Za’atar & Sumac Roasted Chicken

All Main Coures Middle Eastern Flavors


Minimal ingredients and minimal prep required for this finger-licking good dish.

I love it when a recipe comes together easily and ends up being super satisfying and if you ask me, sometimes less is more and that is definitely the case with this dish!

Two key ingredients that make this dish WOW.

  1. Za’atar – A flavorful spice blend used in many dishes throughout the Middle East (and my house!). Curries, dips, meat rubs, and more.  You can easily make this blend at home and here is my recipe for it.
  2. Sumac – A spice that comes from drying and grounding up the berries of the sumac tree, which can be commonly found in the Middle East and Africa (but also other places).⁠⠀It’s tart, lively, and bright. I’ve heard it referred to as powdered lemon. It definitely has that beautiful citrus undertone but it also has a little something extra that you would just have to try and taste for yourself! ⁠You can find sumac at Middle Eastern grocery stores, and general spice stores or get it online (iHerb, Amazon US, Amazon SG)

Add these two beautiful ingredients along with a few other things, and dinner is served!  A satisfying one at that.

This dish is Whole30, Clean-in-15, Paleo, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Low-carb, and most important YUMMY!

Try it and let me know what you think!

Yield/Servings: 4
Author: Riyana Rupani
Za'atar & Sumac Roasted Chicken

Za'atar & Sumac Roasted Chicken

Preparation time: 15 MinCooking time: 45 Mininactive time: 2 HourTotal time: 3 Hour


  • 8 chicken thighs with skin and bones, trimmed of excess fat and skin
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp za’atar, plus more to taste
  • 1 Tbsp sumac
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped


  1. In a large bowl, mix chicken, onions, lemon, garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, spices, broth, salt, and pepper. Marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.  The longer the better.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F/200 C. 
  3. Transfer chicken, skin side up, and all of the marinade to a shallow baking pan.  The pan should be large enough to hold all the chicken pieces lying flat with a bit of space in between. 
  4. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until just cooked through.*
  5. While the chicken is roasting, dry-roast your pine nuts and cook, stirring constantly, until they turn golden. Transfer to a bowl to stop the cooking process.
  6. Transfer the hot chicken, onions and lemons to a serving platter. Pour pan juices over the chicken pieces. Sprinkle chicken with extra za’atar if you like and sprinkle with chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts.


*If you like the skin browned, turn the oven up to broil for the last few minutes of cooking, checking every minute or so until the skin is as crisp and brown as you like it. (Be very careful not to burn it)

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