FoodTok, the foodie side of TikTok, has become wildly popular in this pandemic. No wonder, given that all of us struggle to find new and exciting ways to spice up our gloomy dinner routines and lonely home office lunch times. I have always enjoyed cooking but often don’t feel up for elaborate, complicated recipes that ask for dozens of specific, hard-to-get ingredients.
This is why I love FoodTok. Just like most of TikTok, it is all about fast and easily replicable content. And thanks to the interactive nature of the app, you usually find plenty of people sharing their success (or failure) with the recipes.
Now, I have heard that a more snobbish corner of FoodTok exists, where people are shamed for liking their carbonara sauce mixed with peas and fried sausage, or not cooking every meal from scratch, including grinding your own spices. Thankfully, the algorithm has spared me from that type of exhausting energy so far, and all I’ve seen is a comforting mix of inventive and convenient—lovingly supportive people sharing their love of food without being, you know, foodies. As with all content on TikTok, the secret lies in showing the algorithm what you like by interacting with it through likes and comments.
FoodTok is about fast and easily replicable content. Thanks to the algorithm, all I’ve seen are supportive people sharing their love of food without being, you know, foodies.
Here are five viral FoodTok recipes that will shake up your cooking routine and help you dip your toe in the wild and adventurous waters of TikTok recipe videos!
Baked Feta Pasta
I am not sure if @feelgoodfoodie originated this wildly viral recipe, but she certainly was the person to bring it to a wider audience. The baked feta pasta craze has apparently even led to feta cheese and basil shortages in parts of Europe. I swear, even here in my sleepy part of Germany, the cherry tomato selection has been smaller than usual these past weeks, and feta cheese seems to constantly be sold out at my local supermarket.
Apart from tasting delicious, this is also such a super convenient recipe, which needs only minimal prep time and very little cutting. Just throw cherry tomatoes and a whole feta chunk together in an oven-proof dish, cover with olive oil, season, and bake until soft. Then, mix in your cooked pasta, garlic, and basil—done.
@feelgoodfoodieBaked feta pasta with cherry tomatoes!! Recipe on blog • Inspired by @grilledcheesesocial 😘 ##tiktokpartner ##LearnOnTikTok ##fetapasta ##recipes♬ original sound – Feel Good Foodie
Now, the recipe video doesn’t specify a time, but having made this a few times, I would suggest taking the time to leave it in the oven long enough, at least 50 minutes, to make sure that the cheese is evenly softened. I also add the garlic at the beginning so that it can roast alongside the tomatoes, which I feel gives them less aggressive garlic flavor. Some people also add a teaspoon of honey and lemon juice to the dish, which I think would give it a delicious, extra tangy kick.
Gigi Hadid’s Vodka Pasta Sauce
Before the baked feta pasta took over FoodTok, there was Gigi Hadid’s viral vodka pasta sauce recipe, expertly cooked by @scheckeats in his viral spicy rigatoni video. Surprisingly enough, the original recipe asks for full fat cream and butter, two ingredients I assume the beautiful supermodel rarely eats (at least this is what watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has made me believe).
@scheckeatscarbone who? measurements on my site! (Link in bio) ##spicyrigatoni ##vodkasauce ##pasta ##penneallavodka ##carbone ##gigihadid♬ Bronze – Clutch
I like the little adjustments scheckeats made to the original recipe, e.g., frying the tomato paste in olive oil before adding the vodka, which gives the sauce a rich, smoky flavor. The sauce can be made without vodka in my opinion—just use more cream or some chicken broth for the same amount of fluid to mix with the tomato paste. The vodka does add more flavor depth to the sauce and helps bind fats with fluids, meaning that there is less danger of the sauce having these slightly unappealing white specks from the cream not dissolving fully. I personally also add more than the originally asked-for small garlic clove, because otherwise the garlic gets a bit lost in those other rich flavors.
Greek Yogurt Bagels
I haven’t tried this recipe yet and feel a tad suspicious if it may just be “too good to be true,” but there have been plenty of positive testimonies from people who have tried these healthy bagels. Thought up by TikTok user @harveysmom22, these easy-to-make bagels use low fat Greek yogurt as the main ingredient, needing only minimal prep time and, incredibly enough, no yeast!
@harveysmom22YOU ARE WELCOME ##recipe ##recipies ##recipesoftiktok ##cooking ##cookingvideos ##baking ##bakingrecipe ##bagel ##breakfast ##foryou ##fyp♬ original sound – Harveys Mom
I love the idea of using low- or no-fat Greek yogurt as your main ingredient, as it is both delicious and pretty affordable. This is a four-ingredient recipe: flour, baking powder, salt, Greek yogurt, that’s it (five ingredients if you top the bagels with some seasoning). Now, I have seen a two-ingredient version of these yogurt bagels floating around TikTok using only flour and yogurt, but color me very skeptical if this can actually produce a proper dough!
You just combine the ingredients in a bowl, form your bagels and bake them in the oven. Again, too good to be true maybe? Still, I will definitely give this a try soon—just imagining the tangy yogurt taste of successfully baked, still warm bagels combined with some smoked salmon and a handful of sprouts makes me very excited for my next at-home brunch.
Taiwanese Three Cup Tofu
I saw this recipe randomly on my For You page and was instantly intrigued. As a former vegetarian, I have always loved tofu and still eat it regularly. It is just such a versatile raw ingredient, since it takes on whatever flavor profile you choose to add to it.
@chez_jorgeReply to @rebebechu taiwanese three cup tofu 🇹🇼 ##letscook ##vegan♬ original sound – George Lee
As recipe creator @chez_jorge points out, the key to getting your tofu not just crispy but actually crunchy-crumbly is to squeeze out any excess water by placing the tofu block between two paper towels and weighing it down with a large book or a similar weight. The dried tofu is cut or artfully torn apart into smaller pieces and then baked golden brown in the oven.
Now, the real star of the recipe is the Three Cup Sauce, a thick, syrupy flavor bomb made from soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic that also works well as a stir-fry sauce or meat marinade. Smother the now crispy tofu in the aromatic sauce and listen for that crunch when you devour these crazy delicious umami bites.
Crispy Smashed Potatoes
This is such a classic by now, probably one of the first recipes to really go viral on TikTok. As a German, I am supposed to love potatoes but honestly have always felt a bit meh about them, given that most traditional German recipes call for them to be boiled until they nearly fall apart. Not the most exciting thing to eat, let me tell you. It took many years for me to understand that a roasted, crispy potato is an entirely different experience altogether, especially when it has been generously basted with oil or butter.
@tay_richardDinner idea for tonight 💡 saw these going viral and had to taste them for myself 😍 recipe: @cookingwithayeh ##smashedpotatoes ##crispypotatoes♬ Smooth Coffee Shop Music – Coffee Shop Playlist
Out of the many versions of the smashed potato recipe, my favorite probably is the one posted by @tay_richard—it is easy, foolproof, and also happens to be very budget-friendly. Just cook a handful of unpeeled, small potatoes until they are soft, then mix them in a bowl with a sauce made from spices, dried herbs, garlic, and lots of olive oil.
On a baking sheet, smash potatoes with a glass or mug (a great thing to do when the workday has been frustrating!), then bake in the oven until golden brown. I would advise you to leave them in the oven a bit longer than the recommended 45 minutes, with a lower temperature to get an even, crispy bake. I also added a pinch of cayenne pepper for some extra spice, plus—trust me!—a pinch of cinnamon.