Za’atar Recipe & Nutrition | ‘s Encyclopedia of Food

Za’atar is a common Middle Eastern spice blend that’s used in many Middle Eastern and North African dishes. It’s usually made with sumac, dried thyme, and toasted sesame seeds, though it can also be made with other combinations of spices and herbs. The mixture is used to add a unique taste or flavor to foods, and is particularly popular in the Middle East and North Africa. It’s also sometimes used as a condiment on breads, salads, and vegetables.

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend made from toasted sesame seeds, thyme, sumac, salt, and olive oil. It has a unique flavor and aroma. It is widely used in Middle Eastern cooking, as well as in Israeli and Mexican cooking. It is a popular ingredient in Israeli cooking, especially with breads, dips, and salads. Za’atar has a thick, earthy, and sometimes zesty flavor. It is a popular seasoning in Middle Eastern cuisine, and is used on all kinds of foods, including vegetables, meats, and desserts. It also is used as a seasoning and as a condiment in salads and dips.

Za’atar, the Middle East’s legendary spice blend, has lately been exploring the world of nutrition.  Za’atar is made from thyme, sumac and sesame seeds and is used as a condiment on bread and as a flavoring in dips and salad dressings.

A Quick Look

Za’atar (pronounced ZAH-tahr) is a spice mix that is used as often as ketchup in the Middle East. Za’atar, like ketchup, is made out of a mystery mix of components that changes depending on whatever kitchen it was prepared in. Oregano, thyme, marjoram, sumac, toasted sesame seeds, and salt are traditionally used in the mix, although cumin, turmeric, fennel, hyssop, caraway, or pistachios may also be included. Although za’atar isn’t eaten in large enough quantities to affect macro or micronutrient counts, the herbs in it include a lot of phenolic compounds, which have a lot of antioxidant potential. Fresh za’atar is a unique culinary experience — fragrant, nutty, and somewhat sour – so look for it in high-volume shops or, better yet, create it yourself!


Za’atar* (pronounced ZAH-tahr) is a Middle Eastern spice mix that is used in the same way as ketchup is. Za’atar formulas, like Indian curry mixes, are many and varied, and in some instances, so secret that the inventor of the recipe dies with the formula, never sharing it with anybody.

What’s in your za’atar depends on where it was produced in the Middle East and who made it. Za’atar is made up of oregano, thyme, marjoram, sumac, and roasted sesame seeds in general. There’s a good chance it’ll also have salt in it. Other ingredients like as cumin, turmeric, fennel, hyssop, caraway, or pistachios may be included in certain recipes.

Za’atar is usually used as a finishing spice, meaning it is added at the end of the cooking process. Sprinkled over baked pitas, hummus, grilled fish, chicken, or meats, or whisked into salad dressings, the herbaceous mix is popular.

*It’s worth noting that the term za’atar may also apply to a group of herbs that includes oregano and/or marjoram. The term za’atar refers to a spice mix that has been produced.


Za’atar is typically sold as a textured powder that has been partly milled. It’s a subdued brownish-green hue with noticeable specks of entire sesame seeds.

Za’atar has a strong, rich, and profoundly fragrant fragrance and flavor. The main tastes are thyme and oregano, but there is a noticeable nuttiness from the toasted sesame seeds and a little sharpness from the dried sumac.

Nutritional Information

Za’atar does not provide a major source of nutrients in the quantities commonly eaten.

Za’atar, like many other herbs and spices, adds nourishment to meals by containing phenolic chemicals found in thyme and oregano, which have strong antioxidant qualities.


Freshness is crucial, as it is with all dry spices. As a result, shop at shops or spice markets that have a large turnover of products.

Before purchasing, if possible, request to sample or at least smell the product. The odor of fresh spices is powerful and brilliant, rising quickly in the nose. Spices that are beyond their prime will smell like a swarm of dust bunnies.

A high-quality za’atar will have a strong, almost peppery aroma, as well as a deep nuttiness. Shop elsewhere if you smell a musty or rotten odor.

If you can’t locate za’atar, buying the components separately and making the mix yourself is an easy option.

Here’s a simple recipe:

  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds, roasted
  • 2 tbsp oregano, dry
  • 2 tbsp thyme, dried
  • 1 tbsp sumac powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and partly smash using a pestle and mortar or a coffee grinder. Don’t overcrush or mill the mixture; you want a somewhat grainy final product with flecks of entire sesame seeds visible.


Za’atar should be kept at room temperature in a sealed container away from heat and light, such as a closed cabinet or drawer away from the oven.

Because za’atar loses taste over time and sesame seed oil may become harsh and rancid, your spice mix should be utilized within six to eight months after purchase or preparation.


Za’atar is usually used as a finishing spice, therefore it should only be applied at the end of the cooking process.

Season savory baked breads, hummus or yogurt-based dips, and salads with the spice mix. Za’atar may also be rubbed over chicken or meats, or sprinkled over white fish, then baked or grilled with a little olive oil.



These pizzas may be made in the time it takes to order and get a pizza! In these fun and simple to prepare personal pizzas, a fragrant mix of za’atar, garlic, and olive oil replaces tomato sauce. You may use whatever toppings you like, but tomatoes, feta, and mint are a popular and highly recommended combo.


spice combination za’atar 3 tbsp garlic cloves, finely minced 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus a little more for drizzling 2 tablespoons pita bread 2 finely sliced tiny tomatoes 2 crumbled feta cheese 2 ounces mint leaves, chopped 2 tbsp seasoning salt and pepper to taste


Time to Prepare: 10 minutes 15 minutes to prepare 2 servings (about)

In a small bowl, mix together the za’atar, minced garlic, and olive oil. Spread a thin amount of hummus between two pitas.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the pitas for 3 minutes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Remove from the oven and top with tomato slices and crumbled feta.

Return to the oven and bake for another 6 minutes, then set the oven to broil for another 2-3 minutes, or until the edges of the cheese are golden. Remove from the oven, season with salt and pepper, and top with fresh chopped mint and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, if preferred.

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Foods That Are Related

Za’atar is an herb that is used mainly in Middle East cuisine. It is commonly used in breads, dips, and spreads. It is also used in the preparation of the herb mixture called za’atar. Recipe: Za’atar is a simple mix of thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds. It is best known as a dry spice that can be sprinkled over breads, but not used as a condiment. Nutrition: Za’atar is a high-protein herb that contains vitamin B1, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, calcium, copper, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium.. Read more about za’atar recipe ottolenghi and let us know what you think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Za Atar seasoning made of?

Za Atar is a seasoning that is made of a mix of spices, herbs and vegetables.

What do you use zaatar for?

Zaatar is a Middle Eastern spice blend that can be used as a garnish or seasoning. Its typically made from thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt.

What is Za Atar eaten with?

Za Atar is a type of bread that is eaten with cheese and olives.

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