You simply cannot miss out on this Mediterranean Labneh Dip with Zaatar Pistachio Mint Olive Topping! Sprinkled with fresh pomegranate seeds and served with zaatar pita chips – this easy labneh dip is the perfect appetizer or can be served as part of a mezze platter!
This Labneh Dip with Zaatar Pistachio Olive Mint Topping recipe is the best, most flavorful and lightest way to make a dip! Picture creamy smooth low-fat labneh or Greek yogurt. Top that with a mixture of zaatar spice, chopped olives, fresh mint and pistachios in olive oil!
You simply cannot miss out on this Mediterranean Labneh dip! Sprinkled with fresh pomegranate seeds and served with zaatar pita chips, this dip is the perfect appetizer. It can also be served as part of a mezze platter!
Why this recipe works:
This easy refreshing Labneh Dip with Zaatar Pistachio Olive Mint topping is my way of twisting and adding a TON of flavor, freshness and punch to a classic Middle Eastern appetizer.
There’s something special about cool and tangy labneh that’s simply wonderfully contrasted with fresh mint, salty olives, crunchy pistachios, sweet pomegranate and rounded up in plenty of zaatar and olive oil! OMG, seriously you can not miss this labneh dip recipe!
What is Labneh?
So have you ever tried labneh or at least heard of it??!! Well, I had it for the first time when we went to Jordan about 18 years ago and I found out it’s been around for centuries in many neighboring food cultures!
Nowadays, I don’t think you need a trip all the way to Jordan to get your labneh fix. All you need is a close-by spot that sells it.
Labneh is basically strained tangy yogurt with a bit of salt. It can be full-fat or low-fat. It has the texture of sour cream or Greek yogurt, but it has a more tangy and saltier taste. And hey, you can absolutely make it from scratch.
If you’re in the mood for making labneh from scratch, simply strain a nice tub of tangy yogurt (Indian or Middle Eastern yogurts work best if you can find them) with a 1/4 teaspoon of salt, until the yogurt is thick and creamy.
This takes anywhere from 8-24 hours depending on the type of yogurt you used to start with. And it’s done! Store it in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks, and enjoy 🙂
What is Zaatar?
So how about the Zaatar spice? This spice blend is one of my favorites!
Its basically a combination of toasted dried thyme leaves, sesame seeds, salt and lemony sumac spice (a fabulous lemon tasting flower spice which I used in this lemon artichoke garlic roast chicken with salsa, this Turkish style chicken skewers, Turkish pizza Lahmacun, and Ultimate lamb kabab platter)
These days, you should be able to find it in pretty much every grocery store and definitely in all specialty stores, spice stores and Middle Eastern stores.
Zaatar tastes of thyme, lemon and sesame! It’s mostly used as a condiment, sprinkled over cheese, pizzas, salads, breads, dips and more.
I can’t say I would like you to substitute anything for Zaatar in this recipe. If you absolutely MUST, then toast following ingredients in a skillet over low heat:
- 1/3 cup of dried thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
- 1 Tablespoon of sumac spice and
- 1/8 the teaspoon of salt
Toast these spices for about 1.5 mins until fragrant and toasty.
How to make Labneh Dip with Zaatar Pistachio Mint Olive Topping:
To make life easier, you can absolutely combine the topping ingredients in a food processor. I like to chop them because I love a chunky texture and feel to them. And it really just takes a minute—because you’re not chopping large batches of anything, just a couple of tablespoons of each and they all get chopped up together.
How to serve this Labneh Dip:
This gorgeously delicious labneh dip with zaatar pistachio olive mint topping can be served with any type of cracker or veggie you have on hand. I paired it here with my favorite zaatar pita chips.
Just take thin type pita bread (not Greek style) and cut each into 8 wedges, then separate the upper and lower part of the bread so you’ll end up with 16 wedges from each pita.
In a bowl, I mix some zaatar and olive oil and brush the tops of each pita wedge with this fragrant mixture, then bake the bread for 6 mins till crispy.
Absolutely easy, quick, and DELICIOUS. These zaatar chips are perfect for hummus dipping too (hint : garlic kale hummus dip or the ultimate hummus dip), and they stay crispy forever. Just store them in a ziplock bag to enjoy through out the week! 🙂
Make a labneh dip with zaatar pistachio olives mint topping this SuperBowl for a different vibrant take on your classic game day flavors.
And if you’re having a potluck, this labneh dip makes a perfect choice—assemble it last min and watch everyone go in for seconds and thirds!
Tips for success:
- If you cannot find labneh and don’t want to make it yourself, use your favorite brand of Greek yogurt and mix it with an extra 1/4 teaspoon of salt!
- Serve this Labneh Dip with Zaatar Pita Chips (follow instructions listed under “How to Serve”)
- Pair it with this fabulous Turkish pizza Lahmacun and Turkish style chicken skewers for a flavorful out of the box menu!
Labneh Dip with Zaatar Pistachio Mint Olive Topping
You simply cannot miss out on this Mediterranean Labneh Dip with Zaatar Pistachio Mint Olive Topping! Sprinkled with fresh pomegranate seeds and served with zaatar pita chips - this easy labneh dip is the perfect appetizer or can be served as part of a mezze platter!
For the dip:
- 2 cups labneh (store-bought or home-made) or Greek Yogurt
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios (toasted preferably but optional)
- 1 tablespoon chopped pitted Kalamata olives
- pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/4 cup Zaatar spice
- 1/3 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
For the Zaatar Pita Chips:
- 3 large pita pocket breads (not Greek style) cut up into wedges
- 2 tablespoons Zaatar spice
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Start by making the Zaatar Pita Chips, cut up each pita bread into 8 wedges and then separate the 2 layers of the pita bread giving you 16 wedges in total per bread. In a small bowl, mix the zaatar spice and olive oil.
- Lay the pita bread wedges in a single layer on a baking sheet and brush them with the Zaatar and olive oil mixture. Bake for 6-8 mins until crispy (keep an eye on them because they burn easily!)
- In a small bowl, add in the chopped mint, pistachios, olives, pepper flakes, zaatar spice, pepper flakes, zaatar and olive oil. Mix the topping ingredients well.
- Spread your labneh (or Greek yogurt) on a flat plate mounding the labneh to about an inch high.
- Spoon the topping ingredients over the top of the labneh and allow it to drip from the sides. Sprinkle the pomegranate arils on top.
- Serve with pita bread and some minty red tea.
- If you cannot find labneh and don't want to make it yourself, use your favorite brand of Greek yogurt and mix it with an extra 1/4 teaspoon of salt!
- Serve this Labneh Dip with Zaatar Pita Chips (follow instructions listed under "How to Serve")