We report on the synthesis, microstructure and thermal expansion studies on Ca0·5 + x/2Sr0·5 + x/2Zr4P6 − 2xSi2xO24 (x = 0·00 to 1·00) system which belongs to NZP family of low thermal expansion ceramics. The ceramics synthesized by co-precipitation method at lower calcination and the sintering temperatures were in pure NZP phase up to x = 0·37. For x ≥ 0·5, in addition to NZP phase, ZrSiO4 and Ca2P2O7 form as secondary phases after sintering. The bulk thermal expansion behaviour of the members of this system was studied from 30 to 850 °C. The thermal expansion coefficient increases from a negative value to a positive value with the silicon substitution in place of phosphorous and a near zero thermal expansion was observed at x = 0·75. The amount of hysteresis between heating and cooling curves increases progressively from x = 0·00 to 0·37 and then decreases for x > 0·37. The results were analysed on the basis of formation of the silicon based glassy phase and increase in thermal expansion anisotropy with silicon substitution.