Part of the fun of viral recipes is cooking along with all your friends, as well as random strangers all over the world — the kind of shared experience we all crave these days. And when a dish really catches on, like with the TikTok feta pasta, the fun increases as everyone adds their own unique spin on it. We made the original and found it was just as great as all those videos promised, but now we’re considering how to make it next by taking tips from folks on social media — including celebrities like Lizzo. These are the best one’s we’ve seen.

Make It Vegan, Like Lizzo

“I finally did it, y’all, I made the pasta,” the singer announced on her TikTok. But she eats vegan, so she changed it up to fit her own dietary restrictions, using Spero’s goat cheese-style alternative made from sunflower seeds and coconut oil. She also subbed out the typical pasta for Banza’s chickpea penne, and added some chili flakes, “hella basil,” and honey. 

TV host Ereka Vetrini made the pasta her own by getting a little fancy and using creamy burrata cheese in place of the feta, as well as changing up the vegetables with asparagus and delicata squash. The burrata spin is a common one, but she offers a few good tips, including warming the burrata in water ahead of mixing it in, and adding extra salt, since it’s not as salty as feta.

The original pasta went so viral that feta sold out in stores around the country, so people began looking for the best alternatives to use — and many landed on Boursin, the soft, creamy packaged cheese. It’s widely available, comes in just about the right size and shape to make the recipe for a few people, and does the same type of melting and mixing as the feta — plus it comes with garlic and herbs already mixed into the cheese.

Level Up with Spinach Dip

I first saw this idea on a Facebook group where people share their favorite dishes made from Trader Joe’s ingredients. Melvina Budiono took the baked pasta to incredible, brilliant new heights: Instead of the feta, she used the grocery store’s spinach-artichoke dip. The frozen dip plops right into the dish, just like cheese, but turns it into a cross between the classic app and the viral pasta. Since then, I’ve seen this all over Trader Joe’s forums, TIkToks, and Instagram.

Naomi Tomky


Seattle-based writer Naomi Tomky uses her unrelenting enthusiasm for eating everything to propel herself around the world as an award-winning food and travel writer.

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