Best Marinated Feta Recipe (5-minutes!)

5 from 13 votes
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Marinated feta takes only 5 minutes to make and is the perfect appetizer. You can make it ahead of time and enjoy it later. Cubes of creamy feta are coated with olive oil, spices, herbs and lemon peel, making this the ultimate Mediterranean snack!

overhead shot of marinated feta with pita chips, walnuts, tomatoes and herbs.


 

Nothing beats a good feta cheese – creamy, rich and firm, this humble cheese can be used in many different recipes. You can make baked feta, use it in salads such as Greek salad, turn it into whipped feta or tirokafteri (Greek spicy feta dip) or even add it to rice dishes such as spanakopita. One of my favorite ways to use feta is to marinate it with olive oil, herbs and spices. This is a quick recipe that takes only 5 minutes to make.

What is feta and where is it from?

Feta is originally from Greece and is commonly used in Eastern Mediterranean countries such as Bulgaria, Turkey, and the Balkans, among other places. It’s semi-hard and made of sheep’s milk, or sometimes a mixture of sheep and goat milk. This cheese is usually made into large blocks and ages in brine.

The term “feta” is sometimes used for other white cheese made with cow’s milk as well. However, keep in mind that real feta is made with only sheep’s milk, or a combination of sheep and goat milk. If made with cow’s milk, it’s white cheese and not feta – no matter what the packaging says!

Why you’ll love this recipe

It’s easy: Marinated feta is so easy to make. All you need to do is slice the feta, fill a jar with feta, olive oil, herbs and spices and let it marinate!

Quick recipe: Ready in 5 minutes, this recipe is perfect for days that you’re short on time but still want to make something nice. You can also make it in advance and serve it when you’re ready.

Everyone loves it: Marinated feta is such a show-stopper. You can customize the marinade to your liking and serve it in many different ways, for example with fresh-baked Turkish bread.

front shot of feta in olive oil with herbs and spices.

How to choose good feta

Quality feta has a creamy texture, and should taste slightly salty, tangy and should be aromatic.

When shopping for feta, I recommend visiting Middle Eastern or Mediterranean stores and look for blocks of feta stored in brine. Here are a few tips to get choose the right feta:

  1. Look at the color: If you’re able to take a look at the feta before you purchase it, make sure to do so. It should be white and not yellow. If the cheese is yellow, it means that it’s been exposed to air and the flavors have changed.
  2. Check out the ingredients: Quality feta is made with sheep’s milk or a combination of sheep and goat’s milk.
  3. Brine: The cheese should be in brine and you need to keep it in the brine for it to stay fresh.

Ingredients 

To make this recipe you need feta, olive oil, spices, herbs and garlic.
  • Feta cheese: First and foremost, you need quality feta in brine. It comes in the form of a block and you can cut it into cubes. I usually opt for Greek feta, however if that’s not available, Bulgarian white cheese would work as well.
  • Garlic: A couple cloves of garlic, sliced and added to the marinade will elevate the flavor.
  • Tarragon: This herb adds a lot of flavor and aroma to the feta. You can also use dried tarragon. It’s also possible to use other herbs such as rosemary, thyme or oregano.
  • Olive oil: Quality extra virgin olive oil works best for this recipe.
  • Lemon: You only need the lemon peel.
  • Pepper: I used peppercorn and Aleppo pepper. However, you can use only one of them or use chili flakes instead of Aleppo pepper.
  • Black cumin: This is optional but adds a lot of flavor. It cannot be replaced with regular cumin.

How to make marinated feta

cut the feta into cubes and place in a jar then add the lemon peel and herbs plus the spices. Top with olive oil and marinate for a few hours.
  1. Cut the creamy feta cheese into cubes and place them in a clean mason jar.
  2. Add the garlic slices, tarragon, peppercorn, Aleppo pepper, lemon peels and black sesame seeds.
  3. Fill the jar with olive oil to the top. Make sure all the feta cubes are submerged in olive oil.
  4. Seal the jar and marinate for at least 8 hours up to 1 day.
  5. To serve, take the jar out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
overhead shot of a plate with pita, feta, walnuts, tomatoes and herbs.

Variations

Here are a few ideas to try if you’re making marinated feta:

  • Use chili pepper or jalapenos if you want it to be a bit spicy.
  • Add fresh rosemary, thyme or oregano instead of tarragon.
  • For a slight hint of sweetness, add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar to the marinade.

Serving suggestions

Marinated feta is an easy Mediterranean appetizer that you can serve on a mezze platter with some labneh, fried halloumi, saganaki, pita chips or pita bread. You can also use it on salads, with chicken or meatballs.

you can save the olive oil and use it later in salad dressings.

Frequently asked questions

How long does marinated feta last?

If covered completely with olive oil, marinated feta lasts in the fridge for up to 1 month.

What can I use instead of feta?

You can use other semi hard white cheeses such as Bulgarian white cheese, French or Turkish white cheese.

What can I do with the remaining olive oil marinade?

Once you’ve used all the feta, save the marinade and add more feta cubes to it and top with more olive oil. You can also use the olive oil as a marinade for chicken or seafood or add it to salad dressings.

Can I keep marinated feta at room temperature?

You can keep the marinated feta at room temperature to serve it. However, you always need to store in in the fridge.

More recipes with feta cheese

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Marinated feta recipe
5 from 13 votes

Best Marinated Feta Recipe

Marinated feta takes only 5 minutes to make and is the perfect appetizer. You can make it ahead of time and enjoy it later. Cubes of creamy feta are coated with olive oil, spices, herbs and lemon peel, making this the ultimate Mediterranean snack!
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 8
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Ingredients 

  • 8 oz feta, in brine
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 springs fresh tarragon
  • 1 tsp peppercorn
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper, or chili pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 lemon , peel only
  • 1 1/2 tsp black cumin
  • 1 cup olive oil

Instructions 

  • Slice the creamy feta cheese into cubes. Place them in a clean and dry mason jar.
  • Add the garlic slices, tarragon, peppercorn, Aleppo pepper, lemon peels and black sesame seeds.
  • Fill the jar with olive oil to the top. Make sure all the feta cubes are submerged in olive oil.
  • Seal the jar and marinate the cheese for at least 8 hours up tp 1 day. To serve, take the jar out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature.

Video

Notes

  • Serve on a mezze platter with herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, pita chips and pita bread.
  • You can use Bulgarian, Turkish or French white cheese instead of Greek feta. It’s important to use a block of feta and not crumbled feta.
  • To serve, bring the jar out of the fridge and wait for it to come to room temperature. 
  • Store the marinated feta in the fridge for up to one month. Make sure the cheese is always covered with olive oil. 
  • Save the leftover olive oil to make salad dressing or use it in marinades. 

Nutrition

Calories: 83kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 324mg | Potassium: 57mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 140IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 154mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

 

About Shadi HasanzadeNemati

I'm here to show you how to make delicious Persian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food at home. My easy to follow recipes will bring exciting new flavors to your table!

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5 from 13 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe takes serving Feta cheese to a whole new level! It was easy to put together and tasted so delish on my appetizer tray.

  2. 5 stars
    I absolutely adore this recipe! Love feta and tarragon. And takes no time to put it together. Thanks for sharing.

  3. 5 stars
    I love how easy this is but the marinade adds such lovely, bright flavors to the cheese – perfect for nibbling on.

  4. 5 stars
    I adore Feta and this recipe is spot on. Love the flavours and the texture of the marinated feta.

  5. 5 stars
    I love feta in salads but have never had marinated feta before. This would work wonderfully in a salad or on a charcuterie board.

  6. 5 stars
    I can’t wait to try this! I love feta cheese, and these marinade ingredients sound like they really accentuate that delicious flavor.

  7. 5 stars
    What a great recipe to make feta. I had one on rotation but it doesn’t stand as well as this one. Gotta make some changes 😉

  8. 5 stars
    I tried this marinated cheese over the weekend and it was amazing! So full of flavor and I will definitely be making again soon!