It’s football season, and I’m here for it. I mean, I’m here for the party snacks. Someone please invite me to your watch party and I’ll bring this spicy red pepper and feta dip. I don’t care who’s playing.
I discovered this bold and spicy, creamy and tangy dip in Greece last fall. It was new to me at the time, although it’s been around for a long time.
I ordered this dip (htipiti in Greek) every time I found it on a menu, which was often. It varied from restaurant to restaurant, but it was always irresistible.
This Greek dip is creamy, peppery and tangy like Southern pimento cheese. Make this dip as spicy as you’d like—or not. It’s bold and zesty even without the cayenne pepper.
This dip is ready in under 10 minutes, so it’s the perfect last-minute party recipe. Whip it up when you have a moment, and it’ll keep well in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.
You’ll just need a few simple ingredients and basic equipment. Ready?
What You’ll Need to Make Spicy Red Pepper & Feta Dip
- Feta cheese: Traditionally sheep’s milk feta, but any feta will do. Be sure to buy a block of it rather than pre-crumbled feta. The pre-crumbled options are more expensive and don’t taste as good.
- Roasted red peppers: I used jarred peppers for ease. I recommend Divina or Whole Foods 365 brand. Here’s how to roast peppers if you’d like to roast your own.
- Extra-virgin olive oil: My go-to olive oils are Trader Joe’s Kalamata variety or California Olive Ranch Everyday.
- Fresh lemon juice: From about half of a lemon.
- Cayenne pepper and freshly ground black pepper: The cayenne pepper makes this dip spicy. If you’re sensitive to spice, omit it. If you want extra spicy dip, simply add more, to taste.
You’ll probably want a food processor for making this dip (here’s mine/that’s an affiliate link). I doubt you’ll be able to get enough traction in a blender, but you could give it a try.
According to Bon Appétit, “htipiti” translates to “beaten,” traditionally with a mortar and pestle. If you want to be traditional, you could make this dip in a large mortar and pestle.
One more option: I bet you could make this dip by hand. Finely chop the feta and pepper, and whisk together all of the ingredients in a large bowl until blended and broken down.
This dip goes great with any of the following:
- Crisp raw vegetables: cucumber, carrot, celery or even bell pepper
- Marinated olives or tapenade
- Toasted pita wedges, crusty bread or homemade crostini, or crackers
- It would also be great as a sandwich spread on pita with falafel, romaine, tomato and cucumber or similar crisp veggies
Looking to make a full party spread? Serve this dip with any of the above, plus:
- Fresh salad: Greek Salad, Panzanella, Fattoush or Tabbouleh
- More dips or sauces: Hummus, Tzatziki, Baba Ganoush or Tahini Sauce
- Crispy Baked Falafel
- Grilled vegetables and rice
Please let me know how your dip turns out in the comments! I love hearing from you.
Spicy Red Pepper & Feta Dip (Htipiti)
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 1 ½ cups 1x
- Category: Dip
- Method: Food processor
- Cuisine: Greek
This bold and spicy roasted red pepper and feta dip is inspired by a traditional Greek recipe (htipiti). It’s so easy to make and guaranteed to be a hit! Recipe yields 1 ½ cups and is easily doubled.
- One 8-ounce block of feta cheese, patted dry and cut into 1″ chunks or large crumbles (about 1 ⅔ cups)
- ½ cup roasted red peppers, patted dry and roughly chopped (1 to 1 ½ peppers)
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (omit if sensitive to spice)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Crushed red pepper flakes, for garnishing (optional)
- In the bowl of your food processor, combine the feta, bell pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and about 10 twists of freshly ground black pepper.
- Process until the mixture is orange, fairly smooth, and you no longer see any big chunks of feta. Don’t overdo it; small bits of feta are good and over-processing this dip will make it gritty. Taste, and add additional cayenne pepper (up to ¼ teaspoon more) if you want it to be extra spicy. Blend briefly to combine.
- Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl. Smooth the top and create a few swooshes with a spoon. Lightly drizzle some olive oil on top, and sprinkle with red pepper flakes if desired. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for later. This dip will keep well in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days.
Recipe adapted from The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen.
Serving suggestions: I love this dip with slices of crisp raw vegetables (cucumber, carrot, celery or even bell pepper). It’s also great with olives and toasted pita wedges or crusty bread.