This Chicken Feta Pasta is the perfect weeknight casserole dish. Baked feta cheese, oven-roasted cherry tomatoes, and juicy chicken breasts get tossed together with al dente pasta to create a creamy, comforting meal the whole family will love.
📋 About the Recipe
- A protein-rich twist on the viral Tiktok pasta! If you haven't heard of the original Baked Feta Pasta dish that has gone viral on Tiktok several times over the last few years, it is a quick and simple vegetarian pasta sauce that's baked until creamy. My twist on the recipe takes the protein content up a notch and is made with the addition of chicken for more hearty comfort food.
- Family friendly. Both kids and adults love this cheesy pasta dish. It's elevated enough to appease adults, but cheesy and mild enough to make the kids happy too.
- The perfect pair for garlic bread. Serve this meal alongside Air Fryer Garlic Bread or another easy side dish and have this meal on the dinner table in just about 1 hour.
- Made with fresh ingredients. Unlike some pasta dishes that are ladened with heavy cream and excessive oils and fats, this creamy sauce is made entirely with feta cheese and is naturally lower in fat and calories compared to mozzarella. It's also typically made from sheep's milk or goat's milk and is often easier to digest for people that can't digest cow's milk well.
A few notes about the ingredients:
- Pasta - For best results, I'd recommend using a short-cut pasta like bow tie pasta, rigatoni, or penne pasta. These shorter cut pastas are easier to toss in the sauce.
- Chicken breast - I used 2 boneless chicken breasts, totaling about 1 ½ pounds. If your chicken breasts are quite thick, I'd recommend butterflying the chicken breasts before adding them to the baking dish.
- Feta cheese - Make sure to use a block of feta cheese as opposed to crumbled feta. A block of feta cheese is more solid and dense and when heated, becomes a delicious creamy soft texture. Crumbled feta contains less moisture and doesn't form a smooth, cohesive cheese sauce like a block of feta cheese does.
- Cherry tomatoes - Two full pints of ripe, juicy tomatoes are needed. If you're making this easy pasta recipe during the summer months, it's a great way to use up garden tomatoes.
- Red onion - Adds a caramelized flavor contrast that balances the tangy feta and sweet cherry tomatoes.
⁉️ Substitutions and Alterations
- Pasta substitutions - While short-cut pasta is recommended, longer pastas will work too. If you're looking to make this pasta dish more nutritious, use a whole wheat or protein-packed pasta.
- Chicken substitutions - I would not recommend replacing the chicken breasts with bone-in chicken thighs or another cut of meat. Doing so would require an altered bake time and has not been tested. Instead, if chicken breasts are not an option, I'd recommend omitting the chicken altogether and making a vegetarian version of the dish.
- Cherry tomatoes substitutions - Grape tomatoes or diced regular tomatoes will work well. You can also use roasted red peppers for a sweet, smoky twist on this viral recipe.
- Red onion substitutes - If you prefer a stronger onion flavor, substitute in a diced yellow or white onion. For a more mild onion flavor, use shallots.
- Make it spicy - Give your chicken pasta a slight kick and finish with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
- Preheat and prep. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and spray an oven safe baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cook the pasta. Boil the pasta according to package instructions in a large pot of water. Before draining, reserve ½ cup pasta water.
- Add the feta pasta ingredients to the baking dish. While the pasta cooks, place the feta in the center of the prepared baking dish. Add the chicken on each side of the feta, then add the cherry tomatoes, red onion, and garlic cloves around the chicken and cheese.
- Add seasonings. Add a drizzle of olive oil over top, then season with oregano, kosher salt, and black pepper. Use your hands to gently coat the vegetables and chicken in the oil and seasonings.
- Bake. Bake the chicken and feta mixture for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the cherry tomatoes start to burst, the onions soften, and the thickest portion of the chicken is cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Slice the chicken. Remove the chicken and slice it into bite-sized pieces on a clean cutting board. Mix the tomatoes, melted cheese, and onions together until well combined and creamy.
- Stir in the cooked pasta. Pour the drained pasta into the baking dish with the tomatoes. Toss together to coat the pasta in the cheese sauce, then slowly add pasta water to help thin the sauce to your desired consistency (I only used ¼ cup).
- Serve. Serve the chicken feta pasta topped with the sliced chicken. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs, parmesan cheese, and red chili flakes, if desired.
❄️ How to Store
To store: This pasta will store well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To freeze: Freezing leftover chicken feta pasta is not recommended.
To reheat: After being refrigerated, the feta cheese pasta sauce will be less creamy and have thickened considerably. Loosen the sauce up when reheating by adding a splash of water, broth, or milk before microwaving in a microwave safe bowl until warmed through. This pasta can also be reheated on the stovetop until warm.
🔍 Recipe FAQs
Chicken feta pasta is quite hearty on its own, but it's the perfect main to serve alongside simple side dishes such as Air Fryer Garlic Bread, and delicious veggies like Roasted Green Beans and Carrots, Instant Pot Asparagus, Instant Pot Broccoli, or Air Fryer Zucchini.
If you're wondering if it's okay to heat feta cheese, it's not only okay, but it's well worth it. Feta cheese becomes soft and creamy. the salty, tangy, flavors intensify to make an addicting creamy pasta sauce.
Whether or not you choose to rinse the brine off of the block of feta is personal preference. Leaving the additional brine will keep the sauce extra tangy and bold in flavor. If you are sensitive to sodium, rinsing off the brine can lower the salt content of the end result.
💭 One More Tip
Salt the pasta water! Sufficiently salting the pasta water has a noticeable impact on the final flavor of the pasta dish. It can also impact the final texture of the pasta by keeping the exterior al dente and the interior creamy and tender.
🍴 Related Recipes
Share your cooking with me! If you make this recipe, I'd love to know! Tag @yourhomemadehealthy on Instagram or leave a comment with a rating and some feedback at the bottom of this page!
Chicken Feta Pasta
- baking dish
- 1 box (16 ounces) bow tie, rigatoni, or penne pasta
- 2 boneless chicken breasts (about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds)
- 1 block (8 ounces) feta
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes (about 2 ½ cups)
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion (about ¼ of an onion)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- chopped fresh basil, for serving optional
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray an oven safe baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Boil pasta according to package instructions. Reserve ½ cup pasta water before draining.
- While the pasta cooks, place the block of feta in the center of the prepared baking dish. Place chicken on each side of the feta. Add cherry tomatoes, red onion, and garlic around the chicken and cheese.
- Pour olive oil over top. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Use your hands to gently coat the vegetables and chicken in the oil and seasonings.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until tomatoes start to burst, onions soften, and chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Remove the chicken and slice it on a cutting board. Mix tomatoes, melted cheese, and onions together in the baking dish.
- Pour the drained pasta into the baking dish with the tomatoes. Toss to coat in the cheese sauce. Slowly add pasta water to help thin the sauce to your desired consistency (I only needed ¼ cup).
- Serve pasta topped with sliced chicken. Garnish with chopped fresh basil, if desired.
- Make sure to use a whole block of feta, NOT feta crumbles. Feta crumbles are drier and won't result in the same creamy texture once baked.
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