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Is this baked feta pasta recipe the latest TikTok sensation or just a crazy delicious, insanely easy dinner? It’s both! Tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and a whole block of feta cheese are baked until sizzling, melty, and saucy and then tossed with pasta for a quick meal. And the whole internet has gone bananas for it.
If you’re on any social media—Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, etc.—I’m sure you’ve seen someone posting a version of this Baked Tomato and Feta Pasta recipe and bragging about how good it is. And they’re not lying to you.
Juicy tomatoes coated in olive oil go into a baking dish along with garlic and herbs. I add a handful of Kalamata olives and sliced fresh hot chile peppers, too.
Next, nestle a whole block of feta cheese into the center of the baking dish. Pop it in the oven and bake until the tomatoes burst and release their juicy goodness and the cheese gets all melty and toasty on top.
Cook some pasta while the tomatoes and cheese are baking. Before you know it, you’ll be eating a plate of creamy, dreamy, tangy, saucy, spicy, scrumptious pasta.
And then you’ll finally understand why the internet has lost its mind over this meal.
Where did this magical dinner idea come from?
The trend was launched by Finnish blogger Liemessa. She called it uunifetapasta, which means oven-baked feta pasta.
Her blog is in Finnish, so I can’t read it, but one look at her gorgeous photos and you’ll be dying to try this pasta dish, too.
Rumor has it that the recipe has been so popular in Finland that they’ve actually had a shortage of feta cheese.
What ingredients do you need to make this baked Tomato feta pasta recipe?
The basic recipe only requires a handful of ingredients:
- Feta cheese
- Olive oil
- Herbs of your choosing (ideally fresh, but dried will do in a pinch)
I like to add a few additional ingredients for even more flavor:
- Kalamata olives
- Fresh garlic
- Fresh hot chiles or red pepper flakes
How do you make it?
This vegetarian pasta dish is SO EASY. Seriously. So. Easy. Here’s what you do:
- Toss tomatoes (and olives and garlic if using) with olive oil in a baking dish.
- Add a block of feta to the center of the dish and drizzle with a bit more olive oil.
- Add fresh or dried herbs, chile peppers or crushed red pepper, and a generous sprinkling of freshly ground pepper and salt.
- Put the whole thing in the oven and bake until the tomatoes burst open and the juices sizzle and reduce. The cheese will be melty and lusciously browned on top.
- Cook pasta while the dish is in the oven.
- Toss the cooked pasta with the tomatoes and cheese.
- Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs, if desired.
- Lose your mind over the deliciousness.
- Post about it on social media and give your friends a serious dose of dinner FOMO.
Is it worth the hype?
I’m not one to jump on trendy recipes just for the trendiness, but I have to admit, this baked feta pasta recipe is a rare gem.
The tomatoes burst open and release their juice, which melds with the sizzling toasted cheese. The whole thing turns into a hot, melty, cheesy, creamy, tart, salty, herby, and slightly spicy sauce.
What more could you possibly want?
What are some variations to this baked feta pasta recipe?
There are so many ways you can vary this dish. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Use your own homemade pasta to make this dish!
- If you don’t like feta (or can’t find it because everyone and their cousin is making this dish!), use another type of cheese. Try goat cheese, brie, burrata, Camembert, Boursin, or another cheese you love.
- Throw in a few handfuls of baby spinach along with the cooked pasta. Delicate baby spinach will wilt from the heat of the sauce and pasta, so there’s no need to cook it separately.
- Add some peeled and deveined prawns to the baking dish about 10 minutes before you take it out of the oven.
- Add a can of chickpeas along with the tomatoes.
- Instead of mincing the garlic, throw whole, unpeeled cloves in with the tomatoes. They’ll get all nice and caramelized, sweet, and meltingly soft. Pop them out of their skins and mash them into the cheese when you mix it up.
- Use gluten-free pasta.
- Make a keto baked feta pasta version the way my friend Jenn did on her blog Keto Cooking Wins.
- Toss in some shredded cooked chicken or flaked salmon for some extra protein.
- Make it vegan by using dairy-free cheese like Violife Just Like Feta.
- Add sliced mushrooms along with the tomatoes.
- Or substitute mushrooms for the tomatoes!
- Add a splash of wine along with the olive oil.
- Spoon some Harissa Paste on top.
- Drizzle a bit of honey over the top when you take it out of the oven for a nice sweet counterpoint to the salty feta, tangy tomatoes, and spicy chiles.
- Sprinkle toasted pine nuts over the top.
Seriously, there are endless ways you could add your own twist to this dish. I don’t think you can go wrong. You can only increase its magical tastebud satisfying powers.
More great summer recipes you’ll love
- Mexican Corn Salad
- Zucchini Salad with Almonds and Corn
- Fried Green Tomato Fritters
- Quick Pickled Turmeric Tomatoes
- Thai Chicken Satay
Baked Feta Pasta
- 1 ½ pounds cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes 1 8-ounce block feta cheese
- ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
- 1 hot red chili sliced (or substitute ½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper)
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Kosher salt
- 8 ounces uncooked pasta see note to choose the best pasta shape
- Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
- Fresh basil julienned, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Put the tomatoes, olives, chile pepper, garlic, and oregano in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Toss to coat the tomatoes with the oil.
- Make a space in the center of the pan for the block of feta. Plop the feta in there and then spread the tomatoes out in a single layer around it. Drizzle the remaining teaspoon of oil over the top of the feta.
- Grind a generous amount of pepper over the whole thing, especially over the cheese (if using crushed red pepper in place of the fresh chile pepper, add it now). Sprinkle some salt over the tomatoes.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes have burst open, the cheese is melty-and browned on top, and the whole thing is sizzling and bubbling.
- While the cheese and tomatoes are in the oven, cook the pasta according to the package directions and then drain.
- After pulling the baking dish out of the oven, smash up the cheese a bit with a spoon and then toss everything together to combine well. Add the pasta and mix well.
- Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and basil, if desired, and serve hot.