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What is za’atar?
What is Zaatar made of?
How to make Zaatar | 60-second video
How to use Zaatar Spice?
- Avocado Toast with Poached Eggs, Arugula and Zaatar
- Zaatar Meatballs with Green Tahini Sauce
- Lebanese Slaw (Salatet Malfouf)
- Roasted Eggplant with Zaatar
- Grilled Zucchini with Zaatar, Garlic and Labneh
- Roasted Sunchoke and Barley Bowl with Zaatar Tahini Sauce
- How to Make Labneh
- Authentic Baba Ganoush (Grilled or Baked!)
Other flavorful Spice Blends to try:
Authentic Za’atar Spice Recipe
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 5 mins
- Yield: ½ Cup 1x
- Category: Spices
- Method: Toasted
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
An authentic recipe for Za’atar Spice – a flavorful Middle Eastern Spice that can be used to season hummus, baba ganoush, vegetables, meats, etc. (My Egyptian Dad’s recipe.)
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme– crushed (or sub oregano)
- 1 tablespoon cumin (see instructions about whole or ground)
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon sumac
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon or more aleppo chili flakes- optional
- Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container.
- For the most flavor, toast whole seeds (cumin seeds and coriander seeds) until fragrant, then grind. This will make the most flavorful zaatar. If you don’t have whole seeds, feel free to use ground spices.
There are many variations of Zaatar. This was my dad’s recipe- he was Egyptian. Other regions have different versions. There is not one “right” way. It varies from area to area, and even household to household.
This Villa Jerada Zaatar Spice Blend is lovely if you rather purchase it! Made in Seattle!
- Calories: 15
Keywords: zaatar, za'atar, zaatar recipe , zaatar spices, za'atar recipe, za'atar spices, za'atar spice recipe
One of my favourites now. Thank you so much for this recipe!
So easy yet do delicious!
Oh good- Thanks Maria!
There’s something white you add to the mix just before the thyme. There’s no indication on the video of what it is and I don’t see it listed in the ingredients. Amy I missing something? Thanks and I can’t wait to make this!
It’s either the salt or the sesame seeds. 🙂
I think it might be the sesame seeds. You show toasting them at the beginning of the video. Thank you for the clarification. Can’t wait to try this recipe! Thank you for sharing.
Let us know how it goes Janis!
Zaatar is the name of the herb itself, also known as hyssop. Zaatar without Zaatar is not really Zaatar :-).
Regardless, I’m sure it’s as delicious as all your recipes are.
Toasted the whole spices and it was truly wonderful.
I have a question about the za’atar main ingredient. After living/traveling in the Middle East for almost 10 years, I thought there was an actual plant called za’atar that is the base for this spice blend. I thought the closest plant to it in other countries would be thyme. Now I am living in the USA and asked my subcontinent grocer for a bag of za’atar so I could make the spice blend. When I got home, I noticed the bag said “za’atar/thyme”. It is also very light colored compared to what I used to buy. I think what I used to buy had already been toasted. Is za’atar actually just thyme? If not, can I obtain seeds to grow a pot of za’atar at home?
Hi Jane, I have heard the same- that it is similar to thyme. I have not seen Zaatar seeds. Maybe someone else out there knows?
It is also very similar to oregano. I make two different blends – one very similar to this one and then another that uses oregano as the main ingredient with just a small amount of thyme plus the sumac etc etc. Both delicious, both reminiscent of blends I’ve really enjoyed while travelling.
Interesting- love it Tracy!
Za’atar refers to both the herb and the spice blend of the same name. Traditionally, the blend would contain the za’atar herb, but thyme is usually used instead as it’s easier to source and tastes very similar. They are afaik closely related plants.
Thanks Andy! Good to know!
I was introduced to za’atar from Israel years ago. To me it tastes very different than thyme, hence the desire to grow my own. Last year I purchased seeds from Burpee. I never got them to germinate, but I was busy with too many things. Burpee doesn’t have them this year, but a quick internet search shows them at “strictly medicinal seeds” and “mountain rose herbs”. Good luck.
Love it Joyce! Thanks!
Hi! I’ve been very disappointed with store bought Za’atars…and after reading your review, I’m inspired to try making it myself. Is there a specific brand of sumac you would recommend? I’m looking for that nice, tangy punch,
Hi Rebecca we sell one at our Bowl and Pitcher store by Villa Jerada that I really like!
When you call for a tablespoon of cumin and coriander, are we assume that the quantity is AFTER grinding the whole seeds?
Yes. But it doens’t have to be exact. 🙂
I made roasted eggplant dish with this spice and it was divine.
hi sylvia. quick question – would you toast/grind the cumin and coriander seeds and then measure out a tablespoon each of the ground spices (vs. measuring the whole spices)? i just want to make sure i get my ratio right. 🙂
I measure the whole spices
This is my new favourite spice and I put it on EVERYTHING! Thanks for the recipe!
Hi Sylvia , I bought a package of Za’Atar spices and used it to sheet pan roast Veggies and Chicken thighs along with green olives ,sauteed onions and peppers and chickpeas which my Daughter-in-Law put together and it made a very enjoyable meal since the spices are not our usual Fare !
Awesome! It is fun trying new spices isn’t it?
Hello, this sounds delicious!! I was wondering if you have a substitute you have found works for sumac? I am allergic to sumac. My sister brought some za’atar to my house to share one day when I had made some naan/pita. We had never had it before or even heard of it, but oh my! It was tasty! Unfortunately, I can’t eat it without my throat getting itchy and swelling up a little. Definitely not an experience I’d like to repeat, but the recipe is!
Melanie, the best sub I’ve found is dried lemon zest, ground into a powder. Or, try just adding lemon zest to the finished recipe?
Sumac makes some people’s throats itchy–you may just have a sensitivity to it.
Intersting! Thanks Pilar!
Amchoor (mango powder) is an Indian spice that is close in flavor to sumac. Ibn fact, I often use it in place of lemon juice or zest if I don’t have a fresh lemon handy.
That is such a good idea Dan! Thanks for this!
I totally love this recipe and always choose it over the many recipes that are online for Za’Atar. Beats the others by a mile.
Thanks so much Carolyn!
This worked out well for me. I know you are suppose to have Zatar leaves but this recipe is great.
I made this recipe and I’m soooo happy with it! I had tried Za’atar in the Middle East and had never been able to find a store bought version that would come even close to it. I’m never ever buying Za’atar again. I want to sprinkle this on everything now!
Thank you and your dad!!!
Awesome, glad yo. liked it!
Yum! I used your mix in Sami Tamimi’s and Tara Wigley’s fresh herb omelette with carmalized onions (ijeh) recipe in their new cookbook, Falastin. It was really good. Thank you! Shani
Great to hear!
Delicious! I sprinkled over toast with mashed avocado, thin radishes, arugula and a poached egg. I think I will add more sesame seeds to the next batch.
Awesome, thanks so much and glad you like it! 🙌
Wow, good mix. And if you think “authentic za’atar” brings up a controversy, wait until someone publishes their Ras el Hanout!!!
An authentic recipe for Za’atar Spice? —> Go heavy on the word “An”. We host international students and many are from Arabic/mediteranian countries. I have five variations of Za’atar in my pantry, and for every one that I have used with my guests, I have received the admonition that “This is not the real Za’atar – I will get you some from my home country. It is the best!”
Luckily, they are all delicious and all seem to work pretty well when cramming for exams at 2:00am simply sprinkled on toast with peanut butter!
Exactly! so many variations!
Great clear precise instructions can’t wait to make this along with Labneh as for saying that can I use this spice to sprinkle on the Labneh.
Is it okay to add both thyme and oregano at the same time? or it’s going to be overpowering? I love both of the spices and that’s why I’m asking! Your recipe is great! Very clear instructions and the website is really aesthetical!
Yes, why not. Make it your own.
Me encantan tus recetas soy de Colombia ya baje la guia de alimentos sanos pero la traducción no es igual es posible que la tengas en español te lo agradecería tengo 70 años y soy seguidora de alimentos saludables encuentro tus recetas las copio y las consumo gracias por existir y ayudar a tantos a tener una sana alimentación GRACIAS
Thanks so much!
Where can you buy sumac?
Middle Eastern Markets or online on Amazon. Or higher end Grocery Stores.
world market; bed bath and beyond’s food section bth have za’atar, and sumac.
If in the UK you can get this in Tesco most of the time
Perfect. Just like the za’atar we used to get at our local Lebanese food store. Thanks!