Alkali-aggregate reaction is an expansive chemical reaction between the alkalis present in cement paste and minerals contained in aggregates. Mineral admixtures can mitigate the detrimental processes caused by this reaction. One of the minerals that reduce the effects of the alkali-aggregate reaction is natural zeolite. This study attempts to explain the process that takes place in the zone surrounding reactive gravel in the cement mortar made with an addition of natural zeolite. Mortar bar expansion tests were performed and a scanning electron microscope equipped with an energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer was used to observe the paste-aggregate interfacial zone. The results confirmed the influence of the zeolite on the reduction in reactive aggregate-based mortar expansion. The microstructure of the aggregatepaste interfacial region was described and particular sub-zones varying in terms of calcium, sodium, potassium and silicon contents were determined.