Regarded as one of the healthiest ways to eat, the Mediterranean diet is a balanced approach to eating. This delicious meal plan makes it even easier to follow the Mediterranean diet.
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White Bean & Sun-Dried Tomato Gnocchi
Credit: Jacob Fox

The Mediterranean diet has long been recognized as one of the healthiest ways to eat. It's not only delicious but it has also been linked to a decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes and even certain types of cancer. The reason it's so effective is that it's not restrictive (unlike other diets out there), which means it's easy to follow. And the easier something is to do, the more likely you are to stick with it. The principles of the diet are simple—fill your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains, legumes, lean protein and fish and you're well on you way to better health. This week's meal plan makes it even easier to stick with these healthy principles with seven days of fresh and healthy dinners.

Day 1: Roasted Salmon Caprese

Roasted Salmon Caprese

Roasted Salmon Caprese: This simple salmon recipe combines quick and easy cooking with the fresh flavor of caprese, or tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. And in this case, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar adds an extra kick of delicious flavor. Serve with a whole grain, like this Lemon Herbed Orzo Pasta to round out the meal.

Day 2: Polenta Bowls with Roasted Vegetables & Fried Eggs

Polenta Bowl with roasted veggies and a fried etgg

Polenta Bowls with Roasted Vegetables & Fried Eggs: You really can't beat creamy polenta with a fried egg on top. And then add some roasted veggies and it gets even better! This easy dinner comes together in just 30 minutes and is so delicious you might find yourself making it for brunch or lunch, too. Feel free to swap (or add) in other veggies, such as broccoli, to customize your bowls according to what's in season or what you have on hand.

Day 3: 20-Minute Creamy Italian Chicken Skillet

20-Minute Creamy Italian Chicken Skillet
Credit: Jason Donnelly

20-Minute Creamy Italian Chicken Skillet: Chicken cutlets cook quickly and are highlighted with a creamy sauce made with tomatoes, zucchini and Italian seasoning. This recipe is sure to become a new weeknight favorite the whole family will love. Serve it with whole-wheat pasta or rice to make it a meal.

Day 4: White Bean & Sun-Dried Tomato Gnocchi

White Bean & Sun-Dried Tomato Gnocchi
Credit: Jacob Fox

White Bean & Sun-Dried Tomato Gnocchi: Whoever said you can't enjoy pasta while eating healthy was very wrong. In this hearty yet healthy pasta dish, sun-dried tomatoes are the star of this recipe—providing texture and deep flavor. Combined with the spinach, they make this dish a great source of vitamins C and K.

Day 5: One-Pot Garlicky Shrimp & Spinach

One-Pot Garlicky Shrimp & Spinach

One-Pot Garlicky Shrimp & Spinach: Shrimp, spinach and garlic brown and cook quickly for a simple one-pot weeknight dinner. This satisfying dinner delivers lean protein and important nutrients from all that spinach, like vitamins K and A. And the fast pan sauce made from zesty lemon juice, warm crushed red pepper and herby parsley is just delicious. Serve with a slice of whole-wheat baguette to swipe up every last drop of sauce, or go for brown rice or whole-wheat couscous to help round out the meal.

Day 6: Hearty Minestrone

Hearty Minestrone soup

Hearty Minestrone: This hearty veggie packed soup has it all—plant based protein from beans, plenty of colorful veggies and a flavorful, herby broth that wraps you up in a hug. This soup is so delicious that you might want to double the recipe, so you have plenty of leftovers for lunch.

Day 7: Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Chicken & Orzo

Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Chicken & Orzo

Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Chicken & Orzo: Who doesn't love a slow-cooked dinner? This version cooks orzo, olives, tomatoes, herbs and chicken together until it's tender and full of delicious, Mediterranean-inspired flavor. Serving this dinner with a side salad helps to up your veggie count for the day and completes this meal.