If you haven’t tried fried feta yet, you are in for a special treat! Olive oil fried feta with a crispy sesame crust and a drizzle of good honey makes a decadent appetizer in about 10 minutes!
This post is sponsored by Athenos; I used their creamy traditional chunk feta cheese in this recipe. All opinions are my own.
I always have a block of good feta cheese in my fridge. It's my secret ingredient to elevate a salad, to crumble over tomatoes or saucy shrimp, or even to slice up and bake with salmon and vegetables for dinner (yes, it’s a great sheet-pan situation to try soon!).
But feta can easily be the star of the show! A little heat transforms it into the ultimate appetizer — soft, creamy, and just a little indulgent. You’ve seen it in my Greek baked feta, and today, we’re going for another decadent show-stopper: fried feta!
Warm, melt-in-your-mouth Athenos traditional chunk feta cheese with a nutty, perfectly crispy sesame crust, and finished with a drizzle of warmed honey…what’s not to love?!
This fried feta is a company-worthy treat. Like traditional Greek saganaki it's perfect for the holidays but easy enough to pull off anytime with just 5 ingredients and no more than 10 minutes of work.
Pan fried feta cheese ingredients
Fried feta or feta saganaki with honey and sesame uses 5 simple ingredients: feta, flour, eggs, sesame seeds, and honey (plus a little olive oil for quick frying). Think of this recipe as having three simple components:
In this recipe, you’ll need a quality block of tangy, creamy feta that you can cut into without having it crumble all over the place. That’s why I am using Athenos traditional chunk feta cheese, which you can easily find at a store near you. Plus, I love that Athenos feta is made with fresh, simple ingredients (it’s been made this same way for over 20 years!)
In this recipe, you’ll start by slicing your block of feta into ½-inch thick slices before coating them with a delicious sesame crust!
The sesame crust
Before you quickly pan fry the feta slices in olive oil, you’ll give them a quick coating in some flour, eggs, and toasted sesame seeds. And once fried, this coating will turn into the perfect crust–crispy and slightly nutty, the perfect complement to the creamy warm feta!
To finish this delectable fried feta appetizer, I like to drizzle a little bit of good warmed honey all over (just warm the honey in a little pan so it’s perfectly runny). I’m a big fan of the sweet and salty combo here! And if you’re in the mood, you can sprinkle a little red pepper flakes too (totally optional).
How to fry feta cheese
From start to finish, you can have this easy but elegant feta appetizer ready in 10 minutes or less. For my visual friends, here’s how you make fried feta with honey (printer-friendly recipe below):
- Prepare the dredging station. Break 2 eggs in a shallow bowl and whisk with a tablespoon or 2 of water. To another bowl right next to the whisked eggs, add ¼ cup all-purpose flour. Lastly, add ½ cup toasted sesame seeds to a bowl next to the flour. Having the three bowls close together will make it easier to quickly coat the feta cheese with minimal mess.
- Coat the feta cheese in the sesame crust. Slice 1 8-ounce of Athenos traditional chunk feta into ½-inch thick slices. Dredge one slice in the flour (make sure all sides of the feta slice are covered) before dipping it briefly into the beaten egg mixture. Gently tap off any excess if necessary. Lastly, roll the feta in the sesame seeds. Set aside on a long platter, and repeat with the remaining slices of feta cheese.
- Fry the feta. Add some extra virgin olive oil to a large cast-iron skillet and heat on medium high until shimmering. The skillet needs a good coating of olive oil to lightly pan-fry the cheese. A smaller skillet would work as well, but you would then need to work in batches.
Place the sesame-encrusted feta slices to the skillet, making sure each slice touches the hot bottom of the skillet. Do not crowd the pan. Fry one side until golden brown before turning, and fry the other side until golden brown as well. The sesame seeds should form a crispy crust when fried. Transfer the fried feta to a tray or platter lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.
- Finish with honey. Warm ¼ cup or more of honey in a small skillet. Move the feta saganaki with sesame to a serving plate and drizzle with the honey to finish. For a subtle heat, sprinkle some red pepper flakes over the top. Serve warm.
Be sure to serve this decadent feta appetizer while the feta is still warm; it’s the best! And I will say, a little ouzo cocktail on the side really completes the little Greek affair. Nothing much is needed otherwise, but if you like, you could serve this fried cheese with pita chips or crusty bread, or even as part of a large mezze platter.
Also, you can cut up the fried feta into smaller chunks and add them on top of a salad; it’s a great way to replace your average crouton.
How to store leftovers
Fried feta is best enjoyed while still warm; we’ve never had a hard time finishing it, though.
If you, for some reason, end up with leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can then enjoy it at room temperature.
More recipes with feta cheese
Fried Feta with Honey and Sesame (Feta Saganaki)
- Break the eggs in a shallow bowl. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water. Whisk to combine.
- In another shallow bowl add the flour, then add the sesame seeds in a third shallow bowl right next to the flour.
- Slice the block of feta into ½-inch thick slices.
- Take one slice of the feta and roll it in the flour (turn it over to make sure all sides of the feta are covered). Dip the feta in the egg mixture, then roll it in the prepared sesame seeds. Set aside. Repeat until all the feta slices are covered in the egg, flour, and sesame seeds.
- In a cast iron skillet, add extra virgin olive oil to cover the bottom of the skillet by about 1 inch (if you use a smaller skillet, you’ll need less oil, but you’ll need to work in batches).
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the feta cheese slices so that they are each touching the hot bottom of the skillet. Fry on one side until golden brown, then turn over and fry on the other side until golden brown and crusty. Transfer the fried feta to a tray or plate lined with paper towel to drain excess oil.
- To serve, transfer the feta to a plate and drizzle with warmed honey (I simply warm the honey in a small skillet, and I like to add a dash of red pepper flakes). Serve warm.
- Serving ideas: Serve feta saganaki warm with an ouzo cocktail and pita chips, or as part of a larger mezze spread. You can also cut up fried feta into small chunks and add them to a salad.
- How to store leftovers: Leftovers will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Enjoy at room temperature.
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