Easy one pot pasta with lemon ricotta is an quick weeknight dinner. This delicious creamy sauce with bright lemon flavors comes together in less than 20 minutes!
(Blue’s Best Life is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program. I earn a small commission if you purchase through those links. This helps me keep the blog going! -Bobbie)
Table of contents
Why This Lemon Ricotta Pasta Is The Best!
This easy one pot lemon ricotta pasta is one of my favorite weeknight dinners. With just a few simple ingredients you can make a delicious yet affordable dinner.
Unlike a lot of cheesy pasta dishes, this feels a bit lighter while still having lots of flavor. The lemon gives the pasta a fresh and vibrant flavor that is perfectly paired with the mild flavor of ricotta cheese. This pasta dish is perfect for a lighter meal in the spring and summer months.
Plus of course another bonus is that hubby loves anything that requires less dishes. He is always on board with an easy one-pot pasta recipe!
What Is Ricotta?
Creamy ricotta cheese is a cheese that originated in Italy. In Italian ricotta means recooked, because ricotta is made by reheating the leftover whey from other cheeses like mozzarella and provolone. It has a creamy texture similar to cottage cheese.
ricotta- is found in your local grocery store sold in plastic containers. You can by whole milk or low fat varieties. Because the ricotta is the star of the show, I opted for the whole milk ricotta cheese for the best flavor.
fresh lemon juice- using fresh squeezed lemon juice is a must for this recipe. You will also need lemon zest so don’t skimp on using a real lemon.
pasta- you can use any shape of pasta for the recipe. I happen to like the corkscrews because they have a fun shape to them and hold the sauce well but any type will work. Try bow tie or fusilli pasta for something different.
In a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. For best results, cook the pasta to al dente, which in Italian means it is firm when bitten.
Drain the pasta while reserving a ladle full of pasta water. Drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil so that the noodles do not stick together.
In the same pot add the remaining olive oil, sliced shallot, and garlic. Sauté for 60 seconds over low heat being cautious to not burn the garlic.
Add the heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, ricotta, lemon juice, lemon zest thyme, salt and pepper. Add a couple of tablespoons of the reserved pasta water to the lemon ricotta sauce. The starchy water helps the fat in the cheese cling to the pasta better. Cook sauce for 1-2 minutes on low heat, just long enough to warm the fresh ricotta.
Return the cooked pasta back to the pot and stir to coat with the ricotta mixture. Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese.
You can keep this lemon ricotta pasta recipe as a vegetarian pasta recipe or you can add your favorite protein. Sautéed shrimp or scallops would be a great addition!
Substitutions And Additions
fresh spinach- you can always add a handful of baby spinach to the pasta.
extra flavor- add red pepper flakes, fresh basil or Italian seasoning for an extra flavor boost.
Storage And Reheating Tips
Store leftover ricotta pasta in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat on low on the stove top and add a splash of cream if needed.
Looking For Other Pasta Recipes? Try These!
Did you try this recipe? Please let me know what you think! Leave a comment below, and a 5- star rating. I would love to hear from you! Subscribe Here to get new recipes sent straight to your inbox!
Easy One Pot Pasta With Lemon Ricotta
- 1 16 ounce package corkscrew pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated (plus extra for serving)
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- In a large pot cook pasta according to package directions.
- While pasta is cooking prep the other ingredients, slice shallot and mince garlic.
- Drain the pasta and set aside.
- In same pot that the pasta was cooked in, turn heat to low and sauté, shallot and garlic for 1 minute.
- Add ricotta, Parmesan cheese, heavy cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
- Stir in the pasta to coat. Serve immediately with extra Parmesan if desired.