This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.

An authentic Za’atar Spice Recipe, a Middle Eastern spice blend that can be used in a multitude of ways. Use this as a rub for chicken, beef, lamb or fish, sprinkle it over hummus, Labneh or baba ganoush! Video.
Looking for more spice blends? Try our Chinese Five Spice and our Garam Masala Recipe!
A simple recipe for Za'atar, a flavorful Middle Eastern spice blend that can be used in a multitude of ways. | #zaatar #za'atar #spices #|spiceblend
The true miracle lies in our eagerness to allow, appreciate, and honor the uniqueness, and freedom of each sentient being to sing the song of their heart. ― Amit Ray

What is za’atar? 

Here is a simple recipe for Zaatar Spice   – a flavorful Middle Eastern spice blend used in many dishes throughout the Middle East, and like curry, varies from region to region depending on where you are. 

What is Zaatar made of?

 Za’atar Spice is a blend of savory dried herbs like oregano, marjoram or thyme, and toasted earthy spices like cumin and coriander, with sesame seeds, salt and the most important ingredient of all… sumac! Sumac gives it the delicious unexpected tanginess that to me, is the key to the best zaatar.

How to make Zaatar | 60-second video

How to use Zaatar Spice?

My Egyptian father would make his own version of zaatar (this one here!) and would sprinkle it over hummus, labneh,  baba ganoush or over fresh pita bread drizzled with olive oil before going in the oven to toast.  But there are a multitude of uses for Za’atar spice and I’m so excited for you to get acquainted with it and discover your own delicious uses!
You can also purchase Za’atar Spice here at our Bowl and Pitcher Store and most Middle Eastern stores or upscale specialty grocery stores. I really love this Villa Jerada Zaatar Spice Blend! We also have their sumac.
A simple recipe for Za'atar, a flavorful Middle Eastern spice blend that can be used in a multitude of ways. | #zaatar #za'atar #spices #|spiceblend
I hope you enjoy making the Za’atar. Please share how you use it in the comments below.
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Za'atar Spice Recipe, a flavorful Middle Eastern spice blend that can be used in a multitude of ways. | #zaatar #za'atar #spices #|spiceblend

Authentic Za’atar Spice Recipe


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. 1 tablespoon dried thyme– crushed (or sub oregano)
  2. 1 tablespoon cumin (see instructions about whole or ground)
  3. 1 tablespoon coriander
  4. 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  5. 1 tablespoon sumac
  6. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  7. 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

Share this with the world

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating


  1. 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!

      1. 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.

  2. Hi Sylvia,
    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.

  3. 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?

    1. 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?

      1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

  4. 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,

    1. Hi Rebecca we sell one at our Bowl and Pitcher store by Villa Jerada that I really like!

  5. When you call for a tablespoon of cumin and coriander, are we assume that the quantity is AFTER grinding the whole seeds?

  6. 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. 🙂

  7. 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 !

  8. 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!

    1. 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?

        1. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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!!!

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Wow, good mix. And if you think “authentic za’atar” brings up a controversy, wait until someone publishes their Ras el Hanout!!!

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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

      1. world market; bed bath and beyond’s food section bth have za’atar, and sumac.

  18. Perfect. Just like the za’atar we used to get at our local Lebanese food store. Thanks!

Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

to get recipes via email