6 ways to make TikTok’s baked feta pasta trend

Every so often a new viral trend takes over, these days usually spawned or at least propelled by TikTok. And with the nation still under its third countrywide lockdown due to the pandemic, food-based trends are taking hold once more.

You’ll remember all the loaves of banana bread that were baked back in March and April last year, then the cinnamon rolls of November/December. And while Waitrose predicted these three bakes would trend during lockdown 3.0, thanks to the internet a surprising new foodie creation is doing the rounds: baked feta pasta.

baked feta pasta
Jenni Häyrinen

You’ve likely already seen videos on Instagram, Twitter and, of course, TikTok, of people making this quick and easy meal. The original recipe was first created and shared online by Finnish food blogger Jenni Häyrinen in 2019, and it quickly went viral.

‘The feta cheese sales went up 300 % here, the shops were running out of baked feta pasta ingredients and by this date the original uunifetapasta recipe post has over 2.7 million views. Finland has 5.5 million inhabitants, to put things into perspective,’ she wrote on her blog.

And now the same thing is happening here in the UK, as the recipe enjoys an international resurgence. So what exactly is it?

The beauty of the dish is that the original recipe is simple, quick and easy to do – perfect for midweek dinners – but can also be jazzed up with additional ingredients, herbs and spices.

baked feta pasta
Jenni Häyrinen

The full basic recipe can be found on Jenni’s website, but in theory: you place a whole block of feta in a baking dish topped with chopped red chilli and surrounded by cherry tomatoes and whole garlic cloves. Drizzle it all with plenty of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Place in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn the heat up and use the grill mode (or put under a grill) for 10 more minutes. Meanwhile, boil pasta according to the packet instructions.

When the feta is golden brown, take out the oven and mix with the tomatoes. Tip in the cooked (and drained) pasta and mix it all together, finishing off with lots of basil leaves.

Since the recipe has taken off online, people have been putting their own twists on the recipe:

@feelgoodfoodie

Here’s a version of baked feta pasta without tomatoes! Original recipe on my website with more substitution ideas, tips & tricks! #fetapasta #foodie

♬ original sound – Feel Good Foodie

TikTokker @feelgoodfoodie replaced the tomatoes with red peppers, red onion and black olives, and substituted the basil for chopped parsley at the end.

@njfoood

Lockdown Dinners pt 6: Roasted Feta & Tomato Spaghetti ? @tiktok_uk #learnontiktok #spaghetti #fetapasta #easyrecipes

♬ Acoustic Guitar Stroll – Dow Brain

@njfoood added green olives and balsamic vinegar to her recipe, and adds the garlic at the end of cooking instead.

@cookingwithayeh

Baked Feta Mushroom Pasta! Which version do you prefer? Full recipe on my website lovelies? #fyp #bakedfeta #pasta #foryou #foodtiktok #foryoupage

♬ Taste It – Ikson

@cookingwithayeh substituted the cherry tomatoes for mushrooms, red onion and fresh thyme. She tops her feta with dried oregano and at the end adds in spinach and pine nuts for added nutrition.

@erekasfood

For those of you who don’t dig FETA #burrata #pasta #fetapasta #easyrecipe #foodie

♬ original sound – Ereka Vetrini

If you don’t like feta, @erekasfood’s burrata recipe might be more up your street. She also adds asparagus and squash to the cherry tomato mixture, as well as a heavier pinch of salt because burrata is not as salty as feta. The vegetables are cooked alone, and the burrata is warmed in a bowl of warm water. When the veggies are cooked, add the burrata in and mix up with cooked pasta as usual.

@feelgoodfoodie

A faster way to make baked feta pasta in a pan! 10 minutes of cooking and same flavor! #bakedfetapasta #fetapasta #tiktokpartner #learnontiktok

♬ original sound – Feel Good Foodie

@feelgoodfoodie also has a recipe for a frying pan version of the recipe, which she says is quicker than baking in the oven.