20 Minute Ricotta Pasta. A healthy, whole wheat pasta recipe that is so creamy and good!

If I didn’t share my apartment with another human being, I would never fold my laundry. This kind of laziness begets marital discord. It also begets 20-Minute Healthy Ricotta Pasta, so I’m not changing my ways any time soon.

The washing the part of laundry doesn’t bother me. I even divide my lights and darks like my mama taught me.  (I also wish she would have taught me to use bleach, because despite my load-separation diligence, my white shirts inevitably dwindle to a milky Earl Grey.)

Even using a communal, dorm-style laundry room doesn’t perturb me. What does: folding.

I will leave my laundry basket (full of clean clothes mind you) in the middle of our apartment for three days without folding it.

This might not sound like a big deal, but that rogue basket occupies 15% of the open floor space in our tiny cozy home. I’m destined trip over it in the middle of the night, break my ankle, and learn my lesson, but until then, I’m going to continue my sock-matching and T-shirt-folding procrastination.

20-Minute Whole Wheat Ricotta Pasta. A quick and healthy dinner!

20-Minute Healthy Ricotta Pasta is ideal for those nights when: a) You feel like procrastinating instead of cooking, b) You are in a hurry, or c) Both.  It’s bursting with bright Mediterranean flavors, creamy, healthy, and easy.

This dream boat of a dish is quick and easy because it combines ingredients that require little-to-no prep work.

Frozen artichokes are cooked right in with the pasta water, roasted red bell peppers need only be drained and sliced, and our other flavor players (Dijon, red pepper flakes, capers, and basil) are simply measured and mixed.

20 Minute Ricotta Pasta. An easy, healthy whole wheat pasta your entire family will love!

The fairest, easiest, most delightful ingredient of them all: Part-skim ricotta cheese. Ricotta is creamy, dreamy, surprisingly affordable, and (if you choose part-skim), low in fat. I’ve been entirely obsessed with ricotta since this fabulous peach ricotta pizza and that veggie ricotta grilled cheese came into my life, and ricotta now my go-to for an easy weeknight pasta dinner.

Stir the ricotta together with the spices, pour over the warm noodles, and va-voom! A rich, robust sauce that requires no cooking and tastes absolutely decadent.

For quadruple bonus, double-dog-dare indulgence, you can use whole milk ricotta, though you do sacrifice on the health front. The choice is yours. I’ve found that both part-skim and low-fat ricotta taste great in this dish.

Of the two, the part-skim ricotta is slightly higher in fat than the “low fat” (deceptive right?), and thus a bit tastier, but both are excellent options for 20-Minute Healthy Ricotta Pasta. Just promise me you won’t use fat free ricotta—it won’t melt nearly as well. Plus, fat free cheese categorically gives me the heebie jeebies.

Easy Healthy Ricotta Pasta with Artichokes

Now that we’ve made an easy, creamy, 20-Minute Healthy Ricotta Pasta, I want to know: what will you do with the extra time you saved? I think I’ll paint my nails, watch a rerun of Chopped, and send some snail mail.

You didn’t think I was going to fold my laundry did you?

20-Minute Whole Wheat Ricotta Pasta. A quick and healthy dinner!

20 Minute Ricotta Pasta

5 from 5 votes
A creamy, dreamy, healthy pasta that’s ready in 20-minutes! This quick and easy dinner is loaded with veggies and Mediterranean flavor. Ricotta cheese melts into the pasta to create a luscious sauce that tastes fabulous and is low in fat too.

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 20 mins

Servings: 4 – 6 servings


  • 1 package whole wheat penne pasta (12 ounces)
  • 2 package frozen artichoke hearts (9 ounce packages) thawed
  • 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese (OK to substitute low fat or even whole milk ricotta, but do not use fat free)
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, white balsamic vinegar, or champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 jar roasted red bell peppers (12 ounces) drained and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons capers rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. With 2 minutes remaining in the pasta cook time, add artichoke hearts. Drain, then return the artichokes and pasta to the pot.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, basil, mustard, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Pour over pasta. Add sliced red peppers, capers, and parsley. Stir pasta gently to coat. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. I definitely just opened my dryer to door to find it full of laundry…that I don’t even remember washing. It’s been that long. It’s just the worst.
    This pasta needs to happen. 20 minutes and healthy? With ricotta? I love you.
    P.s Chopped? FAVORITE SHOW EVER. The hubs and I are currently planning our own Chopped date night!
    I’m cooking. Don’t worry. Pinned!

  2. I don’t even pretend I’m going to put my clothes away. They just sit int he laundry basket at the foot of the bed until a fresh batch of clean laundry gets poured over top of them. Whether they’re in a laundry basket, a drawer, or my closet, I’m just going to pull them all out when I’m getting dressed anyway, right? Time saver. This pasta looks amazing! Josh is very much not a fan of ricotta, but that just means more for me ;-)

  3. hehe! Your posts always make me giggle :)
    I love ricotta, too! I had no idea that part skim has more fat. That’s probably why I love it so much.

  4. Wow this looks delicious! I hate doing laundry. HATE it. I wish i had someone that could come in and do it for me. It doesn’t help that our washer and dryer are in the basement and it’s FREEZING all the time in the winter going down there.

  5. Love the combination of flavors here Erin! Ricotta with well anything is great! Was surprised to see capers…not sure why. LOVE capers :D Going to have to try this recipe!

  6. I loath folding laundry. I can get it into the washer but after that I’m worthless. Luckily Paul does most of the laundry :-)

  7. laundry is my worst nightmare too..on that note dont feel bad, i just emptied my clean laundry all over my bed..so that i wont procastinate any longer and will have to fold it before going to bed.

  8. I have a similar laundry problem, except I just leave everything in the dryer for days and days and days. It drives my husband so crazy, he won’t even let me do his laundry anymore. Darn!

    Great pasta recipe! Love anything with ricotta!

  9. I am with you on the folding – I hate to admit I leave clean laundry lying around and hope to use it before I have the time to fold it!
    Maybe I could make this pasta and bribe someone else to do it for me?

  10. My idea of a perfect dinner! I have 4 loads of laundry waiting to be folded now! Ha!

  11. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen frozen artichoke hearts…huh! Must find because this is a must make! :)

    1. Hey Nicole! I buy mine at Trader Joe’s, but I see them called for in a variety of recipes, so I think they are fairly available. Maybe just keep an eye out in the freezer section?

  12. I just did the laundry…the worst part of it is IRONING. I hate it.
    Your ricotta pasta looks scrumptious, Erin.

    1. Angie, I have a dirty secret…I NEVER iron. Yes, it is definitely the worst. Which is why my approach is…don’t. Did I mention I wear a lot of sweaters instead of button-downs? Now you know why!

      1. Oh praise the Lord I’m not the only one who NEVER irons. Part of my criteria for buying something is evaluating whether or not it will need ironed. So bad. And I’m so glad I’m not the only one who has a problem with the laundry. Folding is a big, fat pain.

      2. I’m with you about the ironing. I never iron either. Luckily, I have a husband who tells me his shirts will get wrinkled on his way to work anyway, lol.

  13. Laundry is the worst! You’re right about the washing being the easy part, it’s that stupid folding! Our laundry usually sits in the laundry basket and we rummage through it looking for what we need, that is until we need the basket again, then it’s a war as to who should fold the rest of the clothes. This pasta dish looks amazing unlike a basket full of laundry, can’t wait to try it!

  14. I am the SAME way about folding. I’ll throw loads of laundry in any day, but folding? Who has time for that? This has become an issue recently as my hubby has been working a ton and I’ve been helping him out with his laundry. He was some shirts and pants that HAVE to be hung up hot out of the dryer or they are too wrinkly to wear. And If i don’t have time for folding, I definitely don’t have time for ironing. I’d rather make this yummy pasta and read food blogs. :)

  15. Oh wow that looks SO good – such a beautiful dinner, hard to believe it’s only 20 minutes to make it. Fantastic.

  16. 1. The pasta looks amazing! 2. Totally feel you on the laundry… I’m usually pulling clean clothes to wear directly from the dryer for days before I actually get around to folding it!

    1. Anne, sometimes I think it’s a good think that we don’t own a dryer because if we did, I know I would do the exact same thing! Well, I’d lay them on top to avoid wrinkles, THEN I’d let them sit there until time to wash came again!

  17. this pasta sounds so great! i love riccotta in pasta. :) and on the laundry front, i actually am obsessed with doing laundry and would choose it over any other chore, except for the ironing part. i have very few clothes that need to be ironed, and when they do- my husband does it for me! win win!

    1. Sarah, will you please come do my laundry??????? I’ll bake cookies for you and serve you pasta! Your husband can come too. I never iron my clothes, but I have a few dish towels that I use for photography that could use a press ;-)

  18. Yup, folding the laudry is the worst thing ever :–(
    On the other side, this pasta has to be one of the best weeknight dinners I’ve ever seen. Seriously, that ricotta sauce is calling my name ahhh yes.

  19. I love your healthy twist on the ricotta! Oh, and I’m glad I’m not the only one who *loathes* folding the clothes…I do it, but I dread it.

  20. Great job! That looks like a delicious recipe and it’s even better that it’s healthy :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  21. Neither of us folds laundry in our house. It literally sits in the basket until I have to do laundry again. It’s why we have two hampers. I wish I was kidding. I will hide my shame in this pasta.

    1. No shame girlfriend! Do you do Alex’s laundry? Because I defintely don’t touch Ben’s. He says I “don’t fold it right.” Hmmm. There’s a pattern here, lol

  22. This is absolutely gorgeous Erin! I love ricotta! Also, folding laundry is my nemesis!

  23. haha I hear on the folding laundry. But I am completely obsessive compulsive and always do it as soon as it’s done lol. And then proceed to get mad at my husband when he leaves it in the dryer (or even worse when he leave the wet clothes in the washer). Awesome pasta dish by the way – I love ricotta!

  24. Why is it that folding laundry is the worst?! I was just forcing myself to fold it last night. I would have much rather made this pasta instead!

  25. I often forget about artichokes in pasta – glad you reminded me! You also reminded me that I need to do my laundry soon… ;)

  26. Healthy and pasta is like music to my ears!!
    Looks so so good! With ricotta? Yes please!

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  27. This looks friggen amazing! Oh man you are just like my husband. I get so confused as to what is clean and dirty because he starts co-mingling clean and dirty clothes in the same hamper. He hates folding. I fold my clothes right out of the dryer but I hate, hate, hate putting the clothes away or hanging them up. Ugh!

  28. This had me giggling because I think my last 2 post’s I was ranting about dishes and laundry! I’m totally with you I don’t mind washing it’s the folding that sucks and putting them away! Ugh.. This pasta looks amazing love it!

  29. Oh, I’m so with you on the laundry! I love washing it, and actually don’t even mind folding it, but putting it away? Worst. I actually don’t think I’d ever cook a proper dinner though either if I lived alone :)

  30. This is a gorgeous pasta dish Erin! Love everything about it. Particularly the inclusions of artichokes and red bell peppers, as I just stocked up on them yesterday. Must’ve been in subconscious preparation for this amazing healthy dish (Aaron loves pasta but I always deprive him of it due to the high fat and carb content… I think your recipe will have made his week!). As for the laundry? Ahem. Well, Aaron and I never fold ours. Ever. We have something that he refers to has a ‘floordrobe’ where all the stray socks, towels and other things go…

  31. This pasta looks awesome! 20 minutes and healthy with ricotta? Totally needs to happen soon since I would much rather be eating this than folding my laundry too :)

  32. Folding the laundry is definitely the worst part! Thank goodness my kids are old enough to help out now! :) I’d much rather be in the kitchen whipping this delicious dinner up!!

  33. This recipe was SO good! My husband couldn’t get enough of it and his Italian roots were going crazy for the ricotta. We added a side of chicken because the hubby HAS to have meat at all meals, and it was delicious. We will definitely be making this again!5 stars

    1. Katie, I’m so, so excited to hear that you and your husband enjoyed this recipe! Appealing to someone’s Italian roots is just about the best compliment I could wish for :) Thanks for taking time to share your review, and again I’m so thrilled you liked it!

  34. As always your recipes are spot on! Loved this a lot, I ended up adding more garlic but that’s just me. This is the third recipe of yours I’ve made and can’t wait to try the rest! 5 stars

    1. This makes my day! I’m so glad you are enjoying my recipes so far, and I hope you love the next one too. Thank you!

  35. This looks absolutely delicious, and I am lucky to have some ricotta cheese in the fridge leftover from making a lasagna a couple days ago – YAY! Unfortunately I don’t have any vinegar. Do you think I could omit it? Or are there any substitutions that might work for this dish?

    1. Hi Cindy! I’m so glad you like the look of this recipe. The idea of the vinegar is to give the dish some acidity. I think a great substitution it would be fresh squeezed lemon juice. I hope that helps and that you enjoy it!

  36. The saving grace of Saturday night dinner! Today was honestly option (a) procrastination, but I still made a healthy meal thanks to your recipe. I had all the ingredients on hand (canned instead of frozen artichokes, dried instead of fresh parsley, spirals instead of penne pasta). My boyfriend and I enjoyed it very much. I always trust your spices, and he particularly liked the crushed red pepper flakes.  5 stars

    1. Amy, I’m always so happy to know that you enjoy my recipes. Thanks for trying this one and reporting back!

  37. Excited to try this one! Have you ever made it with any meat protein added? Trying to decide what to accompany it with… grilled chicken maybe?