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6 Flavorful Za’atar Substitutes to Spice Up Your Dishes

Ever find yourself staring at a recipe, realizing you’re fresh out of za’atar? We’ve all been there, rummaging through the spice rack, looking for a miracle. Za’atar’s unique taste is hard to replicate, yet, we’re here to guide you through some genius swaps that’ll save your meal.

Ever tried sumac? It brings that tangy lift za’atar is loved for. Sesame seeds? They add a nutty crunch that’ll make you forget za’atar was even a thing.

We’ve experimented in our kitchens, so you don’t have to. These substitutes are about to become your new best friends in cooking. Trust us, your dishes will still be the talk of the table.

6 Easy Substitutes for Za’atar

In case you’re not familiar with za’atar, it’s a Middle Eastern spice blend typically made with dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, and sometimes sumac and sesame seeds. It has a herby, earthy flavor with hints of tanginess and nuttiness, making it perfect for everything from dips to roasted vegetables.

SubstituteTasteTextureSuitable Dishes
DukkahNutty, earthy, with a hint of citrusCrunchy, with toasted nuts and seedsDips, breads, roasted vegetables, eggs
Oregano and ThymeHerbal, slightly pepperyDried, powderyMeats, vegetables, pizza, pasta dishes
Cumin and CorianderWarm, earthy, slightly citrusyPowderyStews, curries, rice dishes, roasted meats
Paprika and Garlic PowderSmoky, slightly sweet, with a savory garlic notePowderyRoasted potatoes, chicken, fish, dips
Dried MarjoramSlightly sweet, with a hint of balsamDried, powderySoups, stews, roasted vegetables, eggs
Baharat Spice BlendComplex, with notes of black pepper, cinnamon, clovesPowderyMeats, rice dishes, roasted vegetables

1 – Dukkah

Oh, Dukkah. It steps in when za’atar steps out. It’s a mix of nuts, seeds, and spices. Think hazelnuts, sesame, coriander, and cumin.

It’s coarser than za’atar, yet it hugs your dishes with a similar warm, earthy vibe. We threw it on some roasted veggies, and our taste buds did a happy dance. A sprinkle here and a dash there, it’s pretty forgiving.

For every tablespoon of za’atar, go with one of Dukkah. We once whipped up this blend for a last-minute dip. Just mix it into olive oil, and watch it disappear with bread.

2 – Oregano and Thyme

Oregano and Thyme make a great team. They step up to fill za’atar’s shoes. You get earthy flavors from them both. It works like magic on bread and chicken.

We toss it on anything that needs a kick. It’s simple. Use equal parts oregano and thyme to replace za’atar.

In our kitchen experiments, it blends right in. You won’t miss a beat in your cooking rhythm. For that za’atar-like charm, mix them together.

Find more about oregano here and thyme here.

3 – Cumin and Coriander

Mixing cumin and coriander together, we find a flavorful duo. Both add warmth to dishes. Cumin brings deep, earthy tones, while coriander offers a hint of citrus.

They work well together, giving dishes a complexity similar to za’atar. Use them in equal parts to get that special blend. In our tries, these spices did wonders on meats and veggies.

For every tablespoon of za’atar you need, use half a tablespoon of each cumin and coriander. That ratio has never failed us. We even stirred them into soups for an extra layer of flavor.

If you crave more about this swap, check this guide on cumin alternatives. It could give you other ideas too.

4 – Paprika and Garlic Powder

Paprika and garlic powder stand in well. They fill that spice gap on the shelf.

We sprinkle them on chicken and it’s like a flavor explosion. Paprika brings a smoky vibe; garlic powder adds its aromatic kick. In harmony, they make dishes sing without za’atar.

We’ve found a half tablespoon of each does the trick. Blend them together, and suddenly, everything tastes better.

For folks needing more on these spices, peep these guides on alternatives for paprika and swaps for garlic powder.

5 – Dried Marjoram

Marjoram steps in gracefully. It’s mild yet bold. We found it creates a cozy feel in dishes that call for za’atar. Our dishes smiled back with this swap. Marjoram whispers earthiness into every bite.

One tablespoon of marjoram can take the place of za’atar. We stirred it into sauces and smiled at the richness. For those curious about further swaps, feel free to check out alternatives for marjoram right here.

6 – Baharat Spice Blend

Oh, Baharat. This blend steps right in, making a grand entrance. It’s a blend that’s bold and full-bodied. You find it tossing its aroma around like it owns the place. We added it to stews, and wow.

It’s got this all-star lineup of spices that hug your food just right. Paprika, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and more, all playing nicely together. It whispers warmth into every dish.

For every tablespoon of za’atar missing, a tablespoon of Baharat fills in seamlessly. It mixes into your meals, bringing them to life.

We stirred this into our rice and, seriously, our dishes never felt so alive.

For folks wanting a deeper dive, feel free to check out more about this substitute here.