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 Mediterranean 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:
19 Delicious Ways to Use Feta Cheese
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 in 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), Greek tossed salad 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
Fill with vegetables (spinach, greens, zucchini) and feta or make Greek savoury pies (pites).
8. With cooked vegetables
Combine with any type of vegetables cooked with olive oil and tomato (lathera).
Roast 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. Or try these Greek style Nachos with spicy whipped feta.
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.
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Is there a good feta available in America? I’m pretty rural so super center, Wal Mart, type shops are about all we have.
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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?
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.
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!
I remember getting spaghetti with tomato sauce and feta when travelling on boats in Greece.
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!!!
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.
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
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!
I think 19 is the best. Yum! I wish I could eat feta every day.
Can feta be cooked or only sprinkled on dishes after they r cooked ?
Yum! I love feta cheese. Thanks for the ideas!
You are welcome Tony!
Thank you MRS. Paravantes your suggestions were very helpful.
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!
Thank AKaramichalis for the suggestions! Good to know. Here is a post where I provide tips on buying feta (yes avoid cows milk feta!) https://www.olivetomato.com/how-to-choose-feta-cheese-like-a-greek/
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?
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.
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
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.
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!
Thanks Scott, Yes I remember you at Deree! Great comment, I agree!
I like the number 12 and the last one. I really love cheese and I want to eat and eat cheese everyday.
I was stationed in Greece and a German family taught me
feta in omelets. I still make them that are so tasty.
I am trying feta cheese for the first time and the recipes are very interesting. Thanks.