9 Recipes That Will Instantly Transport You to the Mediterranean

May 8, 2012 at 11:45 a.m. ET
Image: Olena Beisiuk/Getty Images.

We've all heard about the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, which comes mostly from the fact that many of their meals are rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish and vegetable oils. But the Mediterranean is full of more than tomatoes and olive oil — it's got a rich variety of meals that are just waiting to be on your plate. Here are a few classic dishes that will make you feel like you're in Greece, France and other Mediterranean countries without having to leave your kitchen.

1. Mediterranean-style beef stuffed peppers

Stuffed Mediterranean peppers Image: The Mediterranean Dish.

Chickpeas, parsley, allspice, paprika and tomato really bring these beef-stuffed peppers to life.

More: Easy 30-Minute Vegetarian Meals for When You Need Something Quick & Healthy

2. Easy ratatouille

Ratatouille Image: The Mediterranean Dish.

In case you thought ratatouille was just a rat chef, think again. It’s actually a vegetable dish with zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers. This recipe makes it easy to make your own ratatouille.

3. One-pot Greek chicken & lemon rice

Greek Chicken with Lemon Rice Image: Recipe Tin Eats.

Looking to save some time on dinner? This Greek chicken and lemon rice recipe only requires a single pot to make, so cleanup is gonna be a breeze.

4. Greek chicken salad

Greek chicken salad Image: Cafe Delites.

The best part of this greek chicken salad is that you make your own marinade for chicken, combining red wine vinegar, parsley, basil, oregano and lemon. Well, that and the avocado, of course.

More: 10 Dry Rub Recipes That'll Truly Up Your BBQ Game

5. Mediterranean meatball sandwich

Mediterranean Meatball Gyro Image: Our Life Tastes Good.

Looking for a unique spin on the classic gyro? Try this Mediterranean meatball sandwich, which has the homemade tzatziki you love, plus parsley and cumin-flavored meatballs made from scratch.

6. Grilled chicken souvlaki

Grilled Chicken Souvlaki Image: Closet Cooking.

Souvlaki is just meat on a skewer, and you’ll want a grill in order to make these skewers extra tasty. And don’t skip the yogurt sauce!

More: Healthy Soups That Make the Most of Your Summer Veggies

7. Greek chickpea salad

Greek Chickpea Salad Image: Jessica In The Kitchen.

Chickpeas, cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, feta, parsley and dressing — that’s all there is to this super-tasty, super-quick Greek chickpea salad, perfect for hot summer days.

8. Falafel & pita

Falafel and Pita Image: Nerds With Knives.

There’s nothing quite like a freshly made falafel, and this recipe shows you how to make them perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

9. Greek moussaka

Greek Moussaka Image: Recipe Tin Eats.

Moussaka is a Greek dish traditionally made with lamb, eggplant and tomatoes and topped with cheese. This version uses beef and a béchamel sauce that will knock your socks off.