7-Day Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan

On a list of popular diets, the Mediterranean diet has long been recognized as #1. It’s not even really considered a “diet” – but more of a lifestyle with no strict rules. This is my ultimate guide to the Mediterranean diet, with a 7-day Mediterranean diet meal plan.

A bowl of olive oil, beans, seeds, and avocados on a counter.

There is a vast amount of evidence showing this eating approach can increase longevity, reduce mortality, help with weight management, reduce the risk of cognitive decline and chronic diseases.

Not sold yet? There is even potential to reduce inflammation and improve the balance of good bacteria in your gut microbiome.

Why Is the Mediterranean Diet the “Gold Standard”?

The Mediterranean diet has received a lot of attention – and for good reason. There are actually numerous studies backing up the potential health benefits.

Some of the benefits include:
— Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke (1). 
— Lower risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, hypertension and dyslipidemia (2).
— Improved glycemic control and lower risk of Type II diabetes (3).
— Less age-related cognitive dysfunction, particularly Alzheimer’s disease (4). 
— Might help reduce inflammation, as it contains numerous foods that are considered anti-inflammatory. (5). 
— May decrease risk of cancer, specifically breast cancer.

Use the following principles to customize and build your own version of a Mediterranean diet – and reap all the benefits.

Promotes Healthy Fats

The Mediterranean diet is all about healthy fats from nuts, seeds, olive oil, and avocados.

It prioritizes oily fish twice weekly for the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. These is strong evidence that DHA and EPA can reduce inflammation, increase your HDL cholesterol, and lower symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Reduced Saturated and Trans Fat

The Mediterranean diet focuses on limiting processed foods and red meat, which reduces saturated and trans fat consumption.

More Focus on Plant-Based Protein and Lean Meat

Consuming a more plant-based diet is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers and even obesity.

Even further, plant-based meals are typically higher in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants while being lower in saturated fats and cholesterol. Plant-based meals even improve the composition of our gut microbiome (AKA gut health).

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

The Mediterranean diet is sometimes referred to as an “anti-inflammatory” diet because many of the recommended foods have the potential to fight inflammation.

Less Refined Carbohydrates

Carbohydrate quality matters! Try to select grains which are high in fiber, and consume less refined carbohydrates.

It can be as simple as swapping rice for quinoa or farro, or selecting whole wheat pasta. Check the fiber content on food labels and look for ingredients like “100% whole wheat”.

An infographic listing the principles of a Mediterranean diet.

7-day mediterranean Diet Meal Plan

I’ve broken this meal plan down into categories: breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options.

A recipe doesn’t have to say “Mediterranean” to be considered a part of the Mediterranean diet. It doesn’t even have to have Mediterranean flavors.

Essentially, it’s just the combination of the principles above: fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains, lean protein, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds.

An infographic displaying Mediterranean diet grocery list essentials, like oily fish, beans and legumes, lean protein.

Breakfast Ideas

  1. Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Bowl
A chia quinoa breakfast bowl with apple slices and topped with Greek yogurt, maple syrup and sliced almonds on a wooden platter.

Quinoa is a great alternative if you’re sick of oatmeal as it is considered a whole grain and a complete protein. This bowl is packed with fiber from the apples, quinoa and chia seeds. It is then topped with a Greek yogurt and maple syrup combo for some protein and calcium.

Not to mention live, active cultures to increase the good bacteria in our gut.

2. Chia Breakfast Bowl

Two high fiber chia breakfast bowls on a wood cutting board.

Using similar principles as the apple cinnamon quinoa bowl, this chia breakfast bowl utilizes Greek yogurt and chia seeds as well as fresh fruit. It’s high in fiber and antioxidants.

3. Mediterranean Diet Oatmeal (Kiran Campbell Nutrition)

To make oatmeal Mediterranean-friendly, it’s quite simple. Just think of adding fresh fruit and healthy fats like chopped nuts and seeds. This recipe is packed with nutritious ingredients like chopped walnuts, almonds, flaxseed, almond milk, and fresh fruit.

4. High Protein Breakfast Burrito

A high protein breakfast burrito topped with Greek yogurt, sliced jalapenos, olives, and avocado on a white plate.

A breakfast burrito that’s packed with eggs and black beans, then topped with fresh tomatoes and avocado. Select a 100% whole wheat or high fiber tortilla for a nutritious and filling meal- high in both protein and fiber.

5. Summer Bean Breakfast Salad with Soft-Boiled Eggs and Green Goddess Dressing (The Kitchn)

A bright and colorful breakfast salad – packed with veggies with a soft boiled egg on top. The homemade green goddess dressing adds some freshness and brings it all together.

6. Overnight Oats

It’s easy to customize overnight oats – just be sure to include fresh fruit, nuts and/or seeds, and low-fat dairy for a healthy, easy breakfast option.

Check out this list of over 20 overnight oats recipes for endless variations.

7. Savory Quinoa Breakfast Bake

A close-up of a quinoa breakfast bake on a cutting board main header image.

You might start seeing a trend here, as this recipe incorporates eggs, black beans, fresh vegetables and quinoa. Each serving contains over 25 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber, so it’s very filling.

Lunch Ideas

  1. Mediterranean Chicken, Cucumber and Tomato Salad
A chicken, cucumber and tomato salad with feta cheese in a large wooden bowl on a counter.

This salad has all the essentials of the Mediterranean diet: lots of fresh vegetables, garbanzo beans, chopped nuts, lean protein (chicken), and an olive-oil based dressing. It’s super quick and easy to throw together if you have some leftover chicken breast!

2. Mediterranean Sandwich (Chelsea’s Messy Apron)

For a Mediterranean diet-approved sandwich, select 1-3 different veggies, a whole wheat or high fiber bread, and some healthy fats – like an oil and vinegar dressing. This recipe features all of that with some feta cheese and a fresh basil pesto.

3. Superfood Salmon Salad (Eating Bird Food)

This light and refreshing superfood salmon salad has all the greens and is tossed in a lemon vinaigrette.

I am going to say it again: salmon (or tuna, sardines, and mackerel) should be prioritized twice weekly because of the essential omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA.

Salmon is also one of the BEST (and only) food sources of vitamin D – which can help prevent depression, anxiety, osteoporosis, cancer and other chronic diseases.

4. Veggie Wrap with Hummus (Simple Green Smoothies)

A light and refreshing wrap packed with veggies and hummus. Easy to meal prep, as they can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days!

5. 20-Minute Vegan Pasta Salad (Midwest Foodie)

A quick and easy pasta salad with olives, veggies, and beans for extra protein and fiber.

6. Greek Grilled Chicken Salad (Erin Lives Whole)

7. Do It Yourself Adult Lunchable

If you’re feeling lazy, use these principles to create your own adult lunchable featuring fresh fruits and veggies, a bean salad, and whole grain crackers.

You could make a quick chickpea, feta and cucumber salad. Add in some quinoa and a couple of hard-boiled eggs. Get creative, the sky is the limit here!

Dinner Ideas

  1. Mediterranean Diet Pizza
A close-up of Mediterranean Diet Pizza topped with arugula and olives on a parchment paper lined cutting board.

Yes, pizza can be customized to fit a Mediterranean diet! This recipe features a whole wheat crust with just a simple garlic and oil sauce. It is then topped with vegetables, olives, mozzarella cheese and even a light oil-dressed salad on top.

Serve with a side of salmon or chicken breast for a delicious, nutritious meal!

2. 10-Minute Salmon and Rice Bowl (The Roasted Root)

Try this salmon and rice bowl for a quick dinner on those busy nights.

For more salmon recipes, try one of these 30+ Mediterranean Diet Salmon Recipes.

3. Lentil Soup (Recipe Tin Eats)

A plant-based meal featuring lentils as the star of the dish. Serve with a side of fresh fruit for a fiber-packed Mediterranean dinner.

4. Apple Walnut Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette (Little Broken)

Sweet, crisp apples on a bed of greens combined with crunchy walnuts and a tangy balsamic vinaigrette.

Add some lean protein or make a bean salad to go with it.

5. Bean and Barley Soup (Eating Well)

A comforting soup with ingredients like beans, barley, fire roasted tomatoes, baby spinach and parmesan cheese.

6. Oven Roasted Spanish Mackerel (The Mediterranean Dish)

Tired of salmon yet? Mackerel is another oily fish that is high in omega-3’s! The fish is baked in foil with fresh herbs, lemon juice, oil and garlic. Pair with a whole grain, like quinoa, farro, or barley.

7. Italian Chicken, Farro and Vegetable Skillet (Sweet Savory and Steph)

A one-pan meal featuring farro, a nutrient-dense whole grain, with zucchini, bell peppers, ground chicken, and fresh herbs.

If you want to follow a more plant-based diet but also prioritize protein, try one of these high protein plant-based recipes.

Mediterranean Diet Approved Snack Ideas

  • Apples and peanut butter.
  • Mixed nuts and fresh fruit.
  • Cucumber, bean and feta salad tossed with olive oil and vinegar.
  • Avocado toast.
  • Greek yogurt and fresh fruit parfait.
  • Strawberry Fruit Bark with Dark Chocolate Date Sauce.
  • Fresh veggies dipped in avocado hummus.
  • Tuna salad and whole wheat crackers.
  • Roasted chickpeas.

This Post Was Meant to Inspire

Feel free to follow this meal plan any way you want to, or use these recipes as inspiration to incorporate these principles into your lifestyle.

I’m very passionate about the Mediterranean diet because, for once, there is so much research to back up all these benefits!

Remember: no foods are off limits. It’s more important to find a healthy balance and add more of these principles into your everyday life.

For more ideas on how to live a longer, healthier life – check out these posts:
Foods to Prioritize on Your Grocery List for a Longer, Healthier Life
Increasing Vitamin D Intake Through Foods
The Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods (with Grocery List)

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