Fattoush is a classic Mediterranean salad made with homemade pita chips, fresh mint, parsley, radishes, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, sumac, and pomegranate seeds topped with a tangy dressing made with lemon, olive oil, and pomegranate molasses.
This authentic Lebanese fattoush salad recipe is the result of two decades of tweaking my family's fattoush recipe (including trying other Lebanese versions at dinner parties, Lebanese restaurants, etc.).
What You Will Love
This is the best fattoush recipe, hand over heart, that mixes fresh veggies, a tangy-sweet salad dressing, and homemade crunchy fried pita croutons. This fattoush recipe combines all of the secrets handed to me by family and friends.
I'm a sucker for Mediterranean chopped salads (like this Persian shirazi salad or quinoa tabbouleh) because they go so well with grilled lamb chops, chicken thighs, and beef kabobs. This Lebanese salad is colorful, vibrant, and full of flavor.
- Tomatoes: I prefer to use tomatoes on the vine or Roma tomatoes, however, any tomato will do.
- Persian cucumbers or English cucumbers: Use either a Persian or English cucumber because the outer skin is not tough (don't peel the skin).
- Radishes, lettuce, and bell peppers: I add radishes to this salad because they are crunchy and add some brightness to the salad. My preference is romaine lettuce and any kind of bell pepper.
- Pomegranate seeds (if you have some): Pomegranate seeds are not required, but they are great to add if you have some on hand. Here's how to peel pomegranates without making a big mess.
- Onion: I prefer to use red onion, brown onion, sweet onion, or white onion. You can also use green onions.
- Fresh mint and Italian parsley: Use fresh mint and fresh parsley. There are two types of parsley: curly and Italian parsley. I prefer using Italian parsley for all of my Lebanese dishes (like tabbouleh with quinoa), however, sometimes curly parsley is the only option at the supermarket. Italian parsley closely resembles cilantro, and how you tell the difference is by the smell.
- Fried pita chips with za'atar (or baked): I make fresh pita chips from scratch either in the oven or fried. I personally like to top my pita chips with a little za'atar and sea salt.
- Good quality olive oil: Right now I'm using olive oil from Italy that's really delicious.
- Lemon juice: I recommend freshly squeezed lemons always. I never use canned lemon juice.
- Pomegranate molasses (also known as dibz roman): It's sweet, tangy, and really makes this fattoush salad dressing amazing when mixed with lemon, sumac, and some good olive oil.
- Sumac spice and za'atar spice are dry ingredients.
- Pita bread to make the pita chips.
How To Make Fattoush Salad
Chop all of the salad ingredients into bite-sized pieces size and add them to a large bowl. Add the ground sumac spice and salt to taste. Keep the romaine lettuce separated. Add the romaine lettuce at the end with the pita chips.
Add the fattoush dressing. Pour the pomegranate syrup, lemon juice, and olive oil into the chopped salad. Mix and coat evenly.
Make the pita chips. Separate the pita bread.
Cut or tear the pita bread into chip-sized pieces.
Fry pita bread pieces in oil.
Place the pita chips on a paper towel lined plate. Add a pinch of salt and za'atar spice on top.
Mix the chopped lettuce, chopped salad, and pita chips together immediately prior to serving.
Tips and Tricks
- Make your own pita chips from leftover pita bread. Fried pita bread is quick to make, and you can store the extra pita chips in an airtight container. Other great ways to eat pita chips include labneh dip or smoky baba ganoush.
- Add za'atar seasoning to the pita chips! Traditional fattoush salad doesn't have za'atar pita chips, but it tastes so good!
- The lettuce can get soggy if you keep the salad overnight. If eating this the next day, keep the lettuce, salad dressing, pita chips, and chopped salad separate then mix prior to eating.
- Remove seeds from the pomegranate in water, so you don't stain your hands and clothing.
- Use high-quality olive oil for the salad.
Substitutions and Variations
- Bake the pita chips rather than fry them. Heat the oven to 375 ℉ (190 ℃). Separate the top from the bottom of the pita bread. Coat the outside with some olive oil and sprinkle some salt (and za'atar if desired). Place the pita bread on a baking sheet and toast until golden brown for about 7 to 10 minutes (time may vary depending on the thickness of the pita bread.
- Use grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, or any other type of ripe tomatoes.
- Omit the pomegranate. Many fattoush recipes do not include pomegranate, possibly because it's hard to find out of season in some countries.
- Omit the za'atar on the pita chips. The traditional way to make fattoush is with plain baked pita bread.
Fattoush is a Lebanese chopped salad made with fresh herbs, chopped vegetables, sumac, lemon juice, olive oil, and pita chips.
Fattoush is derived from fatteh meaning toasted and crumbled breadu.
Za'atar is different from sumac. Za'atar is a spice blend of thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds. Whereas, sumac is a berry that's dried and ground.
How To Use Za'atar
Recipes With Pomegranate Molasses
Authentic Lebanese Recipes
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Epic Fattoush Salad With Pomegranate
- 6 medium tomatoes
- 6 Persian cucumbers or 1.5 English cucumbers
- 6 radishes
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds if you have some
- 1 large onion
- 1 cup fresh mint
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- 1 head of romaine lettuce
- 2 bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons sumac
- 4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses this is the secret ingredient
- 6 tablespoons good quality olive oil
- lemon juice from 2 large lemons
- salt to taste
Make The Fatoosh Salad Base
- Wash and chop lettuce. Set aside.
- Chop onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, and bell peppers.
- Add salt and sumac.
- Chop fresh mint and fresh parsley.
- Remove seeds from the pomegranate. Add to other salad ingredients.
- Create salad dressing by mixing pomegranate syrup, lemon, and olive oil. Add dressing to salad ingredients and mix.
Make The Pita Chips
- Split pita bread in pita chip-sized pieces.
- If frying, heat up frying oil. Add pita bread to oil and fry until golden brown. Remove onto a paper towel. Add salt and zaatar.
- If baking in the oven, split pita bread into half. Most pita bread has a pocket of air in the middle that separates the bread into a front and back. Split the pita bread so that the front and back are separated. Brush olive oil onto each piece. Sprinkle za'atar and salt on the bread. Bake at 375 ℉ (190 ℃) until golden brown and crunchy.
Assemble Salad Bowl
- Add the salad to a bowl. Put pita chips on top. Mix and enjoy!
- The nutrition facts are not including the fried pita chips or baked pita chips. Depending on how many you add to your bowl will affect the nutritional values.
- If eating this salad over a few days, keep the pita chips separate from the salad base until you are ready to eat. This keeps the pita chips crunchy.