19 delicious ways to use feta cheese

July 2, 2012
By

Think feta is just for Greek salads? Think again. As I mentioned in the previous post 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!

Traditionally it is coupled with lathera and kokkinista (meat or vegetables cooked in 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, making it a very important nutritional component of the diet.

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 savoury 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. Personally, I can manage to fit in feta in almost every recipe because it so versatile, but here are some traditional and non-traditional ideas:

1. Sprinkle feta on mashed potatoes or baked potatoes.

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

3. In a sandwich… Sprinkle 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 to make stuffed mushrooms 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. Pair watermelon or cantaloupe or grapes with feta, a perfect combination especially in the summer.

7. Make phyllo turnovers filled with vegetables (spinach, greens, zucchini) and feta or Greek savoury pies (pites).

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

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

10. Use to make a feta dip.

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

12. Add some feta to your omelet.

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

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

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

16. Make savoury muffins using various veggies and feta cheese.

17. In a quiche. Works well with spinach or leek.

18. Pour some honey and sprinkle with sesame a piece of feta and than wrap in phyllo. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 Celsius) and serve with warm honey.

19. And my favorite way….as a table cheese: just put on the table and eat it with whatever else you are serving.

Photo Credit: Greek Pizza by The Hungry Dudes
Photo Credit: Watermelon, Feta and Mint by Hedonistin
Photo Credit: Mascarpone, balsamic, strawberries and feta on sugar crusted toast by Kelly Bone

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9 Responses to 19 delicious ways to use feta cheese

  1. 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.

    • 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.

  2. 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!

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

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

  3. 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

  4. 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?

    • 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.

  5. 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!

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