Sweetened whipped feta topped with honey & cinnamon pecans makes this the perfect spread for toasts, bagels, crostini, or fruit dip!
I’m a dip kind of girl. I love dips and spreads of all types. Give me something as simple as butter on bread and I’m in heaven.
And don’t even get me started on my obsession with French Onion Dip. Oh lord, that stuff is just pure heaven!
Today, I’m all about this sweet-ish type dip spread that I am legit going crazy over!
The combination of the salty, almost tangy feta, combined with the creaminess of the mascarpone, the spice from the cinnamon, and that slathering of honey… OBSESSED people. OBSESSED!
Ingredients Shopping List
This recipe only uses 7 ingredients where most you should have already on hand but if not, your local market would carry them.
- Feta Cheese – feta cheese is salty and tangy. You want to buy the block version of feta, not the crumbles
- Mascarpone – I like the creaminess and mildness of mascarpone over regular cream cheese in this recipe
- Oil – I’ve made this with both grapeseed oil and olive oil. Both work though olive oil gives it another elevated depth of flavor
- Honey – Since this is a sweetened dip, it calls for almost a 1/4 cup ( about 2 ounces) in the dip and then extra for drizzle. You’re welcome to cut back on the amount to your sweetness preference
- Chopped Pecans
- Crushed Rainbow Peppercorns – I liked seeing the variety of colors plus having the pink in there help cut back on the harshness of say all black pepper
Let’s Make This Recipe!
- To a non-stick skillet, add the chopped pecans and heat until toasted (~3-5 minutes), stirring frequently.
- Remove from the heat, add in part of the cinnamon, and stir. Set aside.
- To a 3-4 Cup Food processor, add the mascarpone, feta, oil, peppercorns, and honey. Process until smooth and creamy.
- Transfer to a serving dish and make the spoon indent.
The Spoon Swirl
There’s something more inviting when a dip, dessert, or hummus is swirled. It just looks more elegant. To do this is super easy and if you screw it up the first time, it’s no big deal. You can just smooth it back out again and start all over!
To do this, I’ll pile the spread into a wide, shallow bowl, flattening it with the back of the spoon (either a tablespoon or teaspoon). Starting in the middle, I’ll start swirling the bowl keeping the back of the spoon against the dip rotating it outwards to the edge of the bowl.
Doing the swirl is especially necessary (though you could totally just make a well in the center) as you want the honey to kind of traverse through these little wells and having the pecans nesting inside.
This allows every time the spoon, toast, berry that is dipped into the spread, to get a little bit of everything.
What To Serve With This Recipe
Is it okay if I just say a spoon?
Not going to lie, I could not stop snacking on this during the photoshoot! But since it is a spread/dip I guess I should give you some suggestions on how I’ve used it:
- Crostini – plain or cinnamon sugar-coated crostini
- Toast/Bagel – this makes an amazing bagel topping
- Fruit – when it’s soft it’s amazing with fresh strawberries dipped in it
- Puff Pastry – add this to cooked puff pastry cups and top with fruit or cheese
- a spoon – seriously, it’s THAT GOOD!
HUGE Party Favorite!
I made this before as little pre-made crostini bites as well which were a HUGE hit
- Make your crostini and add some of the whipped feta spread on top.
- Top with a few slices of thinly cut strawberries, melon, apples, pears and a slice of cheese (cheddar, swiss or gouda work really well)
- Add a piece of Proscuitto.
- Right before serving, add a drizzle of honey and a few cinnamon pecans.
Substitutions for this Whipped Feta Dip
Cream Cheese for Mascarpone
Now I’m sure some of you will ask if you can make this with cream cheese. Yes, you can buuuuuut… I personally like mascarpone in this over cream cheese. So what’s the difference?
- Mascarpone is a buttery, double or triple-cream cheese made from cow’s milk. It is ivory-colored, soft, and delicate and can be either nearly liquid or similar to butter. When fresh, it smells like milk and cream. It has a higher fat content as is just has a richer, creamier taste.
- Cream cheese is a soft, unripened cheese made from cow’s milk and by law must contain at least 33 percent milkfat and not more than 55 percent moisture. Plus it has a more acidic taste.
So yes you can but you need to use full-fat cream cheese.
Ricotta for Feta
This does work but requires time before you make it. You need to add your ricotta to cheesecloth and let it drain in the fridge overnight. You need to remove as much liquid as you can BEFORE you make the dip otherwise it can be much thinner.
And by day 2, if you have leftovers, it will start to get even more liquidy.
Love Dips and Spreads? Then you’ll go crazy over these recipes!
- 4 ounces block feta, not crumbles
- 6 ounces mascarpone, softened *can use full fat cream cheese
- 1 Tbl grapeseed or canola oil *can use olive oil for an extra layer of flavor
- 2 ounces (a little less than 1/4 cup) of honey plus extra for drizzle
- 1/2 tsp crushed rainbow peppercorns *or fresh cracked pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon, divided
- In a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat add the pecans. Toast up, stirring the pecans in the pan, for about ~3 minutes or so. You just want them warmed through. Immediately add half of the cinnamon and stir. Set aside to cool.
- In a food processor, add the feta, mascarpone, oil, pepper, and the 1/4 cup of honey. Blend/whip until completely smooth. Stop once or twice to scrape down the sides if necessary.
- Transfer to a serving dish and, using the back of a spoon, make a spiral indent in the center and slowly trace a line going around the dip/dish until you reach the end. Essentially, you’re creating a little indent/line where the honey and pecans will lie.
- Sprinkle on the rest of the cinnamon over the dip. Add a few extra Tbl of honey to the indent and add the cinnamon pecans to the pool of honey.
- Serve immediately. Store any leftovers in the fridge.
Keywords: whipped feta dip, creamy whipped feta spread, whipped feta with honey, cinnamon pecans, bagel spread, whipped feta and mascarpone, sweetened fruit dip, sweetened whipped feta