Yes, the Mediteranean diet relies on loads of fresh fruits and vegetables and other seasonal whole ingredients, which makes it ideal for the harvest months. But even in winter, there's still plenty of room for the Mediterranean diet. These recipes get the most from what's available: winter vegetables, like sweet potatoes, cabbage, and winter greens; whole grains; frozen vegetables; dried and canned beans; and other pantry staples like canned tomatoes. These top-rated Mediterranean-inspired recipes will get you through the "lean" months in delicious style.
This simple Moroccan-inspired recipes features tilapia fillets, garbanzo beans, bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, and olives seasoned with cumin, paprika, cayenne, and fresh parsley. "A great North African recipe," says TUNISIANSWIFE. "I did add a few capers, also added a few more olives, opted for ras el hanout instead of paprika. It was perfect over rice. I'd like to try this with cod."
The pasta cooks right in the skillet, along with cubed chicken breast, garlic, herbs, fresh spinach, and Italian-style diced tomatoes. If you can't find seasoned tomatoes, you can use plain tomatoes, and add a teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning. "This is a healthy, delicious, easy dinner," says RHARRIS524. "The best part is that it cooks all in one skillet so there is hardly any mess!"
Boneless turkey breast simmers slowly with kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, Greek seasoning, and chicken broth brightened with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Pam K. suggests a few add-ins: "I added hot pepper rings for spice and a can of garbanzo beans. Near the end I added a can of artichoke hearts. Excellent!"
Here's a hearty, healthy vegetarian (and vegan) version of Harira, the famous Moroccan soup. "It's packed with tomatoes and chickpeas and flavored with paprika, turmeric, saffron, ginger, and harissa," says chouchou65. "The amount of water can be adjusted depending on the thickness you want. I like this soup pretty thick and nourishing, so I do not add too much water."
Canned white kidney beans, chicken broth, and fresh spinach star in this creamy bean soup. "Hearty and healthy," says colleenlora. "Sounds more difficult than it is. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese."
Chicken cutlets are served with a lemony, marinated artichoke hearts and caper sauce. "An easy and elegant chicken dish," says Pina. "Perfect when served family-style on a platter."
"This recipe comes from Greece, where roast chicken and potatoes are a staple dish," says Diana Moutsopoulos. "You can use lemon or orange juice in this roast chicken recipe; I like both. Lemon is more typical. Also, my aunt never uses garlic, so you can leave it out if desired. Serve with a crisp green salad."
Here's a hearty vegetarian minestrone soup that's loaded with vegetables and macaroni. "Slow cooking this soup allows all the flavors and spices to intensify and delivers a delicious, hearty meal," says laura. "Serve with a green salad and garlic bread for dipping."
This simple baked flounder dish features a flavorful white wine sauce starring plum tomatoes, chopped kalamata olives, tangy capers, and Italian seasonings. "A great healthy dish, perfectly flavorful," says bluetine. "I like to add a little more wine so that there is a nice sauce to drizzle over fish as it is served."
"Briam is a traditional Greek roasted vegetable dish with potatoes, zucchini, pureed tomatoes, red onions, and lots of olive oil," says Diana Moutsopoulos. "It is a typical example of Greek cuisine where a few simple ingredients are turned into an utterly delicious dish with little effort. It can be served as a main course. With olive oil as the only source of fat it is a quintessential example of the Mediterranean diet, and it is vegan to boot. If preferred, serve with a hearty chunk of feta on the side."
Boneless, skinless chicken breast combine with sweet potatoes, carrots, garbanzo beans, canned diced tomatoes, and seasonings, including cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon. "Excellent," raves the Occasional Cooker. "A delicious, easy, healthy, and budget-friendly one-dish meal. The flavors blended nicely and it smelled wonderful while it was cooking."
"This saucy one-skillet chicken dish is full of tomatoes, spinach, green olives and capers," says Breana Lai. "Try Kalamata olives in place of the green Sicilians or a combination of both." Some cooks have substituted kalamata olives for the green -- or combined green and black olives. Lisa B used garlic-stuffed green olives: "That was all I had, but I think it added to flavor," she says. "This was very quick and easy to make and tasted very good!"
A hearty and satisfying vegetable soup with barley and lots of veggies. "This soup was delicious, healthy, and filling all at the same time," says Lily. My family goobled it all up! Excellent recipe and easy to make."
Want more? Check out our collection of Mediterranean Diet Recipes.
- Recipes That Have America Loving The Mediterranean Diet
- 8 Simple One-Skillet Recipes for the Mediterranean Diet
- 23 Recipes To Make You A Lean, Mean, Clean-Eating Machine
- 8 Slow Cooker Recipes for the Mediterranean Diet
- Our 20 Best Healthy Recipes