Baked Feta with Olives and Tomatoes
on Nov 30, 2020, Updated Nov 02, 2023
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You will be guaranteed to wow everyone with this easy baked feta appetizer with tomatoes and olives. When you bake feta in the oven, the flavor becomes more intense, and it has a more spreadable consistency. You can dip in a piece of bread to scoop out the cheese. It’s handy to have a spoon too, so you can drizzle on the seasoned olive oil from the baking dish.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Baked feta is one of those impressive appetizers that you can assemble in 5 minutes or less. You can do that before your guests arrive. It’s very easy to time to serve it hot. I love a recipe using store-brought ingredients that doesn’t require any additional work.
Feta is the perfect cheese for baking. Because of its high moisture content, feta holds its shape and doesn’t melt like mozzarella and cheddar when it’s warmed. It’s only when you drag a cracker, hunk of bread or knife through it that you discover how it becomes scoopable and spreadable.
The block of feta cheese bakes surrounded by sun-dried tomatoes and olives. These are 2 of my favorite antipasto ingredients because they have so much flavor. Also, they are fantastic with wonderfully salty feta. You can even change up with the mix and use roasted red bell peppers.
This is what you need:
- Greek feta is made from sheep’s milk and is full of flavor in a pleasantly salty way. When you bake it, the cheese loses some of its crumbly texture and tastes even more intense.
- Olives: I go for a Greek olive mix that has kalamata olives. It’s up to you if the olives are pitted or not.
- Tomatoes: You can use either sun-dried tomatoes or marinated roasted tomatoes. Both you can find at the olive bar at the grocery or in the Italian food section with jarred roasted red peppers, which would make a good substitution.
- Garlic: I thinly slice a garlic clove and stir it with the tomatoes and olives.
- Olive oil: For the best taste, use good quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Dried spices: This seasoning mix is a combination of dried oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper that you probably already have in your pantry.
- Fresh herbs: Garnish the final dish with chopped parsley, fresh basil leaves, oregano or fresh thyme before serving.
How To Make Baked Feta with Tomatoes and Olives
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F with a rack in the center of the oven and another one 4-6 inches from the broiler.
1. Stir together the olive oil, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
2. Stir together the olives, tomatoes and sliced garlic in a medium bowl. Since the cheese and everything else end up fitting snugly in the baking dish, I like stirring the olives, tomatoes and garlic in a separate bowl. Then it’s easier to get an even mix of these ingredients around the cheese.
3. Arrange the feta, tomatoes, olives and garlic in a baking dish and pour on the seasoned olive oil. I put the cheese in the center and the tomatoes and olives around it.
4. Baked the feta for 15-18 minutes. To brown the top, preheat the broiler on high. Keep an eye on it, so it doesn’t brown too much. Garnish with chopped herbs before serving with toasted baguette slices, pita chips or crackers.
As mentioned, this is a good choice for an appetizer. Not only is it simple to assemble and bake, you will have no problem with timing it around your guests arriving and serving the main course. Make it for holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve.
Leftovers & Storage
This baked feta recipe is one that you will hope for leftovers. You can keep them in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days. You can warm them in a 350 degree F and eat them as an appetizer again or combine them with pasta.
How To Make TikTok Feta Pasta
A couple years ago baked feta pasta went viral on TikTok. That version was made with raw cherry tomatoes. I actually think it turns out better when you use sun-dried tomatoes and olives. They have so much more flavor.
If you do want to turn this recipe from appetizer to pasta, I recommend using a square or rectangular baking dish. That will give more space around the cheese. Then double the amount of tomatoes, olives and olive oil. Bake it as written for 15-18 minutes.
While the feta bakes, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente according to package directions. Then toss it in the dish with the warm feta. Make sure to use pitted olives. You can also add baby spinach if you want greens. For pasta type, anything from spaghetti to rigatoni will work and so will gluten-free pasta.
- Use high-quality ingredients. Since this recipe doesn’t involve much cooking, the flavor of the feta and the olive oil make a difference. I use feta all the time, so I like to try different brands to find my favorites.
- Watch the cheese under the broiler. Make sure to keep an eye on the feta because it will brown quickly under the flame. You may need to loosely drape foil over the tomatoes and olives if they are browning or even starting to burn. Then just the feta will brown. If you have kitchen torch, you can use that instead of the broiler.
- Serve it warm or hot: This is such a great appetizer without much effort. You can bake it when your guests are there, so everyone can dive right into it when it’s out of the oven.
Baking the cheese for 15 minutes or so is not enough time to properly roast tomatoes. You can use your own roasted tomatoes, but I do not recommend including raw ones in this recipe.
Yes, the mix around the block of cheese is really up to you. It will also depend on the size of your baking dish. You make need more or less than the amount that is written in the recipe.
More Baked Appetizer Recipes
Baked Feta with Olives and Tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup olives, pitted or not pitted
- 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes or marinated roasted tomatoes, oil drained
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 6 ounce block of feta cheese
- Chopped fresh parsley, oregano, thyme or basil
- Toasted baguette slices or crackers for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange the top rack in the oven 4-6 inches from the broiler and another rack in the middle.
- Stir the olive oil, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- In a medium bowl, combine the olives, tomatoes and garlic.
- Place the feta in a small baking dish. The cheese should have some space around it for the olives and tomatoes. Then spoon the tomatoes and olives around the feta.
- Pour the olive oil over everything in the baking dish.
- Bake the feta for 15-18 minutes, until it just starts browning at the edges.
- Turn on the broiler, and brown the top of the cheese, about 2-3 minutes.
- Sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs before serving warm with toasted baguette slices, crackers or pita chips.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.