With over 1 billion (yes, billion) views, this viral TikTok feta pasta is one of the world’s most successful food trends.
And after just one bite, you’ll see why!
It’s so popular that it’s jumped out of our phones and into mainstream media. So, you don’t even need a TikTok account to check it out.
Of course, the big question is: is it worth the hype?
The answer is a big fat YES!
Don’t take my word for it. Instead, try this recipe for baked feta pasta and see for yourself just how spectacular it is.
Oh, and did I mention that it’s super easy to recreate at home? Yeah, this baked pasta recipe is a definite must-make!
TikTok Baked Feta Pasta Recipe
As a big-time foodie, I’m always on the lookout for new food hacks and trends.
And, believe it or not, TikTok is one of the most incredible sources for new recipes and cooking techniques.
Once you get past the silly dances and scary challenges, it’s a treasure trove of chefs and food bloggers sharing all their best tips and tricks.
This TikTok baked feta pasta recipe was first shared in 2018 by Tiiu Piret on her blog.
But it wasn’t until a year later that it took off.
In 2019, Jenni Hayrinen shared her own version of the dish on TikTok, where it became a massive hit.
And let’s just say it went viral for good reason.
Due to the enormous success of the recipe, numerous versions have since emerged online.
This one is hands down, my absolute favorite.
What Is Baked Feta Pasta?
TikTok baked feta pasta is a viral pasta dish made using a whole block of feta, cherry tomatoes, pasta, oil, herbs, and spices.
The feta and cherry tomatoes are roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper for 30-40 minutes. They’re then mixed and tossed with al dente pasta, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
The goal is to bake the feta until it’s golden and tender. At the same time, the tomatoes need to be roasted for long enough, so the skins burst and the juices begin to flow.
That’s the key to the flavorful sauce. Well, that and the garlic, basil, red pepper flakes, and olive oil.
Some recipes will have you add the uncooked pasta to the dish with water and bake everything together.
That method works, it’s just not my favorite. Instead, you get a better result when you let the feta and tomatoes roast on their own.
Either way, this pasta dish is exactly as delicious as you’d imagine. Salty, savory, and bursting with freshness.
Prepare to have your mind blown!
- Pasta. Choose any shape or size you like. The only thing that matters is that you cook the noodles to a perfect al dente.
- Feta Cheese. A whole block of feta is the best option. Crumbled feta is fine in a pinch, but it doesn’t melt as well.
- Cherry Tomatoes. Only use fresh! Grape tomatoes are fine, too. However, don’t be afraid to use old, wilted tomatoes — I actually like them more because they’re sweeter.
- Garlic. Fresh garlic only, please. Now’s not the time to use the powdered kind.
- Basil. Again, fresh is best.
- Red Pepper Flakes. For just a little bit of a kick. Add as little or as much as your taste buds can handle.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The original recipe calls for regular olive oil, but trust me, EVOO is way better.
- Salt and Pepper. To taste. I suggest tasting the whole dish first since the feta cheese adds a lot of salt. You may find you don’t need any extra.
How to Make Baked Feta Pasta
There are only a few steps for this dish, which is why it’s so popular.
1. Toss together tomatoes, olive oil, and salt in a baking dish.
Be very generous with the olive oil. You want the tomatoes to swim in it!
2. Add a block of feta in the middle.
Then, drizzle it with some more olive oil. Top with red pepper flakes if you like heat.
3. Roast the feta and tomatoes.
You’ll do this in a 400-degree-Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes. That high heat is essential!
Then, crank up the heat to 450 and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes. The goal is for the tomatoes to burst!
4. Cook the pasta al dente.
Follow the package instructions, but remove from heat 1 minute before the prescribed cooking time.
The pasta will continue to soften once it gets tossed in the sauce. Drain well, but reserve some pasta water for the sauce.
5. Stir the garlic and basil into the roasted feta and tomatoes.
Do this immediately after taking the baking dish out of the oven. The container needs to be warm enough to cook off the garlic’s raw edge.
6. Toss the pasta and sauce together.
You should be able to do this in the dish. But if it has shallow sides, carefully add everything into a bowl to mix.
Add some reserved pasta water if the sauce is too dry.
7. Taste the dish; then season with salt and pepper if needed.
As I said, feta is pretty salty. That means you might not need extra salt.
8. Serve and enjoy!
Helpful TikTok Pasta Tips and Tricks
- Use a tall 9×13 baking dish. The tomatoes should cook in a single layer. I like to use a dish with tall sides. That way, the feta and tomatoes can cook properly, and I can stir everything without it spilling out.
- Be generous with the olive oil. It’s the key to making the sauce incredibly rich and thick. This also ensures the tomatoes don’t dry out.
- Cook the pasta al dente. This is very important for this dish! Take the pasta out of the boiling water a minute before the suggested cooking time for the best texture.
- Sync pasta readiness with feta and tomatoes. The pasta should be ready when the feta and tomatoes are. This way, the pasta is still warm and won’t clump together when it’s time to toss it in the sauce.
- Use fresh ingredients for flavor. For example, use fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones. The same goes for basil and garlic. Use extra virgin olive oil, as well. It tastes so much better than regular olive oil.
- Store leftovers the right way. Place them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When you reheat, add a splash of water to the bowl.
- Fix tart sauce with sugar. You can also add sliced onions or shallots to the baking dish and roast them together with feta and tomatoes. This will caramelize the onions and sweeten the sauce.
- There’s no perfect shape of pasta here. Bowtie, ritatoni, campanelle, rotini, and penne are all great options.
- Use crumbled feta as a last resort. Crumbled feta has this powdery coating that tastes off. Also, blocked feta holds up better to roasting.
- Low-fat feta is okay, but won’t melt well. It also won’t taste as rich.
- Swap feta for goat cheese or cream cheese. These cheeses’ creaminess is perfect for making a thick, luscious sauce.
- Add more herbs for more flavor. Tomatoes and basil are a classic combo, but feel free to experiment with other herbs, too. Thyme, scallions, chives, rosemary, parsley, and oregano all make fine options.
- Use vegan feta to make vegan pasta. Don’t add it until the last 5-10 minutes of baking; otherwise, the cheese will splatter all over the oven.
- Make it heartier with protein. Anything from tofu and bacon to chicken and ground beef works well.
- Want to make it healthier? Add veggies like spinach, asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, and/or artichoke hearts to the dish.
More Pasta Recipes You’ll Love
Want to try more TikTok recipes? Check out this list!
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