This delicious One-Pot Lemon Ricotta Pasta is a fast and easy mid-week dinner. The creamy ricotta cheese sauce made with lemon and garlic is ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta so it can be on the table in under 20 minutes!
This one pot vegetarian ricotta pasta dish requires minimal effort yet has become a new favorite recipe. It takes just five minutes to prepare! Any dish that can be cooked and on the table in under 20 minutes is a winner for me.
This comforting dish is is the perfect fast dinner any night of the week. And the zesty lemon flavor really lightens it up.
I've gone with fusilli pasta bows for this quick pasta dish as that's what I had in my cupboard. But any variety of dried pasta works so feel free to use what you have in your own kitchen.
- Why You Should Make This Lemon Ricotta Pasta
- Creamy Lemon Pasta Ingredients
- How to Make One-pot Lemon Ricotta Pasta
- Variations of Lemon Ricotta Pasta
- Tips For Making Easy Lemon Ricotta Pasta
- Pin This One-Pot Lemon Ricotta Pasta Recipe For Later
- What Do You Think?!
- More Easy Under 30 Minute Recipe Ideas
- Printable Recipe
- One-Pot Lemon Ricotta Pasta
- Reader Comments & Ratings
Why You Should Make This Lemon Ricotta Pasta
- The simple flavors in this dish make this creamy lemon pasta a hit with kids as well as adults.
- Its perfect for meatless Monday and those busy times you need an easy weeknight dinner.
- It's so simple - but also somehow reasonably sophisticated! Definitely a date night contender.
- The sauce ingredients are ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta!
- If you enjoy creamy pasta dishes as much as I do, then try my Pancetta & Mushroom Pasta, my Pancetta, Pea & Mint Pasta, my Smoked Salmon Creme Fraiche Pasta, Baked Feta Pasta or my Creamy Mushroom Pasta.
Creamy Lemon Pasta Ingredients
Find the full list and quantities in the recipe below.
Pasta - I used bow tie, but this easy creamy lemon pasta sauce can be served with any variety of pasta, for example spaghetti, linguini, penne, or fusilli. So use what you have in your own kitchen and just cook it according to package directions.
For a gluten free lemon ricotta pasta, swap regular pasta for a GF pasta.
Ricotta - is a great creamy cheese that takes on the flavors added to it. I use whole milk ricotta cheese, - and don't be tempted to use a skimmed ricotta as the sauce will be too thin.
It's worth mentioning that as ricotta contains whey, it's a vegetarian cheese as no rennet is used in the process.
Lemon - I use unwaxed lemons in this recipe as both the lemon juice and lemon zest are added to the dish.
Parmesan - the best flavor comes when I grate the parmesan cheese fresh but ready grated is fine for ease.
However, if serving this easy lemon ricotta pasta dish to vegetarian diners, note that Parmesan is not vegetarian, so look for a suitable vegetarian alternative.
How to Make One-pot Lemon Ricotta Pasta
Find the full printable recipe below.
I promise, this is one of the most easy recipes you'll ever make.
Cook your choice of pasta until al dente in salted boiling water.
Reserve some of the cooking water then drain the pasta.
Stir together whole-milk ricotta, lemon juice and zest, garlic, olive oil and grated parmesan in a large bowl and season well.
Add the ricotta mixture to the pan of pasta and combine. Use the reserved starchy pasta water to thin the sauce so it coats the pasta.
Serve with fresh basil leaves if using and top with extra grated parmesan.
What does pasta al dente mean?
In Italian "al dente" translates as "to the tooth". Al dente means to cook it to a point where there is still a firm bite to the pasta. The cooked pasta is firm, but neither under-cooked and chalky, nor over-cooked and soft.
Variations of Lemon Ricotta Pasta
Using this creamy lemon pasta sauce as a base, it is really simple to vary and change the flavors of the dish. Here are some ideas:
- Swap the ricotta cheese for cream cheese or mascarpone.
- Sticking with the meatless meal theme, add extra veggies to the pasta sauce, eg wilt through a handful of fresh spinach, frozen garden peas or chopped cherry tomatoes.
- Stir through some fresh herbs, eg basil, parsley or thyme.
- Ramp up the heat with some red pepper flakes or chili flakes.
Tips For Making Easy Lemon Ricotta Pasta
- This is not a great make ahead dish as the pasta can overcook when being reheated, it is best eaten fresh.
- Check the seasoning before serving. Season well to bring out the flavor of the few, very simple ingredients. I recommend using a good quality sea salt as you really notice the difference on the finished dish.
- Not all ricotta is created equal - don't be tempted to buy the skimmed version, it won't give the rich and creamy results we're looking for here.
- Always reserve a bit of pasta water. The salty, starchy water not only adds flavor to the sauce but also helps thicken the sauce and coat the pasta.
How To Serve Quick Lemon Ricotta Pasta
This is a light and zesty bowl of pasta, so I like to keep any sides dishes simple too, so as not to overpower the dish.
A dressed arugula salad or some sautéed green beans are my usual go-to options. You can also add some garlic or crusty bread with a drizzle of olive oil if you are especially hungry.
Pin This One-Pot Lemon Ricotta Pasta Recipe For Later
What Do You Think?!
I'd love to know what you think about this recipe! I'd be so grateful if you scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave a star rating and comment.
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More Easy Under 30 Minute Recipe Ideas
One-Pot Lemon Ricotta Pasta
- 1 lb Pasta - gluten-free if required
- 2 cups Ricotta cheese - whole milk
- 1 Large Lemon - unwaxed, zest and juice
- 1 clove Garlic - finely grated or crushed
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 cup Grated Parmesan or Vegetarian Alternative - plus more for topping
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper
- ¼ cup Fresh Basil
- Cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions in a large pot of salted water.
- Reserve ½ cup of of pasta water before draining and adding the pasta back to the pot.
- Meanwhile in a medium bowl, stir together whole-milk ricotta, the zest and juice of 1 lemon, crushed garlic, olive oil and grated parmesan. Season well with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
- Add the cheese mixture to the pasta along with a splash or two of the reserved pasta water.
- Stir and lightly toss the pasta in the sauce. Add more pasta water to loosen the mixture and coat the pasta as needed.
- Top with basil (if using) and extra parmesan cheese.
This recipe was shared with the #cookblogshare community, which this week was kindly hosted by The Foodle Club.
I'm always on the lookout for a new pasta recipe and this one looks delicious. Quick and easy is always winner in my book!
Jo Keohane says
Thanks so much for your comment Veronica - me too!
What a quick and easy recipe, and so good too!
Jo Keohane says
Thanks so much for your comment Amy
Ashley Turner Snyder says
We just made this tonight for the first time- So easy and SO yummy!!
Crowd pleased across 3 generations.
Jo Keohane says
So glad you liked this one Ashley! Thanks so much for your comment.