Lemon Ricotta Pasta

With bright lemon flavors and creamy ricotta cheese, this lemon ricotta pasta is a restaurant quality dish that takes minimal effort to make. Let this easy dish take over your weeknight dinners and create the perfect meal with simple ingredients.

A white bowl full of lemon ricotta pasta, with two forks in the bowl.
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Lemon Ricotta Pasta Recipe

Creamy lemon ricotta pasta is such a simple recipe that packs in loads of delicious flavor. The zesty lemon juice with creamy ricotta cheese is such a tasty and flavorful combination.

If you're looking for an easy dinner idea, whip up a batch of this simple pasta recipe and my incredible one pan chicken piccata.

Throw together a batch of lemon ricotta pasta on a busy evening and you've got a simple dinner. Or, make it as a side dish and you can pair it with just about anything. Don't forget dessert though. A Homemade Cannoli always pair perfectly with anything Italian!

Easy recipes that come together quickly are one of my favorite things to make in my kitchen. The creamy lemon ricotta sauce is just the most addictive way to eat pasta. It's so flavorful and isn't too heavy of a meal on day when I want something light.

My whole family loves pasta, so I'm always looking for creative ways to prepare it. And angel hair pasta with a perfectly tangy and creamy sauce equals an end result that no one would ever turn down. Even my kids love this lemon ricotta pasta recipe and ask for it often!

Two bowls of lemon ricotta pasta on a countertop with other various ingredients.

Why You'll Love this Recipe

Creamy lemon pasta is the easy dinner idea that dreams are made of, so I promise you're going to love it. Just a fair warning though...after you make it once, you'll never want to stop making it!

  • Clean-up after making lemon ricotta pasta is really quick. Great for those nights when you don't have much energy left.
  • This is one of those pasta recipes that reheats really well. Make a double batch for meal prep and you'll have plenty of servings!
  • You can easily adapt this easy recipe to fit dietary restrictions and add extra ingredients that will better fit your flavor pallete.
Ingredients for lemon ricotta pasta sitting on a countertop.

Ingredients

Add these simple ingredients to your shopping list so you can make sure you get all of them on your next trip to the grocery store:

  • angel hair pasta
  • whole milk ricotta cheese
  • lemon zest
  • lemon juice
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • minced garlic
  • spinach
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • chopped parsley
  • red pepper flakes

Substitutions and Variations

Angel hair pasta is the best texture for this zesty lemon ricotta pasta, but you can also use spaghetti noodles or capellini pasta. Use gluten-free pasta to make this tasty dish gluten free.

Add some extra veggies to this dish for some extra flavor. Sweet green peas, onion, and bell peppers are all great additions. Fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, and cilantro will be tasty too.

While this recipe calls for minced garlic, leaving some whole garlic cloves would be super tasty. Sauté them with the spinach and minced garlic and then you'll have little bursts of garlicky flavor throughout this pasta dish.

Overhead shot of a white bowl of lemon ricotta pasta.

How to Make Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to a steady boil. Then, boil the angel hair pasta according to instructions on the back of the package. Cook pasta al dente.

Once done, drain the starchy water and set the pasta aside.

Angel hair pasta being cooked in a pot of water.

In large mixing bowl, mix together fresh ricotta, fresh lemon zest, and lemon juice then set it aside.

Ricotta, lemon zest, salt, pepper and lemon juice in a bowl.

Next, add olive oil in the pot you used to cook pasta and then sauté the minced garlic and fresh spinach leaves for 1-2 minutes until garlic is fragrant.

Spinach and minced garlic being sautéed in a pan.

Return the pasta to the pot and add the ricotta mixture.

Then toss the ingredients together with tongs or pasta forks. Once all the noodles are coated evenly, garnish with parmesan cheese, parsley and red pepper flakes.

Serve immediately on its own or with your favorite protein!

Overhead shot of lemon ricotta pasta in a saucepan.

How to Store Leftover Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Place leftovers into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, add a little water or a splash of milk and heat on the stovetop or microwave. Stir the pasta well to re-incorporated all of the ingredients together.

What to Serve with Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Make a full meal out of this lemon ricotta pasta recipe by serving it with a simple protein. Baked chicken meatballs, creamy lemon chicken or herb-crusted chicken all go great over a bed of creamy ricotta pasta. Grilled chicken is also a tasty pairing with lemon ricotta pasta.

And once you make a full meal out of this pasta dish, add some yummy sides like roasted tomatoes or cheesy garlic bread. Then you can finish off your meal with a gooey chocolate muffin and salted caramel ice cream.

A wide shot of two bowls of lemon ricotta pasta.

Tip for Success

Here are some tips and tricks for making this pasta dish:

  • Use fresh squeezed lemon juice instead of bottled juice. The flavor is more fresh and will work better in this recipe.
  • Don't overcook your pasta! Cook just to al dente so that it holds up with all of the extras added in.
  • Be sure to use utensils that won't mush the pasta when you mix all of the ingredients together. Using tongs or pasta forks will help ensure everything is well mixed and the pasta doesn't take a beating when you mix!

FAQ

What is the difference between ricotta cheese and cottage cheese?

While the two are similiar, ricotta cheese and cottage cheese are not exactly interchangeable. Ricotta cheese has a much smoother texture and is made from fine curds. Cottage cheese is made from large curds, so it's much lumpier than ricotta cheese. Their flavors are similar, but the two also have different amounts of liquid making it difficult to use them in a 1:1 substitute ratio.

Why salt pasta water?

Adding salt to pasta water not only flavors the noodles, but it helps to keep them from sticking together. It also helps cook the noodles to a good texture that will hold on to any sauce and toppings that you use. It is not absolutely necessary to salt your pasta water, but it does have a lot of benefits!

A closeup shot of a white bowl, full of lemon ricotta pasta.

More Pasta Recipes

Did you make this recipe?

If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! It means so much to me when you try my recipes, and I'd love to know how it goes. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions.

A closeup shot of a white bowl, full of lemon ricotta pasta.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Make this easy lemon ricotta pasta in just minutes! Serve it with your favorite main dish, or eat it up all on its own.
5 from 35 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Madison Wetherill

Ingredients

  • ½ pound angel hair pasta
  • ½ cup whole milk ricotta
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest from about 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice from about 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic about 6 cloves
  • 2 cups spinach
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup chopped parsley garnish
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes garnish (optional)
  • grated parmesan cheese garnish

Instructions

  • In a large pot, boil pasta according to package directions. 
  • Mix together ricotta, lemon zest and juice. Set aside. 
  • In pot used for pasta, add olive oil and sauté garlic and spinach for 1-2 minutes until garlic is fragrant and golden. 
  • Return pasta to pot and add ricotta mixture. 
  • Toss to coat evenly. Garnish with parmesan, parsley and red pepper flakes.

Notes

Here are some tips and tricks for making this recipe:
  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice instead of bottled juice. The flavor is fresher and will work better in this recipe.
  • Don't overcook your pasta! Cook just to al dente so that it holds up with all the extras added.
  • Be sure to use utensils that won't mush the pasta when you mix all of the ingredients together. Using tongs or pasta forks will help ensure everything is well mixed and the pasta doesn't take a beating when you mix!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 395mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g

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