Layered Fattoush Salad with Za’atar Roasted Chickpeas
5 from 2 votes

This version of fattoush salad is layered, either on plates or on a big platter, so it’s perfect for snacking and sharing! It features toasted pita wedges, crispy za’atar roasted chickpeas, and a bright green, herby vegan tahini dressing.

An image of a layered fattoush salad with crispy roasted chickpeas, which has been served in a shallow white bowl.

A couple days ago, I mentioned that I’ve been making an effort to share my food lately, to welcome friends into my home.

This has me thinking about dishes that lend themselves to gatherings, including appetizers and finger food.

My go-to has always been a solid, reliable hummus plate: a creamy batch of homemade hummus (sweet potato is my favorite lately), pita wedges, and plenty of raw veggies. 

But it’s fun to branch out. This layered fattoush salad with za’atar roasted chickpeas is the kind of salad that’s perfect for entertaining. You can plate it individually, serving it as an appetizer, or you can layer it onto a big serving platter.

In any case, the salad has everything: color, crunch, and a generous amount of herby, bright, lemony green tahini dressing. It’s also easy to prep in stages and serve as you’re ready.

What could be better for a summer gathering than all of that?

What makes this a layered salad?

Layered salad, composed salad, deconstructed salad, salad platter: I wasn’t sure which of these descriptors to pick when I created this recipe.

In essence, they all are communicating the same thing, which is that this salad isn’t tossed together in a big salad bowl, then plated, as many salads are.

Instead, it’s layered, or composed onto a plate, a shallow bowl, or a serving platter. As you layer the ingredients, you add layers of sauce, too.

When I first created this layered fattoush salad recipe, I actually called it “fattoush nachos.” As I look back, I see that this was a clumsy shorthand for two recipes that each have long cultural traditions, and I took too much liberty with my labeling.

While the nacho comparison was wrong, the idea of layering crispy, triangular wedges with different ingredients, then covering them in a sauce, may give you a helpful mental point of orientation.

Why I love this layered fattoush salad

Two things make this layered fattoush feel special. The first is crispy roasted chickpeas, which are seasoned with za’atar spice and cumin.

The second is the addition of a great, herbaceous sauce. Given my enduring love of tahini dressing, it’s no surprise that I reached for the tahini jar in creating this recipe.

I used my green tahini dressing, but my tahini mint dressing would nicely compliment the mint in the recipe as well.

Lemon tahini dressing is a nice alternative to either of these options. It will offer you less herb flavor, more acidity.

The layered salad also takes inspiration from authentic fattoush salad in its inclusion of crispy, triangular pita wedges, cucumber, romaine, and tomato. These ingredients create so much freshness and crunch in the recipe.

How to make a layered fattoush salad (with roasted chickpeas)

Step 1: Prepare the roasted chickpeas

The steps for preparing these chickpeas are quite similar to the steps for my regular, crispy roasted chickpeas.

The difference is that these chickpeas are seasoned with za’atar spice.

Za’atar spice is a spice mixture consisting of dried herbs (oregano, thyme, and marjoram, usually), sumac, and roasted sesame seeds. It plays a role in Middle Eastern recipes, often for finishing or seasoning.

You can make your own za’atar spice at home, if you’re inclined to do it yourself. It’s also possible to purchase za’atar spice blend online, to find it in organic grocers, or to purchase it in a Middle Eastern food shop.

Once you have a container of za’atar at the ready, you’ll dust the chickpeas with the spice blend prior to roasting.

Chickpeas have been tossed with olive oil and a za'atar spice blend in a round white bowl.
The roasted chickpeas in this recipe are tossed with za’atar spice, a blend of sesame seeds, spices, and herbs, before roasting. The spice and herb blend enlivens their flavor.

The chickpeas are also coated with avocado oil, cumin, salt, and pepper. The avocado oil will help them to become optimally crispy as they are roasting.

Transfer the chickpeas to your oven and roast them for 30-35 minutes at 400°F / 200°C, or until they’re a deep golden brown and becoming crispy.

An overhead image of crispy roasted chickpeas on a baking sheet, dusted with za'atar spice.
After oven-roasting, the chickpeas will have a deep golden color and a pleasant, crispy texture.

While the chickpeas are roasting, you’ll also be preparing your pita triangles.

Step 2: Make homemade pita chips

To make the layered fattoush salad, I use a batch of homemade, crispy pita chips.

Yes, it’s easy to purchase pita chips, too. And if that’s what you need to do as a result of time constraints, that’s OK! Meet reality where it meets you.

However, if you’d like to make them from scratch, it’s really easy. And you can take care of it while you also roast the za’atar-spiced chickpeas.

There are many approaches to home-baked pita chips. I’ve made versions that are very thin and crispy and coated in oil.

For this version, I actually like thicker, sturdier, oil free wedges of pita. They have enough strength and dryness to soak up dressing and to be good vehicles for dipping and sharing, which is the intention of a layered fattoush salad.

I begin by cutting pita rounds into quarters (for mini-pita) or eighths (a regular-sized pita round).

While the chickpeas are roasting, place these pita triangles onto another, lined baking sheet. Transfer them to the oven when you pop the chickpeas in.

They will only need 5-7 minutes, or until browning and crispy, but not burning.

Once those pita chips are ready, it’s almost time to start assembling the composed fattoush salad.

Step 3: Prepare a simply dressed salad

The salad components for this recipe are:

  • Chopped romaine
  • Halved cherry tomatoes
  • Chopped cucumber

You’ll dress these fresh, crunchy ingredients simply with some of my zippy red wine vinaigrette; you can reserve leftover vinaigrette for other salads or pasta salads through your week!

Step 4: Layer and assemble

You can use individual serving plates or a nice, big serving platter for this meal. Either option is OK.

Begin with a layer of the toasty, dry pita triangles.

A round, white bowl is filled with pita wedges.
You can layer your pita wedges onto a platter for this recipe, or you can portion it individually by layering the wedges onto each serving plate or bowl.

Next, pile the triangles high with your simple, dressed salad, followed by the crispy chickpeas.

Finally, drizzle it all very generously with the green tahini dressing. More flavor, more acidity, more color, creaminess, more yum!

The layered fattoush salad is ready for dipping and sharing.

Serve it with plenty of napkins, since the dish is messy in the best possible way.

An image of a layered fattoush salad with crispy roasted chickpeas, which has been served in a shallow white bowl.
Once the ingredients have been piled onto each other, you can mix the salad gently or enjoy eating it layer by layer.

Meal prep & storage

It’s easy to make this salad work for your vegan meal prep routine, if you need or wish to.

The roasted chickpeas can be prepared up to four days in advance. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat them in a 300°F/150°C oven for about 15 minutes to re-crisp them.

The green tahini dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to five days or frozen for up to eight weeks.

Finally, the pita chips can be prepared up to three days in advance. You can re-crisp them in the same way that you re-crisp the chickpeas, in an oven on a low setting.

In a pinch, you can always trade the homemade chips for store-bought pita chips, too.

How to serve layered fattoush salad

This salad is great in its own right, and it’s really one of my favorite party platters. But you can also turn it into more of a standalone meal with any of the following accompaniments:

An image of a layered fattoush salad with crispy roasted chickpeas, which has been served in a shallow white bowl.
5 from 2 votes

Layered Fattoush Salad with Za’atar Roasted Chickpeas

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 regular-sized or 4 mini pitas pockets or rounds, white or whole wheat about 4 ounces total, cut into triangular pieces (8 per regular pita or 4 per mini pita)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (240g, or one 15-ounce / 425g can)
  • 1 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped cucumber (200g)
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (240g)
  • 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce (90g)
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 2-3 tablespoons zippy red wine vinaigrette (45ml)
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 1 batch delightfully green tahini dressing (1 1/4 cups / 300ml)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400F. Place the pita chips on one lined baking sheet.
  • Toss the chickpeas with the avocado oil, the za'atar spice, and the cumin. Place the chickpeas on another lined baking sheet and sprinkle them with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Transfer both baking sheets to the oven. Bake the pita chips for 5-7 minutes, or until they're crispy at the edges (check them at 5 minutes to be sure they don't burn). Bake the chickpeas for 30-35 minutes, or until they're crispy and golden.
  • While the chickpeas and pita are baking, toss the cucumbers, tomato, lettuce, parsley, and mint together with the red wine vinaigrette. Taste the salad and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Add as much dressing (2 or 3 tablespoons) as suits your liking.
  • To serve, layer the pita chips in a large tray. Layer the cucumber and tomato salad on top, followed by the roasted chickpeas. Drizzle the whole tray generously with the green tahini dressing. Serve.

Hope this layered fattoush salad will lend color and flavor to your table all summer long! I can’t wait to hear what you think.

xo

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Categories: Recipes, Main Dishes, Salads
Method: Oven
Ingredients: Chickpeas, Tomatoes
Dietary Preferences: Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan
Recipe Features: Meal Prep

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5 from 2 votes

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    9 Comments
  1. The recipe for both trays has the chickpeas listed – which one goes with the zaatar is it the pita or the chickpeas? Thanks!

    • The za’atar, 1 T olive oil, cumin, salt, and pepper are tossed with the chickpeas prior to baking. I bake the pita chips plain, though you can season them prior to baking if you like.

  2. 5 stars
    I should try this delicious looking recipe for a change. It is a combination of all ingredients that I love. Thanks for this one!

  3. WOW this looks absolutely FABULOUS! What a tasty twist on traditional nachos!

  4. I’ve totally had inviting people over more often on my mind, and am really encouraged by your post here Gena! This nacho plate sounds like such a crowd pleaser too, tons of heart eyes over here <3.

  5. What a completely lovely idea for a summer meal. It’s simple and yet festive at the same time. Glad you’re making time to enjoy the company of others. Whoever gets invited to your place super lucky. 🙂

  6. I’m usually a regular nachos kind of gal, but this is really doing it for me! I love the combo of the chickpeas and pitas, I think I could totally get into these for lunch! xo