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Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Spinach and Red Peppers

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If you enjoy simple and light pasta dishes, then you will love this Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Spinach and Red Peppers!  Lemony, creamy, light…  The red peppers give a delightful crunch and the beautiful bits of green spinach add such gorgeous color to the dish, it’s hard to resist!

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Spinach and Red Peppers

My neighbor gave me several Meyer lemons from her mother’s lemon tree as a thank you for taking their family portrait last month.  (So in addition to this Lemon Ricotta Pasta recipe, prepare yourself for a few more lemon recipes over the next couple of weeks.) I’ve never cooked with Meyer lemons before, so I don’t know if all Meyer lemons are like this or if these were especially good since they were homegrown and allowed to ripen fully before harvesting, but these lemons were fabulous- they were a bit hard to zest, but they had so much juice in a single lemon!

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Spinach and Red Peppers

I really like light pasta dishes and the combination of the lemon and ricotta in this Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Spinach and Red Peppers dish was really good. 

The pasta dish was simple to put together and tasted so fresh and light. I tossed this dish together for my hubby and me the day after my little missy’s birthday party.  I fed the kids leftover hot dogs instead of the pasta for dinner; so I can’t say whether or not this would be a hit or miss with my kids, but if your kids like pasta, I’m sure they would like this one too.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Spinach and Red Peppers

Look how creamy the pasta looks!  This was with only 2/3 cup of Ricotta and the pasta water, yum! (and so pretty with the bright red peppers and just barely wilted spinach.)

Suggested Add-ins:

Of course, if you don’t like red peppers or spinach, the creamy lemon ricotta pasta mixture would be perfect for any type of add-in.  You could try:

  • peas
  • asparagus
  • fresh zucchini
  • snap peas
  • cherry tomatoes
  • tofu
  • chicken

You get the idea, lol.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Recommended Pasta

I love the way the finished dish looked with the fettuccine noodles, but any type of pasta that holds a lot of sauce would work great. A few good examples are:

  • Penne
  • Gemelli
  • Farfalle
  • Fettuccine

Recipe tips: 

Be sure to salt your pasta water according to the package directions and DONT skip the red pepper flakes.  They really make this dish pop!

Lemon Ricotta Pasta recipe

More lemon-based recipe you might enjoy:

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Spinach and Red Peppers

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Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Spinach and Red Peppers

  • Author: Jamie Sanders
  • Prep Time: 3
  • Cook Time: 17
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: main dish
  • Method: skillet


If you enjoy simple and light pasta dishes, then you will love this Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Spinach and Red Peppers!


Units Scale
  • 12 oz fettuccine
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbs fresh lemon juice (you might need more depending on what kind of lemon juice you are using, just give it a taste.)
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • plenty of salt and crushed black pepper (to taste, of course)
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper (increase to your taste level- this makes the dish pop!)
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups diced red bell pepper
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, using the recommended amount of salt in the water.  Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta water.
  2. While pasta is cooking, in a separate bowl, thoroughly combine ricotta, lemon juice and rind, 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper.  (I listed 1/8 tsp of crushed red pepper, but don’t be shy, this dish is even better with a bit of a kick from the red pepper, so adjust according to your taste level ).
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and garlic, saute for 3 minutes.
  4. Add pasta, ricotta mixture and 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water to skillet.  Stir until combined, adding additional pasta water as needed to achieve desired creaminess.
  5. Add Spinach, cook about 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Top with extra salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper if desired.
  6. Enjoy!

Keywords: pasta, skillet meal

  Looking for more Quick and easy dishes?  Check out these skillet recipes made in 30 minutes or less:

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  1. This was so easy and very flavorful! Will make this recipe again for sure! I always follow the recipe the first time and make changes from there but this one is perfectly to my taste. Company coming so will make it for them. Love it!

  2. Made this as called for tonight. It was fantastic! Super easy, quick and a perfect compliment to grilled chicken! This is a keeper for sure! Thank you for sharing @

    1. I’m so glad you liked it! I always feel so nervous putting new recipes out, lol.