Crispy Za’atar Chicken and Cauliflower

spicy chicken plated with lemon and onion
Number of Servings: 
Recipe Source: 
Weeknight Gourmet Dinners by Meseidy Rivera ($21.99, Page Street Publishing, 2020). Photo: Meseidy Rivera.


  • 2 tbsp melted ghee or clarified butter
  • 3 tbsp za’atar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 12 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets (about 4 cups)
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1" wedges
  • 3 heads garlic, tops trimmed
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 2 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (4 large thighs)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a rimmed sheet pan with foil.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the melted ghee, za’atar, lemon juice and salt. Place the cauliflower, onion, garlic heads, halved lemons and chicken on the prepared sheet pan. Add the seasoning mixture and toss until evenly coated. Arrange everything into a single layer on the pan.
  3. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, then broil on high for 1 minute, or until the skin is crispy. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the heads and sprinkle over the chicken, then serve.


  • The chicken can be seasoned the night before and stored in a resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator until ready to cook, to get your dinner on the table even faster.

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend of dried herbs, sesame seeds and sumac. It’s very savory and aromatic, and I recommend everyone add it to their pantry. These chicken thighs are seasoned with za’atar and roasted with cauliflower, red onion, lemons and whole garlic until the chicken is tender and the skin is crispy. You literally put everything on a sheet pan, rub it with seasonings and toss it in the oven. It is a full Middle Eastern–inspired meal. Enjoy the chicken as prepared or served with basmati rice, warm naan bread or roasted sweet potatoes.

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Meseidy Rivera

Meseidy Rivera wants to break down the walls of “gourmet” as something that can only be done by professionals to be just another way of cooking using ingredients that you wouldn’t necessarily think to put together.

She is the founder of The Noshery. A graduate of Platt College Culinary Institute, she has worked as a culinary assistant to Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman. Her recipes have been featured in The New York Times, Bon Appétit, BuzzFeed and more.

lives in Chattanooga, TN in a tiny house, although she constantly pulls inspiration from her Puerto Rican roots.