If you’re a TikTok user, you’ve either seen the viral pasta all over your “For You” page or somehow you’ve managed to stay off “FoodTok.”
Featured in thousands of videos with millions of views, the simple-to-follow feta cheese pasta recipe was catapulted into food stardom with the likes of the famous quarantine whipped coffee and the recently popular crunch wrap hack.
According to Food52, an online food and recipe community, the craze began when Finnish food blogger Jenni Häyrinen posted the recipe with a picture on her Instagram account back in 2019. Nearly two years later, the recipe resurfaced on TikTok and went viral.
The dish was so wildly popular that it caused a feta cheese shortage in grocery stores in Finland, the Food52 article said.
While there are now plenty of videos making alterations to the recipe, the most popular feta pasta video on TikTok consists of placing cherry tomatoes, garlic cloves, olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano and a full block of feta cheese in a baking dish and roasting the contents at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
From there, you take it out of the oven, combine it with your choice of cooked pasta (I used rotini) and add fresh basil. What’s left is a creamy tomato pasta.
And it’s good. Impress-your-friends kind of good if you season it right.
Due to my local Kroger not being stocked with blocks of feta cheese, I had to substitute in a good amount of crumbled feta. It worked fine. With the addition of some vegetables and chicken, this will easily become a recurring recipe in my repertoire.
IU Junior Kaitlyn Moreno said her roommate recently tried to recreate the viral pasta.
“It definitely had a more homemade taste than the usual store bought pasta sauces I make, and it was a nice change,” Moreno said.
Moreno said that if she were to change anything about the dish, she would add vegetables such as mushrooms and asparagus.
Recent IU graduate Collin Hecht also created the dish after seeing it several times on TikTok. Hecht said he opted out of using feta and used Calembert cheese instead, while also adding sauteed green peppers, spinach and grilled steak.
“Absolutely amazing, super creamy and delicious,” Hecht said. “Also is easily customizable.”
Hecht and Moreno both said the recipe’s simplicity might play a role in its popularity.
“Viral food phenomena thrive off blending aesthetically pleasing content with approachability,” Hecht said. “If this food would have been very difficult to cook or easy to mess up, people would be less likely to try it out and post their results.”
Moreno said she thinks it’s great that people are sharing their food creations online.
“It makes it so much easier to find and try new foods,” Moreno said.