This wonderful Mediterranean Baked Feta is an easy appetizer recipe that your taste buds will adore! Made with oven-baked feta, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, black olives, and more, you’ll have to stop yourself from filling up before dinner.
A HEALTHY HOLIDAY APPETIZER IDEA
I think most of us love a warm, cheesy dip, but this one is really special. It’s made with a medley of amazingly flavorful ingredients, but it needs very little prep and is good for you, too! It’s also beautiful, with the colors and textures of the pure white feta, vibrant peppers and tomatoes, and contrasting olives and herbs. Swoon!
BAKED FETA INGREDIENTS
Normally, I don’t use many “prepared” ingredients, but this is a bit different. You can find these ingredients easily and they’re basically ready to go: feta cheese, black olives (from a deli, or canned are fine), roasted red pepper strips (mine come in a glass jar and I usually find them in the same aisle as pickles and olives), and of course, olive oil.
I do like to garnish with fresh basil leaves, but as with most garnishes, the dish will still be tasty even without it!
- Feta Cheese: You’ll need one 10 to 12 ounces block of feta, cut into about six or seven half-inch thick slices.
- Grape Tomatoes: Cut your grape tomatoes in half.
- Roasted Red Peppers: I usually find these in a jar. If they aren’t already cut into strips, cut them up before using.
- Black Olives: Regular pitted black olives from a deli counter or canned ones are fine. I cut them in half for this recipe, but slices are also great.
- Garlic: One clove is plenty for this dish.
- Dried Oregano and Thyme: These bring a wonderful flavor and aroma to the dish!
- Olive Oil: For this, I like to use extra virgin olive oil; it has the strongest flavor and goes really well with all of the other ingredients.
- Cracked Black Pepper: This gives more of a peppery kick to the dish than regular ground pepper, but feel free to substitute (or omit) according to your taste!
- Shredded Basil: Just a bit for a garnish.
- Pita Chips or Crackers: For serving. You could also use a veggies, fresh baguette, thinly sliced and well-toasted.
HOW TO MAKE MEDITERRANEAN BAKED FETA
This snack or starter is so, so easy to make. It’s a great little recipe to whip up with kids, because they can easily help to arrange the ingredients! All you do is slice the feta (if it’s not already sliced), halve the tomatoes and olives, and then arrange everything in a baking dish and bake it!
- Preheat Oven: The oven should be preheated to 425°F before baking.
- Assemble Dish: Place the feta in a small baking dish. Top with tomatoes, peppers, and olives; then sprinkle with garlic, oregano, and thyme. Finally, drizzle olive oil over the dish.
- Bake, Garnish & Serve: Bake until the cheese is soft. Remove from the oven. Garnish with cracked black pepper and basil and serve with pita chips.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up from working with these ingredients. Take what works for you, and make something yummy!
- Buy Brined: Feta tastes best when it’s been packaged in its own brine because, it doesn’t dry out as much that way. So, look for vacuum-sealed packages of feta cheese in brine for the best flavor and texture.
- Rinse or Soak: You might find that the feta cheese you have purchased is a little too salty for your liking. If so, try rinsing the cheese, or even soaking it in water for a few minutes, to remove some of the salt.
- Substitute Away! If you want to change up some of the ingredients here, feel free! This dish works really well with most things you’d find in antipasti, or Mediterranean charcuterie boards: sun-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, different olive varieties, marinated veggies of all kinds (hellooo, artichokes!), even little slivers of prosciutto or ham.
Wondering what to serve with baked feta? You can’t go wrong with any of these!
- A Hearty Soup: I think the varied flavors in this complex (but easy!) little appetizer go perfectly with a cold-weather bean soup, like this Easy Tuscan White Bean Soup, which is filled with delicious vegetables and tender Great Northern beans.
- Chicken Marsala: Okay, so this is one of my very favorite dishes. The wine, the mushrooms, the cream, the beautiful juicy chicken—and it all goes amazingly with our feta appetizer. So delicious! Try my Creamy Instant Pot Chicken Marsala for a version that’s so easy, it’ll be your new favorite!
- Pasta: Serving a Mediterranean appetizer with a pasta entree is just a perfect combo. This Creamy Garlic Butter Pasta with Spinach is a fantastic and very easy choice.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER BAKED FETA
This appetizer keeps for a couple of days in the fridge, but I don’t recommend freezing it. These are the best practices for storing and reheating baked feta:
- To refrigerate, cover leftovers tightly in airtight containers and store in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.
- To reheat, place the leftovers in an ovenproof dish and bake at 350˚F until heated through.
Tools Used in this Recipe
MEDITERRANEAN BAKED FETA
- 1 block (10 to 12 ounces) feta cheese, cut into about 6 to 7 slices, (slices should be about ½-inch thick)
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup roasted red pepper strips, (usually sold in a jar or a can)
- ½ cup pitted black olives, rinsed and cut in half
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly cracked black pepper, for garnish
- 1 tablespoon shredded basil, for garnish
- Pita chips or crackers, for serving
- Preheat oven to 425˚F.
- Place the cheese in an 8-inch baking dish.
- Top with tomatoes, peppers, and olives.
- Sprinkle with oregano, thyme, and minced garlic.
- Drizzle olive oil over the dish.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is soft.
- Remove from oven.
- Garnish with cracked black pepper and basil.
- Serve with pita chips.
MORE EASY APPETIZER IDEAS
Hungry for more stellar starters? Try these!