Easy Tomato Ricotta Pasta with Ground Beef

The kids started school this week (yay!). I absolutely love the start of school and being back in a more predictable routine. But with that comes a tricky evening schedule with homework and activities.

To keep things chill, I’m prioritizing meals that are:

  • easy to make,
  • things we’ll all eat,
  • and create the least amount of mess.

One of my favorite easy weeknight meals is my amazingly delicious Tomato Ricotta Pasta with Ground Beef.

With a few simple pantry staples and a small amount of ground beef, this meal comes together in less than 30 minutes. Bonus: It’s very affordable.

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The penne is super luscious due to the ricotta in the pasta sauce. It only needs a simple green side salad to complete the meal and maybe some garlic bread if you’re feeling fancy.

Raw ground beef on a table in an unwrapped package.

If you’re on a bit of a budget, this recipe is for you. It only needs half a pound of ground beef, which is a very affordable amount of meat. You could also sub in your favorite ground meat instead of beef if you aren’t a fan.

Tube of tomato paste on a dark counter.

This recipe only calls for three tablespoons of tomato paste, so if you can get your hands on a tube of tomato paste instead of a can, it will make your life a lot easier. I really like the Mutti tomato paste that you can buy in bulk on Amazon.

Ground beef and onion being cooked in a pot being mixed with a Chop Stir.

Also, any time I’m working with ground meat I break out my Chop Stir. This is hands down the best kitchen gadget I’ve ever purchased, and it costs well under $10. You can get amazing consistency with zero effort.

So with this recipe and these little tips, you can get an incredible dinner on the table for your family in under 30 minutes. I hope you give this ricotta pasta sauce a try and you love it as much as we do!

Close up of penne with ricotta in pasta sauce and ground beef

Easy Tomato Ricotta Pasta with Ground Beef

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 24 minutes
Total Time: 26 minutes

This easy weeknight dinner features a luscious meat sauce made easy by adding ricotta in the pasta sauce. A simple twist on pasta bolognese.


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 a medium onion, diced
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 pound of ground beef
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 4 cups cooked penne (1/2 a box)
  • 1 tbsp butter (optional)


  1. Dice onion.
  2. Saute onions in the olive oil over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add ground beef and stir to break up into crumbles.
  4. Cook until just brown, about 3 minutes (it doesn't need to be cooked through).
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  6. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute.
  7. Add 1/2 a cup of the chicken broth and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
  8. Add remaining chicken broth and cook for 10 minutes.
  9. Stir in the ricotta. Add more salt and pepper if needed at this point.
  10. Stir in the cooked penne and the butter (if using).
  11. Enjoy!


  • I like to keep precooked pasta in the fridge, but you can cook the pasta at the same time as the sauce, and they should finish at the same time.
  • Serve with a simple green salad and garlic bread for an easy weeknight dinner.
  • This dish is kid-friendly!

Like this recipe?

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Want more easy recipes like this? Check out my full collection of simple family favorites.