These days, I frequently keep feta in my fridge for all sorts of dishes.
In the summer, I cube chunks of the briny cheese to mix into watermelon or tomato salads. In the winter, I sprinkle it on shakshuka or roasted squash. But my favorite application of feta is in dip form; whipped feta is creamy, bright, and easily scoopable.
After ordering my fair share of this dip at some of my favorite restaurants, I decided to make my own at home. In this version, I pair feta with figs, pistachio, and honey for a tasty sweet and salty combination.
This dip is quick and easy—perfect for an impromptu dinner party, potluck, or weekend gathering.
The Best Feta for Whipped Feta Dip
Traditionally, feta cheese is made from sheep's milk, but many variations use goat's milk or cow's milk. On top of that, you will find Greek, Bulgarian, and French versions in the grocery store. Greek feta is made of mostly sheep's milk and will yield the optimal creaminess and tangy flavor.
Make sure to purchase feta in brine (liquid), not the dry, crumbly version, as it will be easier to blend smoothly. I like the consistency and tang of Olympiana Greek feta.
Tips for Making Whipped Feta Dip
Here are a few key tips that will ensure your whipped feta dip is as tasty as possible!
- Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature so that the dip comes together as smoothly as possible.
- Feta is naturally crumbly, so the dip will still have some texture to it. I personally feel the texture gives the dish a bit more character. But, if you'd like an ultra-smooth version, you can swap the cream cheese for Greek yogurt and press the dip through a fine sieve.
- Keep in mind that feta varies in saltiness depending on the kind you purchase. Once you blend the feta and cream cheese, make sure to taste the dip before seasoning it (it may already be salty enough)! If it's too salty, you can add in some extra cream cheese.
- If you'd like to add a bit of acidity to the honey topping, try mixing in 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar into the mixture before microwaving.
Substitutions and Swaps
You can play around with different flavors and textures to make this whipped feta dip your own. These are a few of my favorite substitutions:
- I prefer dried Turkish figs for their softer flesh, but both Turkish and mission figs work well in this recipe.
- Feel free to experiment with using different nuts and dried fruits, depending on what you have at home. Substitute the pistachios for almonds or walnuts or the figs for apricots or dates.
- Swap out the mint leaves for fresh thyme.
- Try a flavored honey to add more complexity to this dish.
The Best Equipment to Make Whipped Feta Dip
A food processor will be the fastest method to achieve a creamy dip. However, if you don't have one, you can also use an immersion blender. If using a blender, break up the feta into the smallest possible pieces you can ahead of blending. You may also need to add a bit of water to move things along.
What to Serve with Whipped Feta Dip
I love to serve this dip with warm pita bread, naan, or crackers. Pair it with other small appetizers or dips, like marinated olives, hummus, or muhammara. Alternatively, spread the whipped feta on toast for a simple breakfast.
Make-Ahead and Storage
This dip has the lightest, creamiest texture on the day it's made, but it can definitely be made 1 to 2 days ahead and kept covered in the fridge.
When ready to serve, bring the dip to room temperature. I recommend preparing the fig honey topping just before serving so that the honey syrup doesn't crystallize in the fridge.
You can store the dip covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Whipped Feta with Figs, Pistachio, and Honey
For the fig-pistachio-honey topping
2 tablespoons honey, plus more for drizzling
1/4 cup roasted and unsalted pistachios, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped dried figs
2 tablespoons water
For the feta dip
8 ounces feta cheese in brine, drained and crumbled
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, minced
1 small clove garlic, grated or finely minced
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Warmed pita bread, naan, or crackers
Make the fig-pistachio-honey topping:
In a small bowl, stir together the honey, pistachios, figs, and water. Place the bowl in a microwave and heat for 30 seconds, just until the mixture begins to bubble. Let cool to room temperature.
Alternatively, you can use the stovetop to make the topping. In a small saucepot over medium heat, combine honey, pistachios, figs, and water. Whisk the ingredients together and cook until mixture begins to simmer. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Make the whipped feta:
Into a food processor, add the crumbled feta, cream cheese, olive oil, mint, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pulse for 30 seconds to 1 minute until smooth and creamy (there will still be small bits of feta).
Taste and adjust seasoning:
Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and black pepper, if needed. If desired, you can add an additional 2 ounces of cream cheese for a milder flavor.
Assemble the dip and serve:
Transfer the feta dip to a wide, shallow serving bowl. Using the back of a spoon, create swoops and swirls in the dip.
Form a divot in the center of the dip and spoon the fig-pistachio-honey topping over the top. Drizzle with additional honey if desired, and serve with warm pita bread, naan, or crackers.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 27g||34%|
|Saturated Fat 11g||56%|
|Total Carbohydrate 13g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|Total Sugars 11g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||2%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|