Baked Feta Pasta - my take on the viral recipe that is taking over social media. If you try one variation, make it this one.
Viral Tiktok Feta Pasta - Uunifetapasta
As soon as I saw this pasta recipe making the rounds all over social media I knew I had to give it a try, what is not to like about pasta with the salty combination of baked feta and roasted tomatoes
It takes me back to my university days (1997-2000) when our weekends would often consist of me and my housemates cooking up a big dish of Herby Roasted Vegetables, crumbled feta, cooked spaghetti (or any other pasta for that matter) and bottle of wine. Like this Roasted Vegetables Feta Pasta Recipe.
Apparently this pasta dish started in 2019 by a blogger named Jenni Häyrinen (@liemessa) and was named Uunifetapasta. It became so popular that it resulted in Feta Cheese being hard to source all over Finland.
I think it appeals because it's so simple, you just roast a block of Feta with tomatoes, garlic and herbs/seasonings which are all drizzled with some olive oil. The once cooked it is all stirred together for a heavenly creamy delight, which you stir some cooked pasta into - yum!! I have even seen some variations on this skip the pasta altogether and just serve this amazing recipe as a dip with some bread.
Baked Feta Chicken Pasta
For my variation on the Baked Feta Pasta I kept it to a portion for two and added in some protein, with some tender sliced up chicken thighs and additional seasonings to flavour the chicken, such as:
- Sea Salt
as well as the chicken I also went for the usual garlic (minced), some diced onion, red pepper and canned tomatoes and then topped the feta with some additional herbs and red chilli flakes.
Can I use Spray Oil?
If you have seen the original viral recipes, you will see it consists of quite a lot of olive oil. But personally you can still create this yummy dish by using a much smaller quantity of oil.
I tested this recipe with an olive oil spray and with proper Extra Virgin olive oil and trust me when I say, use some oil. You just will not get the same flavour and silky sauce with spray oils. It's not many calories split between two, so why compromise on that taste?
I found just one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil was plenty for my variation on this recipe which serves 2, because you get some of the juices/flavour from the added chicken too.
Can I use a different protein?
I went for chicken thighs as I already had some on hand in the fridge and as a family we just overall prefer thigh meat to breast especially when baked in a dish like this.
But you can use other proteins - breast will work, but I would add it in for the last 15-20 minutes as it won't take as long to cook. Raw shrimp or white fish would also go amazing in this dish, but again take into consideration the cooking time of the protein you are adding.
For a vegetarian option some white beans or chickpeas would be a great addition.
Other Vegetables for Baked Feta
Don't be afraid to experiment with different vegetables in this recipe. So long as you take into consideration the cooking time of the vegetables you add, then most will work. I think whatever you add though you won't to ensure the vegetables are not all dry as you need something a bit saucy once cooked to mix into that baked feta for the creamy sauce.
Some other suggestions to try :
- Aubergine (cube small, as it can take a while to roast and the skin can be tough if undercooked)
Reserving Pasta Water
The most important part of many pasta dishes is that reserved salted pasta water. It really is like liquid gold and finishes off the sauce to many pasta dishes like carbonara, bolognese etc. The starchy water just makes for a better pasta sauce every time and it's a huge mistake to discard of it all when you drain the pasta.
Step By Step Images for Baked Feta Chicken Pasta
Images show the step by step stages for my variation on the delicious baked chicken pasta.
Baked Feta with other sides
Don't fancy this with pasta? There really is no strict rule that says you must have this with pasta. I think this would go amazing served alongside some of the following:
More Feta Recipes
Wondering what else to make with Feta? Check out these:
- CHICKEN, FETA AND STRAWBERRY SALAD
- FETA STUFFED CHICKEN WITH ROASTED RED PEPPER SAUCE
- CHICKEN, FETA AND ROASTED BEETROOT BAKE
- CHICKEN, ROASTED RED PEPPER, SUN-DRIED TOMATO RISOTTO WITH CRUMBLED FETA
- SPINACH AND FETA FRITTATA
- CARAMELIZED ONION FETA CRISPY TOASTS
or head on over to the FULL RECIPE INDEX where you will find over 900 delicious Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly recipes all fully searchable by meal type, ingredients, syn value and smart points etc
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For the chicken:
- 150g (5.3oz) of boneless skinless chicken thigh, sliced into small strips
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- ½ teaspoon of dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon of dried basil
- pinch of sea salt
For the baked Feta:
- 180g (6.4oz) of chopped tomatoes (canned)
- 10 grape tomatoes (or use cherry)
- ½ red bell pepper, diced
- ½ small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 90g (3.2oz) piece of feta cheese - 2 HEa's
- pinch of black pepper
- pinch of dried mixed herbs
- pinch of red chilli flakes
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil - 6 syns
- 120g (4.3oz) of uncooked penne pasta
- 60ml (¼ cup) reserved cooked pasta water
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil
- Preheat oven to 200c (fan 180c), 400f or gas mark 6
- Add the chicken to a bowl with the paprika, dried oregano, dried basil and pinch of sea salt and toss to coat.
- To an oven proof dish add the chopped tomatoes, grape tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes), red bell pepper, onion, garlic and chicken pieces and make a space in the centre.
- Place the piece of feta cheese in the cleared space in the baking dish. Sprinkle with a pinch of mixed herbs, red chilli flakes and black pepper.
- Drizzle over the top of the feta, chicken and vegetables with the extra virgin olive oil .
- Bake in the oven for 35 minutes until the tomatoes have softened and the feta is slightly caramelized.
- When the feta and tomatoes are on the last 10-15 minutes of cooking time, cook the pasta until al dente in salted boiling water. Before draining reserve 60ml (¼ cup) of the pasta water.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven, sprinkle with the fresh basil and parsley and using a wooden spoon, break up the feta and squish all the tomatoes, mixing in the dish until creamy. Add in the cooked pasta and reserved pasta water and stir until all combined.
- Serve and Enjoy!!!
This recipe is gluten free, Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly
- Slimming World - 1 HEa and 3 syns per serving
- WW Green Smart Points - 15 per serving
- WW Blue Smart Points - 15 per serving
- WW Purple Smart Points - 15 per serving (8 if using brown rice pasta)
- Gluten Free - use gluten free pasta
Adaption of Baked Feta Pasta by Jenni Häyrine
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Nutrition InformationServing Size 1 SERVING
Amount Per Serving Calories 536Total Fat 20.6gSaturated Fat 8.6gCholesterol 102mgSodium 662mgCarbohydrates 60.6gFiber 2.7gSugar 8.5gProtein 28.2g