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Lemon Ricotta Pasta placed in a bowl

Lemon Ricotta Pasta Recipe

Creamy and delicious Lemon Ricotta Pasta that you can make in 20 minutes! This is an easy vegetarian pasta dish that you can serve as a side dish with meat dishes or by itself for a satisfying meal.
Course Vegetarian Pasta
Cuisine American/Italian
Diet Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 196kcal


  • 1 pound pasta (bucatini, rigatoni, spaghetti, or penne would all work)
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves (16 oz) rinsed
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese more as garnish
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ¼ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes optional
  • Drizzle of olive oil optional


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in the pasta of your choice and cook until al dente.
  • At the very last minute, right before draining the pasta, add in the spinach and cook for 30-45 seconds. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water and drain the pasta.
  • Put the now-cooked pasta back in the pan.
  • Meanwhile, make the ricotta lemon pasta sauce by mixing ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt and pepper in a bowl.
  • Add in the ½ cup of reserved pasta sauce and whisk until creamy.
  • Add the lemon ricotta sauce to the pasta and give it a gentle toss. It should be very creamy as you toss it with the help of the residual heat coming from the freshly cooked pasta. If you need it, add in the rest of the reserved pasta liquid and turn the heat on for a minute or so as you toss and turn the pasta.
  • Taste for seasoning and add in if necessary. Garnish with a sprinkle of shredded parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil and red pepper flakes, if using. Serve.


  • The serving size is approximately about 2 cups per person. If you are serving it as a main course it would feed 4 people but if you are serving as a side dish it would be good for 6 servings.
  • Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. It should stay fresh for up to two days.
  • Reheat with a little bit of water to the mixture over medium heat. Be sure to toss to ensure even cooking and add water as necessary.
  • Freeze: I don’t recommend freezing this dish, as the extreme cold will ruin the texture of your pasta.


Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 1111mg | Potassium: 531mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2282IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 274mg | Iron: 2mg