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This Pan-Fried Feta with Peppered Honey is the perfect (EASY) appetizer that everyone loves. Salty feta cheese, coated in Panko bread crumbs and pan-fried to golden perfection. Nothing beats that crispy fried layer surrounding an entire block of feta. Serve this warm, drizzled with peppery honey, fried lemon zest, fresh cherry tomatoes, and baked pita chips. A great quick-and-easy appetizer for any occasion that’s gone within minutes…and always the first app to disappear! 

overhead photo of Pan-Fried Feta with Peppered Honey and tomatoes on plate with spoon

And so it begins, the start of the 4th of July appetizers, side dishes, snacks, and sweet treats. Hard to believe the 4th is only a few weeks away (actually it’s exactly 3 weeks from today), but as we all know, time moves quickly, and somehow it is mid-June. This currently means two things for me. First, it’s finally starting to warm up here in the mountains. Things have slowly gotten green (if you follow along on Instagram then you know what I’m talking about). The temperatures, while still a bit cool, are at least in the upper 60’s during the day. And it’s been pretty sunny too, so yessss, summer is here!

Very excited to see green leaves and sunshine, it makes such a difference for me and I could not be happier.

Second? Mid-June means the summer produce is really starting to show up, and I have 4th of July entertaining on my mind. I know it’s just a little early to be talking 4th of July recipes, but then I know some of you like to plan, so maybe it’s not? Regardless, I’m excited to start rolling out all the summery recipes over the next few weeks (and months). I’m kicking off my 4th of July appetizers with this pan-fried feta cheese.

It’s a good one.

pita chips

For those of you who have a copy of the HBH cookbook, you might recall that I have a recipe for pan-fried feta in the appetizer section of the book. Honestly, I had completely forgotten all about that recipe up until a couple weeks ago when brainstorming new summer ideas. It’s one of my favorite appetizers from the book, the feta cheese marinates with the olives, and is so so good. If you haven’t made that recipe yet, I highly recommend it as well. It’s different from today’s but just as delicious.

For whatever reason, I always love to serve feta in the summer months. Maybe because I find it particularly delicious when paired with tomatoes? Or possibly because I see it as a “lighter” cheese that most people really enjoy?

Either way, it’s a great summer cheese. Trust me though, pan-frying it in just a smidge of olive oil (so no deep-frying) makes it even more delicious.

overhead close up photo of Pan-Fried Feta with Peppered Honey

This recipe is EASY, here are the details…

Start with the honey, it’s literally just honey, thyme, and black pepper mixed together. Simple, simple, but so delicious.

The next step is cooking the lemon zest in oil. Yes. You must do this. It’s key. Before you cook the feta, first cook the lemon zest in oil. Not only is fried lemon delicious, but it infuses the oil with lemony flavor and adds a really nice hint of citrus throughout the dish.

Now, let’s talk about the fried feta. Which isn’t really “fried” since we’re only cooking it in a little bit of (lemon infused) olive oil. The feta is first dipped through Panko bread crumbs and then pan-fried in a skillet. It takes maybe 10 or so minutes total to put together and the outcome could not be more delicious.

Since feta is a non-melting cheese, it’s really easy to work with and will not melt all over. Instead, the outside of the cheese remains crispy, while the inside is warm, soft, and perfectly crumbly.

side angled close up photo of Pan-Fried Feta broken into pieces with Peppered Honey

You can serve the feta at room temperature, and it will, of course, be delicious. But personally? I love serving the feta warm, drizzled generously with that peppered honey. The honey seeps into the feta creating the perfect salty, sweet, and peppery flavor with every single bite.

Mouthwatering!

Top with summery cherry tomatoes and enjoy with pita chips.

So darn delicious, EASY, and pretty too! This is going to make the perfect appetizer/snack for Father’s Day this weekend. I mean what Dad doesn’t love fried cheese? Then put it on repeat a few weeks later on the 4th. I already cannot wait to make this over and over all summer long!

overhead photo of Pan-Fried Feta broken into pieces with Peppered Honey

If you make this pan-fried feta with peppered honey, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Watch the How To Video: 

Pan-Fried Feta with Peppered Honey.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 426 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Ingredients

Peppered Honey

Fried Feta

Instructions

  • 1. To make the honey. Combine all ingredients in a glass jar.
    2. To make the feta. Whisk the egg in a shallow bowl. Add the Panko to a separate shallow bowl. Dip the feta through the egg, turning to coat, remove and allow any excess to drip off. Dredge the feta through the Panko, turning to coat and pressing gently to adhere. 
    3. Heat 3 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet set over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the lemon zest and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute until fried. Remove from the skillet and set aside. To the same skillet add the feta and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer the feta to a serving plate.
    4. In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, basil, and a pinch of salt.
    5. Serve the feta warm, drizzled with honey and topped with fried lemon, thyme, and tomatoes. Enjoy with pita chips or bread.
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Comments

    1. Hi! I am sorry to hear that! Is there anything that could have gone wrong while making this? Or anything I can help with? xTieghan

    2. This looks delicious. Can you please clarify step 3. Do we remove all the oil, along with the lemon, from the pan? Or should we keep the oil to dry the cheese?

      1. Hey Krista,
        You are going to leave the oil in the pan. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  1. This looks so good! Keen to make it. I am just wondering what kind of feta you would recommend using? Greek, danish etc.
    Thank you!

    1. Hey Hannah,
      I like to use a Greek feta. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  2. Hi Tieghan. Is there a substitute for the egg? I don’t eat eggs but would really like to get the delicious crust like you did. Thanks

    1. Hey Nalini,
      You could use milk! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hi Margaret,
      Halloumi would be great. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hi Ashverya,
      You could use bread crumbs, but I found that Panko works best. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    So I made this easy recipe for my Lebanese friends and they LOVED it! Wow, so easy and it serves up so beautifully. I highly recommend eating while it’s still warm. A real winner!

  4. 4 stars
    Great appetizer! Didn’t use all d honey because I thought it would b too sweet for some. Only problem was that I kinda burnt d lemon and didn’t really taste it. Next time I would use the suggested amount of honey and more lemon zest. Loved d flavour of d thyme and should definitely b served warm!

    1. Hi Nicole! I am really glad this turned out so well for you! And yes warm is the best! Thank you! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    This was SOOO good, and really easy! My tomatoes were getting kind of old and crinkly so I threw them in the pan while the feta was frying and they were delicious. I also only used half a block of feta and it worked just as well. Great recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    I love this recipe and I’ve made it twice now. For some reason I have a hard time getting the bread to stay on the block once I put it in the pan. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks for being awesome. You have fed our family throughout our “stay at home” orders and we’re so grateful.

    1. Hi Summer! I am really glad you have been trying and enjoying my recipes! Thank you so much! I hope you and your family are staying healthy and safe! xTieghan

  7. 4 stars
    Very tasty! I forgot the lemon zest, didn’t add the tomatoes, and used the honey I had left over from this recipe (https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/goat-cheese-stuffed-bacon-wrapped-dates/), but it all worked out very well. The next time I make it, I will cut the feta in half lengthwise to make it thinner (it was very thick and difficult to scoop up), and I would make sure my panko crumbs are less course (the course panko crumbs resulted in my feta not having this beautiful golden crust).

    1. Hi Kelsey! Yes, the cheese will still be delicious! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    I made this last night for my husband and myself….a test run before making it for guests. As predicted, it looked sophisticated and tasted delicious. A few things I learned….I peeled the lemon and cut it into thin strips after frying (It cooks quickly), I cut my slice of feta 1/2″ thick so it would be be a little softer and more delicious breading with every bite. I breaded my slice of cheese and refrigerated it for a bit, hoping that would help the breading to stick. I microwaved the honey, pepper and dried thyme on low to infuse the thyme and make it easier to pour over the feta.Tomatoes were pretty and delicious too!Definitely a keeper!