Lemon Chicken with Za’atar

The combination of Middle Eastern spices, chicken, onions and garlic produce an easy, but delicious, sheet-pan dinner.

Sheet-pan recipes like this one are great for easy weeknight dinners that require little preparation and minimal dishes. Another hit out of Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley’s Falastin: A Cookbook, this recipe jumped off the page as we flipped through the book and will easily become a weeknight staple.

Equipment Needed
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Ingredients and Recipe

Lemon Chicken with Za’atar

Recipe Credit
Cookbook – Falastin: A Cookbook (p. 254)
Author – Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley
Note: This recipe has been updated + slightly altered for website editorial purposes.
Servings 4 people
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Hands-Off Cooking Time 35 mins
Total Time 50 mins


  • Chefs Knife
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Baking Sheet
  • Parchment Paper or Silpat Baking Mat
  • Meat Thermometer


For the Marinade

  • 3 lemons
  • 2 chicken thighs (1.5 lbs / 0.7kg) bone in, skin on
  • 2 chicken breasts (1.5 lbs / 0.7kg) bone in, skin on
  • 2 medium yellow onions (2 ¾ cups / 260g) sliced in half lengthwise, then each half cut into 3 wedges
  • 2 heads of garlic skin on, sliced in half, crosswise
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • ¾ tsp ground allspice or 1 tsp whole allspice berries, ground in a spice grinder
  • 2 tbsp za'atar (12.5g)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (45ml)
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp chicken stock or water (200ml)
  • tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste

For the Parsley Mixture

  • ¼ cup parsley finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp za'atar
  • zest of 1 lemon (1½ tsp)
  • juice of 1 lemon (1½ tbsp)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

For the Topping

  • ¼ cup sliced almonds (30g) toasted


  • Cut 2 of the lemons into ¼-inch/6mm-thick slices and place in a large mixing bowl. Finely grate the zest of the remaining lemon (to get 1½ tsp of zest) and set this aside for later. Squeeze the same lemon to get about 1½ tbsp of juice and add this to the mixing bowl.
  • Add the chicken, onions, garlic, sumac, allspice, 2 tbsp za'atar, 2 tbsp of olive oil, the chicken stock, 1½ tsp of salt and a few grinds of black pepper to the mixing bowl. Mix well to combine, then cover with a large plate and let marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or overnight, if you have time).
  • 30 minutes to 1 hour before baking, take the chicken out of the fridge; it should be at room temperature before going into the oven.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F
  • Transfer the chicken to a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat baking mat, skin side up, and pour on all the marinade and lemon slices. Drizzle the chicken with 1 tbsp of olive oil and bake for about 40 minutes, giving everything a good shake halfway through, until the chicken is golden and cooked through and the onions have taken the same color. The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 160°F.
  • Toward the end of the cooking time for the chicken, combine the parsley, lemon zest, 2 tbsp of za'atar and 3 tbsp of olive oil in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Toast the ¼ cup of almonds in a small pan.
  • Transfer the chicken to a serving platter along with the lemon slices and any juices that have collected at the bottom of the pan.
  • Spoon the parsley mixture on the chicken, finish with the toasted almonds, and serve.


All the prep work can be done in advance to make dinner time hassle-free.
Author: Sami Tamimi & Tara Wigley
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Israeli, Middle Eastern, Palestinian

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