With over 1 billion (yes, billion) views, this viral TikTok feta pasta is one of the most successful food trends on the planet.
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!
But don’t take my word for it. Instead, try this recipe for TikTok feta pasta and see for yourself just how spectacularly delicious 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 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.
Like most people, I reluctantly joined TikTok during lockdown. And I’m so glad I did!
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 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 out of all of them.
What Is TikTok Feta Pasta?
TikTok 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 and 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, I think 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 imagine it to be. Salty, savory, and bursting with freshness from the tomatoes.
Prepare to have your mind blown!
Other than a whole block of feta, the beauty of this dish is that you likely have everything at home already.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this TikTok feta pasta:
- 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 – a whole block of feta is the best option. Crumbled feta is fine in a pinch, but it doesn’t melt as well as a block of feta does.
- 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 brings a lot of salt to the mix. You may find you don’t need any extra at all.
How to Make TikTok Feta Pasta
There are only a few steps for this dish, which is why it’s so popular.
All you need to do is add a few things to a baking dish, cook the pasta, then mix it all together.
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 more minutes. The goal is for the tomatoes to burst!
4. Cook the pasta to al dente.
Just follow the package instructions, but remove the pot from the heat 1 minute before the prescribed length of cooking.
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 that raw edge of the garlic.
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 and 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!
Tips and Tricks for the Best Feta Pasta
- Use a baking dish that’s big enough to fit all the ingredients – pasta included. At the same time, though, you’ll want to ensure the tomatoes are crowded together, so they smush and confit while baking.
- I like to use a short dish with tall sides. That way, the feta and tomatoes can cook properly, and I can stir everything without it spilling out of the top.
- Save some of the pasta water just in case the sauce turns out dry. You can’t know exactly how juicy the tomatoes are, so it’s best to be ready with water.
- You’ll need water to help loosen the sauce, but not tap water.
- The pasta water is warm and will keep the sauce thick, thanks to the starch from the pasta.
- Be generous with the olive oil. It’s the key to making the sauce incredibly rich and thick.
- Don’t overcook the pasta. If you want the noodles firm and chewy, undercook them for 1 minute. They’ll continue to soften as you toss them in the sauce.
- Timing is key – you’ll want the pasta to be cooked around the same time as the feta and tomatoes. This way, the pasta is still warm and won’t clump together when it’s time to toss it in the sauce.
- This recipe uses only a handful of ingredients, so you’ll want them to be as fresh as possible. For example, use fresh cherry tomatoes instead of canned ones. The same goes for basil and garlic. Use extra virgin olive oil, as well. Trust me; it tastes so much better than regular olive oil.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When you reheat, add a splash of water to the bowl.
- If the cherry tomatoes made the sauce way too tart, add a little bit of 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 add sweetness to the sauce.
- There’s no one perfect shape of pasta for this recipe. Any kind works – penne, spaghetti, fettuccine, rotini, rigatoni, campanelle, you name it.
- You can use crumbled feta in a pinch but do so just as a last resort. Crumbled feta has this powdery coating that tastes a little bit off. Also, blocked feta holds up a lot better to roasting.
- Low-fat feta is okay, too, but don’t expect it to melt as well. It also won’t taste as rich.
- Use goat cheese or cream cheese instead of feta if you don’t like that salty finish. These cheeses’ creaminess is perfect for making a thick and 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.
- Make this dish vegan simply by using vegan feta. Don’t add it until the last 5-10 minutes of baking; otherwise, the cheese will splatter all over the oven.
- Throw your favorite protein into the mix for a heartier meal! 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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