12 Best Ways to Cook With Za’atar

updated Aug 21, 2023
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Credit: Jonathan Lovekin

After visiting a za’atar farm in Lebanon and bringing home a couple bags of the tangy, herbaceous blend of dried za’atar herb, sumac, sesame seeds, and salt, I’m inspired to start using it more in my cooking. Luckily, I’m not the first to fall in love with this Middle Eastern condiment, so it isn’t hard to find tons of great recipes that use za’atar in tasty ways.

Stateside, you can buy some za’atar blends made with the herb itself. Or, you can make your own za’atar blend using dried thyme in place of za’atar. From za’atar-rubbed roasted chicken to Yotam Ottolenghi’s braised eggs with leek and za’atar, here are 12 recipes that use this aromatic spice and herb blend.

Recipes Using Za’atar

1 / 12
Brown Butter Za’atar Pasta
Strands of spaghetti or bucatini tossed with brown butter that’s infused with za’atar, lemon juice, Parmesan, and a mix of fresh herbs.
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2 / 12
Hassan’s Easy Eggs with Za’atar and Lemon
Serve these simple soft-boiled eggs with plenty of warm bread or pita to mop up the olive oil.
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3 / 12
Ottolenghi's Braised Eggs with Leek and Za'atar

What makes this recipe stand out is the oil-kissed za’atar spice that’s brushed over the eggs right before serving. It’s so simple and greater than the sum of its parts, and serves as the extra touch that makes these eggs something truly special.

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4 / 12
Lemon Chicken with Za'atar
Here, all the work is done in advance, which means that at dinnertime there is little fuss, and happy feasting. It’s a complete winner every time.
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5 / 12
Molly Yeh's Feta and Za’atar Omelet Roll-Ups
This quick and easy breakfast is an ode to the breakfasts we love from Israel: earthy za’atar, salty feta, creamy yogurt, and piles of chopped veggies.
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6 / 12
Za'atar-Roasted Veggie and Bean Dip
This veggie-packed blender dip Is no-fuss and high-reward. Eat it as a snack with crackers or crudités, or use it to turn a jumble of leftovers into a meal.
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7 / 12
Za’atar Tofu Naan Wraps
These vegan sandwiches are packed with za'atar-seasoned tofu, creamy hummus, and plenty of veggies.
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8 / 12
Red Lentil and Squash Soup with Za'atar Croutons

Palestinians use za’atar on everything from yogurt dips, to roasted meats, to flatbreads — and here, it is used to make crunchy, tangy croutons to adorn an aromatic soup of roasted butternut squash and spiced lentils.

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9 / 12
Roasted Butternut Squash with Orange Tahini, Walnuts, and Za’atar
A citrusy tahini sauce, toasted walnuts, and savory za'atar lend big, bold flavor to this simple sheet pan of roasted butternut squash.
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10 / 12
Za'atar Pita Chips with Yogurt Dip

This fast take on homemade pita chips will blow bagged varieties out of the kitchen. Just a few minutes in the oven and you’ll be cured of snack boredom.

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11 / 12
Baked Za'atar Eggplant Fries with Lemon Tahini Dip

In this recipe, za'atar adds an herby brightness to the eggplant, and balances out the salty Parmesan cheese nicely.

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12 / 12
Manakish Zaatar

Topped with a fragrant, zingy blend of spices, these Lebanese flatbreads make lovely snacks and appetizers, too.

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