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  • Writer's pictureChristina Kamins, MS

Weeknight Win: Lemony Ricotta Pasta & Broccoli

Updated: May 8, 2023

Before we do our food shopping for the week, my husband and I always look ahead to what the weeknights are going to be like for our family. This weekend when we looked ahead our thoughts were 'Yikes, we better brace ourselves!' Between my son's three baseball games and my daughter's five dance classes and three musical rehearsals, not to mention our own work commitments, evenings this week are not lending themselves to elaborate dishes. Honestly, they never do these days.

Instead of falling into the trap of ordering in or grabbing something quick that has little nutritional value, we simply plan ahead. This lemon-infused pasta dish can be whipped up in just about the time it takes for the pasta to cook. I made some tweaks to the original recipe to increase the fiber and protein content, while cutting out some of the fat, to make this weeknight winner. To make it even easier, we buy pre-chopped broccoli bags. Cooked spinach or cherry tomatoes would also be a delicious in this!

Weeknight Win: Lemony Ricotta Pasta & Broccoli


  • 3/4 box 100% whole wheat or bean-based rotini/penne (our favorite is Barilla Protein+)

  • 1.5 cups low fat ricotta

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • Fresh ground black pepper

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • ½ cup pasta water

  • 3 cups broccoli florets (pre-chopped)

Cooking Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta as directed and add in the broccoli with 5 minutes cooking time remaining. Reserve 1 cup of the hot pasta water and then drain the pasta and broccoli. Set aside in the original large pot.

  • In a medium-sized saucepan mix the ricotta, olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, lemon zest, and ¼ cup pasta water. Warm over medium heat and stir until a creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add more pasta water as needed to make it creamier.

  • Pour the sauce onto the pasta and broccoli, combine well and serve. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted by Coach Christina from

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