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Baked Feta Is So Much More Than a Fad

Two words: Melted cheese.

Finnish food blogger Jenni Häyrinen is credited with the viral dinner craze. The idea? Baked feta pasta. Using garlic, a square of feta, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, and basil, she created uunifetapasta (Finnish for “oven-baked feta pasta”). And inspired a feta phenomenon.@liemessa

Baked feta need not be limited to just cherry tomatoes and pasta, however. In A Cozy Kitchen’s recipe, she takes a similar approach with cherry tomatoes but also surrounds her block of feta with pitted green olives, quartered artichoke hearts, and lemon slices for a tangy flavor.

A Cozy Kitchen

The TikTok baked feta fad is open to interpretation and if you think this would make a great dip, you’re right. Take Love & Lemons advice: Swap the fresh toms for tomato sauce, add in kale, chickpeas, and cumin seeds, then serve it with warm pita bread. Mmm.

Love & Lemons

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The key to getting the right flavor, according to A Cozy Kitchen and Häyrinen, is to give the feta extra char during the last minutes of cooking. This can be achieved by moving it to the top rack of the oven or giving it a broil for 10 minutes for the final flourish.

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Not a big feta fan? Psst. You don’t have to use feta — i am a food blogger says you can easily swap in another melty cheese such as baked brie, cream cheese, ricotta, or even vegan feta if you prefer.

i am a food blogger

If the appeal of the recipe lies in baking a block of feta guilt-free, you might also appreciate Half-Baked Harvest’s Pan-Fried feta with Peppery Honey. Tomatoes still play a starring role, but here the feta gets a honey glaze and is pan-fried for a delicious spread.

Half-Baked Harvest

Not surprisingly, Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Pearlman has played with the baked feta trend as well. But in classic Pearlman fashion, she gives it her own spin: a healthy handful (two cans to be precise) of chickpeas and a recipe for her foolproof focaccia for optimal dipping.@smittenkitchen

Garnishes can elevate a dish entirely, and the baked feta recipe is no exception. Take Jennifer Elizabeth’s Journal, for instance. In her recipe for baked feta, she adorns the hot cheese with a tablespoon of buttery pine nuts for an added level of texture and crunch.

Jennifer Elizabeth's Journal

Still not at peak cheese levels for your taste? Why stop at feta? The Whisking Mama food blogger adds an additional half cup of parmesan to her recipe for an extra layer of umami.@whiskingmama