Baked Feta with Olives and Rosemary is an appetiser that everyone will love! This Mediterranean dish has feta, baked to perfection with fresh herbs, chilli and aromatic citrus peels, all doused in extra virgin olive oil. What’s more, it is quickly and easily prepared. It takes just 10 minutes (or less) to place the ingredients in an oven-proof dish and then 20 minutes to bake in the oven.
Why we love this recipe:
Baked Feta is the perfect dish to serve for parties or unexpected guests. It is quick and easy to prepare, leaving you to get on with other things whilst it bakes.
This easily made vegetarian appetiser has bright, vibrant flavours of the Mediterranean. The ingredients are simple, easily obtained at your supermarket, but the result is delicious. It is an appetiser which is impressive and yet, it is quickly and easily made.
The feta undergoes a delicious transformation, changing from a crumbly cheese to one which is deliciously creamy, soft and spreadable.
You will love the versatility of this recipe which is really three appetisers in one. There’s the rich, creamy, cheese, the fragrant, warm olives and the flavour infused oil that is perfect for enjoying with crusty bread.
If you have not previously tasted warm olives, they are a revelation. Heating the herbs and spices in olive oil releases their flavours, and the olives become tender and juicy, absorbing the flavours of their aromatic companions
Alternatively, you can also serve the Baked Feta as a light meal, with a salad and some crusty bread.
Ingredients in this recipe:
Please see the recipe card further along in the post for exact quantities of ingredients and the full method.
Feta Cheese – a semi-hard, salty cheese which tends to be crumbly. It is white in colour and is stored in a brine solution.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – as the oil is an integral part of this appetiser, I recommend that you use the best olive oil that you have. As the juices are for mopping up with crusty bread, my preference is for extra virgin olive oil, an important element in the Mediterranean diet.
Orange and Lemon Rind – I use a few strips of rind from an orange and a lemon to create some bright flavours. The rind of citrus contains fragrant, flavoursome essential oil. However, you need to take care that you remove just the coloured rind and not any of the bitter, white pith.
Lemon Juice – a small amount of lemon juice boosts the flavour of the ingredients and adds balance to the extra virgin olive oil.
Mixed Olives – for general use, I think that olives with pits have better flavour. However, you may prefer to use pitted olives – it will save you warning your guests of the pits!
Rosemary – works so well with the other flavours in the Baked Feta.
Chilli – a few strips of red chilli added to the dish while it bakes will add a lovely flavour and gentle warmth.
Step by Step Instructions:
This recipe comes together quickly, so you will need to start by preheating your oven.
- Peel strips of orange and lemon;
- Remove the leaves of rosemary;
- Chop the chilli;
- Add the feta to a baking dish, and top with oil;
- Add the strips of orange and lemon;
- Surround the feta with the olives;
- Add the rosemary and chilli;
- Bake and enjoy!
Tips for Success and FAQs:
My Baked Feta with Olives is such a simple, easily made recipe that I regard it as foolproof.
You really can’t go wrong with this appetiser. Even if you are a complete novice in the kitchen you will be able to make this and serve it with pride to grateful recipients. The presentation is beautiful and it tastes as good as it looks.
One important aspect is to use extra virgin olive oil. One of the pleasures of this recipe is dipping crusty bread into the pan juices so I like to use good quality oil.
This dish, part of Greek cuisine, will be enjoyed by you for its simplicity of preparation and presentation and by you and your guests for its delicious flavours.
Serve it family-style, placed on the table for people to help themselves. This style of entertaining encourages a convivial, relaxed atmosphere and as a result, a relaxed host.
If by chance you haven’t used all the warm feta, (this is highly unlikely) you will find that once it has cooled it will once again become firm, but it will now be more fragrant and flavoursome.
Use it as it is, to top a Greek salad, crumble over sliced tomato, in an omelette or crumbled over roasted vegetables.
You can also use it as before by reheating it
I have chosen to use fresh rosemary, but you could use fresh thyme or dried oregano. In general, I prefer to use fresh herbs as they provide a much brighter flavour. However, when it comes to oregano, my preference is for the dried herb. Oregano is one herb which dries well and retains a lot of its flavour.
You really don’t need a recipe to make this dish; it is a great recipe to customise. The concept is simple and the ingredients and quantities can be used as guidelines and varied as required.
If you’re entertaining for large numbers of people, use a large oven-proof baking dish, the required number of blocks of feta and an increased number of the accompanying ingredients.
You could add dried chilli flakes, a few cherry tomatoes or quartered, marinated artichoke hearts. Whatever you choose will give the feta a wonderful flavour.
More delicious recipes for you to try:
Love feta cheese as much as we do? Be sure to try some of our other favourite recipes using this delicious cheese:
- Pea and Mint Frittata
- Chargrilled Asparagus with Feta and Mint
- Radish, Feta and Cucumber Salad
- Spinach and Feta Galettes
- Bacon and Onion Tarts
- Cheese and Herb Filo Pie
- Greek Style Chicken and Salsa
- Pea and Mint Fritters
- Creamy Whipped Feta
- Easy Spelt Focaccia
Baked Feta with Olives and Rosemary is easy to make and even easier to enjoy. Take a little trip to the Mediterranean with this vibrant appetiser. It is perfect to serve to guests or a quickly prepared appetiser to enjoy with a relaxing glass of wine.
Please let me know in the comments below if you try this recipe.
Baked Feta with Olives and Rosemary
- 200 g (9 ounces) Danish feta cheese See Note 1
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil – extra virgin See Note 2
- 3 strips orange rind See Note 3
- 3 strips lemon rind See Note 3
- 1 tbsp (20 ml) lemon juice See Note 4
- 1 cup mixed olives See Note 5
- 3 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves See Note 4 and 6
- 1 long red chilli See Note 7
- Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees C (355 F).Get your ingredients organised.
- Place the feta in a small oven-proof dish – See Note 8.Pour the olive oil over the feta.
- Add the strips of lemon and orange rind, then pour over the lemon juice.Distribute the olives around the feta. Sprinkle with the rosemary leaves.
- Cut a few thin slices of chilli and reserve them for garnish after the feta has baked.Quarter the remainder of the chilli lengthways and cut into strips. If the chilli is hot, remove the seeds and membrane. Add the chilli to the feta.
- Place the feta into the oven and bake about 20 minutes, until hot and bubbling.You will know it’s ready when the edges of the feta become slightly browned. If you want a little more colour, place it briefly under the grill.
- Remove from the oven and top with the reserved chilli slices.
- Serve hot with crusty bread, warmed pita or with toasted ciabatta – See Note 9.Smear the warm, creamy cheese onto some bread, scooping up some of the olives and olive oil.
- Sheep milk feta is traditional, but you can use the feta of your choice. Personally, I like the creaminess of Danish feta.
- If you enjoy soaking up flavour-filled olive oil with crusty bread, use a little extra oil.
- Wash the orange and lemon well as you will be using some of the skin. Reserve the orange for another use. Enjoy the fruit, or make it into juice.
- In Australia, the tablespoon is 20 ml or 4 teaspoons. In many other countries, the tablespoon is 15 ml or 3 teaspoons. You may need to adjust your quantities accordingly.
- For general use, I prefer olives with pits as I believe they have a better flavour. However, you may prefer to use pitted olives with the Baked Feta. If not, please be sure to warn your guests of the pits.
- I like to use fragrant rosemary, but you could use fresh thyme or dried oregano.
- Use chilli flakes if you prefer, or omit them and use freshly ground black pepper.
- You will serve the baked feta in the same dish.
- If you require a dish that’s gluten-free, serve the feta with some gluten-free crackers.
- Feta is packed in salt brine so there’s no need to add any extra.
- Please note, the nutritional information is based on this dish serving four people as an appetiser. It does not include what the dish is served with. The nutritional information is an estimate only.