Cheese Saganaki (Σαγανάκι)

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Cheese saganaki. Try this delicious Greek fried cheese recipe!

Cheese saganaki is a traditional Greek meze that is quick and easy!

If you have never had cheese saganaki…we’re sorry.  But, we’re also really happy that you are reading this, because now, you’ll be able to make this easy, fantastic cheese appetizer for yourself, and anyone else you want to be really nice to.

Our parents have made this fried cheese meze many ways over the years, and each method was quite delicious…because, fried cheese!  But, the winner method and recipe actually comes from Akis Petretzikis (sorry Ma and Ba).  If you love Greek food, you have most certainly heard of this young, hip, tattooed Greek chef.  He is very handsome popular!  In fact, his website, Akis Kitchen was recently voted Number 1 of the Top 40 Greek Food Blogs.  Another fun fact, Mia Kouppa, (just a few months after we posted our first recipe), was voted NUMBER 9 on that same list! What!!??? We know….crazy!!! And wonderful!!

Cheese saganaki. Try this delicious Greek fried cheese recipe!

Helpful hints

As we mentioned, we have adapted this saganaki recipe from the one posted by Akis Petretzikis.   We’ve changed the original recipe a little bit by adding a small amount of plain breadcrumbs to the flour mixture.  Our parents always use breadcrumbs when they make cheese saganaki, as they find it give an extra bit of crunch.  We think they’re right.

Many saganaki recipes (including Akis’) will refer to several cheeses that you can use, but we have only made saganaki with kefalotiri or kafalograviera.  Both of these Greek cheeses are made of sheep or goat milk.  Kefalotiri tends to be a bit saltier and harder than kefalograviera.  Most well stocked Greek markets will have at least one of these cheeses available.

Cheese for Cheese Saganaki
Prepping to make cheese saganaki
Cheese Saganaki

When you buy your cheese, purchase a piece which can be cut into rectangles which will be about 1/2 inch thick, about 4 inches long and two inches wide, if possible.

Saganaki should be served and enjoyed immediately after it is cooked.  We love to serve it with some freshly squeezed lemon juice and a bit of ouzo on the side.

Cheese saganaki. Try this delicious Greek fried cheese recipe!
Cheese saganaki. Try this delicious Greek fried cheese recipe!
Cheese saganaki. Try this delicious Greek fried cheese recipe!

If you’re looking for more traditional Greek mezedes, try these!



Grilled octopus

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Cheese saganaki. Try this delicious Greek fried cheese recipe!

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Cheese saganaki. Try this delicious Greek fried cheese recipe!
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5 from 2 votes

Cheese saganaki

Cheese saganaki is a traditional Greek meze that is quick and easy!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Appetizer, meze
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: cheese,, fried cheese, quick, easy,
Servings: 4 people
Author: Mia Kouppa


  • large bowls
  • Frying pan


  • 4-6 pieces Kefalotiri or kefalograviera cut into 1/2 thick pieces, each about 4 inches long, and 2 inches wide (approx)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tbsp plain breadcrumbs
  • olive oil for frying
  • lemon wedges, to serve


  • Find two bowls whose dimensions are larger than the pieces of cheese.  In one, mix together the flour, sugar and breadcrumbs.  Fill the second bowl with ice water.
    1 cup all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 tbsp plain breadcrumbs
  • Pour enough olive oil into a frying pan so that it is 1/2 inch deep. Heat over medium heat.
  • Taking one piece of cheese at a time, dunk it into the ice water and then coat it with the flour mixture.  Dunk back in water, then back in flour.  Finally, dunk quickly in the water for the third and last time.
  • Immediately place your cheese into the preheated frying pan.
  • Repeat with the other pieces of cheese, and fry as many as you can at the same time, without overcrowding the pan.
  • Fry each side for about 3 – 4 minutes until golden brown.  Flip over carefully and fry on the other side.
  • Serve immediately with lemon wedges.
  • Enjoy!

11 responses to “Cheese Saganaki (Σαγανάκι)”

  1. lisasalsworld Avatar

    I loved ordering this at Greek restaurants! They always light it on fire right at your table!

    1. miakouppa Avatar

      Yes! We love that! Sometimes we do that at home as well (or rather, our husbands do…flambé makes us a bit nervous 🙂 ) If you want to try doing this at home, simply add a bit of ouzo or Metaxa brandy to your pan, remove from the direct heat, and light it with a lighter or match. Enjoy! … and be careful 🙂

  2. thefidgetyfoodie Avatar

    Could this be the best dish ever created by the Greeks? My all time favourite. Especially with a little honey and thyme.

    1. miakouppa Avatar

      Oh! That sounds amazing. Will definitely try it with honey and thyme next time! Thanks 🙂

  3. […] still retains its shape.  The possibilities, as you can imagine, are endless and include halloumi saganaki and amazing grilled cheese sandwiches!  Second, halloumi is quite salty.  For this reason, we […]

  4. […] slew of dishes which are categorized as saganaki.  One of the most popular is feta saganaki a meze (appetizer) of fried feta set aflame with the help of a little ouzo or Metaxa.  The […]

  5. […] love to have fun with cheese. We love to fry it, bake it and use it to top almost anything. Of course, we also like to serve it just as it is, and […]

  6. Julzanna Avatar

    Thank you for recipe. Made with Vegan Halloumi! From Cook & Let Live cookbook. Gentle chef dot com. Check it out

    1. miakouppa Avatar

      Amazing! Glad you loved it!

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