If there’s one secret weapon we recommend having in your spice arsenal, it’s za’atar. But the Middle Eastern flavor can’t be credited to one single spice; it’s actually a blend (hence its super savory flavor). A mixture of toasted sesame seeds, dried oregano and marjoram (or thyme), and sumac, za’atar pairs perfectly with ingredients as simple as eggs and as rich as shakshuka and pizza. Whether a za’atar devotee or newbie, these nine recipes are the perfect way to make the most of the potent spice.
1. Za’atar Roasted Cauliflower With Dates, Pine Nuts, and Thyme
Great as a side or a main, this cauliflower salad is sure to please. The combination of dried and fresh herbs give the veggie-based dish a fresh bite, while the dates and pine nuts give it plenty of depth. We love doubling the recipe and using leftovers in salads, mixing it with protein (like grilled chicken), and putting a poached egg on it for brekky.
2. Za’atar Roasted Chicken Breast
The secret to juicy chicken breasts: lots o’ marinade (and lots o’ time marinating). This Ottolenghi-inspired recipe uses a citrus- and spice-loaded marinade to make the chicken moist and flavorful as can be. Pair with an grilled eggplant or on a bed of arugula. And for extra juiciness, baste the chicken while it roasts.
3. Israeli Power Salad With Za’atar Roasted Sweet Potatoes
As much as we love salads, it can be difficult to find one that actually keeps us full. This power salad, however, keeps us satisfied until dinner (especially when we add protein, like tofu or chicken). Made with fiber-rich chickpeas and sweet potato and punched up with lemon, tahini, red cabbage, green onions, cucumber, parsley, and walnuts, it’s the perfect amount of crunchy, savory, and fresh (and did we mention filling?).
4. Za’atar Pizza With Dukkah Labneh and Purple Onions
Can’t decide between a pita sandwich and pizza? We say skip delivery altogether and opt for this homemade, cheese-free spin on the doughy favorite. Keeping things simple with a labneh, radish, and onion topping is delish, but throwing extra veggies like kalamata olives, roasted red pepper, or artichoke on top could never hurt. The more toppings, the merrier?
5. Green Tomatillo Shakshuka
Shakshuka, meet SHREK-shuka. This recipe uses green tomatillos instead of traditional red tomatoes, giving the dish extra tang and an extra juice. For the richest flavor, broil the tomatoes, peppers, and onions; blend with herbs; add the mixture to the skillet; and then drop in the eggs. Serve with warm sourdough or za’atar-spiced pita bread.
6. Summer Panzanella Salad With Za’atar Croutons
Panzanella salads have a little bit of everything. This recipe gets sweetness from peach, crunch from grilled corn and spelt croutons, richness from avocado, and freshness from chopped basil. Perfect for a barbeque or a light dinner (serve with orange wine), and even better as leftovers, this salad is the gift that keeps on giving. (Psst… we suggest storing the extra croutons separately from the fruit, veg, and dressing to keep them from getting soggy.)
7. Twice Baked Delicata Squash With Crispy Za’atar Roasted Chickpeas
Stuffed squash is one of our favorite go-to dinners. But sometimes it can be a little heavy. This recipe keeps things light by using delicata squash (a smaller, less meaty squash) and keeping the add-ins simple with chickpeas and a drizzle of tahini. If you’re craving greens, toss a handful of arugula on top or mix sautéed spinach into the squash meat before re-stuffing.
8. Za’atar Roasted Eggplant
Simple and fresh, this eggplant dinner is the perfect dish to whip up when you’re craving something healthy yet hearty. Eggplant roasts with za’atar and olive oil—piercing the eggplant with a knife before roasting helps them soak up the flavor—and is placed on a warm bed of grains and sprinkled with a fresh tomato and olive salad. The best part? The final drizzle of tahini (or tzatziki).
9. Spring Pea Salad With Walnuts and Za’atar Yogurt
Mayo, begone. This creamy salad uses Greek yogurt as dressing, along with sea salt, garlic, and za’atar, making it fresher and lighter than most cream-based salads. Another pro move: using fresh peas instead of frozen, which provide a much nicer crunch—and, of course, flavor. Average pea salad? Definitely not. Best pea salad? Quite possibly.