I’m always on the hunt for quick, easy recipes that use a few ingredients (less is more, right?!) and was thrilled to find out about the trending TikTok recipe for baked feta pasta.
I usually don’t follow trends, but when I heard that there was a shortage of feta cheese in Finland and in grocery stores around the world — because of this viral recipe! — I needed to see what all the hype was about.
I’m glad I did. I baked up a wonderful creamy pasta, easy for weeknight meals, and it’s now on rotation at least once a month at my house. If you’re not a fan of feta cheese, try this recipe with burrata (but do not bake with tomatoes; add to roasted tomatoes, garlic and pasta, then mix) or one block of cream cheese. The basic recipe is so versatile you can add more herbs, a protein, or use any type of pasta. You just can’t go wrong.
For more information, check out the Washington Post recipe I was inspired by and the Finnish blog posts by Jenni Hayrinen that inspired this whole craze via TikTok, here in English and the original Finnish.
Here’s the version of the viral TikTok pasta that I’ve developed at home to suit my family’s tastes.
3 cups cherry tomatoes
4 to 8 cloves garlic (whole or peeled)
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 block Greek feta cheese (or burrata or cream cheese)
12 ounces of your favorite pasta
Your choice of cooked protein (1 to 2 cups of cubed roasted chicken worked well for me)
Add more veggies (1 cup asparagus was a nice addition)
Add more herbs (basil, oregano, black pepper or red pepper adds more flavor)
What to do
1) Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
2) Combine the tomatoes, garlic and ¼ cup of the olive oil in a 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and toss together. Optional: Add in any other veggies and combine.
3) Place the block of feta cheese in the middle of the tomatoes and garlic. Pour the remaining olive oil over the cheese and sprinkle with herbs.
3) Bake for 45 minutes, until the garlic is soft and the tomatoes have roasted (skins have burst).
Optional: If you are using a protein like roast chicken or cooked shrimp, add that to the dish and bake an additional few minutes, until warmed through.
4) While the tomatoes and feta bake, make the packaged pasta. Follow manufacturer directions. Be sure to save 1 cup of pasta water and drain the pasta.
5) After your dish has baked, peel the roasted garlic cloves (if you have left them whole), then mix the roasted tomatoes with the feta and garlic until creamy.
6) Add the pasta and combine. If too dry, add pasta water until it’s your desired consistency. Season to taste with herbs and spices. Serve with a side salad, more roasted vegetables or a protein.