Best Mediterranean Cookbooks: Top 5 Culinary Guides Most Recommended By Experts

The Greek physician Hippocrates is noted for saying, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” And that’s exactly what Greek cuisine is all about! Some of the healthiest (and yummiest) recipes stem from Greece, Italy, Spain, and Morocco — collectively known as Mediterranean food. The Mediterranean diet has become popular over the last few years, spurring many chefs and foodies alike to create some of the best Mediterranean cookbooks out there today! 

The Mediterranean diet is not just a way of eating, but it is a lifestyle that promotes physical activity, socializing, and relaxation. The diet is based on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats, such as olive oil. In fact, more olive oil with this diet actually helps to raise the good cholesterol levels in the body! A study from the American Heart Association tested the diets of nearly 66 volunteers, some of which followed an “olive oil enriched diet” for a year. When compared to those following a “normal” Mediterranean diet and those who ate processed food, researchers found the “Mediterranean diets, and especially the one that included extra doses of olive oil, improved the functioning of high-density lipoproteins or HDL (known as the “good” cholesterol).” Moreover, the Mediterranean diet also includes moderate amounts of red wine! Win, win! 

Research has also shown this diet reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even certain types of cancer. A previous study reveals that following the Mediterranean diet can slash a woman’s chance of dying by nearly 25 percent! This healthy menu lowers the risk of coronary heart disease by 25 percent and cardiovascular disease by 24 percent, according to researchers in Australia. Additionally, men who eat a “rainbow” of fruits and vegetables regularly are less likely to develop prostate cancer. More specifically, study authors say certain colorful produce rich in certain micronutrients help prevent the disease and even speeds up recovery among men undergoing radiation treatment for prostate cancer. All in all, the research team believes these findings highlight the importance of adopting a healthy diet featuring tons of produce — such as the Mediterranean diet.

There are many books that focus on Mediterranean cooking, but If you’re looking for the top-rated reads to whip up some delicious, healthy meals, you’re in luck! Here, we’ve compiled a list of the best Mediterranean cookbooks for everyone from beginner cooks to master chefs. We consulted several expert cooking sites and narrowed the list for easy picking! With delicious dishes from Greece, Italy, Spain, Morocco, and more, you’re sure to find something perfect for any occasion with the best Mediterranean cookbooks available today. So, get cooking and enjoy the flavors of the Mediterranean! Let us know in the comments if we missed one!

Mediterranean food
Mediterranean food (Photo by Edgar Castrejon on Unsplash)

The List: Best Mediterranean Cookbooks, According to Experts

1. “The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook” by America’s Test Kitchen

This is not just a cookbook, it’s a culinary journey that will take you on a trip through the vibrant and diverse flavors of the Mediterranean region. This cookbook is a must-have for anyone who loves Mediterranean cuisine or wants to explore new and exciting dishes. Prevention says: “With over 500 recipes, you’ll never get bored of eating the same things with the The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook. Earning the top spot on Amazon‘s list of Mediterranean Diet cookbooks, you’ll be able to create delicious recipes from Italy, Greece, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, and so much more.”

"The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook" by America's Test Kitchen
“The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook” by America’s Test Kitchen

The recipes are easy to follow and include a wide range of dishes that are both healthy and delicious. From classic Italian pasta dishes to Moroccan tagines, this cookbook has something for everyone. Nutritionist, Alissa Rumsey, stated in Women’s Health Magazine, “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.'”

“This book is a staple for those pursuing a Mediterranean diet,” adds Runner’s World. “It has 500 recipes which range from sauces like tzatziki, to full meals, and embraces the flavors from all around the Mediterranean sea. It also has nutrition facts for each meal, so you can track calories if you wish, and each chapter is devoted to the Mediterranean food pyramid, with most centering on veggies and beans.” So, whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner, this cookbook is a must-have for anyone who wants to experience the flavors of the Mediterranean in their own kitchen. Get your copy today and start your culinary journey!

2. “The 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook” by Deanna Segrave-Daly and Serena Ball

If you’re looking to incorporate the Mediterranean diet into your life but are short on time, this is the perfect solution. This approach to the diet allows you to enjoy all the health benefits of the Mediterranean way of eating without spending hours in the kitchen. With recipes that can be prepared in just half an hour, you’ll be able to whip up delicious and nutritious meals in no time. “The book sets out effective and easy-to-apply dietary principles,” writes Lacademie. “This is a super easy suggestion for newcomers with specific cooking times and cooking methods.”

The 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook by Deanna Segrave-Daly and Serena Ball
“The 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook” by Deanna Segrave-Daly and Serena Ball

Some of the key components of “The 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook” include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins like fish and chicken, whole grains, and healthy fats like olive oil and nuts. These ingredients are combined in creative and flavorful ways to create meals that are both satisfying and good for you.

This cookbook by Deanna Segrave-Daly and Serena Ball gets your meals done in 30-minutes or less while you learn about the Mediterranean diet and its principles, commonly used ingredients, and potential health benefits for heart disease,” adds Cook Gem. “The cookbook offers delicious meals and fast recipes and makes it easy for you to transition to the diet with painless and fuss-free easy-to-prepare everyday meals. Even if you have limited cooking experience as a beginner, you can still throw together incredible meals with these recipes making you feel like a professional in the kitchen.”

Prevention concludes: “With thousands of five star ratings, Amazon shoppers are raving about it.” Grab a copy and try for yourself! You’ll be well on your way to enjoying all the benefits of the Mediterranean diet in no time.

3. “The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook For Beginners” by Elena Paravantes, R.D.N.

If you’re a beginner looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle, this book is a great place to start. Written by Elena Paravantes, a registered dietician and nutritionist, this book provides you with a variety of recipes that are easy to follow, while also helping to keep you on track! Runner’s World writes, “Whether you are new to cooking, or just new to the Mediterranean diet, this cookbook can help you start cooking healthy and delicious meals. It has 100 recipes as well as meal plans and guidance on how to cook, where to find ingredients, and how to successfully plan—and stick with—the Mediterranean diet.”

"The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook For Beginners" by Elena Paravantes, R.D.N.
“The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook For Beginners” by Elena Paravantes, R.D.N.

Delish adds: “Starting is always the hardest part, and these 100 recipes are perfect for beginners looking to dip their toes into the Mediterranean diet. If you’re looking for a one-and-done comprehensive guide, this is the book for you, since it includes helpful shopping tips, suggested meal plans, and even snack options. Focusing mostly on Greek cuisine, each recipe in The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners is bright, light, and sure to satisfy anyone at your next dinner party (Personally, we’re huge fans of that sardine and herb bruschetta recipe.)”

The guide gives insight to the culture of countries like Greece, Italy, and Spain, as these are the places where the Mediterranean diet originated. Mashed writes, “this cookbook even comes with tips for adopting a more Mediterranean lifestyle in case you really want to take the plunge into this, um, sea of culture.” So why not give it a try and see how this diet can benefit your health and well-being?

4. “Mediterranean Instant Pot” by America’s Test Kitchen

This cookbook is a must-have for anyone who wants to explore the flavors of the Mediterranean without spending hours in the kitchen. With 95 recipes to choose from, you’ll be able to whip up everything from classic Greek dishes like moussaka and spanakopita to Moroccan tagines and Lebanese stews. “For those in a time crunch, the majority of the recipes can be made in under one hour, and all 95 recipes have full nutritional information provided,” says Top List.

"Mediterranean Instant Pot" by America’s Test Kitchen
“Mediterranean Instant Pot” by America’s Test Kitchen

The Instant Pot makes it easy to cook up tender meats, flavorful grains, and perfectly cooked vegetables, all with minimal effort. Plus, many of the recipes in this cookbook are designed to be healthy and nutritious, making it a great choice for anyone who wants to eat well without sacrificing flavor. “Drawing on cuisine spanning from Turkey to North Africa, America’s Test Kitchen’s seasoned chefs have crafted many delectable recipes,” adds Lacademie. “The authors emphasize all kinds, from main dishes to side dishes. The meals are completed with light and simple tasks with the help of instant pots, [which] helps you cook everything quickly – even hard beans or grains. The ingredients are seafood, vegetables, and grains in a balanced combination based on the nutrition pyramid.”

Runner’s World adds: “While all of these are warm dishes, don’t expect them to just be soup. This has meat dishes, pilafs, pastas, porridges and more—all of which are both healthy, and Mediterranean-based. They are also easy to make, and because they are in an instant pot, they cook quickly and efficiently.”

So if you’re looking for a cookbook that will help you make delicious Mediterranean meals in a flash, then the “Mediterranean Instant Pot” cookbook is the perfect choice.

5. “Weeknight Mediterranean Kitchen” by Samantha Ferraro

If you’re looking for a way to add some variety to your weeknight dinners, look no further than “Weeknight Mediterranean Kitchen”. With its focus on fresh ingredients and simple preparation, this cookbook is perfect for busy weeknights when you want something healthy and delicious without spending hours in the kitchen. “This cookbook by Samantha Ferraro is a favorite of registered dietitian Ella Davar, R.D., CDN, for its emphasis on a healthy and convenient way to eat Mediterranean meals every day,” says mbg. “‘I believe it is essential to learn to stick to a healthy lifestyle with recipes that don’t feel like too much work,’ Davar tells mbg. ‘Don’t wait for a vacation on the Mediterranean sea or order in from a Greek cafe—get this fun book instead.'”

"Weeknight Mediterranean Kitchen" by Samantha Ferraro
“Weeknight Mediterranean Kitchen” by Samantha Ferraro

In a recent article of Women’s Health Magazine, nutritionist, Laura Iu, said, “This book focuses on lean proteins and lots of spice for flavor, and less sodium.” “What’s more,” says Women’s Health, “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.”

Delish adds: “As the saying goes, we eat with our eyes first, which is probably why we love Samantha Ferraro’s the Weeknight Mediterranean Kitchen cookbook. Each of Ferraro’s vibrant and modern takes on Mediterranean classics include beautiful photos that had us dog-earing pretty much every page. Best of all, most of her recipes (like meat-stuffed eggplants and Turkish lentil soup) have layers of complex flavor that don’t lead to layers of dishes to clean up.”

Each of these cookbooks focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients and simple preparation techniques. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be whipping up healthy and delicious meals in no time. So why not give it a try tonight? Your taste buds (and your body) will thank you.

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