By Little Northern Bakehouse

Bring world flavours to your kitchen and sink your teeth into our gluten-free No Sesame Za’atar Cream Cheese Bagelwich. Za’atar is an earthy Middle Eastern spice mixture boasting herbal, savoury, and peppery flavours. Typically, this spice blend is made with sesame—a top allergen that we keep out of Little Northern Bakehouse products to ensure they’re allergy-friendly in addition to gluten-free. We swapped sesame seeds for poppy seeds to keep this recipe allergy-friendly (and it’s plant-based, so it’s dairy-free, too!).

Search online or scour cookbooks, and you’re likely come across many za’atar recipe variations. This versatile mix can be adapted to satisfy any palate—and doing so is encouraged! In this recipe, we used thyme to infuse earthy and minty tones.

Other no sesame za’atar blends may opt for oregano or marjoram instead to increase the pepperiness or pack a more powerful punch. But we took a brighter approach to our recipe—we used sumac in our sesame-free za’atar mix to add a tangy, citrusy taste you’ll love!

We adore sumac as a sophisticated secret ingredient with the power to transform dressings, dips, sauces, and spreads into grown-up gourmet fare. Made from dried berries, sumac is easier to find in local grocery stores than ever. And we promise it won’t be another one-off ingredient gathering dust at the back of your pantry—sumac is ideal for kitchen improv and adds zing to countless recipes (this gluten-free bagelwich is just the beginning!)

Mix your sesame-free za’atar blend with non-dairy cream cheese. Slather this spread on our Plain Gluten-Free Bagels, and top with grilled vegetables like eggplant, red peppers, yellow zucchini, and mushrooms. Enjoy as a hearty lunch or a savoury breakfast—and be sure to experiment to make this recipe your own!

  1. Warm cumin and coriander seeds in a pan on low heat until fragrant and toasty. Let cool, then grind the toasted seeds in a clean coffee or spice grinder or mash with a mortar and pestle.
  2. Transfer the toasted, ground cumin and coriander seeds to a small bowl, and mix with sea salt, thyme, poppy seeds, sumac, and Aleppo pepper flakes (or chili flakes).
  3. Mix the No Sesame Za’atar spice blend to taste into softened non-dairy cream cheese. You will need 1 cup of cream cheese to make 4 bagelwiches.
  4. To serve, spread za’atar cream cheese generously on a plain gluten-free bagel (toasted or untoasted, as you prefer). Pile high with grilled eggplant, grilled peppers, and grilled zucchini.

Serves 4

  • We mixed our entire batch of za’atar into ½ cup plant-based cream cheese to make two bagelwiches with brilliant flavour. For a less intense taste, change the za’atar to cream cheese ratio. If you need enough for 4 bagelwiches, use 1 cup of cream cheese with all the za’atar, or save half the za’atar in an airtight jar for another use, and mix into ½ cup of cream cheese to make 2 bagelwiches.
  • Double the No Sesame Za’atar spice mix to use in other recipes. It would be delicious mixed with extra virgin olive oil and spread generously on one of our Thin Artisan Pizza Crusts and baked as a gluten-free za’atar flatbread. It could also be mixed into a simple vinaigrette with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and garlic and tossed on a kale salad with homemade gluten-free croutons.
  • Double or triple the batch of vegan cream cheese mixed with no sesame za’atar and store in the fridge for up to two weeks in an airtight container.
  • For a quicker option, pick up marinated, grilled vegetables from your favourite local deli and sprinkle them across the no sesame za’atar cream cheese spread.

How did you make your No Sesame Za’Atar spice mix? Tell us what unique flavours you incorporated on the Little Northern Bakehouse Facebook page or tag us on Instagram!