This recipe is all about how to make lemony ricotta pasta with spinach.
If you’re looking for a delicious and easy pasta dish, look no further! This lemony ricotta and spinach pasta is a perennial favorite. It’s one of those 30 minute meals and under that’s packed with flavor that everyone will love. Lemon and ricotta add a light and creamy touch, while the spinach provides a nutrient-rich punch. This is one meal you’ll be thankful to add to your weeknight menu and not feel guilty about.
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This delicious, health-packed lemony ricotta pasta with spinach dish is absolutely perfect for busy families! This recipe features a “no-cook” pasta sauce that is so helpful when you’re short on time. You can easily whip this up even if you don’t think there’s anything in the house to make for dinner.
The pasta sauce is made with creamy ricotta, parmesan cheese, a little garlic salt or minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh lemon juice. Your pasta sauce will be ready in less than five minutes.
Also, if you love lemons – this recipe is definitely up your alley, then! Lemons are great for incorporating into pasta dishes and desserts alike.
Lemon makes everything just taste oh so fresh and airy. This may sound like it wouldn’t work when mixing into a pasta recipe – but trust me, lemon totally works here.
The lemony juice and zest from fresh, seasonal lemons can transform a simple dish into something that tastes like pure heaven and straight off a fancy restaurant menu.
As for the creamy ricotta you may ask?
Ricotta is so mild of a cheese it does not have that potent aftertaste like other pasta cheeses have like (parmesan reggiano, asiago cheese, fontina, etc.).
If you’ve never tasted ricotta cheese – the best way to described it is it’s almost like a creamier mozzarella cheese. However, ricotta has more of a “whipped” consistency which makes it great for spreads, pasta sauces and even dips.
Ricotta is also super fluffy and light tasting which makes a go-to summer pasta dish or the premier cheese to use for summer pastas on hot days.
Something I suggest if you’re up to it is try replacing spinach for other delicious vegetables or adding some additional protein because why not?!
Skies the limit here. You can add protein like grilled chicken, shrimp, salmon or even marinated tofu (trust-me it’s actually mouthwatering if marinated and seasoned right!)
This way, you can make this ricotta pasta even that much more versatile, customized and nutritious. Plus, it’ll be a fun way to experiment with new flavors and textures in the kitchen.
Who knows, you might just find your new favorite pasta with some healthier variations or a new crowd favorite amongst picky eaters.
PRODUCTS I USED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE:
LEMONY RICOTTA PASTA RECIPE:
My homemade and simple ricotta sauce is incredibly easy to make and requires almost no ‘cooking’ which is a major bonus for busy bees. This is one of my absolute favorite recipes when I’m running late (which is 24/7) but craving something ultra comforting after work.
The ricotta pasta sauce is a unique mixture of 80% ricotta cheese and 20% parmesan cheese, giving it a lovely creamy texture and wonderful bright flavor. This dish is sure to please everyone at the dinner table since it’s so mild and flexible enough to incorporate with other more savory or rich tasting dishes.
- Garlic (Garlic Salt or Minced Garlic)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
- Lemons/Lemon Juice
- Parmesan Cheese
- Salt, Pepper and Red pepper to taste.
- Make the ricotta sauce. Mix a tub of ricotta cheese, 1/3 cup of parmesan, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, one teaspoon minced garlic or a one tablespoon garlic salt, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, pinch of salt, and pepper to taste in a mixing bowl.
- During this time, cook pasta. I prefer my pasta al dente, but feel free to cook whatever shape of pasta you like and the length of time to make pasta denser or more cooked through.
- Drain pasta. Though, save some water in pot.
- Leave 1/3 – 1/2 cup of water. Keep some water in the pot that your noodles were just drained from.
- Next, add in a couple handfuls of spinach and cook the spinach down with the pasta. Do this for a few more minutes to soften the spinach but do not overcook spinach.
- Pour the pasta and spinach in a large mixing bowl and add ricotta pasta sauce to it. Stir well until the all the noodles are evenly coated with creamy ricotta sauce.
- Done! Stir well and serve with a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle additional fresh grate Parmesan cheese, and add lemon slices to decorate the dish (optional).
RECIPE TIPS + TRICKS
Feel free to add in an additional healthy protein with the spinach. This part is easy as you can use what you already have in your home or pick up something fresh from the grocery store.
Some ideas are to add protein like shrimp, chicken, short rib brisket, prosciutto, salmon, lobster and even tofu to this ricotta pasta. So many choices here!
Ricotta also pairs well with a variety or vibrant seasonal garden vegetables like zucchini, tomato, corn, carrots and so much more.
If you do not like spinach – you can always leave it out or swap it for broccoli, arugula, rosemary, scallions, basil or even a little bit of pesto instead.
If you stick to the spinach in this dish – make sure to add in enough spinach that won’t cook down all the way. Cook spinach long enough in the pasta + water mix so that they blanch (or quickly cook but do not overcook.)
Overcooking the spinach will result in them shrinking them down in size and losing the quality of their nutritional value. So, try to avoid doing this.
Another helpful tip is that you can garnish each dish of pasta with a little bit of grated parmesan, basil, rosemary and or extra lemon wedges right before serving. This will decorate your pasta to look beautiful and it’ll ensure nothing goes to waste.
To make a healthier pasta dish overall, swap out regular pasta for gluten free noodles or whole grain pasta. Whole grain pasta noodles will make you feel fuller longer and add more beneficial whole grains into your diet.
MORE RICOTTA PASTA RECIPES
- Skillet Ricotta Pasta With Broccoli
- Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli
- Creamy Roasted Tomato Ricotta Pasta
- Sausage and Ricotta Pasta
- Eggplant and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Ricotta
- Spinach and Bacon Pasta with Ricotta
OTHER RICOTTA RECIPES TO LOVE
- Whipped Ricotta Toast with Jalapeño Honeycomb
- Ricotta and Spinach Pizza
- Scrambled Egg Ricotta Breakfast Burrito
- Herbed Ricotta Bruschetta Dip
- Honey Whipped Ricotta and Prosciutto
- Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Finally, if you make this Lemony Ricotta Pasta with Spinach, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! And of course, if you do make this recipe, snap a quick photo, and tag Style Like Shelby.
I can’t wait to hear your which pasta variations you choose and if you added anything unique to this easy recipe.