April 14, 2024

The Best 7-Day Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan for Beginners

Day 1

Breakfast

shakshuka in a pan
Mike Garten

You’ll start off the day with a filling dish full of flavor, with this vibrant Shakshuka recipe, known as a staple breakfast dish throughout the Middle East. Serve with 2 slices of sprouted grain bread.

Lunch

mediterranean diet meal plan
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In a bowl, combine 7.5 ounces (half a 15-ounce can) canned chickpeas (rinse in a colander for two minutes to remove excess sodium and drain well; save other half for tomorrow), 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/4 cup chopped white onion, 1/4 cup chopped green pepper (save the rest of the onion and pepper for dinner), 1 tablespoon sliced black olives, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1.5 tablespoons white vinegar. Mix thoroughly. Serve mixture over 2 cups romaine lettuce leaves.

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Snack

hummus spread with nuts
Natasha Breen//Getty Images

Get ready for a decadent yet healthy snack! Spread one slice of 100% whole-grain bread or 2 whole-grain flatbread crackers with 2 tablespoons homemade hummus, then drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and add salt, pepper, or other seasonings to taste.

Dinner

mediterranean diet meal plan chicken skewers with peppers, tomato and onion
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Slice remainder of white onion and green pepper from lunch into chunks; set out 10 grape tomatoes. Alternate pieces of onion, pepper and cherry tomatoes on skewers and grill. Serve with 5 ounces of grilled salmon and one 6-inch whole-wheat pita pocket. Spread pita with 2 tablespoons hummus. Drink 1 cup fat-free milk.

Day 2

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Breakfast

mediterranean diet breakfast yogurt parfaits layered with granola and berries
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Lunch

mediterranean diet meal plan tuna salad on toast with capers
AnnaPustynnikova//Getty Images

This one is especially easy. if you’re eating on the run: Eat one Freshé canned tuna pack (they come in flavorful varieties like Provence Niçoise and Sicilian Caponata) with a piece of fruit.

Snack

mediterranean diet meal plan hummus in a bowl topped with parsley with knife
Sohadiszno//Getty Images

Make your own hummus in advance and have half the recipe today, then save the rest for tomorrow’s snack (or top it with an egg for breakfast). Here’s how:

Use remaining chickpeas from the first day’s lunch (half a 15-ounce can). Mash the chickpeas lightly in a bowl with a fork. Mix in 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. If desired, add 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin. Mash all ingredients together thoroughly or, if a smoother spread is desired, use a food processor to blend the ingredients. Bring along 1 cup broccoli florets and 1 sliced pepper for dipping.

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Dinner

mediterranean diet meal plan mozzarella and tomato sandwich on baguette bread
GMVozd//Getty Images

Slice a 6-inch French baguette in half lengthwise. Sprinkle the halves with 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese and bake in toaster oven at 250º for four to six minutes, until cheese is just beginning to melt.

Meanwhile, slice 2 large red tomatoes. Remove baguette from toaster oven, top with fresh basil and dried oregano if desired. Top with tomato slices. For dessert, enjoy 1 ounce of dark chocolate.

Day 3

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Breakfast

mediterranean diet plan frittata with goat cheese and chives on plate
Claudia Totir//Getty Images

Today, make our Chive and Goat Cheese Frittata recipe. Eat half of the frittata now, and refrigerate the rest for tomorrow’s dinner. Enjoy with a watercress side salad and an 8-ounce latte with skim or unsweetened soy milk.

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Lunch

mediterranean diet lunch sandwich on whole grain bread with turkey  tomato and lettuce
Jennifer Levy//Getty Images

Spread 2 slices of whole-wheat bread with 1/2 avocado and stuff with 3 ounces sliced turkey breast, 5 artichoke hearts, and as much sliced red pepper as you want. Serve with a cup each of baby carrots and grapes.

Snack

mediterranean diet meal plan hummus served with vegetables
The Picture Pantry//Getty Images

Use remaining hummus from earlier in the week. Bring along sliced crudité plus a 1-ounce piece of cheese.

Dinner

mediterranean diet  grilled fish with vegetables healthy and delicious
RapidEye//Getty Images

Today, make half of our Mediterranean Grilled Sea Bass recipe and reserve half of that for tomorrow’s lunch. Increase your vegetable intake by serving half a bag of baby arugula leaves with this meal (save the other half for tomorrow). Add an ear of corn and 1 cup cooked sugar snap peas topped with 2 teaspoons butter on the side. For dessert, have one frozen fruit popsicle (about 80 calories or less).

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Day 4

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Breakfast

mediterranean diet  oatmeal  with berries and honey
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Lunch

mediterranean diet lunch fish with vegetables
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Serve remaining sea bass from yesterday’s dinner over rest of the baby arugula leaves.

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Snack

mediterranean diet vegetable sticks of cucumber pepper carrots celery and radishes with yogurt dip
Maria_Lapina//Getty Images

Mix 1/2 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt with 1 tablespoon light maple syrup and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Dip fresh crudité in this sweet, creamy dip.

Dinner

mediterranean diet frittata with green asparagus, peas and parmesan
GMVozd//Getty Images

Have the rest of the frittata from yesterday’s breakfast. Serve with 2 cups baby spinach leaves, topped with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and 1 cup fat-free milk. Have one slice of whole-wheat toast topped with 2 teaspoons butter. For dessert, have a single-serve ice cream, like a Magnum Mini Bar.

Headshot of Melissa Prest, R.D., D.C.N.

Melissa Prest, R.D., D.C.N. is a registered dietitian nutritionist and holds a Doctor of Clinical Nutrition degree from Rutgers University. Melissa owns Kidney Nutrition Specialists, a nutrition practice dedicated to helping individuals living with chronic kidney disease, and is the Foundation Dietitian for the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois where she focuses on disease prevention, health education, and nutrition consultation.

 

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