Make Za’atar Breadcrumbs: Crispy, Zesty & Crunchy

Za’atar breadcrumbs are an easy way to add the double dose of zippy, fresh Mediterranean flavor and extra crunch to your favorite dishes. Here’s how to make them at home.

You may already know how tasty za’atar can be. Made with Mediterranean thyme, oregano, sesame seeds, and sumac, this spice blend is a pantry staple throughout the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean for a reason. It imparts brightness and herbal flavor to everything from vegetables and beans to meat and fish.

And who doesn’t love breadcrumbs? Whether you’re sprinkling them on homemade mac and cheese or making a beautiful au gratin potato dish, you know everyone wants some of that golden crispy crust on top.

So why not unite the freshness of za’atar with the toasted texture of breadcrumbs? It’s easy to do at home! Here’s what you need to know.

Ingredients

You need just three simple ingredients to make za’atar bread crumbs:

  • 1 loaf of crusty bread, preferably a day or two old. Stale bread (as long as it’s not rock-hard) crisps up more easily and absorbs flavors better than fresh bread, which has a higher moisture content.
  • Zesty Z Za'atar seasoning
  • Olive oil

How to Make Za’atar Breadcrumbs

Once you have your ingredients assembled, here’s how to whip up your own za'atar breadcrumbs:

  1. Preheat your oven to 300°F.
  2. Tear the bread into 1- to 2-inch pieces (it doesn't have to be perfect) and stick the pieces into a food processor. Add a few tablespoons of za’atar and several glugs of olive oil. You want enough to coat the bread nicely. Pulse the bread until you have coarse crumbs, no more than 1 minute.
  3. Pour the za'atar breadcrumbs out onto a baking sheet and spread them into an even layer.
  4. Toast the bread for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. The breadcrumbs are done when they’re golden, toasted, and fragrant.
  5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the bread cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Storage

You can store cooled za’atar breadcrumbs in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Best Ways to Use Za’atar Breadcrumbs

Once you have a supply of homemade za'atar breadcrumbs on hand, there are dozens of ways to enjoy them. Try adding them to:

  • Mac and cheese or other baked pasta dishes
  • Chicken tenders for homemade chicken fingers
  • Crab cakes or meatballs as a binder
  • Thickening a soup or stew
  • Making a gratin of roasted vegetables

More Recipes with Za’atar

Try these other delicious ways to cook with za’atar: