Most Mediterranean “breakfast foods” are just a sampling of foods eaten regularly throughout the day. In Turkey, for example, people often eat a small bowl of savory soup for breakfast. In Israel, you might have flatbread dipped in olive oil and sprinkled with za’atar (a Middle Eastern dried herb mix), and fresh cucumber and tomato salad. In other words, vegetables and savory flavors are not off the Mediterranean breakfast table.

A typical Mediterranean work-week breakfast is quick and light. Aside from the standard coffee or tea, there is great diversity in everyday breakfast foods across the Mediterranean. Here are a few examples:

  • Lebanon: leftover grains, usually bulgur or barley + milk + cinnamon + honey + fruit
  • Spain and Italy: toasted bread + soft cheese + fresh fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice
  • Greece: paximadia (bread made from whole wheat, chickpea, and barley flour) + olives + cheese
  • Syria: tahini yogurt with chickpeas + pickles + sliced radishes
  • Morocco: fried egg in olive oil + soft cheese + olives + flatbread

On the weekend, breakfast (or brunch) is an opportunity to gather with friends and family, relax, and enjoy a larger, traditional spread. A typical Eastern Mediterranean spread would add a variety of soft and hard cheeses, hummus, fresh olives, pickled vegetables, and ful medames (cooked fava beans) to the basic flatbread and olive oil, for example. In Morocco, you might have shakshuka (eggs poached in tomato sauce) with semolina cakes and sweet mint tea.

The variety of breakfasts in the Mediterranean can be overwhelming. The Oldways 1-2-3 breakfast plan, inspired by Mediterranean breakfasts, breaks down this meal into three categories: whole grains, fresh fruit or vegetables, and a source of protein (eggs or yogurt, for example) to make things easier. Eating something (even a small portion if you’re not feeling hungry in the morning) from each of these categories will energize you and fill you up until lunch. Try out some of these Oldways breakfast recipes:

Or, go savory and warm up some leftover soup, Turkish-style!

Want more Mediterranean breakfast…and lunch, and dinner? Check out our 28-day menu plan (in print form and e-book form), and map out your Mediterranean meals for four weeks!

Lara Bertoia, Mediterranean Foods Alliance program manager


October 09, 2016
Can't view the "Muffin Pan Frittatas " recipe, access denied oO
October 10, 2016
We fixed the link. Thanks for bringing that to our attention.
October 16, 2016
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October 25, 2016
Thanks for the suggestion. We've passed it along to our web programmers as a possible future addition.
William smith
April 11, 2017
I found myself adding green and sometimes red vegetables to my scrambled egg dish. It adds to the look and taste. I know that the Mediterranean diet is considered healthier, and I like it.
April 13, 2017
Sounds delicious, William. In my opinion, scrambled eggs can't have too many veggies in them.
Laura S
May 27, 2017
I love the fact that they are so much different than the basic American breakfast. I like to find whatever veggies I have in the fridge...cook them up with different spices and the egg gets scrambled into the mix at the very end. Always good. This morning I sauteed cumin seed, onions, red bell pepper, asparagus, spinach, parsley, garlic, fire roasted tomatoes, black beans, then stirred in an egg and a bit of yogurt at the end. Very delicious and filling.
May 29, 2017
I want to eat breakfast at your house, Laura. Sounds delicious!
Colleen G
May 23, 2018
This helps out a lot. I tend to skip breakfast as most breakfast foods just do not appetize me early in the morning. The examples in the article look great!

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