“What’s for breakfast?”
The question I get asked most about the Mediterranean Diet is: “What do they eat for Breakfast?”. It’s easy to see why there is confusion. I probably have over 100 different Mediterranean Diet cookbooks from all over the Mediterranean and rarely is there even one Mediterranean Diet breakfast recipe. If you look on-line you will often find “Mediterranean Diet Breakfasts”, but they are often far from what is actually eaten there.
The Mediterranean Diet and Breakfast
When the first rays of the sun dance on the azure waters of the Mediterranean, something magical happens on the dining tables across its coasts. Breakfast, often called the most important meal of the day, transforms into a culinary affair that’s both a feast for the eyes and a treat for the palate. Think a spread of fresh fruits, whole grains, creamy yogurt, and a drizzle of golden olive oil — simple, yet incredibly delightful.
The Mediterranean diet, renowned for its heart-healthy benefits, offers breakfast options that are not just nourishing but also deeply rooted in age-old traditions. In this blog post, we’ll voyage through the Mediterranean, plate by plate, exploring breakfast choices that promise a delightful start to your day. Whether you’re a dedicated foodie or someone seeking a healthier morning routine, let’s dive deep into the world of Mediterranean diet breakfasts and discover what makes them so irresistibly delicious!
Here are 21 of our favorite traditional Mediterranean breakfasts. Most of them are easy to make and can be eaten for brunch, lunch or dinner as well.
1. Pan Con Tomate (Spain)
The pan con tomate that we make here in our Spanish home in Guadalajara, and which is found in bars and restaurants all over Spain, is based on an old tradition in Cataluña. Originally known as ¨pa amb tomaquet¨, the Catalonian tradition was to take stale bread and rub it with raw garlic and wedges of tomato, then drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle it lightly with salt.
Pan Con Tomate (Spain)
2. Blueberry Overnight Oats with Greek Yogurt
I have loved making Spanish Tortilla ever since I learned how to make it when I was 20 years old and living in Spain. It is definitely a weekend brunch kind of breakfast, best served with bread and tomato salad. It is the best of classic rustic Spanish cooking.
Blueberry Overnight Oats with Greek Yogurt
3. Buckwheat Pancakes with Coconut Cream
Try these buckwheat pancakes that taste fantastic AND make you feel good after you have eaten them! Gluten free and addictive!
Buckwheat Pancakes with Coconut Cream
4. Sweet Potato Hash with Eggs
Breakfast will never be the same. This recipe for Sweet Potato Hash with Eggs is super easy, delicious and sure to leave you satisfied, ready to start the day.
Sweet Potato Hash with Eggs
5. Greek Omelette with Zucchini and Mint (Crete)
A light and delicious Mediterranean omelette by cookbook author and Crete native, Koula Barydakis. Fresh mint and zucchini – yum!
Greek Omelette with Zucchini and Mint (Crete)
6. Spinach and Goat Cheese Quiche (France)
Try this vegetarian French breakfast quiche. Spinach and goat cheese replace ham and shredded cheese for a new Mediterranean delight.
Spinach and Goat Cheese Quiche (France)
7. Spinach and Ricotta Frittata (Southern Italy)
Make this traditional frittata in only 30 minutes. A Mediterranean specialty that is easy to make and will impress for a party.
Spanish and Ricotta Frittata (Southern Italy)
8. Traditional Italian Biscotti (Cantucci Toscani)
Bake your own almond biscotti (cantucci), traditional Italian twice-baked cookies. Prep in 15 minutes, bake for 30. Super easy Mediterranean!
Traditional Italian Biscotti (Cantucci Toscani)
9. Harcha (Moroccan Semolina Biscuits)
Harcha, or Moroccan Semolina Biscuits, are very popular in Morocco and are eaten often on Sundays as well as for breakfast or kaskrout (afternoon tea time). They can be served with sweet or savory foods and sometimes are stuffed with vegetables. I like them on their own or with honey and even some cream cheese.
Harcha (Moroccan Semolina Biscuits)
10. Avocado Toast with Smoked Salmon, Fresh Dill and Capers
Gourmet has never been as simple as this Avocado Toast with Smoked Salmon, Fresh Dill and Capers! This is the perfect blend of flavors: salty capers and smoked salmon, tangy lemon juice, the crispy bite of red onions paired with creamy avocado and warm crunchy toast. This takes about 10 minutes to make and is ideal on the weekend when there is time to really savor the flavor. It is my favorite avocado toast recipe!
Avocado Toast with Smoked Salmon, Fresh Dill and Capers
11. Avocado Toast with Caramelized Balsamic Onions
Enjoy our savory avocado toast recipe topped with caramelized balsamic onions. Filling and nutritious, this will keep you happy for hours!
Avocado Toast with Caramelized Balsamic Onions
12. Tortilla De Patata (Spanish Potato Omelette)
Tortilla de patata is among the most traditional dishes of Spain. Surely if you were to ask most tourists, students studying abroad in Spain and indeed most Spaniards, what their favorite Spanish comfort food is, it would be tortilla de patata.
Tortilla De Patata (Spanish Omelette)
13. Breakfast Torta with Jam (Italy)
Try this traditional Italian breakfast torta full of fresh jam and delcious crumble. The Mediterranean Diet never tasted as good!
Breakfast Torta with Jam (Italy)
14. Lebanese Breakfast Bulgur Cereal with Fruits and Nuts
In Lebanon, bulgur is used much more often than in a typical American diet. It is used in salads such as Tabbouleh (tabouli), meatloaf and is blended with lentils and cabbage to make Lebanese pilaf. When bulgur is made, there is often extra bulgur. Hence the creation of Lebanese breakfast cereal with fruit and nuts. This is a traditional Lebanese breakfast that is eaten often.
Lebanese Breakfast Bulgur Cereal with Fruits and Nuts
15. Sweet Greek Avocado Toast
Greek yogurt and honey is a breakfast that has been eaten by Greeks for a very long time. Thick tangy yogurt is amazing with honey. I have been eating yogurt and honey as a Mediterranean diet breakfast for many years. Lately, I have also been eating avocado toast for breakfast. Then I came up with an idea: why not combine yogurt and honey with avocado? Sweet Greek Avocado Toast!
Sweet Greek Avocado Toast
16. Cappuccino Muffins (Italy)
What could be better with your coffee than more coffee! The only thing you will need to be careful with when you make this easy recipe is not to eat them all in one sitting!
Cappuccino Muffins (Italy)
17. Greek Yogurt with Honey (Greece)
The first time I had this on the Greek Island of Crete, I thought it tasted better than any ice cream sunday I had ever eaten. It really is that good! You want to make sure you have real thick, full fat Greek yogurt and a high quality honey to really experience the true goodness of this simple Mediterranean Diet breakfast. I recommend the Fage brand of yogurt and, if possible, a local raw honey. You can also add fruit and nuts to the honey/yogurt mixture to make it more filling.
18. Ful Medames (Egypt)
Most of us would not think to eat beans for breakfast, but in Egypt, it is what is eaten daily for breakfast. I think if you try Claudia Roden’s Ful Medames recipe you will be convinced! I like to add quartered hard boiled eggs and pita bread (with olive oil) to fill out the meal.
Ful Medames (Egypt)
19. Shakshuka (Eggs baked with Tomatoes from Morocco)
Shakshuka is one of my favorite Mediterranean breakfasts of all time. It is simple, quick to make and has an amazingly authentic taste. Nothing beats fresh tomatoes stewed in extra virgin olive oil, cumin, smoked paprika all spiced up even more with a jalapeño pepper and then topped with sunny-side up eggs. This is another meal to save for the weekend brunch!
Shakshuka (Eggs baked with Tomatoes) (Morocco)
20. Roasted Red Pepper Olive Tapenade and Mozzarella on Toast
This is for the cook who might love avocado on toast, but would like to get a bit more creative. Although this can be eaten for lunch as well, I enjoy it best at breakfast. I usually make the tapenade ahead of time and then I can put together the rest of the recipe in under 10 minutes.
Roasted Red Pepper Olive Tapenade and Mozzarella on Toast
21. Eggs with Tomatoes, Olives and Feta (Greece)
This easy and quick breakfast comes from Koula Barydakis and Bill Bradley’s cookbook: Foods of Crete: Traditional Recipes from the Healthiest People in the World. From start to finish, you can experience a traditional Mediterranean Diet breakfast from the island of Crete in 15 minutes. Another recipe that is delicious with bread and olive oil.
Eggs with Tomatoes, Olives and Feta (Greece)