A Spicy Perspective

Lemon Ricotta Pasta (One-Pot)

Easy Lemon Ricotta Pasta – A bright and delicious one-pot wonder that’s ready to enjoy in less than 20 minutes. This no-drain fettuccine pasta recipe is an instant family favorite!

Bowl of lemon ricotta pasta topped with fresh basil.

Why We Love This Easy One-Pot Pasta Recipe

Our super simple one-pot lemon pasta recipe is ready in under 20 minutes, so it’s perfect for any night of the week!

And although it is quick to prepare, there is some serious flavor going on here… We make Lemon Ricotta Pasta with hearty fettuccine noodles, fresh lemon and garlic, and both ricotta and parmesan cheese. The result is a decadently cheesy pasta dish that’s tangy, bright, comforting, and utterly delicious. Even kids love this one!

Best of all, you can build this entire pasta dish in one pan without having to drain off water and washing unnecessary dishes.

Top down view bowl of pasta, cooking pan of pasta in the background.

Ingredients You Need

  • Dried fettuccine – or other preferred pasta
  • Water
  • Garlic cloves – minced
  • Lemons – zested and juiced
  • Whole-milk ricotta cheese – store-bought or homemade ricotta
  • Parmesan cheese – grated
  • Basil leaves – fresh
  • Salt and pepper
Ingredients needed: Ricotta, lemons, garlic, basil, and fettuccine.

How to Make Fettuccine with Lemon and Ricotta

Set a large 6-8 quart sauce pot over medium heat. Add 6 cups of water and a teaspoon of salt. Cover and bring to a boil.

Once the water is boiling, stir in the fettuccine. Make sure it is fully submerged, then cover and boil for 5-6 minutes.

Large pot of cooked fettuccine noodles.

Meanwhile zest and juice the lemons.

Remove the lid and test the pasta. It should be mostly cooked but just slightly more firm than al dente, and there should still be some liquid in the bottom of the pot.

Stir in the garlic, all lemon zest, and 1/3 cup of lemon juice.

Glass measuring cup adding lemon juice, water, and minced garlic to the pot of fettuccine noodles.

Continue to simmer until the pasta is perfectly al dente, 1-3 more minutes.

Now stir in 1 cup of ricotta cheese and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.

Pot with fettuccine, garlic and lemon, and large scoop of ricotta cheese on top.

Stir in 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves.

Get the Complete (Printable) Ricotta and Lemon Pasta Recipe Below. Enjoy!

Stirring fresh basil into the pot of pasta.

Once the cheese melts into the remaining pasta water and creates a rich and creamy sauce, taste, then salt and pepper as needed.

Add additional lemon juice if you so desire.

Like to Spice Things Up? Add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to the pasta!

Noodles in a pot, with creamy lemon cheese sauce and fresh basil.

Serving Suggestions

To serve, plate the pasta on a platter with the remaining ricotta cheese scooped over the top and sprinkled with fresh basil leaves.

Serve warm with your favorite classic pasta side dishes. We love a crunchy fresh salad like a kale or classic steakhouse-style Caesar, or a more traditional Caprese Panzanella.

And, in my expert opinion, no Italian-inspired meal is complete without some sort of warm bread on the table. Enjoy lemon ricotta pasta alongside a basketful of homemade breadsticks or garlic knots.

Top down view large pot of fettuccine noodles with creamy ricotta and lemon sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of pasta can you use to make this lemon and ricotta recipe?

We prefer fettuccine, but feel free to use other hearty noodles. Spaghetti, pappardelle, tagliatelle, and linguini are all excellent options, but feel free to use short pasta varieties like bowties or penne. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time as needed, according to the package instructions.

This can even be prepared as a gluten-free recipe by using your fave gluten-free pasta noodles!

Can you make this a lemon pasta recipe with chicken or shrimp?

Certainly! This recipe is vegetarian as-is, but is easy to customize with other proteins if you like.

To keep this a one-pot pasta dish, first sauté your choice of chopped chicken breast or peeled and deveined shrimp in the pot with a bit of olive oil. Once cooked through and no longer pink, transfer the chicken or shrimp to a holding plate and wipe out the pot. Continue with the recipe as instructed, and added the cooked protein to the pot after the cheese has been stirred.

How is this creamy lemon pasta recipe made with no cream?

The pasta water and combination of ricotta and parmesan cheese naturally creates a thick and rich sauce without any cream needed. Hooray!

What can I use instead of basil in this recipe?

Swap basil for fresh spinach or arugula, if you like. Or omit the greens entirely!

How long do leftovers last?

One-pot pasta with ricotta and lemon will keep well for up to 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator. Let the pasta cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container before placing it in the fridge.

Reheat in a microwave, and add a splash of water if needed to think out the sauce slightly.

Final view bowl of lemon ricotta pasta with fresh basil.

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Lemon Ricotta Pasta (One-Pot)

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Lemon ricotta pasta is a bright and delicious one pot wonder that's ready to enjoy in less than 20 minutes. This no-drain fettuccine pasta recipe is an instant family favorite!
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces dried fettuccine
  • 6 cups water
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 lemons zested and juiced
  • 15 ounce ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves packed
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Set a large 6-8 quart sauce pot over medium heat. Add 6 cups of water and a teaspoon of salt. Cover and bring to a boil.
  • Once the water is boiling, stir in the fettuccine. Make sure it is fully submerged, then cover and boil for 5-6 minutes.
  • Meanwhile zest and juice the lemons.
  • Remove the lid and test the pasta. It should be mostly cooked, but just slightly more firm than al dente, and there should still be some liquid in the bottom of the pot.
  • Stir in the garlic, all lemon zest, and 1/3 cup of lemon juice. Continue to simmer until the pasta is perfectly al dente, 1-3 more minutes.
  • Now stir in 1 cup of ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves. Once the cheese melts into the remaining pasta water and creates a creamy sauce, taste, then salt and pepper as needed. Add additional lemon juice if you so desire.
  • To serve, plate the pasta on a platter with the remaining ricotta cheese scooped over the top and sprinkling a fresh basil leaves. Served warm.

Video

Notes

You can use any type of pasta you like. Adjust the cooking time as needed.
One-pot pasta with ricotta and lemon will keep well for up to 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator. Let the pasta cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container before placing it in the fridge.

Nutrition

Serving: 1c, Calories: 455kcal, Carbohydrates: 59g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 107mg, Sodium: 234mg, Potassium: 302mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 541IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 261mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Main, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Sommer Collier

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3 comments on “Lemon Ricotta Pasta (One-Pot)”

  1. This pasta recipe was SO good! Everything about it was perfect, the lemon flavor was great. Cant wait to make it again!

  2. So rich and delicious! And convenient that no pasta draining is required! 

  3. This creamy lemon ricotta pasta recipe is so easy to make and SO GOOD! We love this recipe during the weeknights!