The Best Snacks on the Mediterranean Diet

Healthy snacking made easy on the Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is widely considered to be the healthiest and most sustainable eating patterns. In fact, its health benefits — which include improving heart health, reducing the risk of chronic diseases and promoting brain health — are widely backed by scientific research.

It’s no wonder why it consistently ranks No. 1 in U.S. News’ Best Diets Overall year after year: The Mediterranean diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, lean proteins and healthy fats.

“Finding healthy snacks is easy when following the Mediterranean diet,” says Jack Bishop, chief creative officer of America’s Test Kitchen. “There’s a long tradition of small plates throughout the region, from tapas in Spain to antipasti in Italy and meze in Greece and Turkey.”

Here are 22 delicious Mediterranean diet snack ideas.

Avocado toast

Avocado toast is a healthy, no-fuss snack or breakfast option that is packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber.

“Avocado toast is a favorite of mine,” says Lisa R. Young, a registered dietitian and adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University in New York City. “I love to spread avocado on whole-grain toast. It is delicious, as well as nutritious, and contains heart-healthy fat and fiber.”

While there are several variations to avocado toast, a basic method is to start by placing slices of ripe avocado and soft-boiled egg on top of whole-grain toast. Lightly season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes for added spiciness or lime juice for an extra boost of flavor. Or try this recipe for pesto and avocado poached eggs on toast.

Baba ghanouj

Baba ghanouj, an eggplant purée with a smoky flavor, is an enormously popular dish throughout the Middle East that is similar to hummus.

Made with extra-virgin olive oil, eggplant and tahini, baba ghanouj is a tasty and nutritious Mediterranean spread that’s great for snacking, says Maria Stavropoulos, a registered dietitian based in New York City.

The creamy dip is low in carbohydrates and provides vitamin C, iron, potassium and calcium.

You can eat baba ghanouj with carrots, celery, jicama or mini peppers.

Fava bean dip

Fava beans are a legume packed with vitamins, minerals and protein. They’re also a great source of soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol by binding with the cholesterol and removing it from the body.

A fava bean dip goes great with non-starchy vegetables, such as:

— Carrots.

— Celery.

— Cucumber.


A healthy, versatile and crowd-pleasing snack, hummus is easy to make by using a food processor to blend together chickpeas, olive oil and tahini — making it an excellent source of healthy fats and protein.

You can serve hummus with an array of fresh veggies, including:

— Carrots.

— Celery.

— Cherry tomatoes.

— Cucumbers. While hummus is typically a savory snack, you can add a sweet twist to it by making chocolate hummus with cocoa powder, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla extract.

Red lentil dip or soup

Red lentil dip is another wholesome Mediterranean treat that’s made with a bright blend of healthy spices, including cumin, cayenne, paprika and turmeric.

Red lentils are a terrific plant-based source of protein and provide fiber and B vitamins. You can serve it with raw veggies — like carrots, celery and sliced cucumber — or with whole-wheat pita. You can purchase red lentil dip in many grocery stores or make your own.

In addition to making a great dip, red lentils are great in a soup. Try this recipe for Lebanese lentil soup.

Roasted bell peppers

For a healthy, tasty and easy-to-prepare Mediterranean diet snack, roasted bell peppers are a great option. Whether you choose red, green, yellow or orange peppers, these colorful vegetables are an excellent source of vitamin C.

To cook the peppers, preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, slice them in half, and remove the stem, seeds and white membrane. Drizzle them with olive or avocado oil, and place them skin side up on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

Once the skin blisters and begins to blacken, transfer them to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cool. Remove the skin, and add a splash of balsamic vinegar or your favorite Italian dressing for extra flavor.

Nuts and seeds

Packed with protein and healthy fats, as well as vitamin E, magnesium and copper, nuts and seeds are a key part of the Mediterranean diet — and happen to make excellent snacks.

You can eat nuts as they are, making them a convenient on-the-go snack. If you prefer them roasted, you can roast nuts on a baking sheet with the oven set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit until they’re fragrant, approximately 10 minutes.

“Once you can smell them, they’re ready to enjoy,” Bishop says. “I like to toss them with chopped fresh rosemary and a pinch of salt as soon as they come out of the oven. Chili powder is another good option.”

Mediterranean nuts and seeds include:

— Almonds.

— Cashews.

— Hazelnuts.

— Pine nuts.

— Pistachios.

— Pumpkin seeds.

— Sesame seeds.

— Walnuts.

Mediterranean bean salad

For a fresh and healthy dish, you can’t beat Mediterranean bean salad that can be enjoyed as a snack or a light meal.

This dish contains colorful vegetables that are rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and C, heart-healthy olive oil and legumes, which are high in protein and fiber.

Plus, it’s easy to make: Combine chickpeas and kidney beans with chopped tomatoes, cucumber, onion and red pepper. Drizzle the ingredients with a homemade vinaigrette dressing made of olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. As an option, you can sprinkle the salad with feta cheese.

Or try this version of a healthy bean salad, which includes greens and a tangy mustard vinaigrette.

Mediterranean pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza?

Pizza with a Mediterranean twist is tasty and nutritious. Simply top a whole-wheat tortilla or cauliflower pizza crust with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, sprinkle with oregano, black pepper and your favorite vegetables.

“I love roasted eggplant, mushrooms and broccoli,” Young says.

Kale chips

For a snack that’s tasty, portable and nutritious, try kale chips.

“If you’re like me, you enjoy a crunchy snack every now and then,” Young says. “Kale chips hit the spot. Not only are potato chips higher in calories than kale chips, kale provides you with a dose of good nutrition. They provide vitamins A and C, along with the B vitamin folate and calcium.”

You can buy kale chips at many stores, but they’re also quick and easy to make at home.

Start by preheating the oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, take a large bundle of green or purple kale and place it in a mixing bowl. Splash the kale with coconut or avocado oil, sprinkle a bit of salt and add spices — like cumin powder, curry powder or chili powder — to brighten the flavor.

Spread the kale over a baking sheet, and bake it into the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. Rotate to the pan, and lightly toss the kale to ensure it bakes evenly.

Continue baking for another 5 to 10 minutes. Once the leafy greens are crispy and slightly golden brown, remove them from the oven. Once they’ve cooled, you can enjoy them any time!

Fresh figs with yogurt, honey and nuts

Figs are a staple in the Mediterranean diet and contain an array of nutrients, including vitamin B6 and copper. Figs also contain protein, fiber and antioxidants, which research suggests may help protect against cancer, heart disease and age-related conditions, like dementia.

For a tasty and healthy Mediterranean snack, place fresh figs on top of a cup of Greek yogurt and add honey and nuts, says Lisa Jones, a registered dietitian based in Philadelphia.

Yogurt bark

Yogurt bark is a healthy Mediterranean-friendly snack or dessert that contains probiotics, calcium and protein. Plus, it’s tasty and easy to make.

To make yogurt bark, spread vanilla-flavored yogurt on a baking sheet. Top with chopped blueberries and/or strawberries. Add your favorite chopped nuts and freeze for at least several hours. Once your confection is frozen, cut into squares or small pieces and serve cold. Make sure to store leftovers in the freezer.

Crispy roasted chickpeas

Chickpeas are a versatile legume that can take on a variety of forms and textures. While they can be enjoyed as the star ingredient in hummus, snacking on them whole is a convenient — and poppable — way to reap all the nutritional benefits of chickpeas.

Start by draining a can of chickpeas to remove the aquafaba, then transfer the chickpeas to a layer of paper towels to gently rub dry. Place the chickpeas in a bowl, and drizzle them with extra-virgin olive oil to reintroduce some moisture. Season them well with salt, pepper and healthy spices, such as chili powder, smoked paprika and cumin.

Bake the chickpeas at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. By then, the chickpeas should be crispy, but if you prefer them a little more toasted, continue to bake for a few more minutes.


Another snack starring chickpeas, socca is a crispy, savory pancake that is popularly sold as street food in Nice, France.

But you don’t have to travel to the French Riviera to enjoy socca. You can prepare it at home with four simple ingredients: chickpea flour, extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt and water.

To make this delicious and nutritious snack, start by preheating the oven to 475 degrees with a cast iron pan inside. In the meantime, combine 1 cup of chickpea flour, 1 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and ½ teaspoon of salt, and whisk until smooth. Let the batter rest for a few minutes.

Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven, and brush with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pour the batter into the pan, and return it to the oven to bake for 15 to 20 minutes. You’ll know the socca is ready when the edges are lightly browned and crispy.

Using a spatula, unstick the socca from the pan, and slide it onto a cutting board. Top with other spices and herbs to your liking.

Marinated olives and feta

Marinated olives and feta is a classic Mediterranean snack that perfectly pairs the briny, tangy flavors of the olives with the creaminess of the cheese.

While you can purchase premade olives and feta at your local grocery store, you can also make them at home with common ingredients you might already have in your pantry.

In a mason jar, combine pitted green or kalamata olives, garlic, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, small squares of feta cheese and olive oil, and mix well to combine. Place the jar in the refrigerator to let the olives marinate for at least half an hour before serving.

Chia seed pudding

Chia seed pudding is a sweet, delicious way to reap all the benefits of chia seeds. These tiny but mighty seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, antioxidants and fiber.

Plus, this is a versatile snack that can be topped with fruit, dark chocolate, nuts and other seeds.

To create the base, combine 2 tablespoons of chia seeds with ½ cup of almond milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of honey or maple syrup. Once the ingredients are mixed well, cover and place in the fridge overnight.

Or try this version of overnight oats using chia seeds for an easy breakfast or morning snack.

No-bake energy balls

No-bake energy balls are bite-sized treats that are immensely versatile, convenient and healthy — just as long as you make sure to incorporate nutritious add-ins.

These snacks can be made with a myriad of ingredients, but the base typically consists of three basic ingredients: rolled oats, nut butter and honey (or maple syrup, depending on your preference).

Once you’ve made your base in a food processor, you can add dark chocolate chips, dried cranberries and almond chunks for a rich flavor, or a mix in a combination of shredded coconut, dried mangoes and macadamia nuts for a tropical twist.

Better yet, you can boost the nutrition profile of these snacks by adding “superseeds,” such as flaxseeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds.


A staple of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines, dolmas are stuffed grape leaves made with a mixture of rice, fresh herbs and spice, vegetables and meat for a nutty and savory bite-size treat.

To make dolmas, start by preparing the filling: Mix cooked rice, finely chopped vegetables, minced meat and fresh herbs with extra-virgin olive oil. Season to taste with salt. Then, place a small amount of the filling into a grape leaf, folding in the sides and rolling them into small cylinders. Place the stuffed leaves in a pot with olive oil and lemon juice, and cook over medium heat until fully cooked.

You can also buy them premade at many grocery stores.

Olive tapenade

If you’re short on time but craving a healthy topping to pair with whole-grain crackers, consider olive tapenade. It’s a quick and easy recipe that uses pantry staples.

To make the dish, simply combine pitted olives, olive oil, capers, lemon juice, garlic and parsley in a small food processor, and blend to combine. However, you don’t want to blend it too much, as you’ll want to keep the signature chunky texture.

Caprese salad sticks

Caprese salad sticks are a convenient take on the traditional dish. While the ingredients are all the same as the dish version of this salad, you assemble them on a skewer for a healthy, on-the-go snack or crowd-pleasing appetizer that you can make ahead of time.

Stick a small fresh mozzarella ball onto a skewer, followed by a fresh basil leaf folded in half and a cherry tomato, and repeat with the next skewer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with balsamic reduction sauce.

Whole-grain toast with almond butter

If you’re hungry but looking to satisfy your sweet tooth with only two ingredients, whole-grain toast with almond butter makes for a perfect and filling snack thanks to the fiber in the bread.

Plus, when you top it with a sundry of dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and flaxseeds, you’re boosting this snack’s nutritional value with omega-3s, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and, yes, even more fiber.

“Cheesy” popcorn with extra-virgin olive oil

If you’re looking for a no-frills snack that can be ready in no time, look no further than popcorn. However, this isn’t movie popcorn we’re referring to.

Instead of the bucket of popcorn drenched in butter, this healthy, Mediterranean-style version includes simple ingredients: plain popcorn, olive oil and sea salt. Add nutritional yeast for a dairy-free way to give it a cheesy flavor, plus the added bonus of vitamin B12.

22 Mediterranean diet snack ideas:

— Avocado toast.

— Baba ghanouj.

— Fava bean dip.

— Hummus.

— Red lentil dip or soup.

— Roasted bell peppers.

— Nuts and seeds.

— Mediterranean bean salad.

— Mediterranean pizza.

— Kale chips.

— Fresh figs with yogurt, honey and nuts.

— Yogurt bark.

— Crispy roasted chickpeas.

— Socca.

— Marinated olives and feta.

— Chia seed pudding.

— No-bake energy balls.

— Dolmas.

— Olive tapenade.

— Caprese salad sticks.

— Whole-grain toast with almond butter.

— “Cheesy” popcorn with extra-virgin olive oil.

More from U.S. News

Tips How to Get Started on the Mediterranean Diet

The Best Mediterranean Diet Recipes

A Day’s Worth of Meals on the Mediterranean Diet

The Best Snacks on the Mediterranean Diet originally appeared on

Update 04/26/24: This story was previously published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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