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Lemon Ricotta Pasta

by Adrianne

Lemon Ricotta Pasta is a creamy delicious spaghetti recipe that is SO EASY!!   This fuss free ricotta pasta has a simple lemon ricotta sauce with fresh basil (or spinach), parmesan cheese and pepper. 

Lemon Ricotta Pasta on a white plate with fresh lemon slices

Pasta recipes like the Garlic Spaghetti, Artichoke Spaghetti and Blue Cheese Mac and Cheese make easy vegetarian dinner recipes with flavour!

Lemon Ricotta Pasta delivers citrus zing, creamy cheesy delicious and fresh basil for taste and texture!


Comfort Food  Popular recipes Pasta recipes

For Meatless Mondays, the Pesto Penne with walnut crumb or Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle will tick ALL of your boxes! 

What do you eat Ricotta Cheese with?

Ricotta Cheese is a soft and mild cheese that is perfect for using in pasta sauces. 

Another great use for it is as a stuffing in vegetarian pasta recipes like our Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni.

It is a versatile ingredient that has a creamy texture. 

It cooks well and provides great flavour so it is perfect to pair with tomato sauces for pasta like our Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna.

Uses for ricotta cheese:

  • pasta sauce
  • lasagna filling
  • sausage roll filling
  • spinach and ricotta recipes
  • as a dip
  • spread for bruschetta
  • baked ricotta

Does Ricotta Cheese Melt?

Ricotta Cheese doesn’t melt the same way other cheeses do which is why it is perfect to cook with! 

We can bake or heat ricotta and it will lend itself to become a creamy delicious texture which stirs easily.  

Ricotta is perfect as a pasta sauce as its consistency is thick and creamy! 

Lemon Ricotta Spaghetti (or your favourite Pasta) ingredients

The ingredients for this recipe are simple and easy to find at the local shops. They are set out in the photo below so you can see exactly what you need:

Lemon Ricotta Pasta ingredients on a marble background with text over lay

As you can see, we have:

  • spaghetti 
  • basil (or spinach)
  • ricotta cheese
  • olive oil 
  • garlic
  • parmesan cheese
  • lemon
  • salt
  • pepper

Ricotta and spinach is a traditional and popular combination, but I find the basil and lemon pair well and suit this sauce perfectly! 

How to make ricotta pasta with lemon and basil

The photos below are the easy step by step instructions you need to bring this dish together: 

Lemon Ricotta Pasta method 1 to 4 with text labels

  1. Use a grater to roughly grate the lemon rind (Photo 1)
  2. Cut the remaining lemon in half  (Photo 2)
  3. Add the lemon rind to the ricotta (Photo 3)
  4. Transfer the garlic to the ricotta mix (Photo 4)

We combine all of our pasta sauce ingredients, stir them together and then heat till smooth and creamy! 

Using a grater instead of a zester will give you bigger more textured lemon rind (super delicious!!). I find some zesters leave the rind too moist and soft with no texture. 
Ricotta Pasta method 5 to 8 with text labels

Ricotta pasta sauce with lemon and basil

  • Add cracked pepper to the ricotta mix (Photo 5)
  • Followed by salt  (Photo 6)
  • Squeeze the lemon into the pasta sauce mix (Photo 7)
  • Add olive oil (Photo 8)

It is super simple to combine our pasta sauce ingredients and stir them together for a consistent texture. 

Lemon Ricotta Spaghetti method 9 to 12 with text labels

Ricotta pasta sauce with basil (or spinach)

  • Stir the pasta sauce ingredients to combine (Photo 9)
  • The sauce with be thick and creamy (Photo 10)
  • Add the sauce to the pan and bring to a low heat (Photo 11)
  • Stir, add basil and continue to combine (Photo 12)

Lemon Ricotta Pasta recipe quick info:

About the recipe:

  • there is 9 total ingredients for this recipe! 
  • make with your favourite type of pasta (spaghetti is mine!)
  • this recipe will feed 4 people
  • this is a vegetarian recipe
  • use fresh basil (or spinach leaves) not frozen

FAQs about Ricotta Spaghetti with lemon

  1. this is a simple recipe that comes together easily
  2. the pasta water helps thin the ricotta and ensures enough liquid for the sauce
  3. the pasta sauce only needs heating for approx 3-4 mins
  4. the basil (or spinach) only needs cooking for 1-2 mins

Your quick questions answered:

  1. I use a traditional cheese grater for chunky lemon rind
  2. you can use spinach leaves (or rocket) in place of the basil if you prefer
  3. the recipe takes approx 15 mins
  4. This is an EASY recipe

Ricotta Pasta with lemon and basil on a white plate

Expert tips:

These tips are to help you master this recipe from the 1st time you make it:

  • cook the pasta till it is al dente! It will add another texture to the dish
  • use a standard grater for thick, chunky lemon rind
  • serve with lemon slices for extra lemony delicious drizzle! 
  • freeze this recipe for easy meals on week nights

If you love simple and easy pasta sauces, try the Rocket and Cashew Pesto or Basil and Cashew Pesto stirred through your favourite pasta!! 

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The ricotta will melt like butter in your mouth and the creamy dreamy texture compliments the texture of the lemon rind and fresh basil leaves. You might also like to add parmesan cheese and cracked pepper! 

Pasta recipes 

Comfort food is pasta on a plate, here are some other ideas you will enjoy! 

  1. Smoked Salmon Spaghetti
  2. Instant Pot Penne Pasta
  3. Blue Cheese Mac and Cheese
  4. Ground Beef Casserole
  5. Tuna Pasta Bake
  6. Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese
  7. Rocket Pesto Pasta
  8. Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta
  9. Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle

If you like your pasta with a kick of heat, the Garlic Spaghetti recipe, will have you coming back for more!!
Lemon Ricotta Spaghetti with fork on a white plate

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Lemon Ricotta Pasta with text over lay

Lemon Ricotta Pasta on a white plate with fresh lemon

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Lemon Ricotta Pasta is an easy spaghetti recipe. This fuss free ricotta pasta has a simple lemon ricotta sauce with fresh basil and parmesan.
5 from 5 votes
Print Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Australian, International
Keyword: lemon ricotta pasta, lemon ricotta spaghetti
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 380kcal
Author: Adrianne


  • Skillet
  • Saucepan
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon


Lemon Ricotta Pasta

  • 250 grams dried spaghetti Note 1
  • 250 grams ricotta cheese Note 2
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 1 lemon juice and rind Note 3
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • parmesan cheese to serve
  • cracked pepper to serve


Lemon Ricotta Pasta

  • Cook pasta in boiling, salted water according to package instructions
  • Use a hand held grater to roughly grate lemon rind
  • In a small bowl, combine ricotta cheese, grated lemon rind, minced garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and juice from the lemon. Stir to combine and consistent texture
  • Add ricotta pasta sauce to a skillet and bring to a low heat, stir to heat through.
  • Once sauce is bubbling at the edges add basil leaves and stir through sauce (for 1-2 mins)
  • Drain pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water
  • Add cooked pasta to ricotta sauce and stir to combine. Pour in reserved 1/2 cup pf pasta water and stir until sauce has consistent texture.
  • Portion and plate. Garnish with fresh lemon, basil leaves, parmesan and cracked pepper.



  • Note 1 My favourite pasta is spaghetti as I love getting my twirl on! Yet you can use your favourite. Be it fettucine, linguini, tagliatelle, penne, which ever pasta is your favourite! 
  • Note 2 You will find this in a tub in the fridge section of the store. You can get light or full fat ricotta, either will work well! 
  • Note 3 We use the rind (roughly grated) and juice of a whole lemon. Simply pick out any seeds or use a hand held juicer to quickly squeeze. 


Calories: 380kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 348mg | Potassium: 242mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 384IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 153mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe? Share on Instagram!It makes my day when you make my recipes! Tag @sweetcaramelsunday

Italian Vegetarian Pasta recipes

Spaghetti is the easy dreamy comfort food that works any night of the week! 

With cheap ingredients my Italian vegetarian pasta recipes will get dinner on the table FAST. 

Please give me a shout if you have questions or make the recipe as I would love to hear your feedback.

Creamy pasta – check! Zesty lemon – check! Fresh herby goodness – check! Get your fork ready my friends. 

Adrianne x


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Comfort Food  Dinner recipes Popular recipes


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Anjali November 10, 2020 - 7:39 am

5 stars
This simple pasta was the perfect weeknight dinner for us today!! It was super easy to make and turned out to be really flavorful. My whole family loved it!

Adrianne November 11, 2020 - 3:29 am

Thank you Anjali! That is great to read. Cheers

Jacqueline Meldrum November 10, 2020 - 9:57 am

5 stars
I make pretty much the same pasta sauce but with yoghurt instead of ricotta, so I know how tasty it is.

Adrianne November 11, 2020 - 3:28 am

Ohhhh yoghurt, yum that sounds delicious too!

Chris Collins November 10, 2020 - 10:25 am

5 stars
Lemon and ricotta is a glorious combo, made even better when stirred through pasta! Perfect for a quick and easy lunch!

Adrianne November 11, 2020 - 3:28 am

Thanks Chris! I enjoyed reading your feedback.

beth sachs November 10, 2020 - 11:05 am

5 stars
This is my kind of pasta dish. So light and refreshing. I love the lemony zing.

Adrianne November 11, 2020 - 3:27 am

Cheers Beth!! Appreciate the positive feedback.

Ashley November 10, 2020 - 11:47 am

5 stars
The gang’s all there! All my favorite ingredients in one unbelievable dish! SOO good!

Adrianne November 11, 2020 - 3:27 am

Great to hear Ashley!! The gang, lol!!


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