Make Ahead

A Medley of Roasted Potatoes with Homemade Za'atar & Aleppo Pepper

November 22, 2010
8 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 50 minutes
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

I don’t know about you but in my family we always make two separate potato side dishes for our Thanksgiving Dinner. Mashed potatoes are a must but a roasted potatoes side dish is always present on the menu. I was inspired by Mediterranean & North African spices from my recent trip to Morocco & Turkey and brought back a suitcase full of spices back with me! - onetribegourmet —onetribegourmet

Test Kitchen Notes

True to her goal of making global cuisine accessible, onetribegourmet's inventive and delicious recipe introduces za'atar, a traditional Middle Eastern spice blend to crisp, oven-roasted potatoes. We're especially thrilled to have a blueprint for mixing our own za'atar, which would perk up just about anything, from roast chicken to scrambled eggs to a nice slab of grilled steak. Onetribegourmet notes that the spices can be ground, but we love the extra-crispy bites of potato that result from leaving them coarse. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Roasted Potatoes Seasoned with Homemade Za'atar & Aleppo Pepper
  • 3 lbs of Potatoes, cut up, I used red, white, & purple organic fingerling potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons Za'atar
  • 2 tablespoons Aleppo Pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Homemade Za'atar Recipe
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons sumac
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  1. Please Note: You can grind the Za’atar in a coffee grinder for a finer texture. I left it course for this recipe.
  2. pre-heat the oven, 400 degrees
  3. cut up the potatoes into bite size pieces
  4. In a bowl, mix the potatoes with Za’atar, Aleppo Pepper, lemon juice, & extra virgin olive oil.
  5. Roast the potatoes in a baking dish for 40 – 50 minutes or until the potatoes are tender & golden brown.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Karen Brooks
    Karen Brooks
  • lalf
  • Bogdan
  • fuhsi
  • MissGinsu
Hi I'm Sara and I love the art of food & travel. I have a blog called One Tribe Gourmet, where I share my passion for global cuisine and my travel adventures around the world. I have always felt that food is the most common denominator that crosses all boundaries and brings people together. The ritual of “Breaking Bread” in every culture is a special bonding experience. Personally I love to experience different cultures through there cuisines! My goal here is to encourage an individual who is interested in learning different global cuisine yet is a bit intimidated by it. I am here to help you, all you have to do is open your heart!!!

64 Reviews

Karen B. August 25, 2022
Really delicious. If you opt to use purchased za'atar instead of making it homemade, you'll need to add some sea salt.
Bree M. December 24, 2018
The most delicious potatoes I've ever roasted! I used less potatoes and put them in my cast-iron pan so the lemon juice stuck around for longer.
GsR April 12, 2016
Sesame seeds are not kosher for Passover!
lalf January 29, 2016
As you can see, I commented on this brilliant recipe some time ago, and we now enjoy it every week. My husband adores it, and it makes a great side for grilled sausages, Merguez or otherwise. Anyway, I thought I’d try a variation with yams, since it’s a very healthy option over white potatoes. I use 1.5 lbs yams, cut into thick-ish fries. I mix them thoroughly with 1.5 Tb za’atar (my own), 1/2 Tb Aleppo red pepper, 3-4 tsp lemon juice, 1 Tb maple syrup, and 1 Tb EVOO. I add some good pinches of kosher salt, mix again, and then cook as the recipe directs, although personally I spread them out on a low-sided baking sheet. The yam fries are delicious, creamy inside with caramelized goodness on the outside. So thank you again for this recipe!
david June 3, 2015
Are we sure that it is 1 tablespoon of sea salt - this is a lot of salt (almost 7,000mg of sodium) - maybe it is supposed to be 1 teaspoon?
lalf May 11, 2015
I too have been making this great recipe regularly, at first using fingerlings only. But then I found out how heavenly yam fries are done this way. Trader Joes sells a 3 lb bag of smallish organic yams, which even two of us go through pretty quickly. Of the many recipes for za’atar, this has become my fav blend:
2 Tbs dried thyme
1 Tbs dried marjoram
2 Tbs sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 Tbs sumac
1/2 tsp sea salt
I wholeheartedly agree with Joan, Lebanese food is next to heaven!
Bogdan February 2, 2015
i've been making this dish regularly since i discovered it in the book more than a year ago. i like to add a preserved lemon cut into small pieces, about 10-15 mins before they're ready.
Joan D. October 9, 2013
I am Lebanese and make Za'tar bread. Take the dough you make for pita bread, roll 1/4" thick and make a mixture of olive oil and ground Za'tar. Bake. The homemade dough is better than store bought but if you like buy frozen dough. Next to Heaven, Lebanse food!!!!

lauren R. September 29, 2013
coarse not course....
creamcheese April 1, 2013
I guess this recipe is a little old now, but I just made it for a brunch I hosted and the potatoes were absolutely devoured. We luckily had just snagged some Aleppo pepper and had a jar of sumac we were looking to use so this worked out perfectly. Certainly will be making this again!
fuhsi January 26, 2012
Made this a couple of weeks ago and you have enlightened me to the possibilities of flavoring and roasting potatoes as an added dimension to this staple (once or twice/week) starch component.

Had never tried Za'tar or Aleppo pepper, and thanks for introducing that to the repertoire, too.

Your "good deed for the day":)!
MissGinsu October 25, 2011
Love za'atar. Love aleppo pepper. Can't wait to try them together!

Bet this would be killer on roasted eggplant, too.
Marielleazar October 1, 2011
As a Syrian Jew I'm used to heavy duty spices including za'atar.. Its one of my favorites especially on some labne with olive oil and a little paprika (try it) Love this recipe cannot wait to try it!!! I will definitely be posting some recipes on here . Show the world how us syrians from Brooklyn do it. You will not regret it.
JayKayTee April 25, 2011
My pantry is just not up to the ME challenge just yet so I had to use some substitutes. Used 4 parts to one sweet paprika to cayenne for the Aleppo and grated lemon rind for the sumac in the Za'atar. I enjoyed the results. This is a nice spicy twist on roasted potatoes.I really enjoyed the lemon in this.
LynnATL January 2, 2011
OMG! This sounds amazing. I just picked up some Aleppo pepper from Penzey's as a holiday gift for myself! I agree - ME food is amazing, Claudia Roden is inspiring and spices make the best souvenirs when traveling. All the best for 2011~ Lynn
onetribegourmet January 2, 2011
Thank you & Happy New Year Lynn!
TXDjinn January 1, 2011
Hmmm...I was thinking what kind of starch we were going to have with shortribs tonight and I'm going to go with this - I'm going to substitute some amazing ground ancho's I get from a deranged chef in Santa Fe, NM for the Harr al Haleb (how we say Aleppo Pepper in Arabic) but am definitely using the Za'atar I get from back home in Lebanon for our first dinner of 2011!
TXDjinn January 1, 2011
OK, just made this and did the following tweaks to it, I used a ground roasted Chimayo pepper instead of an Ancho - I thought the bag was an Ancho, I was wrong. I also included the zest of the lemon (why let it go to waste?) which added a nice, very subtle taste to the za'atar.

This is DEFINITELY a keeper and in arabic this would be "Batata bil Za'atar ou Harr"
onetribegourmet January 1, 2011
Hi TXDjinn, wow I love your idea to use Ancho & Roasted Chimayo pepper, excellent! I'm so glad the recipe turned out good for you! btw I Love Lebanese food! Thanks!
onetribegourmet December 31, 2010
Thank you everyone for your kind words!
Sasha (. December 31, 2010
What a simple, tasty spice blend! I always say spices are the best travel souvenirs. Nice work :)
onetribegourmet January 1, 2011
Thanks Sasha! I always end up buying spices whenever I travel! :)
J. A. December 30, 2010
I could live on potatoes, especially these!
onetribegourmet January 1, 2011
Thanks hummingbirdap!
nutcakes December 30, 2010
Sounds very good, I have all the ingredients and my Sumac is underused. I'm surprised if toasted sesame seeds won't burn in the oven that long.
onetribegourmet January 1, 2011
Thanks nutcakes, sesame seeds were fine in the oven!