Za’atar Substitute Spice Blend

Za’atar Substitute Spice Blend

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Want to wake up the flavor of your foods, or perhaps add a little bit of mystery to them? Say hello to my Za’atar  Substitute Spice Blend.  Zaatar is used widely in the Middle East to enhance the flavor of a variety of dishes. It is most commonly mixed with olive oil and spread on flatbread, but that’s just one of many ways you can incorporate zaatar into your dishes. Although you can find it in most Middle Eastern markets, and on Amazon, it’s much better when you make it fresh. In my opinion, home-made is always better than store-bought.

sesame seeds roasting for za'atar substitute

What Is Zaatar Made Of?

Zaatar is a delicious seasoning blend that includes a mixture of spices. Some of the spices are pretty common, while others might be a little harder to come by, like Sumac. Here are some common spices and herbs that are used to make Zaatar.

  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sumac
  • Thyme
  • Marjoram
  • Oregano
  • Cumin
  • Corriander
  • Hyssop
  • Chili Flakes
a spoon full of zaatar on a cutting board

Three Steps to Make Za’atar Substitute Seasoning

  • Toast sesame seeds in a pan until fragrant and their color starts to change, being careful not to burn them. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Once the sesame seeds have cooled off, mix with the other ingredients.
  • Add to a spice jar and store for up to three months. Using a funnel makes this task a little easier!

How to Use This Za’atar Substitute Seasoning

There are some common ways to use zaatar, and then there are some creative ways to use it. Want to enhance the flavor of Hummus? Just sprinkle some of this delicious Za’atar substitute on the Hummus just prior to serving it. Or, consider using za’atar as a seasoning for Kabobs, fish, or Poultry. Here is something I discovered, a sprinkle of  Za’atar really wakens the flavor of Low Carb Seed Crackers.

za'atar substitute
za'atar substitute being funneled into jar

Here’s one more idea: Make a paste with some za’atar mix and olive oil, and spread on naan or flatbread. Top with feta cheese, and black kalamata olives. Toast until the bread is crispy, and the cheese is melted. sprinkle with additional za’atar and enjoy!

za'atar substitute on mini pizza
zaatar substitute jar with blue lid

If you are interested in making your own spice blends, be sure to check out the following posts: Baharat Spice Blend, Easy Dukkah Recipe (Egyptian Spice Blend), Santa Maria Dry Rub, and Spicy Dry Rub Seasoning.

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za'atar substitute

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Za'atar
MIDDLE EASTERN ZA’ATAR SPICE BLEND
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
2 mins
Total Time
7 mins
 

A staple in the Middle Eastern kitchen, zaatar is a spice mix used to flavor food.

Course: Appetizers, Snacks
Cuisine: Assyrian, Middle Eastern
Servings: 13 servings
Calories: 26 kcal
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup sumac
  • 3 T ground thyme
  • 1 T dried marjoram
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Toast sesame seeds in a pan until fragrant and their color starts to change, being careful not to burn them. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Once the sesame seeds have cooled off, mix with the other ingredients.
  3. Add to a spice jar and store for up to three months. Using a funnel makes this task a little easier!
Nutrition Facts
MIDDLE EASTERN ZA’ATAR SPICE BLEND
Amount Per Serving (1 T.)
Calories 26 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 253mg 11%
Total Carbohydrates 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 0g
Protein 1g 2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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