The softness and creamy texture of feta cheese makes it easy to blend into a smooth sauce. Ingredients like sour cream and Greek yogurt may be combined with the feta, after it has been processed, to dilute the cheese's strong flavor and improve consistency. Other ingredients including lemon, mint, dill, garlic, and salt may be used into a recipe to complement the sharp, tangy taste of the cheese. Feta dipping sauce can be served with chips, crackers, or slices of pita bread. Sometimes creamy, feta-based sauces are served with meat or kabobs.
Feta cheese is traditionally made with sheep's milk, but it can also be made from goat's milk. It is salted and aged in whey or water-based brine. When it dries, it takes on a crumbly, grainy texture but it is also creamy and soft due to the high fat content of sheep's or goat's milk. The base for most types of feta dipping sauce is made by pureeing or blending the crumbled cheese.
In some recipes, the processed feta composes the sauce without any addition of cream or yogurt. Since feta cheese is naturally sharp, only small amounts of ingredients such as lemon, salt, or pepper may be used to enhance the taste. This type of sauce is thick, with a strong flavor. It is often served with crackers or pita bread.
Feta dipping sauce takes on a thinner, smoother consistency when the cheese is pureed or blended along with other wet ingredients like sour cream or plain yogurt. The added ingredients also reduce the sharpness of the cheese. Flavorings such as garlic, mint or dill may also be added to alter the taste, based on how the sauce is being served. Some recipes call for diced cucumber or tomato to be mixed into the dip.
Sauces made with feta may be served warm, but they are most often chilled or served at room temperature. Warm feta appetizers are often made by combining feta crumbles with other ingredients in a baking dish or slow cooker, and cooking until melted. Some variations of chilled feta dipping sauce involve layering crumbled feta with hummus, diced cucumbers, diced tomatoes, and chopped onions. These are served with chips or crackers, and are considered a Greek variation of layered Mexican taco dip. Dipping sauce meant to be served with meat is traditionally chilled, as it is intended to offset the heat of the cooked beef, lamb, or pork.