A delicious last minute 3 ingredient dip you’ll want to make over and over again! This Spicy Greek Feta Cheese Dip also knows as “Tirokafteri” is a traditional Greek spread made with feta cheese and spicy peppers. It is incredibly easy to make and has always been a family favorite!
What Is Tirokafteri?
Tirokafteri is a traditional Greek dip or ‘spread’ made primarily from feta cheese. It is sometimes referred to as ‘tyrosalata’. It is served cold which I LOVE because I can make it ahead of time which makes this dip especially perfect for parties or a crowd!
How To Make Tirokafteri
Most Greek-style dips are pretty easy to put together. We Greeks like to keep it simple. Because the ingredients are minimal it is important that you use THE BEST ingredients you can find.
Choosing Your Feta Cheese
I’ve tried good feta and I’ve tried GREAT feta. There is a difference. To choose the best feta cheese, find one that is soaking in a brine (salty water). The brine helps prolong its shelf-life but most importantly keeps the cheese MOIST. Dry feta is just not as appealing to me. So try to find a nice chunk soaking in brine. Better yet, if the feta cheese was made in Greece, you know it will be good.
Choosing Your Peppers
Since this Greek dip is a SPICY cheese dip, you will need to add some hot peppers. There are many hot pepper options. I chose to use hot jarred banana peppers and red pepper flakes. Hot banana peppers are NOT that spicy. So the added red pepper flakes help to kick it up a notch.
With that said, I personally cannot handle a TON of heat so I chose to make this recipe a ‘medium hot’ on the spice chart. If you love hot peppers, you can certainly add more of each ingredient OR choose another hotter pepper!
Here are some other hot pepper options for your dip:
- Anaheims (mild)
- Poblanos (mild)
- Jalapenos (mild-hot)
- Serranos (hot)
- Cayennes (hot)
- Habaneros (VERY hot)
Once you have your pepper decided, you need to keep the consistency of your feta dip in mind. To make your feta dip ‘dip-able’ you need to add some liquid. I added the liquid from my jar of hot banana peppers to turn this spread into more of a dip. However the consistency is completely up to you. You could also add olive oil or wine vinegar to thin it out too if you are not using jarred peppers.
If you are using fresh peppers, a great technique for adding a smoky flavor is to ROAST your peppers . Or you can add jarred roasted red peppers instead. They are not spicy but they are delicious and already come sliced up perfectly.
What to Serve Tirokafteri With
I love eating feta cheese with BREAD and lots of it! I recommend finding the best pita bread or a fresh baguette you can find. The fresher, the better. Then serve alongside this spicy feta spread. Don’t use ‘pita pockets’. These are way too dry and are just NOT ideal for dipping.
*Pita Bread Alternative* Naan bread is an AWESOME alternative to pita bread! If your local grocer sells it, GRAB a bunch! I like to keep a stash in the freezer!
You could also serve your Tirokafteri with some fresh cut veggies instead of bread. Yummy veggies options could be:
- Red, yellow and green peppers
- Cucumbers sticks or slices
- Cherry tomatoes
- Celery sticks
Can I Freeze My Tirokafteri?
No. I would not recommend it. Dairy does not freeze well in general and since feta cheese has a higher water content, it wont defrost well.
How Long Will This Dip Keep?
This dip should stay fresh in a sealed container for up to 4 days. I recommend making it one day ahead so the flavors have time to infuse.
Looking for other cold Greek dips to make?
Greek Spicy Feta Cheese Dip (Tirokafteri)
Greek Spicy Feta Cheese Dip (Tirokafteri)
- 8 oz. Good Feta Cheese
- 6 oz. Jarred HOT Banana Peppers (+3 tbsp reserved pepper juice)
- 1 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
- Chop up your banana peppers and in a bowl, add your feta, hot peppers, pepper juice and red pepper flakes.
- Use a fork to break up your feta and mix everything together.
- Serve chilled with warm pita bread or slices of crusty bread.
- Tips for warming your pita:Toss the WHOLE pita bread round on the grill, in a grill pan, under the broiler OR my favorite way, directly over your burner. You want a slight char on your pita. This will take the flavor to another level so don't skip it! It only takes 5 minutes to do! Then cut into triangles and serve.