Whip up a delicious and easy marinated feta appetizer with only 10 minutes in the kitchen. This appetizer recipe can be served alongside toasted pita or added to a charcuterie board.
Whether you're hosting the holidays or just need a quick appetizer recipe to bring along for a friend's party, this marinated feta cheese is the perfect answer!
You'll only need 10 minutes of active work in the kitchen to throw this dish together. Then, it goes into the fridge to marinate and soak up all the delicious flavors from the olive oil, herbs, and spices.
What You'll Learn In This Recipe
- A little bit about feta cheese, including my favorite way to purchase feta.
- Fun and unique serving ideas for this appetizer.
- My favorite wine to pair with feta cheese.
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What Is Feta Cheese?
While real Greek feta is made from sheep's milk, the feta we purchase in the U.S. is mostly made with cow's milk and has a tangy, briny flavor.
When purchasing feta, be sure to buy it in a block (not crumbled). The feta block has a longer shelf life and tastes more moist and flavorful.
Given the choice, I prefer to purchase my block of feta in brine. The liquid brine will protect the cheese from the air, thus preventing dry and sour feta.
Ingredients You Need
Here are the ingredients you'll need to make this delicious marinade for feta cheese:
- Feta cheese: Be sure to purchase a block of feta cheese. This recipe won't work the same with crumbled feta.
- Extra virgin olive oil: Olive oil is one of the main flavor enhancers of this dish. Be sure to purchase high-quality olive oil that tastes good.
- Lemon peel and juice: We're maximizing the lemon flavor in this dish by using both the peel and the juice. You should be able to buy 2 medium-sized lemons and get the amount needed for this recipe.
- Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley: This variety of parsley adds a delicious flavor and pop of color to the marinated feta. Don't buy the curly parsley. It has less flavor than the flat-leaf variety.
- Fresh thyme leaves: This is another herb that adds flavor to the dish. If you have extra thyme leaves, use them as garnish.
- Garlic: I prefer to use fresh garlic, but you can substitute this ingredient for 3 teaspoons of jarred garlic.
- Crushed red pepper: This ingredient adds just a touch of spice. Feel free to increase or decrease the amount listed in the recipe depending on your preferred spice level.
- Pita bread: I love serving this feta cheese with toasted pita bread. You could also opt for raw vegetables or crackers.
Be sure to check out the recipe card below for the ingredient quantities.
How To Make This Recipe
The best part about this feta cheese appetizer or snack is that it only requires 10 minutes of active work in the kitchen. Here's what you'll need to do to make this recipe:
Place a block of feta cheese along with olive oil, lemon peel, lemon juice, parsley, thyme, garlic, and crushed red pepper in an airtight storage container.
Next, seal the container with a lid, and place it in the refrigerator to marinate for 24 - 48 hours.
I like to place a piece of tape with the day and time I put the cheese in the fridge to marinate. This is a helpful reminder to know when the 48 hours have elapsed.
If time allows, flip the feta cheese every so often to evenly flavor both sides.
Once the cheese is done marinating, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. Then, slice it into thin pieces using a sharp chef's knife.
- Wondering what to serve alongside this marinated feta recipe? I love serving it with toasted pita, crackers, or raw veggies like cucumber, endive leaves, and bell pepper.
- If you need an even bigger and more impressive feta appetizer, try adding the marinated cheese to a charcuterie board. This is exactly what I did when I made a Greek-inspired appetizer platter. It's a fun and enticing way to serve feta cheese.
- Don't waste the leftover olive oil and herbs at the bottom of the container after the feta is done marinating. You can spoon the oil and herbs over the feta cheese once it's plated on a serving platter for a beautiful presentation.
- Make sure to use a sharp chef's knife while cutting the feta cheese so you get nice and even cuts.
It's best to buy a block of feta stored in the brine. The liquid brine will protect the cheese from the air, thus preventing dry and sour feta.
This marinated feta recipe should last about 7 days in the refrigerator. This is great news if you have leftovers or if you want to prep this dish days ahead of time for a party.
I personally love pairing this marinated feta with white wine. Chardonnay pairs nicely with the herbs in this dish. You could also serve it with a glass of sauvignon blanc.
Yes, this feta cheese can be made up to 7 days ahead of time.
More Appetizer Recipes
Marinated Feta Cheese Appetizer
- Add feta, olive oil, lemon peel, lemon juice, parsley, thyme, garlic, and crushed red pepper to an airtight storage container.
- Seal the container with a lid, and place it in the refrigerator to marinate for 24 - 48 hours. If time allows, flip the feta cheese every so often to evenly flavor both sides.
- To serve, remove the storage container from the refrigerator and allow the feta to come to room temperature. Slice the feta into thin pieces using a chef's knife. Place sliced feta on a serving platter. Drizzle any remaining oil and herbs from the storage container on top of the feta. Serve alongside toasted pita wedges.