Healthy Middle Eastern Recipes

Find healthy, delicious middle Eastern recipes including Lebanese, Israeli and Turkish recipes. Healthier Recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Middle Eastern Chicken & Chickpea Stew

Rating: Unrated
21
This quick, protein-rich chicken stew recipe gets great flavor from cumin, lemon juice and garlic. Make a double batch and freeze it for a quick healthy dinner. Serve the stew with couscous and steamed broccoli.

Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage

Rating: Unrated
3
Though traditional stuffed cabbage recipes are made with meat, here Savoy cabbage leaves are stuffed with a combination of rice, mushrooms, onions, garlic and herbs for a healthy vegetarian stuffed cabbage recipe. The stuffed cabbage leaves gently bake in a simple tomato sauce. This easy stuffed cabbage recipe can be made ahead of time and baked just before serving.

Chickpea & Quinoa Buddha Bowl

Rating: Unrated
4
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!

Falafel Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Rating: Unrated
9
Deep-fried falafel can be a total grease bomb. But these pan-seared falafel still get crispy in just a few tablespoons of oil with equally satisfying results. Be sure to use dried, instead of canned, chickpeas in this healthy recipe--canned chickpeas add too much moisture.

Middle Eastern Lamb Stew

Rating: Unrated
10
This brothy stew is boldly flavored with a blend of characteristic Middle Eastern spices and finished with fresh spinach and fiber-rich chickpeas. Economical lamb shoulder tenderizes beautifully when leisurely cooked in a slow cooker. If you can't find boneless shoulder stew meat, do not substitute more-expensive lamb leg--it tends to dry out during slow cooking. Instead, purchase lamb shoulder chops and debone them. Serve over bulgur and accompany with a salad.

Green Salad with Pita Bread & Hummus

Rating: Unrated
3
Elevate hummus and pita by piling your plate high with cucumbers, carrots and mixed greens! Just a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil is all it takes to dress it up.

Falafel Burgers

Rating: Unrated
2
Pureed chickpeas, seasoned with the characteristic flavors of falafel, make excellent veggie burgers. We use a two-stage method for cooking the patties, first browning them in a skillet and then finishing them in the oven. Garnish the burgers with tzatziki or tahini sauce (see associated recipes), pickled red onions, lettuce and tomatoes.

Spiced Chickpea "Nuts"

Rating: Unrated
16
When roasted in a hot oven, chickpeas become super crunchy. They're a great low-fat substitute for nuts when salty cravings hit.

Green Shakshuka with Spinach, Chard & Feta

Rating: Unrated
1
The inspiration for this green shakshuka recipe comes from HaBasta, a popular restaurant on the edge of Carmel Market in Tel Aviv, where the shakshuka is packed with green chard and spinach and a little hot pepper provides just a touch of spice. Serve with pita or crusty bread to sop up the sauce for a quick dinner or for brunch.

Lemon Chicken & Rice

Rating: Unrated
2
This easy Persian-inspired chicken and rice dish has a beautiful golden color and a wonderful fragrance. If you have saffron in the cupboard, do add that optional pinch; just a little will enhance the flavor and aroma of the dish.

Tahini Sauce with Lemon & Garlic

Rating: Unrated
2
Tahini, which is a paste made from ground sesame seeds, makes sauces and dressings super creamy without any dairy or mayonnaise. Use it as a salad dressing, a spread on sandwiches, or a sauce for falafel (see associated recipe, below).

Om Buddha Bowl

Rating: Unrated
3
This beautiful grain bowl is packed with healthy ingredients like quinoa, chickpeas, kale and cauliflower--all drizzled with a lemony tahini sauce. The fast one-bowl meal makes a satisfying weeknight dinner or packable work lunch. If you don't have za'atar, you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin and coriander.

Inspiration and Ideas

29 Middle Eastern-Inspired Mezze Recipes

Put together a delicious spread of authentic and Middle Eastern-inspired recipes from the cuisines of Turkey, Lebanon and more.

Healthy Lebanese Recipes to Give You a Taste of the Middle East

Taste the middle east through savory mezze dishes that have layered simple ingredients, with exciting spices to create dishes like, Pumpkin Kibbeh. Many Lebanese dishes include chickpeas or fava beans to create a spiced hummus or sauce, an important part of every Lebanese meal. Most dishes are vegetarian or use meat sparingly due to the traditional Levant style of cooking, red meat is uncommon but when used it is usually, goat or lamb.

Parsley Tabbouleh

Rating: Unrated
3

Serve this tart, parsley-dominated tabbouleh at your next backyard gathering.