Our gluten free and dairy free version of the viral baked feta pasta makes an easy and fuss-free weeknight meal! You can leave this recipe as-is for a vegan version, or you can add chicken sausage for a complete dinner with added protein.
I normally don’t do a lot of viral recipes here at The Fit Cookie, but sometimes there are viral recipes that really are amazing and I can’t help but jump on board with. A perfect example is the TikTok viral baked feta pasta.
Though quite a few people shared their version of baked feta pasta on social media and the internet, the original recipe was created by Jenni at Liemessä and popularized by MacKenzie at Grilled Cheese Social and Yumna at Feel Good Foodie, and a multitude of other cooks on TikTok and Instagram.
This recipe went viral several years ago, and I had created a recipe to make back then to post and never ended up posting it. I decided to revive this out of my drafts and actually post my version of this recipe since it is pretty amazing and makes a delicious weeknight dinner recipe.
Better late than never, right? 😉
Our version is made dairy free and gluten free, and I added some smoked salt, fresh oregano and thyme in addition to the basil. And when I want more to the meal, I add some chicken sausage. Amazing!!
Food allergy notes:
- Dairy free
- Gluten free
- Peanut free
- Soy free
Why you’ll love this recipe
This delicious recipe is easy to make since the dairy free feta melts to create a creamy sauce that you don’t have to use an extra pan or food processor to create!
This recipe is also easy to customize with your favorite protein as well, such as chopped chicken, Italian sausage, etc. I added some Thrive Market mushroom and herb chicken sausage to our second batch and it was delicious.
This recipe is also a quick and easy weeknight dinner idea that comes together in about 30 to 40 minutes if you count heating up the oven. If you’re scrambling for dinner ideas, this is a great one to add to your menu rotation!
How to make a gluten free and dairy free feta pasta dish
Here are the steps to make this easy feta pasta recipe (this is just an overview, the full recipe card is at the end of the post):
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Wash and add 2 cups of fresh cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes) to a 9×13-inch baking dish and add some olive oil, smoked salt, fresh thyme, pressed garlic cloves, and black pepper. Optionally you can add some red pepper flakes as well for a little bit of spice.
- Stir the tomatoes in with the olive oil and seasonings to coat everything, then open a space in the pan for the dairy free feta cheese.
- Add the dairy free block of feta cheese to the middle of the pan and spoon over top of it a little bit of the olive oil with herbs and garlic.
- Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the tomatoes get soft and the cheese is melty.
- While the tomatoes and feta are baking, make your gluten free al dente pasta according to package directions. I used the Jovial gluten free fusilli pasta, which is great for holding the feta sauce.
- Drain the pasta and add the cooked pasta to the feta and tomatoes, along with some fresh basil and oregano. My store was out of fresh basil and oregano, so I used the lightly dried chopped Italian herbs by Gourmet Garden.
- Toss everything together to coat (it creates its own cheesy sauce) and top with additional fresh herbs. Serve immediately.
What brand dairy free feta cheese should I use?
So far I’ve tried 3 brands of dairy free feta cheese in this recipe. I do not recommend using Violife feta cheese in this recipe.
As much as I absolutely love the flavor and texture of Violife feta cheese (very close to real feta) for cold dishes (like our feta dip and Greek salad), the Violife feta melts way too much when it’s cooked and gets pretty liquidy.
The Daiya feta cheese block works perfectly in this recipe and is the one I recommend, it melts enough to coat the pasta but doesn’t melt so much that it’s liquid like the Violife one does. Normally I prefer Violife to Daiya, but in this case, Daiya is the brand to go with.
I also tried this recipe using the Good Planet vegan feta block and it turned out decent, but that feta cheese brand is not my favorite by itself. The texture is rather gritty to me and I’m not a fan of the flavor alone, though it’s not too bad mixed in with the tomatoes, herbs, and pasta in this dish.
There are a few other options for dairy free feta cheese that I have not tried yet, so I am not sure how well these melt or hold up to cooking for this recipe:
- Trader Joe’s dairy free feta
- Esti foods plant based feta block
- Follow Your Heart feta crumbles (not really sure how crumbles would do in this recipe vs a block)
If you’re having a hard time finding these dairy free feta cheese locally for this recipe, PlantX (not sponsored) has a great selection of dairy free and vegan cheeses available for ordering online. I had previously ordered feta directly from Daiya but they no longer have their own online storefront so I ended up ordering from PlantX and I was happy with the ordering and shipping, though it is a little bit pricey.
PlantX has quite a few products that are hard to find for me (like the oat milk Lindt truffles), so I plan on ordering from them again when I can’t find certain products locally.
What gluten free pasta should I use in this recipe?
You can opt for any shape pasta you like, but I love using a pasta shape that has some nooks and crannies for holding the feta sauce, such as fusilli or rotini.
If you can have gluten, the Sporkful brand of pasta is really delicious, and their Cascatelli shape would be great in this recipe. If you want some extra protein, there are good brands available for chickpea pasta.
Here are a few other brands of gluten free pasta that would also work great in this recipe:
- Jovial (the one we used, they make grain free cassava pasta as well)
- Tinkyada (we used to use this brand a lot and it holds up well)
- Rummo Italian pasta
- ZENB pasta (this one is recommended by Food & Wine, I haven’t tried this one yet)
Pin for later!
Dairy Free Gluten Free Baked Feta Pasta
- 16 ounces cherry tomatoes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon smoked salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 6.5 ounces Daiya feta cheese block*
- 6 ounces Jovial gluten free fusilli (or other gluten free fusilli or cavatappi pasta)
- Fresh basil and oregano, to taste (I used about 1 Tablespoon lightly dried Italian herb mix from Gourmet Garden)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Add 2 cups of washed cherry tomatoes to a 9×13-inch baking pan and add the olive oil, pressed garlic, fresh thyme, smoked salt, and black pepper.
- Stir the tomatoes with the oil and herbs. Make a space in the pan for the dairy free feta cheese block and scoop some of the oil and herbs on top of the cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- While the tomatoes and feta are cooking, heat a pot of water and cook the gluten free pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta once it's cooked.
- When the feta and tomatoes are done, remove them from the oven and add the pasta to the pan along with the chopped basil and oregano and stir everything together.
- Sprinkle some more chopped basil on top of the pasta and serve.
- This is delicious with chicken sausage added for more protein.
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist