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Mediterranean Diet Oatmeal – Nutrient-Rich Combo For Your Mornings

7 min read
a mediterranean style oatmeal, plate divided into two oatmeal dishes, mediterranean diet oatmeal
Sarah Jackson Damuth post Reviewer Sarah Jackson Damuth post Reviewer
MS, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified LEAP Therapist

Find your favorite Mediterranean diet oatmeal recipe! Do you want sweet or savory oatmeal? Check out both and choose the one

Table of Contents

When it comes to starting your day on a healthy note, few things can compare to a nutritious breakfast. The Mediterranean diet, renowned for its numerous health benefits, offers a delightful way to kick-start your mornings. 

By incorporating the principles of this diet into your breakfast routine, you can enjoy a nutrient-rich and flavorful meal that sets the tone for a vibrant day ahead.

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating that draws inspiration from the traditional dietary patterns of countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. It emphasizes whole, minimally processed foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, fish, olive oil, nuts and seeds [1]

This dietary approach has been associated with numerous health benefits for heart and brain health and is widely recognized as one of the healthiest diets in the world.

Foods to Include in the Mediterranean Diet:

  • Fruits and berries like citrus fruits, apples, pears, mango, and blueberries.
  • Vegetables and leafy greens like tomatoes, cucumbers, kale, bell peppers, eggplants, and zucchini.
  • Whole grains like whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, barley, and oats.
  • Legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, beans, and peas.
  • Nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, flaxseeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, or sesame seeds.
  • Olive oil
  • Fatty fish and seafood like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and trout.
  • Poultry, eggs, and dairy.
  • Herbs and spices like garlic, basil, oregano, rosemary, turmeric, and cinnamon.

Foods to limit in the Mediterranean diet

  • Red meat such as beef and pork, and opt for leaner protein sources instead while prioritizing fish at least 3 days per week.
  • Processed meats like sausages, bacon, and deli meats.
  • Refined grains like white bread, white rice, and pasta.
  • Added sugars like those in sugary beverages, packaged sweets, and processed foods.
  • Highly processed foods like pre-packaged snacks and ready-to-eat meals.

You may also like: Mediterranean Diet vs. Paleo

Is Oatmeal Suitable for Mediterranean Diet?

Oatmeal is indeed a perfect fit for the Mediterranean diet. Oats are rich in dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, promotes satiety, and helps maintain stable blood sugar levels. They are also packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Oats are a versatile ingredient that can be easily incorporated into a Mediterranean-style breakfast. It can be prepared with a variety of toppings, such as fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, and honey, providing a delicious and nutritious start to your day.

However, it’s important to choose the healthiest oatmeal options to maximize its benefits and align with the principles of this eating pattern.

  • Opt for whole-grain oats, such as rolled oats or steel-cut oats, over instant or flavored varieties. Whole-grain oats retain the entire grain, including the bran, germ, and endosperm, making them richer in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Check for minimal processing. Look for oatmeal that has undergone minimal processing and doesn’t contain added sugars, artificial flavors, or preservatives. 
  • Consider gluten-free and organic options. If you follow a gluten-free diet or have gluten sensitivity, select oatmeal specifically labeled as gluten-free. While oats themselves are naturally gluten-free, cross-contamination during processing is common, so choosing certified gluten-free oatmeal ensures its safety. It is best to try and choose organic oats to decrease risk of pesticide exposure. 
  • Skip pre-packaged oatmeal that comes with added sugars and flavorings. Instead, sweeten your oatmeal naturally with fresh fruits, a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, or a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Main Principles of the Mediterranean Breakfast

The Mediterranean diet prioritizes whole and minimally processed foods over processed ones, however, doesn’t ban them completely. To make your breakfast align with the Mediterranean diet, incorporate the following principles while cooking:

  • Opt for minimally processed foods (e.g., choose rolled oats over instant oats).
  • Use natural sweeteners like fruits and berries.
  • Choose nutrient-dense toppings like seeds, nuts, and berries.
  • Use spices and nutrient-dense powders like cinnamon, curcumin, and unsweetened cocoa powder.

Sweet Mediterranean Diet Oatmeal Recipe

Try this delightful Mediterranean diet oatmeal recipe to kick-start your mornings with a burst of flavor and nutrition!

Sweet Mediterranean Diet Oatmeal recipe, ingredients illustrated

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups water or milk (plant-based options like almond milk or oat milk work well)
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup chopped almonds
  • ½ cup mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds


  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the water or milk to a gentle boil.
  2. Stir in the rolled oats and reduce the heat to low.
  3. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oats are tender and have absorbed the liquid.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the honey or maple syrup and cinnamon.
  5. Transfer the oatmeal to serving bowls.
  6. Top each bowl with chopped almonds, mixed berries, and a sprinkle of chia seeds.
  7. Serve warm and enjoy!

You can also cook this recipe using overnight oats. For this, add a splash of water or plant-based milk to your overnight oatmeal and warm it up in the microwave or on a stove. Then, follow the recipe as usual.

Savory Mediterranean Diet Oatmeal Recipe

If you are a fan of salty breakfasts, try this savory Mediterranean diet oatmeal to start your day with a healthy balanced meal.

Savory Mediterranean Diet Oatmeal Recipe, ingredients illustrated

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Crumbled feta cheese for garnish


  • In a saucepan, heat the vegetable broth over medium heat until it simmers.
  • In a separate large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until translucent and fragrant.
  • Add the rolled oats to the saucepan with the onions and garlic, stirring to coat the oats with the oil.
  • Pour the simmering vegetable broth into the oat mixture, stirring well. Add the dried oregano, dried basil, paprika, red pepper flakes (if using), salt, and black pepper.
  • Reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan. Let the oatmeal simmer for about 5-7 minutes, or until the oats have absorbed most of the liquid and become tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the halved cherry tomatoes, chopped Kalamata olives, and fresh parsley. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the tomatoes soften slightly.
  • Remove from heat and let the oatmeal sit for a couple of minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Serve the savory oatmeal in bowls, garnished with crumbled feta cheese on top.

5 More Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Mediterranean Diet

While Mediterranean oatmeal is a fantastic choice, several other nutritious breakfast options align with this eating pattern. Here are five additional ideas to diversify your morning meals:

  • Greek Yogurt Parfait: Layer Greek yogurt with fresh fruits, nuts, and a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of granola.
  • Vegetable Omelet: Whip up an omelet with colorful veggies like spinach, tomatoes, bell peppers, and feta cheese.
  • Whole Grain Toast with Avocado: Top a slice of whole grain bread with mashed avocado, sliced tomatoes, and a sprinkle of feta cheese.
  • Mediterranean Breakfast Wrap: Fill a whole grain wrap with scrambled eggs, chopped olives, diced cucumbers, and a dollop of tzatziki sauce.
  • Quinoa Fruit Salad: Combine cooked quinoa with various chopped fruits, such as oranges, apples, pomegranate seeds, and a handful of walnuts.

By incorporating these breakfast ideas into your Mediterranean diet, you’ll ensure a balanced and wholesome start to your day.


Starting your mornings with a Mediterranean diet oatmeal provides you with a nutrient-rich and delicious combination of flavors. Oatmeal fits perfectly into the Mediterranean diet due to its high fiber content, essential nutrients, and versatility. By adding toppings like fresh fruits, nuts, and seeds, you can further enhance the nutritional value of your oatmeal.

Disclaimer This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

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