Za'atar Spice Blend Overview

Za'atar, a vibrant Middle Eastern spice blend, combines dried thyme, oregano, sumac, and sesame seeds. Each region adds its own twist, creating diverse flavors that tell stories through dishes. The importance of ingredient quality is crucial; fresher spices deliver more potent aromas and flavors. High-quality sumac, with its tangy zest, contrasts beautifully with the earthy notes from thyme and oregano. A true za'atar blend captivates the senses, transforming simple cooking into something extraordinary.

Health Benefits and Culinary Uses

Za'atar offers flavor and health benefits. Key components, including sumac, thyme, and oregano, are rich in antioxidants and may positively affect mental clarity and mood.

In the kitchen, Za'atar is versatile. It can be used as a rub for meats, sprinkled over roasted vegetables, or incorporated into bread making. Mixing Za'atar with olive oil makes a delicious dip for bread. It also serves as a seasoning for salads, adding complexity with its hints of lemon from sumac and the nutty crunch of sesame seeds.

Given its health-boosting properties, adding Za'atar to daily meals aligns well with a nutrient-rich diet aimed at enhancing overall well-being. Whether used as a robust seasoning for meats or tossed into a quick salad, Za'atar adds depth and zest to any dish.

Finding and Choosing Quality Za'atar

High-quality Za'atar depends on the ingredients. Check labels for natural components like wild thyme or hyssop, sumac, and toasted sesame seeds. Verify that sumac is used rather than citric acid.

Examine the appearance of the za'atar. It should have a greenish hue with visible flakes and seeds, avoiding overly powdery or dull-colored versions.

Seek out reputable spice vendors or stores specializing in Mediterranean or Middle Eastern products. Ask vendors questions regarding the origin and mix of the Za'atar to ensure authenticity and flavor profile.

Homemade Za'atar Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons sumac
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)


  1. Combine the dried thyme, dried oregano, sumac, and toasted sesame seeds in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add salt to the mixture if desired.
  3. Stir the blend thoroughly to ensure even distribution.
  4. Transfer the za'atar blend to an airtight container.
  5. Store the za'atar in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Tips for Storage:

  • Keep the container sealed when not in use to maintain freshness and potency.
  • Use the za'atar within six months for optimal flavor.

Nutritional Information (per tablespoon):
Calories: 30
Total Fat: 2g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 75mg
Total Carbohydrate: 3g
Dietary Fiber: 1g
Total Sugars: 0g
Protein: 1g

Favorite Za'atar Recipes

Za'atar Roasted Chicken


  • 4 chicken thighs, skin on
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Za'atar seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels. This will help achieve a crispier skin.
  3. Rub each thigh with olive oil, then season generously with Za'atar, salt, and pepper.
  4. Place the chicken in a roasting pan. Scatter the garlic around the chicken and add the lemon quarters.
  5. Roast in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Serve hot.

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 400
Total Fat: 28g
Saturated Fat: 6g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 110mg
Sodium: 770mg
Total Carbohydrate: 4g
Dietary Fiber: 1g
Total Sugars: 1g
Protein: 31g

Za'atar Manaqish (Flatbread)


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons Za'atar seasoning
  • Additional olive oil for spreading


  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.
  2. Add warm water and olive oil to the dry ingredients and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  3. Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  5. Divide the dough into four balls and roll each into a thin circle on a lightly floured surface.
  6. Transfer each circle to a baking sheet. Spread a thin layer of olive oil on each flatbread, then sprinkle with Za'atar.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 280
Total Fat: 11g
Saturated Fat: 1.5g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 300mg
Total Carbohydrate: 39g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Total Sugars: 1g
Protein: 6g

Za'atar and Olive Oil Dip


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Za'atar seasoning


  1. In a small bowl, combine extra virgin olive oil and Za'atar seasoning.
  2. Stir together until well mixed.
  3. Serve with fresh bread or as a dipping sauce for vegetables.

Nutritional Information (per tablespoon):
Calories: 120
Total Fat: 14g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 75mg
Total Carbohydrate: 1g
Dietary Fiber: 0g
Total Sugars: 0g
Protein: 0g

  1. Ricky W. The Spice Companion: The Culinary, Cosmetic, and Medicinal Uses of Spices. Simon and Schuster; 2016.
  2. Shay S. Cooking with Middle Eastern Spices: Recipes and Stories. Interlink Books; 2021.