Why It Works
- Greek yogurt provides a smooth and creamy base for the feta, and has a flavor profile that complements the salty cheese.
- Passing the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer makes it smoother and silkier.
Feta cheese is many things—salty, tangy, crumbly—all qualities that make it an excellent candidate for a dip or spread. But on its own, feta cheese isn't the least bit spreadable. Luckily, it's easy to change that with a blender and a few basic ingredients.
The most important ingredient, aside from the feta itself, is what you'll use as the smooth and creamy base. Many recipes for feta dip turn to thick and mild cream cheese or some combo of mayonnaise and sour cream. But I decided to use Greek yogurt instead—not only did I have plenty of the stuff on hand after making several batches of yogurt from scratch, it's also thick, smooth, and tangy enough to complement the cheese and temper feta's assertive edge.
Making this dip is as simple as combining feta with yogurt in a blender or food processor and blitzing until it's smooth. (Note: A stand mixer is not able to break down the feta well and shouldn't be used for this purpose.)
Feta is crumbly, so even after lots of blending and processing, it's likely your spread will have a grainy texture. You can leave it like that, or you can pass it through a fine-mesh strainer to work out most of those tiny feta bits and improve the texture.
To enrich the spread and layer in a little more Mediterranean flavor, I work in a small amount of olive oil and minced garlic, then season with salt as needed (though feta is salty, so taste the spread before adding salt).
Create your own flavored feta dip
Optional ingredients like herbs (mint, oregano, dill); spices (black pepper is a sure bet); and more can be blended in, too. Keep in mind that if you work in wet ingredients, like roasted red peppers, harissa, or oven-dried tomatoes, you'll need to reduce the yogurt to prevent the dip from becoming too thin.
You should also feel free to adjust the ratio of feta to yogurt. Different brands of feta and yogurt have different consistencies, but beyond that, you may prefer a thicker or thinner spread depending on how you plan to serve it. It will thicken more after storing in the refrigerator.
How you use the spread, and whether you think of it as a dip or a spread in the first place, is your choice. Once it's blended to a spreadable consistency, the options are endless.
Try it as a dip garnished with olive oil and crushed roasted pistachios, or slather it on toast and top with thinly sliced cucumbers, olive oil, and fresh thyme. I'd use it on a sandwich with slices of roasted lamb, or smear it on a plate and arrange fresh summer tomato slices on top. You could even dollop it into cold or hot soups—it's incredibly versatile, just like feta itself.
8 ounces (225g) feta cheese
3/4 cup Greek yogurt (6 ounces; 170g)
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
In a food processor bowl or blender jar, or using a tall and narrow vessel suitable for an immersion blender, combine feta, yogurt, and garlic. Blend or process until very smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Add olive oil and blend until incorporated.
If desired, pass spread through a fine-mesh strainer for a silkier texture.
Season with salt, if needed, and pepper, if using, then use as desired.
Make-Ahead and Storage
The dip can be made up to 5 days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. It will thicken up after refrigeration; whip in additional Greek yogurt to loosen if necessary.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 4g||5%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||11%|
|Total Carbohydrate 1g||0%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 1g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*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.|