If you frequent Instagram or TikTok, we're sure you've seen this viral pasta recipe. The newest online cooking trend involves simply adding cherry tomatoes, feta, pasta, olive oil, and spices to a dish and baking it, but it's actually not as new as you might think. The gooey, cheesy, carbo-loaded dish was actually invented in 2019 by food blogger Jenni Häyrinen who put feta pasta on the map. All jokes aside, she put the dish on Finnland's radar and ended up causing a feta shortage, saying that "stores actually ran out of feta cheese here."

Grocery shopping thought: I experienced the exact same problem at my grocery store. Just out of curiosity, I browsed the dairy cheese section after I added my vegan Violife feta to my cart. To my surprise, there was no feta cheese left, the shelf was completely wiped out. I said out loud, "did all the influencers rob the feta?" It seemed like it.

To make this recipe vegan, I used Violife dairy-free feta cheese instead of cow's milk feta and found that it tastes just like the real thing, but cooked slightly differently. First, you bake it like you normally would, but here’s the secret pro tip: Broil it for about 3-5 minutes on high to achieve that insta-worthy golden brown cheesy crust. Make sure to boil your pasta slightly al dente. This step is crucial because it helps to absorb the excess liquid from the vegan cheese.

Once you complete this perfect lunch, dinner, or midnight snack recipe, garnish with basil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, and plate it with a side of toasted garlic bread made with sourdough. You can definitely share this meal with others, as the recipe serves four people but if you're anything like me, take a spoon to the skillet & finish it alone, like a champ. If you're in search of a foolproof Valentine's Day dinner dish to impress your significant other, this feta pasta is the way to go.

Viral Feta Pasta Vegan

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 block of vegan feta (we used Violife)
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning (we used Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large ovenproof baking dish, combine tomatoes, garlic, spices, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and mix until thoroughly combined.
  2. Place vegan feta into the center of the tomato mixture and drizzle top with olive oil. Bake for 40 minutes and then an additional 3-5 minutes under the broiler on high, until tomatoes are blistered and feta is golden on top.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta according to the package.
  4. To skillet with tomatoes and feta, add cooked pasta and stir until completely combined. Garnish with basil before serving.

Here Are The Step-By-Step Visual Instructions

Step 1: Gather all your ingredients and swap dairy feta for plant-based feta.

Step 2: Get your large oven-proof baking dish, add ingredients to the mix.

Step 3: Bake the dish for 40 minutes at 350 F and an additional 3-5 minutes under the broiler on high. 

Step 4: Add cooked pasta to the baked dish, stir and mix. 

Step 5: Garnish with basil and plant-based parmesan. 

@CaiteeAnderson