How Giada De Laurentiis Turns Brie Into A Sweet And Savory Dip

Chef Giada De Larentiis has some of the best tips up her sleeve, especially for entertaining and crafting unique, yet crowd-pleasing bites to snack on. When it comes to choosing a cheese to please guests, brie is a good go-to. It's super versatile — the semi-soft cheese can be sliced and eaten as-is or placed on crackers, or even baked in a puff pastry shell paired with apples that's drizzled in honey. But De Laurentiis has yet another use for the cheese: a sweet and savory dip.

In a recipe she's dubbed "whipped brie cheese," the chef shares how to take brie from its traditional block form to a creamy and airy dip, and the process is pretty simple. All you'll need to do is remove the rind from the block of cheese, cut it into cubes, blend everything up, and choose a nice bowl to serve it in. 

De Laurentiis recommends lightly freezing the brie before trying to cut the rinds off to prevent them from sticking. She also notes that the cheese may not combine super nicely at first. Stick with the blending, and you should be able to transform those cubes into a whipped dip in just a few minutes.

What to pair with whipped brie dip

For this trick, Giada De Laurentiis recommends topping the dip with jam, toasted nuts, and basil, and serving it all alongside crackers or crostini. But what else could you pair with the whipped cheese to play into that sweet and savory combination? Brie has a pretty mild and nutty flavor, so there are a number of ways to elevate it. If you want to go the savory route, charcuterie or cured meats like salami and prosciutto would be great options. For a sweeter bite, slice up some apples or pears and use them in place of crackers to grab a hefty chunk of the whipped dip. The combo is a proven crowd-pleasing combination — just ask anyone who's made brie and apple butter grilled cheese

Like any other dip, you could also experiment with mix-ins to add another layer of flavor. Instead of simply topping the dip with toasted nuts, consider chopping them up and mixing them directly into the cheese. Some nuts that could pair well include walnuts, almonds, and pecans. You could also try swirling some jam through the dip so that every bite has both cheese and fruit. The classic pairing is fig jam, but apricot, blackberry, or cherry would also work well.

Other cheeses that can be whipped up into a dip

Whipping up cheese into a light and airy dip isn't just for brie — there are a number of other cheeses that can also be fluffed. Feta is another popular choice for whipping (even Chrissy Teigen has a recipe for it). Unlike Giada De Laurentiis' super simple brie dip, feta dip requires a few more ingredients that you'll need to include in the blender, like Greek yogurt, olive oil, lemon zest, and Mediterranean herbs including mint and parsley. Just like the brie version, these all get tossed in a blender or food processor. Once everything is nice and creamy, feta dip can be drizzled with more olive oil and served alongside pita chips.

Another cheese that makes a great whipped dip is ricotta. Ricotta is Giada-approved, too, and is the star ingredient of bruschetta, her favorite lightning-fast appetizer, but blending it in a food processor takes it to a whole new level. Whipped ricotta has fewer ingredients than whipped feta, so you'll only need the cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt. Process everything until smooth, and from there the possibilities are endless. You could use the whipped cheese as a dip with veggies and crackers, or even spread on toast and top with herbs and flaky sea salt.