Za'atar Potato Salad in a black bowl

Za’atar Potato Salad

Side Dish

This Za’atar Potato Salad is a bright and sunny twist on a picnic classic. Infinitely superior to store-bought, this simple recipe has great texture and might be even better the next day. It’s gonna be awesome.

Za'atar Potato Salad with text

Real talk. I jut woke up from a nap. It was glorious. Don’t you just love a good nap? Anyway, I fell asleep thinking about hosting a big outdoor potluck. In my fantasy, it was somewhere near a river because I grew up in a place where most park gatherings took place on the banks of the Columbia River.

Everybody would bring a dish, and the picnic table would be overflowing with food. Cold fried chicken, char sui pork, macaroni salad, every flavor of chips you could imagine. We’d swim and eat and rest and eat and swim. Somehow, nobody ever really worried about whether or not they’d washed their hands. We’d stay at the park all day long without smart phones, just relying on a battery powered radio for entertainment. And because there was no Instagram, nobody worried about making it look like a magazine. I miss that sometimes.

Za'atar Potato Salad in a black bowl

What makes Za’atar Potato Salad so awesome?

Outdoor gatherings are going to be our lifeline this spring and summer, so today, I’m sharing a recipe that is going to blow people away. This Za’atar Potato Salad is my new favorite. I don’t know what it is about this relatively simple seasoning blend, but it just makes everything taste better. It’s got a brightness to it that just turns up the volume on the flavor. If you’ve never tried it before, definitely buy some. It won’t go to waste.

This potato salad is simple and picky-eater friendly, but if you wanted to add some chopped celery or red onion or something, go for it. I like the simple mayo and Greek yogurt base that’s brought to life with cumin, lemon juice, and za’atar spice. The potatoes are cooked whole and then chopped after cooling to help them maintain their shape and not turn to total mush. Let this sit in the fridge overnight, and it’ll be even better than the first day.

Za'atar Potato Salad in a bowl with a wooden spoon

How to make Za’atar Potato Salad

We’ll start by adding whole Yukon Gold or similar potatoes to a pot of cold water and bringinging it to the boil. Cook the potatoes until a sharp knife slides through easily, then drain them, and cover the collander with a tea towel to let them continue to steam a bit as they cool.

In the meantine, you can whisk together your mayo, yogurt and herbs, spices, and flavorings. I like to just do this in a big mixing bowl that I’ll add the potatoes to later. When the potatoes are cool, chop them into bite size pieces. If the skin detaches, discard it, but otherwise, just leave it on. Add your chopped, cooked potatoes to the mayo mixture, and toss it all together. Scissor in some green onion and give it one final mix. Cover this and stash it in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is za’atar?

Most commonly these days, za’atar refers to a Middle Eastern spice blend containing cumin, sesame seeds, oregano, and sumac. Of course, the precise ingredients will vary from brand to brand. The word also refers to a specific species of wild oregano found in the Middle East.

Does Za’atar Potato Salad need to be refrigerated?

Since it has a mayonnaise and Greek yogurt dressing, you’ll need to keep this potato salad chilled. If you’re serving it at an outdoor gathering, keep it on ice until you’re ready to use it, and return it to the cooler within about a half hour to keep it at its best. You could also nest the serving bowl into a larger bowl of ice.

Za'atar Potato Salad with green onion

Make it magical

Oregano carries feminine energy and represents the element of air. It evokes happiness, protection, and love. Use the herb to bring a bright, sunny energy into your home. Keep an oregano plant in any place where you want to reduce tension and ease communication. Cook with it when you want to call in joy, peace and creativity. ( Source: Wicca Now)

Za'atar Potato Salad in a black bowl from above

Za’atar Potato Salad is going to be my new go to summer potluck dish. I hope it becomes your new favorite as well.

Looking for more awesome potato salad recipes? Try some Loaded Baked Potato Salad or this awesome Dill Potato Salad.


Za’atar Potato Salad

Za'atar Potato Salad in a black bowl

This Za’atar Potato Salad is a bright and sunny twist on a picnic classic. Infinitely superior to store-bought, this simple recipe has great texture and might be even better the next day.

  • Author: Renee Rendall
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


  • 11/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons za’atar spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon gound cumin
  • Black pepper
  • 1 green onion, chopped


  1. Put your potatoes in a large pot of salted water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook until you can pierce the largest potato with a sharp knife. Mine took about 30 minutes, but it will vary depending the size of your potatoes.
  2. Drain the potatoes then put the colander back over the hot pot. Place a clean kitchen towel over the colander and allow your potatoes to continue to steam for another 15 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, whisk together the mayo, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, za’atar, cuming, and salt and pepper. The mixture will be quite thick.
  4. When the potatoes are cool enough to not burn your fingers off, cut them into bite-sized pieces. The skin of Yukon golds is quite tender, so if the skin sticks you can leave it on. If it falls off, I discard it. Don’t stress yourself out.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and toss with dressing.
  6. Using scissors, cut your green onions directly into the bowl and give it a final stir.
  7. Allow your salad to hang out in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.

Keywords: Potato Salad, Za’atar

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Recipe adapted from Ina Garten and Nigella Summer by Nigella Lawson.

If you make this recipe, I’d love if you’d leave a rating and a comment. Let me know how it went. I hope you love it.

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