It can be tricky to find dishes that you really feel enthusiastic about eating as a vegan, particularly if you’re new to veganism.
Luckily, Mediterranean cuisine is one of the best sources of vegan recipes of any in the world! When you’ve got the choice of food from Spain, Morocco, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, and more, you can’t fail to cook up something mouth-watering.
Some of the dishes on this list are vegan-friendly already. Others are not traditionally vegan friendly but can be altered to remove animal products while maintaining the soul and essence of the dish.
If this is the case with a certain dish, it will be mentioned in the description, so don’t be too confused if you see the name of a dish and think “that’s not vegan!”.
Tagine gets its name from the pot that it’s traditionally cooked in, but don’t worry if you don’t have one! This is a great one-pot stew that gets a wonderful sweetness from chopped apricots and an exotic flavor from a Moroccan spice blend called harissa.
Harissa is made from red peppers, a type of chili pepper called Baklouti peppers, and a variety of other seasonings such as garlic, caraway seeds, and cumin. It’s a staple of Moroccan cuisine and is essential for a great tagine.
Add potatoes, chickpeas, and onions, and you’ve got a delicious, hearty dish that’s sure to please a crowd.
This is a lovely side dish that is great on rustic Italian bread, and it’s a simple one to make. Simply roast some bell peppers in the oven, peel off their skins, and mix them up with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add a little salt to taste.
You can alter the levels of olive oil and balsamic vinegar to your taste as well, depending on how tart you’d like it to be, so feel free to experiment with them.
Red wine vinegar, mixed herbs, and good quality olive oil combine with the other seasonings to make this a delicious, warming soup.
Be aware that it’s best to soak the lentils for a couple of hours before you cook with them, but you can skip this by heating them in water if you’re pressed for time. Either way, the flavor of this soup is worth it!
A bit of tomato paste is optional if you’d like a ‘reddened’ soup; leave it out if not. Don’t forget the bay leaves, either.
Tabbouleh is a salad from the Eastern Mediterranean and is naturally vegan friendly with no omissions necessary. It calls for a lot of fresh parsley, bulgur, tomatoes, and green onions with some lemon juice and olive oil as a dressing.
All this results in a wonderful fresh-tasting, healthy salad. The parsley is the real star of the dish so make sure it’s as fresh as possible. Dried parsley will not do! Some versions of the dish also call for mint.
You can add this if you like, and the fresh flavor is a nice addition to a tabbouleh. You can also try serving the salad inside a wrap instead of a sandwich.
“Dolmades” is their Greek name, but they have other names in other languages of the Eastern Mediterranean. Whatever you want to call them, they’re a delicious dish of stuffed vine leaves. Some recipes call for meat stuffing but there are plenty of vegan options you can choose instead.
One of the most popular is a blend of herbs and rice, but you can choose whatever filling you like if you’re not picky about following tradition. Turkish versions are often stuffed with tomato paste and pine nuts.
Whatever the filling, serve them drizzled in olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Hailing originally from the city of Valencia, paella is one of Spain’s most famous culinary exports. You probably know that traditional versions contain lots of meat or seafood, but don’t worry because vegan recipes certainly exist.
Swap the chorizo for bell peppers and the mussels for onions, keep the incredible saffron and paprika seasoning with the rice and you’ll have a vegan delight on your hands.
Bear in mind that while arborio rice (the kind used for risotto) might do in a pinch, the best rice for proper paella is Spanish bomba rice.
Couscous consists of tiny steamed balls of semolina and is one of the most common and popular foods in Algeria and North Africa in general. Cook the couscous in olive oil and salt for a great flavor.
You can pick the veggies yourself according to your own taste, but zucchini, onions, peppers, carrots, and green beans all go really nicely. If you like, you can use mushrooms too.
If you can, grill them so that they get a good char, which will add a lot of flavor to the dish. Even if not, the seasonings will make them a delight.
Pide is sometimes called Turkish Pizza because it’s a Mediterranean flatbread topped with a variety of different things (and because it’s from Turkey, of course). This is another dish that is usually not vegan but that can be made vegan without much trouble.
Instead of sausage, egg, and cheese, top yours with tomatoes, onions, and spinach. Other options for toppings could be zucchini and mushrooms. Regardless of the toppings, a great crust is what really makes a pide, so make sure you bake it for long enough!
Falafels are a divinely delicious type of fritter. They’re made from deep-fried balls of either chickpeas, broad beans, or a mixture of the two and are seasoned with onions, garlic, and a mixture of herbs and spices.
They’re often served either in pita bread or in a flatbread wrap, usually with a salad and sauce. They’re a vegan favorite all over the world for a very good reason!
Koshari is the national dish of Egypt and is well worth a look for any vegan. It’s classic comfort food that uses chickpeas, lentils, rice, pasta served in a tomato and vinegar sauce and topped with deliciously crispy fried onions.
Chili flakes are optional depending on whether you’d like it spicy or not. Garlic and herbs are strongly recommended!
A stew from the Mediterranean port city of Marseilles, France. It traditionally contains fish, but it’s not hard to veganize. To make sure you still get big flavors without the fish, use a good quality vegetable stock and a lot of seasoning.
Using more onion than traditional recipes will also help give a lot of body to the dish, as will a healthy dose of dry white wine.
Roasting the eggplants rather than frying them makes this a really healthy dish. Season them with garlic, garlic, and more garlic, as well as some sumac. Sumac is a delicious Middle Eastern seasoning with a lovely tart flavor.
You can top the eggplants with a vegan yogurt and tahini sauce. Make sure you include enough garlic and sumac in the sauce as well! Scatter some pomegranate seeds and walnuts over them to serve and wow your dinner guests!
The only trouble with baklava is that it’s not vegan. However, this version is! There are several pretty easy substitutions you can make for the non-vegan ingredients in traditional baklava.
Swap the butter used to make and brush the dough for your choice of oil, swap the honey that the dough’s soaked in for agave nectar or golden syrup. When it comes to fillings, the sky’s the limit. How about walnuts spiced with cinnamon?
Or pistachios with lemon juice and zest? Play around with spices and custom build your dream baklava.
14. Greek Salad
A delicious summer salad that will make you think of warm evenings spent dining outdoors. The traditional recipe includes feta cheese, but you can either leave this out or replace it with vegan feta.
With or without the cheese, the crunchy cucumber, rich tomatoes, and flavorsome olives mix well with the olive oil and lemon juice to make a simple classic.
This one is simple and fun to make, especially if you have kids who want to help! Hummus is a delicious Eastern Mediterranean dip made from mashed chickpeas, tahini (a ground sesame paste), fresh lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and salt.
Beyond this, you can add whatever herbs or seasonings you like. Want it spicy? Add some chili. Want it sweet? Add some red peppers. The choice is yours!
We’re sure this list of delicious vegan recipes from all around the shores of the Mediterranean has fired your imagination and got your mouth watering.
Whether you’re cooking for a whole dinner party, or just want a simple dinner for yourself, there’ll be something on this list for you. Why not work your way through the whole thing? We can promise you’ll enjoy it!