48 Mediterranean Recipes Bursting with the Flavors of the Region

Updated: May 15, 2024

Mediterranean food is always a good idea. From light orzo salads to sweet baklava, these Mediterranean recipes will transport you to the seaside.

The Mediterranean is rife with recipe inspiration. With so many seas, straits, islands and countries comprising this part of the world, freshly-grown ingredients are aplenty. You’ll find pastas from Italy and gyros from Greece. Herbaceous salads from Levantine lands and decadent desserts from the Middle East.

Because Mediterranean recipes rely so heavily on quality olive oil, you’ll want to invest in real olive oil vs. the fake stuff. It also wouldn’t hurt to check your spice rack for the essentials like cumin, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sumac and za’atar. Once you have all the right ingredients, you can mix and match them in all these recipes.

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Feta Shrimp Skillet

Quick skillet meals will always grab our attention on busy weeknights, and this saucy feta shrimp version employs the beloved flavors of Greece without having to travel for them. You can serve it over rice or pasta, but zucchini noodles and spaghetti squash would also make delicious—and low-carb—bases.
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Homemade Gyros

Making a gyro at home is similar to making a meat loaf. You combine the ground lamb and beef in a food processor to create a sort of paste, which is then baked, weighed down and sliced. For the final step, sear the pieces to achieve a crispy outer layer like a rotisserie gyro. The melt-in-your-mouth meat can be used for salads and pitas.
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Best Hummus

If there’s one dip you should know how to whip up whenever guests arrive, it’s hummus. Although great on its own, there are infinite toppings you can add to switch up the texture and flavor. We love toasted chickpeas, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sumac, but there are plenty of ways to make hummus taste better.
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Chicken Souvlaki Pitas

All you need is a few ingredients for these gourmet Greek sandwiches that taste best with kabob-style grilled chicken. Of course, a simple Greek salad on the side is a nice addition, or you could turn your chicken souvlaki into a gyro salad with tzatziki dressing.
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Spanakopita

A classic Greek appetizer, these triangular pockets are filled with a mixture of frozen spinach, feta-cream cheese, onion and fresh dill. Then, they’re baked until golden brown, around 12 to 15 minutes. Pro tip: Keep a batch on hand in the freezer, especially when holidays are approaching.
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Herb-Roasted Olives & Tomatoes

For a new take on briny, marinated olives, try roasting them with garlic cloves and tomatoes. Some olive oil and a jar of herbes de Provence will put you in business, and you can also double or triple the measurements and have leftovers to toss with spaghetti the next day.
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Mediterranean Tilapia

Even the most diehard carnivores will become fast fans of this mild tilapia dish that’s easy to top with your favorite ingredients. Plus, it’s low in calories and fat—what’s not to love about that?
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Greek Salad Dressing

One salad dressing everyone should have in their repertoire is Greek. This bright, flavorful dressing tastes great on salads, grain bowls and more. Plus you can turn it into a marinade for grilled meats or roasted vegetables.
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Falafel

There are a lot of subpar falafels out there—but this isn’t one of them. Crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside and full of flavor from cilantro, mint, coriander and nutty sesame seeds, it’s the quintessential snack when paired with hummus. Load the falafel into a pita or turn it into a meal in a bowl to make it a more filling dish.
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Greek-Style Lentil Soup

If lentils aren’t in your regular meal rotation, they should be. They’re easy on the budget, and they’re packed with fiber, protein, B vitamins and more good-for-you nutrients. This healthy, warming soup is a satisfying vegetarian recipe, but you can use chicken broth or add cooked meat if you like.
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Nana's Dolmades with Avgolemono Sauce

These stuffed grape leaves are just like the ones Nana used to make. The egg-lemon sauce is so good, you’ll want to drizzle it on everything. Dolmades are a fantastic passed app for parties but you can also serve them as an entrée with rice pilaf.
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Whipped Feta Dip

Right up there with tzatziki, whipped feta dip plays nicely with all Mediterranean cuisine and especially with dippers such as toasted pita bread and veggies. Garlic and lemon flavor the spread, and crushed red pepper adds a bit of heat.
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Double-Duty Chicken with Olives & Artichokes

Pimiento-stuffed olives and artichokes have a starring role in this scrumptious chicken recipe, which gets an assist from an herbaceous gremolata comprised of garlic, basil and lemon zest. Word to the wise: Opt for bone-in chicken thighs for this one, not breasts, to impart as much flavor as possible into the dish.
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Best Ever Lamb Chops

With only 10 minutes of prep and 10 minutes of cooking time, lamb chops are an easy meal you could be making on the regular. These best-ever chops get a nice basil-marjoram-thyme rub with a bit of salt before they go under the broiler. While we love them with mint jelly, you can also serve with homemade mint chutney.
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Mediterranean Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a workhorse vegetable that can be prepared in a myriad of ways. This delicious—and different—cauliflower dish comes together quickly in a skillet and uses only a handful of ingredients like olives, tomatoes and feta to take it to another level.
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Mediterranean Hummus Nachos

Even an all-American snack like nachos can be made Mediterranean by swapping tortilla chips for pita, guac for hummus and sour cream for yogurt. We used ground beef for this spread, but it would also be excellent with ground lamb.
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Greek Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

You’ll find this meal is a nice one to prepare for company or to serve your family for Sunday dinner. Oregano is the main spice here, which gives the chicken a spicy-sweet appeal. Keep in mind, though, a little goes a long way. All you need with the bird is a tossed salad and some crusty bread.
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Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

The Levantine salad known as tabbouleh is usually made with parsley, tomatoes, mint, onion and bulgur, but we prefer quinoa for a gluten-free substitute. Try red quinoa for a slightly earthier flavor.
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Turkish Eggs

If you enjoy eggs Benedict or can’t resist a rich and flavorful shakshuka, then Turkish eggs need to be next on your list of breakfast recipes with poached eggs. This seven-ingredient recipe is simple enough to enjoy before work on a busy morning, yet elegant enough to impress at your next weekend brunch.
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Baklava

If you’re not serving baklava at your Mediterranean feast, you missed the assignment. The Greek pastry consists of flaky phyllo dough, chopped nuts and sweet honey. It’s worth pointing out that it’s very rich, so one pan goes a long way. These are the best honey brands for the job.
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Traditional Pita Bread

We know what you’re thinking: Why make my own pita bread when store-bought is easier? Trust us, one bite will reveal the difference. Light, fluffy and perfectly puffed-up, this recipe is too simple not to try. To help encourage ample pockets, roll the dough thinly so the heat can hit the center quickly and force the rise.
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Chocolate Hummus

This chocolate hummus is a sweet twist on the traditional recipe. Plus, it’s so easy to make with just a few healthy ingredients. Serve it with berries and pretzels for a quick snack.
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Moussaka

Aubergine lovers, this one’s for you. The Mediterranean version of a baked eggplant casserole, moussaka is a layered masterpiece. It can be made with sauteed beef or lamb or made vegetarian. The recipe looks a bit daunting, but if you prepare one step while working on another, it will save time.
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Dad's Greek Salad

The heart of a Greek salad is in the olives, feta, cucumbers and tomatoes. This recipe has the perfect balance of all the ingredients. Dress it with olive oil and vinegar, then add more olives and cheese, because you can never have enough, right? If you need help deciding, here’s our guide to the most popular types of olives you’ll want to try in your salad.
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Kourabiedes (Greek Butter Cookies)

Not familiar with kourabiedes? The Greek cookies are buttery, crunchy and fragranced by an intoxicating vanilla aroma. If you lean more toward citrus scents, use almond or orange extract, or try misting the warm cookies with high-quality honey (like orange blossom) diluted with water in a food-safe spray bottle.
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Easy Mediterranean Chicken

To meal prep salads, rice bowls and other quick dinners for the week, brown the chicken breasts in a skillet on each side, then stir in tomatoes, water, oregano and garlic powder. After a boil, a simmer and 10 minutes of cooling, you’ll be ready to slice or shred the meat to use whenever you want it.
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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted red pepper hummus is one of the most popular kinds of hummus. Smoky, sweet, laced with umami—it checks all the boxes as far as a delicious dip goes. Making it from scratch ensures you can keep the fat and calorie count down.
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Lamb Pitas with Yogurt Sauce

Spiced lamb and Mediterranean cuisine go hand in hand, but when occasions call for handhelds instead of forks and knives, turn to these stuffed pita pockets. Tomatoes, sliced cucumbers and a creamy yogurt mixture are the perfect toppings for the succulent meat.
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Loukoumades (Greek Doughnuts with Honey)

Like most doughnuts from around the world, loukoumades consist of fried dough. What sets them apart is that these Greek doughnuts are soaked in sweet honey syrup after being fried.
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Edamame Hummus

Classic hummus is generally made with cooked or canned chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), but edamame hummus flips the script by using frozen edamame instead. The result is a green goddess-esque spread you’ll want to slather on pita or serve on a crudités platter.
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Mediterranean Bulgur Bowl

While traditional tabbouleh recruits soaked (yet uncooked) bulgur, this Mediterranean bowl benefits from a hearty base of cooked grains, plus the addition of mozzarella, pesto, tomatoes, spinach and basil. Leftovers work great for a next-day lunch topped with grilled shrimp or salmon.
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Greek Beef Pitas

Greek gyros always seem easier to order at a restaurant, where they shave the meat off the spit on the spot. Yet, when you encounter a DIY dupe for recreating the classic sandwich at home, with ground beef as a spectacular stand-in, it’s worth bookmarking this recipe.
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Easy Moroccan Chickpea Stew

If you’re cooking for a crowd or asked to bring a potluck dish to a Mediterranean dinner party, might we suggest this Moroccan chickpea stew as a foolproof option? The recipe can be doubled or tripled (depending on the size of your crew), and it will present well thanks to its enticing, bold flavors.
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Melomakarona

Sinfully rich from olive oil and sweetened from a honey syrup bath, these must-bake Greek Christmas cookies are a welcome addition to any holiday fête. Although they call for a festive smidge of Cognac, you can make an alcohol-free treat by replacing the Cognac with orange juice.
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Greek Orzo Salad

Pasta salads are a forever favorite at summer gatherings and barbecues, and this Greek orzo salad ranks right up there with the best of them. Cooked orzo is tossed with tangy feta, crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, briny olives and a zesty dressing, but the best part is, it gets even better as it sits in its marinating juices. While vegetarian, you could add marinated chicken skewers or gyro meatloaf to transform this side dish into an entrée for your whole family.
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Greek Easter Bread (Tsoureki)

If you’re Greek, nothing says Easter quite like a loaf of tsoureki adorned with hard-boiled red eggs at the center of your dining table. While the process of making it is a little more involved than some of our other favorite Easter bread recipes, it yields a stunningly beautiful, symbolic and delicious loaf that’s well worth the effort.
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Cannellini Bean Hummus

Don’t have chickpeas on hand? Cannellini beans work just as well for hummus, given their buttery, creamy nature. Bonus: The beans pack a lot of protein, so it’s a healthy snack for kids. You can always omit the crushed red pepper flakes for little eaters.
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Spanakopita Pinwheels

Nothing beats a flaky spanakopita triangle unless, of course, it’s a spinach and feta pinwheel. A quick and easy way to enjoy the pie, this recipe uses frozen ingredients like puff pastry and chopped spinach, plus some herbs, eggs and feta for a kid-friendly snack that comes together in under an hour.
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Mediterranean Turkey Panini

Pick up fresh ciabatta bread at the bakery and put your panini press or griddle pan to work. We recommend buying a block of feta instead of the pre-crumbled kind because it will have a creamier texture and fresher taste.
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Greek Spaghetti

Made with thin spaghetti, aromatic herbs and fresh ingredients like plum tomatoes, green onions and feta cheese, this is one of those perfectly light pasta recipes that you can serve any time of year. And the Greek flavors instantly transport you to the seaside.
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Avgolemono Soup

Avgolemono is a classic Greek lemon chicken soup that’s made using pantry staples and is pure comfort food. Silky, bright and citrusy, it’s heaven when served with crusty bread.
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Roasted Beetroot and Garlic Hummus

Break out of the plain hummus rut with this earthy, sweet beet hummus recipe. There are several ways to cook beets, but roasting them removes excess moisture and intensifies their sweetness. You can use drained canned beets, as well; just make sure they’re not pickled beets.
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Nikki's Perfect Pastitsio

All along the Mediterranean Sea, you’ll find pastitsio, the famous baked pasta dish that’s the Greek version of lasagna. With ground meat and bechamel sauce, it can be a bit heavy, but this recipe keeps things easier and a bit lighter without sacrificing flavor.
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Roast Leg of Lamb

Whether you’re looking for a knockout leg of lamb recipe for Easter or another occasion, the simple herb mixture on this roast provides irresistible flavor and can be prepped using a handful of dried aromatics you have in your pantry.
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Creamy Pumpkin Hummus

When the leaves start to turn, that means it’s the start of pumpkin everything season—hummus included. This creamy dip has a gorgeous orange hue and looks especially festive with a finishing touch of pumpkin seed oil, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds.
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Baklava Cheesecake

With sugared cranberries and rosemary sprigs, this unique baklava cheesecake makes a grand display for office parties and other special events. Finely chopped walnuts also lend a nice crunch, while warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg will make your whole kitchen smell divine.
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Greek Sheet-Pan Chicken

The genius of sheet-pan dinners is that they require one bowl and one pan—that’s it. We used bone-in chicken thighs for this recipe, plus a medley of red potatoes, onions and peppers, but you could certainly use boneless chicken and add other veggies. Serve it with cucumber salad for a tasty side.
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Mediterranean Chicken Pasta

When comfort food cravings strike, a cheesy pasta bake loaded with chicken and all sorts of veggies satisfies. Want a vegetarian option? Use vegetable stock and garbanzo beans.