Photo: Ricotta with butterfly pea flower powder on toast by Nina Gallant
It’s easy to get caught in a TikTok rabbit hole of delicious-looking cooking videos that you may or may not actually bring to life in your kitchen. Sometimes, these viral recipes can be questionable (isn’t “nature’s cereal” just…fruit salad?), but most times they’re a fun way to try something yummy (read: cheesy) that you might not have thought of on your own. So we’re here to guide you through some of the best cheese-filled trendy recipes that have bombarded our “For You” pages, why they work, and how to elevate them.
Baked Feta Pasta
This recipe went ultra-viral in early 2021 and for good reason: it requires few ingredients and is the ultimate comfort dish. You’d think a recipe as simple as pasta, cheese, and tomatoes would be an all-around crowd pleaser, but a lot of TikTok users were adamantly against the strong cheesy flavor that an entire block of feta brought to this dish. For those of us at culture, the concept of “too much feta” doesn’t exist. But if you’re looking for a swap, fresh chèvre works just as well, or you can add burrata after the tomatoes are roasted for all the creaminess with a more mild flavor. If you do use feta, we recommend using authentic Greek feta made with sheep’s milk for optimal consistency.
This viral hack is less of a recipe and more of a technique. It consists of cutting four foldable lines into a flour tortilla, filling each quadrant with foods of your choice, folding each layer on top of each other, and grilling it on the stove or in a panini press. There are plenty of ways to curate your own wrap, such as a turkey sandwich, cheeseburger, or even a charcuterie board-themed wrap. The key to getting this right is using a perfectly meltable cheese—think anything from brie to cheddar to taleggio. Get more melty inspo here.
Okay, so technically this recipe (swapping cooking oil for pesto when cooking eggs) doesn’t officially include cheese. But I think we can all agree that it would definitely benefit from some. Adding a spread of fresh chèvre, cream cheese, or ricotta to a slice of sourdough or multigrain bread before adding the pesto eggs will elevate this recipe to brunch paradise.
This recipe became a fast favorite on TikTok for its mesmerizing presentation and photo-ready cheese pulls. It’s commonly made with some kind of pasta filata cheese (either fresh or shredded mozzarella, provolone, or string cheese). We recommend taking that flavor up a notch with either a smoked provolone or buffalo’s milk mozzarella to really impress your guests at dinner.
Another recipe that’s traditionally cheese-less, we think these aesthetically pleasing potatoes would benefit from a little added dairy. Brush some butter and Parmigiano Reggiano on the potatoes before crisping them for a burst of cheesy flavor, or add a dollop of fresh Mexican crema after they’ve cooled for a decadent contrast of textures.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Ricotta. On toast. We’ve been enjoying it for years, but it’s recently gained a lot of traction online, especially after being popularized by Lizzo. It might sound simple, but the toppings are what makes this trendy dish shine. Make it a sweet snack by piling on some fresh fruit, raw honey, and almonds; or go for a savory option with roasted tomatoes, sliced avocado, and red pepper flakes. And don’t be afraid to mix in extra cheese—like grated parmesan or creamy goat cheese—before spreading it onto the toast for a cheesy flavor boost.