Phyllo-Wrapped Baked Feta with Honey (Feta me Meli)

5 from 6 votes
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7-ingredient phyllo-wrapped baked feta with honey (Feta me Meli) is a simple baked feta appetizer, perfect for dinner parties and holidays. It combines crispy filo and salty feta with fresh herbs and is topped with a drizzle of honey to balance the saltiness!

Baked Feta Filled Phyllo Pastry

After a year of renewed global feta cheese appreciation thanks to the TikTok viral baked feta pasta, it’s time to continue the appreciation with more delicious feta recipes like watermelon feta salad and this phyllo-wrapped feta with honey.

This oven-baked feta appetizer (called feta me meli aka feta with honey) is extremely popular in modern Greek cuisine and is found in most Greek restaurants. However, it’s also ridiculously simple to prepare at home, with just 7 ingredients and 5 minutes of hands-on prep.

It combines creamy salt feta with fragrant thyme, wraps it up in crispy phyllo pastry, and tops it off with nutty sesame seeds and a sweet drizzle of honey. The combination of salty, sweet, and nutty is to die for (a must-try for any salted caramel lovers)!

Baked Feta Filled Phyllo Pastry in an air fryer

While the phyllo-wrapped feta is traditionally fried, I’ve even lightened it up with baked and air fryer versions. Serve warm from the oven as part of a dinner party, mezze selection, or general crowd-pleasing appetizer! Plus, keep reading for tons of recipe variations and optional add-ins for an appetizer with feta cheese that will never become boring (not that it could anyway!)

For more pastry-based appetizers, you might enjoy this spinach and ricotta puff pastry tarte soleil, pesto puff pastry, or Lebanese spinach fatayer!

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The Feta Me Meli Ingredients

This baked feta in filo pastry with honey requires just 7 ingredients (pepper included!):

  • Phyllo pastry (filo): I use store-bought phyllo pastry sheets (fresh or frozen and thawed will work). You only need two sheets of phyllo dough for this recipe.
  • Feta: you need to use rectangle blocks of feta in brine, rather than small cubes/crumbled feta. Greek or French feta (which is creamier), will work for this feta pastry.
  • Butter: melted unsalted butter is required to brush the layers of filo pastry. Alternatively, you could use extra virgin olive oil.
  • Thyme: you can use fresh or dried thyme to sprinkle over the feta before baking. Read below for other optional herbs/seasonings.
  • Sesame seeds: you can use sesame seeds, nigella seeds, poppy seeds, or a combination of any two.
  • Black pepper: the feta adds all the salt needed in this baked feta appetizer. However, a crack of black pepper is a welcome addition.
  • Honey: I recommend using a high-quality raw honey for the best flavor (and nutrients). Alternatively, truffle honey, maple syrup or even pomegranate syrup may work.
Ingredients for feta filled phyllo pastry

Optional Add-ins and Variations

  • Other herbs: there are several herbs you could pair with the feta, including oregano, parsley, mint, dill, or spring onions/scallions.
  • Red pepper flakes: add a pinch of red pepper flakes (more/less to preference) over the feta before wrapping/baking.
  • Pesto/olive tapenade: add a thin layer of your favorite tapenade/pesto (like this vegan pistachio basil pesto).
  • Rose harissa: for heat, add a thin spread of harissa over the top of the feta before wrapping/baking.
  • Truffle oil: just a drizzle added over the baked filo wrapped feta adds wonderful depth to this baked feta recipe.
  • Spinach: spinach and feta pastries are common and popular (like spanakopita). I recommend using frozen, thawed spinach (with excess liquid squeezed out). Add a generous layer over the top of the feta before wrapping.
  • Other cheese: instead of feta, use brie, camembert, or halloumi. The shape and size of the cheese phyllo will vary (so the cooking time will too).
  • Tomato: you can use sun-dried or roasted tomatoes over the feta.
  • Mushrooms: you can use pre-sauteed mushrooms in a generous layer of the feta before wrapping. Alternatively, mince the mushrooms before or after sautéing them for a change in texture.
  • Caramelized onions: a thin layer of slowly cooked caramelized onions over the feta will add tons of flavor and a subtle sweetness.
  • Braised leeks: leek and feta pair very well. Sautéed or braised leeks will work for this baked feta recipe.
  • Fig jam: instead of drizzling with honey, you can serve the cooked feta cheese phyllo pastry with fig jam or spread it over the feta before wrapping/baking.
  • Jam: use 1-2 Tbsp of any other jam (like this strawberry or raspberry jam) over the feta before wrapping/baking.
  • Pomegranate seeds: serve the feta phyllo pastries with a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds for little pops of tang and sweetness.
  • Nuts: in place of the seeds, sprinkle the baked cheese phyllo parcels with crushed walnuts or pistachios.

How to Make Phyllo-Wrapped Feta with Honey?

This baked feta cheese appetizer is incredibly simple to prepare and requires just a few simple steps.

Step 1: Prepare the Feta

First, preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC.

You’ll need an entire block of feta for this recipe. Start by removing it from the packaging and draining any brine. Then slice the feta in half.

Feta block cut in two

How do you remove salt from feta?

Feta is very salty. If you’d prefer to minimize this, there are a couple of steps you can take.

The first would be to rinse and drain the feta in a colander. Rinse the two feta pieces under running water for a good minute, being careful not to break the feta apart. Then allow it to naturally drain in the colander before patting dry with a kitchen towel.

To remove the salty brine further, you can soak the feta in milk for between 3-5 hours (or, even better, overnight) in the fridge. Drain and pat dry (thoroughly) before using.

Step 2: Prepare the Feta Wrapped in Filo

Spread a phyllo sheet (filo pastry) across a clean, dry workspace and brush it with melted butter, black pepper, and a sprinkle of thyme.

Alternatively, you can just brush it with butter and add all the salt and pepper beneath where you place the feta and on top of it (for a more concentrated flavor).

Steps for preparing feta filled phyllo pastry

Place one of the feta blocks about 2-3 inches up from the bottom edge, in the center of the sheet. Optionally add an extra sprinkle of black pepper and herbs over the feta.

Next, it’s time to fold the parcel. There are two ways to do so- no matter which method you use, make sure to brush the pastry with butter after each fold (so it will become nice and crispy).

The first (as photographed below) has you fold the bottom 2-3 inches of pastry up and over the feta, then continue to fold it until fully wrapped, then fold in the two edges.

Steps for folding feta filled phyllo pastry

Alternatively, fold the bottom 2-3 inches of pastry up and over the feta. Then fold in both sides. Continue to roll the feta forward until it’s entirely wrapped.

The first version will leave multiple layers of filo overlapping on one side for a super crunchy section. The latter distributes the pastry more evenly for those who’d prefer that.

Repeat this with another filo sheet and the feta cheese. Then brush the outside of each with melted butter and sprinkle the top with sesame/nigella seeds.

Feta filled phyllo dough ready to cook

Step 3: Bake the Feta me Meli

In the oven: Place the two feta parcels on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake in the oven at 350ºF/180ºC for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway (or until the phyllo is golden-brown and crispy on both sides).

In the Air Fryer: Place the cheese phyllo parcels directly into the bottom of your air fryer basket. Try to avoid them touching, if possible, for the crispiest results. Then cook for about 15 minutes at 350ºF/180ºC.

Once ready, remove the feta parcels from the oven, allow to cool for just a few minutes and then drizzle with honey and serve!

By drizzling the honey over the phyllo-wrapped feta (feta me meli) while it’s still warm, it will help the pastry absorb the honey, for better flavor!

How to Serve?

This roasted feta with honey is best enjoyed warm from the oven and drizzled in honey. You can enjoy it for brunch or as an appetizer for dinner parties, gatherings, or even a simple mid-week meal! Slice the baked feta into several smaller pieces – each guest only needs a few bites of this filling baked feta honey parcel!

My favorite way to serve this feta me meli dish is as part of a selection of mezze, including creamy hummus, stuffed grape leaves (dolmades), tzatziki, olives, and a selection of other veggies (cucumber, tomatoes, radish, artichoke hearts)!

According to a friend in Greece, I should also highly recommend you pair the feta cheese appetizers with Ouzo or tsipouro!

Feta filled phyllo pastry in an air fryer

How Make Ahead and Store?

Make ahead: you can assemble the phyllo-wrapped feta pastries up to a day in advance and store in covered in the refrigerator until it’s time to bake.

You may also be able to assemble and freeze the unbaked pastry (for between 2-3 months wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and within a Ziplock). Then bake from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time (as you can with similar pastries). However, I haven’t tried this, so I can’t guarantee results.

Store: once you’ve drizzled the baked feta parcels with the honey (feta me meli), it will soften as the honey is absorbed. For that reason, I recommend enjoying the pastry immediately. If you have any leftovers, though, then store them in an airtight container for an extra day or two. Reheat them in the microwave for a minute, or until warmed through (they won’t re-crisp but still taste lovely).

FAQs

Can I make individual baked feta bites?

Absolutely. Just cut the feta into smaller pieces (I recommend 12 pieces from a block of feta). Likewise, slice four filo sheets into 3 even-sized pieces lengthwise. The baking time will be reduced, so I recommend keeping an eye on them after 10 minutes the first time you make these. They’re ready when golden brown and crispy.

Can I fry the feta cheese appetizer?

Yes, these phyllo-wrapped feta parcels are often fried at restaurants. To do so at home, I’d recommend adding an inch of oil to a large skillet and heating over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the feta parcels (folded edges downwards) and fry until golden brown, then flip over and repeat.
Place the parcels on a kitchen paper to drain excess oil before drizzling with honey and sesame seeds and serving.

How do you defrost filo pastry?

Simply leave it to defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then remove from the fridge 20 minutes before using, to allow it to come to room temperature (leave it packaged until right before using, so it doesn’t dry out).

How to use the leftover phyllo pastry?

You’ll only need a couple of sheets of phyllo pastry for the feta me meli. Use the leftovers for some delicious homemade baklava, though!
You can also use them to make other super simple “throw together” wrapped pastries, with many fillings like fish and wild rice, chicken and cheese, mushroom and cheese, etc.

How to store unused phyllo pastry?

Once opened, phyllo/filo can dry out quickly and become brittle. For that reason, I recommend tightly wrapping any unused pastry sheets as soon as possible in two layers of plastic wrap (and within a Ziplock bag, if possible). That way, you can store it for an extra 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

Phyllo-Wrapped Baked Feta

Recipe Tips and Notes

  • Avoid soft feta: as it will be trickier to handle without breaking apart (especially if you plan to rinse/soak it).
  • For extra crunch: feel free to use two layers of filo pastry per feta cheese appetizer parcel. This is also a good “fix” if you find that your first sheet of filo tears while wrapping the phyllo feta parcles.
  • If your block of feta is very thick: it’s best to slice it in half lengthwise, so it still cooks evenly throughout.
  • Experiment with shape: Baking whole feta is the easiest way to prepare this baked feta appetizer. However, you could also cut the feta into finger-sized strips, individual bites (method in the FAQs above), triangles (4 larger or 8 smaller), etc.

More Cheesy Appetizers

If you try this phyllo-wrapped baked feta with honey (Feta me Meli) recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

Phyllo-Wrapped Baked Feta with Honey (Feta me Meli)

5 from 6 votes
By: Samira
This phyllo-wrapped baked feta with honey (Feta me Meli) is a simple baked feta appetizer, perfect for dinner parties and holidays. It combines crispy filo and salty feta with fresh herbs and is topped with a drizzle of honey to balance the saltiness.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

  • 2 sheets phyllo dough (filo)
  • 1 block feta rectangle block in brine is best
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter melted, OR use EVOO
  • few sprigs thyme OR oregano, mint, parsley, dill, or spring onions.
  • 1-2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp Nigella seeds
  • 1-2 tsp honey or maple syrup, truffle honey, pomegranate syrup, etc.

Check the blog post for optional add-ins and recipe variations!

    Instructions 

    Step 1: Prepare the Feta

    • Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC.
    • You’ll need an entire block of feta for this recipe. Start by removing it from the packaging and draining any brine**. Then slice the feta in half.

    Step 2: Prepare the Feta Wrapped in Filo

    • Spread a phyllo sheet (filo pastry) across a clean, dry workspace and brush it with melted butter, black pepper, and a sprinkle of thyme.
      Alternatively, you can add all the herbs and pepper beneath where you place the feta and on top of it (for a more concentrated flavor).
    • Place one of the feta blocks about 2-3 inches up from the bottom edge, in the center of the sheet. Optionally add an extra sprinkle of black pepper and herbs over the feta.
    • Next, it’s time to fold the parcel. There are two ways to do so – no matter which method you use, make sure to brush the pastry with butter after each fold (so it will become nice and crispy).
      The first (as photographed in the post) has you fold the bottom 2-3 inches of pastry up and over the feta, then continue to fold it until fully wrapped, then fold in the two edges.
      Alternatively, fold the bottom 2-3 inches of pastry up and over the feta. Then fold in both sides. Continue to roll the feta forward until it’s entirely wrapped.
      The first version will leave multiple layers of filo overlapping on one side for a super crunchy section. The latter distributes the pastry more evenly for those who’d prefer that.
    • Repeat this with another filo sheet and the feta cheese. Then brush the outside of each with melted butter and sprinkle the top with sesame/nigella seeds.

    Step 3: Bake the Feta me Meli

    • In the oven: Place the two feta parcels on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake in the oven at 350ºF/180ºC for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway (or until the phyllo is golden-brown and crispy on both sides).
      In the Air Fryer: Place the cheese phyllo parcels directly into the bottom of your air fryer basket. Try to avoid them touching, if possible, for the crispiest results. Then cook for about 15 minutes at 350ºF/180ºC.
    • Once ready, remove the feta parcels from the oven, allow to cool for just a few minutes and then drizzle with honey and serve!
      By drizzling the honey over the phyllo-wrapped feta while it’s still warm, it will help the pastry absorb the honey, for better flavor!

    How to Make Ahead and Store?

    • Make ahead: you can assemble the phyllo-wrapped feta pastries up to a day in advance and store in covered in the refrigerator until it’s time to bake.
      You may also be able to assemble and freeze the unbaked pastry (for between 2-3 months wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and within a Ziplock). then bake from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time (as you can with similar pastries). However, I haven't actually tried this, so I can't guarantee results.
      Store: once you've drizzled the baked feta parcels with the honey, it will soften as the honey is absorbed. For that reason, I recommend enjoying the pastry immediately. If you have any leftovers, though, then store them in an airtight container for an extra day or two. Reheat them in the microwave for a minute, or until warmed through (they won't re-crisp but still taste lovely).

    Notes

    **How do you remove salt from feta?
    Feta is very salty. If you’d prefer to minimize this, there are a couple of steps you can take.
    The first would be to rinse and drain the feta in a colander. Rinse the two feta pieces under running water for a good minute, being careful not to break the feta apart. Then allow it to naturally drain in the colander before patting dry with a kitchen towel.
    To remove the salty brine further, you can actually soak the feta in milk for between 3-5 hours (or, even better, overnight) in the fridge. Drain and pat dry (thoroughly) before using.
    More tips:
    • Avoid soft feta: as it will be trickier to handle without breaking apart (especially if you plan to rinse/soak it).
    • For extra crunch: feel free to use two layers of filo pastry per feta cheese appetizer parcel. This is also a good “fix” if you find that your first sheet of filo tears while wrapping the phyllo feta parcels.
    • If your block of feta is very thick: it’s best to slice it in half lengthwise, so it still cooks evenly throughout.
    • Experiment with shape: baking whole feta is the easiest way to prepare this baked feta appetizer. However, you could also cut the feta into finger-sized strips, individual bites (method in the FAQs), triangles (4 larger or 8 smaller), etc.
     
    Check the blog post for optional add-ins, serving suggestions, and answers to top FAQs!
    Course: Appetizer, Side
    Cuisine: European, Greek
    Freezer friendly: 1-2 Months
    Shelf life: 1-2 Days

    Nutrition

    Calories: 238kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 65mg, Sodium: 727mg, Potassium: 56mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 414IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 296mg, Iron: 1mg

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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