19 Delicious Ways to Use Feta Cheese

July 2, 2012

Think feta is just for Greek salads? Think again. Greeks are the highest consumers of cheese, with feta making up over half of the cheese consumed. How do Greeks manage to eat over 25 pounds of feta a year? Easy! For Greeks, feta is like bread, it will be on every table regardless of what is being served. We eat it with everything! But first you want to make sure you get the good stuff, so check this post out on how to buy the best feta.

Traditionally it is coupled with lathera  (vegetables cooked in olive oil and tomato sauce). The Greek diet has plenty of vegetables and bean dishes and they were consumed as a main course with feta being the protein source.

The simple combination of feta and bread can make a meal, there is even a word for it: psomo-tyri, which translates to bread-cheese. Add a few olives and some tomato and you have a complete meal.

Another common use of feta in the Greek diet is in savory pies. It is added to almost every single pie such as spanakopita (spinach pie), tyropita (cheese pie), hortopita (wild greens pie), and prassopita (leek pie).

But there are also plenty non-traditional ways to use feta, because it so versatile, but here are some traditional and non-traditional ideas:

 1. On potatoes 


Sprinkle feta on mashed potatoes or baked and scalloped potatoes.

 2. On pizza 


Sprinkle it on top of pizza. Tastes good with fresh tomato, olives and artichokes.

3. In a sandwich  

Drizzle the inside of a baguette with olive oil and vinegar. Sprinkle some oregano and top with a slice of feta. Or in grilled cheese, use feta and olive oil instead of butter.

4. Use it as stuffing

Use it to make stuffed mushrooms , zucchini or stuffed peppers along with some olive oil, herbs, and breadcrumbs.

5. Use it with salads

Greek salad (tomato-cucumber-olives), lettuce salad along with spring onion or beet salad.

6. With fruit 

Pair watermelon or cantaloupe or grapes with feta, a perfect combination especially in the summer.

7. Make phyllo turnovers 

Crispy Honey Cheese Pies

Fill with vegetables (spinach, greens, zucchini) and feta or Greek savoury pies (pites).

8. With cooked vegetables 

Combine with any type of vegetables cooked with olive oil and tomato (lathera).

9. Grilled

Grill feta in the oven with a sprinkle of pepper flakes.

10. In dips

Use to make the spicy feta dip tirokafteri. Click here for recipe.

11. In nachos

Sprinkle on nacho chips along with some sliced black olives and heat until cheese softens.

12. With eggs

Add some feta to your omelet or try these Greek style scrambled eggs with tomato and feta.

13. With pasta

 

Add to pasta, pairs well with sun dried tomatoes, zucchini and olives.

14. In beans

Add feta to beans (legume) dishes. Feta goes very well with lentils and broad beans.

15. On meat

Top a greek style beef patty with a thin slice of feta, serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of oregano.

16. In muffins

Make savory muffins using various veggies and feta cheese.

17. In a quiche or tart

Works well with spinach or leek.

18. Wrap in phyllo  

Bake and drizzle with honey. Click here and here for complete recipes.

19. And my favorite way….as a table cheese 

Just put on the table and eat it with whatever else you are serving.

Photo Credits:

Greek Pizza by The Hungry Dudes

Burger by Tamera Clark

Nachos by Esimpraim

All other photos © 2016 Elena Paravantes. All Rights Reserved.

 

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26 Comments

  • Reply whaleshark July 4, 2012 at 1:46 am

    I like the number 12 and the last one. I really love cheese and I want to eat and eat cheese everyday.

    • Reply Anonymous February 1, 2013 at 5:08 am

      I was stationed in Greece and a German family taught me
      feta in omelets. I still make them that are so tasty.

  • Reply Scott July 4, 2012 at 6:09 am

    Hi Elena, I saw your comment in NY TIMES! I used to visit you as a patient at Deree! I’m so happy to see your blog now. If we could get the local Greeks to be as savvy and progressive with this idea as you are, I believe Greece will be fixed, but too many Greeks are stuck in this “Edo Ellada” mentality that I think it will take another generation or two to become smooth around the edges.

    Maybe a start would be for the NY TIMES article to be published in Greek and shown on every TV channel on the nightly news (LOL), instead of finding random tourists to interview to say how great Greece is. We need a reality check here in Elladastan I believe.

    Good Luck with the blog!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD July 4, 2012 at 6:37 am

      Thanks Scott, Yes I remember you at Deree! Great comment, I agree!

  • Reply zeinab wahab December 12, 2012 at 2:23 am

    I love all the recipes you posted. I am originally from Egypt, yet our food is very similar. I actually cook more like a Greek than Egyptian person. Thanks and good luck with the blog.
    Zeinab Wahab

  • Reply D June 7, 2013 at 2:34 am

    If Greeks lead the world in cheese consumption, why do all the Mediterranean Diet guidelines endlessly advocate “moderate amounts of low fat dairy”? Good feta is not particularly “low fat” nor is it eaten in what dietitians generally mean by moderate amounts…

    Sounds like more of dietitians trying to pigeonhole this way of eating into preconceived rigid American Heart Association ways of thinking about healthy food.

    Another example: whole grains. Almost no one in the region eats whole grains with any regularity. But it’s what dietitians think is healthy, so they just say that’s what the Mediterranean diet is.

    Perhaps the latter example would be justifiable if we strictly define this diet as what Cretans ate in the postwar years. But if so, doesn’t the whoe concept of a Mediterranean Diet become rather inapplicable to 95% of past and present residents of the Mediterranean basin?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD June 7, 2013 at 6:15 am

      Thank you for your comment “D”. Actually the Mediterranean diet Pyramid as it was presented by Harvard and World Health Organization researchers through the non-profit Oldways which really was the first to present Mediterranean guidelines in the U.S. does not advocate low fat dairy. I agree though that the media in general (not only dietitians) are presenting an altered type of Mediterranean diet which is not what it is, which is one of the reasons I started this blog, to clear up the misconceptions.
      In regards to whole grains, at that time, in Greece, bread was not white, it was mostly whole grain, as white flour was a luxury. In fact white bread was called “luxury” bread at the bakeries. Cretans ate commonly the known barley paximadia (whole grain barley rusks). But yes, not everything was whole grains, for example you would rarely come across brown rice or whole wheat pasta.
      I have written about the Cretan diet here several times, but I do not agree that the Mediterranean diet is inapplicable. Obviously we could never replicate that lifestyle today as there are many factors involved, but we can replicate to a large extent the diet: mainly vegetables based meals cooked in olive oil accompanied with cheese, greens, less meat, use of herbs, fruit, and probably something that we do not often here about: moderate amount of food.

    • Reply Lynn P. June 18, 2014 at 2:51 am

      I’m so happy that someone else agrees with my long held beliefs and has finally put into words what I’ve been telling my friends for many many years; but no one would accept this outlook because it was no from a physician

  • Reply AKaramichalis February 27, 2014 at 1:13 am

    Hi Elena,
    Speaking about delicious feta:
    Just a note to the Americans reading here–please buy sheep’s feta cheese (Trader Jo’s brand is made and imported in Greece, and Costco sells the best selling Dodonis and other brands, directly imported from Greece). Some supermarkets sell Mt. Vikos from Greece which is also authentic. The taste of these Feta cheeses is authentic. American supermarket feta cheeses made from cow’s milk are not…they taste bland and salty, and lack the creamy and tangy flavor of real delicious Greek feta cheese.
    YUM!!! Feta cheese is wonderful, versatile and great for watching your weight!

  • Reply derek flanagan April 23, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Thank you MRS. Paravantes your suggestions were very helpful.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD April 26, 2014 at 9:00 am

      Thanks Derek!

  • Reply Eat Your Veggies | Eat A Lot, Sleep A Lot April 28, 2014 at 4:29 am

    […] First, you will preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Now, all you’ll need to do cut off the ends of the bottoms of the asparagus, drizzle it with the olive oil and then sprinkle some salt over it. Gather the asparagus in bunches of about two to three and wrap each bunch with a slice of bacon. Place all of the bunches on a foil-covered, flat pan. Put the asparagus in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the bacon becomes crispy. After this, take it out of the oven and sprinkle it with feta cheese (which goes well with several dishes and has several uses). […]

  • Reply Tony March 29, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Yum! I love feta cheese. Thanks for the ideas!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD April 2, 2015 at 6:29 am

      You are welcome Tony!

  • Reply Marianne February 2, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    Can feta be cooked or only sprinkled on dishes after they r cooked ?

  • Reply Mali Jasmine November 22, 2016 at 2:38 am

    I think 19 is the best. Yum! I wish I could eat feta every day.

  • Reply Olive Tomato Turns 5! Ten Most Popular Posts and More | Olive Tomato December 16, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    […] Think again. Try these traditional and non-traditional ideas to add feta cheese to your diet. Click here for […]

  • Reply Irene Antoniou January 17, 2017 at 2:27 am

    Hi Elena – enjoy your site very much and going over your mail about feta brought back very fond memories of
    trips to Greece and the fine food we ate there. One of them which we always asked for for breakfast was the
    feta with bread (psomo-tyri) which you mentioned. Do you have a recipe for this delicious recipe? We have tried to recreate this recipe but doesn’t come out like theirs. IMA

    • Reply Elena January 19, 2017 at 7:00 am

      Hi Irene, I think you are referring to tyro-psomo, which is a bread made with feta in it. I have not yet posted, but will soon!

  • Reply Meghan February 17, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    I am curious on Greeks practices and thoughts on consuming Feta while pregnant. We ate cautioned in the states to only consume soft cheeses that say they have been pasteurized or avoid them completely. Is it more comments place for pregnant women in Greece to still consume Feta while pregnant? Just curious.

    Love the blog!!!

    • Reply Elena February 17, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      Hi Meghan, Actually all packaged feta sold in super markets is made from pasteurized milk, so there is no need to avoid it during pregnancy. It is a bit of a misconception.

  • Reply Rebecca February 17, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Costco is selling a Greek organic sheep milk feta that really brings me back to my time in Greece in 1980…one bite and I was transported back!

    • Reply Rebecca February 17, 2017 at 6:31 pm

      I remember getting spaghetti with tomato sauce and feta when travelling on boats in Greece.

  • Reply Nancy L Studebaker June 19, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    I am “sold” on buying REAL feta cheese! The kind you describe on one of your posts. Not the kind in the plastic tubs, dusted with other ingredients to prevent clumping, etc. The problem I find is that it molds fairly quickly, even though I buy it in small packages – about 4x4x1. I don’t always eat it all right away. What is the BEST way to store “real” feta cheese, to discourage mold growth? I find the same thing with goat cheese, another soft cheese that I love. Can you help me?

    • Reply Elena June 22, 2017 at 5:58 am

      Yes I can! So basically you have to make your own brine. You want to add thick salt to water. The ration is for every liter of water you add about 80 grams of salt and mix well until dissolved. You want to make enough of the brine to cover the feta. So put the feta in an airtight container and add the brine.

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