Warm Baked Feta & Tomatoes with Shrimp

Roast a block of feta cradled in small tomatoes and wow, something near miraculous emerges from the oven: feta crisp and golden on the outside but melty soft in the center plus bites of warm tomato submerged in a garlic-y tomato-y broth. It's an appetizer that shouts "share me sharemeshareme". Now add some shrimp and double wow, an appetizer is transformed into an easy pantry meal that turns the table quiet in silent accolade. If this kinda sorta sounds like the TikTok recipe phenomenon? That's because it is ... and yeah, it deserves the hype.

Warm Baked Feta & Tomatoes with Shrimp ♥ KitchenParade.com. TikTok phenomenon worth the hype as an appetizer, casual meal or pasta feast.

Real Food, Fun & Family-Tested. Another Quick Supper, a Kitchen Parade Specialty. Hearty & Filling. Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. One-Pot Meal. Party Friendly. Low Carb. High Protein. Naturally Gluten Free.

TikTok: No Hickory Dickory Dock Nursery Rhyme

If this recipe looks familiar, thank a Finnish food blogger (though the recipe isn't the least bit Finnish, even written in Finnish as uunifetapasta, oven feta pasta) and TikTok (another social media app that from my Okay, Boomer perspective is 90% ridiculous and 9% vaguely interesting and 1% brilliant).

TikTokers fell hard for the warm tomato-feta combo and just like that, the recipe went viral (nope, nope, nope, not using that word anymore) became a social media phenomenon and indeed may even have triggered an international run on feta a year ago.

Truth be told, slightly messy bites of tangy warm tomatoes and soft, almost-melted feta has gone viral (oops) is welcomed again and again in our kitchen whether served:

  • as a convivial appetizer plopped in the middle of the table with slices of crusty bread (usually just the tomatoes and feta)
  • as a spur-of-the-moment casual meal on the patio with a bottle of crisp white wine (usually with shrimp added)
  • as a cheesy pasta feast, even with a bare minimum of pasta (usually with tomatoes, feta, shrimp and pasta all mixed together, some times with pasta on the bottom)

Over many months, I tweaked the recipe to rely on my own kitchen's pantry ingredients and to reduce the calories without sacrificing satisfaction.

Is it worth all the hype? Yes, yes and yes.

So thanks, social media, for creating a craze. I owe you.

Warm Baked Feta & Tomatoes with Shrimp ♥ KitchenParade.com. TikTok phenomenon worth the hype as an appetizer, casual meal or pasta feast.

How to Make Warm Baked Feta & Tomatoes with Shrimp

The detailed recipe is written in traditional recipe form below but here are the highlights in three easy steps. You can do this!


  • Roast tomatoes and whole feta with garlic, shallot, seasonings and olive oil until the tomatoes burst and the feta melts (but keeps its shape) for 35 minutes.
  • If you like, nestle shrimp among the tomatoes and feta and roast for another 15 minutes.
  • If you like, stir the tomatoes, feta and shrimp into cooked pasta.
  • That's it!

What's In Warm Baked Feta & Tomatoes with Shrimp? Pantry Ingredients!

In all my recipes and most well-written recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. It's not that an ingredient can't be substituted by something else but when choosing the substitute, it's important to understand why the original ingredient was present in the first place.


  • A Full Pound of Tomatoes Use tiny tomatoes like grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes. While the tomatoes roast, they'll express liquid, this becomes the most delicious garlic-y, tomato-y broth. For texture contrast, I like to keep about half the tomatoes whole, most will still pop their skins in the heat. But to encourage the tomato juices, cut the rest of the tomatoes into halves (if really small) or quarters (if a little larger). In summer, if you have home-grown summer tomatoes? The dish will be especially wonderful but truly, there's no reason to wait.

  • A Half Pound of Feta Look for blocks/bricks of feta, not crumbled feta. In the oven, the top of the feta will turn crispy and golden but the center will turn soft and melty. Delish! If your only choice is crumbled feta, go for it (especially if you're planning on including pasta), but you will miss the texture contrast and sheer beauty of the whole feta.

  • Extra Flavors While they're not essential, slivers of garlic and shallot plus a little lemon zest really add richness. Salt and pepper are important too: remember that you're seasoning an entire pound of tomato and another pound of shrimp. Translation: be generous. That little sprinkle of red pepper flakes? Important!

  • A Full Pound of Shrimp For an ultimate last-minute pantry meal, you bet I'm relying on frozen shrimp, just be sure to thaw the shrimp while the tomatoes and feta roast. I've also made this dish with pre-cooked salad shrimp, frozen and thawed: very good! For something extra-good, fresh shrimp are amazing but we like to throw them on the grill instead of roasting them with the tomatoes and feta.

  • Just Four Ounces of Pasta My husband loves Warm Baked Feta & Tomatoes with Shrimp when it's tossed with hot pasta. But I've learned, a mere four ounces of dried pasta is plenty, it makes for a very tomato-y and shrimp-y version. That said, eight ounces isn't "too much pasta" either, we both just prefer the version with less pasta.

  • Hey, Sam's Club Members (Please know, this is NOT a sponsored post.) You are so in luck because the three main ingredients for Warm Baked Feta & Tomatoes with Shrimp (yep, those are the three, right in the recipe's name) are mainstays in my "favorites" list on Sam's Club's shopping app. In fact, I buy all three even if I'm not making this particular dish: they're pantry staples. First, the feta. believe it or not, my best source for a block of feta is Sam's Club. It's a big block but keeps for three or four weeks, plenty of time to make this dish at least twice. If not, I adore feta so naturally, there are plenty of Kitchen Parade recipes that also call for feta. Second, the tomatoes. We love the tiny "flavor bomb" cherry tomatoes, they're on the vine so pretty too. Third, the shrimp. The shrimp comes in two-pound bags but it's no trouble to go through so much with several favorite recipes that also call for shrimp.
Warm Baked Feta & Tomatoes with Shrimp ♥ KitchenParade.com. TikTok phenomenon worth the hype as an appetizer, casual meal or pasta feast.

Why Add Shrimp to Warm Baked Feta & Tomatoes?

The first time was by accident.

My sister and her husband were visiting after losing our father. Adanna and I had spent the day writing and re-writing his obituary. We were spent, desparate for something to help us forget if just for awhile.

Without need for a "recipe" for a dish I'd already made many times, I tossed tomatoes, garlic and olive oil in a baking dish, tucking in four rectangles of feta. Somebody uncorked a bottle of wine, somebody made a salad.

But a few bites in, I realized we all needed protein so I threw some shrimp into the oven to roast. My sister, I'm sure, was the first to sweet a shrimp through the last of the tomatoes and feta in the middle of the table. Ohhhhh Myyyy! Soon we were elbowing one another for the last smears.

And so it's been ever since.

  • Just tomatoes and feta for an appetizer, plenty filling for a meal, mind you.
  • Plus shrimp for an actual meal, substantial and packed with protein.
  • Plus pasta when the grandkids are at the table and or somebody in the household is craving carbs

What about other proteins? Chicken, nope. Salmon, nope. Somehow it's shrimp or nothing.

And for the record, the original Finnish / TikTok recipe calls for pasta but not shrimp.

Warm Baked Feta & Tomatoes with Shrimp ♥ KitchenParade.com. TikTok phenomenon worth the hype as an appetizer, casual meal or pasta feast.

Is Uunifetapasta Finnish Food?

Maybe yes? Maybe no? It depends on your definition of Finnish food.

The Case for YES. A Finnish food blogger first brought the dish to fame. Blogging in Finnish, naturally she gave the recipe a Finnish name, uunifetapasta [pronounced OO-nee FET-uh POS-tuh]. Uuni means oven in English. Feta means ... I think you've got this, right?

The Case for NO. Uunifetapasta is definitely not traditional Finnish food. And while food is cultural and changes over the course of time, it's hard to imagine this dish sweeping across Finland and becoming a local favorite.

Me? I'm straddling the line. I'm calling it "honorary" Finnish food, right up there with Zucchini Spiral "Noodle" Salad, the seductive zucchini-noodle salad that I learned in Finland but is no more "Finnish" than ...

But!

Since I lived in Finland for a year as an exchange student, I have many traditional Finnish and other Scandinavian recipes, see Finnish recipes.


You'll Love Warm Baked Feta & Tomatoes with Shrimp Because ...

  • It's easy enough for a weeknight but special enough to spark an occasion.
  • It's social food, whether dinner for two (hello, Valentine's at home?) or a gathering with family or a few friends.
  • Everybody loves a pile of shrimp! And it makes for a more protein-filled complete meal.
  • The combination of flavors are familiar but the serving temperature is not.
  • It's just plain fun and heaven knows, we could use more fun in our lives.

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this TikTok recipe turned supper saver hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...


Warm Baked Feta & Tomatoes with Shrimp ♥ KitchenParade.com. TikTok phenomenon worth the hype as an appetizer, casual meal or pasta feast.



WARM BAKED FETA & TOMATOES with SHRIMP

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time-to-table: 1 hour
Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as an appetizer
    TOMATOES & FETA
  • 1 pound mini (grape, cherry, etc.) tomatoes, about half left whole, the remainder halved or quartered
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 or 2 shallots, slivered
  • 6 cloves garlic, slivered
  • Zest of a lemon (try not to skip)
  • Salt & pepper to taste (be generous)
  • Sprinkle red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces (225g) whole feta, left in a block or cut into smaller rectangles or triangles

  • A few snippets of fresh herbs (basil, cilantro, parsley, tarragon, chive, thyme, etc.), optional
    SHRIMP, OPTIONAL BUT AMAZING
  • 1 pound shrimp (any size; frozen or fresh or even pre-cooked; preferably with shells and tails removed)
    PASTA, DEFINITELY OPTIONAL BUT VERY GOOD
  • 4 ounces (112g) dried pasta (or up to 8 ounces/225g)
  • Pasta Cooking Water

Heat oven to 400F/200C.

PREP If your shrimp need thawing, submerge them in cold (yes, cold) water to thaw while proceeding. It helps to break the shrimp apart a bit every few minutes so they'll thaw evenly and completely while the tomatoes and feta are in the oven. Once thawed, drain and pat dry.

TOMATOES & FETA In a shallow oven-safe baking dish about 11x7x3, stir together the tomatoes, olive oil, shallot, garlic, lemon zest and seasoning. Spread the mixture evenly across the baking dish.

Nestle the feta into the tomatoes. Spread a few tomatoes across the feta. Roast until the feta turns golden on top and soft inside, about 35 minutes.

TO SERVE WITHOUT SHRIMP Roast for another 15 minutes. Sprinkle with a few fresh herbs and serve hot. Enjoy with gusto!


SHRIMP (If the shrimp have been frozen, make sure they're fully thawed before proceeding.) Tuck the shrimp among the tomatoes, nestling them into the delicious tomato juices.

Return to the oven and roast until the shrimp are fully cooked, about 15 minutes.

TO SERVE WITHOUT PASTA If serving without pasta, stop here, sprinkle with a few fresh herbs and serve while hot. Enjoy with gusto!


PASTA While the shrimp cooks, cook the pasta in well-salted water for the time specified on the package. Reserve about a cup of the Pasta Cooking Water, then drain the pasta. Stir the cooked pasta into the Tomato-Feta-Shrimp mixture, adding a splash or two of the Pasta Cooking Water to create a saucy-ness that envelops the pasta. Serve immediately while hot.

LEFTOVERS are decent but it's definitely best served hot from the oven.

ALANNA's TIPS If needed, cut the block/brick of feta so that it's about an inch tall. While home-grown tomatoes are extra good here, the dish is really way too delicious to only make in summer when certain dishes really do demand summer tomatoes. No shallot? Use a little green onion or thin slivers of a yellow onion. Or just skip it! But I do find that shallots keep in the fridge for several weeks, perfect when you only need a little bit of onion. Just 15 minutes works for both thawed/uncooked shrimp and thawed/pre-cooked shrimp. Not everybody at the table eating pasta? It's easy to set aside "pasta free" portions while others get their carbs.
NUTRITION INFORMATION
Per Appetizer Serving (assumes 6, no shrimp): 198 Calories; 16g Tot Fat; 7g Sat Fat; 33mg Cholesterol; 423mg Sodium; 6g Carb; 1g Fiber; 4g Sugar; 6g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 5 & PointsPlus 5 & SmartPoints 8 & Freestyle 7 & myWW green 7 & blue 7 & purple 7 & PersonalPoints

Per Main Dish Serving (assumes 4, includes shrimp): 417 Calories; 26g Tot Fat; 11g Sat Fat; 222mg Cholesterol; 802mg Sodium; 10g Carb; 2g Fiber; 5g Sugar; 32g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 10 & PointsPlus 11 & SmartPoints 13 & Freestyle 10 & myWW green 12 & blue 10 & purple 10 & PersonalPoints

Per Main Dish Serving (assumes 4, includes shrimp & pasta): 518 Calories; 27g Tot Fat; 11g Sat Fat; 222mg Cholesterol; 802mg Sodium; 31g Carb; 3g Fiber; 6g Sugar; 36g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS (purple assumes whole wheat pasta) Old Points 12 & PointsPlus 13 & SmartPoints 16 & Freestyle 13 & myWW green 15 & blue 13 & purple 10 & PersonalPoints

More Quick Suppers with Shrimp

more
~ Quick Supper recipes ~
Shrimp with Tomatoes, Spinach & Feta ♥ KitchenParade.com, one of my favorite suppers in a long time, shrimp cooked in a nest of fresh or canned tomatoes, spinach and feta cheese.

Shrimp Veracruz, another one-pot Quick Supper ♥ KitchenParade.com. Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy. Low Carb. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly. Gluten Free.

Stir-Fried Shrimp with Asparagus or other Fresh Summer Vegetables, another Quick Supper ♥ KitchenParade.com, just shrimp and your choices of vegetables tossed in an addictive sweet 'n' sour sauce. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly. Gluten Free.

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~ pasta suppers ~

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

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