Sometimes TikTok food trends can be a little outlandish, but other times they're easy, tasty dishes that take no time at all. A current trend that's super easy and takes less than five minutes to add to a charcuterie board or throw into a serving bowl is creamy whipped feta dip, which has more than 39 million views on the social platform under the #WhippedFeta hashtag.
What is feta cheese?
But before you attempt whipped feta at home, it's important to know what feta cheese is, as well as where the flavorful cheese comes from.
"Feta is a Greek-style cheese that's made by using either sheep's milk, goat's milk or cow's milk and it's brined," says MacKenzie Smith, the blogger, chef and cookbook author behind Grilled Cheese Social. "It's soft in texture, it's crumbly and it is absolutely delicious."
Smith has been a contestant on the wildly popular Food Network show, Guy's Grocery Games, and is known for both the cheesy concoctions she whips up at home, and for her role as the chef at the Black Dolphin Inn in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. She says while most of the time feta is crumbled and used as a topping on salads or cut into chunks, what people might not know is that it's also perfect for melting.
"It's actually a really beautiful melting cheese," says Smith, who spoke with Yahoo Life as part of her work promoting Athenos. "It gets creamy and luscious, and with the proper procedure, it can be made into a really beautifully creamy melty cheese."
What is whipped feta dip?
Because feta cheese can get so creamy, it's been turned into a social media phenomenon as whipped feta dip, which is simply a mix of feta cheese and another creamy base, like heavy cream or Greek yogurt. Combine the two and, in minutes, you've got a creamy, cheesy dish that's an instant crowd-pleaser.
"It's not overly complicated," says Hannah Kling, a food blogger at Lovely Delites whose TikTok about whipped feta dip has amassed thousands of likes and over 65,000 views. "Anyone who is not a professional in the kitchen can make this recipe."
What type of feta should you use for whipped feta dip?
Feta cheese can often be found in blocks or in crumbles, but only one should be used for whipped feta dip, according to Smith. "I always say if you're cooking with cheese or making a recipe that has a procedure with it, you're gonna want to use the block cheese," she says.
Why? Pre-crumbled feta has a coating on it that doesn't allow for the cheese to blend into one homogenous texture. "When [crumbles] are ground up or whipped or baked, the coating will keep the cheese from making one continuous texture," says Smith, author of Grilled Cheese Social: Super Fun Recipes for Super Fun Times.
Tips for making whipped feta dip
"Start with a room temperature block," Smith explains. The cheese being at room temperature will allow it to break down into a creamier dip and let additional ingredients mix into it better.
There are a few different options for mixes that allow whipped feta dip to get that ultra-creamy texture: Smith suggests using heavy cream, cream cheese, whipped cream cheese or Greek yogurt. "I think heavy cream works the best because what happens when you have heavy cream is it becomes whipped cream, and [the whipped feta dip] gets a beautiful light and airy texture," she says.
"I blend mine for about 30 to 60 seconds," says Kling. "Take a spoon and check the texture. You want it to be smooth and creamy without any bits of feta."
Unlike most dairy-based products, it's hard to over-mix whipped feta dip. Smith says to stop mixing in the food processor when all of the chunks are gone. "If you notice it's a little too thick — like it's not getting to that creamy texture — you can just keep adding your mix-in until it's light and fluffy," she shares.
After serving the dip and letting it sit out at room temperature, it may start to lose some of its thick texture. But never fear: "If it does get a little runny, you can pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour and it will start to thicken up again," suggests Kling.
What should you serve with whipped feta dip?
For many, the joy of whipped feta dip is that it's a blank canvas for other flavors. "I love to do roasted tomatoes with garlic cloves and olives," says Smith. "Just the traditional Greek approach is really delicious."
"You can add some figs or any kind of sweet or savory pairing that you think of," adds Kling. For some added deliciousness, she also suggests toasting pita bread to scoop up the dip with.
How long will whipped feta dip last in the refrigerator?
Whipped feta dip is best served right away, but if you have some leftover, Kling suggests storing it with an air-tight lid and eating it within three days.
"Whipped feta dip has really taken off because it's really easy to make and it tastes absolutely delicious," says Smith, who provided Yahoo Life with her go-to recipe for whipped feta dip.
No-Cook Whipped Feta with Strawberry, Peaches and Honey
1 8-ounce Athenos traditional feta chunk
1.5 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 pinch salt
1 medium peach, chopped
1 cup strawberries, chopped
2 tablespoons honey
1 sprig basil for garnish
Cut Athenos feta into small cubes and place in a food processor with heavy cream and lemon juice.
Whip the feta, scraping down the sides as needed, until it's light, fluffy and smooth.
Add whipped feta to a medium-sized bowl and top with peaches, strawberries, honey and a pinch of salt.
Add a sprig of basil on top for garnish if desired.
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