Warm, creamy, and luscious baked feta recipe with bell peppers, tomatoes, herbs, and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. One of the simplest and most satisfying mezze you'll make! All you need is some crusty bread or homemade pita chips to serve.
When it comes to baked cheese, most people imagine something gooey like baked brie (which I love with a spread of jam and some nuts), or the top layer of melty mozzarella on your baked ziti.
But today, we get to explore a new baked cheese goodness: baked feta!
This Mediterranean feta recipe is a simple appetizer that takes inspiration from my earlier trip to Greece, where tangy, rich feta is as imperative as olive oil and is used in cooking; or served with seasonal veggies (especially on top of village Greek Salad); or as a simple appetizer maybe next to other small plates like sokrdalia (garlic and potato dip) or melitzanosalata (eggplant dip).
Why this recipe works
In this recipe, a block of quality feta cheese is baked to tender perfection with bell peppers, red onions, and cherry tomatoes. A good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (I used Private Reserve Greek EVOO), plus a few pinches of oregano and fresh thyme, bring it together.
While a blast of heat from your oven will not fully melt your feta cheese, it will transform it into a warm and luscious, creamy spread. Absolutely addictive! To serve it, all you need is some crusty bread, or better yet, some homemade pita chips!
Is it ok to cook feta cheese?
One of the most frequently asked questions is whether you can actually heat feta cheese. And the answer is YES! Quality feta can be fried and drizzled with warmed honey, or baked in a high-heated oven until tender and perfectly creamy, like in today's appetizer. Or you can use it in other ways. Here are a few recipes:
- Spinach Frittata
- Savory pies such as spanakopita
- In saucy dishes like Greek shrimp with tomatoes
- Greek red lentil soup
A few tips for the best baked feta
- Use a high-heated oven. I set mine on 400 degrees F. If the cheese needs some more color after it's been baked for about 25 to 30 minutes, you can put it under the broiler briefly.
- Make sure you have an oven-safe little dish for this recipe (a small cast iron skillet will work as well). Place the dish or skillet on a small baking sheet for ease of use.
- Use quality feta cheese. Find creamy Greek feta. French or Bulgarian white cheese will work great too (which are like feta but can not be given the term because Greece has the PDO for the term "feta"). Do not use crumbled feta, which is too dry and will not work as well in this recipe.
- Use a good tasting olive oil. You don't need a ton of extra virgin olive oil here, just a few drizzles. It will make a difference to use a good tasting olive oil, which can add flavor and richness to this dish. (here are the olive oils I always use).
- Serve right away. The idea of this dish is to serve it while the feta is still warm and extra creamy and easily spreadable (obviously, make sure it is not too hot to eat).
- Serve with pita chips or toasted Italian bread like I do in the video. To toast the bread slices, just give them a brush and arrange them on a sheet pan, bake briefly until lightly golden brown in the same oven while the feta is cooking.
Tools used in this recipe
- Small oven-safe dish such as terra cotta cazuela, a ramekin, or a small well-seasoned cast iron skillet
- A small baking sheet to put the dish on for ease of use (like I did in the video below)
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Baked Feta Recipe
- ½ red onion sliced
- ½ green bell pepper sliced into rounds
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes about 3 ounces, halved
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 3 to 4 fresh thyme sprigs optional
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 8 oz Block of quality feta cheese do not crumble
- Fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)
- Crusty bread or pita chips to serve
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F and adjust a rack in the middle.
- Arrange the onions, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes at the bottom of a ramekin or oven-safe dish. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon oregano, pinch red pepper flakes, and add some of the fresh thyme. Drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil.
- Add the feta on top of the arranged veggies. Season the feta block with the remaining dried oregano, pinch of red pepper flakes and whatever remains of the fresh thyme. Drizzle a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil on the feta and make sure to brush the sides with some of the oil.
- Place the baking dish on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes (and if you like, you can stick it under the broiler very briefly to add color).
- Serve with pita chips or toasted Italian bread.
- Make sure you are using an oven-safe dish for this recipe. Add a baking sheet below it for easy tranfer in and out of the oven.
- If serving with sliced bread, give the bread slices a brush of extra virign olive oil, spread them on a sheet pan, and toast in the oven briefly, turning over partway through, while the feta is baking!
- Visit Our Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils and all-natural and organic spices.
I made this recipe from your cookbook (which I am loving!) yesterday. I spread olive oil & crushed garlic on sliced Belgium bread and toasted in oven as per your suggestion. This was served as a side to soup. First spread the nicely soft feta on the bread and then topped with the yummy vegetables. It was so delicious! I used Bulgarian sheep feta cheese that I purchased from the Middle East store and it worked perfectly. Another winner!
I assume this is eaten while warm. Will Room temp bring the cheese back to it's regular firm state or does it stay soft?
Hi, Den. It will stay soft for a bit after baking and resting at room temp. Hard to say if it will completely firm up again because, in our experience, it gets eaten up pretty quickly after it comes out of the oven :). Enjoy!
So easy and delish! My friends all loved❤️ Your recipes are all so good!
This is amazing. I love all of your recipes but I brought this to a dinner party recently and it absolutely brought down the house. People didn't want to move on from appetizers! I did broil the top briefly to get some golden color and then I tucked it into a prewarmed "hot bag". I was worried it would cool down too much on the way but the residual heat of my casserole dish kept it lovely and warm for the short drive. Thanks for so many fabulous recipes.
Yay! So glad it was such a hit!
I followed your instructions exactly. The cheese all melted!
Love this with homemade pitta was so good.
There is something wrong with the videos. The start and after a minute, it skips to another recipe.
Hi, Marina. Thanks for letting us know. We'll work on a fix for that.
One year later and the video still does not work.
Hi, Tee. We just checked the video on our end, and it is working for us. If you could, please shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know the specific issue you are having so we can try to help resolve it.
I got this recipe in a greek restaurant in Germany..
cut a block feta to 1 1/2 inch...rub with dried oregano and sweet paprika generously, put in a casserole dish, sqeeze1-2 cloves of garlic all over ,then drizzle with olive oil (looove suzy's....)bake for 20 min. at 350
on a bed of black olives, tomatoes and sliced onions..voila
Thanks for sharing your variation, Anneli! Sounds delish!
Hi Suzy, I've not yet tried this but have no doubt it's wonderful based on the other yummy recipes I have tried.
Question, I'm hesitant to use the feta I buy at WF. I'm in Savannah and can't get that wonderful feta I've had in restaurants. One in Chicago in particular used a Turkish sheep feta that was outstanding...simply served with other mezes. Can you recommend a online source for a great feta cheese for me?
Thanks so much!
Hi, Marie. Unfortunately, I don't have an online source for feta. However, have you looked for Middle Eastern/International markets and delis in your area (some delis will have a grocery area with the good stuff)? I would do an online search and call around to who you find to see what they might have available. This what I had to do once arriving to the Atlanta area and I discovered some true gems!
Trader Joe's has a greek feta block in a plastic box, called Authentic Greek Feta. Sounds doubtful, even suspicious, but it's as good as any feta I've ever had. I live in NYC, which abounds with Greek and Middle Eastern stores and restaurants, feta cheeses from every country that makes good feta anywhere [France, Bulgaria, Turkey etc] and I feel this is terrific. Have also traveled extensively in Greece, Turkey and the Middle East. Packed in brine, as it should be, with at least a 4 month shelf life. You might find this solves your problem.
Delicious who would have thought it!!!
Never dreamt of baking Feta .
Served with Gram pancakes
This has become my signature dish to serve as an appetizer when we have guests. Very intense flavor, with very little effort - my favorite style of cooking. I usually add a few cloves of smashed garlic and fresh rosemary sprigs when roasting, and skip the mint. Key to use great feta - such as a block of Greek sheep’s feta. Thank you for this dish, and all your other recipes!
Thank you so much, Randi!
This is a wonderful recipe. Super easy prep and absolutely delicious. I served it with Spanish chorizo, fresh pita bread, and dry white wine.
Sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing, Michael!
Hi Suzy - have been following for a while now - super tasty refreshing recipes - thank you.... Would the Feta work in a suitable dish in an Air fryer? If so what temp and cooking time? - Take care - Richard
Hi, Richard! I have not tried that myself, so I really can't advise. If you do, I'd love to hear how it turns out!
WOW! This baked feta is exactly like the one I always have in Greece ! Was trying many different recipes but this one is the best! Thank you so much for sharing it.
My pleasure, Irina! So glad you enjoyed it!