Mediterranean Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes
Quick Shrimp Puttanesca
Because refrigerated fresh pasta cooks much faster than dried pasta, this Italian pasta dish will be on the table lickety-split! Puttanesca, traditionally made with tomatoes, olives, capers, anchovies and garlic, gets a makeover with shrimp for extra protein and artichoke hearts to boost the vegetable servings (and the fiber!). If you can't find frozen artichoke hearts, sub in drained canned artichoke hearts.
Sicilian Olive Chicken
This saucy one-skillet chicken dish is full of tomatoes, spinach, olives and capers. Try Kalamata olives in place of the green Sicilians or a combination of both. Serve over whole-wheat egg noodles with a mixed green salad on the side.
Minestrone with Italian Sausage & Pesto
With two convenience foods--precooked chicken sausage and refrigerated basil pesto--you can turn ordinary canned minestrone soup into a lunch or dinner that's satisfying and unique. While scanning the canned soup aisle, look for healthy soups that contain less than 450 mg sodium and more than 3 g fiber per 1-cup serving.
Chickpea & Quinoa Buddha Bowl
It seems Buddha bowls have as many variations as there are stars in the sky, and there is no wrong way to build one! But we prefer to keep things classic and simple with hummus, quinoa, avocado and loads of veggies!
White Bean & Veggie Salad
This meatless main-dish salad combines creamy, satisfying white beans and avocado. Try mixing it up with different seasonal vegetables.
Watch: Is the Mediterranean Diet the Healthiest?
Senior Digital Nutrition Editor, Lisa Valente, M.S., R.D., answers all your questions about the Mediterranean diet!
Greek Kale Salad with Quinoa & Chicken
Toss the cooked chicken into this healthy 5-ingredient salad recipe while it's still warm to lightly wilt the kale, making it softer and easier to eat. Using store-bought salad dressing saves time, but you could also make your own Mediterranean vinaigrette.
Prosciutto Pizza with Corn & Arugula
Prosciutto and arugula elevate this simple grilled pizza. If you have time, let the dough stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes to make rolling it out easier in this 20-minute healthy pizza recipe. Thawed frozen corn works in place of fresh, just pat it dry before sprinkling it on the pizza.
Seared Salmon with Pesto Fettuccine
The brightness of basil pesto is a nice match for the buttery flavor of salmon in this quick and healthy dinner recipe. Refrigerated pesto, found near fresh sauces and salsas at most stores, is prettier and has a better taste than jarred.
Zucchini Noodle Salad with Chicken
Load up on vegetables, but not on calories, with this healthy zoodle salad. Look for zucchini noodles with other prepared vegetables in the produce section or make your own with a spiralizer.
Mediterranean Lentil & Kale Salad
The kale and lentils in this Mediterranean-inspired salad recipe are combined with sweet red peppers and a bold garlic and dried tomato vinaigrette. To cut down on prep time, we use refrigerated steamed lentils, but offer instructions on preparing your own.
Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl
Quinoa and chickpeas pack this vegetarian grain bowl with plenty of plant-based protein. Whip up a batch of these Mediterranean meals and pack in containers with lids to stash in the fridge for easy, healthy grab & go lunches all week long.
Tabbouleh, Hummus & Pita Plate
This Mediterranean-inspired vegan picnic dinner features traditional fare like tabbouleh, hummus, olives and fresh fruit and vegetables. It's perfect to pack and take along or even to serve as an easy, healthy meal at home.
Mediterranean Cod with Roasted Tomatoes
Oregano, thyme and paprika flavor the cod in this 15-minute, Mediterranean-inspired meal. Olives, capers and roasted cherry tomatoes add color and zest to each bite.
Spaghetti with Broccolini Pesto
Broccolini stems are quickly softened in the pasta-boiling water before being whirled with basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano into a flavorful pesto sauce in this healthy vegetarian pasta recipe. It's worth seeking out Parmigiano-Reggiano to make the pesto-its superior flavor elevates the final dish. Edamame bumps up the protein to keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Mediterranean Tuna-Spinach Salad
This tuna salad recipe gets an upgrade with olives, feta and a tahini dressing. Served over baby spinach, this is the perfect easy and light lunch or dinner salad.
Quinoa Chickpea Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Dressing
This hearty vegan salad is loaded with plant-based power ingredients: chickpeas, quinoa and hummus. We love the crunch of the sunflower seeds and the unexpected flavor of roasted peppers.
Quick Shrimp Scampi
Many scampi recipes involve cooking the shrimp with the other ingredients. You can do that here, too, but the benefit of cooking the shrimp separately is twofold: it's easier not to overcook them, and you can whisk in the butter to create a smooth, emulsified sauce. Serve as an appetizer or as a main course with rice, orzo or your favorite grain, spooning the garlicky sauce over everything. It's also great with crusty bread.
Spanakopita Scrambled Egg Pitas
This meatless dinner comes together in only 15 minutes, thanks to the convenience of frozen chopped spinach and crumbled feta. We've added a flavorful burst of sun-dried tomato tapenade to spread over the whole-wheat pita before nestling the scrambled eggs inside. If you can't find it, basil pesto or sun-dried tomato pesto also work well.
Balsamic Berry Vinaigrette Winter Salad
This festive salad features colorful greens, fruit and cheese tossed with a light and zesty dressing.
Linguine with Creamy White Clam Sauce
Ripe tomato and fresh basil give this quick recipe tons of flavor. Serve this healthy pasta dinner with crusty garlic bread and steamed green beans.
Roasted Broccolini & Goat Cheese Tartines
Skip the top piece of bread and make a healthy open-face sandwich, aka a tartine. In this version, we top crusty whole-grain bread with roasted broccolini, garlicky goat cheese and crushed red pepper for a little kick of heat. Try stirring fresh or dried herbs into the goat cheese spread for even more variety.
Shrimp Oreganata Cauliflower Gnocchi
This cauliflower gnocchi dinner is ready in just minutes on busy nights. A simple flavor-packed sauce marries the tender pasta with cooked shrimp. If you don't eat shrimp, use rotisserie chicken instead.
Garlic, Sausage & Kale Naan Pizzas
We love sausage, but it can be high in sodium. In this fast, healthy dinner, we make our own turkey sausage with crushed red pepper, garlic, fennel seeds, paprika and just a touch of salt.
Loaded Mediterranean Chicken-Quinoa Salad
Turn simple precooked ingredients into a delicious one-dish meal, high in fiber and with plenty of protein to keep you feeling satisfied.
Hearty Tomato Soup with Beans & Greens
Garlicky kale and creamy white beans elevate simple canned tomato soup into a 10-minute lunch or dinner that really satisfies. Use a soup with tomato pieces for a heartier texture. Look for a brand that's low- or reduced-sodium, with no more than 450 mg sodium per serving.
Prosciutto, Mozzarella & Melon Plate
This perfect picnic for two is great for an outdoor date night or even just a quick, romantic dinner at home. The fresh fruit, vegetables and cheese pair perfectly with prosecco for sipping. Chocolate-dipped strawberries for dessert make the meal extra-special.
Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons & Parsley Brown Butter
For this recipe, convenient store-bought potato gnocchi are tossed with delicate ribbons of zucchini, shallots and cherry tomatoes that have all been sautéed in nutty browned butter.
Greek-Style Chicken Salad
Transform leftover chicken into a fresh Mediterranean-style salad with bottled vinaigrette, plenty of veggies, feta and olives.
Mediterranean Veggie Wrap with Cilantro Hummus
These healthy multi-grain wraps are filled with mixed greens, chopped cucumber, tomato and red onion, as well as feta cheese and a homemade cilantro hummus. As a time saver, the hummus can be prepared up to 3 days ahead, and chilled until you're ready to make the wraps.
Beet & Shrimp Winter Salad
This healthy dinner salad recipe gets its staying power from protein-packed shrimp and fiber-rich barley. With a simple red-wine vinaigrette, this quick salad makes just one serving but is easy to double or triple. Look for precooked beets with other prepared vegetables in the produce department.
Creamy Salmon & Sugar Snap Cauliflower Gnocchi
Tender cauliflower gnocchi combine with a quick cream sauce, tender peas and flaky salmon for an unforgettable weeknight dinner. This one is so good you might make it for special occasions. If you don't like smoked salmon, use fresh.
Pesto Pasta Salad
A creamy pesto sauce turns this simple pasta salad into a delightful dinner. Adding broccoli to the pasta cooking water just before the pasta is done is a convenient way to briefly cook it so that it turns a vivid shade of green and softens slightly.