Greek feta cheese dip (Tirokafteri)
This Spicy Creamy Greek whipped feta dip just takes a handful of Ingredients to make and is great for any occasion and the perfect dip or spread to include on any mezze or cheese platter. It’s the second most famous dip after Tzatziki I would say. This spicy Greek Feta dip is a traditional Greek dip, and is creamy, cheesy, spicy in flavor - this version includes chili peppers and is a total crowd-pleaser. It perfect as and appetizer or for snacking and great to bring to picnics, potlucks and a delicious addition to any mezze platter! What is Tirokafteri? - it’s a creamy feta dip that packs a bit of heat. It made with feta cheese, chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, Greek yoghurt and lemon juice - simple and oh so addictive!
How to pronounce Tirokafteri?
I would say it’s not one of the easier Greek words to pronounce - let me break it down for you - Tea-roe-cuff-terry. (Greek: τυροκαυτερή) It’s often referred to as Ktipiti/htipiti (Greek: χτυπητή). but I always distinguish the two by the type of peppers used in them. I have always referred to ktipiti or htipiti when I make my dip with sweet roasted red peppers, my hubby’s fav dip on the blog, roasted red pepper and feta dip and tirokafteri when I make my feta dip using hot Chilies. You can’t go wrong with either I say.
What is Tirokafteri?
Tirokafteri is a Greek spicy feta dip. Tiri” or “Tyri“ in Greek means “cheese” and “kafteri” “spicy”. So the translation of Tirokafteri would be “spicy cheese” or “hot cheese”. The ingredients to make it differ from region to region but the basics include: feta, hot peppers, olive oil, lemon juice or red wine vinegar and garlic. Because feta has a dense and often crumbly texture - usually Greek yoghurt or some spreadable cheese or even a bit of heavy cream is added to the dip to achieve a creamy and spreadable consistency. Feel free to add as little or as much as you want to achieve your preferred consistency. Adjustments can be made as needed as feta cheese differs in in moisture content.
Tirokafteri Recipe Ingredients
- Feta Cheese: I use a creamy feta for creamier finish on the dip but feel free to use any feta you prefer
- Greek Yogurt: I use full fat Greek Yogurt for best flavour and texture and this help with the creamy texture
- Chilies: I like to use fresh chili pepper - red chilies but green ones will work as well (they may tint the cheese dip green though just an fyi). Feel free to char, broil, grill, roast or slightly fry the pepper before chopping to add some smoky flavour. If you don’t have red chili peppers feel free to use green ones. You can also use jarred chili pepper - I love the ones packed in oil or bombs (Spicy Calabrian Pepper Spread). The version does not contain red bell pepper or roasted pepper
- Chili Flakes: I always add a pinch for extra heat and flavour but that is optional
- Olive Oil: I use extra virgin olive oil and it helps add richness to the dip
- Garlic: use as much or as little as you prefer
- Lemon Juice: For just a hint of tang or acidity - feel free to use red wine vinegar or white vinegar instead if you prefer
- For Garnishing: extra crumbled feta, crushed red pepper flakes, sliced chilies, paprika, cayenne, dried oregano, or other dried spices if you wish like a rich of sumac or zaatar, Kalamata olives
What to serve with Tirokafteri?
It is traditionally served as a starter (meze) or eaten by itself, with warm crusty bread or fresh warm pita bread. It can also be served as a sauce for grilled meats like souvlaki or as a dip for vegetables like my Zucchini Fritters or my Blistered Shishito Peppers. I served it with my new favourite gluten free Oat Crackers from Bob’s Red Mill. They make the perfect crunchy vessel to carry this dip on. They make the perfect addition and part of a mezze platter. This a glass of wine and some friends and you have the makings of a perfect Mediterranean night! This dip is also great with crisp raw veggies like sliced cucumber, carrot, celery or even bell pepper or even as a spread for burgers, sandwiches or wraps.
How to make Greek Feta dip (Tirokafteri)?
To make this creamy feta dip, simply combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. It only takes a few minutes of prep and you have yourself the perfect creamy spicy slightly tangy addictive dip - so easy! If you’d like a thinner dip, feel free to add in a little extra yoghurt or a splash of cream. Then drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with whatever garnishes you like and enjoy!
How to make a mezze platter?
A mezze platter is an easy, fun, and family-friendly dinner! What tapas are to Spain, mezze is to the Mediterranean including places like Greece, Turkey, North Africa, and parts of the Middle East. Mezze (or meze) is an assortment of small dishes eaten as appetizers or a light meal that is meant to be shared. Its contents vary by region, but the concept of grazing on a board filled with savory goodies remains the same. A Greek mezze platter usually includes some kind of dip like this Tirokafteri or Hummus and Tzatziki, some type of bread, such as pita or a crusty bread or crisps as I have shown here, is standard, along with things like olives, cheeses, fresh and pickled vegetables, dolmathes or stuffed grape leaves, and I love to serve mine with Keftedakia Greek meatballs and my Greekstyle baked white beans, and mini Spanakopita either my traditional recipe or my Crispy Spanakopita Spring Rolls. Really there are no rules to what you add to your platter- fill it with all the things you love. Kali orexi!!!!
If you liked this recipe you will love these:
- Roasted Red Pepper And Feta Dip
- Easy Tzatziki Sauce (Garlic Yogurt Cucumber Dip)
- Creamy Hummus and White Bean Dip With Roasted Garlic and Rosemary
- Easy Greek Fava recipe (yellow spilt pea puree dip)
- 10 oz feta cheese cubed or chopped
- 2-3 small red chilies, stems and seeds removed, and sliced *
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- Pinch of chili flakes (optional)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or red wine vinegar
- 1 small garlic clove, peeled and chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt, plus more if needed
- Optional garnishes: extra crumbled feta, crushed red pepper flakes, sliced chilies, paprika, cayenne, dried oregano, Kalamata olives
- Various mezze items of choice for serving
- Crisps, crackers, raw veggies, pita chips, pita bread etc
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Add a touch more greek yogurt if needed for a creamier finish.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, and top with your desired garnishes and warm pita bread or crisps. Or if making ahead stop in a sealed airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days
- After chilling it, its common for it to stiffen up or become a little denser. Simply give it a good stir before serving it again.
- Greek yoghurt substitute: heavy cream, ricotta, or softened mascarpone or cream cheese
- Feel free to char, broil, grill, roast or slightly fry the pepper before chopping to add some smoky flavour. If you don’t have red chili peppers feel free to use green ones. You can also use jarred chili pepper - I love the ones packed in oil!
- If you like spicy food like I do feel free to add more chili peppers to the dip for a spicier tasting dip