Za’atar Chicken & Pasta Salad
April 18, 2016
Za'atar is a spice blend found in many Middle Eastern dishes & is uniquely earthy, savory & extremely aromatic. This dish I created is very popular at my house. I mostly serve it in the spring, summer & early fall months, as it is at it's best when served barely warm or at room temperature.
1 1/2 cups tri-colored penne pasta
3/4 lb chicken tenderloins, preferably organic
2 1/2 Tblsp Za'atar spice blend (divided) (see Tip#1)
3 Tblsp extra-virgin olive oil - EVOO (divided)
1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise, then sliced thick
1 large firm tomato, diced large
1/2 - 15 oz can organic garbanzo beans, rinsed well under cold water & drained
1/4 cup large pitted black olives, sliced in half
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 1 1/2 tsp dried (optional: a little extra for garnish)
1 Image: prepped Ingredients.
2 Cook pasta in salted water according to pkg directions, al dente. Drain, return to pot & set aside.
3 On a plate; mix 2 Tblsp Za'atar, 1 tsp salt & 20 pepper mill turns of pepper, coat pieces of chicken on both sides & set aside.
4 Line a plate with a few of layers of paper towels.
5 Preheat 2 Tblsp EVOO in a 10 to 12 inch cast iron skillet, on medium heat, 2 to 3 minutes till oil is hot.
6 Add chicken to skillet, side by side, cover & cook 2 to 3 minutes each side (depending on size) till chicken is browned & cooked through. Remove to drain on the paper towels.
7 Add 1 Tblsp EVOO to skillet to deglaze it, Add zucchini & cook, covered on medium heat about 3 minutes, stirring once or twice, till starting to brown.
8 Remove from heat, gently add tomato, cover & let sit 1 minute (no longer or the tomatoes will get mushy).
9 Pour zucchini tomato mix & all the pan drippings over the cooked pasta. Add in the last 1/2 Tblsp Za'atar, garbanzos, hummus, olives & parsley. Stir gently till well combined. Serve pasta with pieces of chicken on top. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Tips & Suggestions
1 If you can't find Za'atar locally in one of your larger supermarkets or certain specialty stores, you can make your own Za'atar spice blend from scratch, just run a search on the internet & you'll find loads of variations of this spice blend to pick from.
2 I like to use Sabra Spinach Artichoke Hummus, but you can certainly use whatever brand or flavor you like.
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16 thoughts on “Za’atar Chicken & Pasta Salad”
I can imagine the taste of this chicken with Z’aatar, yummmm!!! I love Zaatar, I actually had it on a sandwich with olive oil yesterday!!! SO GOOD!!!
It’s really yummy, especially with the pasta salad… the flavors are a heavenly combo.
This looks delicious, I have never heard of Za’atar spice mix before but I am intrigued and am going to check it out. Thank you for linking up with Foodie Friday.
I hope you’ll try za’atar Paula… it’s really quite mild. I think you’ll love it 🙂
I know this recipe would be very popular in our house, and I can see I need to try making my own Za’atar soon.
I hope you & your family love it Beth!
The zaatar chicken pasta salad sounds great. I loved the flavors. I’m curious to use Zaatar for my next chicken dish.
I think you’ll love Za’atar once you try it Lathiya!
I love Zaatar spice blend!!! I’ll definitely look up how to make my own. I have an Egyptian friend that would always bring me some anytime she went to visit family. Your Zaatar chicken pasta looks sooooo good. I’ll have to try it soon:)
I think you’ll love this recipe when you try it Sonila, hope it’s a hit at your house!
Zatar has such a unique flavor. I have always done it on pita. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle zatar and grill. A great snack. This dish looks delicious and filling. My son will love it.
That idea on pita sounds really great! Thanks for sharing it.
I’m adding this to our list of must-try recipes, I love the fact that we can whip up our own spice blends! I’ve made many before but never Zaatar and obviously have been missing out, thank you for the recipe and inspiration!
I love to make my own spice blends too… not only are they so much beeter than store bought, but they’re cheaper too! Hope you love the recipe when you try it 🙂
Your pita snack sounds delish Madi. It’s so nice to run into another Za’atar lover 🙂 That’s always a safe bet to try it out on the kids, I sure hope they like it!
Zaatar is one of the sices most used in our household (my kids loves it when I half a pita bread in the middle, sprinkle lots of olive oil and Zaatar and toast it in the oven. Used it a lot with salads and cheese of different kinds but I never tried using it with chicken, I love the idea, going to try it on the kids and see if it takes:)