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One-Pot Pesto Ricotta Pasta | Easy, Vegetarian

This easy one-pot pesto ricotta pasta is delicious with a creamy and herby sauce made with pesto!

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I’m a huge sucker for an easy meal that’s quick to prepare and cook. Ever since the family and you all tried and loved this Easy One Pot Vegetarian Pasta, I have been trying up other versions of one-pot pastas. They are weeknight perfection, so easy to make and require minimal cleanup!

Easy 30 minute One-pot Pasta Dinner

This version is made in under half an hour, uses just one pot (duh – it’s in the name), and is a great way to use up all that garden fresh summer basil and tomatoes. The creamy ricotta cheese, the garlic, the thyme, all the good stuff. Have I convinced you yet? The leftovers are delicious packed in lunch boxes the next day and the recipe is a hit with everyone. Dr. A specially enjoys these one-pot recipes since these mean less dishes for him to wash!



First, choose the right pot – a deep, big capacity pot is needed because we want to boil the pasta first in the same pot. I love using a dutch oven for this one-pot pesto ricotta pasta. Bring the water to boil, add the pasta and cook according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking you can chop garlic, get your herbs ready, grab the pesto and ricotta. 


Save a cup of starchy pasta cooking water, drain the pasta and return the pot to heat. Put olive oil, garlic, thyme sprigs and chili flakes in your pot and cook. Add the cherry tomatoes, cover the pot and let them pop and burst. It’s fun but if you don’t cover the pot with a lid, it might get messy. Don’t ask how I know. Next add the pesto (I used homemade), ricotta and reserved pasta water to make a sauce of sorts. Once the sauce comes together, add back the pasta, add fresh basil, season and serve!



  • Use whole grain pasta to make this dish healthier
  • Saute half a cup of diced onions in olive oil along with the garlic and chili flakes
  • Stir in a bunch of fresh baby spinach along with when you add the pasta to up the nutrition and flavor
  • To make the pasta spicy, add extra red chili flakes. Spice not your thing? Skip them altogether!

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Here’s your handy dandy printable:

5 from 7 votes

One-Pot Pesto Ricotta Pasta

This easy one-pot pesto ricotta pasta is delicious with a creamy and herby sauce made with pesto!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword One Pot, Pasta, Pesto, Pesto Pasta, Ricotta, Vegetraian, Weeknight
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author Vaishali


  • 1 pound pasta
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 -3 sprigs of fresh thyme 1 tablespoon, see notes
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • ½ pint cherry or grape tomatoes about 1 cup
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon pesto
  • 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves


  1. Set a large pot (or dutch oven) of water over high heat. Salt the water and let it come to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta and cook according to package directions. After the pasta is done, save a cup of pasta water (or more) and then drain the pasta. See notes.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, chop the garlic and wash your tomatoes, thyme sprigs and basil leaves.
  3. After draining the pasta in a colander or sieve, return the pot to the stove on medium high heat. Add olive oil and let it heat up.
  4. Add chopped garlic, thyme sprigs and a big pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes, season with some salt and pepper, put the lid on and let them cook for 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes burst and release some of their juices.
  6. Remove the lid, scrape the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits and then add the pesto followed by ricotta cheese. Mix everything together.
  7. Stir in the pasta water to make a sauce and stir in the pasta. Toss to coat in the sauce. Season with some more salt and pepper.
  8. Cook for another minute until everything is mixed together. Add fresh basil. The pasta should be slightly creamy with just a touch of liquid. See notes.
  9. Divide the pasta among bowls and top with fresh thyme, basil, and chili flakes. Enjoy immediately!

Recipe Notes

If using dried thyme, use only 1 teaspoon
If the pasta looks dry when it’s close to getting done, add a splash of broth or milk. If you saved extra pasta water, that will work great as well!
You can add toasted nuts or seeds for some extra texture and flavor.

If you make this One-Pot Pesto Ricotta Pasta, please leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I would love to hear from you guys. And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram and Facebook! I love to look through your creations!!

Love – Vaishali

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Pot: Colander: Knife:

Chili Flakes:


  1. Lindsey

    September 24, 2022 at 3:50 pm

    This looks amazing! I’ll report back!

  2. Tiannaskitchen

    September 25, 2022 at 3:12 pm

    5 stars
    This salad sounds delicious cannot wait to try it

  3. Carrie

    September 26, 2022 at 7:42 am

    5 stars
    This is just what I was looking for, a vegetarian pasta that tastes fresh. I can’t wait to try it.

    1. Vaishali

      September 26, 2022 at 10:38 pm

      Awesome, Carrie. I hope you enjoy it

  4. Stephanie

    September 26, 2022 at 8:08 am

    5 stars
    Anything ‘one-pot’ catches my eye. The pesto and ricotta must make this a really yummy dish.

    1. Vaishali

      September 26, 2022 at 10:44 pm

      Thanks Stephanie. They do and the sauce is surprisingly light yet deeply flavorful

  5. Lyssa

    September 26, 2022 at 9:46 am

    Oh my goodness! This pasta looks divine. I can’t wait to try this pesto pasta! Yum!

  6. Christine

    September 26, 2022 at 9:53 am

    5 stars
    So delicious and I love that it’s only in one pot!

  7. Jenna from Heavenly Spiced

    September 26, 2022 at 12:32 pm

    5 stars
    You’re the pesto queen! This One-Pot Pesto Ricotta Pasta sounds so yummy. Going to add to my summer pasta salad list. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Vaishali

      September 26, 2022 at 10:48 pm

      Ha ha…making the most of this summer bounty.

    2. Vaishali

      September 27, 2022 at 10:41 pm

      Ha ha thanks Jenna! Happy to wear this crown…:P

  8. tiannaskitchen

    September 26, 2022 at 1:48 pm

    5 stars
    This One-Pot Pesto Ricotta Pasta sounds so good, cannot wait to try it.

    1. Vaishali

      September 27, 2022 at 10:38 pm

      Thanks Tianna. I hope you enjoy it!

  9. Christina trama

    September 26, 2022 at 1:55 pm

    I love pesto! This looks and sounds delicious!

    1. Vaishali

      September 27, 2022 at 10:41 pm

      Christina…me too. One of my main reasons to grow basil in summer!

  10. Audrey

    September 26, 2022 at 10:33 pm

    5 stars
    This looks like such a delicious and creative recipe. I can’t wait to give this one a try!

    1. Vaishali

      September 27, 2022 at 10:43 pm

      Thanks Audrey. This is a good one plus it’s so easy!

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