If you're on TikTok, chances are you've seen this viral recipe for baked feta pasta at least once. The original recipe first appeared on Finnish blogger Jenni Häyrinen's website back in 2019, and became an instant hit in Finland. Since its inception, tons of variations have made the rounds on social media from Finland to Australia and ultimately the United States, with people adding different vegetables, legumes, and spices, but it recently went crazy on TikTok. I wanted to try the trend to see what all the fuss was about, and I tried to stick to the original recipe as best I could.
I should start out by saying that as a rule, I don't like pasta (I know, I know!). Pasta dishes are the quickest and easiest things to make, but for some reason, they've never been my favorite. That being said, after months of not being able to dine out due to COVID-19, I saw this recipe and figured why not switch up my dinner routine? After all, I love feta and tomatoes, so surely I'd love them baked and warm and gooey, even if there happened to be pasta involved.
The best thing about this recipe is its simplicity. Its inexpensive ingredients consist of things I always have in my house, and it doesn't require much in the way of preparation. Though I tried to stick closely to the original recipe, I did omit the garlic and red chili pepper because I knew that my three young children wouldn't appreciate them, and I had to adjust the cooking times a bit. The original recipe calls for just 15 minutes in the oven, but it took 30 minutes before my tomatoes were done and the feta was melted enough to mix. I also broiled mine on low for 10 minutes and didn't get that nice brown look I was going for, so I recommend turning the broiler on high and keeping a close eye on it until you get the desired results. While its simplicity and minimal prep make this recipe the perfect choice for fast weeknight meals, the very best part of this recipe, however, is that my whole family enjoyed it — including me!
Pasta still isn't my favorite, but I would absolutely make this dish again. I'll probably just make a few changes to tailor it to my own tastes. For starters, I expected a strong feta flavor, and I was a little disappointed that the tomatoes dominated the dish. So next time, I'll either add a second block of cheese or fewer tomatoes. I also recommend topping it off with some crushed red pepper, which gave it a nice little touch of heat (you can do this as a last step to only your portion). And, of course, there's the bit about the pasta. Luckily, that's also an easy fix because spaghetti squash is a delicious substitute that I thoroughly enjoy. Making these tweaks is also a great perk to this recipe: you can change it up a bit to fit your needs but the delicious foundation remains.
- 1/2 box of pasta cooked according to package directions
1 block of feta cheese
1 package of grape or cherry tomatoes
1/2 red chili pepper
Salt and pepper (to taste)
4 cloves of garlic (optional)
Fresh basil leaves (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is preheating, start cooking the pasta.
- Place the block of feta in the middle of an oven-safe dish (I used my favorite dutch oven) and dump the tomatoes in around it.
- Drizzle a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper over the cheese and tomatoes, and gently toss the tomatoes to coat.
- Put the cheese and tomatoes in the oven for 30 minutes. While it's in the oven, remove pasta from the stove. Drain and set aside.
- After 30 minutes, turn the broiler on high for about 10 minutes to get that browned look on the melted cheese.
- Remove cheese and tomatoes from the oven, and mix it all together.
- Add the pasta and mix. Then garnish with fresh basil and or crushed red pepper and enjoy!
- Pasta, Main Dishes
- 4 servings
- Prep Time
- 5 minutes
- Cook Time
- 40 minutes
- Total Time
- 44 minutes, 59 seconds