Tanya had found this Baked Feta Pasta recipe by total accident, but we decided we HAD to make it. How could we not?! We adore feta, cherry tomatoes, and pasta. In addition, the garlic and basil definitely helped as well.
The online popularity of the Baked Feta Pasta
The recipe has been going around on the web since 2019, but actually originated in Finland in 2018. Because of social media such as Tok Tok, this Baked Feta Pasta has gained in popularity. Now, in the last few months, it seems to be everywhere.
The variations of this flexible Baked Feta Pasta recipe.
Now, we didn’t follow the actual recipe as far as flavors because we left out the red pepper chili flakes. However, upon googling the dish, there are at least a dozen different varieties that have shown up.
So, with that in mind, we did the basic recipe, then added a couple of things to brighten it up. This recipe is very flexible and most added ingredients or spices seem to pair well. This is where you can adjust the spices and ingredients to fit your tastes.
We are loving this recipe and have made it for ourselves at least three times. The flavors of the feta, tomatoes, garlic, and lemon zest pair well with the Cavatappi pasta. The Cavatappi pasta is a corkscrew type of pasta that is excellent at trapping all the spices and flavors within its spirals.
Want to know more about this interesting pasta? Check it out here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cavatappi
Let’s get started on how to make this dish!
Preheat oven to 400 F. In a 13×9 baking dish, add in about 2 1/2 cups of cherry tomatoes. Pour just under 1/2 cup of olive oil on the tomatoes, and make sure they are fully coated. It seems like a lot of oil, but as the tomatoes roast, they turn into a tomato confit, which is what makes the sauce.
Make an opening in the middle, and nestle the block of Feta in there. Pour the rest of the olive oil over the top of the cheese. Place the pan in the oven at 400 F. and just leave it alone for 45 minutes.
We used a full fat feta, but you could certainly use part skim. The sauce may not be as creamy, though. And, we chose to bake it for 45 minutes, vs the 35 to 40 on other recipes, because we really wanted the tomatoes to reach full sweetness, and for the top of the feta to brown just a bit.
At this time, we diced up 4 large garlic cloves, and rolled up about a cup of basil leaves and sliced them. We also had some baby spinach in the fridge, along with a lemon, which is where some added brightness comes in.
Have about a cup of spinach washed and patted dry, for when this dish is put together. Zest the entire lemon, and have it ready as well.
About 10 minutes before the timer goes off for the feta, have some pasta water going. We used just under a pound of Cavatappi cut pasta. The shape of the Cavatappi really holds the sauce well. Cook the pasta til al dente.
Reserve a cup of the pasta water before you drain the pasta. This will help to make the feta a bit creamier.
As soon as the feta and tomatoes come out of the oven, pour in the pasta and garlic. Toss thoroughly, using 1/2 of the pasta water. If it not creamy enough, or seems a bit dry for your taste, go ahead and add more water. We used just over 1/2 cup.
Next, add in the basil and spinach. We add them at the end, so that both retain their beautiful color and fresh flavor. Toss in the lemon zest, and give it another good toss.
Wrap up and conclusion
We fell in love with this baked feta pasta recipe. The flavor and texture is amazing. The blend of feta, slightly crunchy garlic, baked sweet cherry tomatoes combined with the fresh flavor of basil and spinach are superb! This dish can be garnished with crumbled feta, chopped basil and a sprinkle of lemon zest if desired.
Love pasta? check out our other pasta recipes like Easy Creamy Parmesan Lemon Pasta, One Pot Savory Ricotta Pasta, Baked Spaghetti Casserole, and Makeover Four Cheese Chicken Fettuccine just to name a few.
Leave a comment and let us know if you have tried this internet sensation!
The Morgan Sisters
Baked Feta Pasta
Course: DinnerCuisine: FinlandDifficulty: Easy
Baked Feta Pasta seems to be all the rage and rightfully so! The textures & flavors of the feta, tomatoes, lemon and herbs with Cavatappi pasta is a big hit!
2 1/2 cups of cherry tomatoes, about 2 containers from the produce dept.
1 block of Feta cheese, can be plain or flavored. We used Peppercorn Feta.
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup of pasta water
12 to 14 oz of Cavatappi pasta, or cut you prefer, cooked and drained.
2/3 cup of sliced basil
4-5 large cloves of garlic, roughly diced.
1 cup baby spinach, washed and patted dry
Zest of 1 large lemon
- Please read directions all the way through, before making.
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
Place all of the tomatoes into a 9×13 inch baking dish. Pour in just under the 1/2 cup of olive oil, and make sure all of the tomatoes are coated.
- Make a hole in the middle of the tomatoes, and place the block of Feta in the middle. Top the Feta with the remaining olive oil. Place uncovered in the oven and bake for 45 minutes at 400 F
- About 15 minutes before the timer goes off for the Feta, start the pasta. Make sure to save 1 cup of the water before draining.
- Remove the Feta and tomatoes from the oven, and add the garlic and pasta. Toss thoroughly, adding about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. If it still seems a bit dry for your taste, add in more water, until it reaches consistency you like. Add in the spinach, basil and lemon zest, toss to combine.
- Serve with a light salad, or like we did, in a bowl with some crusty bread. Garnish with more Feta crumbles, lemon zest, and/or basil if you like. Enjoy!!!!
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