Lemon Ricotta Parmesan Pasta with Chicken & Spinach

This lemon Ricotta pasta is loaded with perfectly seared chicken, zesty lemon, and a sprinkle of fresh spinach, and a savory blend of Ricotta and Parmesan. 

Lemon Ricottta Pasta

I always seem to come back to this lemon ricotta pasta recipe in the summertime. I think the light, lemony sauce calls my name in these warmer months. I first published this one two years ago, but felt the need to re-shoot and re-share, (something that I’ve been doing with my favorite recipes lately). My husband is in love with any recipe that has lemon in it, and he’s a fan of lighter pasta meals as opposed to ones with Alfredo Sauce.

Searing the chicken

I personally love to prepare this meal in a cast iron skillet. Searing the chicken in a cast iron skillet helps set the tone for the rest of the meal by giving the pan a ton of delicious flavor that you later use to cook the sauce in. It’s part of what makes this pasta dish so incredibly flavorful. Just be sure to leave the chicken alone as it cooks to allow a rich, golden color to develop. Moving it around as it cooks prevents this from happening.

Substitute for Ricotta Cheese

If you’re in a bind and don’t have Ricotta on hand, cottage cheese is probably your best bet for this dish. It’s recommended that you sieve it prior to using it as a Ricotta substitute, which can be done by placing it into a strainer (in batches), and using the back of a spoon to press out the cottage cheese into another container that you can then use for the recipe. These guys have other substitution options, although they are less likely to be found in your average kitchen.

Ricotta Pasta with Chicken and Spinach

Pasta substitutions

You can use any kind of pasta that you want for this recipe, although I recommend long noodles. Whether you like thin angel hair, or thicker linguine, you can’t go wrong!

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3.93 from 14 votes
Servings: 4
Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Chicken and Spinach
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
Author: Stephanie
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Lemon Chicken Pasta, Ricotta Pasta Recipe

This lemon Ricotta pasta is loaded with perfectly seared chicken, zesty lemon, and a sprinkle of fresh spinach, and a savory blend of Ricotta and Parmesan.

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 boneless/skinless chicken breast
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups part skim ricotta
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan plus more to garnish
  • 5 oz. fresh spinach
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions, reserve 1 cup of pasta water prior to draining. Set aside.
  2. As the pasta cooks, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Butterfly the chicken breast and cut the seam to create 2 thinner slices, each about an inch thick. Season each side with desired amounts of salt and pepper.
  4. Sear the chicken in the heated skillet for about 3-5 minutes on each side. Refrain from moving the chicken around as it sizzles, it will hinder the nice golden sear color. If the pan gets too hot, reduce the heat to medium. Once each side is a nice, golden brown and the middle is cooked, set the chicken aside. Don’t cut into it yet.
  5. Reduce the heat of the skillet to medium low. Add half of the reserved water, lemon zest, lemon juice, ricotta, Parmesan, and drained pasta. Toss evenly to coat. Add additional reserved water as needed to obtain desired consistency.
  6. Slice the chicken into strips and top the pasta with it. Finally, toss in the spinach and heat until it’s just wilted.
  7. Garnish with additional Parmesan if desired, and serve!
Recipe Notes

Although this recipe feeds 4, the portion sizes are fairly large. This could also serve 5 people. 

Nutrition Information
Calories: 705, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 57mg, Sodium: 374mg, Potassium: 686mg, Carbohydrates: 91g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 37g, Vitamin A: 75.7%, Vitamin C: 16%, Calcium: 44.8%, Iron: 17%


Recipe Source: CookingClassy


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