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One Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon

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4.45 from 20 votes

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.

PIN One Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon to try later!

One Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon on a dish.Pin

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.

If you’re looking for the perfect meal, serve this pasta with my baked chicken, garlic bread, and a green salad.

One Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon in a bowl.Pin

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.

Close up of One Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon.Pin

Key Ingredients

  • 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.Pin

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!

Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon in pot.Pin

Recipe Tips

  • 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:

  • Fusilli
  • Rigatoni
  • Penne
  • Gemelli
  • Radiatore
  • Rotelle
  • Bow tie pasta
Ricotta and Lemon Pasta in a white bowl.Pin

Variations

  • 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.
Creamy pasta with lemon and fresh basil.Pin

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.

Lemon ricotta pasta on a plate.Pin

Other Pasta Dishes To Try

One Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon on a plate garnished with fresh lemons and basil.Pin

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One Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon

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.
4.45 from 20 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: One Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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!
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Recipe Rating




13 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    MMMM! Love those spring flavors with the lemon. This was such an easy and tasty dish with our chicken dinner.

  2. 5 stars
    Ooh what a lovely and bright spring dish! This sounds so delicious and satisfying…I love ricotta with my pasta…it adds that creaminess without being too heavy. Definitely making this over the week!

  3. 5 stars
    My hubby is Sicilian and he grew up eating pasta with fresh ricotta! With lemon and basil is one of his favourite combos. Mine too!

  4. 5 stars
    This is THE perfect spring dish! Light but still filling with the ricotta and super, super easy. I can’t wait to have it again!

  5. This is one of my favorite pasta recipes. It is so simply and tastes really wonderful with a little lemon zest and freshly shredded parmesan cheese when serving.