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These Mediterranean Diet Cookbooks Make It Easy to Eat Healthy

These Mediterranean Diet Cookbooks Make It Easy to Eat Healthy

  • January 12, 2021
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They pair great with a glass of vino.

Jul 6, 2019Dish, Cuisine, Food, Meal, Ingredient, Comfort food, Recipe, Vegetarian food, Produce, Masala,

Jewelyn Butron

There’s definitely something in the water over there in the Mediterranean. They crank out killer vinos, cultivate prime olive oil, and maintain an eating plan so iconically healthy (and delish) that the Mediterranean diet was just named the best diet of 2019.

But the Mediterranean diet, which is modeled after the eating habits of the Italians and Greeks, isn’t anything new. It’s been around since the 1960s, and has since been shown to lower a person’s risk of heart disease and cancer, while also slowing down aging. But what makes the Mediterranean diet such a winner is that it’s really less of a diet and more of a “style of eating,” Cara Harbstreet, RD of Street Smart Nutrition previously told Women’s Health.

The goal? Consume as many (fresh!) whole foods as possible—fish, poultry, veggies, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and beans—and nix processed meats, refined grains, and added sugars.

Crack open these 12 best-selling, nutritionist-approved Mediterranean diet cookbooks (and a bottle of red!) to start reaping the pros of this coastal cuisine.

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The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook

America’s Test Kitchen



To score the top spot on Amazon’s list of best-selling Mediterranean diet cookbooks, you have to be good. This one is packed with 500 (!!) different recipes from all over the Mediterranean—Italy, Greece, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey—that have been tried and tested by the foodie pros at America’s Test Kitchen. Another reason it’s a top pick? “It includes suggestions for recipe pairings to make a complete meal, which can help with your weekly meal planning,” says Alissa Rumsey, RD, founder of Alissa Rumsey Nutrition and Wellness

2 of 12

The Weeknight Mediterranean Kitchen

Samantha Ferraro$21.99

$10.01 (54% off)


This book “focuses on lean proteins and lots of spice for flavor, and less sodium,” says Laura Iu, RD, a nutritionist in New York City. 

What’s more, a ton of the recipes in this book require just one pot. Yup, that’s it! One delicious example: Paprika Chicken with Olives and Orzo. (Yum!)

3 of 12

Mediterranean Slow Cooker Cookbook

Salinas Press$14.99

$13.25 (12% off)


“Some Mediterranean diet recipes can be lengthy and challenging,” says Eliza Savage, RD,  a registered dietitian at Middleburg Nutrition in New York City. But she says The Mediterranean Slow Cooker Cookbook, offers simple and flavorful slow cooker creations that are “perfect for busy, weeknight meals and for making ahead.”

4 of 12

Ottolenghi Simple

Yotam Ottolenghi$35.00

$25.49 (27% off)


Ottolenghi Simple focuses on easy, simple recipes with 10 ingredients or less that can be made in 30 minutes. It’s a favorite of both Iu and Savage, who also love the book’s emphasis on herbs and spices to amplify flavor and add nutritional benefits. “For example, the pan-fried salmon with pine nut salsa is a great Mediterranean dish that combines currants, celery, pine nuts, capers, olives, saffron, parsley, and lemon to create a salsa that pumps up the flavor of omega-3 packed salmon,” says Savage. 

5 of 12

The Vegiterranean Diet

Julieanna Hever$17.99

$15.24 (15% off)


Vegans and vegetarians, rejoice! While the Mediterranean diet may look a little different depending on which country’s cuisine you’re considering, there are two staples that are universal throughout: plenty of veggies and olive oil, according to Taylor Wolfram, RDN, a dietitian in Chicago, Illinois. Ready to give this healthy lifestyle a whirl? Wolfram recommends picking up this entirely plant-based book that’s, bonus, written by a nutritionist.

6 of 12

Mediterranean Paleo Cooking

Caitlin Weeks, Chef Nabil Boumar, Diane Sanfilippo$39.95

$25.49 (36% off)


Similar to the Paleo diet, the Mediterranean diet focuses on real, unprocessed eats. So if you’re Paleo, and want to start following a more Mediterranean lifestyle (or vice versa), check out Mediterranean Paleo Cooking. It makes mixing the two eating plans a piece of (dairy-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free) cake by focusing on “high quality, clean, and inventive protein-based meals,” says Savage. 

7 of 12

The 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook

Serena Ball, Deanna Segrave-Daly$17.99

$11.78 (35% off)


Coming in at number two on Amazon’s top Mediterranean diet cookbooks, this read stands out for making Mediterranean eating easier than ever—even if you’re tight on time. Another bonus? “They also offer ingredient swaps for those who have food allergies or need to avoid certain ingredients, like gluten, for example,” Rumsey says. 

8 of 12

The Plantpower Way: Italia

Julie Piatt, Rich Roll$40.00

$29.00 (27% off)


Fact: Italian food is always a good idea, especially since it’s the foundation of the Mediterranean diet. Great for vegans and vegetarians, this cookbook in particular delivers “a wide variety of Italian dishes using nutrient-rich, plant foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes and nuts,” per Wolfram. A vegan herself, Wolfram can attest to the fact that the book’s “vegan cheese recipes are lovely” and also loves that there are mindfulness and healthy lifestyle tips scattered throughout the book. 

9 of 12

The Pescatarian Cookbook

Cara Harbstreet



So you don’t eat meat or poultry? Nbd! Seriously, you can still easily follow a Mediterranean diet, especially when you have this Iu- and Rumsey-recommended book in hand. “There are a lot of similarities between pescatarian and Mediterranean style diets,” Iu says. “This cookbook emphasizes the benefits of consuming more seafood and ultimately how it’s not about creating more rules, but about making food enjoyable, nourishing, and satisfying.” 

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The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook

Amy Riolo$24.99

$19.39 (22% off)


If you think this cookbook’s cover is cheery, you should check out what’s inside. This great read is not only bursting with nutritious recipes, but also includes suggestions on how to live a true Mediterranean lifestyle, making it one of Rumsey’s top picks. “It takes into account the idea that health is not just about what we eat and how much we exercise,” she says, “it’s also about managing stress and incorporating more enjoyable foods and activities into our day.”

11 of 12

Giada’s Feel Good Food

Giada De Laurentiis



“An oldie but a goodie,” this cookbook by Food Network phenom Giada de Laurentiis is a bookshelf must-have, according to Savage, who loves that it balances taste and health while still using a “crave-able mix of ingredients.” A good example? “Her egg, kale, tomato breakfast wrap, which combines complex-carb rich whole-wheat tortillas with protein-packed eggs, healthy fat from hummus, and lots of fiber from kale and tomato,” Savage says.

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Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Taamimi



From the same chef who wrote expert-fave, Ottolenghi Simple, “These inspiring recipes might look intimidating at first, but they’re actually full of ingredients you can find at your local store,” says Iu. Plus just skimming through the pages is like taking a trip to the Mediterranean, due in part to Ottolenghi’s clear goal to “capture and bring forth the history of the culture and cuisine through flavor,” says Iu.

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Elizabeth Bacharach is the Assistant Editor at Women’s Health where she writes and edits content about mental and physical health, food and nutrition, sexual health, and lifestyle trends across and the print magazine.

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