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Ina Garten's Marinated Herbed Feta

Make Ina Garten’s cranberry martini and herb feta for the perfect party
Make Ina Garten’s cranberry martini and herb feta for the perfect partyDavid Anderson / TODAY

Chef notes

Most marinated feta consists of cubes of feta swimming in a large jar of olive oil, which I think makes the feta oily. Instead, I slice it and sprinkle it with thyme, fennel, crushed red pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. The flavor is much cleaner and brighter. Serve this with toasted pita triangles or on a Greek mezze platter with hummus, olives and stuffed grape leaves.

Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare the feta, wrap, and refrigerate for up to a week.


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 pounds Greek feta, drained and sliced ½ inch thick
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup green olives with pits, such as Cerignola
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Toasted pita triangles, for serving



Combine the dried thyme, fennel seeds and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Lay the feta slices overlapping on a 9 × 9-inch square serving plate.


Sprinkle the feta with the entire herb mixture. Nestle the fresh thyme sprigs and olives among the feta slices. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve at room temperature with the pita triangles.