Lemon Za’atar Potatoes

Kick up your roasted potatoes with an ingenious trick that infuses them with lemon. These lemon za’atar potatoes are crispy on the outside, tender on the outside, and bursting with flavor.

Lemon Za'atar Potatoes with Fresh Dill, Crumbled Feta, and Lemon Slices on a Plate

Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

Roasted potatoes are an art form. My ideal, oven-baked spud is creamy on the inside, crispy on the outside, properly seasoned, and finished with a kick of something acidic. That’s why these lemon za’atar potatoes are my absolute go-to.

These potatoes make for a tasty, starchy side for a low-key dinner or your next holiday spread. You can dress ‘em up with some crumbled feta and fresh dill, though it’s certainly not necessary.

I prefer a waxy potato like Yukon Golds for this recipe, but you can use russets instead—they’re just a bit starchier.

Lemon Za'atar Potatoes with Fresh Dill, Crumbled Feta, and Lemon Slices on a Plate

Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

My Secret to Oven-Roasted Potatoes

My favorite oven-roasting technique for potatoes is adding a bit of water to the sheet pan. When the pan hits the oven, the water starts to evaporate and creates steam. This yields potatoes with creamy, soft interiors. 

In this recipe, I mix water with fresh lemon juice to not only introduce some steam to the situation but a whole lot of bright, acidic flavor. Sure, you can always finish off your roasted ‘taters with a squeeze of lemon before serving, but this way the lemon is infused into every inch of potato. 

Turn Up the Heat

The second key to these roasted potatoes is a hot oven. We’re talking 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Because the oven is at such a high temperature, it’s a good idea to check on the potatoes at least every 10 minutes. High heat is how you’re going to achieve a delightfully golden brown exterior, but if you don’t keep a close eye your potatoes can burn pretty quickly, too.

Especially during the last 20 to 30 minutes, get in there a couple of times and flip the potatoes so that all sides get some color. If a potato is starting to look a little dark, you may want to pull it off the sheet pan before the rest of the potatoes finish cooking.

Lemon Za'atar Potatoes with Fresh Dill, Crumbled Feta, and Lemon Slices on a Plate

Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

Tips for Sheet Pan Roasting

When it comes to roasting anything, I like to say that you know your sheet pans best. If you find that you have a lot of “stickage” issues, it’s not a bad idea to lay down a piece of foil or a silicone baking mat. I have used my sheet pans for years and I know that as long as I use enough fat (like olive oil) on whatever I’m roasting, I won’t have any issues. 

This recipe is inevitably going to dirty up your pans. That said, it’s nothing a quick soak, a hearty scrub, and a little bit of elbow grease can’t rescue. Try using a fish spatula to help wiggle any stubborn potatoes free from the pan (as long as your sheet pans aren’t non-stick).

Cooking with Za’atar

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice mixture of sesame seeds, oregano, cumin, coriander, and sumac. Most groceries stores sell it in the spice aisle–I happen to love Trader Joe’s za’atar. 

The spice mix is added halfway into roasting the potatoes. This is because if it is added at the start the sesame seeds will burn before the potatoes finish cooking. Sprinkle the potatoes with an extra pinch of za’atar after they’re done cooking for an added punch of bright, earthy flavors.

Lemon Za'atar Potatoes with Fresh Dill, Crumbled Feta, and Lemon Slices on a Plate

Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

Can’t Get Enough Spuds? Try These Recipes

Lemon Za’atar Potatoes

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 60 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings


  • 3 pounds large (about 4-inch) Yukon Gold potatoes

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or to taste

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)

  • 1/2 cup cold water

  • 1 tablespoon za’atar seasoning, plus more for garnish

  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta, for serving (optional)

  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Prep the potatoes:

    Slice each potato in half, then slice each half in half. Slice again in the opposite direction for 8 (roughly 2-inch) pieces per potato.

    Yukon Gold Potatoes Cut in Quarters for Lemon Za'atar Potatoes Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

  3. Toss in oil and add the lemon:

    On a rimmed half-sheet pan, toss the potatoes in the olive oil and kosher salt. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer, cut-side down.

    In a measuring cup or small bowl, mix the lemon juice and water. Pour over the potatoes in the sheet pan.

    Potatoes on a Baking Sheet with Olive Oil and Water for Lemon Za'atar Potato Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

  4. Roast the potatoes:

    Roast the potatoes until lightly browned and most (but not all) of the liquid has evaporated, about 30 minutes. 

    Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle with za’atar, tossing the potatoes with a rubber spatula to incorporate. Roast until the potatoes are a deep golden brown and all the liquid has evaporated, another 20 to 30 minutes. Check every 10 minutes and flip the potatoes until they are fork-tender and both sides are golden brown.

    Roasted Lemon Zaatar Potatoes on a Tray

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

  5. Garnish and serve:

    Check for seasoning, sprinkling with more salt if needed. Garnish with more z’atar, feta, and dill (if using). Serve immediately.

    Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

    Love the recipe? Leave us stars below!

    Lemon Za'atar Potatoes with Fresh Dill and Crumbled Feta on a Tray with a Spoon

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
376 Calories
18g Fat
49g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 376
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 24%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 687mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 49g 18%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 25mg 124%
Calcium 43mg 3%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 1244mg 26%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.