If a trendy whipped feta dip and an earthy-crunchy tahini sauce had a baby, it would be this inventive recipe where feta and tahini are whipped into a frenzy with honey, Za’atar spice, onion, garlic, and lemon to create a thick and textured dressing that would be just as at home as a dip.

Bowl of Za'atar tahini dressing.

What’s that saying “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”? I think that rings true for this recipe because while whipped feta (and honey) make a great salty dip, and while tahini and lemon make a great drippy sauce (often with soy and sesame oil), whipping these ingredients together creates a full-flavored, textured dressing (too thick to be a sauce) that tastes like so much more. The flavor profile is a perfect mix of tangy and sweet with just enough tahini flavor, without tasting oily. I recommend it to dress a salad or dip veggies in, heck, it’d be a great sandwich spread as well. You’re welcome 😉

Ingredients + Notes

  • Tahini – no notes here, but just 1/4 cup, no more no less!
  • Feta – the softer and moister the better, but any variety will work. If you can find one of the feta blocks sold in a carton of brine, versus packed dry, it will work better. I’m using 3 ounces in this recipe. If you are only going to use it as a dip, you could use 4 ounces of feta and whip a bit longer to make it a bit more like whipped feta in taste.
  • Lemon – the juice of an entire lemon is used in this recipe, and even so, it’s not overly lemony. I like that there is no water used to thin this dressing. If you want the dressing to be more drizzly for a green salad or something like that, try a bit more lemon, or you can whiz in a bit of water.
  • Honey – honey tastes great with feta and a tablespoon of it in this dressing creates flavor balance.
  • Red Onion and Garlic – these give the dressing more body and flavor. They are part of what I think makes the dressing hold up well as a dip on its own.
  • Za’atar Spice mix – This spice mix is sold widely now, but if you don’t have it you can use any combination of sesame seeds, sumac, and thyme for a similar flavor. If you haven’t used Sumac before, it’s worth purchasing as it lends a nice tang to dishes and is often called for in Mediterranean recipes.

Method

To make this feta tahini dressing you mince the garlic and chop the onions, then put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend. Because this recipe makes a smaller amount (about 1 cup) and does not fill the blender carafe or food processor that full, it does not easily whip it super smooth. As you can see at the top of the post, right after blending it looks quite smooth but after refrigeration, you can see the texture of the feta and onion a bit more. If you really like super smooth textures like whipped feta, you can double the recipe and it can be whipped ultra smooth. I like the texture of the smaller batch, with onion still minced and some feta curds.

tahini and feta dressing served as dip with cucumbers.

Above: Fresh out of the refrigerator, the dressing is stiffer. Used right after blending it is warmer and therefore a bit more runny. Tailor the thickness of the dressing to your use. If you want to drizzle it over a green salad, for example, you can add more lemon juice or a tablespoon or two of water and whisk to loosen it up.

For a great use of this recipe, make my Blanched Asparagus and Cabbage Salad tossed in this dressing!

If you love tahini, check out my Herby Tahini Sauce with Bright Vietnamese Flavors!

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za'atar tahini feta dressing in a bowl.

Whipped Feta Tahini Dressing with Honey and Za’atar (or Dip)

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Servings6
Calories128
If a trendy whipped feta dip and an earthy-crunchy tahini sauce had a baby, it would be this inventive recipe where feta and tahini are whipped into a frenzy with honey, Za’atar spice, onion, garlic and lemon to create a thick and textured dressing that would be just as at home as a dip.

Ingredients
 

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • 4 ounces feta cheese (packed in water) (see notes)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 large red onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp Za'atar Spice (see notes)

Method:  

  • Place all ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor and blend until feta and onion have been minced (it will not be fully smooth- some texture is desired- see photos). Alternatively you can mince the onion more finely, break the feta up into small crumbles and whisk vigorously unti thoroughly mixed.

Notes

Feta Note: The recipe calls for 4 ounces, but only use 3 unless you only plan to use this recipe as a dip/spread, in which case you might enjoy 4 ounces of feta for more body and whipped feta taste.
Za’atar Note: You should be able to find this spice blend at the store, but if not, you can substitute any combo of some sesame seeds, sumac, and thyme. If you have none of this, I recommend a little smoked paprika and cumin.

Nutrition (an estimate)

Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 220mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 1mg | Magnesium: 15mg | Net Carbohydrates: 7g
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