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The creamiest, easiest, one pot Lemon Butter Ricotta and Zucchini Pasta…our perfect bowl of summertime comfort food. This simple zucchini pasta is made in under 30 minutes, uses just one pot, and is a great way to use up that summertime zucchini. It’s creamy, garlicky, packed with zucchini, and finished with fresh thyme and basil. The perfect cozy summer dinner, or easy side, any night of the week. Everyone in the house will enjoy this dish, veggies and all!

One Pot Lemon Butter Ricotta and Zucchini Pasta | halfbakedharvest.com

Sometimes I set out to create recipes and I am so excited about them. But then sadly, the outcome just isn’t quite what I had pictured in my head. Most of the time the photos I paint in my head are far too pretty and perfect than what I could ever actually create. They’re probably a little unrealistic too, but I always strive to match that vision the best I can.

But this time…I really didn’t have a good picture in my head. So I went into this recipe with pretty low expectations. And somehow…it ended up being my favorite recipe of the week.

One Pot Lemon Butter Ricotta and Zucchini Pasta | halfbakedharvest.com

The details are simple…hello to a one pot recipe!

This isn’t my first one pot recipe, but it’s truly one of my easiest…and personally one of my favorites.

It’s summery and simple, but cozy and delicious too.

Here’s how this goes. Find yourself a nice big pot that can fit your pasta and lots of zucchini. Now melt together some butter, shallots, garlic, thyme, and lemon zest. I also like to add a nice pinch of red pepper flakes for a bit of spiciness.

The trick is to cook the butter until it just begins to brown and smell nutty. Then the shallots soften, the thyme becomes fragrant, and the lemon and chili flakes infuse their flavor into the butter. And just like that, the kitchen is already smelling amazing.

From here, the rest is really so easy.

One Pot Lemon Butter Ricotta and Zucchini Pasta | halfbakedharvest.com

Stir in your favorite short-cut pasta, then lots of grated zucchini, and broth. Bring the broth to a boil and cook until the pasta becomes al dente. Next, add the creamy ricotta, some fontina or gouda cheese, and tons of fresh basil.

As you’re stirring, smells of lemon, garlic, thyme, and basil will quickly hit your nose.

It’s wonderful.

One Pot Lemon Butter Ricotta and Zucchini Pasta | halfbakedharvest.com

I serve this up right out of the pot with fresh thyme, basil, and chili flakes. This dish would also be great with some added texture. Try using any type of toasted nuts or seeds. I love salted pistachios…and roasted walnuts or salted pepitas would also be great.

It’s best to eat this pasta immediately. It’s meant to be on the creamy/almost soupy side, with lots and lots of creamy sauce. The pasta will soak up the broth up if it sits too long, so enjoy it right away…it will be just perfect.

Oh, and leftovers are great too!

One Pot Lemon Butter Ricotta and Zucchini Pasta | halfbakedharvest.com

This is a good way to get in your vegetables and use up all the zucchini you have. Plus, because the zucchini is grated, kids barely even notice it’s there.

And well, that’s that, told ya it’s simple!

One Pot Lemon Butter Ricotta and Zucchini Pasta | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other one pot recipes? Here are some favorites:

One Pot Melty Burrata Lemon Pesto Pasta

Creamy Penne Alfredo with Spicy Arugula

One Pot Spicy Alla Vodka Pizza Pasta

Lastly, if you make this One Pot Lemon Butter Ricotta and Zucchini Pasta, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

One Pot Lemon Butter Ricotta and Zucchini Pasta

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 489 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. In a large pot set over medium heat, melt together the butter, shallot, garlic, thyme, lemon zest and a big pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook until the butter is browning and the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pasta and toss to coat in the lemony butter. Stir in the zucchini and broth. Season with salt and pepper.
    2. Bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer 5-8 minutes until the pasta is al dente, stirring often.
    3. Stir in the ricotta, fontina, and basil. Cook another few minutes until very creamy and the basil is wilted. It should be creamy, but with just a touch of liquid.
    4. Divide the pasta among bowls and top with fresh thyme, basil, and chili flakes. Enjoy immediately!

Notes

For extra texture and flavor, try using any type of toasted nuts or seeds. I love salted pistachios, roasted walnuts, and salted pepitas!
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One Pot Lemon Butter Ricotta and Zucchini Pasta | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My whole family (including a 1 & 2 year old) LOVE this!! So easy to make & we’ll definitely be eating it again!

    1. 4 stars
      Reallt loved this. Love the sneaky veggies. I used Banza Chickpea noodles for extra protien and I halved the basil for my picky eaters.

      Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    I made a few modifications based on previous comments- I went ahead and zested the whole lemon, and I also added the juice of that lemon while the pasta was boiling. I was generous with salt and pepper – I probably added about 1.5-2 teaspoons of salt and 15+ grinds of black pepper. Added a little more fontina cheese into the sauce and had extra to put on top at the end. I had the ricotta out of the fridge while the recipe was prepared and I added it a small amount at a time and I didn’t have any problems with the sauce separating or being gritty.

    All in all we were very happy with this recipe! A great way to sneak a bunch of squash into my squash-hating-children’s mouths, haha.

        1. Hi Amy,
          Short cut pasta is any noodle that is short, not long:) Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve made this pasta multiple times and love it! I love the zucchini in it, which makes it feel healthier haha. This recipe is super easy. I agree with others that the flavor profile is tame but I expected that when using Ricotta. I just add a lot of salt and I loved it!

    1. Hey Lauren,
      Fantastic! Thanks a lot for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Happy New Year!🎆 xxT

  4. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight because me and my bf have COVID and I wanted something quick and relatively healthy to make. This hit the spot. I think it needs some sort of crunch element. Will probably add breadcrumbs next time!

    1. Hi Andrea,
      Happy Holidays! Thank you so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!🎄🎁 xTieghan

    2. 5 stars
      Made this dish tonight and it’s so easy and tastes amazing! It has wonderful flavor- not at all overpowering. Followed recommendations to add some lemon juice (1 whole lemon) while pasta was cooking. Also Used mozzarella because I didn’t have fontina or Gouda- still delicious!! Definitely will become a staple!

  5. Made this with dinner last night, so good! Didn’t have whole milk ricotta so used part skim, otherwise followed the recipe. The pasta was super creamy and flavorful! Really enjoyed and will be making again.

    1. Hey Nichole,
      Happy Friday! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed. Thanks so much for making it and happy holidays!❄️ xTieghan

  6. 4 stars
    This was a delicious option, and even though it’s described as a summery recipe, it was nice and hearty for a winter meal tonight. I’d consider adding some chicken in the future, but no one walked away hungry.

    I agree with the comments that the flavor profile was pretty tame. Next time, I’d add more of the lemon and herbs. Because of our preschooler, we left out the red pepper flakes and added them to our individual bowls, and that added some nice pep.

    This was actually quite easy, though, and truly felt like a 30-minute meal. That’s priceless in my book!

    1. Hey Sarah,
      Awesome!! I am so glad to hear this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it! Have the best weekend! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    Delicious and easy every time. This is a favorite even for the ones who don’t like cheese in the family! Followed the recipe exactly.

    1. Hey Becky,
      Awesome!! I am so glad to hear this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it! Have the best weekend! xTieghan

  8. I really want to try this one! How would you recommend adding some protein to the dish? Maybe baking/cooking chicken and adding it in later? Could you cook up ground meet maybe but at what stage?

    1. Hey Natalie,
      You could do ground meat at the beginning of the recipe and then follow as is. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    Honestly my favourite pasta recipe here! Absolutely delicious 🙂 I add a little bit more of everything, since I tend to buy monster zucchinis, like an extra cup of stock. Really nice and fresh with the zucchini and lemon (I also add the juice) and cheesy with the gouda and ricotta. This has become a mainstay dinner for myself and my roommates.

  10. 2 stars
    I tried the amazing Dan Dan Noodles from this site, and loved it, so I had high hopes for this when I saw it used fresh basil, shallots, and garlic. Unfortunately, I think the amount of pasta and ricotta washed out the flavors. It smelled great when cooking, and has great ingredients, but tasted bland when put all together. Specifying the salt and pepper might help too. Adding a little extra helped it, but knowing the exact amount to use would’ve been beneficial. Hoping the next recipe I try on here comes out better. 🙂

    1. Hi Andy! I’m so sorry this recipe didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped! Is there anything you did differently? xTieghan

      1. Thanks. No, I made exactly like the recipe. I think making with less Ricotta would’ve helped and knowing how much salt/pepper to use, as well as increasing the garlic. I tend to like the spices to shine through more. It was still fun to make. Looking forward to trying your chocolate mocha pudding pie next! 🙂

  11. 3 stars
    Unfortunately, I found this did not have much flavor. I expected it to have a super cheesy flavor, and it just didn’t come through at all. I think this needs some more garlic, onions, and addition of tomatoes or sun dried tomatoes.

    1. Hey Christina, I’m so sorry this recipe didn’t turn out the way you hoped! Is there anything you did differently? Let me know how I can help! xTieghan

  12. 5 stars
    Our zucchini went bad before I had a chance to make this, but still turned out great. May add spinach and/or shredded chicken in the future if I ever want more protein or veggies. No ricotta issues for us as others have mentioned.

  13. 5 stars
    This pasta is delicious! I was blow away with how easy and quick it was. I couldn’t get enough and had it for leftovers multiple times. My dad and brother also loved it and couldn’t even tell there was zucchini in it!

    1. Hi there! Thanks so much for trying out this recipe! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this recipe 🙂 xTieghan

  14. 5 stars
    Perfect date night dish! We followed the directions exactly and it turned out so delicious: warm, creamy, and flavorful!