Vegan & Low Calorie Za’atar Manakeesh (Flatbread Topped with Za’atar) مناقيش زعتر


Detox bread anyone?  These vegan and low calories delicious Za’atar Manakeesh are flatbread topped with za’atar. They are guilt-free and packed with nutrients.  They make a wholesome breakfast, snack, appetizer and/or School lunch. 

What Is Za’atar Flatbread or Za’atar Manakeesh

Mankeesh Za’atar is made of a few simple ingredients, but the result is nothing short of a miracle. It is a flat bread topped with a paste made of olive oil and za’atar blend.

Za'atar Flat Bread or Mankeesh Za'atar
Photo Credit: Canva


This low calorie and vegan za’atar flat bread, is a healthy recipe that I created for you and my family. The bread recipe is inspired by Egyptian traditional bread “Aish Baladi“, which is made of whole wheat flour and bran that are both rich in fiber.

Where Manakeesh Are Originally From

Manakeesh Za’atar is not Egyptian food, but it is omnipresent in Egypt, given the large number of Palestinians, Lebanese and Syrian refugees and migrants who flocked to Egypt due to civil wars and unrest in the Middle East.

Many of them are heavily investing in food business on small and large scales, which enriched the Egyptian culinary scene and confirmed its cosmopolitan streak.

Low- Calorie Za’atar Flatbread Or Zaatar Manakeesh 

Traditionally, Manakeesh Za’atar are made of white flour flat bread, topped with a paste of extra virgin olive oil and za’atar blend.

To cut the calories of that delicious yet rich bread, I opt, in this recipe, for whole wheat flour. If you want to cut the calories further, swap in canola oil for olive oil, to avoid the caloric addition of the latter.

Flatbread topped with a mixture of za'atar blend and olive oil
Za’atar Manakeesh

Healthy Lent & Vegan Superfood 

During Orthodox lent, we copts (Christian Egyptians) abstain from animal products and we observe a strict vegan diet, the fact that leaves us with fewer options for breakfast.

However, this healthy, low calorie Manakeesh Zaatar is my absolute favorite for breakfast as I find it an excellent substitute for my sunny side up eggs.

Spreading a spoonful of Za'atar blend on flat bread
Photo Credit: Chez Nermine

What is Za’atar

Photo Credit: Canva

Za’atar literally means oregano in English but it has another significance in Middle Eastern cuisine.

Za’atar is a spice mix of dried thyme, oregano, majoram, sumac, toasted sesame seeds, salt, and pepper. Also, there are also some other variations that include cumin and coriander.

There are some good quality Za’atar now in grocery stores and Middle Eastern.  However, since the pandemic started I order mine online from Amazon. For full disclosure, this blog is an Amazon Associate.

Zaatar is so versatile, and many Middle Easter bloggers have used it creatively in their recipes. Check this Za’atar Pop by May Kahsish, the talented food blogger behind Almond & Fig.

Health Benefit of Vegan, Low Calorie Manake’esh Zaatar 

The Za’atar blend is packed with health benefits as it is rich in antioxidants. Historically, it was used as a medicine to treat infections and inflammation. It is widely believed that Za’atar it is immune and mood booster, given the enzymes in its dry aromatic herbs.

Unlike the regular za’atar bread, made of all-purpose flour, this guilt-free version of za’atar is made of whole wheat flour and speckled with bran, which makes it rich in fiber.

Easy, Freezer Friendly & Make Ahead 

The dough is pretty easy to pull together. It is a quick stove bread that freezes well and tastes fresh, fragrant and packed with flavor. Make sure to reheat it before serving.

I do hope that you try this filling, detox, stovetop bread that will improve your mood and health.  If you do, don’t forget to hit like, drop a feedback line, and share the recipe link with others.

For More Vegan Recipes on Chez Nermine 

Chez Nermine blog is an Amazon Associate. We earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. Our commission doesn’t affect the  price of the product you purchase.

Vegan & Low Calorie Za’atar Bread (Manakeesh Za’atar)

Makes 6 medium disks of Za’atar flat bread


For the Bread 

  • 2 cups whole wheat bread flour
  • ¼ cup bran (optional)
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ to 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey, or sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or canola oil and some extra for greasing, or

For the Za’atar Garnish 


For the Za’atar Olive Oil Topping 

  1. Mix together ½ cup of olive oil or canola oil, 4 tablespoons of za’atar, salt and pepper. Reserve to spread a spoonful on each dough disk.

For the Bread

  1. Proof the yeast: Mix the yeast, warm water, and sugar in a mixing bowl and stir until are ingredients are combined. Cover with a plastic film or towel and let it proof for 15 minutes or until the mixture is foamy and frothy.
  2. Make the dough: Mix the dry ingredients, the flour and salt. In a large mixing bowl, add the yeast-water mixture to the dry ingredients. Add the oil and keep kneading either by hand, or in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, until a soft dough come together. The dough should spring back if you touch it.
  3. Let the dough rise: Place the dough in an oiled, sizeable, and deep bowl, cover it with a towel, and let it rest in a warm place.
  4. Shape the Za’atar Manakeesh: When the dough is almost double in size, divide into equal pieces. Roll each into a smooth ball, drizzle some oil on top of each, and let them rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Roll out each ball into a ¼ inch dish and spread over the za’atar olive oil mixture.
  5. Bake the bread: On a hot stovetop griddle or a cast iron pan, transfer the discs one by one or two by two’s. It depends on how big is your pan. Once the surface of the bread starts to bubble, remove the bread.
  6. Serve the bread with a platter of cucumber, cherry tomatoes,  pickles, and cheese.


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