Easy cheats manakeesh zaatar

Cheats manakeesh zaatar.jpeg

Manakeesh is a staple snack in the Levantine household, it is our equivalent of the Italian pizza. We adore it and consume it freshly baked -with various toppings of zaatar, labneh, cheese or meat - and eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Wherever you travel in the middle east you find all bakeries preparing it fresh as it is a cheap snack on the go. 


I have so many fond memories of eating this piping hot from a bakery in the old city of Damascus near the bzourieh spice market, I wonder if it still exists!


The traditional dough recipe calls for yeast and requires baking in the oven, this is my express cheat recipe as I don’t need to wait for the dough to proof, Ideal for quick snack ready for my children in under 20 minutes. I have opted to brown the sides with a blow torch as it lends the manakeeh the same flavour baking does. But this is optional.


I love it folded with a filling of sliced tomato, cucumber and fresh mint as it provides me with the crunch, the fibre and one of the five a day portions of vegetables or fruit.

Try experimenting with different toppings and even sweet ones like a chocolate spread.





Servings: 7

Yield: 7 mediums

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Start to finish: 50 minutes




For the dough:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup of water warm

1 teaspoon salt



Olive oil



• Place all the dough ingredients in a bowl mix and once a ball has formed tip it on the work surface and knead it for 8 to 10 minutes until soft.


• Cover in plastic and let it rest for 10 minutes (optional)


• Cut the dough into several balls with a size of your choice and with a rolling pin roll it flat to a thickness of 2 to 3 mm.


• Heat the tava or a non-stick fry pan on medium heat and brush with olive oil then place the flattened disc on the tava and brush the surface with olive oil and sprinkle with zaatar.


• Cover to trap the heat inside and cook for about 2 minutes until the bottom has some brown marks about 2 minutes or so and the surface is cooked.


• With a blow torch, you can brown the sides which will give the same flavour as baking it in the oven. This is optional.


• Place some sliced tomato, cucumber and mint, fold and enjoy.




 • This is my cheat dough as it does not need to rest as there is no yeast.

• If you are in a rush, you will still have successful results without resting it for 10 minutes.

• You must roll it thin for it to cook well.

• You can put any topping you like.

• You must cover it.

• This is best consumed fresh.


Per Serving: 287 Calories; 11g Fat (34.5% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 41g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 375mg Sodium.

Maha Nakli