As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read the full disclosure here.
This One Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon is light, creamy, refreshing, and can be made in less than 20 minutes. Loaded with bright lemon flavors and makes an easy dinner or simple side dish.
One Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon
One Pot Pasta meals will make your nights so much easier and this One Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon is so satisfying and couldn’t be simpler. Made with creamy ricotta cheese, zesty lemon juice and zest, parmesan cheese, and a little butter.
The whole family will be sure to love this delicious one-pot pasta dish and it makes a great meatless weeknight dinner.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Easily double recipe: If you want to make this pasta for a crowd, simply double or triple the recipe.
One-Pot: You only need one pot to make this pasta dish, that’s it! It’s almost too easy to make and it only takes less than 20 minutes to make from start to finish. You only need a handful of ingredients to make this dish.
Easy weeknight dinners: You can whip up this pasta dish any night of the week, even on busy days. It’s so easy to make and requires minimal effort, and simple ingredients.
Light and refreshing: The fresh lemon flavor shines through in each bite. This pasta is light so it’s perfect on hot days or when you just want something fresh, fast, and bright in flavors.
- Pasta: I love using a curly pasta so the ricotta lemon sauce sticks to the pasta better.
- Butter: Adds flavor, you can use salted or unsalted butter. You could also use olive oil.
- Ricotta: Whole milk ricotta cheese is preferred because it makes the pasta extra creamy. You could use part-skim or low-fat but it will change the consistency a bit.
- Parmesan cheese: Makes the pasta cheesy and adds flavor.
- Lemons: Fresh lemon juice is a must. We use one whole lemon and the zest to add refreshing and bright flavors. Add more or less depending on your preference.
- Fresh basil: To garnish and add more fresh flavor.
How To Make One Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon
Boil pasta: Boil a large pot of salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to package directions- about 10 minutes. Stirring frequently.
Reserve pasta water: Drain cooked pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. The starchy water will help thicken the delicious creamy sauce.
Make lemon ricotta pasta sauce: Add butter, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, the juice of one lemon and zest.
Stir and serve: Stir until combined, then add the reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water back into the pot. Stir until creamy. Garnish the top with shredded basil, serve, and enjoy!
- More or less lemon flavor: If you really want to brighten your pasta, add more lemon juice or lemon zest. You can also use less than what the recipe calls for.
- Cheesy: If you want your pasta to be cheesy, add more parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese and shredded mozzarella .
- Al dente pasta: It’s always best to cook pasta when it’s al dente meaning tender but slightly firm. This way the pasta will be able to hold the noodle shape and won’t be too soggy or chewy.
- Ricotta: Using whole milk fresh ricotta will make your pasta extra creamy as opposed to the park-skim or low-fat.
- Extra creamy: If you want the ricotta mixture to be extra creamy, add a splash of milk, use whole milk ricotta and add shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Add spice: Add red pepper flakes or chili flakes, or black pepper.
What’s The Best Type Of Pasta To Use?
It’s best to use pasta that has a curly shape or hole so the ricotta lemon sauce can get in between the crevices. Just about any curly pasta or pasta that has a hole or indent in the center will work but you can use any. These are some pastas that would work great:
- Bow tie pasta
- Protein: Add your favorite protein! Grilled chicken, shredded chicken or shrimp make great options.
- Add veggies: If you want to add veggies cherry tomatoes, fresh spinach, or steamed or roasted bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, artichoke hearts, kale, carrots, and peas.
- Healthier alternative: There’s a few ways to make this pasta on the healthier side. Use low-fat ricotta instead of whole-milk ricotta, use whole wheat pasta, swap the butter for olive oil, and cut back on the cheese.
- Gluten-free: Make this a gluten-free pasta dish by using gluten-free pasta.
Leftovers & Storage
To-store: Store any leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It tastes even better the next day hot or cold! Reheat in the microwave or oven until warm.
To-freeze: Make the recipe as directed then place in an airtight container or heavy duty ziplock bag. Place in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, place baking dish in the refrigerator overnight or leave out on the counter for a few hours. Warm in a large pot or microwave. Add a pat of butter to moisten the pasta while warming.
Other Pasta Dishes To Try
- Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Shells
- Chicken and Broccoli Mac and Cheese
- Baked Mac and Cheese
- Chicken Alfredo
- Baked Gnocchi
- Creamy Broccoli Pasta
NEVER MISS A RECIPE
Join thousands of subscribers & get
easy recipes via email for FREE!
Want to be Featured?
If you make this recipe, please let me know how it turned out…
Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog
Easy, simple, and delicious recipes anyone can make. Click the button below so you don’t miss any recipes!
One Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon
- 1/2 pound Cavatappi Pasta
- 2 tablespoons salted butter or olive oil
- 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
- 1/2 cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 lemon plus the zest
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to package directions- about 10 minutes. Stirring frequently.
- Drain pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.
- Add butter, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, the juice of one lemon and zest.
- Stir until combined, then add the reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water back into the pot. Stir until creamy. Garnish the top with shredded basil, serve, and enjoy!