This baked feta dip recipe is the perfect summer appetizer! This easy dip features creamy feta, burst cherry tomatoes, optional olives and basil. Recipe yields about 4 servings.
1 block (5 to 8 ounces) feta cheese*
4 medium cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
1 pint (2 cups) cherry tomatoes
⅓ cup Kalamata olives, halved lengthwise and pitted (optional)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional, for heat)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
For serving: Crostini or baked pita wedges or crackers
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the upper third of the oven.
Place the feta in the center of a two-quart baking dish. Place the garlic, tomatoes, and optional olives around the feta, in that order. Then drizzle the olive oil all over the mixture. Sprinkle with the red pepper flakes, if using, and several twists of pepper.
Bake for 20 minutes on the upper third, then place the dish on a heat-safe surface. Gently stir the tomatoes around the feta and tuck the garlic cloves back down to the bottom of the dish.
Return the dish to the oven and bake for 10 to 15 more minutes, until the tomatoes are juicy and shriveling and the feta is turning somewhat golden.
Remove the dish from the oven. Carefully, using a fork, find each of the four garlic cloves and smash each one against the side of the pan. Gently swirl the feta and tomatoes together—not enough to make the dish completely uniform, but to more evenly distribute the ingredients. Taste, and add a pinch salt if desired (the dish is usually plenty salty for me when made with olives, without them you may prefer a bit of additional salt).
Sprinkle all over with fresh basil. Serve warm, with crostini or pita wedges on the side. Leftovers keep well, covered and refrigerated, for up to 4 days. Gently reheat before serving.
*Feta note: Using a block of feta is key to this dish’s success. If it’s packed in water, drain it well before using. Blocks of feta vary in weight depending on the brand—any size between about 5 to 8 ounces will work. If your block is on the upper end of the spectrum, your dish will be more cheesy and creamy than shown here (nothing wrong with that!).
Make it gluten free: The dip itself is gluten free. Simply serve it with gluten-free accompaniments, like your favorite gluten-free crackers.
▸ Nutrition Information
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. See our full nutrition disclosure here.
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