Feta-Stuffed Marinated Olives

Fragrant za'atar, a spice blend ubiquitous in Israel and across the Middle East, flavors these briny, feta-stuffed olives with its notes of thyme, marjoram, sumac, and sesame seeds. Lemon, chile, and parsley cut through the rich, herbaceous flavors, adding a bright freshness to these easy, bite-size appetizers.

Feta-Stuffed Marinated Olives
Photo: Photo by Dan Perez / Food Styling and Prop Styling by Nurit Kariv
Chill Time:
4 hrs
Total Time:
20 mins


  • 1 small lemon

  • 2/3 cup olive oil

  • 1 fresh small red jalapeño chile (about 1 ounces), thinly sliced (about 3 tablespoons)

  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 ½ tablespoons za'atar

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 ½ ounces block feta cheese, cut into 25 (about 1- x 1/4- x 1/4-inch) sticks

  • 25 pitted large Castelvetrano olives (about 7 ounces)


  1. Use a Y-shaped peeler to remove the lemon peel in 1 1/2-inch segments. Cut each lemon peel segment lengthwise into thin strips. Reserve remaining lemon for another use.

  2. Stir together lemon peel strips, oil, jalapeño, parsley, za'atar, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.

  3. Stuff 1 feta cheese stick into each olive, using the wide end of a chopstick, if needed. Add stuffed olives to za'atar mixture in bowl, and toss to combine. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or up to 3 days. Let olives come to room temperature before serving.

Make Ahead

Olives can be prepared up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.


Find za'atar online at kalustyans.com or at Middle Eastern grocery stores.

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