If you are looking for an easy weeknight meal, then look further than this Baked Feta Pasta!
It’s so easy and seriously good! No wonder that it’s everywhere on the social media these days. The original recipe is made with tomatoes only but I added some veggies and seasoning to make it more adaptable to my palate.
These days there’s always a new recipe trending on social media. Whether it was the dalgona coffee or the tortilla hack or the baked feta pasta now!
I first learned of this dish from Feel Good Foodie who in turn learned it from Grilled Cheese Social. This recipe originally became popular in Finland through these bloggers- Liemessa and Tiiu (who shared it originally). There are stories that the grocery stores in Finland ran out of feta cheese because of this recipe!
Now, I don’t know how true that story is but I had to try it out to see what the hype is all about. Several years ago when I first tasted feta cheese, I didn’t like it all.
But now I actually love it especially in my salads and also over my garlic fries, yum! So I was more than excited to give this viral recipe a try.
Let’s see how we make this and what are my final thoughts on this viral baked feta pasta recipe.
So the original recipe that went viral calls for a handful of ingredients but I added some extra ingredients to make it more suitable for my taste.
Cherry/Grape tomatoes: this is one of the key ingredients of this recipe. The cherry tomatoes burst in the oven and form the base of the pasta sauce.
Not to mention, the roasted tomatoes taste so good. Do not substitute with canned tomatoes here, you want to use either cherry or grape tomatoes.
Onions & Peppers: the original recipe doesn’t have these 2 ingredients but we love onions and peppers in my house so I had to add these. I thought they went so well in this pasta and added to texture and flavor.
Feta cheese: you want to use a block of feta cheese in this recipe since that melts better and give the sauce that creamy consistency. You may be able to use crumbled feta but the block will give creamier results.
Pasta: I used elbow pasta but any kind of pasta should work here.
Herbs & seasonings: the original recipe uses just salt, pepper and fresh basil but I added Italian seasoning, oregano, chili flakes and of course lots of fresh basil. I also use lots of fresh garlic which I roasted in the oven along with the cheese, tomatoes.
Olive oil: you do need a good quality extra-virgin olive oil for this recipe. The flavor of the sauce will depend on the olive oil too, so make sure to use a good one. Also don’t skimp on the olive-oil here, you need it!
So I made this pasta the other day for dinner and here’s what I think of it!
Taste: really good! Of course you have to enjoy the taste of feta cheese in order to enjoy this pasta. Sarvesh is not a fan of feta cheese as such but even he ate this pasta for lunch. So, that says something!
The sweet tomatoes, the creamy feta, fresh basil it all comes together in the pasta so make it taste really fresh without a ton of ingredients.
Ease: honestly can’t be easier to make. I did add some onions and peppers which took like 2 to 3 minutes to prep.
But if you skip on those there’s no prep time. You boil the pasta and chop the basil while the cheese and tomatoes are roasting in the oven and then you just mix everything together.
It’s perfect to make for an easy weeknight dinner.
My pasta was quite creamy and nice because I used a lot of olive oil. If you want to cut down on the oil, please reserve some of the pasta water and you can add that to the dish if it appears little dry after mixing everything.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I add more veggies to it?
Yes, you can but I think onions and peppers work best here. Mushrooms can work but they would release a lot of moisture so I wouldn’t recommend them in this recipe.
Broccoli can work, add it to the baking dish for the last 15-20 minutes only
Can this be made with crumbled feta?
Yes, but block of feta gives better results. You can make it with crumbled feta, use the same amount, place it in the center.
Can you make this vegan?
I have not tried but you can use vegan feta and see how it works.
It would probably need less time in the oven though.
Can I use any other pasta for this recipe?
Sure, any pasta should be fine here.
Pre-heat oven to 400 F degrees.
1- To a baking dish (mine is 3 qt 12.5″ x 8.25″), add cherry or grape tomatoes, followed by sliced red pepper, onion and garlic.
2- Add 1/4 cup olive oil.
3- Then add all the seasonings- Italian seasoning, dried oregano, red chili flakes, salt and black pepper.
4- Mix it all together and then create some space in the center of the baking dish and place a block of feta cheese. Drizzle the block of feta with the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil.
Bake at 400 F degrees for 35 minutes. Meanwhile boil the pasta according to instructions on the package and set aside.
5- Take the baking dish out of the oven. The tomatoes would have burst by now releasing all the beautiful flavor and the cheese will be super melt-y.
6- Take a spatula and mash the cheese and mix everything together. Mash the garlic cloves.
7- Add in the boiled pasta and mix until it’s all well combined.
8- Stir in 1/3 cup of chopped fresh basil and mix.
Top with more fresh basil and serve the baked feta pasta warm!