If you recently found yourself staring at an empty shelf in the grocery store cheese aisle, we might have the answer for you. TikTok user and Finnish food blogger, Jenni Häyrinen created a pasta so popular it went viral not once, but twice in the span of two years. The baked feta pasta first appeared on Häyrinen’s Instagram stories in 2019 and was quickly popularized among Helsinki residents in quick succession. Within three days of posting the recipe, Finnish newspapers and influencers were raving about the dish, and soon after, the grocery stores in Finland couldn’t keep up with the demand. “The stores actually ran out of feta cheese here,” Häyrinen told TODAY.
It wasn’t until American food blogger Mackenzie Smith posted the recipe in January that the Finnish phenomenon became popularized internationally. Smith’s video has nearly 3 million views, with thousands of users posting their own attempts under the hashtag #bakedfetapasta—which itself has accumulated nearly 52 million views.
For those of you interested in trying at home, the dish is incredibly simple: in a roasting pan combine an entire block of feta cheese with a generous amount of grape or cherry tomatoes, and cover the lot with a healthy drizzle of olive oil. Recipes vary slightly at this point, though TikTok users were adding garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and fresh basil to the pan. Season to your taste and roast the pan for 15 minutes at 400 F. Once the melted cheese is mixed in with the softened tomatoes, the result is a creamy, salty sauce somewhat resembling a rosé in colour and consistency. You can read the entire recipe on Häyrinen’s blog here.
So, is the baked feta pasta worth the hype? Well, the reviews are in—and we’d say it’s a resounding ‘yes’. “This is absolutely fabulous,” writes blog commenter Brenda Gerhard, “Thank you for this life-changing recipe!!”.