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Ditch the lunchtime rut! These easy Mediterranean diet lunch ideas are light, flavorful, and perfect for packing or whipping up on the go. From protein-packed salads to veggie bowls, find healthy inspiration for every day.

Mediterranean diet lunch ideas: ricotta toast with toppings
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Following the Mediterranean diet and need some lunchtime inspiration? As married cookbook authors and recipe experts, Alex and I have been specializing in this way of eating for over a decade, focusing on whole grains, olive oil, and lots of fruits and vegetables. Luckily, it’s incredibly delicious—and we’ve never felt better!

We are always looking for lunch inspiration, and we hear that from many of our readers. Today, we’ve put together a list of our favorite Mediterranean diet lunch ideas to help you power through the day.

Foods in 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 a 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

Let’s see what Mediterranean diet lunch ideas look like

American lunches often center around breads, meats, snack foods like chips and crackers, and sugary treats. Instead, Mediterranean diet snacks prioritize whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and nuts and seeds. Per the Cleveland Clinic, here is what lunch ideas 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 and goat cheese (per the Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic)
  • Eggs in moderation (1 egg per day)
  • Seafood (3 times per week)
  • Olive oil (instead of butter)

Notice that eggs and dairy should be eaten at a minimum, as well as added sugars. Make sure to balance them with what you eat in the rest of the day.

Add in an active lifestyle

The Mediterranean diet is also about embracing the lifestyle, not just food! This eating philosophy originated based on the longevity of people in the Mediterranean, and researchers noticed there were factors beyond food that contributed to overall health.

It’s important to also stay active and exercise regularly, avoid smoking, reduce the amount of stress in your lifestyle, and be invested and engaged in your community. Keep this in mind as you browse these recipes!

15 Mediterranean diet lunch ideas

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Ricotta Toast

Mediterranean Diet Lunch Ideas: Ricotta Toast & More


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x

Description

Ditch the lunchtime rut! These easy Mediterranean diet lunch ideas are light, flavorful, and perfect for packing or whipping up on the go. From protein-packed salads to veggie bowls, find healthy inspiration for every day.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese or Whipped Ricotta (see Step 1)
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Slices of bread
  • For the salmon toast: Smoked salmon, capers, red onion, fresh dill
  • For the tomato toast: Ripe tomatoes, garlic salt, chives or green onion, olive oil
  • For the avocado toast: Ripe avocado, radishes, garlic salt
  • For the apple honey toast: Apple slices, honey, chopped pistachios, cinnamon
  • Other ideas: Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, pears, cucumber, canned tuna, canned salmon, prosciutto, hard boiled eggs, fresh herbs, pickled vegetables, etc.

Instructions

  1. Stir together the ricotta with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and several grinds of fresh ground pepper; taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Or, make the Whipped Ricotta: place 16 ounces whole milk ricotta, 3 tablespoons milk and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a bowl and whisk with a whisk for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
  2. Toast the bread.
  3. Salmon toast: Spread the ricotta on the toast. Top with smoked salmon, drained capers, sliced red onion and fresh dill sprigs. Add 1 grind fresh black pepper.
  4. Tomato toast: Spread the ricotta on the toast. Top the toast with the sliced tomatoes, chopped chives or green onion, drizzle of olive oil, a small pinch salt and fresh ground pepper.
  5. Avocado toast: Spread ricotta on the toast. Top the toast with sliced radishes, drizzle of olive oil, and a small pinch salt and fresh ground pepper.
  6. Apple honey toast: Spread ricotta on the toast. Add apple slices, a drizzle of honey, chopped pistachios, and a pinch of cinnamon.
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Lunch
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Pilar Ortiz says:

    Nice Mediterranean Diet Lunch Recipes. Simple noted copied for future preference. Thank you 🙏 A Couple Cooks channel. God bless for your free recipes. Love them. Until here. Mr Alex and Ms. Sonja