It is often assumed that individuals living in nations surrounding the Mediterranean Sea live longer and suffer less from cancer and cardiovascular disease than most Americans. An active lifestyle, weight control, and a diet low in red meat, sugar, and saturated fat and high in fruit, nuts, and other nutritious foods are the not-so-surprising secrets.
Weight loss, heart and brain health, cancer prevention, and diabetes prevention and control may all be possible with the Mediterranean diet. You might potentially lose weight while avoiding chronic illness by following the Mediterranean diet.
Whether you want to enhance your lunch game or add a nutritious side salad to your evening dinner, these best Mediterranean diet salad recipes will satisfy you. The Mediterranean diet inspires these salads, so they’re packed with fresh and flavorful ingredients like cucumbers, white beans, and feta cheese. Salads like Greek Salad with Edamame and Mediterranean Quinoa Salad are healthful and delectable, making it easier—and tastier—than ever to consume your greens!
Mediterranean Diet Salad Recipes
1 Beetroot & Bean Salad
250 g cooked whole beetroot.
100 g steamed green beans – cut in half.
30 g of pine nuts (or cashews—dry roasted briefly).
2 tsp balsamic vinegar.
A small handful of fresh basil leaves.
250 g of low-fat cottage cheese.
3 sprigs thyme.
Grated rind of ½ lemon.
3 tblsp olive oil.
Salt and pepper, to taste.
Cut the beets into chunks. Place it in a bowl with steamed beans. Add balsamic vinegar, 1 tblsp olive oil, pine nuts, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss most of the basil leaves with the beetroot.
Mix 1 tblsp of olive oil with cottage cheese. Strip the leaves off the thyme; add the lemon rind with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Arrange the beets on a platter, and add a dollop of the flavored cottage cheese. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and scatter with the rest of the basil leaves.
1350 kJ, 13.7 g protein, 25.7 g fat (3.8 g sat fat), 7.8 g carbohydrates
2 Bulgur Salad with Pomegranate Molasses
It’s a great Mediterranean Diet Salad meal, to make 4 – 6 Serves you need:
1 cup coarse bulgur wheat.
2 cups water.
½ cup sliced chives.
½ cup chopped parsley.
½ cup chopped mint.
½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional).
3 tblsp pomegranate molasses.
Juice ½ lemon.
Salt and pepper.
Rinse the bulgur in a sieve and transfer to a large saucepan. Combine the bulgur and water in a medium-sized pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Lower the heat, cover, and cook until the water has been absorbed and the bulgur is tender about 15 minutes. (See cook’s tip below).
Remove from the heat and allow it to sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork.
Transfer to a large bowl and allow it to cool slightly for about 10 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients to the bulgur and toss to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed, and add more pomegranate molasses or lemon juice to taste.
Serve immediately or store, covered, overnight, and allow it to reach room temperature before serving.
To make gluten-free, substitute the bulgur for another grain such as quinoa, buckwheat, or wild rice.
In this Mediterranean Diet Salad recipe Bulgur wheat can also be prepared the night before: wash in cold water and add double the volume of boiling water and a little salt. Bring to a boil, then cover, turn off the heat and
allow it to sit for 45 minutes. Check for tenderness (should be firm but not crunchy) before refrigerating.
3 Broccoli and Capsicum Pasta Salad
350 g broccoli florets.
1 large red capsicum, deseeded and cut into thin strips.
1 yellow zucchini, thinly sliced.
1 small red onion, chopped.
280 g pasta – eg “bow-tie”, cavatappi or shells.
175 g cherry tomatoes For the dressing.
150 mL apple cider vinegar.
⅓ cup (80 mL) olive oil.
⅓ cup (20 g) finely chopped fresh parsley.
2 tblsp finely chopped fresh dill.
Pepper to taste.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Put the broccoli, red capsicum, zucchini, and onion in a large metal sieve. Immerse in the water and blanch for about 2 minutes or just until the colors brighten. Lift out and drain, then plunge into a bowl full of iced water.
Cook the pasta in the same saucepan of boiling water until al dente. Drain and place in a large serving bowl. Drain the vegetables and add to the pasta together with the tomatoes.
To make the dressing: Put the vinegar, oil, parsley, dill, and pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until combined.
Pour over the salad and toss gently to coat.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Toss again before serving.
1130 kJ, 9 g protein, 9 g fat (1.5 g sat fat), 40 g carbohydrates, 4 g fibrfibere
4 Crunchy Broccoli & Olive Salad
1 head broccoli, separated into florets.
1 garlic clove.
1 tblsp caper.
2 tblsp apple cider vinegar.
⅓ cup (75 mL) olive oil.
4 celery stalks, thinly sliced.
2 – 3 spring onions, thinly sliced.
6 – 10 olives, sliced.
Lightly steam broccoli until tender but still crisp, or plunge it into boiling water for 2 – 4 minutes (until colors have brightened). Cool.
Using a blender or mortar and pestle, puree the garlic, vinegar, capers, and, olive oil until combined. Put broccoli, celery, spring onions, and olives in a bowl. Pour over the dressing then toss to coat. Let stand for at least 20 minutes to develop a full flavor or have it at its best the next day.
910 kJ, 7.1 g protein, 18.5 g fat (2.7 g sat fat), 2.2 g carbohydrates
5 Crunchy Red Vegetable, Roasted Kumara & Lentil Salad
Run out of salad recipes again? Try this amazing Mediterranean Diet Salad.
1 cup cooked brown or French green lentils.
1 large, or 2 – 3 small to medium size kumara.
6 – 8 garlic cloves.
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds.
Olive oil for roasting.
1 heaped cup of diced red cabbage.
1 medium red onion, diced.
1 cup cherry tomatoes (or chopped tomatoes).
1 medium cucumber seeded and chopped.
1 handful of spinach roughly chopped.
1 handful of fresh parsley, mint, coriander, or a combination
of all three roughly chopped.
4 tblsp olive oil.
4 tblsp lemon juice.
Salt and pepper.
½ tsp cumin powder.
Pinch of cinnamon.
1 tblsp honey.
Scrub the kumara. Leave the skin on, cut it into cubes and arrange it with the garlic in a roasting dish. Coat with cumin seeds and 1 – 2 tblsp olive oil. Bake at 180o C until the kumara and garlic arise soft (approx. 25 minutes). Leave to cool *
Prepare the vegetables and add them to a large salad bowl with the lentils. Add cooled kumara to the bowl with half of the herbs. Stir together.
For the dressing, put all dressing ingredients into a jar and shake until combined. Pour the dressing over the salad. Toss to mix. Add cracked pepper and salt to taste.
Serve in a large salad bowl or individual bowls and finish with a sprinkling of leftover herbs.
Enjoy as a side dish to a main meal or eat on its own as a lunch or light meal.
*This Mediterranean Diet Salad dish can also be served warm: add the kumara to the salad bowl before it has completely cooled. If you cook your lentils keep them warm too. If you are using canned lentils, add to the kumara as soon as it has come out of the oven before adding to the salad.
6 Mixed Bean Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
The Yummiest Mediterranean Diet Salad dish…
Serves 7 servings (approx. 1/2 cup Per Serving)
100 g sun-dried tomatoes (preferably in olive oil).
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped.
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped.
1 x 400 g can of mixed beans.
1 x 400 g can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained.
¼ red onion, thinly sliced.
2 tblsp red wine vinegar.
2 tblsp sugar (preferably Rapadura or brown sugar).
¼ tsp salt.
¼ tsp dry mustard.
Freshly ground black pepper.
Drain sun-dried tomatoes in a sieve over a bowl, reserving the oil. Place ¼ cup of the reserved oil in a medium bowl. Add vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard, and black pepper, and whisk to mix.
Chop drained tomatoes; place in a large bowl. Add parsley, basil, beans, and onion to the chopped tomatoes, and stir gently to combine.
Drizzle dressing over bean mixture; toss gently to coat. Cover and chill before serving.
757 kJ, 3.6 g protein, 2.8 g fat (0.35 g sat fat), 2.2 g fibre.
7 Poached Chicken Salad with Pomegranate Molasses
Popular Mediterranean Diet Salad recipe
For the chicken.
1 small chicken.
1 lemon, halved.
2 carrots, sliced.
1 stick celery, sliced.
1 bouquet garni, (bay leaf, parsley, thyme).
10 black peppercorns.
1½ tblsp pomegranate molasses.
4 tblsp olive oil.
1 romaine or cos heart lettuce.
2 tblsp toasted pinenut kernels.
½ pomegranate seeds only 30 g raisins.
For the chicken
Poach the chicken several hours in advance or even the day before.
Put it in a big saucepan with the lemon, carrots, celery, bouquet garni, peppercorns, and a little salt.
Add water to cover and bring slowly up to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer very, very gently for about an hour or until the chicken is cooked through. Leave to cool in the liquid.
Remove the chicken (strain and save the stock to make soup or gravy some other time), pull off, and discard the skin. Pull the flesh off the bones and break it into small chunks. Set aside.
Whisk the pomegranate molasses with the oil and add salt and pepper to taste.
For the salad:
Just before serving this Mediterranean Diet Salad, toss the salad ingredients with the chicken and just enough dressing to coat. Serve quickly before the lettuce begins to wilt.
8 Pomegranate Orange and Baby Spinach Salad
Delicious Mediterranean Diet Salad recipe.Make 4 Serves
2 handfuls of baby spinach.
½ pomegranate, seeded.
2 tsp pomegranate juice.
1 orange in separated segments.
Juice of 1 orange.
½ tsp caster sugar.
Place the washed baby spinach on a plate. Mix the sugar with the juice of half the orange and the pomegranate juice for dressing. Place the orange segments and pomegranate
seeds on the spinach. Pour dressing over salad.
9 Quinoa Salad
The best Mediterranean Diet Salad for lunch
1 cup quinoa.
1½ cup cold water.
¼ tsp salt.
1 cup snow peas, shelled peas, celery, or green beans.
2 small carrots, scrubbed well and sliced thin.
½ green or red capsicum, sliced thin.
1 medium ripe tomato.
1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced.
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, coriander, or basil.
½ cup chopped walnuts and toasted sunflower seeds or toasted cashews.
2 tblsp freshly squeezed lemon juice.
2 tblsp olive oil.
¼ tsp salt.
Fresh ground pepper.
Options: Pinch of cayenne, garlic powder or fresh minced garlic, minced fresh or dried ginger.
(Quinoa can be made ahead of time and refrigerated).
Soak the quinoa for 5 minutes in cold water. Rinse thoroughly twice, pour off the water and drain through a large fine-mesh strainer.
Place in a large saucepan with the water and salt, cover, and bring to a full boil then turn the heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes; remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Steam the carrots and green veggies for 5 minutes or until tender-crisp, drain, rinse in cold water and drain again. Place in a serving bowl.
Chop the tomatoes, herb and cucumber – add to the veggies along with the walnuts and quinoa.
Blend dressing ingredients with a whisk or shake in a jar. Add to veggies and quinoa and mix gently to combine.
Cover and chill, or serve immediately, with a leafy green salad.
1465kJ, 10 g protein, 19 g fat (1 g sat fat), 37 g carbohydrates, and 7 g fiber.
60 mL olive oil.
2 garlic cloves, crushed.
15 mL white wine vinegar.
Salt and pepper.
100 g green beans, trimmed.
100 g mixed salad leaves.
½ small cucumber.
1 x 180 g can tuna (in spring water), drained.
1 x 50 g can anchovies, drained.
4 eggs, hard-boiled.
½ bunch radishes, trimmed.
50 g small black olives.
Flat-leaf parsley to garnish.
To make the dressing: whisk together the oil, garlic, and vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Halve the French beans and cook in a saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes until only just tender, and drain.
Mix the salad leaves, cucumber, tomatoes, and beans in a large shallow salad bowl. Flake the tuna. Halve the anchovies lengthways. Shell and quarter the eggs.
Scatter the radishes, tuna, anchovies, eggs, and olives over the salad. Pour over the dressing and toss together lightly.
Serve garnished with parsley.
1198 kJ, 22.9 g protein, 18.5 g fat (3.2 g sat fat).