Middle Eastern Za'atar Tabbouleh

Middle Eastern Za'atar with Tabbouleh

Za'atar is a very popular Middle Eastern spice blend, in restaurants served as a tabletop condiment or as a dip mixed with olive oil. There are plenty of variations, all based on sesame seeds, sumac, and thyme or a similar herb. The combination of nutty, sour, and savory makes the taste so versatile and irresistible. Try it with roasted chicken, vegetables, on pizza, hummus, or as a dip.
hands-on time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 3 Servings



  • 1 lb chicken thighs or breast* cut in half

Fresh Produce

  • 3 cloves garlic grated
  • 2 medium tomatoes finely chopped or halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 bunch flat-leaf parsley chopped
  • 2 tbsp mint leaves chopped (opt.)
  • 3 spring onions thinly sliced
  • 1 Persian cucumber diced (opt.)
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper finely diced (opt.)
  • 2-3 limes or lemons for juice

Packaged Goods/Staples

  • 1 oz fine bulgur couscous, or quinoa (cooked)
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Za'atar Culinary Spice Kit Ingredients:

  • White sesame seeds, sumac, coriander, thyme, cumin, black peppercorn, salt

Alternative Recipe: Za'atar Fritters

  • 1 lb potatoes or carrots, grated
  • 1 lb zucchini, grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup yogurt, plain 



  • In a CONTAINER, mix Za'atar spices, garlic, 2 tbsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp salt, and 2 tbsp oil.
  • Add chicken. Mix well. Cover.
  • Let it marinate in the fridge overnight.


  • Mix bulgur with tomatoes, parsley, onions, and 1 tbsp lime juice, and salt & pepper to taste.
  • Optionally add mint, cucumber and/or bell pepper.
  • Let it rest in the fridge for 2 to 24 hours.


  • In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp oil and fry the chicken on both sides until tender inside and crisp on the outside.
  • Let it rest 5 minutes.


  • Cut chicken in small slices and serve it with tabbouleh.
  • Enjoy!

Alternative Recipe: Za'atar Fritters - Option 1

  • Mix all ingredients, except the yogurt, well and season with Za'atar & pepper to taste.
  • In a PAN, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat.
  • For each fritter, place 1/4 cup of the mixture into the PAN, and flatten it slightly.
  • Fry the fritters until they turn golden brown on both sides.
  • Serve the fritters with the yogurt.

Alternative Recipe: Za'atar Fritters - Option 2

  • Season the mixture only with salt & pepper to taste.
  • Season the yogurt with Za'atar spices to taste.
  • Serve the fritters with the yogurt.

Alternative: Za'atar Meatballs

  • Spice up your favorite meatball recipe by adding za'atar to the meat mixture. 


  • Substitute chicken with salmon or other fish filet.
  • If using chicken breast, pound it for even thickness.