In a world of instant gratification (hello, social media!), it can be hard to wait for dinner, so when we want something flavorful fast, we turn to spice blends. They鈥檙e the perfect way to add complexity to grilled turkey burger recipes, or bring the zing to easy, healthy chicken dinners, all without having to hone your knife skills so you can chop individual herbs and aromatics for hours before you eat. Traditional za鈥檃tar is made with an herb that tastes like a cross between thyme and oregano, though some versions of the blend just use thyme. Add sesame seeds, lemony sumac, oregano, marjoram, and salt, and you鈥檝e got a mixture that can be used on dishes as simple as grilled flatbread or as complex as a slow-cooked tagine. These 14 flavorful recipes will have you convinced that za鈥檃tar is the life-saving ingredient you need in your spice rack.

1. Summer Fattoush: Crunchy roasted pita chips, seasoned with sumac and za鈥檃tar, are enough to make anyone excited about having salad for dinner. Add in a rainbow of summer veggies, including squash blossom, radish, bell pepper, and fava beans for a nutritionally balanced meal. (via Wild Greens and Sardines)

2. Quinoa Pilaf With Za鈥檃tar Roasted Butternut Squash: Quinoa is a healthy swap for rice in this pilaf. It鈥檚 dotted with plenty of spices, chopped pistachios, pomegranate arils, and more. (via Delicious Everyday)

3. Easy Salmon Lettuce Wraps: When you鈥檙e in the mood for something light, refreshing lettuce wraps are the way to go. Stuff them with creamy date-orange hummus and roasted salmon for a twist on tacos you鈥檒l crave. (via Berries and Spice)

4. Roasted Vegetable Soup With Tahini and Za鈥檃tar: Rich, nutty tahini adds an earthy flavor to this soup of roasted vegetables. Add in a scoop of za鈥檃tar to season the whole pot. (via Fusion Craftiness)

5. Sheet Pan Za鈥檃tar Chickpeas, Kale, and Sweet Potatoes: Roast your whole meal on a sheet pan for an easy dinner that requires almost no clean-up (line your pan with foil or parchment). This mix of kale, chickpeas, and sweet potatoes strikes a satisfying balance between earthy, savory, and sweet. (via Vodka and Biscuits)

6. Cauliflower Tacos With Yogurt Garlic Sauce: Folding just about anything into a tortilla results in a tasty meal. This recipe combines a za鈥檃tar yogurt and feta sauce with roasted cauliflower, for a vegetarian fusion taco even carnivores will be wild about. (via The Spice at Home)

7. Bamboo Rice and Za鈥檃tar Tempeh Bowls: Monochrome meals aren鈥檛 so bad when they鈥檙e made from varying shades of verdant veggies instead of bland beige foods. Topped with just a drizzle of tahini sauce, this green bowl of goodness looks as great as it tastes. (via May I Have That Recipe)

8. Rustic Leek Tart With Za鈥檃tar Crust: Mixing za鈥檃tar into pastry dough means you鈥檒l find yourself eating this tart crust-first. Then, bite into a creamy filling made from hummus and caramelized leeks. (via Catching Seeds)

9. Za鈥檃tar Baked Chicken Bowls With Cucumber Salad: A bright-tasting, healthy bowl of chicken and veggies is just what we want when we鈥檙e craving a meal on the lighter side. A dollop of kefir raita adds a cool creaminess to each bite (along with some probiotics). (via The Roasted Root)

10. Za鈥檃tar Chicken Burgers With Labneh: Tangy labneh, sweet roasted peppers, and avocado would taste great even on a typical burger. But these patties are made with za鈥檃tar-spiced chicken, for a slightly healthier sandwich that鈥檚 bursting with juicy flavor. (via Pop Kitchen)

11. Fattoush Nachos: Toasted whole wheat pita wedges take the place of tortilla chips in this recipe, and they鈥檙e topped with a powerhouse combo of chickpeas, veggies, and a tahini green goddess dressing. (via The Full Helping)

12. Whipped Goat Cheese Sesame Flatbread With Za鈥檃tar: Served with a peppery arugula salad, this flatbread is the light summer meal you didn鈥檛 know you鈥檝e been missing out on. Each bite is equal parts tangy, creamy, herbaceous, and nutty. (via Flavor and Savour)

13. Zucchini, Garden Peas, Labneh, and Za鈥檃tar: Give fresh summer vegetables the star treatment by roasting them with za鈥檃tar and serving them on a dollop of labneh, a Middle Eastern strained yogurt that tastes like a tart cream cheese. (via A Kitchen in Istanbul)

14. Za鈥檃tar and Garlic Roast Chicken: Give your standard roast chicken a revamp by rubbing it with a potent blend of za鈥檃tar, garlic, and green chili. Serve with roasted cherry tomatoes, which add a deep sweetness to your plate that perfectly complements the toasted spices on the meat. (via Purple Cinnamon)

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