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Vegan Za'atar 7 Layer Salad Recipe

5 from 1 vote
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A classic Midwestern salad gets a vegan Middle Eastern makeover. Enjoy this healthy plant-based twist to the old fashioned 7 layer salad recipe. Layers of arugula, grilled peppers, zucchini, corn, lentils, jalapeno and parsley are topped with the best tangy Za'atar dressing.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side
Cuisine ethnic, Fusion, middle eastern
Servings: 8 people
glass bowl with layers of grilled vegetables and leafy greens with a dressing bottle in the background



  • 2 cups brown lentils dry, raw, rinsed and drained. You could use cooked canned lentils.
  • 2 cups water

Vegetables + Salad

  • 6 cups arugula washed
  • 5 corn on the cob remove husks and silks.
  • 3 zucchini washed, sliced lengthwise - medium/thick slices.
  • 4 peppers red and orange, washed, deseeded and cut into quarters.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 4 jalapenos washed, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 cups parsley curly or flat-leaf, washed, finely chopped, full packed cups

Za'atar 7 Layer Salad Dressing

  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds roasted
  • cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 lemons fresh, juice only
  • 3 garlic cloves, medium
  • tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • tsp salt sea salt
  • 4 tsp sumac



  • Add lentils and water to your Instant Pot. Send to cook on manual setting for 8 minutes. Release the pressure, drain and liquid and set aside to cool.

Vegetables + Salad

  • Place corn, zucchini, and peppers in a large bowl and drizzle with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Place on a hot grill over medium-high heat. Rotate until the vegetables are charred. The zucchini and peppers will cook faster than the corn.
  • Once all the vegetables are grilled, and the lentils are cooked, it's time to prepare the 7 layered salad. Prepare the first layer by adding the arugula to a large glass bowl.
  • For the second layer, you will need to remove the corn from the cob. On a clean, dry chopping board, hold the cob and cut down the side to remove the corn kernels. A sharp knife will help. Keep rotating the cob until all the corn is removed. Now add the corn on top of the arugula.
  • Next, pour the lentils over the corn to create the third layer. Now it's time to arrange the remaining grilled vegetables to create layers four and five. Chop the grilled zucchini and peppers into mouth friendly pieces. Don't forget to let your vegetables cool before handling them to prevent burning your skin.
  • Finish with layers six and seven with chopped jalapenos and fresh parsley.

Za'atar 7 Layer Salad Dressing

  • Toast the sesame seeds on a pan on low-medium heat to prevent burning. Once done, crush them roughly using a pestle and mortar to release their flavour. Mix in the salt, oregano, thyme and sumac.
  • In a medium mason jar, add all the dressing ingredients and shake to combine well. At time of serving, pour the Za'atar dressing over the salad and enjoy!


  • This 7 layer salad recipe is best served the day it is made.
  • Be careful not to overcook the lentils and drain them well.
  • Avoid over-cooking your grilled vegetables. You want to enjoy the crunch and not end up with a mushy salad
  • Cut the zucchini and peppers in thick slices, so they hold their shape and are a bit crunchy. 
  • Make sure your grill is nice and hot before placing the vegetables on the grill plates.
  • Use fresh parsley for oodles of flavour - it makes a difference.
  • Toast the sesame seeds on low-medium heat to release their nutty flavour without burning them.
  • You can make the dressing ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator.
  • Pour the Za'atar dressing just before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Za'atar 7 Layer Salad Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 385 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Sodium 472mg20%
Potassium 1113mg32%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Fiber 19g76%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 2186IU44%
Vitamin C 112mg136%
Calcium 120mg12%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Please note the nutritional analysis values are estimates and suggestions. This nutrition facts table does not know your life - your body, including your hunger and satiety cues, change daily. It's okay to eat more or less. Say no to food guilt and instead embrace mindful eating.