This isn’t your normal pasta salad.

You know the kind – the classic pasta salad I grew up with was either covered with black olives and Italian dressing or peppers and other veggies and coated with a mayo-based dressing.

But the best thing about pasta salad is that you can make it whatever you want. And last week, I wanted Middle Eastern.

zatar spiced chicken and pasta 1

After spicing it up in Richmond with 16 flavors of hummus and a new spice kit of my own, I couldn’t help but throw some new-to-me flavors into this pasta salad.

One spice mix we tried was a Zatar seasoning. Most Zatar seasonings are a mix of thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame seeds, salt and sometimes sumac. If you haven’t tried it before, here’s the perfect excuse to go buy some! It may have taken me almost 30 years to try zatar, but you can bet I’ll be using it regularly from now on. And I have an almost unhealthy love for sumac now – have you tried it?! It’s so tart and tangy and salty. I want to put it on everything.

zatar spiced chicken and pasta 2

With summer right around the corner, pasta salads are about to be popping up everywhere. They’re the expected dish of picnics and fellowships and potlucks. But you don’t have to bring the same recipe with you every time.

Switch it up. Add a new veggie. Try some new seasonings. Swap out your mayo dressing for hummus (I did – and it’s the best idea ever).

If you’re looking for some new pasta salad ideas and recipes, Dreamfields has you covered – this is their 3rd year of the Pastapalooza which is all about the ultimate side dish of summer: pasta salads. So try something new, throw out your usual recipe, and see what you can come up with this summer.

zatar spiced chicken and pasta 3

Want to win a case of Dreamfields so you can make this pasta salad – or your own version – this summer? Dreamfields is giving one of you fantastic readers a case of their fabulous pasta! The giveaway will end Friday, June 14, 2013 at noon central. Good Luck!

to enter do one or all of the following (each comment acts as an entry):

  1. Visit the Dreamfields website, look around, find a pasta recipe you would like to make, and comeback here and leave a comment telling me which one you chose.
  2. Follow @HealthyPasta on Twitter
  3. Follow Dreamfields on Facebook
  4. Follow Dreamfields on Pinterest
  5. Follow BranAppetit on Facebook or Twitter

* For #2-5, you must leave a comment stating you followed for the entry to be valid.

Zatar Spiced Chicken and Pasta Salad
Makes: 6 servings


  • 1 and 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 3 Tbsp zatar spice mix, divided
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups Dreamfields Penne Pasta
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • 1/4 parsley, chopped


  1. Place a large pot of water over high heat. Once the water has come to a rolling boil, add some salt and the pasta. Lower the heat to medium and let the pasta cook, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes until the pasta is cooked. Drain the pasta and pour it back into the pot; set the pasta aside until you’re ready to put everything together.
  2. Cut the chicken into 6 equal pieces, or as close as possible, so they cook in the same time. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with 2 tablespoons of the zatar spice mix, salt, and pepper and set the chicken aside.
  3. Place a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the chicken to the skillet (in batches, if you need to) and cook, 5-6 minutes on each side until the chicken is browned and cooked through.
  4. Once all your chicken is cooked, set it aside on a plate.
  5. Add the sliced zucchini to the skillet and cook 4-5 minutes until the zucchini is tender. Toss in the tomato and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
  6. Pour the zucchini and tomato mixture into the cooked pasta. Add in the last tablespoon of zatar spice mix, chickpeas, sliced olives, hummus, and parsley and stir everything together.
  7. Serve the pasta salad topped with a piece of chicken.

This is a sponsored post, but all opinions and recipes are my own, as always.


  1. Indian pasta salad!! Yum!! I never would of though of this, but is sound so good!!

  2. Oh man, zata’ar is one of my favorite spice mixtures! I haven’t cooked with it way too long, but I will definitely be doing so now. Sounds so great with this chicken & pasta combo!

  3. As one who lives in the middle east, I completely understand your love for zaatar and sumac! I’m a big fan. I’m lucky that I can choose from dozens of varieties of zaatar at my local grocery store. We always have both ready to use, and I use them in so many different dishes! They’re great with a simple pasta dish of cooked pasta, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, zaatar, sumac and a bit of shredded cheese. Simple and delicious!! :)

  4. Love, love, love za’atar!! We add it to our salad most nights with a little olive oil and lemon juice – so good and fresh!! Can’t wait to meet you soon!!

  5. i haven’t made anything with za’atar before nor have i ever tried sumac the way you describe them i want to NOW. and while i wouldn’t make the pasta salad using the chicken as i’m a vegetarian it sounds as though it would be great even w/o it. unfortunately i don’t think i have a good local source for either the za’atar or the sumac – do you ever buy your spices online? if so, is there a place you would recommend? thanks.

  6. I love zata’ar! I know it was in food when I was in Israel, but didn’t start cooking with it until recently when my cookbook called for it (and I finally found it)! I can’t wait to try this recipe out!

  7. BRANDI!!! I love this! What a fabulous meal! and zatar is my favorite spice in the entire world. I just tried it for the first time a few days ago!

  8. hummm never thought to use hummus instead of mayo! If I did that hubby would probably eat pasta salad!

  9. i’ve never tried sumac before! but now it’s on my list of spices to buy… love the mayo-hummus swap ;) i also use hummus as a salad dressing!

  10. This looks WAY better than your “normal” pasta salad! It looks so flavorful and satisfying :)

  11. That looks SO yum. I love zatar and whod oesn’t love pasta? I want to try their fruit and yogurt elbow salad. I think Kay would LOVE it too:

  12. I’d like to try Mediterranean Pasta, Chickpea & Fennel Salad with Creamy Feta-Dill Dressing. I followed all in steps 2 – 5. Thanks!

  13. I Follow Dreamfields on Facebook.

  14. I Follow Dreamfields on Pinterest.

  15. I Follow BranAppetit on Facebook.

  16. The recipe I’d love to try first(first, because there were many.) would be the Seafood Stew with Rotini, It’s quick and has many of my favorite ingredients. Thanks for the great giveaway opportunity.

  17. Linguine with Walnut Pesto Sauce
    this sounds wonderful as do many , but this stood out.

  18. I love the sound of Indian Pasta Salad, yum! Followed on Facebook and Pinterest!

  19. I like the lemony Angel Hair Toss recipe, would make this during the hot summer. I also like the recipe above using Hummus instead of mayo.

  20. The Rotini Greek Salad! I love Feta Cheese and it sounds wounderful!!!

  21. Following on Pinterest!

  22. Liked in Facebook!

  23. Liked BranAppetit on Facebook!

  24. Sherri’s Pesto Pasta sound amazing! I would love to make that one. Heck, I am going to make that one!

  25. Of course I am also follwing @HealthyPasta Twitter

  26. I want to make the lemon-herb penne and add some grilled salmon.

  27. This looks SO delicious! I have to try this recipe, my husband would love this :)

  28. Indian Pasta Salad. Sounds so good.

  29. I Follow Healthy Pasta On Twitter Under LeeAnnPerry2.

  30. I Follow Dreamfields On Face Book Under LeeAnn Perry.

  31. I Follow Brand Appetit On Twitter Under LeeAnnPerry2.

  32. linguine with walnut pesto sauce sounds delish!

  33. I follow @HealthyPasta on Twitter

  34. I follow Dreamfields on Facebook!

  35. I follow Dreamfields on Pinterest!

  36. I follow BranAppetit on Facebook!

  37. This looks so good! I love zaatar!

  38. This sounds GREAT it will be whats for dinner this week!!!

  39. Would ♥ to try, Spaghetti alle Olive e Pomodoro (Spaghetti with Olives and Tomatoes)!
    I follow: Dreamfields on Facebook & Pinterest.
    I follow: @ Healthy Pasta on Twitter &
    I follow BranAppetit on Facebook

  40. I’d love to try the Linguini with Walnut Pesto–so yummy!

  41. I’m following Dreamfields on Twitter :)

  42. I’m a Dreamfields fan on Facebook

  43. I’m following branappetit on Twitter!

  44. My husband and I just starting trying Indisn food and we love it. I would love to try the Zatar chicken recipe!!!

  45. Love the Zatar chicken we recently starting trying Indian food and the flavors are outrageous! I have been following Dreamfields on Facebook for sometime now.

  46. I’d love to make Sherri’s Pesto Pasta!

  47. I like Dreamfields on Facebook.

  48. I follow Dreamfields on Pinterest

  49. I would make Bahama Penne with seared Mahi Mahi – sounds delish!

  50. I follow Healthy Pasta on Twitter.

  51. I follow Dreamfields on Facebook.

  52. I follow Dreamfields on Pinterest.

  53. I follow you on Twitter.

  54. The Potluck Pasta Salad looks and sounds delicious. I will have to try it for my next cookout.

  55. Triple Cheesy Mac & Cheese! The ultimate comfort food!

  56. I am going to make Chicken Piccata with Angel Hair from your recipes tomorrow evening. I can’t wait to make this. I received several coupons for Dreamfields pasta and have been buying it each time I go to the store. We love it even more so that it’s low carb. Thanks for the chance to win a case of pasta!

  57. @jasonbrind is following dreamfields on Twitter
    (and making this recipe tonight)

  58. The Rotini Greek Salad! Yummy!!!

  59. Checked out Dreamfield’s website. I’d like to try the Pesto Pasta recipe!!

  60. I follow Dreamfields on facebook!

  61. I’m definitely following Dreamfields on Facebook

  62. I follow BranAppetit on facebook!

  63. I follow dreamfield’s on Facebook (Jeffrey Tretin) and @healthypasta on twitter (@readsalways)

  64. The recipe I would like to try is the Artichoke, Walnut & Prosciutto Angel Hair. Unfortunitly the store in my area does not carry the angel hair pasta.

  65. I follow dreamfields on facebook.

  66. I use Dreamfields for all of our Pasta recipes and have for years…but I think one of our favorites is the Traditional Lasagna…for years I avoided it because I didn’t eat high carb food..

  67. …And now I’m adding Brandi to my Twitter troupe as well!

  68. I followed BranAppetit on Facebook.

  69. I followed Dreamfields on Facebook.

  70. By the way, Dreamfields + a good Carbonara = a low carb dream recipe.

  71. I Follow BranAppetit on Facebook

  72. I followed Dreamfields on Pinterest.

  73. I followed @HealthyPasta on Twitter.

  74. I love Dreamfields Healthier Mac and Cheese recipe. My family loves it.

  75. I follow Dreamfields on Facebook

  76. I follow Dreamfields on twitter

  77. I follow Dreamfields on Pinterest.

  78. I love their pasta, and already am a follower on facebook, but thought I use Zaatar a lot, I rarely put it on pasta.. that may change now

  79. I follow Bran Appetite on Facebook and twitter.

  80. Potluck Pasta Salad! Tastes wonderful:)

  81. I Follow @HealthyPasta on Twitter!

  82. I Follow Dreamfields on Facebook!

  83. I Follow Dreamfields on Pinterest!

  84. I Follow BranAppetit on Twitter!

  85. I Follow BranAppetit on Facebook!

  86. Following Dreamfields on Facebook, Twitter, and Pintrest. Following Bran Appitite on Twitter.

  87. Since I love shrimp, I’d like to try the Mediterranean Pasta Salad from the Dreamfields website.

  88. I’m a Facebook fan of Dreamfields.

  89. I am going to do the Ginger Noodle salad. I love the idea of a cold salad that is spicy and “cool”

  90. Summer Pasta Broccoli Salad is the salad im making,i Follow @HealthyPasta on Twitter
    i Follow Dreamfields on Facebook
    i Follow Dreamfields on Pinterest & i
    Follow BranAppetit on Facebook &Twitter

    thank You!

  91. I follow Dreamfields on facebook

  92. Rotini greek salad looks YUM!

  93. I like dreamfields pasta on FB as Meighan Taylor

  94. I follow dreamfields pasta on twitter as Meighan Taylor

  95. I follow bran apetite on twitter as Meighan Taylor

  96. I like dreamfields pasta on Pinterest as Meighan Taylor

  97. I like a enrage Betty’s steak house salad! I am currently on a beef kick and dreamfields is the only pasta I use these days since I am diabetic. I have a thing for pasta in any form so I am probably going to make most of these salads this summer.

  98. I follow Dreamfields on facebook

  99. Lemony Angel Hair Toss sounds like the perfect spring/summer dish right now!

  100. #2: following @Healthy Pasta on Twitter as glitter_bird

  101. #3: Following Dreamfields on Facebook

  102. #4: Following Dreamfields on Pinterest as Daphne

  103. #5: following Bran Appetit on Twitter as glitter_bird

  104. #5: Following BranAppetit on Facebook

  105. Mediterranean Pasta, Chickpea & Fennel Salad with Creamy Feta-Dill Dressing! Love feta and dill, so I’m definitely gonna try this one.

  106. Follow Dreamfields on Facebook as ‘Red Storm’

  107. Following @HealthyPasta on Twitter as @RedStormRN

  108. Following Dreamfields on Pinterest as Red Storm

  109. I’m going to tr y this. I think my family would love it! Rustic Sausage & Angel Hair!

  110. Like on facebook

  111. I would love to make Easy Clam Linguine. I follow Dreamfields on Facebook

  112. Savory ricotta angel hair looks like something I would love to try

  113. I followed @healthypasta on Twitter!

  114. Spaghetti alle Olive e Pomodoro – – this is my favorite type of spaghetti!

    I follow Dreamfields on Facebook. Thank you!

  115. Following all sites and I like the Creamy Southern-Style Macaroni Salad!

  116. I follow Dreamfields on FB and have given away many coupons to friends and family…it’s the only pasta we eat besides homemade ravioli ;)

  117. Also…making the Mediterranean because I have a whole bag of frozen already cooked shrimp and I love angel hair for pasta salads!

  118. The Lemon Herb kind sounds good, with chicken it would be delicious.

  119. I follow @healthypasta on twitter.

  120. I follow DreamFields on FB Lauralee Hensley

  121. I follow Dreamfields on Pinterest.
    Lauralee Hensley

  122. I follow Bran Appetit on both FB Lauralee Hensley and Twitter @lfhpueblo

  123. Sherri’s Pesto Pasta recipe looks divine and would be a family favorite!

  124. I follow @HealthyPasta on Twitter via @serene_streams

  125. I like BranApetit on Facebook!

  126. I also like Dreamfields on Facebook! Thank you!

  127. There’s other brands of pasta?
    I tried almost all the recipes on their site. All Good!

  128. I love looking for new ideas in the kitchen when it comes to food, especially Pasta mmmm. These are some great recipes that I can’t wait to indulge into all of them! I will be making the “Charred corn & Jalapeno Pasta salad w/Cilantro Oil” for a graduation. I will be making the “Spiced Chicken & Pasta Salad” for dinner tonight and hopefully soon will be trying the “Chicken & Artichoke Baked Pasta”! I follow you on facebook :)

  129. Linguine with the Walnut Pesto sauce sounds tasty! Also would enjoy trying your recipe too. Thanks!

  130. I like Dreamfields on FB!

  131. I like BranApetit on FB. Thanks!

  132. Linguini Carbonara. Love this dish! Can’t wait to try their version. Love the Dream fields. That’s all I cook with now.

  133. We’ve been loving DF pasta over 2 years now! At that time I could only find it at Smiths Foods! Now we get it at Walmart! Thanks!!!!! One of our favorites is the Lingine Carbonara, yummo! We want to try many more!!

  134. The Italian Omelet.

  135. I want to try Sherri’s Pesto Pasta

  136. I follow Healthy Pasta on Twitter as @MsCarolsueA

  137. I follow Dreamfields on Pinterest as cezovski9

  138. I like Dreamfields on Facebook as Carolsue Anderson

  139. I like BranAppetit on Facebook as Carolsue Anderson

  140. I can’t wait to try the Steakhouse Pasta Salad! I use Dreamfields Pasta all the time for low-carbs and was pleasantly surprised at the great flavor and texture! I wish it was a little easier to find… Definitely my preference!!!!

  141. Followed Bran Appetit on Facebook

  142. Followed Bran Appetit on Twitter

  143. I follow Dreamfields on Facebook

  144. I follow Dreamfields on Twitter

  145. Steakhouse Pasta Salad will definitely be on the Steger Family menu this weekend for our Father’s Day Bash! Yum!

  146. Pingback: 20 Best Hummus Recipes - Cooking with Books

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