12 Best Mediterranean Diet Books

By Susan Dorling | 2020 Guide

Lauded for decades, the Mediterranean diet provides healthful benefits. It focuses on whole-foods and considers meat as a complement to other organic ingredients, rather than the main component. It’s not a fad diet and inspires lifestyle changes by incorporating varied sources of healthy carbs and fats.

If you’re new to the Mediterranean diet, this guide is the perfect place to start your journey. It features the best Mediterranean diet books on the market. So, what’s the wait? Let’s dive in!

The Best Mediterranean Diet Books

Top PicksRatingBest Feature 
1. Ottolenghi: The Cookbook4.7Up to 140 Recipes
2. Ikaria – Lessons on Food4.5Lifestyle Guide
3. Mediterranean Paleo Cooking4.6Paleo-based, 30-Day Meal Plan
4. The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook4.5500 Flavorful Recipes
5. Mediterranean Slow Cooker4.3101 Easy Mediterranean Recipes

1. Best Overall – Ottolenghi: The Cookbook

Yotam Ottolenghi is an acclaimed chef, restaurant owner, and the brain behind this cookbook. Reasonably-priced and top-rated, this book takes you on a journey of making elegant appetizers, bread, main courses, and desserts.

Moreover, the book features an elaborate combination of dishes and has something for every occasion. It also has vegetarian options for everyday meals and straightforward cooking directions. Ottolenghi, a serial Israeli-English entrepreneur, specializes in creating unique flavor combinations. Buying this book will simplify Mediterranean cooking for you.

2. Runner Up: Ikaria – Lessons on Food

Our next pick is a book from the Greek island where people forget to die! Ikaria is more than just a cookbook. Besides featuring lessons on daily cooking, it focuses on life and longevity. The book walks you through the process of creating unique flavors and healthful dishes.

Moreover, it emphasizes on eating food for enjoyment, and not just sustenance. It talks about traditions and features personal recipes and tips from local people. You’ll also find high-quality photos and an abundance of information about the region.

3. Best Value: Mediterranean Paleo Cooking

The Mediterranean Paleo Cookbook showcases a variety of inventive recipes that are Paleo-friendly – no grains, gluten, inflammatory oils, dairy, or refined sweeteners. If you eat according to the Paleo lifestyle, Mediterranean Paleo Cooking will accommodate your dietary needs with up to 150 enticing meals.

It covers everything from tasty appetizers to desserts and provides suggestions on how to make changes to fit other eating protocols. Moreover, it combines flavorful dishes from North Africa, Southern Europe, and the Middle East. If you’ve taken the Paleo leap, this book is a must-have.

4. Premium Pick: The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook

Our premium book delves into food science and emphasizes on kitchen-tested recipes for everyday life. Written by the authors at America’s Test Kitchen, this Mediterranean cookbook features up to 500 recipes, ranging from light appetizers to hearty meals. It informs you about the key pantry ingredients and includes useful conversion charts for volumes and weights.

If you’re looking to experiment, the complete Mediterranean cookbook is the best pick for you. It offers several food variations to test with a detailed and thorough Index.

5. Best Budget Pick: Mediterranean Slow Cooker

Here’s come our budget pick! The Mediterranean slow cooker book features numerous enticing dishes at a reasonable rate. If you want to save your time in the evenings, consider buying this cookbook. All you have to do is gather the right ingredients and toss them in the slow cooker. Each dish calls for doing prep work in advance so that you turn on the heat before leaving for work in the morning.

Once you get back home, dinner will be ready for you to dig in. It’s an ideal book for beginners and contains meals from five different regions.

6. The Good Life

The Good Life is all about using affordable, easy-to-find ingredients and cooking them with passion. Priced at about $6, it inspires readers to cook healthy dishes without sacrificing their flavors. Apart from that, it provides make-ahead options for dishes for people with busy schedules. It suggests viable ingredient substitutes for those who suffer from food allergies.  

Moreover, it features tips on shopping and storage. If you’re looking for gluten-free entrees, the good life has you covered. It’s suitable for beginners and basic for advanced cooks.

7. The Mediterranean Table

Another great book is the Mediterranean table, emphasizing the idea of detoxes and deprivation. It takes you on a culinary journey through Northern Africa, Southern Europe, and the Middle East. This book also embraces foods that are full of health and flavor. Each of the recipes is prefaced with details of the dish’s origins, along with many suggestions on modifying them to your liking.

It’s an easy-to-follow recipe book focusing on local ingredients. Chances are most of these ingredients will be in your pantry. A stand out feature of this book is that it includes a 14-day meal plan.

8. The Mediterranean Diet Weight Loss Solution

If you’re looking to adopt a healthier and cleaner lifestyle, The Mediterranean Diet Weight Loss Solution can help you develop good habits and track your progress. With meals like shrimp scampi and Parmesan zucchini sticks, the book tells you that it’s possible to balance well-being and pleasure.

Lastly, this book is written by a registered dietician and offers key insights into portion control.

9. Live to Eat

Doctors have emphasized on the virtues of the Mediterranean diet for eons. But it’s hard to find the perfect recipe book with dishes you’d want to make again and again. Fortunately, Live to Eat by Michael Psilaki is a modern take on traditional dishes. It informs readers how to make seven pantry items and use them in various meals.

The book’s author is a Michelin-starred chef and known for their unique take on traditional meals. You’ll find effective organizational methods, with each section based on the seven ingredients. To make it easy, the book also educates readers on chopping techniques.

10. Instant Pot

If you love to incorporate healthy cooking into your life, but can’t find free time, consider investing in the Instant Pot. The book features meals that are easy to prep, quick to cook, and delightful to taste! It’s the perfect book for busy families,

Moreover, it emphasizes creative modifications for seafood dinners. It doesn’t rely heavily on salt and sugar. You can trust it to make a nice and healthy meal for your family.

11. The Old Ways – 4 Week Mediterranean Diet Plan

If you’re looking for simple, easy and satisfying meals, the old ways got you covered. It features unique recipes and menu plans that can help you transition into this lifestyle. This 4-week plan helps you kick start your journey into the Mediterranean healthfulness.

Moreover, old ways is a non-profit dedicated to good health and is part of the organization that formally introduced the Mediterranean diet to customers.

12. The 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet

This book consists of beautiful, delicious, and easy to cook recipes. It’ll make meal prep a breeze and help you jumpstart your journey. It also features a list of grocery items to keep your pantry. Moreover, it offers more than 100 flavorful Mediterranean diet dishes you can make in less than an hour. Written by two dieticians, it’s an excellent pick for beginners.

Buyer’s Guide: Factors to Consider before Buying Mediterranean Diet Books

Before picking out a Mediterranean diet book for your reading pleasure, consider these factors.

Types of Mediterranean diet books

Guides for beginners

If you’re new to the Mediterranean diet, consider a cookbook that includes an overview and detailed explanation of the diet. The best “explainers”, that tell you everything you need to know about the Mediterranean diet include references to legitimate scientific research and evidence to back up different health claims. A diet overview should also have useful information to aid you in your new journey such as grocery lists, tips on pantry organization, along with some easy recipes.

Diet cookbooks

A diet cookbook takes different concepts of a particular diet and applies it to a wide array of diet-approved recipes. Some recipe books are more detailed than others and feature sections with ingredient lists and menu plans. If you’re well-versed on the basics of cooking, a simple book of recipes will do. You can find a cookbook geared toward entrees, salads, or other meals and preparation methods.

Combination books

 If you want the entire package, pick one book that includes an overview of the diet and a collection of creative recipes to help you start. Most Mediterranean books contain a handful of recipes, but make sure to check the table of contents.

Your lifestyle and goals

Do you want to try out the Mediterranean diet for a short while, or are you planning a lifestyle change? A short-term menu might fit your goals if you’re just trying to reset your diet; otherwise, consider an in-depth overview that features lots of resources and delicious recipes for long-term success. If you want to try some recipes for the fun of it, pick a cookbook with ingredients that you can find easily at your grocery store.

Dietary restrictions

If there are recipes in the cookbook you select, make sure they fit your eating habits. If you’re vegan, for example, don’t buy a meat-heavy Mediterranean diet cookbook. Moreover, if you can’t eat specific ingredients, look for recipe books that include substitutions for food allergies or intolerances. The Mediterranean diet is naturally adaptable for most people.

Ingredients

Are ingredients easy to find at the local supermarket and affordable? Or will you need to search for exotic items at specialty stores? If finding ingredients ends up being a big chore, you’re less likely to try recipes and follow the diet. You should browse through the recipes to make sure you can find and afford all the ingredients they require.

Cooking methods

Do you prepare the food on the stovetop, in your oven, or a particular appliance like an air fryer or Instant Pot? You can find many books with recipes dedicated to your cooking methods, and this can be convenient and help enhance your cooking experience.

Best Features You Can Look Out For

When selecting a Mediterranean cookbook, here are some features to consider:

Layout

Browse the table of contents to get an idea for the layout of the book. Does its structure make sense to you? If you plan to read the diet book cover to cover, verify that all the information included interests you. Are their recipes intuitively organized? If so, check if they are arranged in a way that suits your needs. Are they organized by the main ingredients or meal-types? Check if the layout is aligned with your preferences.

Number of recipes

If you prefer to get creative and quirky in the kitchen and don’t like following recipes, you may not need a diet book with a whole section of them. If you’re new to diet cooking and need guidance, opt for a diet book with ample recipes. Also, check all the ingredients and cooking methods to make sure you can follow them.

Resources and Materials

Are there any diet book resources such as additional recipes, exercise guidelines, or kitchen help? If you’re new to the Mediterranean diet, some resources are useful to have on hand.

Photographs

A cookbook can contain great recipes, but flipping through the pages is dull and boring without good photos. New cooks find it difficult to feel confident in putting recipes together without a visual reference. You can’t go wrong with a recipe book that’s filled with gorgeous photographs of mouth-watering food.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Mediterranean diet similar to the Whole30 diet?

A. No, they are quite different. The Whole30 diet isn’t considered a long-term eating plan. Instead, the restrictive diet implies eliminating everything except lean proteins, fresh vegetables, and healthy fats. The Whole30 diet also has more meat and does not allow added sugar and alcohol. Whole30 will help you achieve a quick body reset and weight loss. The Mediterranean diet is less limited and encourages red wine consumption (in moderation). It is a lifestyle change than it is a diet, encouraging one to eat natural, whole foods.

Will the Mediterranean diet help me to lose weight?

A. While you can lose weight following a Mediterranean diet, the overall benefit of this lifestyle is not weight loss, but a journey toward better health.

Does following this eating plan mean you have to give up other foods you enjoy?

A. Not at all. The Mediterranean diet doesn’t encourage a restrictive diet like other short-term eating plans. It emphasizes on whole foods and flexible eating habits. You can enjoy your favorite treats in moderation without restricting yourself. ​​​​​​​

Leave a Comment