Za’atar Spiced Grilled Chicken

Za’atar Spiced Grilled Chicken breasts are tender and juicy thanks to a simple marinade of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and za’atar.

Za'atar spiced grilled chicken.

Za’atar is one of my favorite spice blends of all time which is why it thrills me beyond belief to see it becoming trendy these days. The truth is, when I open up a bag of fresh za’atar, the earthy, smoky aroma immediately transports me back into my Great Aunt Vieve’s kitchen. I have countless memories of being a little girl watching her as she masterfully sprinkled za’atar over her famous Middle Eastern Salad with Lemon, Mint and Garlic.

If you’re not familiar with za’atar, think of it as an all-in-one Middle Eastern spice blend, similar to my All-Purpose Lebanese Spice Blend. In addition to spicing up any salad, it is an ideal rub for grilled meats and vegetables. When combined with olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh garlic, Za’atar Spiced Grilled Chicken breasts become a tender, juicy, and flavor-packed weeknight dinner the whole family will devour.


  • Chicken breasts: An accessible, affordable source of lean protein that grills to be tender and juicy.
  • Olive oil: Helps to coat the chicken in the spices to soak up the flavor.
  • Lemon juice: The lemon not only adds great flavor, but the acidity also helps to tenderize the chicken.
  • Za’atar: A delicious Middle Eastern blend of spices that usually consist of za’atar itself, along with oregano, thyme, sumac, and sometimes marjoram.
  • Garlic: Nutty, pungent, aromatic flavor that pairs well with the za’atar spice.

How to Make Za’atar Spiced Grilled Chickenss

Adding lemon juice to marinade

Start your za’atar spiced grilled chicken by making the marinade. First juice your lemon into a large bowl.

Adding olive oil to bowl

Then you’ll drizzle in the olive oil.

Grating garlic into bowl 1

Next take a microplane or garlic press and add the garlic cloves.

Adding salt to bowl

Then season with a bit of salt and pepper to taste.

Adding zaatar to bowl

And finish with the za’atar spice.

Whisking zaatar marinade

Whisk it all together until fully combined.

Marinating chicken in zaatar

Then add your chicken to the bowl and mix around to make sure they are fully coated, then let marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Grilling chicken breasts

When ready to cook, preheat your grill to medium-high and grill for about 7 minutes per side.

Forkful of za'atar spiced grilled chicken.

When finished cooking, let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy your Za’atar Spiced Grilled Chicken!

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long to marinate chicken in spices?

As a rule of thumb, I say plan for at least 30 minutes to marinate. But the longer you can let it sit, the better the flavor will be. It’s amazing the extra punch of flavor you’ll get if you let your chicken marinate for 5-6 hours.

How do you keep chicken soft and moist?

Marinating and coating the chicken in olive oil before cooking helps to keep the chicken from drying out on the grill.

What do you do with za’atar spice?

I love to use it on all kinds of meat as well as vegetables! It’s great on both baked and grilled dishes.

Sliced za'atar spiced grilled chicken.

Complimentary Side DIshes

Eat It, Like It, Share It!

Did you try this recipe and like it? The next time you make it, snap a picture and share it to your socials! Tag @thelemonbowl and #thelemonbowl so we can admire and share your dish.

Liz grilling za'atar spiced grilled chicken outside on her grill.

This summer you’ll definitely want to try my za’atar spiced grilled chicken. Be sure to grill a little extra – it’s great the next day in sandwiches, salads, or pitas.

Your fork is waiting.

Zaatar spiced grilled chicken

Za’atar Spiced Grilled Chicken

4.36 stars average
These Za’atar Spiced Grilled Chicken breasts are tender and juicy thanks to a simple marinade of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and za’atar.
PREP: 30 minutes
COOK: 14 minutes
TOTAL: 44 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup za’atar
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  • Place chicken breasts in a large glass baking dish or resealable plastic bag.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, za'atar, garlic, salt, and pepper then pour marinade over the chicken. Move chicken breasts around to ensure they are evenly coated in mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to overnight.
  • Grill chicken breasts on medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees or higher. Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving to allow juices to re-distribute.


Calories: 287kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 34.5gFat: 16.4gSaturated Fat: 1.8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 14.6gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 1530mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.4g

63 thoughts on “Za’atar Spiced Grilled Chicken”

  1. This is one of my favorites. I’ve made this several times for my family. The flavors are just delicious! A definite dinner keeper!

  2. I have this suspicion that you may be somewhat behind za’atar becoming trendy…at least it became trendy at my house because of you!! What a delicious simple chicken. I am so ready to make this!

  3. Hello! I just wanted to double check is it 1/4c of za’atar? It seemed like a lot to me. Thanks for your help! Hoping to make it tommorow!!

  4. This is definitely one I’ll be making when I get home to my supply of za’atar! It sounds spectacularly delicious. A good za’atar is probably my favorite spice mix. A former roommate of mine, who had lived in Israel for a while, introduced me to za’atar – she would brush a pita with olive oil, sprinkle it with za’atar, and then toast it. I’m getting hungry for it just writing about it…

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