Sticky Za’atar Chicken Drumsticks

Need easy?  This is the recipe for you!  Just a few simple ingredients, put in the oven and forget it!  Even though these chicken legs are not fried, this recipe reminds me of a basket of southern fried chicken.  Sweet and a little crunchy but earthy all at the same time.  

Make these as a main course or as a second protein as part of a larger buffet meal.   Not into drumsticks? Any bone-in chicken pieces will do.  Even wings.  

Za’atar is a complex tasting mixture of herbs, spices and seeds.  It’s earthy, bright and herby.  It is delicious sprinkled on almost anything, even eggs!  Za’atar is generally a combination of dried oregano, thyme, and/or marjoram and sometimes also includes sumac (tangy and acidic) and toasted sesame seeds (nutty and rich).  Some za’atars will have salt in them as well.  I always have my my za’atar handy in my spice rack.  It will speak for itself.  

Za’atar is the highlight in this recipe .  I added extra sesame seeds for the crunch factor.  And the honey really rounds out the earthiness of the za’atar.

Bake all of this together in the oven – it’s beautiful thing!

If you like this recipe, take a virtual cooking class with Carolyn!

Sesame Honey Za’atar Chicken Legs


  • 12 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 ½ tbsp. zaatar, divided
  • 4 tbsp. sesame seeds, divided
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for seasoning the chicken
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil¼ cup honey


  • Preheat the oven to 400˚F convection. Line a sheet with parchment or foil. 
  • Combine 1½ tbsp. of the zaatar, 2 tbsp. of the sesame seeds, salt and oil in a bowl.  
  • Season the chicken with a little salt and pepper.
  • Rub the oil and zaatar mixture all over the chicken and place on the lined cookie sheet.
  • Drizzle the honey all over the chicken pieces.  Sprinkle with the remainder of the zaatar and sesame seeds.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes.