mediterranean diet pizza: 5 easy and healthy recipes

Mediterranean Diet Pizza: 5 Easy and Healthy Recipes

Are you following the Mediterranean diet and wondering, “can I eat pizza on the Mediterranean diet?” The short answer is yes!

The Mediterranean diet has many benefits and incorporates many healthy foods.

This post outlines 5 incredibly delicious Mediterranean diet-approved pizza recipes.

Let’s dig in!

Mediterranean Diet

First things first– “diet.” As a Registered Dietitian, I don’t believe in short-term dieting.

Eating balanced meals and snacks can (and should) be the norm without “dieting.” However, it’s important to allow your favorite foods into your diet.

With that being said, a Mediterranean diet eating pattern can be sustainable.

The Mediterranean Diet focuses on:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole Grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Fish
  • Olive Oil
  • Herbs 

The Mediterranean diet has anti-inflammatory components and supports a healthy gut.

This diet pattern has been shown to reduce risk of diabetes and heart issues. There’s also a correlation between the Mediterranean diet and weight loss. Finally, the Mediterranean diet may reduce risk of Alzheimer’s and improve mental health.

Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza? There are ways to make regular pizza more Mediterranean diet-friendly, such as increasing vegetables and herbs, using extra virgin olive oil, and incorporating a whole grain crust.

Crust

Since whole grains are a portion of the Mediterranean diet. All recipes will use a whole wheat crust. 

The options are to buy a premade whole wheat crust, use store bought whole wheat dough and prepare the crust, or make the dough homemade. 

Check out this Whole Wheat Crust Recipe from Del’s Cooking Twist.

Other options include an oat crust, cauliflower crust, or whole wheat pita. Pita is perfect for personal pies!

Cheese & Sauce

 If your goal is to make a traditional pizza, I’d recommend making your own sauce as many jarred sauces are high in sugar. 

Here’s a minimal ingredient pizza sauce recipe.

The Mediterranean diet recommends minimal dairy– but not none. So, cheese of preference is recommended. You can’t go wrong with fresh mozzarella!

Toppings

Toppings are the easy part when it comes to staying on the Mediterranean diet route. Since the eating pattern is big on vegetables- adding veggies can make most pizza a Mediterranean diet pizza.

Furthermore, herbs, spices, and extra virgin olive oil are perfect additions.

Common pizza topping can include:

  • Peppers 
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms 
  • Olives
  • Zucchini
  • Arugula 
  • Eggplant 
  • Basil
  • Pineapple

The order of ingredients doesn’t matter much, other than sauce being first. I like to add the cheese last so when it melts it can “hug in” the toppings.

Preparation Recommendations

If you’re using a pizza stone, allow it to heat up in the oven first.
If you’re not using a pizza stone, parchment paper is recommended.

Additionally, if you choose to use a baking sheet, use cooking spray or olive oil to prevent sticking. A baking sheet should also be preheated in the oven.

Premade pizza crust can be placed directly onto the oven racks.

Be sure to read your crust recipe to determine if the crust should bake prior to ingredients being added.

Additionally, read the instructions of the crust recipe to determine appropriate time and temperature for baking. The times and temperatures provided are general recommendations.

Measurements are based on pizzas 12-15 inches in diameter.

For personal pies, reduce ingredients in half. They will likely also require less cooking time.

Keep in mind your own preferences and intolerances, create these recipes based on what is best for you and your family.

5 Mediterranean Diet Pizzas

Let’s dig in to five Mediterranean diet friendly and overall healthy pizzas!

#1 Margherita Pizza

Margherita pizza is such a classic and it is possible to enjoy while following the Mediterranean diet. Whole grains, tomatoes, olive oil, herbs? Sounds like a Mediterranean pizza to me!

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat crust
  • 3-5 tomatoes, sliced (Recommend Roma) 
  • 6 slices fresh mozzarella cheese (about 6 oz)
  • Handful of basil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of garlic powder, salt, and pepper

Directions:

  1. Make crust per recipe or instructions
  2. Drizzle a small amount of extra virgin olive oil over the crust (try not to make it too wet)
  3. Sprinkle garlic powder, salt, and pepper over the crust. Use the back of a spoon the swirl ingredients.
  4. Layer sliced tomatoes over the crust, spreading evenly
  5. Drop slices of mozzarella cheese around the pizza, spreading evenly. Tip: cut small mozzarella slices to spread throughout the pie.
  6. Sprinkle with basil leaves
  7. Bake in the oven at 475°F until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted, about 10-15 minutes (double check crust instructions) 
  8. Cool for 5-10 minutes prior to enjoying

#2 Tomato Pesto

This recipe might be my favorite on the list! I love pesto and yes-it’s Mediterranean diet approved. 

Either basil or arugula pesto work for this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat crust
  • 1/2 cup of store bought or homemade pesto [How to make Pesto]
  • About 15 cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 6 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese (about 6 oz)
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Dash of parmesan cheese
a whole wheat pita topped with pesto, cherry tomatoes, melted mozzarella cheese, with a balsamic glaze drizzle.
Pictured: personalize size Tomato Pesto pizza on a whole wheat pita

Directions:

  1. Make crust per recipe instructions
  2. Layer pesto on to the pizza. Swirl to cover the whole crust, leaving about a one inch border on the edges.
  3. Sprinkle tomatoes and both cheeses over the top 
  4. Bake at 475°F for 10-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted, (or per crust instructions)
  5. Drizzle with balsamic glaze
  6. Cool for 5-10 minutes prior to enjoying

#3 Veggie Overload

Well, we can’t talk about the Mediterranean diet without talking about vegetables. Since the Mediterranean diet is so vegetable-heavy, veggies sure deserve their own pizza. We can’t go wrong overloading any meal with vegetables.

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat crust
  • ½  cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella (optional)
  • 1 small red and green pepper, sliced 
  • ½ cup tomatoes, sliced
  • ½ cup mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ cup onion (red or yellow), diced
  • ¼ cup black olives, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Handful of Basil
  • Drizzle of EVOO

Directions:

  1. Prepare all ingredients
  2. Prepare pizza crust and sauce 
  3. Preheat oven to 475°F
  4. Heat up frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil
  5. Add chopped garlic cloves
  6. Add sliced mushrooms and onions and stir. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat after 5 minutes. 
  7. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pizza crust. Layer with pizza sauce, spread around leaving about a 1 inch border without sauce. 
  8. Layer on all vegetables, including the prepared mushrooms and onions.
  9. Top with mozzarella, spreading evenly (cheese can be added prior to veggies if preferred).
  10. Sprinkle on fresh basil
  11. Bake at 475°F for 10-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted (or per crust recipe)  

#4 Everything Mediterranean

This pizza may have you believing you’re actually in The Mediterranean. This pizza is absolutely nontraditional but basically the epitome of a Mediterranean diet pizza.

Ingredients:

  • ⅔ cup hummus (recommend garlic flavor)
  • ½ cup diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup diced cucumber
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • Handful Kalamata olives, sliced (optional)
  • Handful of feta cheese
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

If you don’t like feta cheese, mozzarella works just as good.

personal pizza topped with hummus, cucumber, red onions, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese
Pictured: Everything Mediterranean personal pie with mozzarella cheese on a whole wheat pita

Directions:

If your crust requires longer than seven-ten minutes, I’d recommend prebaking the crust and adding the ingredients when there is seven to ten minutes left to bake. This pizza only needs to heat up.

If you’re using a pita or prepackaged crust, ingredients can be added prior to baking.

  1. Prepare all ingredients
  2. Bake crust per directions
  3. Drizzle crust with some extra virgin olive oil
  4. Layer hummus onto the crust. Recommend swirling around with the back of a spoon, leaving about a one inch border around the edges.
  5. Layer on tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and olives
  6. Place pieces of feta cheese around the pie
  7. Bake at 425°F for 7-10 minutes

#5 Berry Dessert Pizza

Does pineapple belong on pizza? Well, that’s a debate we wont get into. 

Berries DO belong on this dessert pizza.

Berries are a staple in the Mediterranean diet. They’re high in antioxidants and are great for our bodies–including our brain!

Berry pizza can be served warm, cold, or frozen. If you plan on freezing the pie, I recommend cutting the pizza into slices first.

Berries can also be caramelized.

For this dessert pizza, you can use a whole wheat crust or an oatmeal pizza crust. I recommend adding some cinnamon or brown sugar to the crust!

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup fresh berries (recommend sliced strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
  • ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (my favorite vanilla extract is from Vanilla Feeds Tomorrow)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Honey 
  • Optional toppings: coconut flakes, chopped nuts, cinnamon, granola, drizzle of maple syrup, chocolate chips, white chocolate, chocolate syrup, powdered sugar, caramel drizzle

Directions:

  1. Prepare and bake crust 
  2. In a large bowl mix together Greek yogurt, sugar, and vanilla extract
  3. Allow crust to cool then spread with yogurt mixture
  4. Top with sliced berries and additional toppings of preference 
  5. Drizzle with honey

Conclusion

Of course, there can be many variations to pizza while remaining Mediterranean diet compliant. These are just a few of my favorite!

Variety is so important in our diet, get creative with your pizzas and meals! There’s no topping too crazy.

Happy Cooking!

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