As you can see in the 60-second videos filling up your feed, this recipe—originally developed in 2019 by Finnish food blogger Jenni Häyrinen—involves cooking a block of feta and cherry tomatoes in olive oil, either on your stovetop or in the oven until gooey and blistered, and then mixing it together with the pasta of your choice. We’ve heard this recipe was so popular that it caused Finnish grocery stores to sell out of feta.
Tomatoes, one of the main ingredients in the TikTok baked feta pasta, aren’t currently in season—and one Wirecutter staffer/food snob has absolutely refused to try the recipe until July, when the internet will surely be over it. But Wirecutter senior editor Marguerite Preston thinks grocery-store cherry tomatoes should taste just fine after a slow roast. And, hey, you can always use one of our canned tomato picks in a pinch.
Turns out, you don’t need any special skills or equipment to make this yourself, but the Wirecutter kitchen team has a few tips to get the most out of this meal. Senior staff writer Lesley Stockton recommends choosing a vessel with sides for a Goldilocks balance: not too high, not too low. “You want the side of the pan high enough to retain some moisture, but not so high that the tomatoes steam or don’t get any roasty flavor,” Lesley says. Some of our faves:
But if you don’t have any of those, there are still plenty of vessels you can use in a pinch.
- Dutch ovens. Their high sides produce more steaming and less browning (which won’t give you as much roasty depth of flavor but will still be perfectly fine).
- Baking sheets. Although a baking sheet would work in a pinch, its large area and low sides might dry out the ingredients and could make combining them messier after you take it out of the oven. If you’ve heard that you shouldn’t cook tomatoes in uncoated aluminum because the food reacts with the metal and becomes bitter, that’s true. But it’s unlikely to happen with a quick-roast recipe like this one. You’d never want to cook a tomato sauce in uncoated aluminum for that reason. It’s safe to eat, but it just tastes gross.
- Well-seasoned cast iron pans. You should be fine if there’s a protective coating. But like uncoated aluminum, an unseasoned (or poorly seasoned) cast iron pan might make your food taste bitter.
To mix your pasta together, Lesley says you should stick with a spoon or a pair of tongs, depending on what type of pasta you’re using. Some TikTokers have been using silicone baking spatulas to combine their ingredients, but “you need something that can pick up the pasta,” says Marguerite. “A silicone baking spatula is going to be annoying because it’s too slippery.”