This creamy and comforting baked feta pasta dish adds a Mediterranean feel to the original recipe with green olives and balsamic vinegar. For extra protein you can also add leftover chicken to the cooked pasta.
If you haven't heard of the viral recipe, baked feta pasta was a full-on TikTok sensation in 2021, about six months after I started cooking it. Of course I wasn't on Tik Tok at the time, so I was really confused why I suddenly couldn't find a block of feta cheese at my grocery stores despite most things finally being back in stock at that point. Shoutout to MacKenzie of Grilled Cheese Social- her version is the first one I made. This dish is so good I even made it with potatoes instead in this baked feta chicken!
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link.
Why You'll Love This Recipe:
- Low-prep: this only takes about 5 minutes to get in the oven
- Creamy: melted cheese with roasted tomatoes is such a comforting, creamy sauce
- Flexible: there are several simple substitutions you can make if you're not a fan of one of the ingredients
Let's get started! Here's what you'll need:
Pasta of choice- I typically use penne, but you can't go wrong with any of the pasta shapes with some ridges or crevices for holding onto sauce well.
Block feta cheese- tangy feta cheese is the star of this dish, but if you're not a huge fan of feta you can use goat cheese, cream cheese, or boursin cheese.
Cherry tomatoes- also called grape tomatoes, these provide most of the liquid for our sauce so they're hard to skip. If you need to, opt for another water-heavy choice like zucchini.
Green olives- these balance well with the tomatoes to keep them from overwhelming the dish. Artichoke hearts are another great option, and broccoli stems, red onions, or bell peppers work well too.
Garlic powder- or fresh garlic cloves if you have them handy.
Olive oil- this is the other major component of our sauce, so for best results use a good quality extra virgin olive oil.
Balsamic vinegar- just a little bit adds so much flavor.
Fresh basil- fresh herbs are always ideal, but dried will absolutely work if that's what you have.
Leftover chicken- this is optional, but if you want a boost of protein it's an easy addition.
You'll also need an 8x8, 8x9, or 9x13 casserole dish for baking the feta, along with a large pot to make the pasta in. I use my big 8 qt stock pot because it gives me plenty of room to cook the pasta and then stir the dish all together in the same pot.
Other kitchen tools you'll need are a colander or strainer to drain the pasta, a spatula to mix everything together, and of course potholders to remove the baked feta from the oven.
How to Make This Baked Feta Pasta Recipe:
Rinse your cherry or grape tomatoes and drain the liquid from the can of olives. Then combine tomatoes, olives, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, and a tablespoon or two of the olive oil. Mix them up and preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Step 2: Add the cheese and remaining seasonings
Add the brick of Feta cheese on top in the middle of the tomatoes and ensure it is relatively even, then season it with salt, pepper and cover it with the remaining olive oil.
Step 3: Bake and Boil
Place the feta and tomato mixture into your preheated oven, and set a timer for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, boil water for your pasta, but don't add the pasta to the boiling water until the timer goes off, then cook the pasta according to the package directions. This will help the pasta and feta be ready about the same time. If you have fresh basil, use some of your 25 minute timer to rinse and chop it so that it will be ready to go.
Optional: If you are adding chicken, then do so after straining the pasta while it is really hot to warm the chicken.
Once the pasta is strained, check that the feta is brown on top and the tomatoes are starting to burst. It should smell AMAZING in your kitchen at this point, and you can take the feta and tomato mixture out of the oven.
Step 4: Combine and garnish
Carefully add the contents of the baked pan to the pot with the drained pasta, then stir. Next, add your basil, and tell your family to come eat! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
While this pasta can absolutely be served as a solo main dish, it's also great with a fresh spinach salad or garlic bread.
It's not a bad idea to save a cup of pasta water in case the sauce is thicker than you'd like it. For the baked feta dish there is liquid in the bottom after cooking, and you want all of that to be added to your pasta.
You can reheat it on the stove for a few minutes, in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, or eat it cold. I find it's delightful as a pasta salad served cold!
More easy recipes you might like:
Looking for vegetarian pastas? Try this caprese ravioli or this four cheese pasta!
Prefer one with chicken? This pesto chicken pasta is just 5 ingredients and super fast.
Want another baked feta dish? This baked feta chicken is truly a one-pot dinner.
Baked Feta Pasta with Tomatoes, Olives, and Basil
- 12 oz penne pasta dry
- 8 oz feta
- 6 oz green olives
- 16 oz cherry tomatoes
- ⅓ cup olive oil extra virgin
- 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 0.5 oz fresh basil
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Rinse tomatoes and drain green olives, then add to your baking pan. Season with balsamic, garlic powder, and 1-2 tablespoon olive oil and stir together.
- Place unwrapped feta block on top of tomatoes and olives and season with the salt and pepper, then top with the rest of the olive oil.
- Bake for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, boil a large pot of water and cook pasta to package directions. If adding chicken, do so immediately after draining the pasta.
- Remove baked feta from oven and add all of it, including juices, into the drained pasta. Stir until cheese is completely melted, garnish with basil, and serve.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. It is recommended to use your preferred calculator with the actual ingredients you use for optimal accuracy.
Yum! Looks like a great dish for gluten free folks too! Just substitute the pasta for gluten free pasta!
Anne Aslanides says
Absolutely Cindy! That would be an easy swap to make it GF 🙂
That looks amazing!! Can’t wait to try it out for my family!
Anne Aslanides says
Thank you Michele, I hope they enjoy it!