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serving of ricotta and spinach pasta on a white plate

Lemony Ricotta and Spinach Pasta

This light lemony pasta with creamy ricotta sauce is perfect in the warm weather months especially. It's fast and easy to make. Any pasta shape can be used (regular or gluten-free).
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 4 to 6 servings
Calories 531kcal
Author Toni Dash


  • Zester
  • Juicer


  • 16 ounces uncooked pasta any shape; regular or gluten-free
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ large yellow onion chopped
  • 1 garlic clove pressed or grated
  • 1 5-ounce container fresh baby spinach washed and chopped (aproximately 3 cups)
  • Juice of one large lemon
  • Zest of one large lemon
  • 1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino-Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Half and Half
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Zest of second lemon OPTIONAL (SEE INSTRUCTIONS)


  • Prepare the pasta per package instructions.
  • While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce.
    In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions until translucent (3-4 minutes).
  • Add the garlic clove and saute one additional minute.
  • Add the chopped fresh spinach, lemon zest and lemon juice to the skillet. Sauté, stirring often, until the spinach is fully wilted (a few minutes).
  • Add the ricotta cheese, Pecorino-Romano cheese, Half and Half, and nutmeg. Stir often until the cheese has melted and the sauce has a smooth consistency.
    NOTE: it will have a more cheesy texture (more elasticity) than regular cream sauces but still be smooth.
  • When the pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse as recommended on the package.
  • Add the drained pasta to the skillet with the sauce and toss to fully coat.
    Salt and pepper to taste. For a stronger lemon flavor add the zest of a second lemon at this point. Serve immediately.


Pasta: use any shape of pasta. Regular or gluten-free pasta both work great. Our preferred gluten-free pasta, both for flavor and structure, is Tinkyada pasta.


Calories: 531kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 274mg | Potassium: 321mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 502IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 367mg | Iron: 1mg