Treat yourself to this decadent Baked Feta Pasta ... inspired by the original TikTok famous recipe, but with a twist!
This simple recipe is bursting with bold, delicious flavors, yet it couldn't be easier to prepare. Make it tonight!
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Are you a TikTok fan? I have the app, and I love watching the videos. Although I have to admit that I usually consume them somewhere else (like Instagram).
I especially love keeping up with TikTok food trends. They're always so fun and unique, and usually pretty easy to make ... like this Dalgona Coffee, which I'm still loving!
One trend that caught my eye a few months ago was Baked Feta Pasta. I tried it and was immediately hooked. Yum! I even took photos of my version and shot a video, but somehow, I got sidetracked and never shared it.
This recipe is worth keeping around though (even if the trend fades), especially if you're a feta lover, because it's just so decadent and delicious. And of course, I couldn't resist making a few simple changes to the original recipe to make it even more scrumptious!
Ready to try this viral pasta dish for yourself? Then keep reading for all the details!
About the Pasta
If you've never tried this creative pasta dish, you are in for a treat! Basically, you bake a block of feta along with a few other ingredients. Then give everything a good stir once the feta and tomatoes are roasted and soft.
The result is a luscious, rich sauce that will have you licking your lips just thinking about it! It's even better than it sounds, I promise you.
Baked Feta Pasta (or Uunifetapasta as it was originally called) was created by Jenni Häyrinen, who shared the recipe on her blog Liemessä a couple years ago. Her recipe went crazy in Finland at the time, but it really went viral worldwide when another blogger shared it on TikTok earlier this year.
While I love the original recipe, I couldn't resist adding my own personal spin on it. Inspired by the flavors of my Baked Feta Dip (which is also amazing, and basically, the easiest appetizer ever!), I've made a few simple changes to make it fresher, brighter, and lighter tasting.
You can find the ingredients for this simple Feta Tomato Pasta in pretty much any grocery store. Here's what you'll need:
- Feta - The star of the dish! For this recipe, you'll need an 8-ounce (227 gram) block. Don't worry if your block is slightly larger ... the recipe will still work great. You can also use crumbled feta in a pinch (see my tips below).
- Cherry or Grape Tomatoes - Sweet, juicy tomatoes are the perfect counterpoint to the salty, tangy cheese. One of the biggest changes I made to the original recipe was adding lots of extra tomatoes. They really add a great balance to the sauce, which is super rich.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - This recipe calls for a generous amount of olive oil, and it's essential to creating the indulgent sauce.
- Garlic - Fresh garlic is a must for this recipe! It adds tons of flavor.
- Herbs + Spices - The original recipe calls for a fresh chili pepper, but I've replaced that with one of my fave pantry essentials: crushed red pepper flakes. Use ¼ teaspoon for a milder, tingly heat, or for a spicier result, add extra. I also included some dried oregano for an extra pop of flavor.
- Olives - Another addition I made to the original, was adding olives. They really brings out the Mediterranean flavors of this recipe. I used easy to find Kalamata olives here, but you can replace them with any good quality variety, or leave them out altogether if you're not a fan.
- Fresh Lemon - The original recipe, while super delish, is also pretty heavy. Adding a combo of fresh lemon zest and juice really brightens up the flavors of the finished pasta.
- Fresh Basil - Speaking of bright flavors, a generous amount of fresh basil is the perfect finishing touch!
- Pasta - You could serve this creamy sauce with pretty much any kind of pasta, but I really love it with Cavatappi ... the hollow twists capture the sauce perfectly! I used an imported pasta this time, but this DeCecco Cavatappi is an easy to find fave.
You Will Also Need
To make this Feta Pasta, you'll also need a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. I used this Emile Henry Rectangular Baker, and I love it ... the generous size is perfect, and it's beautiful enough to bring right to the table! And of course, you'll need a large pot to cook the pasta. This Calphalon Dutch Oven is my go-to. It has a strainer built right into the lid, so you don't need a colander to drain the pasta.
My favorite thing about this recipe is that it's super flexible! As long as you've got the basics down, you can feel free to get creative. Here are some ideas:
- Crumbled Feta - Can't find a block of feta? While the end result probably won't be as creamy, you can substitute crumbled cheese in a pinch. Just press it into a mound in the center of the baking dish before baking.
- Roasted Garlic - The sweet, savory flavor of baked garlic would be so delish in this pasta! Roasted garlic has a mild flavor, so you could do a whole head or just a few cloves. If you do decide to use a whole head, I'd recommend following this recipe, and throwing it in the oven about 10 minutes before baking the feta / tomato mixture. Otherwise, just add a few cloves along with the other ingredients. Then, remove the peel and mash up the cloves a bit before mixing the sauce.
- Veggies - Feel free to experiment with other veggies, too. Basically any vegetable that will become tender in about 35 minutes should work, such as broccoli, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, asparagus, or even butternut squash. You could also stir in some chopped spinach after the sauce is finished cooking ... the heat from the sauce and pasta will wilt it. Sautéed kale (or other greens) would be a wonderful addition, too.
- No Tomato - Not a tomato fan? If you add other veggies, feel free to leave out the tomatoes altogether (or use less). Just keep in mind that the baked tomatoes release a lot of juice, so you may need extra pasta-cooking water to thin the sauce a bit.
- Herbs - Change up the flavor profile by adding different herbs (both fresh and dried), such as rosemary, thyme, chives, or flat-leaf parsley.
- Wine - A splash of white wine would make a great addition to the sauce. I'd recommend adding it along with the olive oil (before baking), and leaving out the fresh lemon.
- Goat Cheese - You can sub a log of goat cheese for the feta in this recipe, if you prefer. I've even seen the recipe made with Boursin and cream cheese.
How to Make Baked Feta Pasta
Ready to get cooking? This recipe really couldn't be easier to make, so let's get started!
Grab your baking dish, then add the tomatoes, garlic, olives, oregano, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. Set aside about two tablespoons of olive oil (no need to measure), then pour the rest of the oil over the tomato mixture.
Season the tomatoes with a little salt and pepper, then mix everything together. Make a little well in the middle of the pan, then add the feta. Pour the reserved olive oil over the cheese.
Tip: Keep in mind that feta is a fairly salty cheese. Don't go overboard when salting the tomatoes. You can always add more later.
Transfer the baking pan to your oven, then bake the mixture until the feta is soft and the tomatoes are shriveled and bursting. Every oven is different, but it should take about 35 minutes.
While the sauce roasts, cook your pasta in a large pot of well-salted water until al dente. Before you drain it, make sure to reserve ½ cup of pasta-cooking water.
When the sauce is finished cooking, remove it from the oven. Add a small splash of the reserved pasta-cooking water, then mix the feta and tomato mixture together until a semi-cohesive sauce forms (see the pic below for guidance). Stir in the lemon juice and fresh basil.
Tip: Feta will not melt completely in the oven. As you can see below, there are still come chunks in the sauce, even after mixing. This is totally normal! If your feta seems too grainy tasting, try using a creamier variety of cheese instead.
Add your pasta to the sauce, then stir everything together. If the sauce seems dry, you can add a little more of the pasta-cooking water. You probably won't need it all.
Give the pasta a taste, then season with a little extra salt and pepper, if needed. And that's all there is to it ... wasn't that easy?
With so little hands on cooking, this Baked Feta and Tomato Pasta is destined to become a go-to recipe! It's easy enough for a weeknight dinner, but it's special enough for company, too. Don't you love a meal like that?
Store any leftover pasta in an airtight store container in your refrigerator for three to four days. The pasta keeps really well and even stays fairly creamy ... if you want to treat yourself, you could even make this recipe for meal prep!
This pasta ranks up there with Alfredo Sauce in terms of richness ... it's quite decadent tasting.
I'd recommend serving it on its own for a one dish meal, or pairing it with something light. Fresh, steamed, or Roasted Vegetables would be the perfect accompaniment, as would a basic salad. Try it with this simple Chopped Salad or this Massaged Kale Salad.
Craving more carbs? Pair it with this yummy Garlic Bread for a truly indulgent treat!
Looking for similar recipes? If you can't get enough of this tangy cheese, try one of these delicious feta recipes next!
- Pesto, Feta, and Veggie Pizza
- Fried Feta (Saganaki)
- Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint
- Warm Farro Kale Salad with Feta
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Feta Stuffed Peppers
- Savory Tomato, Feta, and Basil Pie
Baked Feta Pasta
- 3 (10-ounce) containers cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes)
- ⅓ cup kalamata olives, halved
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 (8-ounce) block feta cheese
- kosher salt
- 16 ounces pasta (such as Cavatappi)
- 2 large lemon wedges
- large handful fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Add tomatoes, olives, garlic, oregano, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Reserve 2 tablespoons olive oil, then add remaining oil to tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then mix everything together.
- Place feta between tomatoes, in middle of baking dish. Drizzle feta with reserved oil.
- Bake until feta is soft and tomatoes are shriveled and starting to burst, about 35 minutes.
- While sauce bakes, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente.
- Reserve ½ cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta.
- When sauce is finished cooking, add a small splash of pasta-cooking water. Mix feta and other ingredients together to form the sauce.
- Squeeze lemon juice from wedges into pasta and add sliced basil. Mix well.
- Add pasta to sauce, then stir to coat. (Add additional pasta-cooking water, if sauce seems dry.) Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Serve pasta hot. Enjoy!