Here's Why You Should Never Throw Away Leftover Feta Brine

Feta is arguably one of the most popular cheeses out there. With its sharp salinity and crumbly texture, it adds a bright pop of color and flavor to whatever it is added to. While it's especially welcome in Greek salads, feta can have a place in practically anything, from roasted cauliflower, to a creamy chicken dish, to that uber-popular feta-and-tomato pasta that went viral on TikTok back in 2020. In addition to serving as a perfect addition to sides, appetizers, salads, and the like, feta can even act as a main course. The New York Times has a feta-centric recipe — grilled feta with nuts, which they say can be served alongside a salad and bread. Yum!

For those who cook with feta at home, though, many are inadvertently disposing of one of its best components. Read ahead to find out what that is — and how you can use it in your own kitchen.

How to best use feta brine

Bon Appétit notes that there are various types of feta, with distinctions based on where it is produced. One important note, too, is that feta can be purchased already crumbled, as-is, or in brine. It's widely recommended to always purchase feta in brine (aka salt water), which bolsters the feta's inherent flavor and texture and also helps to extend its shelf life. 

Furthermore, the brine itself is a superb item for varying kitchen tasks and can be incorporated into a whipped feta dip, used to marinate chicken, or used to boost the flavor of other dishes, such as soups or stews. It also makes a fantastic cooking liquid to cook grains like wheat berries or farro in, especially if your final product is a cold grain salad tossed with feta and herbs.

The New York Times recommends using feta brine to brine a roast chicken, which will help to both moisten and flavor the bird. Conversely, Lifehacker suggests incorporating the feta brine into a rich, buttery cream sauce to help round out the flavors and assist in the emulsification process. Feta brine can also act as a helpful seasoning tool and may reduce the amount of salt you'd need to add over and above what's already included in the cheesy liquid.

The delicious options are endless. Don't throw it out!