TikTok Feta Pasta: Delicious or Disgusting?

Putting TikTok food trends to the test

TikTok Feta Pasta: Delicious or Disgusting?

By Emma Ryan , Collegian Contributor

Chances are, if you’ve been one of the many who have fallen victim to a TikTok addiction, you’ve probably seen a cooking video or two. These 60 second videos have the power to make anything look quick, easy and delicious – the perfect recipe to draw college students in. For students living on their own for the first time, cooking can be a daunting task. TikTok makes it look so easy to whip up a warm, home-cooked meal in a short amount of time. But it begs the question: is this the illusion of video editing and acting, or do the meals actually come out that good? The only way to find out is by putting them to the test, which I did with the viral feta pasta.

Like every TikTok recipe, it almost looks too good to be true, but let me tell you, the videos don’t even do it justice. The basis of the dish is your preferred shape of pasta, a block of feta cheese (or crumbles, since TikTok has made the blocks sell out virtually everywhere) and cherry tomatoes. From there, you can doctor up the recipe as you like with different proteins, veggies and seasonings. TikTokers have experimented with their own variations of the recipe, adding ingredients like chicken, spinach or lemon juice. I chose to cook down some pancetta on the stove top first and then add it to the feta and tomato mixture. Although the flavor wasn’t overwhelming, the fattiness and salt from the pancetta helped cut through the acidity of the tomatoes which really brought the meal together.

Part of what makes this recipe so easy is that, in its simplest form, you just dump the feta and tomatoes in an oven-safe dish, add in olive oil and seasonings of your choice and throw it in the oven at 400 degrees for about half an hour. While that’s cooking, you can lounge around and do some homework or maybe have a glass of wine, given that you’re of age. About 10 minutes before your tomatoes and cheese are done, boil your pasta. Once your tomatoes are a little shriveled and your feta is nice and brown, take it out of the oven and gently mix it.

You’ll notice that the feta doesn’t necessarily look like melted cheese. It’s a generally dry and low-fat cheese to begin with, so make sure that you don’t get the low-fat version of an already low-fat cheese, otherwise no melting will happen. The feta will hold its shape for the most part but once it’s mixed it’ll become creamier.

You can set aside some water that you cooked your pasta in and pour that over your tomato and feta sauce. The starches from the pasta water will help emulsify the sauce and bring it together. Once you feel like your sauce is well mixed, fold in your pasta and voila! It’s ready to eat. You can garnish with some fresh basil or parmesan cheese if you’re feeling fancy. I chose to serve it with bread and oil on the side, but trust me, it’s delicious on its own.

Although in its fully finished form it might look like alfredo, it’s not the same creamy, rich consistency you’re used to. Feta tends to be a lot saltier and tangier than other cheeses, which is something to take into consideration when seasoning your dish. Due to the distinct flavor of feta, there have been a lot of TikTokers who have really disliked the final outcome of the recipe.

However, the beauty of an easy recipe like this one is that you can switch out the feta for another kind of cheese and make the dish your own. A popular variation of this recipe uses the boursin garlic and herb cheese, which makes a much creamier, more garlicky version of the dish which, although I haven’t tested, has made my mouth water. You could also use mozzarella cheese if you’re not in the mood to smell like garlic for several days, or even goat’s cheese for a creamy, dairy-free alternative.

Although I’m sure some TikTok recipes have failed, the feta pasta definitely lives up to the hype. It’s essentially fool proof and relatively quick to make, which is music to the ears of a college student. Plus, nothing says home like a warm, cheesy, Italian dinner, so if you’re looking to indulge in a little comfort food, definitely try this out.

Emma Ryan can be reached at [email protected]