20 Mediterranean Diet Breakfast Recipes

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Try these Mediterranean diet breakfast recipes, delicious and vibrant ways to start the day inspired by this heart-healthy way to eat! Fuel your day with fresh flavors and feel-good ingredients.

Want to start your day with the Mediterranean diet? We, Sonja and Alex, are married cookbook authors and experts in the Mediterranean style of eating and living. This diet has been called one of the healthiest in the world, focusing on whole food ingredients and lots of fruits and vegetables. Luckily, it’s also an incredibly delicious and satisfying way to eat: we know from experience!

But how to start the day with this philosophy? We’ve researched the best Mediterranean diet recipes to jump start your morning.

What’s the Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean diet has been called one of the best diets in the world according to US News and World Report. This way of eating and living derives from the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea, like Italy and Greece. It’s not a strict diet, but more at set of guidelines. Here’s how the Mayo Clinic defines the Mediterranean diet:

  • Daily consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy fats (like olive oil)
  • Weekly consumption of fish, poultry, legumes (beans & lentils), and eggs
  • Moderate portions of dairy products
  • Limited intake of red meat and added sugar

Mayo Clinic stresses that the Mediterranean diet is plant-based, not meat based. Why eat this way? According to a study by The American Journal of Medicine, “the Mediterranean diet is arguably the best-studied and most evidence-based diet to prevent not only cardiovascular disease, but also other chronic diseases, as it has become the standard for healthy eating.”

What does a Mediterranean diet breakfast look like?

When it comes to a Mediterranean diet breakfast, this way to eat focuses on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and nuts and seeds. It’s a stark contrast to the typical dairy, eggs, meat, and sugar found in an American-style breakfast. Per the Cleveland Clinic, here is what breakfast foods for the Mediterranean diet should look like:

  • Whole grains like oats, quinoa, barley, and so forth. Prioritize whole wheat or whole grain bread.
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Yogurt in moderation
  • Milk and natural or light cheeses in moderation, like cottage cheese, ricotta (per the Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic)
  • Eggs in moderation (1 egg per day)
  • Olive oil (instead of butter)

You’ll notice there is no mention of bacon or sausage here, which can be common in American breakfasts. Eggs and dairy should be eaten at a minimum: make sure to balance them with what you eat in the rest of the day!

It’s all about the lifestyle.

The Mediterranean diet is all about the lifestyle. This eating philosophy originated based on the longevity of people in the Mediterranean, and researchers observed more than just eating habits. So, simply eating Mediterranean diet breakfast recipes is not all there is to it! Here’s what’s important in addition to food:

  • Stay active and exercise regularly.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Reduce the amount of stress in your lifestyle.
  • Actively participate in community: be invested and engaged in the people around you.

For example, you may want to eat meals with people in your community. Or, share this list of Mediterranean diet recipes with others so you can each cook them in your separate homes. And now, let’s get to the recipes!

20 Mediterranean diet breakfast recipes

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Description

This breakfast quinoa bowl is a hearty and healthy Mediterranean diet breakfast recipe! Load up this whole grain with tasty toppings.


For the quinoa

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (not dry!) 
  • ½ cup milk of choice (dairy or oat milk for vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

For the toppings

  • Fresh berries (we used blueberries and raspberries)
  • Sliced almonds
  • Coconut flakes
  • Roasted salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • Nut butter


  1. Cook the quinoa in advance, following the instructions in How to Cook Quinoa. Refrigerate until serving or proceed to Step 2.
  2. Place the quinoa, milk, cinnamon, maple syrup and kosher salt in a saucepan. Heat for 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat until warmed though, stirring occasionally.
  3. Transfer to 2 bowls. Top each serving with berries, sliced almonds, coconut flakes, pepitas, and a drizzle of nut butter. Serve immediately. Leftover breakfast quinoa stores for 4 to 5 days refrigerated; warm gently before serving.

Notes

Note that the prep time assumes pre-cooked quinoa.

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean Diet
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Mediterranean diet, Mediterranean diet breakfast

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