When it comes to cuisines around the world, Middle Eastern is often one that people tend to look over, or perhaps not rank as highly when it comes to home cooking, such as Italian or Mexican.
Whilst there could be several reasons for this lack of home cooking appreciation, we think that this may be partly due to the belief that Middle Eastern cooking is somehow more difficult to make and prepare than other types of food.
Either the preparation is too complicated, and requires an extensive ingredients list for every dish. Or the recipe itself is overly complicated.
However, Middle Eastern food is just like any other cuisine. Once you know what you’re doing, and have the right recipes to follow, it can be incredibly rewarding food to make.
And the best way to learn what you’re doing is to start cooking and preparing these recipes for yourself.
If only there was a convenient list of Middle Eastern recipes to take a look at…
Anyway, here is our extensive list of Middle Eastern-themed and inspired dishes that are super easy to make for you and your friends and family!
Starting off our list with a recipe for the most important meal of the day, we have this amazing Turkish breakfast dish that is sure to start anyone’s day off right!
This breakfast dish has a little bit of everything, from vegetables to meats, to olives, to a little bit of cheese as well.
This is a balanced breakfast meal that has a little bit of everything when it comes to nutrition, making this a perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors that won’t overpower each other.
Start your day off right with this Middle Eastern-inspired breakfast!
Also known as a Batata Harra, these recipes are the perfect side dish to accompany any main course that you have in mind!
While Middle Eastern is often known as quite a mild type of food when it comes to spicy heat, the Batata Harra is a deliciously hot exception to this rule!
Serve this as a side to your favorite grilled fish recipe, or even have this with your breakfast!
The choice is yours!
Artichokes are a very popular ingredient in many aromatic recipes across the world, and they are put on full display in this recipe.
No longer just a flavoring to the meats and fishes around it, this recipe allows artichokes to be the main attraction for a meal.
The smoky flavors of these grilled vegetables go very nicely with a cooling yogurt or hummus side!
If we’re talking about traditional Middle Eastern dishes, then you can’t have a list of recipes without at least mentioning Shakshuka once or twice.
This popular dish is believed to have come from North Africa initially but has since become incredibly popular in West Asia and South East Europe.
This recipe lets eggs sit in a delicious garlic sauce, that is ten combined with tons of spicy flavors to create a tasty hot dish that is best served with a thick slice of freshly baked bread, or maybe even a pita!
Ah, where would we be without couscous, side a great side that can come in as many flavors as there are colors in the sky?
Tortured comparison aside, couscous is the perfect ingredient to add to a good wrap recipe such as this one, helping bulk out the meal. Whilst also adding some mild and aromatic flavors to your wrap.
This recipe will become a quick favorite of anyone who tries it!
When you can’t have enough Shakshuka, you find another!
This is a great way of using those last few eggs that you have in your refrigerator, as well as any tomato paste and spices that you may have lying around.
Lebanese (see also ‘28 Of The Best Traditional Lebanese Recipes‘) is pretty much cuisine in itself, though it does share a lot of elements with foods and meals across the Middle East.
In this recipe, we get to see that the mild, aromatic smell, combined with a delicious flavor, is what makes this rice dish so exquisite!
Plus, with only three ingredients necessary to make this dish, it is incredibly easy to make for yourself too.
There’s no excuse not to try this recipe!
Of course, Middle Eastern cuisine is not just full of excellent tasting side dishes and main course recipes.
There are also some amazing dessert recipes, and they are unlike any other that you’ve ever tasted.
Don’t believe us? Then try making this orange cake for yourself, and see what we mean!
While most large oranges will probably serve you quite well, the best result for this recipe uses blood oranges, for that deep color and a slight hint of bitterness coming into play.
Falafel has to be one of THE most well-known Middle Eastern recipes out there and is loved across the world for its being a go-to option for veggie lovers.
However, whilst this recipe isn’t exactly standard when it comes to this dish, not being quite as crispy as you might expect.
However, this is still an amazing Middle-Eastern-inspired sandwich that you can make at home, right now!
10. Chicken Shawarma
Next to falafel, shawarma has to be one of the most well-known Middle Eastern dishes in the world.
Considering that recipes like this are high in flavor, but low in carbs, we can see why!
This oven-roasted chicken recipe makes a juicy meat recipe that is only complimented by the succulent and fresh vegetables that this recipe uses.
If you love the taste of this cuisine, this is a classic recipe that you have to try for yourself.
Next to chicken, one of the most popular meats that are used across many West Asian cuisines is lamb.
And lamb is delicious food to put in a good stew!
The best results for this recipe come with patience, time, and a good slow cooker. The perfect lamb stew will let the lamb tenderize in the broth for a long time until it is juicy, succulent, and full of extra flavor!
The fresh spinach and chickpeas that this recipe uses help both bulk up this recipe, as well as add plenty of flavor and nutrients too.
If you love stews as much as we do, especially lamb stews, you should take a closer look at this recipe!
Staying with stews for a little while longer, lamb tagine (see also ‘21 Fantastic Moroccan Tagines For Tasty Midweek Meals‘) is another very popular stew dish that is made across the Middle East, and this recipe brings it from the restaurant, into your home kitchen.
Technically speaking, tagine isn’t just the name of the stew, but it is also the name for the pot that is used to prepare the stew in the first place.
However, don’t let that confuse and put you off making this recipe for yourself. Any good pot will do nicely.
Serve the finished stew on a bed of fluffy and seasoned rice, and you’ll have yourself a show-stopping meal that everyone will want second helpings of!
This next recipe we are covering isn’t so much a meal in itself, but a sauce that goes well with pretty much any kind of Middle Eastern main meal you can think of.
This is a super simple recipe for pretty much anyone to make, only requiring 4 ingredients, a whisk, and a lot of elbow grease!
Whether you drizzle it over your shawarma, use it as a dip for your pita bread, or mix it into your Lamb tagine, this sauce goes with pretty much everything, adding a cooling flavor to any food you are eating it with.
14. Easy Curry Rice
Curries are a staple of many different cuisines across the world, so it’s not too surprising that Middle Eastern food would have its take on this deliciously flavored rice
This particular rice curry recipe is surprisingly simple. While the list of ingredients is pretty extensive, actually cooking your ingredients together is a simple 4-step process.
So, if you can source all the ingredients you need, then making this will be a cinch for pretty much anyone!
Of course, how could we go so long in this recipe list without even bringing up a recipe for one of the most popular dips in the world!?
Hummus is a versatile dip that is incredibly simple to make, and won’t be a tough hit on your wallet either.
The smooth garlicky taste of this dip doesn’t just go well with Middle Eastern recipes either. This is a dip that has found massive popularity across the world, with pretty much any cuisine.
Whether you’re dipping your nacho chips in there, some regular old potato chips, or even fried, this is a versatile dip that everyone will love!
Saffron and rice are a staple combination of flavors in West Asia. So how could we not bring up a recipe for this staple of this amazing cuisine?
You’ll notice that this dish, when finished, looks remarkably like a single-layered cake, don’t be fooled. This is a savory rice dish all the way through!
17. Cucumber Laban
Yogurt dishes are another staple of this cuisine that come in a range of flavors and textures.
This particular recipe creates a smooth, cooling sauce or dips that will surely coolest even the spiciest of burns!
Of course, having a dip is all well and good, but what exactly are you going to dip it in. exactly? Well, a homemade pita bread, of course!
This is the perfect bread to fill with salad. Cheese and meats, or simply dunk into your favorite hummus or sauce!
When it comes to salads, there is no shortage of variety in Middle Eastern cuisine.
Fattoush salads are one of the most popular varieties that you will find across countries in West Asia, and it is not hard to see why.
Full of flavor and crunchy texture, they are the perfect balance to a grilled main course.
20. Puffy Pita Bread
You can never have too many pita bread recipes. Especially when they are this fluffy and delicious!
The pitas that this recipe makes are noticeably puffier than their flat counterparts.
This makes them ideal for soaking into your stew or even cleaning up a plate of leftover juices from your meal. Can’t let that flavor all go to waste, after all!
Baklava is not just a popular dessert in Greek cuisine, but is very popular east of thor too!
This recipe uses 2 types of nuts, walnut, and pistachio, to get a crunchy texture that will contrast nicely with the puff pastry that you’ll be using for this recipe
Staying with the foods where Greek and the Middle East meet (or perhaps ‘meat’), kofta is a variety of meatballs that is full of herbal goodness that characterizes the best dishes from this part of the world.
Whether in a piece of pita bread or as part of a salad, these koftas are to die for!
We’re going a little further afield for this next recipe, but the flavors are all ones that you would be associated with the best Middle Eastern dishes.
With just a little heat in this chicken recipe, this is the perfect way to get your taste buds primed for extra heat!
24. Sabich Sandwich
If you’re looking for a Middle Eastern Equivalent to a breakfast sandwich, then this might be the closest thing that you’ll find out there.
Filled with succulent eggplant slices and cucumber, this is a veggie sandwich to perk up before lunch!
25. Israeli Salad
While this recipe was first prepared and made in North Africa, this salad, as the name suggests, is much loved and eaten across Israel.
Filled with tons of diced vegetables that are chunky and marinated in their juices, this salad is almost like a salsa.
We just can’t get enough of some good spiced rice here!
Also known as Mejadra is a dish that goes way back in Arabic history. And with flavors like these, we can see how it’s managed to stick around for so long!
27. Baba Ghanoush
Baba Ghanoush is another classic meal that is prepared across the Arabic world, North Africa and Southern Europe. This recipe is a particularly garlicky meal.
When you’re grating a raw clove on top of the recipe after already adding tons of garlic, you know things are serious here.
Chickpeas are a staple of salads across the world, so it’s no surprise that Middle Eastern Cuisine would make its spin on this amazing ingredient!
Are you trying to use up those last few onions that you have rolling around the bottom of your pantry? This stuffed onion recipe is the perfect way to use them, stuffed to the brim with tasty goods inside!
30. Tabouli Salad
This is yet another amazing salad recipe that West Asian cuisine has to offer.
The bright colors of the vegetables used here are perfectly reflected by the bright and fresh flavors that are bursting out of this dish, thanks to the sweet tomato and lemon juice used!
With so many ways to prepare hummus, how could we leave this list with just one recipe?
Chickpeas are used in a massive amount of salads across the Middle East, so it’s not too surprising that there would be yet another amazing recipe to use to share with you!
33. Garlic Toum
Finally, to cap off this list with one last recipe, we have this garlic toum recipe.
Like laban, this is a yogurt-based dip and dressing you can use for your other meals.
With just four ingredients necessary for this recipe, lemon juice, garlic, oil, and salt, there is no excuse for you not to try out this recipe for yourself!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Middle Eastern Food Spicy?
Many people, after seeing the variety of spices, herbs, and other flavorful blends that are used in these recipes, may decide that Middle Eastern cuisine is a generally spicy cuisine, and not for people with a milder palette.
However, this isn’t necessarily the case.
While there are certainly quite a few recipes that would be considered quite spicy by most people, Middle Eastern cuisine also has some of the mildest recipes out there when it comes to spicy heat.
This may be a result of heavy use of non-spicy vegetables in many recipes, such as cucumbers, or many different types of beans, as well as the number of yogurt-based spreads, dips, and toppings
Whatever the reason, Middle Eastern cuisine has garnered a reputation for its lack of heat when compared to such as South Asian, Mexican, or Guyanese cuisines, so if you have a sensitive mouth, you’ll have no trouble finding a recipe that is ideal for your palette.
Is Middle Eastern Cuisine Healthy?
Outside of its generally mild flavors, Middle Eastern food is also widely regarded as a healthy style of cooking as well.
There are many reasons for this.
Similar to other cuisines, such as the geographically close Greece, there is a heavy emphasis on flavorful salads and other vegetable dishes, alongside using a lot of leaner meats in many recipes that do not contain as many saturated fats.
The fact that many recipes will cook these meats by baking or grilling them (rather than frying them), also cuts down on the more unhealthy methods of preparation.
However, you should still eat in moderation, and pay attention to the ingredients that you are using in your recipes and their carb counts.
There you have it! Some of the easiest Middle Eastern recipes that you can try cooking up in your own home right now!