Bowl of fattoush salad with serving utensils.
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Middle Eastern Fattoush Salad with Homemade Pita Chips

Homemade crispy, baked pita chips and an easy sumac vinaigrette add Middle Eastern flair to this veggie-packed fattoush salad recipe.

Bowl of fattoush salad with serving utensils.

I came up with this fattoush salad recipe as a way to use up some of my leftover baked pita chips.

The results, paired with my homemade sumac vinaigrette, wound up quickly joining the regular recipe rotation in my house.

The components of this salad can all be prepped in advance, and you can toss it all together right before serving. Keep reading for more info, tips, and tricks for fattoush salad success!

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🧡 Why we love this recipe

  • This salad is super crisp and refreshing! Perfect for warm weather and picnics.
  • It’s a great way to use up odds and ends that are hanging out in your produce drawer.
  • Colorful food is always a welcome addition to the table.
  • Fattoush is great on its own as a meal, or as a side to other dishes like my broiler kebab, Persian meatloaf, or Persian Beef and Celery Stew (Khoreshe Karafs).
  • It’s easily made vegan by omitting the feta or using a vegan substitute.

Tossing together ingredients for fattoush salad in a bowl.

🫓 What is fattoush?

When people ask me to describe fattoush salad, I usually liken it to a Middle Eastern version of an Italian panzanella salad.

Instead of stale bread, fattoush uses crumbled, seasoned pita bread. In the case of this recipe, it uses baked pita chips.

There aren’t any strict rules on what types of veggies you use here. Feel free to add your favorites, along with any salad greens that you enjoy!

Basically, making fattoush entails mixing up a big salad, packed with fresh veggies, and breaking up the pita chips over top of it. A quick mix, and the pita chips start to soak up the flavors of your salad, but still retain their crispiness.

It’s key with fattoush to only add the pita chips right before you plan to serve your salad. the longer they sit, the soggier they’ll get.

And nobody wants a soggy salad!

Overhead view of ingredients for fattoush salad.

📝 Ingredients

Here’s everything you need to make this fattoush salad (see recipe card below for ingredient amounts and full directions):

  • Tomatoes – I like using grape or cherry tomatoes. The multi-colored mixes are especially lovely in this recipe!
  • Cucumber – I tend to buy English cucumbers, but whatever type you prefer is fine. If using a smaller variety, like a Persian cucumber, use 3-4 instead of just one.
  • Radishes
  • Flat-leaf parsley
  • Fresh mint
  • Green onions (also called scallions)
  • Feta cheese (optional)
  • Sumac vinaigrette
  • Pita chips (preferably homemade, but storebought is absolutely fine!)

Adding cucumbers to a bowl of tomatoes.
Slicing radishes.
Pouring sumac vinaigrette over a fattoush salad.

🔎 What is sumac?

This recipe uses ground sumac which is available at most specialty spice shops and Middle Eastern markets. It can also sometimes be found at organic/health food markets or grocery stores with a big selection of international foods.

If you don’t have any of those options nearby, it’s readily available online.

Culinarily speaking sumac is a crimson-colored spice that is made from ground sumac berries. It is not the same thing as the poisonous sumac plant.

Ground sumac is often found in a shaker next to the salt and pepper in Persian restaurants. It’s delicious when sprinkled over grilled meat and seafood, kebabs, vegetables, rice, or hummus.

Sumac is a lovely addition to anything you’d like to lightly dust with its tart flavor and deep red hue.

👅 What does sumac taste like?

The flavor of sumac is tart and a bit lemony with a slightly astringent flavor. It’s a bit sweet, and a bit sour.

Sumac is often mixed with salt, so I recommend leaving out any additional salt in recipes that call for more than a pinch of sumac until you’re able to taste it for seasoning.

📌 Substitutions for ground sumac

Sumac is a tricky spice to substitute, but you can get in the ballpark, flavor-wise.

If you don’t have ground sumac, you can omit it and add a little fresh lemon zest and kosher salt, to taste, for seasoning.

Many brands of za’atar also have sumac mixed in, so that’s another option. It won’t be exact, but it’ll be tasty!

Whisking seasoning and oil together for pita chip coating.
Adding feta cheese to a salad.
Tossing a bowl of fattoush salad together with tongs.

✅ How to make this recipe

This recipe has 3 components, but they all come together fairly quickly. I like to get the pita chips into the oven first and work on the other parts while they’re baking to streamline the prep.

  1. If you’re making your own pita chips, prep the pita bread and bake it. See my homemade baked pita chip recipe here. You can also use storebought pita chips.
  2. While the pita is in the oven, whisk together the vinaigrette. You’ll need 1/3 cup of it for this salad. See my sumac vinaigrette recipe here.
  3. Chop all of your veggies and put them in a large bowl.
  4. Add feta, if using, and the vinaigrette and toss well to combine.
  5. Once your pita chips are fully cool, crumble them over the rest of the ingredients, give them a gentle toss, and serve!

See recipe card below for full instructions.

Bowl of fattoush salad ready to be served.

🍅 Quick tip: the fastest way to slice tomatoes

I learned this tip yeeeeears ago, and it was a total game-changer. I believe I originally saw it on one of Rachael Ray’s cooking shows.

It never fails to blow minds in my virtual cooking classes, so I’m sharing it here for you, in case you haven’t seen it yet.

You’ll need 2 lids – the type you find at the deli, or when you get something like soup from a restaurant takeout or delivery order.

Tomatoes and fresh herbs.
Add a layer of tomatoes onto one lid, lip-side up.
Prepping grape tomatoes to be sliced for salad.
Place another lid on top, lip-side down.
Slicing grape tomatoes in half with a knife.
Press down with one hand and slice through between the two lids.

Be sure to use the “lip” of the lid (the raised edge/rim) to secure your tomatoes. It should be facing up on your bottom lid, and down on the top lid so that the two lids cradle the tomatoes.

Use gentle pressure with one hand to secure the tomatoes while you use your chef’s knife to slice through the tomatoes.

You’ll use the space between the two lids as a guide, and your knife will do all the work for you!

Sliced tomatoes and a glass of fresh herbs.
A bowl with sliced tomatoes and a glass of fresh herbs.

This works beautifully with grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, pitted olives, grapes, or anything else that’s small and round like this.

It makes super quick work of slicing, and it’s a kitchen hack I use often!

This method comes in handy for salad prep, quickly chopping toppings for tacos, and more. I hope it finds a place in your cooking arsenal, too.

🥡 Storage recommendations

The components of this salad can be made in advance. If you don’t plan to eat it within 30 minutes or so, I strongly recommend storing the pita chips in a separate container.

You can also store the sumac vinaigrette separately if you’d like, but the salad does hold up pretty well after it’s been dressed.

Alternately, you could put the vinaigrette on the bottom of your serving bowl, add all of your veggies on top, and refrigerate it like that. Then, when you’re ready to serve, toss it together before adding your pita chips and gently mixing.

Your homemade seasoned pita chips will stay nice and crispy for several days (if they last that long!) stored in an airtight container.

The most important thing is to make sure the chips are completely cool before moving them into your storage vessel of choice.

The sumac vinaigrette will keep well in a sealed container in the refrigerator for several days.

Because of the oil, it may solidify when chilled. You may need to take it out of the refrigerator to let it warm up a bit before using it again.

Fattoush salad will hold up well in a sealed container in the refrigerator for several days, again, as long as you keep the pita chips separate.

I reeeeeally can’t stress that enough.

I made that mistake the first time I made it and the leftovers were full of sad, soggy pita bread instead of deliciously crispy pita chips.


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Bowl of fattoush salad with serving utensils.

Middle Eastern Fattoush Salad with Homemade Pita Chips

  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen – Ashley Covelli
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Chop & Drop
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Description

Homemade crispy, baked pita chips and an easy sumac vinaigrette add Middle Eastern flair to this veggie-packed fattoush salad recipe.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 (12-ounce) package grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 English cucumber, halved and chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 6 radishes, halved and thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 ounces feta, cut into chunks or crumbles (optional)
  • 1/3 cup sumac vinaigrette
  • 1 batch seasoned pita chips, cooled (see notes)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, parsley, mint, green onions, and feta. Pour sumac vinaigrette over top and toss well to combine.

     

  2. Crumble cooled pita chips over top and toss gently to combine.



Notes

Note that this recipe does not use the full amount of sumac vinaigrette (see recipe here). You’ll have some leftover. It can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator.

One batch of seasoned pita chips is equal to 2 full-size pocket pitas, which is about 32 chips (see recipe here). You can also use store-bought pita chips.

If making salad in advance, wait to add the pita chips until just before serving.

To keep this recipe vegan, simply omit feta or use a plant-based substitute.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 349
  • Sugar: 4.7 g
  • Sodium: 492.8 mg
  • Fat: 26.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 25.3 g
  • Fiber: 4.3 g
  • Protein: 6.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 12.6 mg

Keywords: Middle Eastern recipes, ground sumac, chopped salad

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