How to Cook Leeks

How to cook leeksLeeks are a really versatile vegetable. They are easy to cook. They are tasty and they are also good for you. Here we explore 3 of the easy ways of cooking leeks, to boil, steam or to grill them.

Each method is easy and requires very little time or specialist equipment. The trick to successful leeks in the is in the preparation, which is also covered step by step here including some process photos. Including how to wash them and how to cut them in different ways for cooking.

This will prepare your leeks for many recipes decided to make in the future.

How to Cook Leeks

How To Prepare Leeks For Cooking

It doesn’t matter whether you are cooking soup, roast or simply leeks on their own there are a few things that you need to know about preparing them that are the same and some that are different depending on what parts of the leek you want to cook

There are several methods that you can use to prepare and cut your leeks however I have included the easiest ones.

  1. Cut off all the dark** green part of your leeks.
  2. Remove the outer layer of skin and remove and faulty bits.
  3. Wash the leeks thoroughly in running water as they get really dirty inside. Be really careful to check between the layers for dirt.
  4. Cut off the end where the roots are.
    1. Now you can cut up your leeks. Usually, you cut them into circles so just decide how thick you want them and then cut along the leeks at intervals.
    2. If you prefer you can cut your leeks in half lengthways first and then create semi-circles with them.
    3. I haven’t seen anywhere if you should do this but I sometimes prefer to cut my veg at an angle so I can see the inner part better. It also looks kinda posh.
    4. You can also chop them up really finely.
  5. Now that you have cut up your leeks they can be washed more thoroughly to make sure all the dirt has been removed from the insides. Rinse and drain off the dirty water.
  6. Now they are ready for cooking.

**Notes: This is the way we always cooked leeks as the dark part is stronger. However, I think this is really wasteful even if you compost them but the end bits are not really nice. If you want to maximise the use of your leeks you can simply trim the ends and outer green bits and use them as well. It really depends on what you are cooking. Alternatively, you can cut off all the dark green leaves and use them for other things. This site Green Talk has some really useful tips on what to do with your dark green leaves if you don’t want to use the dark green parts for your recipe.

Leek Preparation Process In Pictures

cut leeks and remove dark green parts

Wash leeks. Trim the green then remove it.

Cut outer layers away to reveal cleaner insides

Peel away rough outer layers.


Now remove the root ends &cut your leeks into rounds or half rounds.

wash leeks

Finally, wash your leeks to remove all dirt. They are now ready to cook.

How to Boil Leeks on the Hob

Boiling leeks is really easy. I have to admit it’s rare I just eat leeks they are usually put into something like a potato and leek soup (one of my favourites). Unfortunately boiling leeks does mean you lose some of the nutrients.

  • leeks
  • salt
  1. Prepare and clean your leeks as above
  2. Boil a pan of water
  3. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  4. Place in a bowl of hot water
  5. Boil for about 10 minutes or until tender
  6. Remove the leeks from the water and drain
  7. Serve

How to Steam Leeks on the Hob

Like boiling steaming leeks is easy to do, You don’t have to have a steamer but it makes it easier if you do.

  • Leeks
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  1. Clean and prepare your leeks as above
  2. Place boiling water in the lower part of your steamer or boil water in the bottom part
  3. Place your leeks into the top part of your steamer
  4. Put the lid on the steamer
  5.  steam for about 8-10 minutes
  6. Check they are soft

How to Grill Leeks

  • Leeks
  • oil
  1. Prepare for cooking in the normal way as above up to point 4B
  2. cut them lengthwise then cut lengthwise again.
  3. Boil your leeks for 4-5 minutes
  4. Remove the leeks from the pan and drain
  5. Dry them in kitchen roll
  6. Now they are ready to grill.
  7. Heat the grill and place some oil into a pan
  8. Place the leeks into the grill and lightly cover with oil
  9. Cook for a couple of minutes then turn over and cook for another couple of minutes (4 minutes total)
  10. Perfectly grilled leeks

What Can I Cook With Leeks?

There are a lot of things you can cook with leeks. You can have meat and potatoes or a vegetarian dish. You can have fish or you can make leek soups. Why not make a tasty risotto or leek pie or even a lasagna?

Things that compliment leeks are:

  • Potaotes
  • Carrots
  • Other vegetables
  • kale
  • mushrooms
  • meats like chicken, beef, fish, bacon
  • Pulses

Can Leeks Be Eaten Raw?

Yes, you can eat leeks raw if you want to. It’s not something I like to do and it is an acquired taste. Perhaps a compromise would be to cook them very lightly.

Leeks Round-Up

So that’s a few basics of leeks. Once you have these you can expand and use your leeks for lots of different recipes or simply enjoy them on their own.

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