One Pot Lemon Butter Ricotta & Zucchini Pasta Recipe

|

This one pot lemon butter ricotta and zucchini pasta recipe featuring fresh ingredients like zucchini, ricotta cheese, and lemon zest is perfect for a quick and delicious meal any day of the week.

30 minute lemon butter pasta recipe with fresh zucchini, ricotta cheese, and lemon zest.
*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post contains other affiliate links too for your convenience. You can read my privacy policy for more details.

I don’t know about you, but I’m always on the lookout for new dinner recipes that are not only quick & easy to make, but (somewhat) healthy too. 

After all, who doesn’t love the idea of a delicious, homemade meal that doesn’t require hours in the kitchen or sacrificing flavor for convenience? 

If you feel the same way, then I have the ultimate dinner recipe for you…a cozy one pot lemon butter ricotta and zucchini pasta. 

With just one pot and a handful of simple ingredients found in your grocery store, you can whip up this comfort food dish that will satisfy your soul and your belly too. 

Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or simply enjoying a quiet night in, this easy pasta recipe is going to become one of your favorites for dinner and for leftovers the next day (those might be even better in my opinion). 

Let’s get cooking!

Zesty lemon-butter short pasta tossed in a creamy ricotta sauce.

What you’ll love about this recipe:


  • With just one pot and hardly any prep work, you’ll have an easy dinner with minimal effort on the table in under 30 minutes making it perfect for busy weeknights.
  • The combination of shallot, garlic, lemon zest, and fresh thyme creates a symphony of fresh flavors, while the creamy ricotta and fontina cheese add richness and depth to every bite.
  • During the summer months, this recipe is a great way to use up those zucchinis you might have in abundance of in the garden.
  • You’ll find that this recipe is adaptable, allowing you to customize it to your taste preferences or with whatever ingredients you have on hand. Swap out the zucchini for summer squash or adjust the level of spice to suit your taste buds.
  • Packed with fresh vegetables, whole milk ricotta, and bone broth this dish offers a healthy dose of nutrients without skimping on flavor. It’s a wholesome meal that will leave you feeling nourished and satisfied.
  • If you have picky eaters at home (like I do), this recipe is a lifesaver. The grated zucchini blends seamlessly into the pasta, making it easy to sneak in some extra vegetables without anyone knowing.
  • Cleanup is a breeze since everything is cooked in one pot. Plus, leftovers can be easily stored and reheated for a satisfying lunch the next day.

Ingredients for This One-Pot Pasta Dinner

Gather these ingredients for this delicious one pot dinner recipe that will be on the table in less than 30 minutes, any night of the week. 

Simple ingredients you'll need for this one-pot pasta recipe with fresh zucchini.
Jump to Recipe
  • Salted Butter: Adds a creamy texture and rich flavor to the sauce.
  • Shallot: Provides a delicate sweetness and subtle onion flavor.
  • Minced Garlic: Infuses the dish with its pungent aroma and robust flavor.
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves: Adds a fragrant, earthy note.
  • Lemon Zest: Brings bright lemon flavors to the pasta. It will also add a touch of acidity to balance the richness of the sauce.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: A pinch of chili flakes brings a gentle heat to the dish. Feel free to omit this ingredient if you’re sensitive to heat or spice.
  • Short Cut Pasta: Short cut pasta like cavatappi, penne, or fusilli are the perfect shape for soaking up the creamy sauce.
  • Grated Whole Zucchini: Adds a healthy dose of freshness and texture to the dish, seamlessly blending in with the pasta and sauce. If you have picky eaters, they won’t even know you’ve added vegetables to this dish. I know, because my 17 year old son won’t eat zucchini and he gobbled up his bowl of pasta!
  • Dry White Wine: The wine deglazes the pan, infusing the dish with complex flavors and depth to the sauce. Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or Chardonnay are great options. Choose a wine that you enjoy drinking, since some of its flavors will be added to the dish during cooking.
  • Chicken Bone Broth: Forms the base of the sauce. I like to use bone broth for its richness and depth of flavor, however you can use plain old chicken broth as well. Vegetable broth is another option to make this a meatless weeknight dinner.
  • Whole Milk Ricotta: Adds creaminess and richness to the sauce, but feel free to use low fat ricotta cheese in place of the whole milk ricotta if you like.
  • Shredded Fontina Cheese: Fontina cheese melts beautifully into the sauce, adding a yummy nutty flavor and an irresistible creaminess.
  • Shredded Parmesan Cheese: We can’t have a pasta dish in our house without a little parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
  • Fresh Parsley: A little sprinkle of fresh parsley on your completed pasta dish adds a vibrant pop of color and fresh herbal flavor.

TOOLS YOU’LL NEED

Be sure to check out the full recipe and ingredient list at the bottom of this blog post.

How to Make 30 Minute Lemon Butter Pasta

Find a large pot, I love using a dutch oven for recipes like this, and over medium heat melt together the butter, shallot, garlic, thyme, lemon zest, & pinch of red pepper flakes. 

Cook fresh thyme, lemon zest, shallots, and chili flakes in butter to start the sauce.

Cook until the butter begins to brown and the garlic is fragrant. Then, deglaze the pan with the white wine and let the alcohol cook off for about 3-4 minutes. 

Use white wine to deglaze the large pot for the delicious creamy sauce.

Add the uncooked pasta to the pan and stir to coat it in the butter wine sauce.  Stir in the zucchini and broth, and season with a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper to taste. 

One pot lemon ricotta and zucchini pasta dish is an easy weeknight meal.
Pour chicken bone broth over cavatappi pasta to start cooking the pasta in the large pot.
Zucchini pasta for dinner with lemon zest and creamy ricotta cheese.

Download Your Free Cozy Magazine

Bring the pasta mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Make sure to stir often to prevent sticking, and simmer about 5-8 minutes or until pasta is al dente. 

Once the pasta is al dente, fold in the creamy ricotta cheese and fontina. Remove the pan from heat, cover the pot, and let sit for 5 minutes until the ricotta sauce is creamy. 

Creamy whole milk ricotta cheese and fontina mixed in with cavatappi pasta.
Lemon butter ricotta and zucchini pasta recipe is a great meatless weeknight dinner.

Divide the pasta into four bowls and garnish the finished dish with shredded parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley. 

Enjoy immediately!

Easy Italian recipe with cavatappi pasta, ricotta cheese, and fontina cheese.
Tips
  • You can use any grater to grate the zucchini for this dish. A grater with larger holes will make larger zucchini shreds, a smaller grater will make smaller shreds. The choice is yours on how big or small you want the zucchini shreds to be!
  • Taste the sauce before adding the pasta and adjust the seasonings as needed. You can add more salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes to suit your taste preferences.
  • Keep a close eye on the pasta while it’s cooking in the pot. It’s important to cook it until it’s al dente, as it will continue to absorb liquid even after you remove it from the heat. Overcooking can lead to mushy pasta…ick.
  • After adding the ricotta and fontina cheese, remove the pot from the heat and cover it. This will allow the sauce to thicken and the flavors to meld together, resulting in a creamier texture.
  • While fontina cheese creates a delicious creamy sauce, feel free to experiment with other cheeses as well. Gruyère, gouda cheese, or mozzarella are other great additions or substitutions.
  • For an extra layer of texture and flavor, you can top your pasta with toasted nuts or seeds. Pine nuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds are excellent options.
  • This pasta is best enjoyed immediately after cooking while it’s still hot and creamy.
Easy and delicious one pot pasta dinner recipe for a meal any night of the week.

What is the best way to store leftover lemon pasta?

This 30 minute lemon pasta is best enjoyed immediately after cooking while it’s still hot and creamy. 

However, leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Just know that the texture may change upon reheating.

Hey friend! What can I help you find?

Search our entire site!
30 minute lemon butter pasta recipe with fresh zucchini, ricotta cheese, and lemon zest.

FAQs: One Pot Lemon Butter Ricotta & Zucchini

While the recipe calls for short cut pasta like cavatappi or penne, you can use any pasta shape you like. Keep in mind that different shapes may require slightly different cooking times.

Yes, you can easily substitute summer squash for zucchini in this recipe. Summer squash has a similar texture and flavor to zucchini making it a great alternative.

Absolutely! Grilled chicken breasts, shrimp, or Italian sausage would be delicious additions to this pasta dish. Simply cook your meat & seafood of choice separately and stir it into the pasta when you add the cheese.

More Cozy Dinner Recipes

Discover the warmth and comfort of our cozy dinner recipes. From soups & sandwiches to creamy pastas, these dishes will delight your taste buds and bring coziness to your table.

Shop My Favorite Products

Shop my favorite home decor & lifestyle products, my LTK sources, and my Amazon Storefront. By making a purchase with one of my affiliate links, I earn a small commission which helps me continue to create meaningful content for you! 

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.

xoxo, heidi

Zesty lemon-butter short pasta tossed in a creamy ricotta sauce.
5 from 3 votes

One Pot Lemon Butter Ricotta & Zucchini Pasta

With just one pot and a handful of ingredients, this lemon butter ricotta & zucchini pasta is the perfect blend of simplicity and comfort for a quick, delicious meal any day of the week.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:15 minutes
Total Time:25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Salted Butter
  • 1 Shallot diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 2 tsp Lemon Zest
  • pinch Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 lb Short Cut Pasta
  • 2 Whole Zucchini’s grated (about 2-2 1/2 cups grated)
  • 1/2 cup Dry White Wine
  • 4 cups Chicken Bone Broth
  • pinch Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
  • 1 cup Whole Milk Ricotta
  • 1/2 shredded Fontina Cheese
  • Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • Fresh Parsley

Instructions

  • In a large pot over medium heat, melt together the butter, shallot, garlic, thyme, lemon zest, and pinch of red pepper flakes.
  • Cook until butter begins to brown and garlic is fragrant.
  • Deglaze the pan with the white wine and let the alcohol cook off for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the uncooked pasta to the pan and stir to coat it in the butter wine sauce.
  • Stir in the zucchini and broth, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Stirring often, simmer about 5-8 minutes until pasta is al dente.
  • Stir in the ricotta and fontina.
  • Remove from heat, cover pot, and let sit for 5 minutes until sauce is creamy.
  • Divide the pasta into four bowls and garnish with shredded parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley.
  • Enjoy immediately!

Notes

  • You can use any grater to grate the zucchini for this dish. A grater with larger holes will make larger zucchini shreds, a smaller grater will make smaller shreds. The choice is yours on how big or small you want the zucchini shreds to be!
  • Taste the sauce before adding the pasta and adjust the seasonings as needed. You can add more salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes to suit your taste preferences.
  • Keep a close eye on the pasta while it’s cooking in the pot. It’s important to cook it until it’s al dente, as it will continue to absorb liquid even after you remove it from the heat. Overcooking can lead to mushy pasta…ick.
  • After adding the ricotta and fontina cheese, remove the pot from the heat and cover it. This will allow the sauce to thicken and the flavors to meld together, resulting in a creamier texture.
  • While fontina cheese creates a delicious creamy sauce, feel free to experiment with other cheeses as well. Gruyère, gouda cheese, or mozzarella are other great additions or substitutions.
  • For an extra layer of texture and flavor, you can top your pasta with toasted nuts or seeds. Pine nuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds are excellent options.
  • This pasta is best enjoyed immediately after cooking while it’s still hot and creamy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 844kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 1230mg | Potassium: 780mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 774IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 146mg | Iron: 6mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lemon, One Pot, One Pot Dinner, Pasta, Ricotta, Zucchini
Servings: 4
Calories: 844kcal

Don’t forget to pin this for later…

Lemon pasta recipe for dinner with zucchini and other fresh simple ingredients.
SHOP the post

Similar Posts

3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is so easy to make and incredibly delicious!!! It’s a great recipe for picky eaters because they won’t even know there’s zucchini mixed in with the pasta. This pasta dish has become a family favorite recipe!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating