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’re 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’atar 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’ve 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’atar is the life-saving ingredient you need in your spice rack.
1. Summer Fattoush: Crunchy roasted pita chips, seasoned with sumac and za’atar, 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’atar Roasted Butternut Squash: Quinoa is a healthy swap for rice in this pilaf. It’s dotted with plenty of spices, chopped pistachios, pomegranate arils, and more. (via Delicious Everyday)
3. Easy Salmon Lettuce Wraps: When you’re 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’ll crave. (via Berries and Spice)
4. Roasted Vegetable Soup With Tahini and Za’atar: Rich, nutty tahini adds an earthy flavor to this soup of roasted vegetables. Add in a scoop of za’atar to season the whole pot. (via Fusion Craftiness)
5. Sheet Pan Za’atar 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’atar 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’atar Tempeh Bowls: Monochrome meals aren’t so bad when they’re 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’atar Crust: Mixing za’atar into pastry dough means you’ll find yourself eating this tart crust-first. Then, bite into a creamy filling made from hummus and caramelized leeks. (via Catching Seeds)
9. Za’atar Baked Chicken Bowls With Cucumber Salad: A bright-tasting, healthy bowl of chicken and veggies is just what we want when we’re 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’atar 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’atar-spiced chicken, for a slightly healthier sandwich that’s 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’re 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’atar: Served with a peppery arugula salad, this flatbread is the light summer meal you didn’t know you’ve 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’atar: Give fresh summer vegetables the star treatment by roasting them with za’atar 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’atar and Garlic Roast Chicken: Give your standard roast chicken a revamp by rubbing it with a potent blend of za’atar, 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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