Create a delicious spicy whipped feta appetizer dip in under 10 minutes. The silky smooth feta cheese is combined with Greek yogurt with spicy hints of Calabrian chili pepper.
I really love appetizers! Probably more than the average person. There's something about eating appetizers (especially heavy appetizers for dinner) that just makes me happy.
Dip is obviously a fan favorite when it comes to appetizers, and this spicy whipped feta dip is no different. It's creamy with the perfect amount of added heat.
If you're feeding a crowd, this recipe could be doubled or tripled to accommodate your needs. Plus, it's an easy entertaining dip that you can quickly whip up.
You won't be disappointed with this recipe, especially if you love appetizers and hors d'oeuvres as much as I do. You'll be surprised how quickly a big bowlful of this delicious feta appetizer will disappear.
What You'll Learn In This Recipe
- All about feta cheese - what type of cheese it's classified as, what it's made from, and more.
- A special ingredient that makes this dip have the perfect spice level!
- How to make this dish ahead of time (up to 3 days early) if you're preparing for a party or get-together.
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What Is Feta Cheese?
Feta is a type of fresh cheese, meaning it is uncooked and unripened. These types of cheeses are known for their creamy texture and tangy taste.
Feta can be made from sheep, goat, and/or cow milk, depending on who is producing it. If you have the option, opt to buy feta that is stored in brine water. It helps keep the cheese fresh and ensures it's not dried out.
Because of the creaminess of feta, it's perfect to use in salads and appetizers, as well as a component in sauces and fillings. You can also get creative and stuff feta in grilled burgers.
Ingredients You Need
There are so many bright and delicious flavors in this whipped feta dip recipe. Here's what you'll need to make it:
- Feta cheese: This is the star of the show! The creamy texture of feta really blends up well to create the perfect dip. I like purchasing a whole block of feta cheese stored in the brine. The brine helps to enhance the flavor and texture of the cheese.
- Whole milk Greek yogurt: This ingredient adds some additional tanginess to the dish, and helps the feta blend up smoothly. In a pinch, you could substitute sour cream to make a slightly different version of this dip.
- Calabrian chili pepper paste: If you've never heard of this ingredient, they're hot peppers (even hotter than jalapeños), which gives the dip the perfect level of spice. You can add in additional Calabrian chili pepper if desired.
- Garlic: You'll need a clove of garlic or the equivalent amount of jarred garlic.
- Morton kosher salt and black pepper: Always season your food with a bit of salt and pepper. Feel free to adjust the seasoning based on personal taste.
- Extra virgin olive oil: Olive oil helps thin out the dip and adds a rich taste.
- Lemon juice: I love the tart, fresh flavor that lemon juice adds. Feel free to throw in some lemon zest if you want to increase this flavor profile.
- Extra garnishes: I'm a big fan of adding garnishes on top of this dip. I like to add a little bit more olive oil, toasted sesame seeds, and green onions. Plus, don't forget to add some additional Calabrian chili pepper paste to bump up the level of heat.
- For serving: You'll need a vessel to eat the whipped spicy feta dip with. My favorite foods to serve alongside this dip are toasted pita wedges (or pita chips) and crudités like carrot sticks, cucumber slices, tomatoes, and red bell pepper. This would be a great dip to include on a veggie platter.
How To Make This Recipe
I think you may be surprised to see how easy this feta appetizer recipe comes together.
1. Begin by adding the feta cheese, yogurt, Calabrian chili pepper paste, garlic, salt, and black pepper to a food processor or high-powered blender. The entire dish is made with this one kitchen tool, so clean-up will be a breeze.
2. Blend the mixture on high speed until the dip starts to form together into a semi-smooth paste.
3. Next, stream in the olive oil and lemon juice while the food processor is running at high speed. This helps to combine and smooth out the dip.
4. Scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl as necessary and continue blending until the mixture is silky smooth. This can require some patience as it takes a few minutes and some scraping to get the mixture to the perfect consistency.
5. Finally, transfer the dip to a serving bowl. Optionally, you can garnish the dish with some additional olive oil, green onions, and toasted sesame seeds.
Don't forget to add an additional scoop of Calabrian chili paste, especially if you're a fan of spice.
In order to make a super smooth whipped feta, you need to give the dip time to fully blend in the food processor. Take your time (it takes a couple of minutes) and scrape down the sides of the food processor as needed to ensure all the pieces of feta get smoothly blended.
If you've done this and the dip still isn't smooth, slowly stream in another tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil while the food processor is running at high speed.
You can absolutely adjust the level of heat to your liking. Simply add less Calabrian chili pepper paste than the recipe calls for. If you're not a fan of spice, omit the chili pepper paste altogether.
Yes, you can absolutely prepare this dip ahead of time - up to 3 days before serving. Store the dip in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, allow the dip to come to room temperature, then garnish.
Whipped feta dip should last about 3 - 5 days in the refrigerator. Store the dip in a sealed, airtight container. If you pull the dip out of the refrigerator and smell an unpleasant odor or see any mold growth, discard it immediately.
More Appetizer Recipes
Whipped Spicy Feta Dip
- 8 ounces feta cheese
- ¾ cup whole milk Greek yogurt (6 ounces)
- 1 ½ teaspoons Calabrian chili pepper paste plus several teaspoons for garnish
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ teaspoon Morton kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus several tablespoons for garnish
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- green onions cut on the bias for garnish
- toasted pita wedges for serving
- crudités for serving
- Add feta, yogurt, Calabrian chili pepper paste, garlic, salt, and black pepper to a food processor bowl. Blend on high until the mixture becomes a smooth paste.
- Stream in olive oil and lemon juice while the food processor is running at high speed. Continue blending on high, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the mixture is silky smooth.
- Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle additional olive oil on top for garnish. Place a heaping teaspoon of Calabrian chili paste in the middle of the feta dip. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and green onions on top.
- Serve with toasted pita and crudités.