Spinach Chickpea Baked Feta Pasta
This is my twist on the infamous TikTok baked feta pasta. This EASY dinner recipe is super delicious, creamy, and flavorful. The addition of cooked chickpeas gives this dish a punch of protein + spinach for some green goodness make this simple meal extra good!
I truthfully am not on TikTok (maybe I should be?). But I DID take note of the many, many, many people on social media making this creamy dreamy looking baked feta pasta dish and crediting MacKenzie Smith for sharing it on her TikTok.
I admit. I was intrigued. And after watching everyone drooling over it, I had to give this easy dinner a go.
When I originally made this recipe, it was 💯 on a whim. I shared it on my Instagram Stories as I made it, using the original uunifetapasta recipe as inspiration. But, of course, I put my own twist on it!
I dumped some canned chickpeas into the dish for a boost of easy pant protein. Sprinkled in some red pepper for *just the right amount* of kick that was still family friendly. And spinach (of course) got stirred into the hot, melty cheese and popping cherry tomatoes at the end.
OH. MY. Yep. I get the craze. It is THAT good, TNNers.
And while this recipe is super easy and there are LOTS of variations out there, I found myself drowning in DMs for details on MY version of the recipe.
So, by some seriously popular request, here is my Spinach Chickpea Baked Feta Pasta.
Why this baked feta pasta is so good.
You mean besides it being out-of-this-world delicious?
- Quick! Very little prep is needed for this dish and it is cooked and on the table in about 30 minutes.
- A complete meal. With the addition of chickpeas and spinach, this pasta dish becomes a triple threat dinner that tastes amazing, gets veggies in AND satisfies you.
- Makes great leftovers. Easy to make and reheats like a dream! I love recipes that I can cook once and eat twice.
- Family-friendly. My crew inhaled this! The creamy cheese sauce has a great flavor that really ties everything together!
- Adaptable. As always, I offer up lots of idea of how to make this baked feta pasta recipe fit YOUR life! This recipe is how I did it, but we don’t have to be the same! Check out the Suggested Adaptation section of this post for ideas on how to tweak this recipe for family.
Baked Feta Pasta ingredients
- Feta cheese. The original recipe for this pasta calls for a block of feta cheese. That is about 8 ounces here in the United States. And sometimes a block of feta can be hard to track down (especially now since everyone and their mother is trying out baked feta). So if you can’t find a block of feta, just grab some crumbled and measure out 8 ounces. Pour it into the center of the dish where you would put the block of feta and carry on. There is no wrong way to feta.
- Cherry or grape tomatoes. The little tomatoes pop when they cook, adding just enough liquid to this baked feta dish to help make the melty cheesy into a sauce.
- Olive oil. I drizzle this over the veggies and chickpeas before they cook to help them get all roasty and awesome. The olive oil also brings a rich “omph” to this pasta dish.
- Red onion for that added flavor and color. If you don’t have red onion, yellow or brown onion will work just fine too!
- Fresh garlic. And lots of it! Roasted garlic makes any pasta dish better, in my book. However, adjust the amount of garlic in this recipe to fit your personal taste.
- Canned chickpeas. Because they are easy and they add some plant-based protein to make this dish more filling. If you prefer to cook your own chickpeas, you can easily do so ahead of time and use them in this dish.
- Crushed red pepper flakes. I have recently fallen in love with adding a touch of red pepper flakes to pasta dishes. Just a touch to add a little depth to flavor but not enough heat to make it off-putting to kids. My daughter loved this dish, but if your kids, partner, or you yourself are sensitive to spice….feel free to omit the red pepper.
- Cumin. You weren’t expecting that one, were you? Cumin has a hearty, earthy flavor that adds depth to any dish. It makes this already good recipe next level in my book!
- Pasta. Whatever small kind you like! This also makes this dish really easy to make gluten free when you opt for brown rice pasta!
- Fresh spinach. I love adding fresh baby spinach to hot dishes because it wilts quickly, gives the dish an instant boost of nutrients and color….and there is no prep beyond washing and drying it!
Will you have some leftover spinach after making this baked pasta—and don’t want it to go to waste? Check out How to Store Spinach (and keep it fresh all week long).
- Add more veggies. I think some diced zucchini, chopped asparagus, or canned artichoke hearts would be a dreamy addition to this bake feta recipe. The sky is the veggie limit with this dish!
- Use vegan feta to make this dish dairy-free.
- Replace the chickpeas with cooked chicken or cooked shrimp when you stir in the cooked pasta if you prefer.
- Make it gluten free by using your favorite gluten free pasta.
Other veggie-loaded pasta dishes you are going to want to add into your rotation
- One-Pot Cheesy Butternut Squash Pasta
- Baked Pasta with Eggplant
- Mushroom Lentil Pasta
- Veggie-Loaded Spaghetti Pie (vegetarian)
- Quick & Easy Guacamole Pasta
Did you try this baked feta pasta and now you’re hungry for more?
Spinach Chickpea Baked Feta Pasta
- 1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 15 ounce cans cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounce block of feta cheese, can use crumbles if needed
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 ounces pasta of choice
- 2 handfuls baby spinach
- Preheat your oven to 400℉.
- In a large baking dish ( I used a 9-by-13 inch), combine tomatoes, chickpeas, red onion, and garlic. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat.
- Season with cumin and red pepper flakes. Toss again.
- Place block of feta in the middle of veggies and chickpeas and put in the preheated oven. Cook for 30 minutes.
- While the tomatoes and chickpeas roast, cook your pasta according to the directions on the package. Once pasta is cooked, reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain the rest. Set pasta aside until your tomatoes and chickpeas are done cooking.
- Once done cooking, remove the baking dish from the oven. Use a spoon to break up the warm feta, squish any whole tomatoes, and gently mix it with the vegetables and chickpeas to create a sauce.
- When the tomatoes and chickpeas are coated in cheese, add in the cooked pasta and spinach. Toss until the pasta is evenly coated in cheese and the spinach has begun to wilt in the hot sauce. If the sauce seems too thick, add a little of the reserved pasta water (I start with 2 tablespoons) and stir until your desired consistency is reached. Add more pasta water if needed, but be careful to do it a little at a time so you don't thin our your sauce too much.
- Taste. Season with more cumin, red pepper, or even salt and pepper if desired.
- Enjoy warm! Allow leftovers to cool completely before storing in your fridge for up to 3 days.