Orzo with Lemony Leek Sauce Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Orzo with Lemony Leek Sauce

This pasta dish takes tender leeks out of the soup pot to use as a light pasta sauce. Because leeks can be gritty, slice them vertically before chopping so that you can rinse between layers.



Ingredient Line: 
6 medium leeks, white parts only, halved lengthwise and chopped
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2 Tbs. lemon juice
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2 Tbs. parsley
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1 Tbs. olive oil
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16 oz. orzo pasta
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½ lb. asparagus, sliced into ½-inch pieces
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½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Bring medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add leeks, and cook 10 minutes, or until tender.

2. Drain, and purée in blender with lemon juice, parsley and oil. Set aside.

3. Cook pasta according to package directions. Add asparagus to pasta water during last 2 minutes of cooking.

4. Drain pasta and asparagus, and transfer to large bowl. Top with leek sauce and cheese. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Nutrition Information: 

15 g
Total Fat: 
5.5 g
Saturated Fat: 
2 g
70 g
6 mg
221 mg
4 g
7 g
Serves 6

Comments on this Recipe

I agree with Kim. Lacking in flavor despite the array of yummy ingredients. I added a lot more lemon juice and garlic salt and that helped.

Was very disappointed in this recipe. The leek sauce was so bland! I had to add in more salt and then added garlic powder, pecorino romano cheese and feta to the orzo and then it was good. I also used steamed haricot vert instead of the asparagus.

This sounds fantasic! I already subscribed to the magazine because of the newsletter received.

Do you think this recipe would work with quinoa,as well?

I love leeks and all of the ingredients in this recipe but it's surprisingly lacking in flavor. I added crumbled feta cheese and that helped.

I also was disappointed in this recipe's lack of flavor. I tried it because I had made a similar recipe I'd gotten from "Real Simple" magazine (it was wonderful!), but I lost the recipe. What a let down. Good to read ways to salvage the leftovers.

I agree with some of the comments here that the original recipe leaves the dish something to be desired. I made a couple changes to this...bump up the oil to two TBS...add a little pasta water to the blender...use the juice of two lemons and the zest of one lemon. This gave the dish some acidity to balance out the favors.