This 5-ingredient easy baked feta dip with dates and hazelnuts is drizzled with honey and olive oil for a simple appetizer. Spread creamy roasted feta cheese on crackers, toast it on crostini or serve with pita chips for scooping!
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Drawing inspiration from Greek Roasted Feta with Honey
This 5-ingredient recipe was inspired by Greek Roasted Feta with Honey, a small mezze platter we had on our first night in Greece. To be exact, the appetizer we had was feta, baked into balls of dough that were then drizzled with honey and sprinkled with walnuts.
I immediately began thinking of how I can adapt this Greek baked feta recipe recipe to be gluten free, and how it can become an easy appetizer for entertaining during the holiday season.
The solution was easy: take all the ingredients, mix everything together, throw in a powerhouse superfood like Medjool dates, and you've got a baked feta cheese crostini like no other!
Ingredient spotlight: Medjool Dates
I always try to add some healthy ingredients to my recipes. Sometimes it's a matter of switching up the white flour for whole wheat, making a recipe gluten free, a dessert sugar-free, and other times it's adding a superfood. For that, I often turn to Medjool dates.
Naturally sweet and packed with minerals and antioxidants, Natural Delights Medjool Dates are full of potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Large, plump, and sweet, Natural Delights Medjool Dates look so good that people can't believe they are dried - but in fact, they are fresh, and never dried! I know that's hard to believe for a pantry staple, but it's true! They come to you straight from the Bard Valley along the Colorado River, where they are grown.
You can find Natural Delights Medjool Dates at grocery stores and health food markets in most parts of Canada.
In this recipe, I use Medjool dates along with hazelnuts to make a crunchy, yummy topping for my baked feta cheese.
Ingredients you'll need for baked feta dip
- Feta - a nice block of feta cheese of your choice. This is going to be the star of the show! I love Macedonian feta, which is higher in fat and very smooth, but another fave is Greek feta which is made from a mix of cow's milk and sheep's milk.
- Hazelnuts - toast the hazelnuts for the best results. If you don't have hazelnuts, you can use another nut like walnuts, almonds or pecans.
- Natural Delights Medjool Dates - don't skip this! The baked dates get soft and gooey, and they make for a lovely accompaniment to the creamy roasted feta.
- Honey - Greek baked feta with honey was the inspiration for this recipe, but you can skip it or use homemade date syrup for a sugar-free alternative.
- Olive Oil - we drizzle this on the feta to bake it more nicely.
- Rosemary (optional) - gives a nice herbaceous and woodsy garnish to the dish. You can skip it or use fresh thyme, dried oregano, or dried herbs like rosemary or sage.
How to make this roasted feta dip
Prep the ingredients
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Take the feta block and place it in an oven-safe dish.
Mix everything together
In a small dish, mix together diced dates and chopped hazelnuts.
Add extra virgin olive oil, honey, chopped fresh rosemary.
Arrange baked feta appetizer
Arrange date and hazelnut topping on and around the feta cheese.
Drizzle with olive oil on top of the whole dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on top, to taste.
Bake feta dip in the oven
Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until you have a soft and creamy feta that turns golden brown and the dates release their juices. They should become toasted, plump and browned. Check on it, stir the toppings and broil for another 5 minutes if desired.
Pro Tip: If desired, you can also broil baguette slices for crostini at the same time.
Serve baked feta dip warm
Remove the dish from the oven and garnish with fresh rosemary and more chopped dates. Serve roasted feta dip warm, alongside toasted baguette crostini, crackers or whatever else you like (see my suggestions below!)
Make Baked Feta Crostini
I usually serve this baked feta appetizer smeared on a baguette to make easy and elegant looking baked feta crostini.
To do so, simply follow the instructions for making this roasted cheese dip, and then ladle it generously on thickly cut baguette slices.
What to serve with baked feta cheese
What do you eat with baked feta cheese? I love the following things:
- Homemade focaccia
- Italian Ciabatta Bread
- Pita chips
- Gluten Free Crackers
- Fresh Vegetable crudites
- Cured Meats
When to serve this baked feta appetizer
I love to serve this easy appetizer for gatherings of all kinds, but I find that it especially lends itself to winter-time gatherings, like during Christmas (it completes an easy meal like this one-pan Christmas dinner).
You can also serve it as a Thanksgiving appetizer while people are just gathering. Nothing brings everyone to the table as well as baked brie!
I also like to serve this cheesy appetizer for Shavuot, the Jewish holiday of dairy.
Why You'll Love This Baked Feta Dip Recipe
Once you taste this delicious, easy appetizer, you're going to become a fan of feta - especially when it's melted, soft and gooey like in this roasted feta appetizer.
I love it because this recipe is:
- naturally gluten free
- full of flavor
- devoid of artificial ingredients and sweeteners
- perfect for winter gatherings
- easy (it has only 5 ingredients!)
A few tips for the best baked feta appetizer
- If you like it spicy, add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes.
- If you like it tangy, add the juice of ¼ of a lemon.
- If you find that you want to add more color to your dish, put it in the oven on broil for the last 2-5 minutes - but watch it carefully to prevent burning!
Substitutions and Variations on Baked Feta
If you don't want to use baked feta cheese in this appetizer, you can use the following replacements:
- goat cheese
- ricotta (especially ricotta salada)
- brie cheese
- a block of soft tofu for a creamy vegan baked cheese dip
Frequently asked questions
Absolutely! This is a classic Greek feta recipe, and this preparation dates back centuries. Baking feta makes it soft, gooey and spreadable, perfect for spreading on bread like a dip.
It doesn't melt, just gets soft, creamy and gooey while still retaining its shape. That's why it's so great!
You can store leftover baked brie in an airtight container in the fridge, where it will keep for 3-4 days. To reheat it, simply place it in the oven on the broil setting for 5 minutes, or bake it at or at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes.
Unfortunately, no. It would get rubbery and unpleasant, and won't reheat well.
More easy appetizer recipes
Looking for more delicious appetizer recipes? Try these:
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Date and Hazelnut Roasted Feta Cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Add the feta to the middle of a small baking dish.
- In a small bowl, mix together diced dates and chopped hazelnuts. Drizzle everything with extra virgin olive oil, honey, and chopped fresh rosemary.
- Sprinkle date and hazelnut topping on and around the feta cheese.
- Drizzle the olive oil on top of the whole dish. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Place the dish in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until you have a soft and creamy feta and toasted, plump and browned nuts and dates. Keep a close eye on the roasted feta in the last five minutes, to prevent burning.
- Remove the baked feta dip from the oven and garnish with fresh rosemary and more chopped dates. Serve warm!