Load up on these Whipped Feta Crostinis with Hot Honey and Pecans! Your guests will be begging for more of these sweet, spicy, crunchy bites. Garnished with chopped pecans, fresh rosemary, and trendy hot honey, they’re perfect for sharing at a holiday party or impromptu gathering.
In my head I can be the gracious hostess, ready to dazzle guests in our home at a moments notice. Maybe that’s societal conditioning, maybe I’ve been influenced by all the picture-perfect scenes on social media.
The reality is, if you show up at my house unannounced, don’t say I didn’t warn you. It’s going to be a mess. But…there will be food. I will never not have enough food!
And one of the things I always, always keep on hand is a batch of hot honey and plenty of dairy products. Not necessarily because I’m planning to make this specific recipe. But you know. If I had to, I could.
The original recipe showed up in a past issue of Half & Half Magazine, a long-time partner who I loved working with. But I realized I never shared these Whipped Feta Crostinis to the blog, so I updated the recipe with a few minor adjustments.
Why You’ll Love This Simple Appetizer Recipe
Save this recipe for Whipped Feta Crostinis for this holiday season and beyond! I’m picturing them spread on a decked-out holiday table. But truthfully, they’re going to taste just as delicious any time of the year.
Here’s why I think you’ll be a big fan:
- Harness the hot honey trend to take your appetizer game to the next level. This version is very similar to the one I use on my Hot Honey Chicken Bowls and Halloumi Salad, only no need to drag out a saucepan or fire up the stove!
- You can easily scale it up or down depending on how many you’re serving.
- And the best part: the explosion of flavor in each bite! These whipped feta crostinis are sweet, spicy, savory, and crunchy all at once.
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the whipped feta and crostinis, make sure you have the following:
- Toasted baguette slices, although you can also use bagel chips or your favorite type of cracker. I like the sliced baguettes featured in these photos, they come from my local grocery store and are pre-toasted and seasoned.
- Crumbled feta cheese
- Cream cheese
- Cottage cheese
- Chopped pecans
- Fresh rosemary
- Cracked black pepper. This is optional, so adjust according to taste or skip it altogether if you prefer.
Street Smart Nutrition Tip: I tested whipped feta with different ratios and ingredients and arrived at this mix. I think the full fat cream cheese and cottage cheese made from whole milk works best. The higher fat content makes the whipped feta deliciously creamy without being dense, and it helps mask some of the gritty texture from the feta cheese.
And for the hot honey, you will need:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Hot sauce like sriracha or something similar
- Minced garlic, from fresh garlic cloves or the pre-minced stuff. The latter is more convenient but keep in mind that it does have a different flavor.
- Red pepper flakes. I always have gochugaru on hand (a type Korean red pepper seasoning) but regular crushed red pepper flakes also work well. Just look for a finer grind if you can, or give them an extra crush before adding.
How to Make Hot Honey and Whipped Feta
Start with the hot honey so it has a little time to cool. Here are the simple steps to quickly make a small amount of hot honey from scratch:
- Measure all the ingredients into a small bowl. Be sure it’s safe to go in the microwave. Give the mixture a quick stir, then pop it in to heat for 15-20 seconds.
- Stir again, then reheat a little longer until the mixture is syrupy.
- Set it aside until you’re ready to assemble. It will be pretty thin at first, thickening as it cools.
Next, mix up the whipped feta in the bowl of a food processor. Add the feta cheese crumbles, cream cheese, and cottage cheese. Pulse the blades a few times to get it started, then process until smooth and creamy.
This may take 3-4 minutes so keep a close eye on it. Pause as needed to scrape down the sides and ensure the whipped feta is fully mixed and fluffy.
How to Make Whipped Feta Crostinis
Now all you have to do is assemble!
Use a spoon to smear and spread the whipped feta across the top of each crostini. Don’t be afraid to pile it up with a generous amount if you like it thick!
And don’t worry about making the tops perfectly smooth. You actually want those bumps and ridges so the hot honey has a place to collect. They’re still sticky and maybe a little messy to eat, but less so if you use this technique.
Place them in a single layer on whatever you’re using to display them, like a serving platter or cheese board.
Next, sprinkle a few chopped pecans on top. Add a small sprig of fresh rosemary for some color – this also gives each piece lots of flavor and aroma.
Finally, use a small spoon or honey dipper to drizzle the hot honey over the top. Finish with some cracked black pepper, and enjoy!
My top suggestion is this: do not let any leftover hot honey go to waste!
Transfer it to a small ramekin or jar and serve it alongside the whipped feta crostinis. Trust me, your guests will be searching for more once they get a taste.
The honey will soak into the whipped feta or crostini the longer the sit, so leave a spoon nearby. Your guests can add more for garnish or top off other appetizers. This works incredibly well if you have a charcuterie board or serving other hot appetizers and finger food.
Note that as a time-saving tip, you can make the hot honey or whipped feta in advance. Keep them stored separately, with the whipped feta in a sealed container in the fridge. It will last up to 3-4 days. The honey can sit at room temperature in an airtight container if you plan to use it within 1-2 day. Otherwise stash it in the fridge and let it warm up a bit before serving.
Swaps and Substitutions
This is my version of the perfect whipped feta crostini, but they’re easy to modify based on what you like. I truly think that’s the best thing about any recipe, it’s just a suggestion or a guide!
Here are some alternatives you can try:
- Replace the hot honey with a drizzle of olive oil or balsamic glaze
- Try a different type of vinegar in the hot honey. Champagne vinegar would be my top pick, partly because you can feel extra fancy when someone asks them what’s in the honey, and you can casually with that reply
- Add some lemon zest before serving for a pop of fresh citrus flavor
- Try walnuts, almonds, or pistachios instead of walnuts. I also think pine nuts would taste amazing, but they are quite a bit more expensive to be prepared to splurge if you go with that option.
- Swap the rosemary for fresh thyme or fresh basil if it’s available
You really can’t go wrong with this simple appetizer recipe. Serve them alongside some holiday-themed cocktails or mocktails, festive finger food, or for the first round before a main meal.
Whipped Feta Crostinis with Hot Honey and Pecans
- measuring cups and spoons
- Food Processor
- Soft Spatula
- microwave safe bowl
- spoon or honey dipper
- 24 toasted baguette slices, or use bagel chips or crackers
- 4 oz. feta cheese crumbles
- 1/4 cup cream cheese
- 1/4 cup cottage cheese, full fat or made from whole milk
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 3-4 sprigs of rosemary
- cracked black pepper, to taste
For the Hot Honey
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp hot sauce, sriracha or similar
- 1 clove finely minced garlic, or about 1-1 1/2 tsp
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- Measure all ingredients for the hot honey and add to a small microwave safe bowl. Heat in short bursts of 15-20 seconds until syrupy and runny. Stir well before and between bursts of heating. Set aside until ready to assemble.
- To the bowl of a food processor, add the feta cheese, cream cheese, and cottage cheese in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times to combine, the process until smooth and creamy. Pause as needed to scrape the sides with a soft spatula.
- To build the crostinis, use a spoon to spread the whipped feta across each piece. Leave a few bumps and ridges so the hot honey will collect instead of running off the sides. Place in a single layer on a serving tray or platter.
- Sprinkle with the chopped pecans and add a small sprig of fresh rosemary to each crostini. Drizzle the hot honey over the top with cracked black pepper.
- Serve alongside any remaining hot honey to re-garnish as needed.
I’d love to know what you think of these Whipped Feta Crostinis with Hot Honey and Pecans! I don’t think I overhyped them, but leave me a comment or rating and let me know. I’ve yet to find a crostini recipe I like better, but who knows what the next holiday season will bring.
And as always, thanks for stopping by the Street Smart Nutrition blog. We’re all about fearlessly nourishing meals, so if you want more of that you can find more and follow along on Instagram and YouTube (plus all the other social media platforms).
Enjoy a safe and festive holiday season, cheers!