This Whipped Feta Dip is packed with Greek flavors. 7 layers of them, in fact.
Visiting tapas restaurants is one of my all time favorite date nights. I like to order a variety of things and taste and talk about everything as we go. I enjoy it so much, that I then can’t wait to get into the kitchen to recreate that date at home. One of my favorite tapas-style dishes that I’ve recreated is this Whipped Feta 7-Layer Dip.
The creamy, garlicky, lemony feta spread is slathered onto a serving board (or plate or small platter if you don’t have a board) and then topped with everything you love about a Greek salad—paper-thin sliced red onion, green olives, crunchy cucumber, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, banana peppers, and lots of fresh dill.
Get To Know Your Chef’s Knife
There is a lot of chopping and slicing in this recipe, so a good chef’s knife is important. The long, sharp blade of a chef’s knife used to make me nervous, until I found one that felt comfortable for me to hold.
Chef knives typically come in standard sizes. The 12-inch and 10-inch blades were just too long for my hand, and I never quite felt like I had control. Once I held an 8-inch knife, however, it became my preferred blade length. This made a huge difference in my confidence in the kitchen, and my knife skills.
Balance is important, too, as is grip. The knife should feel comfortable to hold, and the weight should feel just right. Comfort, rather than price, matters most, in my opinion. You don’t necessarily need an expensive knife for it to work well. In fact, some of my favorite knives are mid-range.
What Is Feta Cheese?
Feta is a soft brined cheese originally from Greece that’s salty and tangy. Traditionally made from sheep’s milk, today you’ll find varieties made partially or totally from goat or cow milk. US made, Greek-style feta that you find at most groceries is made with cow’s milk. It’s milder than authentic Greek feta, and it is therefore a great option if you’re not sure whether everyone at your table likes feta cheese.
You can find feta in blocks as well as already crumbled, but I suggest using a block for this recipe. When you get pre-crumbled or grated cheese at the store, there’s usually an additive to prevent the cheese from clumping up. The convenience of that is fine in some cases, but when melting or whipping cheese, it’s not ideal.
How To Whip Feta
Room temperature feta can be whipped into a creamy dip simply by running it through a food processor. Depending on the brand of feta, it can sometimes feel a little grainy, so I like to combine it with a little cream cheese. That gets mixed together along with lemon, olive oil, garlic, salt, and oregano.
If you don’t have a food processor, a hand-held mixer with beater attachments also works well.
Once the feta and ingredients are whipped until almost smooth, the creamy mixture can be spooned onto a presentation board, like a cheese board, or a plate or platter. Spread it out a little bit and then top with all of the fresh ingredients you thoughtfully sliced and diced.
Top with salt, pepper, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of olive oil, and serve this scoopable spread with naan or pita bread, or pita chips.Print
Serve this flavorful dip with naan or pita bread, or with pita chips.
Listen to me briefly explain how this dip made, with great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:
- 1 (8 oz.) block of feta, room temperature
- ¼ cup plain cream cheese, room temperature
- 5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
- 1 cup green olives, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup minced roasted red pepper (about half a 6-oz. jar)
- 1 large tomato, seeded, finely diced
- ¼ cup English cucumber, finely diced
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ¼ cup minced pickled banana peppers
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley or dill
- Make the whipped feta. In the bowl of a food processor add feta, cream cheese, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, oregano, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Cover and pulse three or four times, then run the processor on high until mixture is well combined and almost smooth.
- On a medium platter or large wooden serving board, spoon whipped feta into a mound. Using the back of a spoon, spread across board to about ½-inch thick.
- On top of the feta, layer green olives, red pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and banana peppers.
- Sprinkle remaining salt, pepper, and herbs over vegetables; drizzle with remaining olive oil.
- Serve cold or at room temperature.
For a vegan option, substitute the feta and cream cheese for hummus.