Mediterranean vegetarian main course recipes

Mediterranean vegetarian main course recipes, a complete tutorial for beginners. 

Eating healthy isn’t easy but your food shouldn’t be bland either. 

The Mediterranean offers great choices for food and for those who are using the Mediterranean diet you’ll be learning about the best vegetarian dishes this diet has to offer. 

If you were considering going on a diet, try these 5 dieting tips to accelerate your results.

These are the Mediterranean vegetarian main course recipes that will not only help you lose weight but will also excite your taste buds!

The Mediterranean Diet For Beginners

Mediterranean dieting food

All around the Mediterranean, vegetables are the basis of everyday meals. 

This was because of the limited amount of meat and religious fasting before festive occasions.

Because of the availability of vegetables the development of cooking skills for these vegetarian dishes was necessary.

Deep-fried, roasted, baked, stuffed, marinated, broiled & steamed were the primary methods for preparing the dishes you will be learning about in this guide to Mediterranean vegetarian main course recipes.

Vegetarian Meals For The Mediterranean Diet

Ratatouille

No vegetable is considered too small to bother with; the smallest artichokes, turnips. Eggplant and fava beans are put to good use in many dishes.

A stunning variety of mushrooms appear frequently in Italian and French cooking. 

In these countries, markets are filled with wild varieties in the spring and autumn.

The interesting shapes and flavors make interesting risottos and salads and may even be used to flavor pasta. 

Many mushroom varieties are dried for year-round availability.

Stuffed vegetables are greatly loved in many countries of the Mediterranean, particularly in Turkey, Greece, and the Middle East.

Tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, zucchini and onions are filled with couscous, rice, herbs , spices dried fruits, nuts, cheese and sometimes meat.

Large leaves like spinach, grape and cabbage are stuffed with interesting ingredients, packed in a pan and gently cooked so as to mingle all the flavors together.

What Do You Eat For Dinner On The Mediterranean Diet?

What do you eat for dinner on the Mediterranean diet?

Here are the best Mediterranean vegetarian main course recipes for beginners.

Marinated Mushrooms

This Spanish recipe makes a simple change from the classic French mushrooms dish. 

For best results make this dish the day before you eat it; the flavor increases over time.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chop finely
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cloves
  • Pinch of saffron strands
  • 1/2 pound button mushrooms, trimmed
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oil in a pan, Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft. 

Stir in the tomato paste, wine, 1/4 cup of water, cloves and saffron and season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently for about 45 minutes, adding more water if the mixture becomes too dry.

Add the mushrooms to the pan, then cover and simmer for another 5 minutes. 

Remove from the heat while still covered, let cool. Chill overnight. Serve cold, sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Potato And Onion Tortilla

A signature dish of Spain, thick potato and onion omelet can be eaten any time of the day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups of olive oil
  • 6 Large potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Spanish onions, sliced
  • 6 Eggs
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Cherry tomatoes halved to serve

Heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan. Stir in the potato with onion and a little salt. Cover and cook gently for 20 minutes, until soft.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Remove the onion and potato from the pan with a slotted spoon and add to the eggs. 

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour out some of the oil, leaving about 4 tablespoons in the pan.

When the oil is very hot, pour in the egg mix. Cook for 2-3 minutes, now cover the pan with a plate and invert the omelet onto it. 

Slide it back into the pan and cook for 5 more minutes.

Wait until the omelet is golden brown and moist in the middle. Serve in wedges, with the tomatoes. 

Sweet Bell Pepper And Zucchini Frittata

Eggs, cheese, and vegetables form the basis of this supreme dish.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Large red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 Large yellow bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 Medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 6 Eggs
  • 5 Ounces Italian cheese, such as Fontina, Provolone, or Taleggio grated
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Dressed mixed salad leaves, for garnish

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy frying pan. Fry the onion and pepper slices over low heat for about 10 minutes.

Add the remaining oil to the pan.

When it’s hot, add the garlic, and zucchini slices and fry for 5 minutes while stirring constantly.

Beat the eggs with salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix in the grated cheese.

Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the vegetables in the pan, stirring lightly to mix. Make sure that the bottom of the pan is evenly covered with egg.

Cook over low heat until the mixture is set. Let the frittata rest in the pan for about 5 minutes before cutting. This is delicious served hot or cold, with a salad garnish.

Chili Cheese Tortilla With Fresh Tomato Salsa

Good either warm or cold, cheese and chiles are a great match for each other. 

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons sunflower or olive oil
  • 1 Small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 Fresh green jalapeno chiles, sliced
  • 7 Ounces cold cooked potato, thinly sliced
  • Generous 1 cup grated Manchego, Mexican  Queso Blanco or Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 6 Eggs, beaten
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Fresh herbs for garnish

Salsa ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 pounds fresh, flavorful tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 Fresh mild green chile, seeded and finely, chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt pepper

Make the salsa first, put the chopped tomatoes in a bowl and add the chopped chile, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix well and set to the side.

Heat half the oil in a large omelet pan and gently fry the onion and jalapenos for 5 minutes. Stir once or twice until softened. Add the potato and cook for another 5 minutes until lightly browned.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a warm plate. Wipe the pan with paper towels, and add the remaining oil.

Heat well and return the vegetable mixture to the pan. Sprinkle on the cheese.

Pour in the beaten eggs, making sure they seep under the vegetables. Cook the tortilla over low heat until set. Serve in wedges, garnished with fresh herbs.

Mediterranean Vegetarian Main Course Recipes
Mediterranean vegetarian recipes

Stuffed Tomatoes And Peppers 

Vibrant bell peppers and tomatoes make perfect containers for various meat and vegetable stuffings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 Green bell pepper
  • 1 Yellow or orange bell pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 Onions, chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 cup-balanced almonds, chopped scant 1/2 chopped long-grain rice, cooked and drained.
  • 1/2 Ounce mint, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 ounce parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons golden raisins
  • 3 Tablespoons ground almonds
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Chopped mixed herbs, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds using a teaspoon. Leave the tomatoes to drain on paper towels with cut sides down.

Halve the peppers, leaving the cores intact. Scoop out the seeds. Brush the peppers with 1 tablespoon of the oil and bake on a baking sheet for 15 minutes.

Place the peppers and tomatoes in a shallow ovenproof dish and season with salt and pepper.

Saute the onions in the remaining oil for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chopped almonds and saute for another minute.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rice, chopped tomatoes, mint, parsley, and golden raisins. Season well with salt and pepper and spoon the mixture into the tomatoes and peppers.

Pour 2/3 cup boiling water around the tomatoes and peppers and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Scatter the ground almonds all over them and sprinkle a little extra olive oil.

Return to the oven and bake for 20 more minutes, or until turning golden. Serve garnished with fresh herbs.

Ratatouille

One of the most versatile vegetable stew from Provence, ratatouille can be eaten hot or cold, on its own or with eggs or pasta.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Red bell peppers, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 Yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 Large eggplant, cut into chunks
  • 2 Zucchini, cut into think slices
  • 4 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped young thyme
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Plunge the tomatoes into boiling water for 30 seconds, then refresh in cold water. Peel and chop coarsely.

Heat a little of the oil in a large, heavy pan and saute the onions for 5 minutes. Add the peppers and saute for another 2 minutes. Drain.

Add the eggplant and more oil and saute gently for 5 minutes. Add the remaining oil and zucchini and saute for 3 minutes. Drain.

Add the garlic and tomatoes to the pan with the bay leaves and thyme and a little salt and pepper. Cook gently until the tomatoes have softened and are turning pulpy.

Return all the vegetables to the pan and cook gently, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes, until fairly pulpy but retaining a little texture. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.

Stuffed Peppers

A form of pasta used extensively in the Middle East. Make a great basis for a stuffing, combined with other ingredients.

Ingredients: 

  • 6 Red bell peppers
  • 2 Tablespoons of butter
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup instant couscous
  • 2 Tablespoons of raisins
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Mint leaves for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Carefully slit each pepper and remove the core and seeds. Melt the butter in a small pan and add the onion. Cook until soft.

To cook the couscous, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add the olive oil and the salt, then remove the pan from the heat and add the couscous.

Stir and let stand while covered for about 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked onion, raisins, and mint, then season well with salt and pepper. Stir the egg yolk.

Using a teaspoon, fill the peppers with the couscous mixture to only about three-quarters full, as the couscous will swell when cooked further.

Place in a lightly oiled ovenproof dish and bake, uncovered dish and bake, uncovered for about 20 minutes, until tender. Serve hot or cold, garnished with mint leaves.

Eggplant With Tzatziki

Battered eggplant slices are irresistible with a minted cucumber dip.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Medium-size eggplant
  • 3/4 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2-2/3 Cup milk
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Salt

Ingredients For The Tzatziki:

  • 1/2 Cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 2/3 Cup plain yogurt
  • 1 Garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh mint

To make the tzatziki, place the cucumber in a colander, sprinkle with salt and let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse, drain well and pat dry on paper towels. Mix the yogurt, garlic, mint, and cucumber in a bowl. Cover and chill.

Slice the eggplant lengthwise. Sprinkle the slices with salt. Let sit for 1 hour to draw out the bitter juices.

To make the batter, sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a large bowl, add the egg and milk and beat until smooth.

Rinse the eggplant slices and pat dry. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a large frying pan. Dip the eggplant slices in the batter and fry them for 3-4 minutes, until golden, turning once. Drain on paper towels and serve with the tzatziki.

 

Mediterranean Diet Main Course Vegetarian Meals
Vegetarian diet

These are the last set of Mediterranean vegetarian main course recipes, enjoy learning how to create more delicious dishes!

Eggplant And Zucchini Casserole

Eggplant and zucchini are classic Mediterranean vegetables that absorb flavors well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large eggplant
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Large onion, chopped
  • 1-2 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 Pounds tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • A handful of shredded basil leaves plus whole leaves for garnish
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Zucchini, sliced lengthwise
  • All-purpose flour, for coating
  • 5-6 Tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 12 Ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1 Ounce Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Grease a baking dish. Slice the eggplant, sprinkle with salt and set aside for 45-60 minutes. 

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Fry the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes until softened.

Stir in the tomatoes, half the basil, the parsley, and seasoning. Bring to a boil. 

Reduce the heat and cook, stirring, for 25-35 minutes until thickened to a pulp.

Rinse and dry the eggplant slices. Dust all the slices with flour. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Heat the sunflower oil in another pan and fry the eggplant and zucchini slices until golden. 

Spoon half the fried vegetables into the baking dish, pour on half the pulp and scatter with half the mozzarella and remaining basil.

Repeat the layers, and sprinkle the Parmesan on top and bake for 30-35 minutes. Serve, garnished with basil.

Greek Spinach Pies

These phyllo pastries are stuffed with simple spinach and feta cheese filling to make a quick and easy main course.

Ingredients:

  • 8 Ounces fresh spinach
  • 2 Scallions, chopped
  • 6 Ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • Ground black pepper
  • 4 Large sheets or 8 small sheets of phyllo pastry
  • Olive oil, for brushing

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Blanch the spinach in the tiniest amount of water until just wilted, then drain very well, pressing it through a sieve with the back of a wooden spoon.

Chop the spinach finely and mix with the onions, feta, egg, dill and ground black pepper. Layout a sheet of phyllo pastry and brush with olive oil.

If large, cut the pieces in half and sandwich them together. If small, fit another sheet on top and brush with olive oil.

Spread a quarter of the spinach filling on one corner of the phyllo, then roll it up firmly, but not too tightly. Shape into a crescent and place on a baking sheet.

Brush the pastry well with more oil and bake for 20-25 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Chunky Vegetable Paella

This Spanish rice dish has become a favorite all over the world.

Ingredients:

  • Good pinch saffron strands
  • 1 Eggplant, cut into thick chunks
  • 6 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 Large onion, sliced
  • 3 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 Yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 Red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 Teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/4 cups arborio rice
  • 2 1/2 cups stock
  • 1 Pound fresh tomatoes, skinned and chopped
  • 4 Ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 4 Ounces of cut green beans
  • 14 Ounce can of chickpeas
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Steep the saffron in 3 tablespoons of hot water. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt, let drain in a colander for 30 minutes, then rinse and drain.

In a large paella or frying pan, heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic, peppers, and eggplant for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle in the paprika and stir again.

Mix in the rice, then pour in the stock, tomatoes, saffron, and seasoning. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered, shaking the pan frequently and stirring occasionally.

Stir in the mushrooms, green beans and chickpeas (with their liquid). Continue cooking for 10 minutes, then serve hot from the pan.

This will conclude your beginners guide to Mediterranean vegetarian main course recipes. 

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