Zaatar Chicken Salad

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Zaatar chicken salad features chicken breasts marinated in za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice, and lemon juice, then topped on a lemon and oil salad. Simple, healthy chicken salad recipe, and full of flavor!
Chicken breasts marinated in za'atar, a Middle Eastern spice, and lemon juice, then topped on a lemon and oil salad.

Have you ever had za’atar? It’s a Middle Eastern spice blend that typically includes sumac, thyme, roasted sesame seeds, marjoram, oregano and salt. You can easily make it yourself, but since Metro Detroit is full of Middle Eastern markets, I buy it pre-made.

I grew up eating it with warm pita bread and olive oil – dip a piece of bread in oil, then dip it in the za’atar. Mmmmm. This was the first time I used it to cook chicken and I really liked it.

You can add the zaatar chicken to the salad, or you can eat it plain with other side dishes, like lentils with brown rice and veggies. I like the combination.

Za'atar Chicken Salad {Persnickety Plates}

Zaatar Chicken Salad Recipe

Za'atar Chicken Salad

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
Chicken breasts marinated in za'atar, a Middle Eastern spice, and lemon juice, then topped on a lemon and oil salad. Simple, healthy, and full of flavor!
5 from 2 votes
Servings 2 -4 servings


  • For the chicken
  • 1-1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (or tenders), sliced thin
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ - ⅓ cup za'atar
  • For the salad
  • Lettuce of your choice - I used nearly a whole bag of a romaine blend
  • 1 English cucumber diced
  • 4 to matoes - I was lucky to have some garden tomatoes on hand romas will work
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • The chicken should marinate for about an hour so prep that first.
  • In a large bowl, add the pieces of chicken and cover with the lemon juice, minced garlic, and za'atar. Mix it up so the chicken is evenly coated and let it marinate.
  • Next, in another large bowl, add the lettuce, diced tomatoes and cucumber. Season with some salt and pepper. Add in the lemon juice, then olive oil. Toss it up and then season with more salt and pepper. The salad is also better the longer you let it sit. I gave it about an hour while the chicken was marinating.
  • Once the chicken has marinated, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. There should be enough liquid in your marinade that you don't need to add any oil to the pan, but that will be up to your judgment.
  • Once hot, add in the chicken and cook until no longer pink.
  • Scoop out some salad onto your plate and top with the hot chicken.

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  1. Paula Jones says

    Wow, this looks so juicy and delicious! Pinned and +ed 🙂

  2. Kelley Wilson says

    OMG I cannot wait to try this! It looks fantastic! Shared and pinned

  3. Laurel M says

    5 stars
    Love zaatar spice. I’ve added this recipe to my summer cooking plans. Think this will become one of my go-to chicken recipes.

    • Melissa Williams says

      Thanks, Laurel. It’s a good one! I love za’atar 🙂

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