A blend of sumac and simple herbs go into making of this aromatic Za’atar Spice. This Middle Eastern seasoning, with it’s tangy & herb flavors, give dishes an exotic flare.

You will LOOOVE having this seasoning in your pantry!

Za’atar is an aromatic spice that can take a blah recipe and turn it into a KA-POW recipe!

Best part is it is so easy to make. With the exception on one spice, you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry right now.

Top and closeup view of a wooden mortar filled with za'atar spice
Za’atar is made with sumac, sesame and dried herbs.

🤔 What is zaatar?

Za’atar is a mix of different dried herbs, sumac and sesame seeds. Making zaatar is a tradition passed down over generations. There are many variations of this seasoning, but there are 2 ingredients that each recipe always has. One is sesame seeds and the other is sumac

❓ What is sumac?

Sumac is a flower that grows in subtropical climate. There are about 35 different types of flowers that are classified as part of the sumac family. The flower is dried and turned into sumac powder so that it can be used in various cuisines. It’s easy to find sumac in health food stores or on (Affiliate Link) Amazon.

Top view of all the ingredients laid out and their measurement written on top
These are the best ingredients needed to make za’atar.

🥣 What is in it?

  • Ground sumac
  • Sesame seeds
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried marjoram
  • Cumin
  • Coriander powder
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Salt (optional)

Every family has their own variation of za’atar seasoning recipe. Some like to add dried basil, turmeric, ajwain seeds and black sesame seeds.

👩‍🍳 Substitution tip: If you don’t have ground sumac, you can always substitute it with (affiliate link) lemon pepper seasoning. It won’t have the same color but the taste will be similar.

👩‍🍳 How to make zaatar

1. In a bowl, add all the ingredients.

Top view of the ingredients that go into za'atar spice put into a glass bowl
Put all the dried herbs, sumac and seasonings into a glass bowl.

2. Mix the ingredients well. You can also use a blender or mortar and pestle to make a zaatar powder.

Top view of the ingredients mixed together in a the bowl.
Simply mix the seasonings and you have the perfect za’atar spice ready to use.

3. Transfer to a glass container with a tight lid. It’s now ready for use.

I almost always use a mortar and pestle to grind my spices, like pumpkin spice. I come from a generation of women who never owned blenders. I have so much respect for them because they would always hand ground spices like no blender can.

Top view of zaaatar seasoning arranged in a pyramind form on a blue background
Za’atar is a very versatile spice because it can be used in so many recipes like soups and salads.

🍶 Storing it

Store za’atar in a tight lid, glass container. Place the container in a cool, dry place which is away from direct sunlight.

This glass spice containers are my favorite and they can be found on (affiliate link) Amazon.

🍅 Storage Tip: Always store seasonings in glass bottles and keep them away from direct sunlight. That will increase it’s shelf life.

Answering Common Questions

How long with za’atar spice last?

Za’atar has a long shelf life. It will be good for about 6 months. Ideally, you want to use it within 3-6 months.

Does sumac have a spicy taste?

Sumac deep rich red color makes it misleading. People automatically assume that it must be spicy. That is the complete opposite of sumac’s taste. Sumac has a tangy flavor where it tastes closer to lemon zest.

What can sumac be substituted?

Use lemon pepper, if you don’t have sumac. It has a similar tangy flavor, but a different color.

Is there salt in it?

Yes, za’atar spice has salt added in it. However, I don’t add it into mine because most of the recipes that use it have their own salt amount. So, to avoid confusion, I keep salt out. Also, za’atar can be used in dessert recipes where salt ruins the taste.

🥄 Za’atar spice uses

Shelf life tip: Za’atar has a long shelf life of 6-12 months. However, use it up within 3-6 months.

❤️ Other homemade spices you will love

Want even more zaatar spice uses? I have a zaatar roundup with even more dishes that use it. Za’atar can flavor potatoes and even breadcrumbs.

Explore the wonderful world of homemade seasonings. Want to know where to start exploring the wonderful world of DIY seasonings? Check out this deep-dive post of homemade spice blends.

Now that you know how easy it is to make za’atar spice, will you be making this often?

🤝 Sharing is caring

Don’t be shy, chime in below in the comments. Let me hear your opinion on this zaatar seasoning recipe. If you enjoyed this, please give it 5 stars and share it on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.

Front view of a wooden mortar filled with the seasoning.

How to make zaatar spice

A blend of sumac and simple herbs go into making of this aromatic Za'atar Spice. This Middle Eastern seasoning, with it's tangy & herb flavors, give dishes an exotic flare.
5 from 5 votes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Ingredient
Cuisine Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Servings 1 cup
Calories 50 kcal



See notes for salt information


    • Put all the ingredients in a glass bowl.
    • Using a wooden spoon, mix all the ingredients.
    • (Optional) You can use a mortar pestle to grind into powder form
    • Using a funnel, transfer the seasoning into a spice bottle


    – If you want to use salt, add about 1 tsp of it.  However, most recipes call for their salt amount.  I prefer to add salt at the time of making the recipe.
    – Store za’atar in a cold, dry place that is away from direct sunlight.
    – Za’atar has a shelf life of about 6 months.  Ideally, you want to use it up as soon as possible. 


    Calories: 50kcal
    Keyword how to make zaatar, sumac recipes, za’atar spice
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

    Similar Posts

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


    1. I just started using zatar spice blend after watching salt fat acid heat, whose author is Iranian heritage. Also from watching Relaxing Village on you-tube

    2. I love making my own spices and this za’atar blend is off-the-charts delish! I am already onto my second batch. I use it on everything, and even tried it in your salad dressing – it was fabulous!

    3. I’m sharing this recipe with all my friends. I love that we can now make our own Za’atar Spice. Thank you for the simple recipe!

    4. I need this spice for a dish and stumbled upon this recipe. It was perfect and added just the flavor I was looking for.

    5. I love making my own spices as it just makes more sense to avoid random ingredients. This zaatar spice was so much better than store-bought and worked beautifully in homemade soup!

    6. Zaatar is one of my favorite spices that I always buy in the Middle east. This was the first time I made it by myself, and it turned out very tasty.