For years, the Mediterranean diet has been ranked the top diet for overall health by U.S. News & World Report. Aside from being nonrestrictive, flexible, and relatively simple to follow, the Mediterranean diet has many proven health benefits, like reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome, improving heart health, and supporting healthy aging1.
Whether you choose to follow the eating style for its delicious and vast range of whole foods, or for its known health benefits, there's no better meal to start with than breakfast. We rounded up 11 of our favorite breakfast recipes that you can enjoy while following a Mediterranean diet:
Sweet Potato Breakfast Patties
When you think of breakfast patties, sausage most likely comes to mind, but these sweet potato breakfast patties are completely vegetarian. The sweet potatoes provide a healthy dose of beta-Carotene2, while the lentils contain gut-friendly fiber. The recipe recommends topping them with Greek yogurt and berries, but for a more savory option, consider avocado, salt, and pepper.
Greek Yogurt With Fruit & Honey
If you're looking for a quick but nourishing breakfast option, yogurt bowls are almost always a good idea. This Greek yogurt recipe requires only two ingredients to make at home. When it's had time to thicken and chill in the fridge, top it with Mediterranean-diet-approved fruits, like figs, pomegranate seeds, or berries, and a drizzle of honey. For extra protein and crunch, add walnuts.
Sweet Potato Toast
This Spanish omelet, also called a Spanish tortilla or Tortilla española,, is made with high-fiber potatoes and nourishing vegetables like red bell peppers and sweet onions. Though it's technically a breakfast food, the Mediterranean staple is also great for lunch or dinner.
Keto Breakfast Pizza
Though this keto breakfast pizza calls for pepperoni, simply substituting sautéed spinach, roasted red peppers (feel free to use canned peppers), or onions will make it both nutritious and Med-diet-approved.
Oatmeal With an Egg
Oatmeal with an egg is surprisingly not the same thing as savory oatmeal. While you can add pureed vegetables or savory spices, this meal can also be enjoyed more traditionally with berries, cinnamon, and honey. The eggs simply work to make the dish creamier and more filling.
Egg & Tomato Shakshuka
Egg shakshuka is a common Middle Eastern dish that's both comforting and nutritious. Like most shakshuka, this one provides a good amount of vitamin C and beta-carotene from the red peppers and tomatoes. The less common addition of Brussels sprouts, spinach, and zucchini, however, also ensures you start your day with a good amount of green vegetables.
Vegan Green Shakshuka
If you don't eat animal products, you can still enjoy a Mediterranean shakshuka dish...just with a twist. This vegan green shakshuka features plant-based yogurt instead of eggs. It's also packed with dark green leafy vegetables, herbs, and cannellini beans, which means it's bursting with vitamins A, B5, B6, C, E, and K; folate; potassium; manganese; and thiamine; along with protein and fiber.
Cauliflower Smoothie With Blueberry & Cinnamon
Adding frozen cauliflower to this blueberry and cinnamon smoothie helps to create a creamy texture and also provides a good source of vitamins C, K, and folate. This recipe calls for blueberries, but any dark berries, like blackberries, will provide a healthy dose of antioxidants3.
Nut Butter With Whole Grain Toast
Nuts are a primary staple in the Mediterranean diet. Making a homemade nut butter, like cardamom pistachio, will ensure that your creamy spread doesn't have any added sugars or other additives. Simply toast a piece of whole grain bread, lather on your nut butter, and you've got a protein-packed breakfast.
Superfood Breakfast Bowl
This superfood breakfast bowl is high in healthy carbohydrates, which provides both fiber and energy to hold you over until lunchtime. The combination of berries, vanilla, and cinnamon adds a sweet burst to the quinoa porridge.
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Abby Moore is an editorial operations manager at mindbodygreen. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and has previously written for Tribeza magazine. She has covered topics ranging from regenerative agriculture to celebrity entrepreneurship. Moore worked on the copywriting and marketing team at Siete Family Foods before moving to New York.