Baked Feta Pasta

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Baked Feta Pasta is a pasta dish made with creamy, tomato-feta cheese based sauce. This luscious, flavorful pasta dish is easy to make, uses handful of ingredients, and comes together in under 30 minutes. Perfect for weeknight dinners or even for that special date night!

 

Baked Feta Pasta

 

BAKED FETA PASTA

It’s quite interesting how social media plays an important role in our lives these days. I was talking to my son the other day about the latest trends, last year Dalgona coffee went viral, than Tortilla wrap hack and now baked feta pasta.

I first learned about this dish through internet, social media. It was one of the viral recipe on Tik Tok. I heard this recipe originally became popular in Finland through some bloggers. There were some stories about the grocery stores in Finland that they were out of feta cheese due to this viral recipe.

Well, I don’t know how true these stories are, but my kids love pasta. Therefore, I decided to give this recipe a try. So, here I am sharing my version of this baked feta pasta. I tried to keep it simple and used the ingredients easily available at my grocery store. I have also shared some variations to this recipe in this blog post.

Like most Italian pasta dishes, basic ingredients tomatoes, garlic, cheese, and some herbs. Baked feta pasta uses cherry or grape tomatoes, feta cheese and some oregano, lots of fresh basil. Sauce is freshly made using cherry or grape tomatoes, and feta cheese. This creamy, luscious sauce is tossed with some cooked pasta, flavored with some fresh basil, and you have it my friends, an easy, delicious baked feta pasta. This is one perfect dish that is low on effort but high on flavors. Perfect for weeknight dinners or even for that special date night!

Hope you give this recipe a try, if you do, please tag me on Instagram @livingsmartandhealthy or on Facebook @livingsmartandhealthy. Love to see your creation of this recipe!

INGREDIENTS FOR BAKED FETA PASTA

8 oz. pasta of choice ** recipe uses large shells pasta

8 oz. block feta cheese

2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes; 20-24 oz. approx.

6-8 garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 lemon, zest + juice (optional)

1/3 cup olive oil; **reserve 1 tbsp. oil

1 1/2 teaspoon oregano or Italian seasoning; **reserve 1/4 tsp oregano

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes, adjust to taste

salt & pepper, adjust to taste

Handful of fresh basil, chopped; plus more for garnish

Pic Shown: Baked Feta Pasta

 

Baked Feta Pasta

 

HOW TO MAKE BAKED FETA PASTA

With just a handful of ingredients and in under 30 minutes, you can make this flavor bursting, creamy, luscious, baked feta pasta. This recipe calls for basic ingredients cherry or grape tomatoes, feta cheese, pasta, olive oil and some herbs. However, feel free to add veggies, herbs, or protein of your choice, to amp up the dish. Please refer to the post below for more variations to this easy pasta dish.

DIRECTIONS FOR BAKED FETA PASTA

Pre-heat oven at 400 F.

In a baking dish, add cherry tomatoes, crushed garlic.

Note: I used 9 ” x 13 ” baking dish.

Toss the tomatoes with olive oil, spices – oregano, red chili flakes, salt and pepper to taste.

Make some space in the center of the baking dish, place block of feta cheese. Drizzle reserved 1 tbsp. of olive oil, oregano, red chili flakes.

Bake at 400 F for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, turn the oven to “BROIL” setting and broil it for 3-5 minutes or until the feta cheese is slightly brown.

 

 

In the meantime, cook pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid for later use.

 

 

Remove the tomatoes from the oven. With a help of a spatula or a fork, mash all the cheese, tomatoes and garlic. Combine everything into a nice sauce.

Toss in cooked pasta, basil, lemon zest (optional), and combine everything together. Add cooking pasta water as needed to adjust the consistency of the sauce.

Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice (optional), mix and cover the baking dish with some foil. Allow the pasta to rest for 5 minutes before serving. This will ensure that the pasta soaks up all the beautiful flavors from the sauce.

Garnish with some more basil, and serve baked feta pasta warm. Bon-Appetit!!

 

 

Pic Shown: Baked Feta Pasta

 

Baked Feta Pasta

 

HOW TO COOK PASTA IN INSTANT POT

Add pasta and water to the inner pot. Make sure the pasta is covered fully into the water.

Note: Add enough water to fully cover the pasta. **recipe uses 3 cups of water

Close the Instant Pot lid, vent sealed. Turn ON MANUAL / PRESSURE COOK (high) for 4 minutes.

Note: Reduce the cooking time to “HALF” what is recommend on the box of the pasta, followed by a quick pressure release.

Once the Instant Pot beeps, do a quick pressure release. Open the lid.

Drain the pasta and keep it aside. Reserve some cooking pasta water for later use.

Pic Shown: Baked Feta Pasta

 

Baked Feta Pasta

 

PRO TIPS FOR BEST BAKED FETA PASTA

I think two ingredients in this dish tomatoes and feta cheese is what makes this pasta so delicious. Sweetness from the cherry tomatoes and saltiness from the feta, add a unique flavor to the sauce, thus making this pasta absolutely yummy!!

Preferred cherry or grape tomatoes, due to it sweet flavor. However, you can also use salad tomatoes, which are less tart as compared to other varieties of tomatoes and can be substituted in this recipe.
Block feta cheese is what I would recommend. Substitute for feta cheese would be goat cheese, ricotta cheese.

Ear shaped pasta or flat pasta such as Conchigliette (shells), Orecchiette, Farfalle make a great candidate for this recipe, as those little nooks catch so much sauce. However, feel free to use pasta of your choice, cook it as per package directions.

Cooking pasta can be very tricky, specially in an Instant pot (pressure cooker). Here’s how I cook pasta in Instant pot.

For Instant pot cooking, add enough water to cover the pasta. Reduce the cooking time to “HALF” what is recommend on the box of the pasta, followed by a quick pressure release.

I do not recommend using broth for this recipe, unless the broth you are using has no added sodium (salt) in it. Since, feta cheese is heavily salted, try to avoid any additional sodium.

Normally, I add salt while cooking pasta. However, for this recipe, I did not add any salt while cooking pasta, as the feta is quite salty, and adding salt to pasta would just make it way more saltier. Please feel free to add salt as per liking.

Reserve some of the cooking pasta water, to adjust the consistency of the pasta. Pasta thickens over the period of time.

Instead of adding whole garlic cloves, add crushed garlic cloves. Garlic when cooked, it caramelizes beautifully and adds a ton of flavor to this dish. I used a whole bulb of garlic in this recipe, add as per your liking.

Herbs, and spices enhance the flavor of this dish. Feel free to add herbs of your choice. Fresh or dry herbs such as Thyme, oregano or Italian seasoning add great flavor to this recipe.

I like to add some crushed red chili flakes or a pinch of cayenne pepper for some heat and additional flavor.

While baking the tomatoes, and feta cheese, imparts nice flavor to this dish. I like to take it a step further and broil them at the end, just for couple of minutes. I think the charred tomatoes, and feta cheese add such a depth of flavor.

Consistency of the sauce is quite creamy, use the reserve cooked pasta water to adjust to the desired consistency.

Lemon juice and lemon zest are optional. However, I think it helps balance the sweet flavor from the tomatoes, and saltiness from the feta cheese. It also adds nice refreshing flavor to this dish.

Use a good quality extra-virgin olive oil. Olive oil adds a nice flavor and creaminess to the sauce.

Pic Shown: Baked Feta Pasta

 

Baked Feta Pasta

 

VARIATIONS TO BAKED FETA PASTA

PROTEIN – Add some shrimp or chicken, great way to add some protein into your diet. You can add pre-cooked chicken breasts or some shredded chicken. You can also sauté shrimp or chicken in a pan, and add it to the cooked pasta.

VEGGIES – Sometimes, I also like to include some veggies such as bell peppers, onions, broccoli, mushrooms for some added flavor. Add sliced veggies, along with tomatoes and bake.

Feel free to use veggies of your choice. I like to rotate the veggies in the pasta, thus enjoying the flavors and nutritional values of different veggies.

LEAFY GREENS – leafy greens add a punch of flavor and nutritional value. You can add kale, or spinach.

Add the greens at the end. It takes only couple of minutes for greens to cook. I toss in greens with cooked pasta, residual heat from pasta is good enough to cook the greens.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT TOMATOES TO USE

Cherry or grape tomatoes are preferred in this recipe, as they are sweet. However, any mild variety, that is less acidic, can be used in this recipe.

SUBSTITUTE FOR FETA

The dish is named after this cheese – FETA 🙂 If you don’t like the taste of feta or not available, you can use some goat cheese, ricotta cheese, or cottage cheese instead of FETA.

TYPE OF PASTA

Ear shaped pasta or flat pasta such as Conchigliette (shells), Orecchiette, Farfalle make a great candidate for this recipe, as those little nooks catch so much sauce. However, feel free to use pasta of your choice, cook it as per package directions.

FOR GLUTEN-FREE PASTA

Instead of regular pasta, use gluten-free pasta. Follow the recipe as discussed.

VEGAN BAKED FETA PASTA

Sorry, I have not tried this recipe with vegan cheese.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS FOR PASTA

Serve this Baked Feta Pasta with some salad and some crusty bread.

HOW TO STORE PASTA

Pasta stays good for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Store it in a clean, glass container. Re-heat the pasta in the microwave. Add a splash of water and microwave it for a minute or so. Baked Feta Pasta is ready to be devoured!

Pic Shown: Baked Feta Pasta

 

Baked Feta Pasta

 

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SOME MORE PASTA RECIPES FROM BLOG!! 

PENNE ALLA VODKA

BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA

MUSHROOM PASTA

MARINARA SAUCE WITH FRESH TOMATOES 

 

Baked Feta Pasta

Baked Feta Pasta is a pasta dish made with creamy, tomato-feta cheese based sauce. This luscious, flavorful pasta dish is easy to make, uses handful of ingredients, and comes together in under 30 minutes. 
Course Main Course, Main Dish/Entrees
Cuisine Italian
Keyword baked feta pasta, baked pasta, easy recipes, easy weeknight dinners, instant pot pasta, pasta recipes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author Jyoti Behrani

Ingredients

INGREDIENTS FOR BAKED FETA PASTA

  • 8 oz. pasta of choice ** recipe uses large shells pasta
  • 8 oz. block feta cheese
  • 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes; 20-24 oz. approx.
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 lemon zest + juice (optional)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil; **reserve 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon oregano or Italian seasoning; **reserve 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes, adjust to taste
  • salt & pepper, adjust to taste
  • Handful of fresh basil chopped; plus more for garnish

Instructions

DIRECTIONS FOR BAKED FETA PASTA

  • Pre-heat oven at 400 F.
  • In a baking dish, add cherry tomatoes, crushed garlic.
    Note: I used 9 ” x 13 ” baking dish.
  • Toss the tomatoes with olive oil, spices – oregano, red chili flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Make some space in the center of the baking dish, place block of feta cheese. Drizzle reserved 1 tbsp. of olive oil, oregano, red chili flakes.
  • Bake at 400 F for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, turn the oven to “BROIL” setting and broil it for 3-5 minutes or until the feta cheese is slightly brown.
  • In the meantime, cook pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid for later use.
  • Remove the tomatoes from the oven. With a help of a spatula or a fork, mash all the cheese, tomatoes and garlic. Combine everything into a nice sauce.
  • Toss in cooked pasta, basil, lemon zest (optional), and combine everything together. Add cooking pasta water as needed to adjust the consistency of the sauce.
  • Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice (optional), mix and cover the baking dish with some foil. Allow the pasta to rest for 5 minutes before serving. This will ensure that the pasta soaks up all the beautiful flavors from the sauce.
  • Garnish with some more basil, and serve baked feta pasta warm. Bon-Appetit!!

HOW TO COOK PASTA IN INSTANT POT

  • Add pasta and water to the inner pot. Make sure the pasta is covered fully into the water.
    Note: Add enough water to fully cover the pasta. **recipe uses 3 cups of water
  • Close the Instant Pot lid, vent sealed. Turn ON MANUAL / PRESSURE COOK (high) for 4 minutes.
    Note: Reduce the cooking time to “HALF” what is recommend on the box of the pasta, followed by a quick pressure release.
  • Once the Instant Pot beeps, do a quick pressure release. Open the lid.
  • Drain the pasta and keep it aside. Reserve some cooking pasta water for later use.

Video

Notes

Please refer to the recipe post for the following:
  1. PRO TIPS FOR BEST BAKED FETA PASTA
  2. VARIATIONS TO BAKED FETA PASTA
  3. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Jyoti Behrani

Hello!! Welcome to my blog, my journey Living Smart and Healthy! Cook with me easy and authentic Indian food and around the globe. Will be sharing tips and tricks on easy authentic cooking, without spending hours in the kitchen or comprising on authentic flavors. Keeping things simple and healthy is what I am all about. Life is simple, so lets keep cooking simple too!!

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