Mediterranean Food: 25 Traditional Dishes You Need To Try

Mediterranean meals is adored worldwide. The delicacies is extensively praised for its wholesome fat and prevention of heart problems, with loads of minimally processed meats, wholesome oils, recent greens, and herbs and spices. Mediterranean recipes are so well-liked that they’re now recreated in most corners of the world. Nonetheless, they stem from three culinary areas; Southern Europe, North Africa, and the Center East.

25 Conventional Mediterranean Dishes

Traditional Turkish Food

Mediterranean meals may need tailoring and unfold globally, however, we’ll discover essentially the most conventional variations of the perfect Mediterranean dishes. Whether or not you wish to strive to recreate a dish at your house or are planning to go to the Mediterranean area, this information will cowl the perfect conventional Mediterranean dishes it is advisable to strive.

1. Greek Salad, aka Horiatiki

greek food guide table

Greek salad is a traditional Mediterranean dish, and Greek food is, without doubt, one of the most well-known Mediterranean cuisines. It’s the good summer season salad, with recent flavors and a scrumptious drizzle of additional virgin olive oil. You’ll sometimes discover chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, black olives, and both crumbled feta cheese or a thick slice of feta cheese perched on prime of the remainder of the salad. The additional virgin olive oil neutralizes the acidity of the onion, and you may additionally discover a sprinkling of oregano for an fragrant added taste.

When the Greek salad was actually invented is a little bit of a thriller. The model of the salad we all know and love at the moment was created by tavern homeowners in Plaka between 1960 and 1970. Nonetheless, adaptions of the recipe have been used for hundreds of years. Greece is without doubt one of the main producers of the world’s olives and has been rising olive bushes since Historical Greece. The Mediterranean local weather is ideal for rising olives and recent greens all yr spherical.

In case you go to Greece, you’ll simply discover a Greek salad in an area cafe or restaurant. It’s also a fantastic, easy dish to recreate at house.

2. Pizza Margherita

pizza margherita

The Margherita pizza wants little introduction. The pizza is considerably of a nationwide dish of Italy, which is becoming contemplating it was patriotically invented in honor of Queen Margherita in 1889. Its three toppings even characterize the Italian flag, with white mozzarella, inexperienced basil leaves, and pink tomato. It goes with out saying that the Margherita pizza is without doubt one of the most iconic dishes in the entire Mediterranean international locations.

Margherita pizza served the Mediterranean approach, is uncut and eaten with a knife and fork. Like many of the well-known Mediterranean recipes, although, the Margherita pizza and its consuming etiquette have been tailored worldwide – so that you’ll discover this varies relying on the place you strive the dish. The crispy dough and gooey cheese are a successful mixture. You received’t wrestle to pattern a Margherita pizza wherever you go.

3. Moroccan Tagine

Moroccan Tagine

A Moroccan tagine is strictly the warming, hearty dish that you really want after an extended day. Cooked slowly in a conical-shaped dish over a smoldering hearth, the Moroccan tagine is without doubt one of the greatest Mediterranean recipes for sluggish cooking. Historically, the tagine is a meat dish, utilizing rough-cut chunks of lamb or rooster. Nonetheless, additionally, you will discover vegetable tagines, which use components like potatoes, carrots, and onions. The components are cooked in a thick, paste-like broth, and flavored with spices like cumin, paprika, and turmeric.

It’s thought that tagine was invented within the eighth century within the Islamic empire, however there may be some controversy over whether or not it was invented in North Africa in Morocco itself. Both approach, it’s a staple dish within the Mediterranean food plan and probably the most well-liked Mediterranean recipes. The model of tagine as we all know it has been carved and influenced over centuries in Morocco.

4. Moussaka

Moussaka is a Main Greek Food

Talking of staples in a Mediterranean food plan, moussaka is a scrumptious eggplant-based dish massively well-liked in trendy Mediterranean delicacies. It seems somewhat like a lasagna with a thick bechamel sauce topping. Many individuals counsel that it’s a Greek model of Italian lasagna. Whereas there’s no historic accuracy to this, it’s a useful comparability that will help you image the dish. Moussaka makes use of layers of eggplant or potato as a substitute of pasta sheets, with a wealthy tomato sauce and sometimes floor meat, like lamb, between every layer. Moussaka is consolation meals via and thru – good for a hearty meal.

Early variations of moussaka could be dated again to across the thirteenth century, though the precise date of invention is unknown. The moussaka eaten at the moment is a Greek model of an Arabic dish, which almost definitely was initially an Arabic eggplant stew. The dish has developed lots since its early days. In fact, now, you’ll discover moussaka throughout Greece, Turkey, and Center Japanese Mediterranean international locations. You too can replicate the dish fairly simply at house.

5. Armenian Losh

Armenian losh is a combination of half-ground lamb and half-ground beef. The meat is blended with finely chopped white onion, herbs, and spices, together with recent herbs like parsley. Packed into little balls, Armenian losh could be eaten as burgers or in a kebab. The little meat patties are then grilled and served alongside rice pilaf and salad drizzled with olive oil. You might also discover onions fried and served as a facet. Armenian losh is a good avenue meals or barbecue dish so that you can strive.

The historical past of Armenian losh is unknown, however the recipe has existed for hundreds of years in tailored varieties. The meat and herbs mixture is typical of a Mediterranean food plan, and the kebab model of consuming Armenian losh is very typical of the Japanese Mediterranean area.

6. Gyros

Gyros are a popular Greek Food

Who doesn’t love gyros? The scrumptious pita sandwiches with tzatziki sauce are well-liked avenue meals and probably the most sought-after Mediterranean recipes. Gyros are sometimes meat dishes, with lamb, beef, or rooster lower in slices off a vertical rotisserie. Nonetheless, it’s also possible to get vegetarian alternate options, most of which use halloumi cheese or feta cheese as a substitute of meat. Add tomato, onion, fried potatoes, and the all-important ingredient tzatziki sauce for meat and vegetarian choices. The result’s elegant, and the tzatziki provides a refreshing, neutralizing taste to stability the combination of different flavors.

The gyro we all know and love at the moment is believed to have originated in 1922 with an inflow of refugees into Greece. The recipe existed for hundreds of years in different varieties, although. It’s carefully associated to shawarma, which was invented within the 18th or nineteenth century.

7. Tabouli

Mediterranean Food Tabouli

Tabouli is a flavorsome dish from the Center East identified for its intense, scrumptious flavors. The salad dish is a dense combination of finely lower recent parsley, mint, and bulgur wheat, drenched in lemon juice and olive oil and blended with tomatoes. It is without doubt one of the greatest dishes that features entire grains and is often eaten as a mezze dish. Nonetheless, tabouli in a chunk of pita bread is lunch in itself.

Tabouli originated in Lebanon and Syria and is a staple salad in an Japanese Mediterranean food plan. Tabouli has been round for a very long time; consultants suppose it may hint again to the Center Ages. The dish packs a punch and shortly turned well-known for its zesty style and well being advantages. You possibly can recreate the salad at house, however sampling it in Lebanon or an area restaurant could be the easiest way to strive it. Fortunately, you received’t should look far since Lebanese delicacies has grow to be extensively well-liked across the globe.

8. Black Eyed Peas Salad

Mediterranean Food Black eyed Peas Salad

Firstly, black-eyed peas are a legume, not a pea. The small beans have a black dot, which provides them their identify, and are massively well-liked in Mediterranean delicacies. There are a number of recipes that incorporate black-eyed peas. Nonetheless, essentially the most conventional Mediterranean dish is the black-eyed peas salad. The salad consists of diced cucumber, finely chopped tomato, cooked and drained black-eyed peas, pomegranate, thinly sliced onion, and mint leaves. As an additional bonus, some recipes embody feta cheese as properly.

Black-eyed peas are native to Africa and are a sub-species of cowpea. The beans have been eaten because the Center Ages. They’re a staple Mediterranean meals, now utilized in many dishes worldwide.

9. Shakshuka

Mediterranean Food Shakshuka

Shakshuka is an easy one-pot recipe from North Africa and probably the most conventional dishes in Mediterranean delicacies. The dish is shortly acknowledged by its poached eggs. It’s uniquely baked by mixing a tomato sauce (with further ripe tomatoes) with spices, recent herbs, and additional virgin olive oil. The eggs are poached by pouring them immediately into the combination and function the ultimate ornamental touches.

The dish is believed to have originated within the sixteenth century, and many individuals consider that it was a Tunisian creation. It turned shortly well-liked for being low-cost, wholesome, and tremendous simple to make because it solely required one pot. Shakshuka is a enjoyable recipe to strive at house and is designed to be loved in a household setting.

10. Falafel

Chances are high, you’ve heard of falafel. The little patties are a massively well-liked Center Japanese dish. In actual fact, they’re so well-liked that they’ve unfold out internationally, previous different Mediterranean international locations, and into international locations just like the USA and UK. Falafel is taken into account a vegetarian various to conventional meat dishes like kebabs. Nonetheless, within the Mediterranean, the dish is eaten as a part of a mezze.

Falafel is made out of floor chickpeas and sometimes broad beans. Crushed into little ball shapes, the falafels are then deep-fried and served in a gaggle. A set of bite-sized falafels are good for snacking or consuming a mezze platter. And whereas their historical past is disputed, the overall consensus is that falafels originated in Egypt. Some information counsel that falafel was eaten way back to Historical Egypt and the Roman period.

11. Hummus

Talking of chickpeas, hummus is one other scrumptious facet dish that makes use of floor chickpeas. One of the well-liked dishes in Japanese Mediterranean delicacies, hummus is a thick, silky texture and is especially used as a dip. The bottom chickpeas are blended with tahini and flavored with further virgin olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice, creating a gentle however barely tangy taste.

Like falafel, hummus dates again to historical Egypt however has a disputed origin story. It’s extensively thought of a Center Japanese Mediterranean dish, however the place precisely it was created is a thriller. Now, you’ll find it in supermarkets all around the globe. However we suggest making an attempt it home made at a restaurant or in your kitchen.

12. Paella

Paella, who doesn’t know and love this dish? This is without doubt one of the most famed Mediterranean recipes and originates from Spain. Seafood is a large a part of the Mediterranean food plan, and paella caters to seafood lovers. The dish consists of short-grained rice cooked in a risotto model with inventory and tomato-based sauce, with seafood like prawns, mussels, and even octopus accompanying it. Peas and a slice of lemon are normally served with paella, and you may additionally discover greens added to the dish.

Paella was created in Valencia across the tenth century. It will get its identify from the pan it’s cooked in, which is shallow to permit the rice to prepare dinner in a skinny layer. Paella was well-liked for utilizing up leftover rice and in addition for serving massive teams of individuals at celebrations and gatherings. It stays a social dish, and its huge serving measurement is ideal for sharing.

13. Mediterranean Wine

Fun things to do in Mykonos Wine Tasting

The Mediterranean space is revered for its wine manufacturing. The area has the right local weather to supply native wines. It’s thought of probably the most versatile wine areas on the planet. Italy, Spain, and Southern France are well-known for his or her wines. Whereas every nation has cultural variations in wine etiquette and manufacturing, wine is an excellent a part of all Mediterranean tradition.

Wine has been produced for hundreds of years, and precisely the place it was created stays a sizzling subject. What we do know, although, is that it was drunk regularly in Historical Rome and in international locations like Georgia way back to 9000 BC. These days, Mediterranean wine is without doubt one of the most exported items from the area, and wine tasting is a extremely sought-after exercise in lots of Mediterranean international locations.

14. Risotto

Traditional Italian Food Risotto alla Milanese

Risotto is a hearty, salt-of-the-earth kind of Mediterranean meals. The Mediterranean food plan comprises a whole lot of carbohydrates, and rice is a well-liked ingredient. Risotto is a creamy, thick rice dish slowly cooked in a vegetable or meat inventory broth. Sometimes, the rice is cooked briefly in butter to provide it a wealthy, buttery taste. It’s then slowly cooked in broth, added little by little to permit as a lot taste absorption as doable. To complete, grated parmesan is the last word closing contact.

Risotto originated in Northern Italy, and cookbooks courting again to the 18th century present risotto recipe variations. In case you go to Italy, risotto is without doubt one of the greatest traditional Italian foods to pattern. And if you wish to grasp a staple dish at house, risotto is a rewarding dish to study to prepare dinner. Simply be ready to observe your endurance in including the broth in such tiny quantities. Sluggish and regular wins the race.

15. Caldo Verde

Calo Verde Portuguese Food

Caldo Verde is a medicinal dish in Mediterranean delicacies. The soup packs a brilliant well being punch with kale, cabbage, onion, garlic, and a splash of olive oil. It is available in a inexperienced colour that even seems wholesome and is a well-liked soup when you’re unwell and for celebrations as a lightweight meal. It’s normally served alongside rye bread and is superb for dipping.

Caldo Verde is a Portuguese soup that was invented within the Minho Province within the fifteenth century. The scrumptious soup has been tailored somewhat through the years however has primarily stayed the identical. You would possibly discover that completely different folks have their very own variations of the recipe in Portugal, as it’s such a family dish.

16. Kofta Kebab

Kebabs on the streets of Morocco

Kofta kebabs are one of many important meat dishes in Center Japanese Mediterranean delicacies. The minced meat could be beef, rooster, or mutton and is served in lengthy balls skewered on kebabs. The meat is blended with herbs and spices and has a barbequed, aromatic high quality. If you’re in search of Mediterranean avenue meals, a kofta kebab is a good alternative.

Kofta kebabs originated in Persian, and early cookbooks and meals historical past hint them again to the thirteenth century. It’s secure to say that kofta meat has been round for a very long time, and a kofta kebab is without doubt one of the tastiest Japanese Mediterranean meals. Pattern a kofta kebab with a tzatziki or garlic sauce for the yummiest expertise.

17. Caprese Salad

Italian Food Insalata Caprese

A Caprese salad is one other traditional Mediterranean meals. Easy however mouthwateringly scrumptious, this Italian creation consists of salted sliced tomatoes and mozzarella organized in an ornate circle on a serving plate. Basil leaves are scattered over the dish, and very often, you’ll have balsamic vinegar and additional virgin olive oil drizzled over the salad.

Just like the Margherita pizza, a Caprese salad is a patriotic dish and comprises the three colours of the Italian flag. This patriotic significance is central to its creation story, because it was made in 1920 in post-World Battle 1 Italy. This dish was served on the Lodge Quisisana, and it unfold throughout Italy in a short time as a brand new favourite dish.

A Caprese salad is simple to copy at house, and also you don’t must journey all the way in which to Capri to strive it (though should you can, you positively ought to). It’s a refreshing, wholesome mild snack – completely loved mid-afternoon on a summer season’s day.

18. Lasagne


Lasagne is without doubt one of the oldest pasta dishes in Mediterranean delicacies. This Mediterranean meals is recreated everywhere in the globe, and the layered dish is revered as a staple household meal. When you’ve got ever dabbled in Mediterranean cooking, lasagne might be one of many recipes that you just’ve already cooked.

Lasagne sometimes makes use of a chunky tomato sauce and both minced meat or greens between pasta layers. Herbs and spices like oregano, basil, and garlic are added to the combination. The cooking course of then includes stacking layer upon layer earlier than cooking the dish within the oven. Typically, cheese is grated on prime for an additional layer. The recipe is tried and examined, you possibly can say because it has been round because the occasions of the Historical Romans. Lasagne is even talked about in early Roman writings.

19. Grilled Swordfish with Lemon

As you understand, fish is a staple meals in lots of Mediterranean international locations and has numerous wholesome fat that kind a nutritious diet. Fishing is a large a part of the Mediterranean tradition too, and the Mediterranean Sea has a whole lot of completely different fish on provide – together with swordfish. Grilled swordfish is a well-liked dish in Greek delicacies, and swordfish is so meaty that it’s sometimes called a fish steak.

The fish is seared and cooked on the grill, both marinated in lemon earlier than for an intense taste or drizzled in lemon juice after for a extra sauce-like impact. Conventional fish dishes have the fish served individually and entire as a press release piece. It’s common for fish to be served alongside a salad, particularly olives. You too can request chips on the facet if you’d like a extra trendy twist.

You possibly can hint fishing again to earlier than the Center Ages within the Mediterranean. Fish have been part of the Mediterranean food plan for many of documented historical past, and this swordfish dish is a good way to pattern seafood ‘the Mediterranean approach’.

20. Stuffed Vine Leaves

 Stuffed Vine Leaves

Stuffed vine leaves (aka dolmas) are probably the most typical Turkish dishes and a massively well-liked Mediterranean meals. The dish is an appetizer or mezze and consists of stuffed vine leaves, a byproduct of all that grape manufacturing. Dolmas could be vegetarian or meat-filled. The usual components are rice and tiny, diced cubes of onion, which minced meat can then be added to. The filling is then neatly wrapped in little parcels utilizing vine leaves and eaten as a complete. It is without doubt one of the tastiest Mediterranean recipes, and should you like Turkish delicacies, it’s a must-try.

Stuffed vine leaves date again so far as the fifteenth century and was regularly loved amongst royalty within the Ottoman Empire. The tasty dish shortly unfold and really quickly turned loved everywhere in the Center East and ultimately the remainder of the world. You’ll discover stuffed vine leaves at Turkish eating places, however there’s no higher place to strive the dish than in Turkey. Maintain them in thoughts should you plan a go to.

21. Shish Tawook

Turkish Foods Sis Kebap

Shish Tawook is a variation of a shish kebab, a really well-known Mediterranean meals served in kebab retailers everywhere in the world. It consists of rooster meat served on a skewer, and ‘shish’ means skewer in Turkish. The rooster meat is marinated in a combination of lemon juice, garlic, and yogurt. It’s then chopped into tough chunks and grilled on its skewer. Shish Tawook is a superb barbeque dish and avenue meals you’ll find in most corners of the world.

The precise birthplace of Shish Tawook is unknown. Whereas the fashionable model of the dish originated in Turkey, kebab eat has existed throughout the Center East for hundreds of years. Like falafel, it’s a little bit of a ‘which got here first, the rooster or the egg’ scenario. Since so many Center Japanese international locations had kebab meat centuries in the past, it’s tough to find out which nation had it first.

22. Foul Mudammas

Foul Mudammas Mediterranean Dishes

Foul Mudammas is a tasty, warming stew that makes use of fava beans as a major ingredient with heat spices and recent herbs like parsley. Fava beans are a well-liked breakfast meals within the Center East. You possibly can usually discover foul Mudammas eaten as a savory breakfast dish initially of the day.

Foul Mudammas may be generally known as a Lebanese breakfast today, however the dish originated in Egypt. The dish could be traced again to Historical Egypt, so it’s secure to say that it has been round for a very long time. There was even a discovery of a group of fava beans unearthed throughout an archeological dig at a Neolithic website. Foul Mudammas is without doubt one of the most conventional dishes in Mediterranean delicacies, and fava beans are a historic a part of the Mediterranean food plan.

23. Pickled Turnips

Mediterranean Dishes Pickled Turnips

Pickled turnips are a tasty a part of Lebanese delicacies and are sometimes served as a mezze dish. In case you haven’t seen them earlier than, they’re extremely putting to take a look at and are lengthy slices of vivid pink, mysterious-looking vegetable. Taking a look at them, you in all probability wouldn’t guess that they’re turnips. They’ve a barely vinegary style, however the parsnip’s considerably candy, gentle style balances the vinegar out. You possibly can eat them at any time of day, and they’re a typical dish to identify in Lebanese eating places.

Pickled turnips would possibly sound like a random a part of Mediterranean delicacies. Nonetheless, pickled greens are a typical approach of preserving and stockpiling scarce produce. The strategy has been used for hundreds of years utilizing options like vinegar or brine. Most just lately in trendy historical past, pickling greens was used to protect meals throughout World Battle II rations within the Forties.

24. Egyptian Fried Boiled Eggs

Mediterranean Food Egyptian Fried Boiled Eggs

Egyptian fried, boiled eggs are one other one among our most uncommon Mediterranean recipes. This dish is a must-try, although, and excessive in protein which makes it a wholesome meals to strive. The method begins with hard-boiled eggs, peeled and transferred right into a searing sizzling pan to fry with a little bit of ghee or butter. Egyptian fried, boiled eggs are served alongside a salad, which generally contains cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and infrequently feta cheese.

Egyptian fried, boiled eggs are generally eaten throughout holidays. Nonetheless, whereas the dish is taken into account a standard meal within the Mediterranean, it may also be traced to Asian delicacies. Legend has it that Thailand has a a lot much less celebratory story behind this dish. In Thailand, the dish is known as son-in-law eggs (kai look keuy). It’s stated {that a} mom ready the eggs for her son-in-law as a little bit of darkish humor to counsel she would possibly castrate him if he didn’t begin treating her daughter higher.

25. Stuffed Bell Peppers

moroccan food tagine

Like stuffed vine leaves, stuffed bell peppers are a part of the dolmas meals – a household of stuffed dishes eaten worldwide, particularly within the Mediterranean. Stuffed bell peppers are one of many tastiest dishes and are normally filled with rice, greens, beans, and generally meat. The ultimate contact is a layer of cheese, which melts because the stuffed bell peppers are cooked. Stuffed bell peppers are fast and simple to arrange and have a popularity as a wholesome consolation meals – what extra may you need?

You’ll discover stuffed peppers in Turkey, Tunisia, and the Balkans. The dish could be present in sure eating places however is especially cooked at house. It’s simple to attempt to prepare dinner your self, so this might be a dish in your personal kitchen.

To Conclude

Mediterranean delicacies is well the most effective on the planet. Mediterranean meals additionally comes from a various vary of nations, so it has all kinds of tastes and strategies used. Will you strive a specialty from Southern Italy? Southern France? Or maybe one of many Mediterranean international locations within the Center East? The selection is yours.

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