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Baked Za’atar Chicken

Baked Chicken with zaataron top on a platter

I grew up enjoying Za’atar on almost anything, including chicken. This baked za’atar chicken is a mouthwatering bite of tangy flavors. slightly sweet and perfectly savory. The chicken is unbelievably juicy and quite literally falls off the bone. This is one of those dishes you prepare and forget about in the oven only to be greeted with the most aromatic moist chicken. It is also a one-sheet pan roasted zaatar chicken with potatoes and onions if you add them. The potatoes are a lovely addition, they soak up lots of flavors and get perfectly crispy. I highly recommend you toss them in there!

Baked Za'atar Chicken
Baked Za’atar Chicken

What is Za’atar?

There is a bit of confusion that circles the word za’atar. Many people aren’t aware that za’atar is an herb that grows in a bountiful but also a seasoning blend. In the states, you don’t readily find fresh wild za’atar, so fresh oregano, which is the most similar, is often used as a substitute in recipes that call for fresh za’atar. I use za’atar seasoning in this baked za’atar chicken, which has dried oregano, thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds. It is such a popular ingredient because za’atar’s layers of flavor and texture go well with many dishes.

Can you use skinless, boneless chicken?

You may be wondering what cuts of chicken are best to use here. While I use a quartered whole chicken, and I find that to be best, you can use boneless chicken, but it will require far less time to cook. More than likely half the time, but I haven’t tested with it yet. However, bone-in meat always has more flavor and is juicier, so I highly recommend using that for this za’atar chicken recipe for the best results.

What is in the Za’atar Chicken Marinade?

  • Seasonings: In this recipe, I use a za’atar seasoning blend, typically dried za’atar, thyme, oregano, sumac, and sesame. I highly recommend purchasing from the Arab grocery store and seven spice, which has ground allspice, cinnamon, and coriander, to name a few.
  • Pomegranate Molasses & Honey: Both will offer a subtle sweetness, but the molasses will also give a deep color and tang that is irresistible here. This can also be found in any supermarket, but most definitely in the Arab grocery store.
  • Olive oil: Like many Palestinian meals, olive oil is quintessential and gives so much flavor, especially once the roasted zaatar chicken is done cooking. You get to dip fresh pita into the mouthwatering olive oil at the bottom of the pan, which has developed even more flavor.

I have several za’atar forward recipes on my blog that I am sure you would love. Some entail using the seasoning blend like in this baked za’atar chicken; others will use fresh but can be substituted with oregano.

Za’atar Cake

Palestinian Za’atar Flatbread

Manakeesh

Za’atar Knots

All of these would be amazing to try. If you do, please leave a comment or share your remakes with me on my Instagram!

Be sure to check out my Baked Za’atar video below! For the best viewing experience, watch the video in full-screen mode!

baked zaatar chicken on a platter
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5 from 26 votes

Baked Za’atar Chicken

This baked za'atar chicken is so juicy, aromatic, and simple to put together. Its a favorite in our family with pita and/or rice.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 45 minutes
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Arabic, Palestinian
Keyword: baked zaatar chicken, easy zaatar chicken, roasted zaatar chicken, zaatar chicken
Servings: 4 pieces
Author: Heifa

Ingredients

  • 2lb Whole Chicken, cut into quarters roughly 2 lbs, it can be a little more or less in size. Pat chicken dry
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Za'atar seasoning reserve 2 tbsp to top the zaatar with before baking
  • 1 tsp Sumac
  • 1/2 Lemon's juice
  • 1 tsp Pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tsp 7 spice seasoning
  • 2 Potatoes, peeled & cubed optional addition
  • 1 Large sweet onion, sliced optional addition

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Add the chicken, potatoes. and onions to a baking pan that has been sprayed with olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Mix together the marinade ingredients which is olive oil, za'atar, sumac, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, honey, and 7 spice.
  • Pour the marinade over the top making sure to cover the chicken very well even under the skin and on both sides.
  • Sprinkle the chicken with more za'atar seasoning then cover the baking pan with foil and bake for 1hr 20 min covered. Uncover the last 5-10 minutes of baking.
  • The chicken should be super tender and lightly browned as well as the potatoes. Enjoy with rice and salad on the side or warm pita. There are so many flavors in that pan that pita will scoop up!
Baked Za'atar Chicken
Baked Za’atar Chicken

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53 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    always love Fufu‘s recipes but this- this was beyond!!! Definitely her top 3 recipes if not the best. The chicken was baked to perfection. The seasonings & spices used blended a little bit of sweet and savory. A family favorite that we’ll definitely be incorporating into our monthly meals!

    1. 5 stars
      Made this for my mom and it was a hit so I made it for my hubby and kids yesterday. So easy to make. Everyone loved it so flavorful. The zaatar and pomegranate molasses take it to a whole other level. I added onions and potatoes and served it over white rice. Yum!!!! It’s definitely a recipe I will make once a week.

  2. 5 stars
    Sooooo good! I added some bell peppers 1/2 way through cooking and served over brown rice everyone loved it! Will definitely make again- thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for my family and Wow it was amazing! The recipe had perfect amount of tanginess from pomegranate molasses,perfect amount of spice with all spices and pepper. Chicken was so soft and moist! Love the addition of potatoes. Thank you for sharing your recipes

  4. 5 stars
    So yummy! I made it in advanced and froze it, and then cooked it in a frying pan, so I took some liberties from the original recipe, but it was so good! My husband loved it, and it worked really well to freeze it ahead and then thaw and cook. Definitely worth trying if you love zaatar.

  5. 5 stars
    Made this recipe last night for dinner. Quick and DELICIOUS MashaAllah! Thank you Heifa for this great recipe!

  6. Made this today and it tasted sooo good! Everyone loved it! I knew Fufu’s receipes never disappoint! Thank you for this amazing recipe!

  7. I am south Asian, therefore I am new to Zataar and 7 spices. Any idea where can i buy them in NY, USA? I cant wait to try this recipe!!

  8. 5 stars
    I loved this so much. This was so flavourful and crispy. I loved all the flavours and how you could pick up on all of them. The zaatar adds such a lovely crunch to the skin. Definitely adding this to my regular recipes to make! You don’t miss.

  9. 5 stars
    My kids can be picky (toddlers for you) and they both are this 2 nights in a row! The chicken is so juicy and packed with amazing flavor! I stuck with leg quarters and added onions under (instead of potatoes) and it was incredible. I was so nervous to make it but now I’ll even be making for my very particular Arab dad!

  10. Salam, so I made your za3tar chicken today….it was a hit! My husband and boys ate it and said it was bustin’ bustin’ and I was lucky they left me 1 piece of chicken left! Will definitely be making this again InshAllah😊😊

  11. 5 stars
    This is a delish recipe! And very easy for those quick dinners that you can pop into the oven and not worry. I made it for my family and they loved it. I will definitely make again!

  12. 5 stars
    Made this for iftaar yesterday and my family loved it. So worth it and the potatoes were the best addition. Definitely making this again!!!

  13. I cooked this the other day. So good! So tender, first time I cooked something and that I did a good job. My husband loved it too! Thank you so much!

  14. 5 stars
    All the recipes are perfect but this was extra delicious!!! easy recipe yet so tasty…a big hit with the whole family. Tasted even better the next day.
    Thank you so much

  15. Hi Haifa! I love all of your recipes, they are always a hit mashAllah! I am planning on making this for an iftar I am having, what do you think is better: Lea quarters or boneless, skinless chicken thighs?

    1. Hi Sarah,
      I would do the bone-in leg quarters but if you did do the boneless chicken thighs it would take about 40 minutes only. Both are great options!

  16. 5 stars
    Made this for a family iftar and everyone loved it! So easy to make and so flavorful. I added carrots and potatoes and served it with white trice. Will repeat it again!

  17. Just stumbled on your page and this recipe caught my attention!. But wanted to ask, is it better to leave the chicken to marinate overnight in the fridge to allow the chicken to fully absorb the flavours ?

    1. Salam Muhammed,
      Although you can most definitely do that, you do not have to. It will taste delicious if marinated hours in advance or even right on the spot. So, it is completely up to you!

  18. 5 stars
    My family wiped the pan clean with some bread, very delicious! I just added some onions, garlic chips, n tomatoes in addition to the potatoes n added more flaor to it, very good meal!

  19. Hello. Very excited to try this recipe. Could you please tell me which zaatar seasoning you buy for the nut house? They have three different kinds (Dugga,Palestinian Baladi or Muluki)
    THANK YOU

  20. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe for the first time for my picky eater 2.5 year old son and it was a hit! Fufu’s recipe was extremely easy to follow, quick to make and so freaking good. The chicken came out juicy and the zaatar flavor was perfectly balanced. I was worried it would be a overwhelming flavor but it was incredible. Definitely making this again!

  21. 5 stars
    This recipe is in my regular dinner rotation!! Fool proof cooking and packed with flavor. I tend to be apprehensive when cooking chicken so I love a baked recipe that can give me a juicy result every time – this is it!

  22. 5 stars
    this recipe is so good and so flavorful! I made it with chicken breast. Love it and will be adding to our dinner rotation!

  23. 5 stars
    Such a delicious recipe. I had tried Za’atar chicken at my friend’s house but thought for some reason it must be a bit complicated to make, since it is so full of flavour. One google search later led me here, and now this recipe is a staple in our home too!

  24. 5 stars
    Just made this for the first time, it was so good and stays super moist. Even after microwaving the leftovers the next day it was still so moist! Would taste really good alongside fattoush.

  25. 5 stars
    I made this for my family the other day and it was good. I didn’t include the 7 spice because I couldn’t find it the supermarket but apart from that everything turned out well.

  26. 5 stars
    I’ve made this dish 2 times now and both times it’s been a hit! The balance of tang and spices is just perfect and the zaatar really comes through. I’ve tried another zaatar chicken recipe and it wasn’t that great, this one is my go to!
    All of Heifa’a recipes are great to be honest!

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