55 Easy Mediterranean Meals
These Mediterranean-inspired meals celebrate one of the most flavorful regions of the world. We're talking about grilled chicken marinated in tahini, herby lamb meatballs with yogurt, bright cucumber and tomato salads, meaty stuffed eggplant, and so much more. Embrace the herbs, spices, and other signiture ingredients of Mediterranean cuisine for delicious (and healthy) meals the entire family will happily dig in to.
Mediterranean Chicken Skillet
This single-skillet recipe is impressive enough to make it company-worthy, but easy enough to make on a weeknight. It’s important to minimize moving the chicken and the onions as they cook in order to help them brown nicely and to reduce the chance of their releasing excess liquid into the pan. Pro tip: Keep a clean bowl or sheet tray handy when you’re making a single skillet meal such as this; that way, you can easily take items out of the pan and set aside as needed.
Greek Chicken Grain Bowls
These mediterranean-inspired grain bowls are perfect for make-ahead meal prepping. Hearty and filled with various flavors and textures, this is the kind of packed lunch you’ll be satisfied with all week long.
Up your grilling game this summer with a burger that’s sure to impress—i.e. a Gyro Burger. Inspired by the classic Greek sandwich, we’ve upgraded ground beef with bold seasoning and a new home inside of a pita pocket, rather than typical sesame bun, with lettuce, tomato, red onion, feta cheese, and generous drizzle of toasty tahini sauce. Before assembling, wrap your pita rounds in a foil packet and throw them on the grill for a couple of minutes if you’d like a warm pocket for your burger and toppings. And if you are a lamb fan, we’d highly recommend substituting ground lamb for half of the beef called for here. Serve these beauties up with fresh grilled veggies like eggplant and zucchini.
Greek Stuffed Peppers
Warning: These are not your mama’s stuff bell peppers. This mediterranean twist on a weeknight classic is sure to be a fast favorite. Though hearty and satisfying, the addition of lemon zest and fresh herbs like mint and parsley keep this dish bright and vibrant. Ground lamb is full of flavor and offers a good bit of fat to keep the pepper filling moist and delicious; however, if lamb isn’t your favorite, you can certainly substitute ground beef or ground turkey. If you opt for a lean ground meat, you may want to stir in an additional 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Falafel, Feta, and Tomato Salad
Think of chopped falafel as a tasty, protein-packed crouton--it adds texture to the salad and instantly turns a simple side into a substantial main dish. We chose a Mediterranean theme here, but you could use any nuts, cheeses, or vegetables you like.
Pomegranate Molasses-Glazed Chicken and Carrots
Pomegranate molasses, a staple ingredient in the Eastern Mediterranean, gives this one-pot dish a delectable tang.
Greek Farro and Chickpea Salad
This greek-inspired salad works as a great make-ahead lunch that is not shy on flavor. The hearty farro grain gives the salad great texture, while the crumbled feta adds a delicious tangy flavor with each bite. For Sunday prep, omit the arugula and make enough farro mixture for the week. Stir in the greens just before you head out the door.
Mediterranean Chicken and Couscous Bowls
These quick chicken-and-veggie bowls are endlessly adaptable depending on what you have on hand. Beyond cucumber and tomato, you could try thinly sliced carrots, steamed broccoli florets and zucchini, or roasted cauliflower. You could also sub flaked salmon or sliced cooked lamb for the chicken. Treat the couscous like pasta, simmering until tender and then draining. Unlike most pastas, you'll want to rinse and drain the couscous so the grains don't clump together.
Halibut & Squash Ribbon Skewers with Pistachio-Mint Salsa Verde
One year, chef and cookbook author Joanne Weir led a culinary tour to the Cinque Terre in Italy. "We went out on the Mediterranean, where we drank prosecco and ate seafood cooked on a tiny grill…I relished the fresh grilled calamari and halibut skewers as I baked in the sunshine and gazed at the crystal blue waters from which the seafood had just come. A few people decided to go for a swim. I won't mention whether bathing suits were involved. What happens in the Mediterranean after 18 bottles of prosecco stays in the Mediterranean." This is her ode to the skewers from that day.
Greek Chopped Salad with Grilled Pita
We take the extra step of grilling the bell peppers along with the pita wedges to add a bit of char and smoky depth to the salad. You could also broil the peppers in the oven until blackened and peel them, and then toast the pita until browned.
Greek Turkey Burgers
Riffing off the flavor of a Greek gyro, these turkey burgers cook up fast in a cast-iron skillet or grill pan. Lemony, olive-studded yogurt sauce adds more Middle Eastern–inspired flavor and is a tasty alternative to ketchup and mustard. Piled high with arugula, cucumber, and red onion, these are filling enough to be called dinner. Or, round out the meal with roasted potato fries. For the juiciest burgers, go for 93% lean ground turkey (a combination of white and dark meat).
Orange Chicken Skewers with Jalapeño-Mint Yogurt Dip
Packed full of bright citrus flavor, this dish makes for a perfect fuss-free weeknight dinner. Feel free to make the creamy yogurt dip in advance to speed up the prep on this fast and fresh dinner even more. Tangy Greek yogurt and fresh mint are a refreshing balance to the heat of a jalapeño, but to tame the spice a bit more, simply remove the seeds of your jalapeño before dicing and stirring into the yogurt. This recipe serves 2, but is easily doubled to serve more (or if you want to make sure you have leftovers). If you are using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in cold water prior to grilling.
Spinach, Hummus, and Bell Pepper Wraps
Fresh, flavorful, veggie-packed, and ready in a 10-minute snap—now that’s a meal we can stand behind! Hummus delivers a winning combo of protein and healthy fat for staying power, while fresh bell peppers and spinach provide a satisfying crunch. Tomato-and-basil feta cheese adds a kick of salty tang and Mediterranean flair. Make this wrap the night before and store in the fridge—just grab it in the morning on your way out the door. Use Flatout Light whole-grain flatbreads to keep calories in check; you can find them at most supermarkets. Pair this tasty wrap with whole-wheat crackers or a piece of fruit to round out a nutritious, delicious lunch.
Lentil-Tahini Burgers with Pickled Cabbage
Look for steamed, vacuum-packed lentils in the grain aisle for the best texture in the burgers, or cook, drain, and refrigerate your own the night before.
Mediterranean Chicken and Bulgur Skillet
You’ll be delighted by the incredible results from this one-pot wonder: tender bulgur, creamy feta, and moist chicken. You don’t even need a sauce since there’s so much flavor in the pan. It’s a complete meal, though you could serve with a side salad if you’d like. Though you can swap dried oregano for fresh if you don’t have fresh on hand, we strongly urge you to stick with the fresh dill flourish at the end; it adds a burst of herbal goodness that you just won’t get from dried. If you don’t have a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, you can use any other medium-sized ovenproof skillet.
Greek Salad Chicken
Inspired by Greek salad, reader Marie McCarthy created this dish that's now a family favorite. Serve with rice or crusty bread to soak up the pan juices.
Chickpea "Meatballs" with Crunchy Romaine Salad
The expected chickpea dish might be falafel, but the flavor here is more akin to hummus. The chickpea mixture will be soft at first; it firms up as it cooks.
15-Minute Chicken Shawarma Bowls
This Middle Eastern-inspired bowl is all about big flavor with minimal effort. A garlicky, tahini-spiked yogurt brings all the elements together and takes just minutes to make. Assemble a few bowls at the beginning of the week for easy make-ahead lunches.
Charred Eggplant Dip with Tahini
Perfect for entertaining or a hearty spread to snack off of all week, this nutritious charred eggplant dip is as easy as to make it is delicious. Roasting the eggplant at a super high temperature leads to a creamy flesh that's the perfect backbone for a your dip. Don't worry if the skin is extra charred and looks burnt—this makes for a more flavorful end product. Mixed with Greek yogurt and tahini, this Meditteranean-inspired spread is ultra rich. Serve it with fresh veggies, warm pita, or smear it across a piece of toast. You could even use it as your sauce for a flatbread or pizza; simply top with roasted or fresh veggies and a sprinkle of crumbled feta or goat cheese.
Herby Lamb and Turkey Meatballs
The possibilities are endless with these simple, baked meatballs. By combining lamb and turkey, the meatballs possess that signature, rich flavor of lamb, but don’t feel excessively indulgent. If lamb isn’t your cup of tea (in terms of price or flavor), feel free to substitute for more ground turkey. Alternatively, if you’d like a stronger lamb flavor, adjust your ratio of lamb to turkey accordingly. Once made, you can serve these flavor-packed meatballs any number of ways. Plate them atop a bed of sautéed kale and a smear of Greek yogurt, topped with toasted pine nuts and feta cheese. Add them into a brothy, vegetable-heavy soup for a meaty kick, or crumble them into Mediterranean-inspired salads and pitas. Stick them with a toothpick and serve them as an easy appetizer alongside a lemony, herby yogurt dip. The fresh herbs and bold cumin pair beautifully with plain yogurt, tangy cheeses, and creamy dressings and condiments, like tahini.
Harissa-Roasted Eggplant with Minced Chicken
Here we play with the concept of meat as condiment, using a small amount of rich chicken thighs as a sort of relish on spicy roasted eggplant. Creamy Greek yogurt offers cooling balance to the heat of harissa.
Shaved Cucumber Greek Salad
Easy to make and absolutely stunning to look at, this fresh riff on a Greek salad offers beautiful flavor combinations. Mild Castelvetrano olives are meaty and buttery, green tomatoes are bright and acidic, green onions are pungent and savory, and feta cheese is creamy and salty. We love the subtlety of Champagne vinegar, but you can substitute white wine vinegar if you don’t have it. Likewise with green peppercorns—they offer a different sort of peppery kick and stick with our color palette, but black peppercorns would also be delicious.
Greek Meatballs with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce and Rice
This recipe makes enough tender meatballs for sandwiches the next day.
Tahini-Marinated Chicken Thighs with Cucumber-and-Tomato Salad
Adding tahini to the marinade makes the chicken buttery tender without an overwhelming amount of sesame flavor in the finished dish. It also helps the chicken to char nicely on the grill.
Pasta with Basil, Tomatoes, and Feta
Roasted Greek-Style Potatoes
The oven temperature may seem too high, but don't fear: The wedges are thick enough that they will cook through without overbrowning.
Greek Cucumber and Chickpea Breakfast Bowl
Dill absolutely makes this salad, offering a fresh, herbaceous boost that livens up the canned chickpeas. It's a satisfying bowl of crunchy, creamy, chewy textures.
Lentil Cakes with Mint Yogurt
Precooked lentils are a convenience item we love, saving nearly 30 minutes of simmering. Look for plain, steamed lentils (such as Melissa's), in the grain aisle. The food processor not only combines the patty ingredients; it coarsely chops the lentils so the finished cakes will hold their shape in the pan. While we love fat-free and reduced-fat Greek yogurt, go ahead and use full-fat here for a richer mouth feel and less tang in the sauce.
Harissa-Roasted Chicken with Chickpeas
Tangy yogurt meets bold harissa in the topping for this gutsy chicken dish. Fletcher adapted the recipe from one by her friend Ed Blonz, author of the syndicated column On Nutrition.
If you think you're over avocado toast, this topper will change your mind. Make sure to give your tahini a good stir before drizzling. These make for a filling snack, plus they're loaded with protein to help you stay fuller for longer.
Baked Chicken Moussaka
This Greek dish is similar to lasagna, but it's traditionally layered with eggplant, tomatoes, ground beef or lamb, and a béchamel sauce. Our lightened version for the Cooking Light Diet calls for ground chicken, using a mix of light and dark meat for added richness, and a yogurt-based sauce. Brown the chicken well; most of the rich, meaty flavor comes from that step. Serve the casserole with a Greek salad and toasted whole-wheat pita.
Grilled Pork Souvlaki with Fresh Pita
Many of us associate souvlaki with roast lamb, but in the back alleys and on the roadsides of Greece, pork and chicken are actually more common. Charles Bililies, founder of Souvla restaurants in San Francisco, gave us this recipe for the quintessential Greek street food. It's very much worth making at home, especially for a party. Most of it can be done ahead, the meat and pita cook in minutes, and it's easy to serve. All you have to do is pile the hot skewers and the warm pita on platters, set out the toppings, and let everyone assemble their own sandwiches (or you can wrap them if you like, as directed below). Just make sure there are lots of napkins--souvlaki are deliciously drippy.
Quinoa Salad with Pistachios and Currants
Grains, nuts, and dried fruit are typical in the Sephardic community--Jews who immigrated from Spain, Yemen, and the Mediterranean. (Ashkenazic Jews brought bread and potatoes from Eastern Europe.) Quinoa is a modern twist. Dried currants are smaller and less sweet than raisins, but either will work in this dish.