Spicy Feta Dip

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This irresistible spicy feta dip is rich, zesty and super savory. Whipped and brightened with a burst of lemon, it gets a touch of heat from smoky harissa chili paste. It has a light smooth texture with a luscious creamy mouthfeel. This appetizer is perfect for entertaining.

📌 Pin Spicy Feta Dip

Bowl of spicy feta dip on a serving board with fresh lemon, flaky salt, and pita chips.

🧑🏼‍🍳 Why this Recipe’s a Keeper

  • Incredible flavor. This spicy feta dip offers a perfect blend of creamy, tangy, and spicy flavors that create a taste sensation in every bite.
  • Easy to prepare. The recipe is simple and straightforward. It can be assembled by both novice cooks and experienced cooks.
  • Versatility. You can serve it as a dip, spread, or even a topping for various dishes, making it a go-to for snacks, appetizers, or quick meals.
  • Crowd-pleaser. A hit at parties and gatherings, this spicy feta dip is an ideal appetizer for the holiday season. Take it to potlucks and church socials. Enjoy it for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve.
  • Customizable heat level. You have control over the spice level.
  • Pairing options. It pairs seamlessly with an array of dippables. Serve with pita chips, crispy seeded flatbread crackers, bagel chips, or strips of your favorite veggies. It’s a great addition to a charcuterie board. It pairs well with cured meats, crostini, pretzels and olives.
  • It’s easy to use leftover dip and avoid food waste. Enjoy it with warm pita bread or chips. Use it as a spread for burgers, sandwiches and wraps. Drizzle it over baked chicken meatballs to create another appetizer. Serve it as part of a crudités platter for snacking.

RECIPE TIP: Want a similar appetizer without the heat? Try this popular whipped feta dip recipe. It’s rich and delicious. A family favorite!

Spicy feta dip garnished with a swirl of harissa oil and fresh basil leaves.
A hand placing a bowl of spicy feta dip next to a bowl of pita chips.

🛒 Ingredients

  • French Feta Cheese (block): This is the base of our spicy feta dip. It’s salty, creamy and pairs well with chili paste. Because crumbled feta contains powdered cellulose or other anti-caking agents to prevent it from clumping together, a block of feta is best for whipping it into a dip.
  • Greek Yogurt: Adds zest and creaminess to the mixture. It helps make the texture of the dip smooth and silky. If you don’t have this on ingredient on hand, use sour cream instead.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: To ensure our dip is the best it can be, select a good-quality olive oil with a mild or medium flavor (I prefer California Olive Ranch or Kirkland Signature from Costco). It adds richness and a grassy herbal aroma. It also helps thin out the chili paste.
  • Lemon: Fresh lemon juice and zest pair perfectly with feta cheese and harissa paste. The citric acid brightens and balances the flavors of the other ingredients.
  • Garlic: Has a warm, nutty, earthy taste. It helps enhance the flavor of the dip. We use grated garlic (instead of minced garlic) so it will incorporate more smoothly into the mixture.
  • Harissa Paste: Is a North African spicy chili paste with a vibrant red color. It features a rich and spicy blend of chilies, garlic, coriander and veggies. We use it to add a touch of heat and smokiness to the dip. Use as little or as much as you like.
  • Kosher Salt: This specific type of salt has a very light flavor. It’s about half as salty as regular table salt. To balance the flavors of this dip, add salt to taste.
  • Ground Black Pepper: Adds an earthy rustic taste. Add a pinch or more.
Ingredients for spicy feta dip recipe.

📖 Recipe Steps

  1. With your hands, break the block of feta cheese into chunks. Place them into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add in Greek yogurt and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Process on high speed until smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes).
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the lemon juice, lemon zest and grated garlic. Pulse to combine.
  3. Turn off the machine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the harissa paste and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
How to make spicy feta dip in 4 easy steps.
  1. There are 2 tasty ways to serve this recipe. The first option is to add the harissa oil to the whipped feta in the food processor and pulse to combine. The second option is to transfer the feta dip to a serving bowl and drizzle harissa oil over the top. It’s up to you.
  2. Refrigerate the dip for 30 minutes so the flavors can meld together. Serve with pita chips, crackers or veggies.
Spicy feta dipped garnished with a harissa-paste/olive-oil mixture and fresh basil leaves.

👨🏻‍🍳 Expert Tip – Harissa Paste Substitutes

If you don’t have harissa paste for your spicy feta dip, you can use one of the following substitutes depending on what you have available, and your flavor preferences.

  • Red Pepper Flakes or Cayenne Pepper: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to the feta dip until you achieve the desired level of spiciness. Start with a small amount and adjust to taste.
  • Hot Sauce: Use your favorite hot sauce to add heat to the dip. Start with a few drops and adjust according to your spice preference. Sriracha or Tabasco work well.
  • Paprika: While paprika won’t provide the same level of heat as harissa, it can add a mild, smoky flavor. Use smoked paprika for an extra dimension.
  • Sambal Oelek: This Indonesian chili paste can be sued as a substitute for harissa. It’s made from crushed red chili peppers and provides a similar heat level.
  • Chili Powder: Mix a small amount of chili powder into the feta dip for a warm, earthy spiciness. Adjust the quantity based on your preference.
  • Homemade Chili Paste: Blend together red chili peppers, garlic, a touch of olive oil, and salt to create a homemade chili paste Adjust the ingredients to achieve the desired heat.

👩🏻‍🍳 Recipe FAQ

These are the most commonly-asked questions for making the BEST spicy feta dip, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.

Can I use pre-crumbled feta, or should I buy a block and crumble it myself?

Both options work, but crumbled feta might have added anti-caking agents. For the best texture, crumble a block of feta just before using.

Can I use a different type of cheese if I don’t have feta?

While feta is traditional, you can experiment with other cheeses like goat cheese, cotija cheese, or cream cheese for a different flavor profile.

Where to find harissa paste?

Find this chili paste at most large grocery stores in the “international” aisle. It’s also available at World Market and online. Or prep it at home with this easy harissa recipe from Suzy at The Mediterranean Dish.

How to add more flavor and texture to feta dip?

For more flavor, add a bit of goat cheese to the mix, or fresh herbs like basil or mint for unique flavor twists. For more texture, add sun-dried tomatoes, or 6 ounces roasted red pepper (drained and dried) to the bowl of the food processor before adding the cheese or other ingredients. Pulse until veggies are evenly chopped. Proceed with original recipe.

What can I serve with spicy feta dip?

It pairs well with pita bread, tortilla chips, fresh veggies, or even as a spread on sandwiches or wraps.

How long does the dip stay fresh?

When immediately transferred to an airtight container and refrigerated, the dip will stay fresh for 3 to 4 days. Make sure to give it a good stir before serving if it’s been stored for a while, as the dip may separate over time.

A hand dipping a pita chip into a cheesy spicy dip.

👩🏻‍🍳 More Easy Party Dips

Get ready to celebrate the holidays with these exciting, tasty dips! Keep them at the ready. Print the recipes and add them to your collection. Or for access to these recipes anywhere, anytime, pin them to Pinterest.

Rate This Recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Flavor testers rated this the BEST spicy feta dip recipe. It’s so delicious! They loved the creamy whipped texture, the beautiful balance of flavors, and the delightful heat from the harissa-paste/olive-oil mixture.

If you agree this is a delightful recipe for the holidays, give it a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero. Pin it to 📌 Pinterest.

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Bowl of spicy feta dip on a serving board with fresh lemon, flaky salt, and pita chips.

Spicy Feta Dip


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Description

Spicy feta dip is creamy, savory and so delicious! Pair this luscious appetizer with pita chips, crackers, veggies or naan bread. Add it to a charcuterie board. A perfect make-ahead recipe for the holidays. 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 block (8 ounces) French feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated garlic
  • 3 tablespoons harissa paste
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. With your hands, break the block of feta into chunks. Place them into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add in Greek yogurt and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Process on high speed until smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes). 
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in lemon juice, lemon zest and grated garlic. Pulse to combine. Turn off the machine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the harissa paste and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  4. There are 2 tasty ways to serve this spicy feta dip. The first option is to add the harissa oil to the whipped feta in the food processor and pulse to combine. The second option is to transfer the feta dip to a serving bowl and drizzle harissa oil over the top. It’s up to you!
  5. Refrigerate the dip for 30 minutes so the flavors can meld together. Serve with pita chips, crackers or veggies.

Notes

Where to find harissa paste: This chili paste is available at most large grocery stores. Look for it in the “international” aisle. It’s also available at World Market stores and online.

How to store spicy feta dip: Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until serving time. It will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days.

  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Chill Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 Minutes
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Blending
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Spicy Feta Dip, Spicy Feta Dip Recipe, Harissa Feta Dip, Spicy Feta

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

Spicy Feta Dip 👉🏻 Join the Convo

Do you enjoy appetizers that feature a little heat? What do you think of this spicy feta dip recipe? What dippers would you like to serve with yours? Join the conversation in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

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One Comment

  1. I was looking for a spicy feta dip recipe similar to the one my Noni used to make. This one brought back the taste I remember. It’s so good. I’ll be making this again when the family gets together.