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Baked Feta Pasta

We tried the trending Baked Feta Pasta recipe, and it did not disappoint! This recipe originated in Finland, and was recently made popular in the US. It is no surprise that it is a hit. The ingredients are simple, and all the magic happens in the oven. We added in shallots, Italian seasoning, and lemon zest for an extra twist and yummy flavor. This recipe works well with gluten free pasta and can easily be made vegan.



Ingredients:

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes

  • 1 shallot chopped

  • 2 tbsp olive oil divided

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

  • 1 small head of garlic

  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes (leave out if you do not want it a little spicy)

  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest

  • 180 g block of feta cheese (we used Violife Food's vegan feta as a vegan alternative)

  • 12 oz GF pasta of choice (our favorite is brown rice based)

  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves chopped



Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

  2. Place the cherry tomatoes and chopped shallots into a medium to large sized baking dish. Drizzle them with 1 tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Using your hands or a spoon, mix them up so the tomatoes and shallots are coated evenly with the olive oil and seasoning.

  3. Create an open space in the middle of the tomatoes and place the feta cheese block or vegan feta alternative into the middle. Chop the top of the garlic head off so it roasts and gets golden brown in the oven and place into the open space in the pan.

  4. Drizzle the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil over the feta and garlic. Sprinkle both with the chili flakes and more salt and pepper. Sprinkle the lemon zest over all the ingredients.

  5. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes (the vegan alternative only took 30 minutes) at 400 degrees F. The tomatoes should burst and the feta will start to turn golden brown on top (the vegan alternative will melt most of the way).

  6. In the meantime, boil the GF pasta based on the box directions. Right before draining the pasta, reserve about 1/3 (less than 1/4 for the vegan alternative) cup of the pasta water. This will help thin out the sauce.

  7. Make sure you have your basil chopped as you will add it in right when the dish comes out of the oven.

  8. Once the tomatoes/feta dish is done, remove from the oven. Remove the garlic head and allow to cool slightly. Squeeze the garlic out of the skin with a spoon into the pasta dish. Add in the basil. Stir all of the ingredients together. The feta should crumble easily and combine well with the tomatoes. Poor in the pasta water and cooked pasta and mix until fully combined (the vegan alternative will be a bit saucier, so only add a little pasta water). Spoon into a serving bowl and enjoy!




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