One pot ricotta lemon pasta with arugula and parmesan cheese! Make an easy lemon ricotta pasta sauce in just a few steps to enjoy this deliciously bright dinner! And if you like this ricotta cheese lemon pasta, you’ll love my Boursin Pasta, my Vegan Couscous Salad with Chickpeas, and my Puff Pastry Pizza!
*This post contains affiliate links — as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my disclosure for details*.
Lemon Ricotta Pasta Sauce
This recipe is a new favorite of mine for sure! It's a simple one-pot creation with a creamy lemon ricotta sauce, peppery arugula, and nutty parmesan cheese. I love all the fresh ingredients and the bright, bold flavors, especially as a weeknight dinner during spring and summer. I made it with bronze-cut pennoni pasta, but it works well with any shaped pasta that can pick up all the creamy sauce!
What can you use with ricotta cheese?
I love this sauce because it showcases the versatility of ricotta as an ingredient! It's not always the first thought when you think of pasta ingredients, but it creates a delicious creamy sauce. Plus the amazing flavor combination of the creamy ricotta with the tart citrus and peppery arugula makes this the perfect lemony ricotta sauce for pasta!
What is ricotta sauce made of?
This is a super simple one pot recipe -- in addition to the lemon zest and juice and ricotta cheese, you'll just need a few more ingredients to add amazing flavor!
- pasta - I used bronze-cut pennoni, but any tubular or ridged pasta works well.
- ricotta cheese - I prefer to use whole milk ricotta, but you can also use part-skim ricotta as well.
- lemon zest and juice - we'll use both the zest and juice of two lemons to mix in with the rest of our ingredients and make a delicious bright and tangy ricotta sauce for pasta.
- red pepper flakes - this is optional, but you can add a bit of a kick to your lemon ricotta sauce with some chili flakes.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano - this is my favorite cheese, and I love its nutty flavor in this pasta! You can definitely omit the Parmigiano-Reggiano if you prefer, or substitute for another hard, aged Italian cheese.
- extra-virgin olive oil - this is a fresh sauce, so we're using olive oil as a finishing oil to add flavor and a bit of richness to our ricotta cheese lemon pasta.
- arugula - the perfect greens to add for a bit of peppery flavor. You can also add baby spinach or even massaged kale.
This is a one-pot recipe! You'll need a medium stock pot or dutch oven to cook your pasta and then mix up the sauce. You'll also need a microplane zester to zest your lemon.
One Pot Ricotta Lemon Pasta - F.A.Q.
Ricotta is often used in stuffed pasta dishes like ravioli, manicotti, and stuffed shells. But it can also be used in sweet dishes like my cannoli pie or my ricotta blueberry toast, or as a topping for pizza!
Yes you can! Ricotta is a unique fresh cheese that doesn't melt when heated, but it's totally fine to heat it up. In this recipe, it's lightly heated by the pasta and pasta water.
Yes, for sure! I find that it tastes better fresh, but you can definitely prepare the pasta and sauce up to a day in advance. You should cook your pasta about a minute less than al dente, so that it doesn't overcook when reheated. Toss the pasta with the other ingredients except the arugula, then store covered in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, heat on low until heated through, then remove from heat, toss in arugula, and serve.
If you try this recipe, I would love it if you could leave a star review rating and comment below! It’s so wonderful hearing your feedback! And don’t forget to share your creations with me by tagging @chenee_today on Instagram!
More Lemon Recipes You'll Love
- Lemon Shrimp Pasta with Kale
- Vegan Olive Oil Cake with Lemon and Pistachio
- Lemon Dump Cake
- Lavender Lemon Cupcakes
- Lemon and Blackberry Cake
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese - or you can also use part-skim
- ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano - grated; plus more for topping
- 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil - plus more for topping
- 2 medium lemons - zested and juiced
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes - or to taste (optional)
- 1 lb penne pasta - or a similar shape
- 2-3 cups baby arugula
- salt and pepper - to taste
- In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 2 medium lemons, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Cook pasta in boiling, salted water until it is cooked al dente, about 11 minutes. Reserve a cup of the pasta water, then drain pasta and return to the pot. Remove from heat.1 lb penne pasta
- Stir in arugula and allow to wilt for a minute, then add ricotta mixture and ½ cup of hot pasta water.2-3 cups baby arugula
- Stir gently stir to form a sauce, adding additional pasta water a bit at a time if needed for creamy consistency.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately, topped with more Parmigiano-Reggiano and a drizzle of olive oil.salt and pepper