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Fattoush Lebanese Salad with Sumac and Pita Chips

Fattoush Lebanese Salad has cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, and toasted pita chips, and it’s flavored with lemon juice and Sumac. This tasty salad is vegan, low-glycemic, and dairy-free, and it can be low-carb and South Beach Diet friendly if you use low-carb pita bread like I do. Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

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Fattoush Lebanese Salad with Sumac and Pita Chips found on KalynsKitchen.com

I hope it goes without saying that I’d never post a recipe here unless I really liked the recipe. And although I do try not to gush over recipes too much, there definitely are some recipes that are my absolute must-make favorites. This Fattoush Lebanese Salad with Sumac and Pita Chips is one of those, and it’s something I make every summer when tomatoes and garden cucumbers start to get abundant. I got the salad recipe from a reader named Lori back in 2009, and I made it three times in four days right after she sent it to me. Since then it’s become one of my go-to summer salads when I have tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, and mint in the garden. And ever since then I’ve given thanks to Lori for this wonderful recipe!

Fattoush means “crumbled bread” in Arabic and this is a Lebanese version of bread salad that includes crumbled pita chips, something that might make the low-carb eaters pause a bit. But I use low-carb pita bread for my Fattoush Lebanese Salad and the pita that gets soaked in a lemon juice and olive oil dressing that’s seasoned with Sumac is one thing that makes this salad so amazing. You can definitely use less pita bread (or skip it completely if you prefer and the salad will still be great.)

Ground Sumac (soo-mack) maybe be an ingredient you haven’t used before, but it’s well worth adding to your spice cabinet. It has a slightly lemony flavor, and it’s the Sumac, the lemon, and the fresh herbs that really bump this salad up to something memorable you’ll want to make over and over. And if you do have Sumac, or buy some for this recipe, just enter “Sumac” into the search bar on this site and you’ll find a lot of other recipes where I’ve used it.

Fattoush Lebanese Salad with Sumac and Pita Chips found on KalynsKitchen.com

After a few times making Fattoush Lebanese Salad, I realized I definitely liked the pita chips best when I cut them into strips for toasting, creating more crisp edges. Watch them carefully, because they can quickly get too brown. Dice the tomatoes and let drain for a minute if they’re extra juicy, but don’t drain away all the juice, which will flavor the pita chips in the salad. I used grape tomatoes from Costco cut into fourths, which I thought were good, but use fresh garden tomatoes if you have some. I had cucumbers from my garden, so I left strips of skin on before chopping, but if your cucumbers have a thick skin I would peel them completely.

Fattoush Lebanese Salad with Sumac and Pita Chips found on KalynsKitchen.com

Start dressing by smashing together garlic and salt into a paste to season it. I use the mortar and pestle, but you can do this with the side of a knife or a spoon. Mix together the garlic-salt paste, lemon juice, and Sumac, and then whisk in the olive oil. This dressing will keep in the fridge for several days so you might want to make extra!

Fattoush Lebanese Salad with Sumac and Pita Chips found on KalynsKitchen.com

Remove outer leaves from the romaine lettuce, wash and dry, and then chop romaine by cutting it into fourths lengthwise and slicing crosswise for fairly smallish pieces. Linda’s recipe didn’t call for mint, but I saw several recipes that used it and I love the flavor of mint and parsley together. The salad also includes sliced green onion, which I forgot to take a photo of!

Toss the salad vegetables and herbs together, then toss with about half of the dressing, add the pita chips and toss again, adding a little more dressing. (The salad should be quite wet when it’s served so the pita chips can absorb the dressing.) Let salad sit for a few minutes, or longer, then arrange on individual plates and sprinkle each serving with a bit more Sumac if desired. Enjoy!

Fattoush Lebanese Salad with Sumac and Pita Chips found on KalynsKitchen.com

This would taste great with something like KubidehHamburger Kebabs, or just about any kind of meat cooked on the grill!

More Recipes Using Sumac:

Sumac-Rubbed Salmon Roasted in Olive Oil ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Grilled Vegetables with Za’atar Vinaigrette ~ David Lebovitz
Roasted Butternut Squash with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce, Sumac, and Aleppo ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Balsamic Roasted Fall Vegetables with Sumac ~ Boulder Locavore
Spicy Roasted Shrimp with Garlic, Sumac, and Aleppo Pepper ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Freekeh Salad with Minted Sumac Dressing ~ The Wanderlust Kitchen

Fattoush Lebanese Salad with Sumac and Pita Chips found on KalynsKitchen.com

Fattoush (Lebanese "Crumbled Bread" Salad with Sumac and Pita Chips)

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole wheat pita pocket breads, cut into strips about 3/4 inch wide, then toasted and crumbled (I use low-carb pita bread.)
  • 2 heads Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (let drain a minute or two if extra juicy)
  • 1 cup diced cucumber (same size as tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley (leaves only, no stems)
  • optional ingredients: chopped green pepper or radishes (I didn’t use either of these but Lori’s recipe had green peppers and I saw several recipes that added chopped radishes.)

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. chopped garlic (2-4 cloves garlic)
  • 1 tsp. salt (I used fine grind sea salt)
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, about 2 large lemons (I love lemon, so adjust the amount to your own taste)
  • 1 tsp. powdered Sumac, plus more for sprinkling on individual salads if desired)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400F/200C. While oven heats, mash together the chopped garlic and salt using a mortar and pestle, or the side of a knife or spoon. Put garlic-salt paste in a small bowl, then add lemon juice and 1 tsp. Sumac. Whisk in olive oil and set dressing aside. (You can also make the dressing in a glass jar and shake to combine.)
  2. Cut whole wheat pita into strips about 3/4 inch wide and arrange on baking sheet. (Some recipes call for brushing the pita with olive oil, but I didn’t do that.) Bake until pita strips are crisp but only barely starting to brown, less than 10 minutes. Watch carefully because they can go from crisp to overly brown rather quickly.
  3. Remove outer leaves from Romaine, trim stem end, then wash and spin dry or dry with paper towels. Cut Romaine into fourths lengthwise, then turn and chop crosswise into small pieces. (If you have a salad spinner, you can chop the Romaine first, then wash.) Put chopped Romaine into salad bowl large enough toss all ingredients.
  4. Chop tomatoes, green onions, cucumbers, mint, and parsley and add to lettuce. Add about half of the dressing and toss, then add crumbled pita chops and toss again with more dressing. (You may not want all the dressing, but this salad should be quite wet.) At this point the salad should sit for a few minutes (or longer) to let flavors blend and so the pita chips absorb some of the dressing. To serve, arrange salad on individual plates and sprinkle with a bit more Sumac. You can also serve it in a large bowl with the Sumac sprinkled over.
  5. When I first tested the recipe I made enough for two large salads, ate one for dinner, and put the rest in the fridge overnight. I was surprised how great it still tasted the next day, even though the vegetables were fairly wilted. When I made this for guests I tossed the salad together before they arrived, and it was perfect when I served it about 30 minutes later.

Recipe was slightly adapted from recipe sent to me by a reader named Lori. Thanks Lori, I love the salad!

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Made with whole wheat pita chips, this Fattoush Lebanese Salad is a great option for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. Even though the pita chips are great in this, I’d enjoy it as a low-carb salad without the pita as well, or use low-carb pita bread if you can find it. With low-carb pita it will be a relatively low-carb salad, but not gluten-free.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

Fattoush Lebanese Salad with Sumac and Pita Chips found on KalynsKitchen.com
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59 comments on “Fattoush Lebanese Salad with Sumac and Pita Chips”

  1. This looks so incredibly tasty! I cannot wait to try this recipe out, thanks for the share.

  2. Amazing recipe! This looks absolutely delicious, thanks for the share. Keep up the posts!

  3. The sumac makes the salad look so much more delicious. However, I don't think I can find it here. Do you think basil could make a good substitute?

    • Not sure where you are but in the U.S. you can buy Sumac from Amazon.com or at any middle eastern grocery. It's also available from The Spice House or Penzeys. It's worth looking for; it's the Sumac that makes this salad so special. Basil wouldn't be remotely similar, I can't think of any other seasoning that is similar.

  4. Common to add thin slices if radish

  5. I do know about Za'atar, just never used it in Fattoush. But I can't imagine why it wouldn't be a lovely addition to it!

  6. Huge fan of fattoush salad, I have always added Zaatar in addition to the sumac. I put all the ingredients in a container with a lid and shake well. Zaatar is a spice blend of Thyme,sesame seeds and Sumac and has a lemony taste. For breakfast have a fresh piece of pita, a ramekin of olive oil, dip the bread in the oil then dip the bread into the Zaatar. YUM!!!

  7. I add honey to the dressing and also include yellow pepper and olives in the salad. I promise you that this will make it that much better!

  8. I made this salad over the weekend and loved. I even posted it only blog. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  9. I just had my first taste of fattoush salad last week in Akko, Israel. I couldn't stop eating it! I made the dressing and love it. It's very similar to the dressing here in Israel. Thanks!

  10. I'm also a huge sumac fan!

  11. Oooh a new use for sumac, I know who's off to the kitchen right now! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  12. Me too, and so glad you found the sumac, it's just not the same without it!

  13. I can't wait to make this version of this salad this weekend! I love fattoush salad and have just recently found a mediterranean store that carries sumac. Yum!!! Thanks for posting the recipe – I love this salad!0

  14. This is one of my favorite salad. I love to use sumac. Such a great spice.

  15. So glad you liked it. I agree that the sumac is essential!

  16. I followed your recipe but cut back on the dressing a bit. This is the best salad I have ever had in my life. I'd never used Sumac before…that and the mint are essential. ThANKS!

  17. looks delish! good work. i would add nuts to it… they fight cancer!

  18. what a wonderful salad!!! seriously!

    I made it for a dinner party and I was hoping for left-overs…but everyone finished it. and now I've been thinking about it all week.

    I couldn't find the Sumac, but it was still wonderful without it.

    Great job!

  19. Thanks for this great recipe. I've always wondered what the red spice in those yummy restaurant salads was. Sumac! I'll get some asap & use it a lot, I think.

  20. Carole, Enjoy!! I'm going to try some other experiments with sumac too.

  21. Kalyn
    My Sumac ARRIVED in the mail yesterday and I'm ready to make this salad on Sunday. Cannot wait. Thanks again for this recipe.

  22. Fattoush is one of my all-time favorite salads, and a great way to use up slightly stale pita bread. Most recently, I enjoyed fattoush at a restaurant called Al Arabe — in Diamantina, Brazil! There was mint in that version, too, and it was delicious and refreshing.

  23. Yum! I adore Lebanese food, reminds me of all the delish food I ate as a little kid!

  24. Definitely not a dish that I can get fat while eating. 😉
    It sounds like it though.

  25. Sue, you're welcome. It makes me happy to know the blog is helping you.

  26. I want to thank you SOOOO much for your wonderful recipes…and the links to other great cooks through their blogs. I am not following a South Beach or Atkins diet per se…but perhaps I am. I just had gastric bypass surgery (in July) and am learning how to cook all over again, and your fresh approach has been a Godsend! I have to eat small servings of high protein, very low sugar & fat meals and your site has saved me. A million thanks! SueZ

  27. LOVED this salad! I can't wait to recreate it!

  28. I've never made this before- looking forward to trying it! Need to find the Sumac first though…
    Thanks as always for a great recipe Kalyn!

  29. This has been popping up all over! I've got to give it a try.

  30. Helene, I agree, can't imagine this could be nearly as good without the Sumac.

    Rachel, love your idea for using Sumac instead of paprika, sounds wonderful.

  31. It's awesome to see a recipe that uses sumac! I bought a container of this tasty spice about a year ago at an Israeli grocery store and I'm always looking for more ways to use it. One of the other great uses I've found is as a substitute for paprika in blackened whitefish recipes — delicious!

  32. This is one of my favorite salads. I love lebanese food and can't resist a great Fattoush. And you can't make it without sumac. Have a great week-end 🙂

  33. Maggie, I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't like this. I wish I had some to eat right now!

    Carole, thanks! Hope you'll love the salad as much as I did. Now I'm thinking about using Sumac in a marinade for chicken (another idea from Lori.)

  34. Kalyn
    Just bought the sumac on Amazon. This looks really nice and I look forward to tasting it. Thanks for keeping us all on our toes with your delightful posts.

  35. This looks wonderful! I'm a huge fan of mediterranean/middle eastern flavors. I even think this would be enjoyed by my hubby who is the family cook, but tends not to use these kinds of seasonings.

  36. The Sumac is in the dressing, not in the bread, just to clarify that. I'm heading out to buy one of those big Costco packs of lettuce and some pita so I can make this for a party tomorrow! Glad people are liking it. (Now I wish I had Dukkah so I could try that with it too.)

  37. Hi Kalyn! Isn't this a delicious salad! My kids love it & is equally nice if you sprinkle some Dukkah over it. Cheers!

  38. OMG! I love fattoush! Can't wait to make my own. Thanks for the recipe.

    Paz

  39. What a refreshing looking salad, Kalyn. It reminds me a little of Italian panzanella salad! I can see why you're having it so often!

  40. There's something about middle eastern flavors that really appeal to me! Sounds delicious.

  41. I never tried Sumac in bread, I used it only in chicken.

  42. Oh my i love love this salad…. i have to try this very soon – thank you so much

  43. Joelen, your blog was great, think I found you from Tastespotting.

    Dara, I have to admit that since I have braces I'm chopping my lettuce pieces a bit smaller, but I've been cutting it that way for a while!

  44. Great salad, Kalyn! I can see why it became your go-to salad. I think the mint was a great addition. BTW, you cut romaine lettuce the same way I do. I always cut and wash several heads at once so I can make a salad at a moment's notice.

  45. This looks delicious! Had I stumbled on your blog sooner, I would have included this salad in my recent Mediterranean inspired dinner I prepared! Great blog and thank you for stopping my mine 🙂

  46. LoveFeastTable, Sumac tastes a bit like lemon juice, very tasty. I think it's used on grilled meat in the middle east, which I need to try.

    Sean, love the idea of a little hot pepper in this. It's just so good!

    Anh, thanks. I agree about the Sumac, I see a lot more of it in my future!

  47. I love this salad! Sumac is such a lovely spice as well! Great post, kalyn.

  48. Mm, I adore fattoush. Last time I made it I used some roasted jalapeno in there as well — actually went a little overboard with it, but I think a gentle hand with some hot pepper goes a long way for this salad. Good stuff!

  49. That looks delish, I have never heard of Sumac as a seasoning! Something new to try!

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