The Mediterranean diet, inspired by the eating habits of Greeks and Italians in the 1960s, is perfect for making the best of summer produce. It includes produce that’s at its best when the weather is warm, like zucchini, cucumber, eggplant, tomatoes, and fresh herbs–everything you’d want to plant in your ideal summer garden. Learn about the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet, what it includes, plus the best vegan Mediterranean recipes to make this summer.

Health Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is naturally low in meat and dairy, instead emphasizing a healthy mix of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fats daily. It’s low in salt, but makes up for it in flavor from fresh herbs, spice blends, and lemon juice. Traditionally, it includes fatty fish, a small amount of meat, and some cheese, so many Mediterranean dishes are already vegetarian and easy to make plant-based.

The World Health Organization recognizes the Mediterranean diet as a sustainable and healthy dietary pattern.

Research has shown that a Mediterranean diet is effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. A 2019 review of five meta-analyses published between 2014 and 2018 found that the evidence for the Mediterranean diet’s effects on heart health is “large, strong, and consistent.”

The American Heart Association recommends this eating pattern as a preventative measure and the American Diabetes Association recommends it for reducing the risk factors of type-2 diabetes.

What’s in the Mediterranean Diet?

You’re going to find the same ingredients in a lot of Mediterranean dishes. Zucchini, eggplant, artichokes, cucumbers, fennel, and tomatoes are all common vegetables. Fruits include apricots, figs, dates, pomegranates, grapes, lemons, and olives. For whole grains, use farro, barley, bulgur, rice, polenta, wheat berries, or couscous. And for protein, opt for whole food, plant-based options like chickpeas, white beans, and butter beans. For meatier dishes like shawarma, you could use homemade seitan or packaged vegan meat.

The Best Vegan Mediterranean Recipes to Make

Try these 15 vegan Mediterranean recipes before summer ends.

Mezes and More: X Vegan Mediterranean Recipes for Summer
These eggplant roll-up scream “summer.” | This Savory Vegan

1. Vegan Eggplant Roll-Ups

An easy, light, summery dinner. These grilled eggplant roll-ups are stuffed with cauliflower rice and served over homemade marinara.

Get the recipe here.

Mezes and More: X Vegan Mediterranean Recipes for Summer
This pumpkin kibbeh makes a great appetizer. | One Arab Vegan

2. Vegan Kibbeh

Kibbeh is traditionally made from ground meat and grains. This vegan version combines bulgur wheat, pumpkin (or butternut squash!) puree, and a stuffing made from spinach, chickpeas, walnuts, and tomatoes.

Get the recipe here.

Mezes and More: X Vegan Mediterranean Recipes for Summer
Packed with Mediterranean flavor. | The Elegant Economist

3. Whole Roasted Cauliflower

This simple, whole-roasted cauliflower is seasoned with Aleppo pepper and served with tahini, hot pepper vinaigrette, and fresh parsley.

Get the recipe here.

Mezes and More: X Vegan Mediterranean Recipes for Summer
Serve this dish with pita. | The Mediterranean Dish

4. Ful Medames

Made from fava beans, olive oil, cumin, fresh parsley, and tomatoes, ful medames is a healthy and filling dish to serve alongside vegetables and pita.

Get the recipe here.

Mezes and More: X Vegan Mediterranean Recipes for Summer
Use your favorite plant-based chicken for this shawarma. | Carrots and Flowers

5. Vegan Shawarma

This vegan chicken shawarma takes just 15 minutes to throw together—yes, even the quick-pickled red onions.

Get the recipe here.

Mezes and More: X Vegan Mediterranean Recipes for Summer
Serve chilled alongside other mezze dishes. | Tori Avey

6. Vegan Dolmas

Stuffed grape leaves, known as dolmas or dolmades, are a summery side best served chilled. They’re made with rice, pine nuts, fresh dill and mint, plus fresh lemon juice.

Get the recipe here.

Mezes and More: X Vegan Mediterranean Recipes for Summer
Vegan and naturally gluten-free. | Joy Food Sunshine

7. Baked Falafel

Baked or fried, these falafel are delicious. Serve with a platter of rice, greens, and pickled veggies or in a pita pocket.

Get the recipe here.

Mezes and More: X Vegan Mediterranean Recipes for Summer
This dish tastes even better the next day. | Lazy Cat Kitchen

8. Vegan Menemen

Similar to shakshuka, menemen is a Turkish breakfast dish consisting of eggs in a tomato and pepper stew. Here, eggs are replaced with silken firm tofu. Serve with bread on the side.

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Mediterranean-Inspired Shakshuka With Potatoes and Beans
This egg-free shakshuka is great for breakfast.

9. Vegan Shakshuka

Get the recipe here.

Mezes and More: X Vegan Mediterranean Recipes for Summer
You only need one pot for this paella. | We Are So Vegan

10. Vegan Paella

This one-pot paella is packed with flavor from artichokes, capers, and smoked paprika. While not entirely traditional the fact that you need only one pot to make it is a major selling point for busy weeknights.

Get the recipe here.

Mezzes and More: X Vegan Mediterranean Recipes for Summer
This baba ghanoush is made with only four ingredients.

11. Baba Ghanoush

Get the recipe here.

Mezes and More: X Vegan Mediterranean Recipes for Summer
The perfect summer salad. | Avocadocentric

12. Cucumber Tomato Onion Salad

Made from crisp cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, and parsley, this refreshing side salad showcases the best of summer produce. Pro tip: throw some kalamata olives into the mix.

Get the recipe here.

Mezes and More: X Vegan Mediterranean Recipes for Summer
An easy, everyday Mediterranean side. | Foxy Folksy

13. Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is a Levantine salad that’s plant-based by default. Traditionally made with bulgur, this easy version uses couscous instead, but still packs all the flavor of fresh parsley and mint mixed with tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, lemon juice, and olive oil.

Get the recipe here.

Mezes and More: X Vegan Mediterranean Recipes for Summer
Easy to prepare for quick weeknight dinners. | My Moroccan Food

14. Vegan Tagine

This vegan tagine is slightly fruity with a perfect balance of sweet and savory, thanks to dried apricots, onions, Moroccan spices, and fresh cilantro. Canned chickpeas make it a quick and easy dinner.

Get the recipe here.

Mezes and More: X Vegan Mediterranean Recipes for Summer
Enjoy with bread and olives.

15. Briam

This Greek vegetable bake, called briam, will become a staple in your household. This flavorful dish features sliced eggplant and zucchini baked in a summery tomato sauce. Use a mandoline to make slicing easier.

Get the recipe here.

Mezes and More: 15 Vegan Mediterranean Recipes for Summer

Post navigation


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: