Plant innate immunity is triggered via direct or indirect recognition of pathogen effectors by the NLR family immune receptors. Mechanistic understanding of plant NLR function has relied on structural information from individual NLR domains and inferences from studies on animal NLRs. Recent reports of the cryo-EM structures of the Arabidopsis plant immune receptor ZAR1 in monomeric inactive and transition states, as well as the active oligomeric state or the "resistosome," have afforded a quantum leap in our understanding of how plant NLRs function. In this Review, we outline the recent structural findings and examine their implications for the activation of plant immune receptors more broadly. We also discuss how NLR signaling in plants, as illustrated by the ZAR1 structure, is analogous to innate immune receptor signaling mechanisms across kingdoms, drawing particular attention to the concept of signaling by cooperative assembly formation.