What Can Replace Za'atar?

Learn how to replace za’atar in your favorite recipes when you’re out of the zippy Middle Eastern spice blend at home.

If you’re a regular home cook, having a repertoire of go-to ingredient substitutions in your back pocket is likely to come in handy. And while you might love your favorite Middle Eastern and Mediterranean recipes that call for za’atar, you could one day find yourself out. 

And if today is that day, fear not. We’ve got you covered with a quick how-to guide to substituting za’atar with ingredients probably already in your pantry. 

What is in Za’atar Seasoning Blend?

The first thing to know about substituting za’atar in a recipe is what za’atar is made of. Our premium Mediterranean spice blend is made with:

  • Mediterranean thyme (also known as za’atar)
  • Dried oregano
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sumac
  • Salt

Together, these ingredients produce a wonderfully balanced flavor that’s earthy, herby and nutty, with a crunchy texture.

Next, to replace za’atar, you’ll want to find ingredients that match the flavors and textures of the original spice blend. 

How to Make a Homemade Substitute for Za’atar

The good news is that you may already have everything you need to blend up your own homemade za’atar seasoning at home. 

To replace the Mediterranean thyme and oregano, you can use:

  • Dried thyme
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried marjoram
  • Dried rosemary

These are all earthy herbs that are common in most homes and do a close job of mimicking the flavor of real za’atar. 

Next, to replace the sesame seeds, well, your best bet is to use sesame seeds.White or black seeds work well. If you’re out of sesame seeds, try finely-minced cashews or peanuts. They’ll add crunch and a nice nuttiness.

Lastly, the tricky part in finding a substitute for za’atar is to replace the sumac. Unless you have sumac on hand, you’ll want an ingredient that’s as vibrant and bright as the crimson spice. Lemon or lime zest are great options. You can also use something acidic like pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar. 

Where to Find Za’atar

At the end of the day, however, your best bet is to not have to replace za’atar at all! Instead, have Zesty Z Mediterranean za’atar seasoning delivered directly to your door. Or in a pinch, find a Zesty Z retailer near you

Whichever route you take, there is no better place to buy za'atar online than right here at Zesty Z - shop now!