Tyrokafteri – Greek Cheese? Yes, Please!! Time to get to know Tzatziki’s fiery and zingy cousin… Tyrokafteri.
This is the dip you want in your life. It’s tangy, salty, creamy and as said earlier, a tad bit fiery. It’s a dip made from everyone’s favorite feta cheese.
Add in a little spice kick with some kind of hot peppers, along with creamy Greek yogurt and olive oil…
Do you like Tzatziki? Wait till you try this Tyrokafteri. Absolutely addictive, fresh and flavorful. You will polish it off like there is no tomorrow.
These dips and spreads are so easy to whip up. Grab a board, arrange them in different bowls, throw in some warm pitas and fresh veggies, some olives and you are set for some classy and fun entertaining.
Your friends and family won’t have enough of all these delicious dips. Tyrokafteri will get their attention in no time with its beautiful color and super addictive taste of salt and spice together.
So let’s first see, how to pronounce Tyrokafteri correctly. Here you go… tee-rho-ka-fte-RHEE.
What is Tyrokafteri?
Tyrokafteri, sometimes spelled tirokafteri, is a dip or spread made with cheese and some kind of hot peppers. It’s a combo of two Greek words, Tyros meaning cheese and Kaftero meaning hot.
So it literally translates into “Hot Cheese”. 🌶️🧀
To say Greeks love their dips is an understatement. Most of the times in any tavern or family meal they start with the cold mezze with dips and spread with their beloved pitas.
This pretty, colorful, hot cheese tyrokafteri surely always gets its place among other dips all over Greece.
From region to region it might be made a little different, with different preparation methods and it is known by a few other names too. Some call it kopanisti and some call it ktipiti.
Just the same hot cheese dip but different names. Whatever the name, most often or not it has basically the same ingredients. Feta cheese, olive oil and some kind of hot peppers.
Depending on the color of the peppers that go in the blend, this dip will take the color. If you use some fresh red chili peppers, the hue will be red, Using green chili peppers would make it greenish white tyrokafteri.
“Some like it Hot”… Some Not. Most often it’s not so hot or spicy that you will be reaching out for a glass of water after every scoop. The heat is just there to remind you that it kinda has a little kick of spice to the cheese.
You can very easily customize the heat of this dip, just the way you like it, by adjusting the chili peppers or chili flakes.
It’s texture also varies. Some like to make it creamy and smooth, and some like it a little coarser or chunkier. Personally we love a happy middle, where it’s creamy, yet has a lot of texture from roasted peppers and gritty feta.
Here is what you need to make this 5 minute Tyrokafteri
- Feta cheese – The base.
- Roasted bell peppers – We used the bottled ones.
- Jalapeño – Optional.
- Greek yogurt – To make it creamy and balance the kick.
- Lemon juice – Nice tang.
- Red wine vinegar
- Red chili flakes – Use as much as your love for them.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Now the easy 5 minute whip part… How to make your Greek Spicy Feta Cheese Dip?
Simply chop the roasted peppers and jalapeño and put them in a blender or food processor. Add in crumbled feta pieces along with lemon juice, red wine vinegar, red chili flakes and pulse a few times.
Add in Greek yogurt and pulse a few more times. Finally, stir in extra virgin olive oil and give it a final whirl. Taste and adjust the spice and tang by adding more lemon juice or chili flakes.
Less Salty Variation
Feta can be a little salty and tangy in its natural form, unless you look for low sodium feta. If that’s a concern for some people, you can submerge the feta block in water, cover it up, and leave it for 15-20 minutes. Discard the water and start the recipe.
What to serve Tyrokafteri with
- This spicy cheese dip could be your star for all mezze evenings along with fresh warm pitas, olives and toasted breads. Think sourdough or any of your favorite bread crudites, crostini or bread sticks. Some focaccia would be great too.
- Serve it along with a vegetable crudites platter.
- It’s great in wraps, gyros or salads. Think chicken souvlaki in pita bread with a generous dollop of Tyrokafteri and loaded with Greek style potato fries… yumm. Ultimate gyro time.
- It’s a great condiment for a lot of grilled meats and veggies.
How to store Tyrokafteri
This spicy cheese dip holds up great for one week in the refrigerator. Simply store it in an air tight container or mason jar.
It might harden up a little sitting in the refrigerator over time. Simply bring it to room temperature and add a little more extra virgin olive oil and it’s ready for more dip-ins.
If you like feta cheese… if you like dips… and if you like a little spice… Tyrokafteri is a MUST for you.
Make this Greek staple as popular as Tzatziki. And have fun scooping it with unlimited warm, luscious pitas. Until then… Opa!!!
Tyrokafteri, on my Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 8oz feta cheese
- 1.5 large roasted bell peppers
- 1 small jalapeño, seeded (optional)
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp red chili flakes (see note 1)
- Chop roasted peppers and jalapeños and put it in a blender or food processer.
- Add in crumbled feta cheese pieces along lemon juice, red wine vinegar, red chili flakes. Give it few swirls or pulses.
- Add in yogurt and olive oil and pulse till you get your desired texture for the dip.
- Tyrokafteri is supposed to have a little pleasant kick, but if you are heat sensitive you can still enjoy this dip by slowly adding the chili flakes, Start with 1/2 tsp and gradually increase to 1 tsp or 2 tsp, or until you get your desired heat level.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 153Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 26mgSodium 264mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 0gSugar 3gProtein 5g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
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