Ripe and juicy cherry tomatoes combine with melty feta cheese, minced garlic and fresh basil in this easy, cheesy Baked Feta Pasta! This crave-worthy casserole is a family favorite, guaranteed.
A Cheesy Pasta Dinner Idea
This simple pasta bake is a kid-friendly dinner recipe that’s sure to make many reappearances at your dining table. The fresh and flavorful ingredients are always a hit and something you can feel great about. Plus, it couldn’t be easier to make! There’s so little hands on time, it’s perfect for busy weeknights.
A variation of this irresistible dish was first made by a fellow food blogger in 2018. Recently, baked feta pasta went viral on the social media app TikTok. I couldn’t help but be curious, since I LOVE feta cheese. I gave it a try, fell in love and knew I had to share it with you, just in case you haven’t heard of it yet. If you love pasta dinners, you seriously need to try it. My entire family was obsessed – including my 3 year old twins and baby!
What You’ll Need
The ingredients below are where the magic happens. They come together to create one oven-baked masterpiece!
- Cherry Tomatoes: Just wait until they burst in the oven and release all that flavor!
- Olive Oil: Make sure you’re using extra virgin olive oil – its higher smoke point is better for baking.
- Salt & Pepper: 1/4 teaspoon of each.
- Feta Cheese: Don’t be shy! Use a whole 8-ounce block.
- Pasta: Uncooked. Once you cook it, set aside the pasta water for use later on in the recipe.
- Garlic Cloves: Minced.
- Fresh Basil: Chopped.
What Kind of Pasta Should I Use?
There are tons of different types of pasta, and certain kinds are better suited for this recipe. You’ll want to pick a shorter noodle with some sort of ridges to cling onto the sauce. Rotini, penne, cavatappi, rigatoni and farfalle (bowtie noodles) are all good choices.
How to Make Baked Feta Pasta
This pasta casserole could not be easier! Apart from the pasta, everything comes together in a single pan.
Heat Oven: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Combine Tomatoes, Oil, Salt & Pepper: Add the cherry tomatoes to a 9×13-inch baking dish. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper, then toss until everything is well combined.
Add Feta: Place the feta block in the middle of the baking dish, surrounded by the cherry tomatoes. Use a spoon to drizzle some of the olive oil from the baking dish on top.
Bake: Bake for about 35 minutes, until the cherry tomatoes burst and the feta cheese looks soft and melty.
Cook Pasta: While the tomatoes and feta are baking, cook your pasta according to the package instructions until it’s al dente. Drain it and reserve half a cup of the pasta water.
Add Garlic & Basil to Baking Dish: When the tomatoes and feta are done, remove the baking dish from the oven and immediately add the garlic and basil.
Stir: Stir everything together and use a spoon to smash the tomatoes a bit.
Add Pasta: Add the cooked pasta to the baking dish and toss to combine. Add pasta water as needed to thin out the sauce.
Enjoy! Garnish the casserole with more fresh basil and serve it warm.
Tips for Success
I have a few dos and don’ts to remember for this recipe. Let’s make this pasta bake as tasty as possible!
- Don’t Use Crumbled Feta: Pre-crumbled feta has a powdery coating that’s not ideal for baking, and crumbling it yourself does more harm than good. Use a whole block for the best results.
- Add Garlic & Basil Immediately After Baking: Don’t wait around to add the garlic and basil after you remove your baking dish from the oven. You want to stir it in while the sauce is hot.
- Don’t Add Extra Pasta: Everything is perfectly proportioned in this casserole. Don’t be tempted to add more pasta, or it could become dry.
- Don’t Overcook the Pasta: Remember that after the pasta is cooked, it will be added into the hot sauce and continue to soften up. Only cook it until it’s al dente.
- Only Add Pasta Water As Needed: Don’t just throw the whole half cup of reserved pasta water into your baking dish. Add a little bit at a time and stir after each addition until you’re happy with the sauce’s consistency.
Why not put your own spin on this trendy dinner idea? The sky is the limit!
- Use Another Kind of Cheese: Not a fan of feta? Goat cheese or ricotta would also taste amazing in this dish.
- Substitute the Pasta: Whether you’re following a gluten-free diet or just want to try something new, feel free to make this pasta bake with spaghetti squash or zoodles instead of regular pasta.
- Add Veggies: If you’d like to pack some extra nutrients into this fresh casserole, adding more veggies is a yummy way to do so. Asparagus, spinach, broccoli and zucchini are great options!
- Add Meat: Introducing more protein is another easy way to bulk up this recipe. Try mixing in some shredded rotisserie chicken at the end!
Just in case you want to serve your baked feta pasta with a little something on the side, I’ve compiled some delicious pairing ideas.
- Serve with Cucumber Salad: My cool and creamy Cucumber Salad is a feel-good side dish that matches the freshness of this casserole. Plus, it’s super quick and easy to make!
- Pair with Coleslaw: A bowl of Classic Coleslaw is another refreshing companion for baked feta pasta. It comes together with a handful of wholesome ingredients.
- Serve with Cornbread: Casseroles for the win! I highly recommend serving your pasta casserole alongside this buttery Cornbread Casserole. It’s so moist and tender!
How to Store and Reheat Leftover Pasta Bake
Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container once the casserole has cooled completely. It will last for up to 3 days, if stored properly.
To reheat your leftovers, transfer them to a large pot over a medium-heat burner. Be sure to add a splash of olive oil or water to re-hydrate the dish. Cook until warmed through and enjoy!
Can I Freeze This?
Yes, go ahead and freeze your pasta bake if you’d like. The cooled casserole can be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Thaw it out in the fridge before reheating.Print
Ripe cherry tomatoes combine with melty feta cheese, minced garlic and fresh basil in this easy, cheesy Baked Feta Pasta! This crave-worthy casserole is a family favorite, guaranteed.
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 8 oz block feta cheese
- 10 ounces dried pasta
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup pasta water, reserved from cooking the pasta
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Add the cherry tomatoes to a 9×13 baking dish. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper and toss until well combined.
- Place the feta block in the middle of the baking dish, surrounded by the cherry tomatoes. Use a spoon to drizzle some of the olive oil from the baking dish on top.
- Bake for about 35 minutes, until the cherry tomatoes burst and the feta cheese looks soft and melty.
- While the tomatoes and feta are baking, cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and reserve ½ cup of the pasta water to use later.
- When the tomatoes and feta are done, remove from the oven and immediately add the garlic and basil.
- Stir everything together and use a spoon to smash the tomatoes a bit.
- Add the cooked pasta to the baking dish and toss to combine. Add pasta water, as needed, to add to the sauce.
- Garnish with more fresh basil and serve warm.
Makes 4-6 servings
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 455
- Sugar: 5.4 g
- Sodium: 453 mg
- Fat: 27.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 41.1 g
- Protein: 12.5 g
- Cholesterol: 33.7 mg
Keywords: pasta dinner idea, pasta casserole, pasta bake
More Pasta Casseroles to Try
Want more baked pasta dishes that your family will devour? Your wish is my command.