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Baked Feta Pasta

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 Baked feta pasta is a game changer! It’s the perfect combination of tangy cheese, sweet tomatoes, and fresh basil—all in a 30-minute meal that’s a serious upgrade from typical ziti. 

A dish of baked feta pasta, ready to be served.

Baked Feta Pasta (Tik Tok Pasta): The Big, Bold Flavor You Need in Your Life

I have to be honest: I’m kind of a pasta snob.

So when I saw that baked feta pasta was taking over tiktok, I was pretty skeptical. But I do love the combination of feta, tomato, and basil so I figured I’d give it a try one night when I had nothign else planned. 

Now I see why everyone was raving about it!

This recipe is so easy to throw together, you’ll find yourself making it nonstop. It basically requires zero effort or pre-planning. 

There are about a million takes on this recipe all over the internet, from one pot versions to instant pot versions to versions with no tomatoes at all. But my favorite way to make it is to bake the sauce in the oven.

It’s less fussy than cooking it on the stovetop, and the flavors cook down and concentrate more than other methods. Plus the tomatoes get slightly charred and blistered, which is just so good!

What you’ll love about feta pasta: 


  • 6 Ingredient Recipe: This feta and tomato pasta bake is made with simple ingredients that are easy to keep on hand for those nights when you don’t have dinner planned.
  • Versatile: There are so many ways to dress up this pasta based on what you have in stock! (We’ll go over my favorite swaps below.)
  • Hands-Off: The oven does the heavy lifting for this recipe, so you don’t need to spend a ton of time standing over the stove. 
Ingredients needed to make feta pasta include block feta, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil.

Feta Pasta Ingredients

This recipe has so many variations, and it’s super easy to out your own spin on it. But at it’s core, feta pasta includes:

Dried Pasta. I love a fat, tubed pasta with ridges that stand up to this chunky sauce. Ziti or rigatoni are great options! 

Cherry Tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes are small, so they roast quickly and there’s plenty of surface area to get charred and smoky. 

Greek Feta Cheese: Feta makes this recipe what it is, so buy a block of the best Greek feta that you can find. It should be milky and fresh, with just a little salt and a bright, tangy flavor. Don’t use crumbled feta — it won’t melt the same way. 

Fresh Basil. Because there’s nothing quite like it. 

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes. I like to add chili flakes for a pop of heat and more complexity. My favorite are the extra-hot Indian pepper flakes from Penzy’s! 

Dried Italian Seasoning Blend. If yours isn’t heavy enough on the garlic, you can toss a few garlic loves in with the tomatoes. 

Olive Oil.

Ground Black Pepper.

Feta pasta sauce, ready to go into the oven.
Feta pasta sauce after baking, but before mixing.

How to make it:

Place the feta cheese in the middle of a small baking dish and tuck the tomatoes around it. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, freshly ground black pepper, and chili flakes.

Bake until the tomatoes collapse in on themselves and start to char in places. 

Busy Foodie Tip: I like to use my countertop oven to cut down on the preheating process and conserve energy!

While the sauce roasts, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook your pasta. 

Give the sauce a stir. The tomatoes should be so soft and the cheese so melty that everything combines easily into a creamy sauce. 

Stir in the cooked pasta and fresh basil and eat up!

A pot of cooked pasta.

Expert tips and substitutions:

If you don’t have feta cheese, try boursin, chevre (goat cheese) or mascarpone. Any soft, tangy cheese will feel right at home in this recipe! 

No cherry tomatoes? You can use 4-5 larger tomatoes instead. Look for heirloom tomatoes, beefsteaks, or something similar with a firm texture. Cut the tomatoes into 4-6 wedges before cooking. 

No tomatoes at all? Red peppers get roasty in the oven and give the pasta a fun Greek-inspired feel. Note that if you choose to use peppers, the sauce won’t be as juicy.

Add a few cloves of roasted garlic in the the tomatoes while they roast for extra flavor.

If you don’t have fresh basil, you can use 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried basil or Italian seasoning. 

For more protein, stir in leftover cooked chicken or shrimp or mix in a can of flaked tuna (I like tuna packed in olive oil, not water, for the best flavor).  

For an extra boost of veggies, stir in a few cups of baby spinach along with the basil at the end. Let it sit for a few minutes to wilt. if you have any air fryer broccoli around, that also makes a great addition! 

Skip the pasta, and serve this feta-tomato sauce over zucchini noodles, orzo, or gnocchi. It’s also great spooned over grilled chicken or fish!

Overhead view of a baking pan filled with feta pasta.

Frequently asked questions about feta pasta

Can I make this ahead of time?

Leftovers will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge, but I’m not a huge fan of reheated pasta. The texture is never right. You can make the sauce ahead of time and refrigerate it or freeze it, but the beauty of this recipe is that it’s so simple you really don’t need to plan ahead. 

Can I use crumbled feta?

Please don’t. It gets dried out and doesn’t melt into the creamy, luscious sauce that we want. Save the feta crumbles for your salads.

My sauce is really thick. Is that right?

This sauce should be fairly chunky and thick, but the texture will vary depending on how juicy your tomatoes are and what brand of feta you use. If you want a thinner sauce, stir in 1-2 Tablespoons of starchy water from your pasta pot.

Other pasta recipes you might like:

eating a portion of baked feta pasta.
feta pasta recipe.

Baked Feta Pasta

An easy pasta sauce made with tangy feta and juicy tomatoes makes a simple yet delicious weeknight meal. Serve this pasta with a big spinach salad to break up the richness!
5
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 608 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 7 ounces block-style feta cheese
  • 1 ½ teaspoons crushed red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
  • 8 ounces dried tube shaped pasta like rigatoni or ziti
  • ¼ cup fresh basil torn

Instructions
 

  • Heat your oven to 400° F.
  • Lightly coat the inside of a baking dish with a drizzle of oil. Place the block of feta in the center of the dish; arrange the tomatoes around the cheese. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes collapse in on themselves and begin to char.
  • While the sauce bakes, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain.
  • Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and give the sauce of a good stir. Everything should break down easily to form a thick, chunky sauce. Drain the pasta and add the the sauce.
  • Mix in the fresh basil and serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 608kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 16gFat: 39gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 586mgPotassium: 487mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1017IUVitamin C: 34mgCalcium: 276mgIron: 2mg
Love this recipe?Mention @TheBusyFoodieLauren or tag #busyfoodie!
By on July 8th, 2022
lauren

Hi, I'm Lauren!

I love to cook -- but even more importantly, I really like to eat! I have a demanding day job that keeps me busy, so time is precious. I'm a culinary school graduate and five-time cookbook author who's all about finding ways to make delicious, restaurant-quality meals at home on a tight schedule. Read more...

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