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Za'atar Chicken with Harissa Tomato Sauce
and baby kale salad

Active: 40 Total: 40

From a za'atar spice rub to a drizzle of smoky harissa tomato sauce, this flavor-packed meal borrows inspiration from a few delicious culinary traditions. A version of this meal which featured pork chops first appeared in 2022.
Smarts: Harissa can vary widely from mild to very spicy. We tested the sauce with mild harissa and used a large portion to add flavor. If your harissa is on the spicy side (or isn't labeled for any particular spice level), start with a small amount and increase to taste.



Lemony Baby Kale Salad:
  • Cucumbers - 8 oz , chopped
  • Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp
  • Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
  • Salt - 1/4 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
  • Baby kale - 8 oz
Za'atar Chicken with Harissa Tomato Sauce:
  • Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
  • Onions, medium - 1/2 , diced
  • Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 1 lb , halved to thin
  • Za'atar - 1 Tbsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
  • Paprika, smoked - 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon, ground - pinch of
  • Tomato paste - 4 Tbsp
  • Harissa, mild or spicy - 1 to 2 Tbsp , taste and adjust according to your spice preference
  • Water - 3/4 cup


  1. Garlic / Onions - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  2. Chicken - Slice chicken in half to thin. Season on both sides with za'atar, salt, and pepper (portions for chicken). Tenderize with a fork. (Can be done 1 day ahead)

  3. Cucumbers - Chop cucumbers.

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  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper (portions for salad). Add baby kale and cucumbers on top but wait to toss it until right before serving. Set aside while chicken cooks.

  2. Heat a large skillet with cooking oil over medium heat. 

  3. When oil is hot, add chicken and sear on both sides until golden brown and cooked through (165F / 74C degrees), 6 to 10 minutes total. (Watch the chicken closely and reduce the heat as needed to be sure the spice blend doesn't burn.)

  4. Set chicken aside, covered to keep warm. Return skillet to heat.

  5. If the skillet looks dry, add some additional oil and then the onions. Saute onions until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.

  6. To onions add garlic, paprika, cinnamon, tomato paste, and harissa. Cook for 1 minute. Add water while whisking to combine. Simmer until sauce is thick but still pourable, 2 to 4 minutes more. Taste and season with some salt and pepper.

  7. Toss the salad.

  8. Divide chicken between serving plates and spoon sauce over top. Serve chicken with salad on the side. Enjoy!



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