Cheese Sticks with Za’atar (A Middle Eastern Spice Mixture)

I love baking. I think it’s so much easier than cooking. And if the baking has to do something with molding and being creative, I love it even more. Here’s a regular cheese sticks recipe, with my take on the flavors/filling. Hope you enjoy it 🙂

Since I’m in Dubai at the moment, I decided to incorporate my favorite local spice. Za’atar is a Herb Mixture, which is very flavorful as it’s a combination of many herbs from Mint leaves to Sage. Every household has their own variation of the herbs mix. In the Middle Eastern Cuisine Za’atar is used for Marinating Meat, in Dips and Seasoning of Bread and Rice.

Cheese Sticks with Za’atar


1 Pack Filo Pastry (Sheets can be either Big or Small)

1 Cup Za’atar 

2 Cups Shredded Cheese


Dust your counter with some flour before you start. Place a pastry sheet on the counter and spread out a spoonful of za’atar and cheese evenly (Make sure you don’t overuse za’atar as the taste may overpower the cheese). Now cover the base with another pastry sheet over it and lightly pressed them together like a sandwich.

Next make 4 partitions of 1 inch each and move them apart. Here comes the hard but fun part of twisting the strips. First start by pressing the top and bottom ends of the strips so that it’s locked from both ends. Then hold the ends with both your hands and twist simultaneously. You can go about 2 – 3 turns and place them on your greased baking tray.
Do the same for the rest of the pastry strips and bake them for about 20 minutes until they turn crisply and brown.

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Note: If you may not have Za’atar with you, try using the below fillings along with Cheese following the same method:

  • A mix of 2 or 3 types of Cheese
  • Thai Sauce (Sweet and Spicy)
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Minced Chicken seasoned with pepper, salt and mayonnaise (spread a thin layer of this smooth paste)
  • Honey, if you like them sweet

~ Shahana