Marinated Feta Cheese is a simple to prepare appetiser that is packed full of delicious flavours. Garlic, rosemary, lemon and a little chilli combine with the Feta Cheese and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which works perfectly with slices of crusty bread. This easy appetiser will become a favourite!
Why we love this recipe:
A simple technique transforms a block of feta, which is already delicious, into something extra special. As with most food, homemade is best. When we make it, we are in control of the ingredients which we use and in the case of Marinated Feta Cheese, we can customise them to suit our taste. Just some of the reasons that we love this recipe are:
- This is a delicious, easily made, Mediterranean inspired appetiser, perfect to make ahead of time for relaxed entertaining.
- A block of feta is a fraction of the cost of a specialty cheese, making this an economical starter, ideal for entertaining.
- There are so many ways to use it. Serve it with crusty bread to enjoy the cheese and soak up the flavour-filled oil. As well, it is a great addition to a salad, on toast with sliced avocado or with my Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta.
- If you’re making it for a crowd, it is easy to increase the quantities to suit.
- You can easily customise the flavours to suit your taste. If you don’t like chilli, leave it out, if you prefer other herbs, use those. If you don’t have lemon but have an orange, some strips of peel or zest would be a great addition.
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 – I use a block of Greek Feta, made from sheep and goat cheese. Use one which you enjoy eating.
Rosemary – a stalk of fresh rosemary or another herb of your choice.
Thyme – fresh thyme adds flavour.
Cayenne chilli/pepper – for a hit of spice and colour.
Garlic – a fresh clove is a good addition.
Lemon zest – adds a bright note.
Black peppercorns – they are used whole.
Dried oregano – adds to Mediterranean flavours.
Extra virgin olive oil – for its flavour and nutritional benefit.
Step by Step Instructions:
- To begin, cut the block of feta into cubes approximately 1 cm (1/2 inch) square and add to a medium size bowl. Strip the leaves from the rosemary and thyme and add to the bowl.
- Cut the chilli in half lengthways, remove the seeds and membrane. Finely slice the chilli and add as much or as little as you like to the feta. Peel and finely slice the garlic.
- Add the chilli and garlic to the bowl, along with the lemon zest, peppercorns and dried oregano.
- Pour over the olive oil and gently toss with a spoon to ensure each cube of feta is coated. Add to an airtight container and store in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, ideally overnight, before serving to allow the flavours to develop. Serve with crusty bread.
Tips for Success and FAQs:
To prevent bacteria and the potential growth of botulism in fresh ingredients, such as garlic, herbs or spices which are packed in oil, the Marinated Feta must be stored in the refrigerator for no longer than four days. The cheese and the oil should be consumed within that time.
You can keep it refrigerated for up to 4 days. The oil will solidify slightly so you will need to bring it to room temperature to serve. Make a batch that you can enjoy within this time. Fresh ingredients, such as herbs and garlic, when stored in oil, cannot safely be kept for a long time as they have the potential to develop bacteria that can cause botulism.
The cubes of feta, along with the herb and spice flavoured olive oil, are delicious served with crusty bread so the best oil to use is extra virgin olive oil. As the oil is such an important flavour component, use the best olive oil that you have.
Store the prepared feta in the refrigerator for at least four hours before serving to allow the flavours to develop. It is even better if you can leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
More delicious recipes for you to try:
Easy recipes like our Marinated Feta Cheese are always popular. Here are some more of our favourites for you to try:
- Roasted Capsicums
- Marinated Olives
- Cannellini Bean Dip
- Marinated Mozzarella Balls
- Oven Baked Beef Meatballs
- Herbed Bread Dipping Oil
- Marinated Parmesan
Marinated Feta is a crowd-pleaser, and so easy to make, that it is certain to become one of your most popular appetisers. Serve with your favourite bread or toasts. After you have eaten all the cheese, if there is any oil leftover, use it for pasta, a salad or as a dip for crusty bread. Enjoy!
- 200 g (7 oz) feta cheese See Note 1
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves See Note 2
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 small red cayenne chilli/pepper See Note 3
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp lemon zest See Note 4
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) extra virgin olive oil See Note 5
- Place the block of feta onto some paper towel and pat it dry.
- Cut your block of feta into cubes approximately 1 cm (1/2 inch) square – See Note 6.Place the feta into a medium-sized bowl.
- Strip the leaves from the rosemary and thyme and add them to the bowl.
- Cut the chilli in half lengthways, remove the seeds and membrane. Finely slice the chilli and add to the feta. Adjust the amount of chilli used according to your taste.
- Peel and finely slice the garlic. Add to the bowl along with the lemon zest, peppercorns and dried oregano.
- Pour over the olive oil and gently toss with a spoon to ensure each cube of feta is coated.
- Transfer the feta to an airtight container/jar and store in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, ideally overnight, before serving to allow the flavours to develop – See Note 7.Use the feta and oil within 4 days. See the note in the blog post regarding safety precautions.
- We use Greek feta, made from a combination of sheep and goat milk. Use a feta which you enjoy eating.
- The Australian tablespoon is 20 ml or 4 teaspoons. In many other countries, the tablespoon is 15 ml or 3 teaspoons. Please adjust your measurements if necessary.
- Cayenne chillies are long, slender chillies/peppers. They are often mild in flavour, but the heat can vary. Add the amount of chilli according to your preference.
- Finely zest the lemon, avoiding the white pith.
- As we serve the marinated feta with crusty bread to mop up the flavoursome oil, we use extra virgin olive oil. Use the best quality olive oil that you have.
- We cut the cheese into small cubes which absorb the flavours better than large.
- Store the feta in a wide mouth container to make it easier to remove the cubes of feta.
- Please note, the nutritional information is based on this appetiser serving 4, and the olive oil being enjoyed also. It does not include what the feta is served with. The nutritional information is an estimate only.