Zaatar Tuna with Creamy Tahini Sauce

Healthy, flavorful, and oh so simple, this recipe is perfect for busy weeknights when you need a quick and easy meal.  A delicious layer of spice creates a crust around the fish resulting in a tender, juicy center.  And the tahini sauce lends a rich, creaminess to the dish without overpowering the exotic zaatar seasoning. 

Fish is a high protein, low-fat food, and excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which help to keep our heart and brain healthy.  We’ve opted to use tuna steaks in this recipe, but salmon, mackerel, and halibut are all great choices.  To season the fish, we’re using a blend of zaatar and sumac.  You may now ask "What is Zaatar?". Zaatar is an intense, aromatic blend of wild thyme, sumac, and roasted sesame seeds.  Sumac provides a lemony taste (if honest quality) without being acidic.  Surprisingly, many zaatar producers use citric acid in place of sumac in their mixes, along with unknown fillings in the mix. It is important therefore to buy a reputable Za'atar brand.  For additional reading, here are Frequently Asked Questions about Za'atar including the health benefits of Zaatar.

This dish takes about 15 minutes to prepare and can easily be doubled or tripled if needed. Serve with rice and vegetables, atop a bed of salad greens, or give one our side dish recipes a try! 

 Zaatar Tuna with Creamy Tahini Sauce_ ready to serve with salad

Zaatar Tuna with Creamy Tahini Sauce    

Prep Time: 7 mins, Cook Time: 8 mins, Total Time: 15 mins
Servings: 2
Serving Size: About 1 tuna steak
Calories: 355, Fat: 24g, Protein: 31g, Carbs: 5g, Fiber: 2g


2 tuna steaks, about 4-5 ounces each
2 tablespoons Zaatar
1 teaspoon sumac
Pinch of sea salt (optional if using Tyme Foods Original Blend)
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon warm water
Olive oil for cooking  

 Zaatar Tuna with Creamy Tahini Sauce_ step one through step five


  1. In a small bowl, combine the Zaatar, sumac, and sea salt and mix well.
  2. Pat the tuna steaks dry and liberally sprinkle with the Zaatar mixture, pressing lightly to adhere the spices to the tuna.
  3. Heat several tablespoons of olive oil in a large, cast iron pan over medium heat.
  4. Once the oil is heated, carefully place the tuna steaks in the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side for medium doneness or 5-6 minutes on each side for well done.     
  5. Remove from the pan and allow to rest.
  6. To prepare the creamy tahini sauce, combine the tahini, lemon juice, Greek yogurt, chopped parsley, minced garlic, and warm water in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
Za'atar Tuna with Creamy Tahini Sauce_Tahini_Sauce-step six

Serve the tuna with the creamy tahini sauce, lemon wedges, and side dish of your choice.  Our Zaatar Quinoa Tabbouleh or Zaatar Roasted Vegetables with Goat Cheese are great choices!

Zaatar Tuna with Creamy Tahini Sauce_ ready to serve

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