Rustic and warming, light but still cozy, this Mediterranean Baked Feta with Tomatoes, Onions and Chickpeas is my new go-to when I'm feeling lazy and uninspired. It takes just a few ingredients, gets baked in one pan and is ready for eating in just 30 minutes. Now that's what I call a Weeknight Wonder.
This inexpensive and oh-so-easy one-dish vegetarian meal has become a staple at our house of late. With just a few knife cuts and a bit of time in the oven, a handful of easy to find ingredients turns into a meal worthy of company. Whether you're looking for a simple weekend brunch, a fast WFH lunch or a snappy mid-week dinner, this baked feta recipe has you covered.
Table of Contents
Why I Love This Recipe
While that viral TikTok pasta got a whole mess of press, I'm wholeheartedly agree with Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen's interpretation. Feta and tomatoes are a match made in heaven, but I much prefer this recipe to the TikTok sensation for a few reasons.
First, pairing them with creamy chickpeas that are packed with fiber and protein means that I'll stay fuller for longer than if I had opted for pasta. Secondly, I'm all for saving myself the trouble of boiling and draining pasta, which creates at least 2 extra dishes for me to wash.
While I love the simplicity of Smitten Kitchen's recipe, I love the added flavor that sweet roasted red onions, spicy jalapeños and a homemade Mediterranean spice mix gives this dish. All three are optional, but they add a lot of depth without breaking the bank.
This Mediterranean baked feta with tomatoes and chickpeas is also wonderfully versatile. I've served it for both weekend brunch and weeknight dinners, and have happily mowed down the leftovers as my lunch. When paired with some warm naan, this anytime combo just can't be beat.
Finally, the best part of this recipe is how dagum easy it is. Slice an onion, a few cloves of garlic, a pepper or two and about half a pack of cherry tomatoes, and your work is basically done. All that's left to do is open and drain a can of chickpeas, pour in some olive oil and toss everything around in some spices, using the pan you're going to roast in to cut back on dishes.
Easy to make, delightful to eat, a snap to clean up, perfect for anytime of day or night, AND inexpensive to boot? You're not dreaming. That's just the reality for this baked feta chickpea wonder meal. So let's get cookin'!
How to Make Mediterranean Spiced Baked Tomatoes and Feta
This recipe is ridiculously easy. It takes *maybe* 7 minutes worth of active prep time, and the oven does the rest of the work for you. First, preheat your oven to 400F.
Prep your veggies: wash and dry the cherry tomatoes, cutting about 50% of them in half. Thinly slice garlic and jalapeño. Vertically slice red onion.
Remove feta from brine, cutting in half hamburger-wise if necessary. Save the brine for marinating some chicken later in the week!
Open and drain chickpeas, saving that glorious aquafaba for some vegan baking. (You know I'm all about stretching my dollar as far as possible! Don't turn your nose up at "free" ingredients like your aquafaba and brine.)
Pat the chickpeas dry on a clean kitchen towel.
Place onions, garlic, jalapeños and tomatoes in your baking dish with olive oil, a few hefty pinches of kosher salt, and your seasoning blend of choice (if using). Toss together.
Push veggies to the sides of the dish to make space for the feta. Place the feta in the center and use a spoon to drizzle some of the spiced olive oil over it. Pop it in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the veggies are beginning to soften.
Remove from oven and stir in chickpeas, being careful not to disturb the feta. Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes.
Turn the oven to broil, and move the baking dish to the top rack. Broil for 5-10 minutes, until the tomatoes, onions and feta get the right amount of char for your liking.
Remove from oven, dish out, sprinkle with some fresh herbs if you have them and serve with some warm slices of naan. Enjoy!
SIDE NOTE: This dish boasts a heckuva lot of olive oil, but I'm all for that heart healthy fat. As a result, I find that a spork is the perfect utensil for shoveling this yumminess into my mouth. Don't forget to sop up all the good stuff with your flatbread, either.
How to Make Mediterranean Spice Mix
This step is entirely optional, as there are a lot of spice mixes available to purchase at the store. I prefer blending my own with separate spices because it gives me more options, but you'll hear exactly zero guff from me if you find a blend you like. (If you want to purchase one, Spicewalla mixes are always a good bet.)
Gather your spices. Here's what you'll need to make roughly a quarter cup of this homemade spice blend (which is enough to make this baked feta recipe 6 times!):
- 3 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 2 teaspoons cumin seed (or ground cumin)
- 2 teaspoons coriander seed (or ground coriander)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for heat)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
To make this Mediterranean spice mix, simply blend up your spices. You can do so in either a spice grinder or mortar & pestle, or just stir them together in a bowl if you are using pre-ground spices. It's as easy as that!
NOTE: Whole spices will give you a lot more flavor for your dollar because they retain more of their oils. However, I recognize that convenience is often king and ground spices make more sense some of the time. Stirring pre-ground spices together will still result in a lot of yummy flavor!
Not only is this spice mix good with this tasty and spicy baked feta recipe, but it is also great to season plain roasted chickpeas, grilled chicken or fish. Feel free to try using it in your everyday cooking for a quick punch of flavor. If you find something that it plays really well with, please comment below so we can all try it!
Frequently Asked Questions
First, I highly recommend getting a feta that is packed in brine. The flavor and texture of feta in liquid is creamier, softer and tangier, which are all things that I want. It also helps to extend the shelf life of the cheese, which makes it easier to keep yourself stocked and ready for last minute meals. Oh, and that brine? Use it for marinating your chicken. Just trust me on that.
Other than that, I don't think it matters whether you opt for cow's, sheep's or goat's milk varieties. While there are some flavor and textural differences between the types of feta, I'd say reach for whatever is in your budget.
Aldi only has cow's milk feta in brine, but at $2.50 for a big ol' block, I'm perfectly happy with it. TJ's, on the other hand, only has sheep's milk feta in brine, and that's more expensive at $3.95. I've tried and loved both kinds.
Sure! While I love creamy garbanzos in this Mediterranean inspired meal, you can easily swap in other beans depending on what you have on hand. For the visual appeal, I'd recommend going with white beans like navy, great northern or cannellini varieties, but red kidney beans or pintos would absolutely do the trick if needed.
Sure! This marvelous dish is delicious straight out of the oven when the feta is still creamy and soft, but I've reheated it with great results. Note that the feta will solidify as it cools down, so definitely try to serve it hot. Leftovers should keep for up to 5 days in the fridge and can either be heated up in the oven, toaster oven or microwave.
You can either omit it entirely, a la Smitten Kitchen, or you can go buck wild using any mix of Mediterranean herbs and spices you happen to have on hand - I'd bet you have at least one or two on hand. Pre-made blends are also a fine swap - try some za'atar, Greek or Italian seasoning blends would all do the trick!
I got all of the ingredients for this dish for around $12 at Aldi (not including the dry spices, but including some fresh ones for garnish). The most expensive piece was the naan, of all things! To cut about $3-3.50 of the cost, try making your own flatbread! I love this recipe, which only calls for three ingredients - flour, baking powder and plain greek yogurt.
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Mediterranean Baked Feta with Chickpeas, Tomatoes and Onions
- 2 pints Cherry Tomatoes up to half sliced in half
- 6-8 cloves Garlic
- 1 medium Red Onion thinly sliced
- 1-2 Jalapeños optional, thinly sliced
- 2 tsp Mediterranean Spice Blend
- ½ C Olive Oil
- 8 oz Block Feta in Brine drained, brine saved for marinating chicken at a later date
- 2 cans Chickpeas drained, aquafaba saved for other use
- Fresh Herbs, for Serving e.g. cilantro, mint, parsley
- Naan, for Serving
- First, preheat your oven to 400F. Prep your veggies: wash and dry the cherry tomatoes, cutting about 50% of them in half. Thinly slice garlic and jalapeño. Vertically slice red onion.Remove feta from brine, cutting in half hamburger-wise if necessary. Open and drain chickpeas. Pat the chickpeas dry on a clean kitchen towel.
- Place onions, garlic, jalapeños and tomatoes in your baking dish with olive oil, a few hefty pinches of kosher salt, and your seasoning blend of choice (if using). Toss together.
- Push veggies to the sides of the dish to make space for the feta. Place the feta in the center and use a spoon to drizzle some of the spiced olive oil over it. Pop it in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the veggies are beginning to soften.
- Remove from oven and stir in chickpeas, being careful not to disturb the feta. Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes.
- Turn the oven to broil, and move the baking dish to the top rack. Broil for 5-10 minutes, until the tomatoes, onions and feta get the right amount of char for your liking. Remove from oven, dish out, sprinkle with some fresh herbs if you have them and serve with some warm slices of naan.