Inspired by the Viral TikTok pasta dish, this Vegan Baked "Feta" Pasta is rich, creamy, and out of this world! With just a handful of healthy ingredients and minimal effort, you can dig into this gorgeous dish that's taking the internet by storm.
If you haven't already heard of it, this recipe was inspired by a viral TikTok Pasta recipe that supposedly caused the country of Finland to run out of feta cheese. But more on that in a minute....
Much like my Air Fryer Pasta Chips recipe, when I saw TikTok videos of this simple and creamy pasta dish I knew I had to try it right away. But first I had to find a way to veganize it.
For my first attempt, I tried using homemade tofu feta and the results were pretty meh. But then I got the idea to try the recipe using my favorite Almond Ricotta in place of the feta and WOWZA! Not only was it one of the most delicious pasta dishes I've ever tried but even my non-vegan friends couldn't get over how rich, creamy, and delicious it was. I just knew I had to jump on this trend and share this amazing Vegan Baked "Feta" Pasta with all of you!
You'll love this Vegan Baked Feta PAsta recipe because it's:
- Quick & Easy
- Simple & Beginner-Friendly
- Vegan / Vegetarian
- Oh-so Creamy & Delicious!
- What's the story behind this dish?
- Can this be nut-free?
- Can I use store-bought vegan feta?
- Is this a vegan pasta bake?
- Can this be gluten-free?
- If this is supposed to be baked vegan feta, why are you starting with vegan ricotta?
- How to serve
- Can I make it ahead?
- How to store & reheat
- More vegan Italian recipes:
- 📖 Recipe
What's the story behind this dish?
This pasta recipe started off as a TikTok video that went viral--or did it? The whole story is actually a bit more complicated. The recipe has actually been around for a few years. You can read all about it here, but it's true that this recipe did cause a shortage of feta in Finland in 2019. Who would have thought!
Can this be nut-free?
To make this pasta bake nut-free, try substituting sunflower seeds for the almonds in the ricotta. You can also make a tofu ricotta. Another possibility would be to substitute white beans for the almonds.
Can I use store-bought vegan feta?
If there's a store-bought vegan feta that you love, feel free to give it a try. I've heard mixed reviews online. The problem with store-bought vegan feta is that it's usually coconut oil-based and very high in fat without a lot of protein. Plus it tends to turn into back oil when it's heated, and that just sounds like a greasy mess to me.
Is this a vegan pasta bake?
Not exactly. You bake the vegan "feta" (aka almond ricotta) with the tomatoes and seasonings in a large baking dish, but you cook the pasta on the stove. When everything is finished cooking you just mix it all together and viola! The best vegan pasta you've ever eaten!
For a more traditional baked pasta recipe, check out my recipes for Vegan Stuffed Shells and Vegan Cannelloni.
Can this be gluten-free?
To make this gluten-free, just substitute out the whole-wheat pasta for your favorite gluten-free brand. I'm guessing this would taste fantastic with a red-lentil pasta.
If this is supposed to be baked vegan feta, why are you starting with vegan ricotta?
In testing this recipe, I first tried using homemade tofu feta, and the results weren't great. The tofu just didn't get as creamy and delicious as I wanted it to. I knew it could be improved. So instead of reinventing the wheel, I turned to my creamy vegan ricotta recipe, and it was just perfect. So yes, this is technically a vegan baked ricotta pasta, but I wanted to be clear about where my inspiration came from.
- 1 cup almond ricotta
- 16 oz cherry tomatoes
- 4 to 6 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil (optional)
- 1 tbsp frozen or chopped fresh basil --Frozen basil works a little better for going in the oven, but if you don't have it, just use fresh or dried basil.
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg -- I realize this might sound odd, but many a creamy pasta dish utilizes nutmeg. Just go with me on this one.
- 1 tsp sea salt -- To start; you can always add more later.
- fresh cracked pepper
- 8 oz whole wheat bow tie (Farfalle) pasta -- Or the pasta of our choice.
- 1 tbsp balsamic glaze (plus more to garnish)
- fresh basil leaves
- red pepper flakes
- I don't really recommend this using store-bought vegan feta, but if you want to try it, wait until the tomatoes about 5 minutes from being finished. Store-bought vegan feta tends to be coconut-oil based, and when it melts it just turns to goo.
- If you want this to be oil-free just add a tablespoon or two of water or aquafaba instead.
- Feel free to use any kind of pasta you want! Smaller styles like bow tie, fusilli (spiral), and penne are my go-to for this type of dish, but it would also be great with spaghetti or linguine. I prefer whole wheat or whole grain pasta, but again, choose your family favorite.
What I've presented here is the recipe in its most basic form, but you can add in all sorts of ingredients to bump up the nutrition or flavor. Try these ideas:
- Baby Spinach (add after the bake)
- Red onions or Shallots
- Roasted Bell Peppers
- Green Chilies
- Preheat the oven to 400F or 200C.
- Make the Vegan Almond Ricotta (follow the instructions linked here).
- Spoon the almond ricotta into the center of a large baking dish.
- Wash the tomatoes and place them around the ricotta in the baking dish. Peel and slice the garlic into strips and place them in the dish with the tomatoes.
- Season the tomatoes with oregano, basil, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with lemon juice, balsamic glaze, and olive oil (optional).
- Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes have burst.
- While the tomatoes and ricotta are cooking, make the pasta according to the package instructions. Do not overcook the pasta. If it's done too early, set aside ¼ cup pasta water, drain the pasta, return it to the pot with the extra pasta water, mix, and let it sit uncovered and on no heat.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven and use a potato masher or fork to mash the tomatoes. (Be careful because the juices can burst and they will be hot!). Mix the tomatoes and ricotta to form a creamy sauce.
- Add the pasta to the baking dish and mix it with the sauce. Garnish with fresh basil, balsamic glaze, and red pepper flakes (optional).
- Serve and enjoy right away!
How to serve
Serve this as a decadent pasta dish with a simple side salad or steamed veggies. Or turn it into a delicious creamy dip and serve with a sliced baguette.
Can I make it ahead?
There isn't much benefit in making this dish ahead. The joy of this Vegan Baked Feta Pasta is taking the baking dish out of the oven with the sizzling, crushed tomatoes and vegan cheese, mixing it all together into a creamy pasta sauce, and then digging in right away.
That said, you can definitely premake the almond ricotta up to 5 days in advance, which will save you 10 to 15 minutes of prep work.
How to store & reheat
- Store any leftovers (if there are any!) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Do not freeze.
- Reheat in the microwave or in a skillet with a tablespoon of water to keep the sauce from drying out.
More vegan Italian recipes:
- Cherry Tomato & Basil Pasta
- Vegan Bolognese Sauce
- Penne Pasta with Kale & Vegan Italian Sausage
- Vegan Chopped Italian Salad
- Creamy Vegan Italian Dressing
- Oil-free Vegan Pesto
**This recipe was updated on 27 March 2021 to correct the amount of pasta. I initially suggested 12oz of pasta, but after retesting the recipe, I feel that 8oz creates a better sauce to pasta ratio.
Vegan Baked "Feta" Pasta
- 1 cup Almond ricotta
- 16 oz cherry tomatoes
- 4 to 6 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
- 1 tablespoon frozen or fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon frozen or dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- 8 oz whole wheat bow tie (Farfalle) pasta (or pasta of choice)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze (plus more to garnish)
- fresh basil leaves
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C.
- Make the almond ricotta according to the instructions linked above. You will need a small pot and a high-speed blender.
- Spoon the almond ricotta into the center of a large baking dish. Wash the tomatoes and place them in the baking dish around the ricotta. Peel and slice the garlic cloves into slivers. Add to the baking dish with the tomatoes.
- Season the tomatoes with basil, oregano, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Drizzle lemon juice, balsamic glaze, and olive oil (optional) over the ricotta and tomatoes.
- Place the baking dish in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, or until the cherry tomatoes have burst.
- While the tomatoes and ricotta are baking, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. (Do not over cook the pasta).
- Remove the tomatoes and ricotta from the oven, and crush the tomatoes with a potato masher. (Be careful because the juices can burst). Mix everything together to make a creamy sauce.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the baking dish. Mix to combine with the pasta. Garnish and serve right away!
- For substitution or variation ideas see the section in the blog post above.
- I've listed the portions as serving 6 because a serving of pasta is usually considered 2 oz. Realistically, I always eat a little more than that.
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