If you're looking to use leeks in a way that's versatile and easy, try out this Melted Leeks recipe. This simple method for slowly cooking leeks is easy to follow and results in a soft, melted leek that can be used in many different ways. Serve them as a side dish as is, or add them to a casserole, soup, or breakfast frittata.
While there are many ways you can cook leeks, my favorite way is making melted leeks.
Melted leeks are chopped leeks that are braised in butter and water and slowly cooked until super soft and 'melted'.
These soft, tender, mild, and tasty leeks can be used in many different ways!
I like to serve them as a side dish, or serve them on potato cakes or in casseroles or soups.
Leeks are one of my favorite vegetables to cook because they're so versatile. You can use them in just about any dish, and they add lots of flavor without being overpowering.
A leek is a type of onion that's related to the garlic family.
It has a long, white stalk and green leaves. When cooked they taste a bit like sweet onion, but with a little more depth of flavor.
If you love these melted leeks, then be sure to also try Buttered Cabbage and Roasted Beets. Tasty ways to get your five-a-day!
Why Make This Recipe
Leeks are a delicate vegetable that adds a mild onion flavor to any dish as well as fiber and vitamins.
When cooked properly, melted leeks are a delicious side dish or addition to any soup, casserole, or breakfast.
They're also perfect for making into a sauce or dip - just swirl them into a mix of sour cream and mayo, with some garlic powder.
This is a great way to use up extra leeks so they don't go to waste.
- Leeks - This vegetable is long and has a white bottom with a green top. You can find them in the grocery store in the produce section usually near the root vegetables.
- Butter - Helps soften the leeks while giving them a rich buttery flavor.
- Water - Gives the leeks a bit of steam to work with so they break down to become nice and soft and 'melted'.
- Salt & Pepper - Helps enhance the flavor of the leeks. Add to taste.
Please scroll down to the recipe card below for the full quantities.
How to make Melted Leeks recipe
Wondering how to make this Melted Leeks recipe? It's easy!
Just follow this step-by-step photo tutorial. Then, scroll down for the recipe card for the full ingredients list and recipe method.
Prepare the leeks: Cut off and discard the root and dark green leaves of the leeks. Wash the remaining light green and white part in cold water. Be sure to remove as much dirt as possible. Using a sharp knife, cut into ¼” rounds. Set aside.
Combine ingredients: add the butter to a pot or casserole dish and melt it over medium heat. Once melted, add the water and leeks. Give it a stir to combine.
Melt the leeks: Cover the pot with a lid and turn the heat to low. Let the leeks cook for about 10-15 minutes or until they become very soft. Check every 5 minutes or so to stir if necessary.
Adjust and serve: Add salt and pepper to the cook leeks and serve while hot.
If necessary, add more water to the pan if the water starts to cook off before the leeks are cooked through.
Washing leeks thoroughly is very important. Dirt can get trapped in between the leaves, so it's important to take your time when washing them. You can soak them in cold water in a bowl to ensure the dirt gets removed.
If you're not going to serve the melted leeks right away, keep them warm in a covered pot or casserole dish until ready to eat.
Flavor variations and add-ins ideas:
Try adding freshly chopped garlic to the melted leeks for a richer flavor.
Give them a kick of spice by adding in a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Add in some of your favorite shredded cheese for a cheesy melted leek dish.
Stir in some cooked bacon or ham for extra protein and a layer of smoky flavor.
Mix in some chopped fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or parsley for added fresh herb flavor.
Storage & Freezing
Storing: If you have any leftover melted leeks, store them cooled in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat them by heating in a pot over low heat until warmed through.
Freezing: You can also freeze melted leeks by transferring them to an airtight container or ziplock bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge and then reheat in a pot over low heat until warmed through.
Yes! The green part of the leek is edible. In fact, it's mostly used for flavoring dishes. However, you should discard the dark green leaves before using them in a recipe. They are not edible because they are too tough.
The name melted leeks comes from the fact that they are cooked in butter and water until they become very soft and "melted". This makes them perfect for using as a side dish or adding to recipes.
Yes! To make vegan melted leeks, simply use vegan butter in place of regular butter. The rest of the recipe stays the same.
More vegetable recipes
We hope that you love this tasty melted leeks recipe! Be sure to also check out these other vegetable side dishes too!
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- Pot with a lid
- 1 pound leeks 450g
- 1 ½ tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Cut off and discard the root and dark green leaves of the leeks. Wash the remaining light green and white part and cut into ¼” rounds. Set aside.
- Add the butter to a small lidded pot (or casserole dish) and melt it over a medium heat. Add the leeks and water and stir to coat.
- Cover the pot with the lid, reduce the heat to low and allow the leeks to cook gently for 10-15 minutes or until very soft. Check the pot now and again and stir if necessary.
- Season with the salt and pepper and serve.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.
Wow, what a beautiful side to any meat dish. Looks so delicious. I can't wait to make this.
I served these as a side dish with some bacon mixed in. Delicious!