Baked Feta Pasta
Baked feta pasta is a simple recipe made by oven roasting a block of feta cheese with cherry tomatoes to create a salty and cheesy sauce!
For an easy weeknight pasta dish that’s fuss free and flavorful, you have to check out this baked feta pasta with bursting cherry tomatoes. The dish is pretty much hands-off, and all the magic happens in the oven. Made with just a handful of ingredients, it’s no wonder this dish went viral in Finland and is now called Tik Tok Pasta!
- ▢8 ounces dried cavatappi pasta or pasta of choice
- ▢2 pints cherry tomatoes
- ▢8- ounce block feta cheese
- ▢½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ▢¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ▢¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ▢2 garlic cloves minced
- ▢¼ cup packed chopped fresh basil plus more for serving
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the cherry tomatoes in an oven-safe baking dish. Pour the olive oil on top, and season with salt and pepper. Toss until well combined.
- Place the feta block in the middle of the baking dish surrounded by the cherry tomatoes, and flip a couple times to coat it with the olive oil and seasoning.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, until the cherry tomatoes burst, and the feta cheese melts.
- While the tomatoes and feta are baking, cook the pasta in a pot of salted water according to package instructions until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid in case you’d like to toss it in.
- Immediately add the garlic and basil leaves to the cooked tomatoes and feta and toss everything to combine.
- Transfer the cooked pasta to the baking dish and toss to combine. Garnish with more fresh basil and serve warm.
Recipe: I learned about this recipe idea from Grilled Cheese Social, and this is based on her version.
Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 3-4 days in the fridge.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.
- Instead of cavatappi pasta, you can use any pasta or make it with gluten-free pasta
- Instead of cherry tomatoes, you can use regular whole tomatoes or even canned diced tomatoes, but cherry tomatoes have the best flavor here.
Calories: 429kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 34mg, Sodium: 539mg, Potassium: 457mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 932IU, Vitamin C: 36mg, Calcium: 214mg, Iron: 2mg
INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Tomatoes: Opt for cherry or grape tomatoes for this recipe. Their small size means optimal flavor, and the presentation of the tomatoes when they burst is just stunning.
- Feta Cheese: Use a block of feta cheese for best results. That’s because the block is less processed and will give a more melty consistency when baked.
- Pasta: You can use any pasta you’d like or even make this with gluten-free pasta.
- Seasoning & Herbs: You’ll need olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and basil. Play around with the seasoning and herbs if you’d like. You can try using some fresh oregano, fresh thyme or switching the fresh garlic for roasted garlic.
HOW TO MAKE BAKED FETA PASTA
- Using a baking dish that’s safe for the oven like this one, add the tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix to combine.
- Add the block of feta cheese to the center of the baking dish, and either flip it around a couple times to coat it with the olive oil and seasoning, or just add a touch more olive oil and a couple cracks of fresh black pepper.
- Bake it in the oven until the tomatoes burst and the feta looks melted (and your house smells heavenly!)
- As soon as it comes out of the oven, add some fresh minced garlic and fresh basil leaves.
- Mix it around immediately so that the garlic softens from the heat in the dish.
- Add cooked pasta on top and give everything a stir. The feta and tomatoes will essentially create a sauce for the pasta.
TIPS FOR MAKING BAKED FETA PASTA
- Use the freshest ingredients possible. With such minimal ingredients, I highly recommend using fresh cherry tomatoes (not canned diced tomatoes), fresh basil, and fresh minced garlic. And extra virgin olive oil makes all the difference here – it’s essentially what makes up the sauce!
- Save the pasta water. Whenever I cook pasta, I like to save ½ a cup of pasta water just in case the pasta dish comes out dry. I didn’t use it here, but you can certainly add it if you feel the baked feta pasta needs more sauce. And in general, it will help the sauce be more smooth and creamy.
- Crowd the baking dish with the cherry tomatoes. The rule with roasting cherry tomatoes is if you want them saucy, crowed the pan; if you want them dry roasted, place in a single layer to allow for air circulation. We want saucy here, and I found than an 8″x11″ baking dish works perfectly!
- Increase the heat for blistered tomatoes. You can set the oven to broil for 2 minutes at the end or turn the temperature to 450°F during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- Try it on the stovetop. You can cook this on the stovetop over medium-low heat like I did in this Instagram video. It takes only 10 minutes and pretty similar results.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can you make this with crumbled feta cheese?
Yes, it will still work with crumbled feta, make sure to keep the feta stacked in the middle so that it creates a melty consistency together.
Can you make this with any other type of cheese?
Yes, I tried it with goat cheese and it creates a creamy perfect texture, but cook time may be less depending on how large the block of cheese is. I’ve also heard success using high quality full fat ricotta.
What is the best type of pasta to use in this reicpe?
I have seen this made with penne, spaghetti, bow-tie and the works. I really don’t think there’s a wrong shape of pasta to use. However, I do like something with curves or edges so that the sauce can cling on to more of the pasta.
How long does this keep?
This pasta is best served straight out of the baking dish. If you have any leftovers, you can keep them in an airtight container in the fridge to enjoy within the next couple days.