Orzo wrapped in an ultra-creamy baked feta sauce – this truly is what easy dinners are made of!
I’m not a huge follower of TikTok trends, but ‘Baked Feta Pasta’ was pretty hard to miss. This dish is loosely based on that, just spruced up a little for extra deliciousness 😋 Follow me…
So I guess this recipe begs the question ‘why bake the feta?‘. If you’ve never baked feta before, to put it bluntly, it’s life-changing. Baking feta turns it super soft and creamy, which in turn creates the base for the most delicious pasta sauce.
What kind of feta should I use?
Try and grab a good-quality block of Greek feta. I usually go for ‘Attis’ Greek feta cheese, which turns out velvety smooth every time. Also, make sure it’s not low-fat, you need the full fat for the best flavour!
Along with the feta, we’re going to add a few other goodies:
- Cherry Tomatoes – These bulk out the pasta and also balance out the salty flavour of the feta.
- Asparagus – This again bulks out the pasta and also pairs with all the other ingredients really nicely.
- Olive Oil – This not only prevents everything from drying out, but it also helps creates a rich, silky sauce.
To bake everything I recommend using a large oven-safe pan, just because it’s then easiest to stir in the orzo. If you don’t have one then just use a baking dish.
Process shots: bake feta with oil (photo 1), remove from oven (photo 2), add asparagus (photo 3), add tomatoes and oil (photo 4), bake again (photo 5), mash feta (photo 6).
Baked Feta Orzo
Once you’ve mashed the feta until it’s smooth, you can go in with the cooked orzo.
When you drain the orzo, do not discard the water. This is a crucial ingredient in creating the creamy sauce. The starch molecules help emulsify the fats and bind everything together.
- Spinach – I like to roughly chop it, but you can keep the leaves whole if you’d prefer.
- Mascarpone – This turns the orzo extra creamy and helps balance out the strong flavour of the feta.
- Herbs – I love stirring through some fresh basil and chives for a boost of flavour!
Process shots: add orzo (photo 1), stir (photo 2), stir in spinach and starchy water (photo 3), stir in mascarpone and herbs (photo 4).
Serving Baked Feta Orzo
As you stir everything, just use the starchy water to thin/smooth out the sauce as you go. I typically end up using 1/2 a cup, but add more in if you need to. When you’re ready to serve, just tuck right in and enjoy!
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this baked feta orzo shall we!?
How to make Baked Feta Orzo (Full Recipe & Video)
Baked Feta Orzo
- Large Oven-Safe Pan (for baking feta/combining everything)
- Large Pot & Wooden Spoon (for cooking orzo)
- Sieve & Large Bowl (for draining orzo)
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
Ingredients (check list):
- 1x 200g/7oz block of Feta (see notes)
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- 300g / 10oz Baby Plum or Cherry Tomatoes, halved
- 200g / 7oz Asparagus, woody ends removed then sliced into 3 or 4 chunks (see notes)
- 2 cups / 400g uncooked Orzo
- 100g / 3.5oz Baby Spinach, roughly diced
- 1/2 small bunch of Fresh Basil, finely diced (15g/0.5oz)
- 2 tbsp finely diced Fresh Chives
- 2 heaped tbsp / 2oz / 60g Mascarpone, (see notes)
- Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
- Add the feta to the centre of a large oven-safe pan and drizzle over 1 tbsp oil. Place in the oven at 200C/390F for 8 minutes.
- Take it out and scatter the asparagus and tomatoes around it. Drizzle them with 2 tbsp oil and sprinkle with a pinch of black pepper. Place everything back in the oven for another 12-15 minutes or until the feta turns golden around the edges and is very soft right through the centre. The tomatoes should have softened and wilted a little, with the asparagus fork tender.
- When you put the feta back in the oven, add the orzo to a large pot of salted water and cook until al dente. Drain in a sieve over a large bowl to collect all of the excess starchy water.
- Use a fork to mash the feta until smooth, then stir in the orzo until everything is combined. Stir in the spinach and 1/2 cup of the starchy water until the spinach wilts and you've created a smooth and creamy sauce. You can toss in more starchy water a splash at a time if you need to.
- To finish, stir through basil, chives and 2 heaped tbsp mascarpone, then check for seasoning and adjust if needed. Go easy with the salt, but black pepper is encouraged. Serve up and enjoy!
Quick 1 min demo!
Your Private Notes:
For another baked feta recipe check out my Baked Feta and Marinara Sauce!
For more similar recipes check out these beauties:
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