Add a little Middle Eastern flair to your dishes with this low-sodium za’atar seasoning! Use it to flavor chicken, spice up eggs, perk up potatoes, and more.
Are you familiar with Za’atar? It’s a Middle Eastern spice blend traditionally made with sumac, thyme, and sesame seeds.
When I was snowed in one winter, I found myself craving this blend. I didn’t have all the traditional ingredients, so I improvised and created this low-sodium za’atar seasoning!
In place of the sumac—which has a tangy, lemony flavor—I used a little lemon zest instead. I also thought it needed some zing, so I decided to add a little cayenne. You can choose whether or not you want to include it.
If you’re looking for a new way to add flavor to some of your staple dishes, definitely give this seasoning a try.
How to make low-sodium za’atar seasoning
This wonderful spice blend comes together in about 5 minutes.
Step 1: In a small, dry nonstick skillet over medium heat, lightly toast the sesame seeds. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn.
Step 2: Remove from heat and cool.
Step 3: Place the sesame seeds, thyme, marjoram, cayenne, and lemon zest in a spice or coffee grinder. Process until finely ground.
That’s it! You can start using your new seasoning to brighten up all your favorite dishes.
How to use za’atar seasoning
So now that you have this delicious spice blend, how should you use it?
First, try it in my recipe for spiced pistachios! This dish was the main reason I wanted to create a homemade za’atar blend. The pistachios are absolutely irresistible.
After that? You can pretty much use it to add flavor to anything! It’s wonderful for seasoning chicken or brightening up your egg dishes. I also like to sprinkle it on popcorn or add it to potatoes.
Once you try this spice, you’ll probably start thinking of lots of ways you want to use it!
Because of the lemon zest, you’ll want to store this spice blend in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to a week.
If you substitute the lemon zest for 1 tablespoon of ground sumac or lemon pepper, you can keep your za’atar in a jar in your spice rack or pantry.
Other simple spice and condiment recipes
Have you ever thought about making your own spice blends or condiments right at home? It’s so easy, and you can have so much fun with the flavors! Here are a few of my favorite recipes to get you started:
When you’ve tried this spice blend, please don’t forget to let me know how you liked it and rate the recipe in the comments below!
Low-Sodium Za’atar Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (or 1 tablespoon ground sumac)
- In a small, dry nonstick skillet over medium heat, lightly toast the sesame seeds. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn.1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Remove from heat and cool.
- Place the sesame seeds, thyme, marjoram, cayenne, and lemon zest in a spice or coffee grinder. Process until finely ground.3 tablespoons dried thyme, ½ teaspoon dried marjoram, ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon lemon zest