Za’atar is a Middle Eastern seasoning blend that features dried sumac, made from a tart berry, along with toasted sesame seeds and dried herbs. Look for it in well-stocked grocery stores or specialty markets. Its unique flavor teamed up with fresh lemon and mint is refreshing. Rachel Cooks created this recipe from an ingredient list submitted by Kadija B., who was a finalist in the Just BARE Chicken +5 Ingredient Challenge.


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Cut chicken into 1-inch chunks; arrange on baking sheet. Place in freezer for about 20 minutes.

  2. Place chicken chunks in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Chop the chicken, pulsing on and off, just until finely chopped but still retains some texture.

  3. Mix breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons yogurt in a large bowl. Transfer ground chicken to bowl, along with 2 teaspoons za’atar seasoning, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon mint, salt, and pepper. Gently mix together with your hands until just blended.

  4. Form chicken mixture into small meatballs (about 1-1/4 inches). Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake about 20 minutes or until no longer pink in center. 

  5. Meanwhile, mix remaining yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon za’atar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons mint together in a small bowl. Serve with meatballs.


For a richer ground chicken, use half breast or tender meat and half boneless thighs.

Nutritional values may change if you choose to substitute another chicken product or any other ingredients. If substituting frozen chicken for this recipe, thaw before cooking.