Israeli Spice Chicken

A good friend of mine went to Israel and brought me back a delicious rub for meats. This is my attempt at replicating it. It works on anything and everything! Make extra and store in a cool, dry place for up to six months.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 5 min
  • Inactive: 20 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Israeli Spice Rub:

1 1/2 tablespoons (1 1/2 palmfuls) sweet paprika

1 1/2 tablespoons (1 1/2 palmfuls) ground cumin

1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) dried oregano

1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) ground coriander

1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (medium to hot in spice level)

1 1/2 teaspoons (1/2 palmful), coarse kosher salt

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (split, 8 pieces) 1 1/2 to 2 pounds

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Warm pita or flat bread, for passing

Serving suggestions: Serve with tomato relish and zucchini (recipes follow). Piling the relish and the chicken in a warm pita is a fun way to combine the flavors and textures of the 2 recipes.


3 tablespoons (a couple of glugs) extra-virgin olive oil

1 ripe lemon, juiced

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt

Zucchini with Mint and Parsley:

4 small, tender zucchini, about 1 1/2 pounds (look in organic section of produce counter)

3 tablespoons (3 turns around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup (half a bundle) chopped fresh mint

1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves (a couple of handfuls)

Kosher salt and pepper

Orange and Yellow Tomato Relish:

3 vine ripe or small round red tomatoes

2 orange or yellow tomatoes

1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup (2 handfuls) flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped


  1. Israeli Spice Rub:
  2. For the spice rub combine the paprika, cumin, oregano, coriander, crushed red pepper flakes, and kosher salt in a bowl. Place in a sealable jar, keep in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.
  3. Place chicken in a shallow dish. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil to barely coat the meat. Rub chicken liberally with 4 tablespoons of the spice blend. Let stand 10 minutes.
  4. Grill chicken 6 or 7 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.

Orange and Yellow Tomato Relish:

  1. Seed and chop the tomatoes and combine with onion and parsley in a shallow bowl. Combine oil, lemon juice, and spices in a small plastic container with a lid. Shake dressing to combine and pour over salad. Season salad with kosher salt and toss to combine well. Let stand 10 minutes and serve.
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