23 Mediterranean Vegetarian Recipes You Absolutely Need to Try

Good news for vegetarians and Mediterranean dieters alike: The two eating styles actually go hand in hand, since the Med diet emphasizes eating plenty of nutritious veggies, whole grains and legumes, supplemented by a little lean protein (mostly fish, too). From lemony chickpea soup to baked feta with garlicky kale, here are 23 Mediterranean vegetarian recipes (plus a few pescatarian-friendly ones) you absolutely need to try.

60 Mediterranean Diet Dinner Recipes You Can Make in No Time

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

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, <500 calories, beginner-friendly

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

2. 15-Minute Mediterranean Couscous with Tuna and Pepperoncini

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <15 minutes, high protein, make-ahead

You could make this dish with another grain (quinoa or farro, for example), but the couscous is as easy to make as it is to boil water. It soaks up the liquid off-heat and before you know it, it’s fluffy and ready to eat.

3. Marinated White Bean and Tomato Salad

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, <10 ingredients, gluten free, dairy free

Besides being rich in protein, this flavorful bean salad can be made in advance and doubled for a crowd (or if you just want leftovers for lunch).

4. Crispy Chickpeas and Scallops with Garlic-Harissa Oil

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, <30 minutes, <10 ingredients

As long as you ensure your scallops are thoroughly dried and your pan is preheated, we promise they’ll turn out as golden and gorgeous as any restaurant dish.

5. Baked Feta with Garlicky Kale and Chickpeas

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, <10 ingredients, high protein

FYI, dairy is not off-limits on the Mediterranean diet. In fact, it’s encouraged in moderate amounts. Let that be your excuse to whip up this inventive vegetarian dish, which is best served hot out of the oven with pita.

6. Julia Turshen’s Stewed Chickpeas with Peppers and Zucchini

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: dairy free, beginner-friendly

This vegetarian stew is endlessly adaptable to what you have in your kitchen (or what sounds good). Swap out the chickpeas for any type of bean, add extra vegetables—the choice is yours.

7. Pesto Quinoa Bowls with Roasted Veggies and Labneh

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, beginner-friendly, gluten free

The veggies get roasted with olive oil on one pan, so this bowl is impossibly simple to throw together. A dollop of seasoned labneh (or Greek yogurt) takes them over the top.

8. Tomato and Yellow Zucchini Risotto

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegan, special occasion–worthy, gluten free

Would you believe it if we told you this decadent dish is actually vegan? Yep, the secret to getting that classic, risotto consistency is cooking the zucchini down until it becomes creamy.

9. Baked Sesame-Ginger Salmon in Parchment

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, dairy free, gluten free, <30 minutes

Love cooking, but hate doing dishes? Join the club, then stop your whining—this salmon comes together in parchment parcels, so you don’t even have to think about washing a sheet pan.

10. Mediterranean Sheet Pan Eggs

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: sheet pan recipe, crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients

Fun fact: In the Mediterranean, it’s common to serve eggs at dinnertime, whereas we typically think of them as breakfast. Let that be another reason to make this effortless sheet pan dish an evening staple.

11. Creamy White Beans

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: dairy free, low sugar

These beans are richly flavored with rosemary, garlic and a spicy herb oil that’s anything but boring. Add crusty bread and invite us over for dinner, why don’t you?

12. Tomato-Poached Cod with Fresh Herbs

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, special occasion–worthy

This seafood number looks elegant and fancy, but it’s easy enough to make on a weeknight. Swap the cod for another white fish like mahi mahi, grouper or haddock, if you want to switch it up.

13. Slow Cooker Mediterranean Frittata

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: slow cooker recipe, crowd-pleaser, gluten free

You basically drop all the ingredients into your slow cooker and go about your business until it's ready. We wish all meals could be so lazy.

14. 15-Minute Mezze Plate with Toasted Za’atar Pita Bread

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no cook, <15 minutes, high protein

We know you were looking for a reason to eat charcuterie for dinner. Welp, here it is. Leave off the meat to make it vegetarian, then pile your plate high with olives, roasted vegetables and alllll the dips.

15. Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: sheet pan recipe, beginner-friendly, gluten free

This sheet pan dish works as a simple side, but it would also make an excellent base for a vegetarian supper, spooned over polenta, pasta or a pile of greens.

16. Pan-Fried Cod with Orange and Swiss Chard

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, gluten free, beginner-friendly

Cooking seafood on a weeknight shouldn’t be daunting. That’s why we’re enamored with this 30-minute, 10-ingredient masterpiece.

17. Summer Skillet Gnocchi with Grilled Corn and Burrata

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

Another reason to love the Mediterranean diet? Pasta is on the menu, especially when it’s balanced by tons of seasonal produce. Serve this one-pan wonder with a glass of wine for maximum effect.

18. Freekeh Vegetable Soup

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <500 calories, dairy free

Freekeh is a nutty, slightly smoky grain that’s packed with satisfying protein and fiber, so it’s an excellent addition to vegetable soup. Garnish your bowl with fresh herbs to brighten it up.

19. Salmon and Fennel Dinner Salad

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, dairy free

Salad might sound like a light supper, but this one is surprisingly. Couscous adds heft, while a creamy dressing makes the healthy veggies taste indulgent (even though it starts with yogurt).

20. Aran Goyoaga’s Niçoise Salad

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser, gluten free

Everyone should have a good Niçoise salad recipe in their back pocket, since it makes for a quick meal and can easily be scaled up or down. Buy the best quality canned tuna you can find to elevate your meal.

21. Mini Spanish Tortilla with Zucchini

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, one pan, gluten free

A Spanish tortilla is similar to an omelet or frittata filled with potatoes. Our version is downsized, so it’s the ideal meal for one very hungry person (or two smaller appetites).

22. Grilled Peach and Halloumi Salad with Lemon-Pesto Dressing

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, low carb, gluten free

If a salad doesn’t leave us satisfied longer than five minutes after eating it, we’re not likely to make it again. Luckily, this one is overflowing with produce and vegetarian protein (in the form of halloumi), so it’s a regular in our rotation.

23. Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Fennel and Mandarin Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <15 minutes, make ahead, crowd-pleaser

This bright, juicy salad is great for a light, restorative lunch, but if you want to turn it into a full meal, add some flaked cod or cooked shrimp.

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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 restaurants. She used to sling sugary desserts in a pastry kitchen, but now she’s an avid home cook and fanatic baker.