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Za’atar-Spiced Chickpea Pita Pizzas

Za’atar-Spiced Chickpea Pita Pizzas 4.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Gina Nistico for The Washington Post

Nourish Apr 22, 2021

For these pizzas, chickpeas are mashed with olive oil and lemon juice just enough to come together, then seasoned with a generous amount of za’atar and piled onto pita bread along with tangy feta cheese, chopped fresh tomatoes and shredded mozzarella. They are baked until the bread is crisped, the cheese is melted and the fragrance of the herbs is unleashed, before being showered with fresh parsley. The result is a meal that’s simple and healthful, yet brimming with exciting flavor.

Active time: 20 mins; Total time: 35 mins

Storage Notes: Any leftover chickpea mixture can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Where to Buy: Za'atar can be found in Middle Eastern grocery stores, well-stocked supermarkets or online.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings; 1 pita pizza per serving

  • Two (15-ounce cans) no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 3 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons za’atar (see NOTE)
  • Kosher salt (optional)
  • Four (6-inch) whole-wheat pitas
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) quartered grape tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


Position a rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

Place the chickpeas in a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and the lemon juice, then use a fork or a potato masher to mash the chickpeas coarsely, until about half of them are broken down and the mixture comes together. Stir in the za’atar. Taste and season with salt, if desired (depending on the salt content of the za'atar you are using).

Place the pita onto a large, rimmed baking sheet and brush the top side of each with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil.

Mound about a quarter of the chickpea mixture onto each pita, then sprinkle each with the feta, then the tomatoes and then the mozzarella cheese.

Place in the oven, and roast for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bread has crisped. Garnish with the parsley and serve.

NOTE: Za’atar blends vary widely in sodium content and the amount is not always clearly listed. Try to find a brand with no added salt, or with a low-sodium content where salt is one of the last ingredients on the ingredient list. Alternatively, you can substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons each dried oregano and dried thyme plus 1 teaspoons each toasted sesame seeds and lemon zest for the za’atar in this recipe.

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Recipe Source

From cookbook author and registered nutritionist Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Olga Massov.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 497

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 19g 29%

Saturated Fat: 5g 25%

Cholesterol: 21mg 7%

Sodium: 595mg 25%

Total Carbohydrates: 65g 22%

Dietary Fiber: 13g 52%

Sugar: 7g

Protein: 21g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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