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Creamy Rigatoni with Lemony Greens

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Creamy Rigatoni with Lemony Greens

Creamy Rigatoni with Lemony Greens

Jessica Braider
This pasta's got a little bit of everything- protein, greens, calcium, and a bright lemony taste!
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 8 servings


  • 16 oz. whole wheat rigatoni (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed)
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion halved top to bottom and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced, about 2 tsp.
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 oz. baby spinach or use sliced Swiss chard or kale (stemmed if using chard or kale)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes halved, or use 15 oz. canned diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 lemon use about 1 tsp. zest and 2 Tbsp. juice from half the lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


  • Cook the pasta in salted water according to the package directions until it is al dente.
  • Meanwhile, heat a large skillet or a Dutch oven over medium heat, and add the oil. When it is hot, add the onions and cook them until the onions are tender, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for about 30 seconds until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the greens, cover the pan and cook it for 2 – 4 minutes until the greens are wilted, then remove the cover, and simmer it until the pasta is done.
  • Meanwhile, in a large measuring cup, combine the ricotta and 2 Tbsp. of the pasta’s cooking water.
  • Drain the noodles, return them to their pot, stir in the tomatoes, ricotta, lemon juice, and onion and greens mixture, and gently stir in the salt and lemon zest (or you can top individual servings with the zest at the table).
  • Serve it immediately or refrigerate it for up to 2 days.


Do Ahead or Delegate: Cook the pasta and store tossed with a little oil to prevent sticking, halve and slice the onion, peel the garlic, stem the kale if using it, halve the tomatoes, zest and juice the lemon, or fully prepare and refrigerate the dish.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Grind some fresh black pepper and coarse salt over the finished dish. Top it with fresh basil or parsley, grated Parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts or walnuts, or crisp crumbled bacon.
Tip: If the idea of salting your pasta water is off-putting for any reason, keep this in mind: because salted water helps to season the pasta internally as it absorbs flavor while cooking, the finished dish is likely to require less salt, and much of the salt that’s added to the water gets discarded when you drain the pasta.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 307, Total Fat: 8g, 11.5%; Saturated Fat: 2g, 10%; Cholesterol: 10mg, 3%; Sodium: 237mg, 10%; Total Carbohydrate: 50g, 16.5%; Dietary Fiber: 10g, 37.5%; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 12g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Keyword 30 Minutes (or less) Meals, Dinner, Fall, Gluten-Free, High Fiber, Kosher, Low Fat, Low Sodium, Main Dish, Make-Ahead, No Added Sugar, Nut-Free, Picnic, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian
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