20 Top-Rated Comfort Food Recipes for the Mediterranean Diet

Moroccan Lentil Stew with butternut squash, green beans, and green peas
Photo: Kim's Cooking Now

As diets go, the Mediterranean diet delivers comforts like none other. That's because recipes of the Mediterranean diet rely on wholesome ingredients — lean proteins, fresh vegetables, beans, and lots of olive oil — which easily lend themselves to satisfying comfort food creations like soups, stews, and slow braises. And they do it the healthy way! Here are some of our favorite Mediterranean-inspired comfort food recipes. Of course, we've only scratched the surface; for much more, check out our collection of Mediterranean Diet Recipes.

01 of 20

Chef John's Tuscan Bean Soup

Chef John's Tuscan Bean Soup
Chef John's Tuscan Bean Soup. Chef John

This hearty, comforting bean soup starts with an aromatic base of garlic, fresh herbs, and spices, simmered with cannellini beans in rich chicken broth. "There's just something about that combo of smooth, silky soup, and crunchy, crispy croutons that makes everything seem okay," says Chef John.

02 of 20

Briam (Greek Baked Zucchini and Potatoes)

Briam, a dish of vegetables slow-baked in olive oil, is enjoyed as a main course in the Mediterranean diet
Diana Moutsopoulos

This traditional Greek roasted vegetable dish features potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, and red onions, along with lots of olive oil. "It is a typical example of Greek cuisine where a few simple ingredients are turned into an utterly delicious dish with little effort," says Diana Moutsopoulos. "It can be served as a main course. With olive oil as the only source of fat, it is a quintessential example of the Mediterranean diet, and it is vegan to boot. If preferred, serve with a hearty chunk of feta on the side."

03 of 20

Mediterranean Chicken with Pepperoncini and Kalamatas

Here's a comforting Mediterranean-inspired chicken dish, featuring chicken, pepperoncini, olives, and garlic in a sour cream and lemon sauce. "The combination of flavors was wonderful," says Tiffiecancook. "When the meat was gone, we saved the sauce and used it to spoon over rice and grilled pork chops a few days later.

04 of 20

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chicken and Vegetables

Here's a simple chicken and vegetable medley. Chicken thighs are seasoned with turmeric, ginger, coriander, cumin, and cayenne pepper and combined with chickpeas, diced tomatoes, artichoke hearts, carrots, onions, and garlic. Add green beans and bell peppers toward the end of cooking. "This delicious slow cooker meal of chicken and vegetables pairs up nicely with couscous and pita bread," says DebMCE4.

05 of 20

Moroccan Lentil Stew

Moroccan Lentil Stew with butternut squash, green beans, and green peas
Kim's Cooking Now

"This hearty stew is loaded with vegetables, so it's easy on the waistline!" says Kim's Cooking Now. "I am searching for ways to incorporate more legumes and veggies in my diet, and this recipe makes that easy. The warm Moroccan spices ensure a flavorful stew."

06 of 20

Tuscan Fish Stew

Tuscan Fish Stew
Photo by Chef John.

In this quick and comforting Tuscan-inspired seafood stew, halibut and shrimp combine with cherry tomatoes, clam juice, scallions, garlic, anchovy, and fresh herbs. "I spent a few days in Florence, and I recall my surprise at how delicious the Tuscan fish stew was," says Chef John. "What I found so interesting was how herbs like oregano, sage, and rosemary, which I'd only associated with meat, were also used with seafood."

07 of 20

Italian White Bean Chicken

Italian White Bean Chicken
Cindy Rogalsky Morden

Another very easy one-skillet Mediterranean-inspired meal with canned white beans, chicken breasts, garlic, zucchini, and chopped tomatoes. "This was delicious and so easy," says HolisticMomma. "Never thought it would be as flavorful as it was. Love that it's very healthy too!"

08 of 20

Slow Cooker Chicken Marrakesh

Slow Cooker Chicken Marrakesh
Photo by berlin85. berlin85

In this comforting slow cooker meal, strips of boneless, skinless chicken breast combine with garbanzo beans, sweet potatoes, carrots, canned diced tomatoes, and plenty of seasonings. "Excellent," raves the Occasional Cooker. "A delicious, easy, healthy, and budget-friendly one-dish meal. The flavors blended nicely and it smelled wonderful while it was cooking."

09 of 20

Roasted Chicken with Risotto and Caramelized Onions

Roasted Chicken with Risotto and Caramelized Onions
Photo by Minnie.

"Chopped roast chicken gets the royal treatment with caramelized onions, balsamic vinegar, and creamy risotto," says Michele O'Sullivan. "Roast your own chicken or purchase a rotisserie chicken from a grocery store. A little grated cheese such as Parmesan or Pecorino Romano before serving is also a nice touch."

10 of 20

Pollo al Ajillo (Spanish Garlic Chicken)

Here's a simple, one-dish chicken recipe featuring chicken pieces simmered with olive oil, lots of garlic, fresh chopped basil, and white wine. A splash of lemon juice at the end really brightens up the flavors. "This quintessentially Spanish chicken recipe with garlic and lemon is easy to make and full of flavor," says Luis Luna.

11 of 20

Mediterranean Chicken and Pepper Casserole

a colorful serving of casserole on a white plate with a baking dish in the background
Buckwheat Queen

"Vegetables, chicken breast, pasta, and Italian cheeses are baked until bubbly for a delicious one-pot dinner for two," says Buckwheat Queen. "I like to serve this with a light salad and crisp white wine."

12 of 20

Chef John's Minestrone Soup

Chef John's Minestrone Soup
Chef John

Classic minestrone is one of the most comforting Italian soups. It's also super versatile. "This is the type of dish I never make the same way twice," says Chef John. "To make minestrone soup precisely same way every time, using a very specific list of ingredients and amounts, is to trample on the soul of this Italian classic."

13 of 20

Mediterranean Chickpea Stew

"Chickpeas, eggplant, onions, tomatoes, and lots of olive oil stew together to create a traditional Mediterranean meal for your family," says Buckwheat Queen. "Serve with couscous, rice, pasta, or pita bread."

14 of 20

Andrea's Pasta Fagioli

Andrea's Pasta Fagioli
Bella

This simple soup preps in about 10 minutes. You'll simply cook onions and garlic until tender, and then stir in tomato sauce, cannelini beans, navy beans, herbs, seasonings, and Parmesan, finishing with ditalini pasta at the end. "This is a wonderful recipe," raves Elizabeth. "I added the pasta to individual servings and had left overs the same way. This soup has a great flavor and very little effort. No adjustments in seasoning are necessary."

15 of 20

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
kristileigh112

This comforting Greek-inspired soup is another great one for leftover chicken. "This soup is perfect as an introduction to a full Greek meal, or a hearty meal in itself," says Shelley Ross. "Serve with fresh pita triangles, and you'll be sure to please your guests!!"

16 of 20

Instant Pot Lebanese Lentil Soup

This comforting Lebanese soup combines red lentils, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, celery, onions, garlic, and seasonings in the Instant Pot. "It's a beautiful sunny color thanks to red lentils," says LauraF. "Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of aleppo pepper, if desired."

17 of 20

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Parmesan

In this comforting pasta dish, cauliflower and lots of garlic are coated with olive oil and roasted, then tossed with pasta and topped with a mixture of Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. A squeeze of lemon over the top gives the dish instant brightness. "Super easy to make and tasted great!" raves emm. "Served it as a vegetarian entree for two with a simple salad. It would also be great as a side if feeding a group."

18 of 20

Chicken Florentine Soup

This comforting tomato-based chicken soup with spinach, leftover cubed chicken, and rice is quick and easy. "Soup is what happens when I have leftovers in the house and it's time to clear out the veggie drawer," says Otterpond. "I got the inspiration while lunching at the Palm Tree Grille in Mount Dora when attending the annual Plant and Garden Sale. I didn't have their soup but it was on special. This will be great for lunches during the week."

19 of 20

Greek Lentil Soup (Fakes)

lentil soup on a blue wooden surface
Buckwheat Queen

This simple and very inexpensive soup is made with lentils, garlic, onion, carrots water, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves. "Fakes (pronounced 'Fah-kehs') is a staple in the Greek kitchen and an especially filling meal," Diana Moutsopoulos says. "It is traditionally served with a drizzle of olive oil and lots of vinegar. Though the vinegar is, of course, optional, try it. It lifts the lentils and adds another dimension of flavor!"

20 of 20

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken

Pieces of skinless, boneless chicken breast are slow cooked with garlic, onions, tomatoes, peaches, garbanzo beans, dried apricots, and seasonings. Top with fresh cilantro and almonds before serving. "This is awesome," raves Mandy HB. "Flavor was perfect. I served this on top of fresh baby spinach with some couscous on top.

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