What is Za’atar?
Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend made from a herb mixture usually containing thyme, sumac, cumin, salt and other spices. It’s used extensively throughout the Levant countries as a topping for Arabic pita bread, meat, yogurt, hummus, and salads. Za’atar is an incredibly versatile spice mixture with a nutty, herbal flavor. It’s often tangy (from the sumac) and sometimes tastes lemony, depending on the ingredients used.
Below are some great recipes using za’atar as well as information on how to make your own za’atar blend.
Recipes using Za’atar Spice
Za’atar is used in many Middle Eastern dishes, but it makes for a great topping on lots of different types of food – meat, vegetables, yogurt, and bread. It packs a zesty punch and is highly adaptable. Here’s a bunch of delicious recipes that use Za’atar:
Homemade Hummus with Za’atar and Sweet Paprika from Killing Thyme
Lebanese Zaatar Bread (Manakish) from Masala Herb
Olives and Tomatoes on Toast with Za’atar Buttermilk Dressing from The Cook Report
One Pan Za’atar Pork Tenderloin, Sweet Potato, and Cauliflower from My Kitchen Love
Quick Cucumber Tomato Zaatar Salad with Honey-Citrus Dressing from Easy Cooking with Molly
Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Onion with Tahini and Za’atar from Ottolenghi
Roasted Chicken Legs with a Zaatar Crust from Krumpli
Roasted Eggplant with Zaatar from Feasting at Home
Savory Yogurt with Harissa and Za’atar from This Healthy Table
Spicy Rainbow Roasted Potatoes with Za’atar from Panning the Globe
Thyme Roasted Baby Beets with Lemony Tahini Drizzle, Za’atar and Microgreens from Waves in the Kitchen
Vegan Za’atar Crackers from Elephantastic Vegan
Vegan Za’atar Tofu with Herb Yogurt Sauce from Rabbit and Wolves
Za’atar and Labneh Panzanella from My Name is Yeh
Za’atar Roasted Carrots with Labne from Sidewalk Shoes
- 2 tablespoons dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons coriander
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons sumac
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Toast the thyme, cumin, coriander, and sesame seeds for 2 minutes - stirring every 30 seconds.
2. Combine the toasted seeds, sumac, and salt in mortar and pestle or spice mill and grind them till combined. A rough consistency is okay.
3. Save for up to 3 weeks in an airtight container.
Where to Buy Za’atar
Za’atar is can be found in most Middle Eastern grocery stores and specialty groceries. It can also be purchased online – I recommend Sheffa Za’atar Spice Blend.
Want to Cook with Other Middle Eastern Spices?
Check out my spice guides on blends like za’atar and other Arabic spices.