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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}

5 from 2 votes

Za’atar Chicken Salad

Servings: 2 -4 servings
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!


For the chicken

For the salad

  • 2 hearts romaine chopped, or one bag
  • 4 medium roma tomatoes diced
  • 1 medium English cucumber diced
  • 1 medium lemon juiced
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste – approximately 1 Tablespoon
  • salt & pepper to taste


For the chicken

  • In a zip top bag (or 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 in the fridge for at least an hour.
    1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, 1 medium lemon, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/3 cup za’atar

For the salad

  • In a large bowl, add the chopped lettuce, diced tomatoes and cucumber. Season liberally with some salt and pepper. Add in the lemon juice, then drizzle in olive oil. Toss it, taste it, then season as needed. I recommend letting the salad set for approximately 1 hour while the chicken is marinating.
    2 hearts romaine, 1 medium English cucumber, 4 medium roma tomatoes, 1 medium lemon, salt & pepper, extra virgin olive oil
  • Once the chicken has marinated, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. There should be enough liquid in the marinade that you don't need to add any oil to the pan.
  • Once the pan is hot, add in the chicken and cook until browned, and the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  • Scoop out some salad onto your plate and top with the hot chicken.


  • You’ll want to season the layers well (lettuce, cucumber, tomato) and adjust as needed. 
  • The longer the salad sits, the more the flavors come together, but the lettuce will wilt a bit. 
  • Chicken can also be grilled in breasts, if preferred.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 575kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 79g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 218mg | Sodium: 428mg | Potassium: 2252mg | Fiber: 20g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2902IU | Vitamin C: 103mg | Calcium: 830mg | Iron: 51mg

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. 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.