burritos, or fry it into quesadillas with a little melty cheese.

3. Chickpea Caesar Salad with a Cheater’s Dressing

This twist on the classic includes roasted chickpeas for a boost of protein, plus a magical dressing that skips the raw egg and anchovies. (The secret is store-bought mayo…use the olive oil kind for more Mediterranean vibes.)

4. Marinated White Bean and Tomato Salad

This might be our ideal side dish: It’s less than ten ingredients, can be made in advance and doubled for a crowd, plus, it’s vegetarian and gluten free.

5. Crispy Chickpeas and Scallops with Garlic-Harissa Oil

Scallops are easier to cook than most people assume, and they’re packed with lean protein. Add frizzled chickpeas and spicy harissa oil and you’re in for a treat.

6. Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

It’s low in carbs, high in protein and totally satisfying.

7. Baked Chicken and Ricotta Meatballs

If you end up with leftover meatballs, warm them in broth and toss in some greens at the end for a quick soup.

8. Mediterranean Couscous with Tuna and Pepperoncini

We love when dinner is ready and on the table in just 15 minutes (not to mention without any cooking).

9. Winter One-Pan Chicken and Veggies

This colorful dish is easy to prepare and clean up, so it’s perfect for any night of the week.

10. One Skillet Greek Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken and Farro

Chicken with fresh oregano, dill, garlic, lemon and paprika is pan-seared and cooked with farro, sun-dried tomatoes and olives. How’s that for tasty?

11. Lemon Salmon with Garlic and Thyme

It’s simple but not short on flavor (and you hardly have to do anything to make it).

13. Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

This one is ideal for when you're in need of a simple, quick side that adds a punch of greens to the meal.

14. Sweet Potato Noodles with Almond Sauce

Step aside zoodles; swoodles (aka sweet potato noodles) may be our new favorite pasta alternative.

15. Greek Wedge Salad

The classic dish is wonderfully simple and ready in no time, with a Mediterranean diet twist from olives and feta.

16. Blistered Green Beans with Tomatoes

You eat veggies every day, but you’ve never had them like this before. Cook the green beans as fast as possible to blister the skin and keep their bright green color and crunch.

17. Five-Ingredient Lemon Chicken Asparagus

It’s practically exploding with flavor, but you’d never guess it takes 20 minutes to make.

18. Baked Sesame-Ginger Salmon in Parchment

Because the fish is baked in parchment parcels, there are no pans to scrub.

19. Panzanella Salad

Behold a light yet satisfying Mediterranean side that won’t take all day to make.

20. Shrimp and Pasta Stew

Making stew doesn't have to mean spending hours in the kitchen. This recipe comes together in just about 30 minutes.

21. Quinoa and Vegetable-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

The chimichurri sauce is ridiculously good, and the entire meal is vegan and gluten free.

23. Cauliflower Steaks with Lemon-Herb Sauce

This is an easy delicious side dish, especially for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free foodies.

24. Kamut and Sour Cherry Meze

Kamut is an ancient grain with a sweet, nutty flavor and al dente texture, and it adds layers of flavor and texture to this dish.

25. Broccoli Rabe and Burrata with Lemon

Say hello to a new veggie side dish to add to your rotation. (If we’re being honest, we were smitten at “burrata.”)

26. Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potatoes

It’s basically all of our favorite foods—sweet potatoes, chickpeas and tahini—in one dish.

28. Grilled Caprese Skewers

It’s melty, it’s the most fun to eat and, best of all, it’s ready in under an hour.

29. Guacamole Quinoa Salad

Bring on the black beans. This 30-minute meal is basically a giant bowl of guac masquerading as a salad.

30. Tomato-Poached Cod with Fresh Herbs

This dish comes together in 25 minutes and is definitely easy enough to make on a weeknight. (Looks totally fancy though, right?)

31. Sweet Potato Enchilada Stir Fry

OK, this one’s Mexican by way of the Mediterranean, but it’s still on your diet, we promise.

32. One-Pot Greek Oregano Chicken and Orzo with Tomatoes in Garlic Oil

It’s giving “winner, winner, chicken dinner” a whole new meaning.

33. Slow Cooker Pasta e Fagioli Soup

News flash: All you have to do is bust out your Crockpot for a mini trip to the Tuscan countryside.

34. Corn and Tomato Salad with Feta and Lime

We paired two of our favorite summery vegetables into one delicious side dish.

35. Roasted Brussels Sprouts Quinoa

Dinner just got easier (and more colorful). Psst: The quinoa is made in the microwave. How’s that for convenient?

36. Chickpea Shawarma Salad

We’ll take extra garlic-dill dressing, please and thanks.

37. Summer Millet Salad

If you’re tired of quinoa as a base, it’s time to try millet. It’s gluten free, cooks quickly and goes with just about everything.

38. Shrimp with Cauliflower “Grits” and Arugula

When it comes to veggies included in the Mediterranean diet, cauliflower is a standout, naturally.

39. Greek Chicken with Feta and Kalamata Olives

Sheet pan meals are an easy sell—you just toss everything together and there’s only one dish to clean.

40. Lamb Meatball and Escarole Soup

What’s more feel-good than a steaming pot of soup with itty-bitty meatballs?

41. Instant Pot Harissa Bean Stew

This harissa bean stew starts with dried beans but takes only about an hour to make, thanks to your pressure cooker.

42. Easy Three-Cup Chicken with Zucchini

With less than ten ingredients, this one’s about to enter your weekly rotation.

43. Pan-Fried Cod with Orange and Swiss Chard

Cooking seafood doesn’t get any easier than this one-pan wonder.

44. Creamy Mediterranean Chicken

There’s only one skillet necessary for this comforting chicken dish.

45. Mediterranean Cobb Salad

It’s the most colorful salad we ever did see, and the most flavorful too. (Thanks again, olives and feta.)

46. Crispy Za’atar Chicken and Cauliflower

Serve it with brown rice, warm chickpeas or some roasted sweet potatoes.

47. Freekeh Vegetable Soup

Here’s proof that vegetable soup can be just as hearty and soul-warming as any meat-based one.

48. Pasta alla Norma

While we can’t just hop a flight to Italy, we can channel our inner nonna with a heaping plate of veggie-forward pasta.

49. Joanna Gaines’s Weeknight Salmon

This takes 40 minutes from start to finish and tastes like an herby-lemony dream. Plus, look at those crispy potatoes.

50. Chicken Meatballs with Greek Yogurt & Quinoa

So many delicious elements, yet it’s all ready in under 45 minutes.

51. Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Chickpeas and Yogurt

It’s low-fuss and requires minimal prep, and besides, who could say no to a yogurt sauce?

52. Greek Chicken and Rice Skillet

This Greek chicken and rice skillet is the ultimate trifecta: It’s easy, gorgeous and so delicious.

53. Honey Tahini Salmon with Chickpeas and Couscous

Minimal prep, modest cooking time and almost no cleanup after it’s been devoured. We look forward to dinners like these.

55. Skillet Chicken Fajitas

Just add the tortillas and extra guac.

56. Fall Roasted Vegetable and Lentil Salad with Pine Nut Cream

You’ll want to make extra pine nut cream—it’s that good.

57. Sheet Pan Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Just roast everything on a sheet pan, puree into a velvety soup and serve.

60. Carrot, Fennel and Miso Soup

By roasting the vegetables beforehand, you’ll unlock so much more flavor than just cooking them in broth alone.

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Lindsay Champion

Freelance Editor

From 2015-2020 Lindsay Champion held the role of Food and Wellness Director. She continues to write for PureWow as a Freelance Editor.
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Katherine Gillen

Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...
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