Tirokafteri (Spicy Feta Spread)

5 from 8 votes

This recipe for tirokafteri is spicy and tangy with a smooth, yet rustic texture. Salty feta and tangy Greek yogurt are blended with olive oil, vinegar, and peppers to create a simple, yet sensational cheese spread or dip. Plus, you only need 6 ingredients and 10 minutes to make it!

overhead: ornate blue bowl filled with tirokafteri and flatbread triangles

Tirokafteri, also spelled tyrokafteri, is an easy-to-make dish that delivers serious flavor. With its creamy texture and spicy flavor, this feta cheese spread has everything you love about a standard American cheese dip, but without any greasiness or heaviness. Instead, it is bright, tangy, and loaded with freshness. 

It only takes 10 minutes to whip up this simple Greek masterpiece, making it perfect for whenever you need a quick snack or appetizer without sacrificing flavor. I love serving it with sliced fruit and nuts.

Tyrokafteri is versatile as a dip, spread, or condiment and is also easy to customize. Make it smoother, make it chunkier, or toss in some of your favorite spices.

overhead: separate bowls containing fresh fruit, feta cheese spread, and bread triangles

For more recipes with feta cheese, check out my Whipped Feta Dip, Marinated Feta, and Greek Feta Salad.

closeup of tirokafteri, a spicy feta cheese spread in blue bowl with fresh fruit in background

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Feta Cheese – The star player in this recipe, feta cheese is tangy, briny, and bright. There are several different types of feta from different countries that will vary in taste and texture. Greek feta cheese, in the block, is ideal. If you can’t find any, seek out a brand made with primarily sheep’s milk and only choose American feta as a last choice. 
  • Greek Yogurt – Gives the spread a delightful tang and a rich, creamy texture. Make sure to choose plain Greek yogurt, as regular yogurt is far too thin for our purposes. 
  • Olive Oil – A high-quality olive oil adds a delicate layer of flavor and a touch of smoothness. If needed, you can substitute another neutral to mild oil like avocado or sunflower oil. 
  • Red Wine Vinegar Brightens up the spread with a dash of acidity. 
  • Bell Pepper – I typically use green bell peppers for their grassy, slightly bitter flavor. You can swap them out for another color but keep in mind your end result may be a tad sweeter. Be sure to remove the seeds before blending. 
  • Banana Pepper One chopped, deseeded banana pepper equals about ⅓ cup. If you want to slightly increase the heat, substitute pepperoncini, or for any even spicier kick, toss in some Fresno chiles.

Tip From Kevin

Which feta is betta?

There are various types of feta cheese, each offering its unique flavor and texture. Traditional Greek feta, made primarily from sheep’s milk, has a rich, tangy taste with a creamy, crumbly texture. French feta is often milder and creamier, typically produced from cow’s milk. Bulgarian feta is known for its more robust flavor, made from a combination of sheep’s and goat’s milk. These variations allow home cooks to choose the feta that best suits their preferences and culinary applications, whether in salads, pastries, or as a garnish.

How to Make Tirokafteri

  1. Combine All Ingredients. Add the feta cheese, Greek yogurt, olive oil, red wine vinegar, bell pepper, and banana pepper to a food processor. Process the ingredients together for about 30 seconds or until the mixture is combined and almost smooth. 
  2. Serve. Transfer the cheese spread to a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and serve immediately at room temperature. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, and enjoy within a week.
overhead: Greek tirokafteri spread in an ornate blue bowl with flatbread triangles

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you eat with feta cheese spread?

Traditionally, tirokafteri is served as part of a mezze, or appetizer platter, with a selection of other appetizers. Here are a few ideas for building your mezze platter, plus a few other ways to use this cheesy treasure:

– Serve alongside other dips like Hummus, Tzatziki, Labneh, or Roasted Red Pepper Dip.
– Offer with a fresh batch of Pita, Barbari, or flatbread of your choice. 
– Use sliced veggies for dipping or sprinkle some over these Greek Roasted Vegetables.
– Have with olives and pickled vegetables like these Turnips or Giardiniera.
– Add some to meat dishes like Lamb Shawarma or Mediterranean Grilled Chicken.
– Spread some onto your next Greek Souvlaki or any burger, sandwich, or wrap.

Where did tirokafteri come from?

This feta cheese spread is a Mediterranean dish widely enjoyed throughout Greece and Cyprus. The original versions of this recipe were made with sheep’s milk and came from the Cyclades islands. 

The dish began becoming a staple of Greek cuisine in the 20th century after gaining popularity in the region of Athens. Over time, the recipe has evolved, with each region adding its own local ingredients and preferences.

Is tirokafteri the same as htipiti?

Both tirokafteri and htipiti are types of Greek feta cheese spread with one key difference.      

Tyrokafteri, which translates literally to “hot cheese” relies on chiles to give it a bit of extra zest and a spicy kick. I’ve chosen banana peppers for this recipe with an option to dial up the heat with Fresno or another type of chile pepper. 

When the same basic recipe replaces chile peppers with roasted red peppers, it is called htipiti. Rather than being spicy, htipiti is known for having a sweet, smoky flavor. 

In fact, there are several different versions and names for this beloved cheese spread.  Naturally, as the recipe spread, different regions added their preferred spices and seasonings. 

The classic white version, like the one you are making today, is also known as aspri. There is a red version, called kokkini that is blended with sweet red peppers, paprika, and yogurt. Feel free to try your hand at a couple of these variations or get creative and craft your own.

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ornate blue bowl filled with tyrokafteri and bread triangles

Tirokafteri (Spicy Feta Spread)

5 from 8 votes
Tirokafteri is a feta cheese spread or dip made with tangy feta, creamy Greek yogurt, and spicy peppers. Serve with pita for a tasty snack!
Servings: 8
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes



  • Add the feta cheese, yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, and both peppers to a food processor. Process until the ingredients are almost smooth and combined, about 30 seconds.
  • Transfer to a bowl and serve at room temperature with a drizzle of olive oil. Store covered and refrigerated up to 1 week.



  1. Preferably Greek feta cheese. Crumbled, this will be 2 1/2 to 3 cups total.
  2. Typically 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped.
  3. 1 banana pepper, roughly chopped, about a 1/3 cup total. A Pepperoncini pepper can be substituted, with the heat factor rising just a bit. I also use a red Fresno chile (as pictured), seeded sometimes.


Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 637mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 343IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 291mg | Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: appetizers
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown): tyrokafteri spicy feta cheese spread


I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    YUM!! This is right up my alley! I’ve been planning a big mezza spread, this is perfect for it. I love how it’s a bit different with the green pepper and chilli, I never would have thought to add them into a feta dip. Thanks Kev – N x