10 Best Zaatar Substitutes – Best

Zaatar is a spice blend commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine.

Traditional zaatar was made with a zaatar herb, also known as hyssop or Syrian oregano, a protected, hard-to-find and valuable species. Thus, the zaatar seasoning is made with other spices, such as dried thyme or oregano, to recreate the flavor of the original zaatar.

There are many regional varieties of zaatar, but typically this flavorful spice blend is a combination of sumac, thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame seeds, and salt.

In Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, zaatar is used in various savory dishes to enhance their flavor. It is used in dips, soups, vegetables, meats, seafood, marinades, rice, salad dressings, pastas, or simply sprinkled on bread.

Zaatar is a mix of different tastes, aromas and textures, all combined in one delicious tasting seasoning. If you have ever tried zaatar, you will always use it to enhance the taste of your food. However, if you are unable to use zaatar for some reason, you can use some of the following substitutes.

Dear Zaatar replacements

Zaatar has a unique taste that is rich, spicy, spicy, nutty, salty and slightly sour. It’s hard to get the same taste of zaatar if you use other spices as zaatar substitutes.

There is no good substitute for zaatar, but some of these substitutes are more like zaatar than others.

1. Harissa Spice Powder

Harrisa spice powder is made from caraway seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dried oregano, dried parsley, garlic powder, smoked paprika, smoked chili peppers and salt .

It has a spicy, smoky, garlicky flavor that is different from the taste of za’atar. However, you can use it to enhance the flavor of your dishes. This powder is used as a dry seasoning for meat and fish, but is also added to soups, stews, salad dressings, vegetables, marinades and dips.

You can make a paste with harissa spice powder if you mix it with olive oil. If you prefer spicy dishes, you can use harissa spice powder as a substitute for zaatar in your recipes.

2. Italian seasoning

Italian spices

Italian herbs are made from dried oregano, dried thyme, dried rosemary, dried basil, and dried marjoram. There are also variations of this seasoning with added fennel seeds, dried sage, crushed red pepper flakes, and garlic powder.

Italian herbs have an earthy, salty, slightly sweet and peppery taste. It works well in salad dressings, meat marinades, pasta sauces, soups, grilled vegetables and pizzas. This seasoning tastes similar to zaatar, so you can use it as a substitute.

3. Shichimi Togarashi

Shichimi Togarashi

Shichimi togarashi is a Japanese spice blend composed of 7 spices including ground red chillies, sansho pepper, orange peel, black or white sesame seeds, ground ginger, hemp seeds or poppy and seaweed.

This versatile blend works well in soups, salad dressings, meat and seafood marinades, vegetables, stir-fries, noodles and many other dishes. It has a spicy, nutty, and citrus umami flavor. You can use it as a substitute for zaatar if you like spicy dishes.

4. Ground coriander


Coriander like cumin, fennel seeds and savory is one of the spices used in some types of zaatar. It is a spice with an earthy, lemony, and floral flavor that pairs well with cumin, cloves, fennel, nutmeg, and many other spices.

You can add ground coriander to curries, marinades, stews, soups, meats and vegetarian dishes. However, you can also use it in various herbal blends. You can use ground cilantro and toasted sesame seeds as a substitute for zaatar to achieve a similar flavor in your dish.

Mix equal amounts of ground coriander and toasted sesame seeds, add a little salt and use them in your favorite dishes as you would with zaatar.

5. Thyme


You can use this herb to flavor a variety of dishes, such as roast meats, fish, vegetables, soups, marinades, stews, and broths. You can also use it in spice blends with other herbs such as sage, rosemary, and marjoram.

The most common types of thyme used in cooking are common thyme and lemon thyme. Common thyme has an earthy, minty, and floral flavor, while lemon has all of that plus a distinctive citrus flavor.

Thyme is one of the ingredients of zaatar and is a good substitute for zaatar as it will give a similar taste to your dishes.

6. Ducca


Dukkah is an Egyptian spice blend usually consisting of hazelnuts, coriander, sesame seeds, cumin, black pepper and salt.

You can also find variations of dukkah made with mint, thyme, marjoram, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, or sunflower seeds instead of hazelnuts. Dukkah is typically used as a crust for chicken, lamb, or fish, but it’s also sprinkled on vegetables and used as a dipping sauce.

Dukkah has a warm, nutty, and citrusy flavor and is a good alternative to zaatar. You can use dukkah in salads, vegetables, and soups, or use it as a crust for fish, meat, and poultry.

7. Mixed Herbs


If you have some of the herbs used to make zaatar, such as thyme, oregano, sesame seeds, marjoram, or sumac, you can make a blend that tastes similar to zaatar.

You can also buy a spice blend that contains at least two of the same spices as zaatar and mix it with toasted sesame seeds and lemon zest to get something that will taste like zaatar.

8. Sumac


Sumac is a spice made from ground sumac berries. It has a dark red color and a taste and smell similar to lemon.

Sumac works well in meat rubs, vegetable dishes, stews, meat dishes, salad dressings, and as an ingredient in zaatar. You can replace zaatar with sumac if you add another herb like thyme or oregano and toasted sesame seeds to achieve a taste similar to zaatar.

9. Oregano


Oregano is one of the ingredients of zaatar.

It has an earthy, slightly bitter taste and is commonly added to pizzas, pasta sauces, meat marinades, stews, soups, salad dressings and vegetable dishes.

You can combine dried oregano with thyme, toasted sesame seeds, and lemon zest and use the mixture as a substitute for zaatar.

10. DIY Zaatar

The best substitute for zaatar is to make it yourself and adjust the flavor to your liking.

How to make Zaatar:

To make zaatar at home, you will need the following ingredients.


  • 2 tablespoons ground sumac
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


If you don’t have sumac, you can use lime or lemon zest instead. You can also use black or white sesame seeds or a combination of both.

Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and store in a cool, dark place. If you store it correctly, the zaatar will last 3 to 6 months.

But I think you’ll be using it within a month because you sprinkle it on and add it to every dish you prepare. You can also mix the zaatar with olive oil to make a paste that you can spread on a piece of bread and bake in the oven.

related questions

What is Za Atar seasoning made of?

The traditional Zaatar seasoning consists of dried za’atar, dried sumac, sesame seeds and salt. Other variations of zaatar include dried herbs such as thyme, sumac, oregano, marjoram, cumin, coriander, sesame seeds, and salt.

Can I use Sumac instead of Za’Atar?

You can use sumac instead of zaatar because it is actually one of the ingredients of zaatar. You can also add sesame seeds and thyme or oregano to achieve a taste similar to zaatar.

Is Zaatar the same as oregano?

Zaatar is not the same as oregano. They are two different herbs, even though they belong to the same mint family, Lamiaceae.

Zaatar (Origanum syriacum) is a Middle Eastern herb also known as wild thyme, hyssop, Syrian oregano, Lebanese oregano, or biblical hyssop.

How does Zaatar taste?

The taste of Zaatar depends on the ingredients used to prepare the spice mix. Usually, zaatar tastes rich, spicy, spicy, nutty, salty, and slightly sour.

Latest tips

Zaatar is a blend of spices with a unique taste, used in many different dishes to enhance their flavor. However, if you can’t find it or are out of it, use some of these substitutes and try to recreate the taste of zaatar.

They taste similar to zaatar and amp up your cooking game. You can also prepare the zaatar according to our recipe so that you always have it on hand when you need it.

What is your favorite zaatar substitute? Share your recipe in the comments section below!