Our Baked Feta Pasta with Zucchini Noodles recipe is a healthier and simpler twist on the TikTok baked feta pasta craze! No boiling pasta or tossing a salad—you’ve got a complete meal in one pan in just 30 minutes.
Easily add proteins, too! Mix in rotisserie or grilled chicken, or add fresh seafood on top during the last 5 minutes of cooking time and let the oven do the rest.
Adding zucchini noodles to baked feta and tomatoes is part of our not-so-secret mission to get more veggies on the dinner table.
I love a baked pasta dish when I crave a solid comfort food meal. But it can feel a bit carb-heavy when it’s just cheese, pasta, and tomatoes. We like using zucchini noodles (zoodles) as a pasta replacement, but truth be told… I want the pasta, too.
So, why not both?! In our baked feta version, you get the pasta you crave alongside the zoodles you need.
This recipe features creamy feta cheese swirled with roasted cherry tomatoes in a mix of angel hair pasta and zucchini noodles to keep it healthy. This gorgeous flavor bomb infuses garlic, fresh basil, and Italian herbs for all the get-to-the-table aroma you could ask for.
Zucchini and Angel Hair are the Perfect Match
We find that the zucchini noodles release much-needed moisture while they cook, along with the tomato juices, to facilitate the pasta cooking.
Zoodles are an awesome pasta alternative because they imitate the texture of the pasta and take on surrounding flavors beautifully.
Angel hair pasta cooks quickly and requires less water than thicker pasta, so it keeps the baking time to less than 30 minutes, and you’ll only need one dish!
The angel hair and zoodles create a pleasing texture with a blend of comfort and crunch for the best of both worlds—reducing carbs and adding more vegetables to the meal.
TIP: Use the smallest blade size to make zucchini noodles for this dish so it is closer in size to the angel hair pasta.
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How to create noodles out of zucchini:
- tabletop spiralizer (I use Oxo Good grips)
- handheld spiralizer
- mandoline slicer (this will produce shorter, straight pieces)
- julienne peeler (this will produce longer, straight pieces)
- julienne the zucchini using a sharp kitchen knife (more tedious)
Naturally, a spiralizer makes this process very easy. I’ve used a few different tabletop spiralizers, and the OXO Good Grips 3-Blade Tabletop Spiralizer with StrongHold Suction is my favorite.
It has a suction cup on the base, which is helpful for holding it securely on the counter when I’m using it. I used the smallest cutting blade to make the zucchini noodles for this feta bake recipe.
Sure, you could use a drill to spin the vegetables. While adventurous, it seems more complicated to me, and I’m guessing there’d be an odd garage taste somehow.
However, there are at least 4 other ways to make zucchini into noodles—check out how to spiralize zucchini without a spiralizer for more details.
Ultimately, you don’t have to do any of the spiralizing yourself because most larger grocery stores now carry zoodles in the produce section. This is a great option for someone who only wants to eat zucchini noodles occasionally without investing in another kitchen tool.
- Heat oven to 375°F. Spiralize the zucchini and sprinkle with salt; set aside.
- Prep the garlic and basil.
- Snap the angel hair pasta in half and arrange in a single layer in the baking dish. Pour water over the pasta.
- Arrange the zucchini over the pasta.
- Arrange the tomatoes over the squash, arrange the sliced garlic around the outside edge of the dish, then sprinkle with the dry herbs.
- Break up the feta and scatter on top in approximately 2-inch chunks.
- Sprinkle grated parmesan over everything and drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until tomatoes are bursting and squash is soft.
- Stir in fresh basil with a fork, popping the tomatoes to release their juices as you stir.
Can I Use a Different Pasta or No Pasta at all?
We chose angel hair pasta for this recipe because it cooks through more easily than other pasta, being the thinnest of all pasta options. This makes it possible to put this recipe into one oven dish and be done with it instead of making a pot of pasta separately.
- If you want a bigger, thicker pasta, cook it separately and mix it once the bake is done.
- Eliminate the pasta and just use the zucchini noodles.
Can I Use Canned or Sliced Tomatoes?
Yes, to both!
- With canned tomatoes, make sure you drain the excess liquid from the tomatoes before adding them to the pan (save the juice for soups or other recipes). You want some juices from the tomatoes, but not too much.
- Chop any fresh tomato into bite-size chunks to replace the grape or cherry tomatoes.
Can I add other vegetables?
Of course! Other great additions to this dish include artichoke hearts, spinach, kale, or mushrooms—really anything with a quick bake time.
I only have crumbled feta. Will that work?
Brined block feta produces the creamiest texture because it is more moist and will melt better than dry crumbled feta. However, if all you have is crumbled feta, you can substitute a portion of the feta with cream cheese or goat cheese to enhance the creaminess.
Are there other cheese options?
We chose feta because it has a rich, salty flavor that helps to season the rest of the dish. However, a combination of ricotta and goat cheese, a block of cream cheese, or Boursin are also nice options.
Can I use butternut squash noodles or spaghetti squash?
Zucchini has water content that is crucial to the dish, while butternut squash is drier and sweeter, and requires a longer cooking time. I haven’t proofed the recipe using butternut, so I’m not sure about the amount of water you might need for the pasta.
If you do want a delicious butternut squash noodle recipe, here’s a better option: Butternut Squash Noodles with Almond & Sage Brown Butter
I have tried making this dish with spaghetti squash, and it worked well, but it took up to 50 minutes of baking time, and there was more prep involved. Spaghetti squash must be peeled and sliced thin to cook through as the recipe is written.
How to add protein to baked feta pasta with zucchini noodles:
Shrimp—Add peeled and deveined raw shrimp to the top of the dish during the last 7-10 minutes of baking. It goes well with the summery flavors in this dish.
Salmon—Nestle a lightly seasoned salmon filet into the top of the bake during the last 8-10 minutes of cooking time or sear the salmon in a skillet and serve it on the side.
Smoked Salmon—Smoked salmon doesn’t need to be cooked, so it is simple to stir in right after the bake comes out of the oven.
Chicken, pork, or beef—These proteins need to be cooked separately and beforehand. Grill or pan-sear until done. Slice and stir in right after the bake comes out of the oven or serve on the side.
Chickpeas—Drain the chickpeas and sprinkle over the layer of zucchini noodles for a vegetarian meal.
RECIPE TIPS & VARIATIONS
- Use the smallest blade size to make zucchini noodles for this dish so it is closer, in size, to the angel hair pasta.
- Add protein to the bake (see above)
- Substitute chopped tomatoes for grape or cherry tomatoes.
- Substitute goat cheese and cream cheese for the brined feta.
- Go lower-carb and omit the pasta for just zucchini noodles.
More Pasta Dishes You’ll Love
- Spaghetti Al Farouk
- Cheese & Spinach Manicotti
- Spaghetti Bolognese
- Chicken Piccata
- Turkey (or Chicken) Tetrazzini
Baked Feta Pasta with Zucchini Noodles
- 1 medium zucchini (14 ounces) spiralized
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 3 ounces angel hair pasta about the size of a nickle(round) when gathered in your hand
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 cloves garlic sliced thin
- 1 quart grape tomatoes (2 pints)
- 1 teaspoon dry Italian herb blend
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for garnish (optional)
- 10 ounces feta cheese (sheep’s milk in brine), or goat cheese
- 3 tablespoons olive oil plus more for greasing the dish
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oven to 375°F and brush a 9 x 13 baking dish with oil to lightly grease. Spiralize the zucchini and sprinkle with salt; set aside. (To avoid super-long strings of zucchini, cut the mound of spirals a couple of times with a knife.)
- Snap the angel hair pasta in half and arrange in a single layer in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour water over the pasta.
- Arrange the zucchini over the pasta.
- Arrange the tomatoes over the squash and pasta and sprinkle with the dry herbs.
- Arrange the sliced garlic slices around the outside edge of the dish and sprinkle parmesan over everything.
- Break up the feta and scatter on top in approximately 2-inch chunks. Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil over everything and bake for 30 minutes or until tomatoes are bursting and squash is soft.
- Remove the baked feta and tomato dish from the oven, sprinkle fresh basil over the top, and stir with a fork popping the tomatoes to release their juices as you stir. Top with fresh grated parmesan to serve.
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- Use the smallest blade size to make zucchini noodles for this dish so it is closer in size to the angel hair pasta.
- Substitute chopped tomatoes for grape or cherry tomatoes
- Substitute goat cheese and cream cheese for the brined feta
- Go lower-carb and omit the pasta for just zucchini noodles