Penne pasta covered in a tangy goat cheese sauce with rosemary and spinach. I can almost guarantee you’ll make this pasta recipe over and over and never tire of it!

skillet pasta dinner with penne, spinach, fresh rosemary, and lemon zest

How to make penne pasta with goat cheese sauce (VIDEO)

Penne Pasta, It’s what you turn to when you need to make something appear pronto on the table and that the kids are probably going to love. And it’s so easy to make if you can boil water you can make pasta. I don’t want to hear any excuses.

Usually, we stick to traditional red sauce in this house. However, every now and then, I’ll make a white béchamel and load it up with some sharp cheddar or Fontina. I like my cheese sauce to taste like cheese so I don’t skimp with it.

This was the first time I went with goat cheese though and the result was completely not what I thought it would taste like. It was super light for being a cream sauce and had an awesome tangy taste to it.

Three out of four plates were wiped clean when I put it out for dinner, what about that fourth plate? That belonged to my daughter who has a fierce loyalty to Parmesan, whatever!

lemon penne pasta with spinach

Making lemon penne pasta

And the lemon? I don’t know how to explain this, just trust me. Make the pasta recipe and you’ll see that even with the zest of four lemons, the flavor is bang on. Tangy, but not so tart that you need to pucker up.

You can eat penne pasta like this for meatless Monday, or serve it like I do, with chopped grilled chicken in it. Shrimp would also be a top choice to throw in. Anything, it’s still gonna be awesome!

This is summer pasta, pure and simple. It’s made with fresh lemons picked from a friend’s tree on a weekend. The rosemary comes from my own garden. Could it be any more sustainable?

In a perfect world, you should eat this outside in the sun with a chilled glass of Chardonnay.

We should all live in a perfect pasta world!

Pasta dinner tossed in a creamy goat cheese pasta sauce, with spinach, fresh rosemary and lemon zest

Penne Pasta in a Lemon Rosemary cream Sauce.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 355kcal
Author: foodnessgracious
Penne pasta covered in a tangy goat cheese sauce with rosemary and spinach. I can almost guarantee you'll make this pasta recipe over and over and never tire of it!
Print Recipe


  • 3 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 4 whole medium size lemons zested
  • 6 ounces plain goat cheese
  • 2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cups packed, spinach leaves


  • Cook the pasta as per the instructions on the pack. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large pan over a medium heat melt the butter and add the flour. Whisk for 2-3 minutes until smooth.
  • Gradually add the milk whisking after each addition to prevent lumps.
  • Once all of the milk is added, throw in the zest, goat cheese and rosemary. Whisk again until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
  • Add the spinach and pasta and gently fold through with a spatula. The spinach will wilt with the heat.
  • Serve at once and garnish with extra chopped rosemary.


Calories: 355kcal