Saganaki | Flaming Greek Cheese Recipe

By Lemon & Olives
Last Updated:
Reading time: 2 minutes

Saganaki recipe | The famous flaming cheese you see in Greek restaurants. This is a simple Greek appetizer to make and full of flavor. Flame optional.

Saganaki recipe

Flaming Greek cheese! Okay, we have to admit that in all actually, a traditional Greek Saganaki recipe doesn’t include that huge flame you may know and love. That’s just a spectacle, but don’t let that stop you from making this!

Who doesn’t love ordering this, or at the very least seeing it done at a Greek restaurant? It truly is a spectacle.

What makes this so delicious is the slight saltiness naturally found in the Greek cheese ( Kasseri or Kefalotyri ) combining with the lemon and olive oil (and ouzo if you chose the more spectacle rout).

This is usually served with other Greek appetizers (mezethes) before main meals.

saganaki recipe

We do make this quite often, but as Jane will be quick to point out, be careful! The flame can get quite large and if it’s your first time doing it it may take you by surprise.

Give it a go, let me know how it turns out!

καλή όρεξη! (Kali orexi – enjoy your meal!)


Greek Saganaki Recipe

Kenton & Jane
Saganaki (flaming cheese) is a stable at my house. Once you get it down, it's a nice spectacle for guest.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Course Greek Appetizer
Cuisine Greek
Servings 2 -4


  • 2-4 slices of Kefalotyri or Kasseri Greek cheese Feta can be used if needed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon chopped oregano
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup tablespoons olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon


  • Beat egg in bowl and add oregano and pepper.
  • Place flour in bowl that allows cheese slices to be easily dipped.
  • Dip each slice of Greek cheese into egg/oregano mix (let it drip for a second to remove excess mixture).
  • Place cheese in flour and coat both sides, set aside.
  • Repeat for all slices.
  • Add olive oil to pan and heat to med-high.
  • Once hot, add Greek cheese and cook on each side for about 1 min (until golden brown).
  • To remove excess oil, pat dry with paper towel.
  • Squirt lemon over saganaki and serve!


  • After the saganaki is golden brown you can remove and place on a hot cast iron pan
  • Pour about a shot glass (~1 oz) worth of Greek Ouzo over cheese
  • Light with a match and watch this Greek tradition unfold right before your eyes. Let the flame last a few seconds.
  • Use the lemon you would have used above to extinguish the flame.
  • **Please be careful when you do this. If you are under 18, I would recommend having a parent/adult present**


* The flame you see in restaurants is NOT how this dish is traditionally prepared in Greece. The flame was added for show in the USA. Above without the extra steps is how it’s traditionally served.
*Best served with Greek Ouzo, hard bread, tomatoes, olives, and of course, baked pita.

Want To Explore More Greek Food?!

Checkout our Greek Cookbook Featuring 100 recipes!

Click Here For Instant Access

See all the delciousness Greek food has to offer!


About the author

Lemon & Olives is a husband and wife team exploring the Mediterranean (Diet) Lifestyle, Greek foods, Greek Culture, History and all things Greece.

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating