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Pasta with Leek, Pepper, and Chive Sauce

Photo: Karry Hosford
Yield 4 servings (serving size: 2 cups)
The leeks contribute to make a fine pasta sauce because they cook quickly to a buttery sweetness. Peel the bell peppers with a vegetable peeler; the pepper strips will become softer and adhere to the pasta better without the peel. We suggest that you use ear-shaped orecchiette, but any small pasta will work in this recipe.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 1/2 cups thinly sliced leek (about 3 large)
  • 3 yellow bell peppers, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 3 cups hot cooked orecchiette pasta (about 3/4 pound uncooked)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

Nutrition Information

  • calories 394
  • caloriesfromfat 29 %
  • fat 12.6 g
  • satfat 5.2 g
  • monofat 3.4 g
  • polyfat 2.2 g
  • protein 16.3 g
  • carbohydrate 56.4 g
  • fiber 4.1 g
  • cholesterol 20 mg
  • iron 3.7 mg
  • sodium 518 mg
  • calcium 185 mg

How to Make It

  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add leek and bell pepper strips; saute 4 minutes. Stir in broth, rind, and juice; cook 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until cream cheese melts (about 2 minutes), stirring constantly. Add pasta, salt, and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

  2. Stir in Parmesan and remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit