The draw was made at Easter Road but the greater thrill was felt on Tayside – with the two clubs to meet for the third time this season next month.
United have won each of their previous matches – triumphing 3-0 at Dens Park in December – and swaggered into yesterday's draw with a comfortable win over Rangers. Still, their neighbours have little intention of lying down after a 5-1 win over Morton.
"It should give the players a lot of confidence for the rest of the season," said Barry Smith, the Dundee manager. "We will hopefully take encouragement from this and there's no reason why we can't."
It is not the only intriguing tie thrown up by the draw; St Mirren will host Celtic in a match which will be given a sharper edge after the Paisley side came out on top in the semi-final between the sides in the Scottish Communities League Cup, while neither Kilmarnock nor Hibernian will be daunted when they meet.
A side from the Irn-Bru First Division is also guaranteed to contest a semi-final after Falkirk were drawn away against Hamilton Academical.
William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final draw
Hamilton Academical v Falkirk
Dundee v Dundee United
Kilmarnock v Hibernian
St Mirren v Celtic
Ties to be played on the weekend of March 2-3