Grilled Za’atar Chicken Thighs

Grilled za’atar chicken thighs are the best thing that will come off your grill this summer. Utterly moist and delicious and so easy to throw together! Chicken thighs marinate in fresh lemon juice, homemade za’atar spice, garlic and parsley for 30 minutes and then grilled to perfection. However, this recipe can also be done in your oven, I’ve included the method in the recipe instructions. Serve as is or slice and place on top of a fattoush salad. Delicious!

Grilled Za'atar Chicken Thighs l

Since my girls are a bit older now (more like since Malloree has begun to like lettuce) we have been on a huge salad kick. Grilled chicken Caesar has been the most reoccurring salad to date, mostly because we love this dressing and shards of Parm. Who doesn’t? On other days it’s taco salad or this bacon and chicken chopped salad. However, fattoush is one of my personal favorites. It has a light flavorful dressing, torn pieces of crispy-baked pita bread, vegetables galore and features slices of this blow-your-mind grilled za’atar chicken thigh.

I’m thigh meat girl, epecially when grilled, but there’s something magical that happened once the thigh meat marinates in this za’atar marinade.

Grilled Za'atar Chicken Thighs l

Last Thursaday was our 14th wedding anniversary. FOURTEEN YEARS! Even crazier is that early August marks 20 years of total togetherness or aka our high school anniversary. So yeah 20 years together, 14 marital years filled with laughs, tears, raising our two beautiful daughters, one blog and a cookbook (plus a lot of other great stuff 🙂 ).

Since our anniversary fell on a boring weekday this year and Pat of course worked, we made plans to go out on Friday because he’s off on Fridays. Our plans were to celebrate by trying out a recommended bbq restaurant nearby. Which means on Thursday we stayed in and I made one of my favorite dinners of all dinners. Fattoush salad piled high with slices of grilled za’atar chicken.

Grilled Za'atar Chicken Thighs l

Awhile back I shared my recipe for homemade za’atar.  It takes only minutes to whip up and is the star of this marinade show. You’ll also need fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons), 2 cloves of garlic, parsley, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and light, flavorless oil that can handle high-temperature cooking (I’m using extra light olive oil). Wait until you see how easy this recipe is.

Grilled Za'atar Chicken Thighs l

First grab a large baking dish. Then add two cloves of garlic that has been squeezed through a garlic press or very finely minced, 3 tablespoons of za’atar, 1/4 teaspoon of  both freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt, 1 heaping tablespoon of minced fresh parsley and the juice of 1 whole lemon. Lastly, add 2 tablespoons of extra light olive oil or safflower (or sunflower) oil.

Grilled Za'atar Chicken Thighs l

Whisk it all to combine.

Grilled Za'atar Chicken Thighs l

Add 2 to 3 pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs to the large dish with the marinade.

Grilled Za'atar Chicken Thighs l Grilled Za'atar Chicken Thighs l

Use tongs to toss and coat all the chicken pieces in the za’atar marinade. Allow the chicken to sit for 25 to 30 minutes on the counter to marinate.

Grilled Za'atar Chicken Thighs l

Preheat your outdoor grill (or indoor grill pan to medium/medium-high). Once hot I placed the thighs onto the grill grates and closed the lid, cooking the thighs for about 4 to 5minutes.

Grilled Za'atar Chicken Thighs l

Then use tongs to flip the chicken thighs. Continue to grill for 3 to 4 more minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

Grilled Za'atar Chicken Thighs l

And that’s all folks. Serve this with grilled asparagus or zucchini, or tuck pieces into a pita with things like hummus, red onions, lettuce and tomatoes. But my favorite is slicing it up and topping my favorite fattoush salad recipe. These grilled za’atar chicken thighs makes it. While I was making our fattoush salad, Pat walked by snagging a piece or three like he always does. With his mouth full, he told me that “my chicken was on  point”. I gave him a big kiss and then promptly told him that nobody says “on point” any more.

He rolled his eyes.

Enjoy! And if you give this Grilled Za’atar Chicken Thighs recipe a try, let me know by snapping a photo and tagging me on twitter or instagram!

Grilled Za'atar Chicken Thighs l

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 


Grilled Za'atar Chicken Thighs

Grilled za'atar chicken thighs are the best thing that will come off your grill this summer. Utterly moist and delicious and so easy to throw together! Chicken thighs marinate in fresh lemon juice, homemade za'atar spice, garlic and parsley marinate for 30 minutes before being grilled to perfection. Serve as is or slice and place on top of a fattoush salad. Delicious!

Yield: 4 to 6 depending

Prep Time: 5 minutes plus 25 minutes for marinating

Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

Total Time: about 45 minutes total (includes marinating)


2 large cloves garlic, minced or squeezed through a garlic press or finely grated

3 tablespoons Homemade Za'atar

1 heaping tablespoon minced fresh Italian flat leaf parsley

Juice of 2 lemons

2 tablespoons extra light olive oil or other light and flavorless oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt**

1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

2 to 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs


In large baking dish, whisk together the garlic, za'atar, parsley, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper.

Place chicken thighs in the dish with the marinade and use tongs to toss and coat each piece. Let sit on the counter for 25 minutes to marinate.

Next, preheat the grill to medium/medium-high heat. Once hot, place the marinated chicken thighs on to the grill grates and close the lid. Grill for 5 to 6 minutes before flipping and continuing to grill for 3 to 4 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

Allow the chicken thighs to rest under tented foil for a few minutes before cutting or serving.

**NOTE: Since my recipe for Za'atar calls for sea salt, I go easy and only add 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. You can always season the chicken after grilling if you feel it needs more.


Preheat your oven to 400°. Toss all the ingredients onto a rimmed, metal baking sheet. Spread in an even layer and roast on the middle rack for 20 to 25 minutes or until fully cooked. Rotate the pan half way to ensure even cooking and browning.

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Grilled Za'atar Chicken Thighs l

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14 Responses to “Grilled Za’atar Chicken Thighs”

  1. #
    Deanna — July 20, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Grilled chicken thighs are my very favorite! This will go so well with the hummus I’m making!

  2. #
    kita — July 20, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Oh my goodness. Those =thighs are smoking hot! And I bet they taste good too ;D

  3. #
    Marie @ Not Enough — July 21, 2015 at 2:17 am

    Happy anniversary to you and your hubby! My husband and I met in high school too and just got married last month after 7 years together 🙂
    This recipe looks amazing! I love za’atar and grilled chicken so I can only imagine how delicious this meal must be. Yum!

  4. #
    Kathryn @ anotherfoodieblogger — July 21, 2015 at 2:44 am

    That’s just like me with those dang chicken thighs!; I bet you won’t even find two recipes on my website that uses them, if that. I do prefer the breast meat, but my hubby loves the thigh meat. But hey, I”M cooking most of the time, right? I’ll have to give your recipe a whirl with the thigh meat though, thanks for posting this!

  5. #
    Linda — July 22, 2015 at 8:45 am

    OH YEA !!!! Another recipe that uses that wonderful Za’atar seasoning blend….LOVE it and really loved it on the hummus. So glad I have something else to use it on. Cannot wait to try this one. Way to go, Laurie!!

  6. #
    Stephanie @ PlainChicken — July 22, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    OMG! This looks amazing! My husband loves chicken thighs. We will definitely be making this ASAP!

  7. #
    Genevieve — July 23, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    I’m sorry to say your video ad clips are annoying as Heck! I can’t stop them or mute them, does not make visiting your blog enjoyable. All I can do is to get off the site and not save your recipe. Sorry too annoying!!!!!!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — August 13th, 2015 @ 9:08 pm

      Thanks for letting me know! I’ve passed the info on to the folk who manage my ads and they’ve informed it’s pretty rare that the ad sound be turned on, but every so often it happens. I apologize for the inconvenience and hopefully it doesn’t happen to you again.

  8. #
    Howlinwolf — July 26, 2015 at 8:43 am

    I am making this Zaatar chicken & Fatoosh salad today. Your recipes are always supreme. I would like to know why you do not reccommend marinating the chicken overnite.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — August 13th, 2015 @ 9:34 pm

      Only because the lemon. I worry about the acid from the lemon juice “cooking” the chicken. ENJOY!

  9. #
    Sarah Smith — November 2, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Spicing or flavoring the chicken with Zatar is familiar in our food. It really makes special taste finally.
    You are skillful and wonderful.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — November 6th, 2015 @ 6:46 pm

      Thank you so much Sarah!

  10. #
    Gary — March 26, 2017 at 11:56 am

    I served this delicious chicken with fattoush salad and it was a taste sensation. Perfect for the start of spring 🙂 Thanks for the great recipe.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 31st, 2017 @ 4:59 pm

      Awesome, Gary! I’m so glad to hear it! Thanks for coming back and leaving a review!

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