Roasted Leeks

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These easy Roasted Leeks with butter, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper will be your new favorite side dish. Rich and delicious caramelized onion flavor in a quick, impressive, 5-ingredient recipe.

140 CAL 13g CARBS 9g FAT 4g PROTEIN 3
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Need a new vegetable side dish to impress a crowd? Make these amazing Parmesan Roasted Leeks. They are easy to make with only 5 ingredients but the end result is so delicious. If you love onions, you will go crazy for this recipe. 

While leeks are normally saved for soups and stews, you are missing out if you aren’t roasting leeks in the oven. Caramelized edges, a mild, sweet onion flavor, and the perfect tender texture. We also love these Sauteed Leeks

Combined with nutty, salty Parmesan cheese and lots of black pepper - these are seriously tasty.

Trust me, once you start making these leeks they will quickly become a favorite vegetable side dish for chicken, fish, pork, and more. Leeks are for so much for than soups and stocks.

Why You Need to Try Roasted Leeks

There are so many reasons to love these golden brown, tender leeks.

  • Caramelized Onion Flavor: If you love the flavor of caramelized and roasted onions, then you will absolutely love these leeks. Roasting them creates a deep, slightly sweet, almost buttery flavor with those delicious caramelized edges.
  • Versatile: Roasted leeks are incredibly versatile. They can be a standalone side dish, a flavorful addition to salads, or a tasty topping for pizza and pasta.
  • Effortless Prep: Trim, season, roast – that’s all you need to do to make a restaurant-style dish.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Here is everything you need to make these oven-roasted leeks.

  • Leeks: Look for fresh, medium-sized leeks that are firm with straight stalks. They are normally found near the fresh herbs and green onions in the produce section.
  • Olive oil and butter: By combining extra virgin olive oil and butter, you get a really rich flavor. Feel free to use all butter or olive oil if you prefer.
  • Garlic: Both fresh minced garlic and garlic powder can be used in this recipe. Fresh garlic imparts a more intense flavor.
  • Salt and pepper: Make sure to use kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper for the best flavor. Add other spices if you like. We love this with lemon pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, curry powder, and grill seasoning.
  • Parmesan cheese: Freshly grated Parmesan cheese has the best flavor. Swap in another cheese or nutritional yeast if you like.

Leeks being washed in a bowl of water.

Ingredient Spotlight: Leeks

For many people, leeks are something they cook with all the time. Here is everything you need to know about using leeks in the kitchen.

What are leeks?

Leeks are vegetables, in the same family as onions and garlic. They are part of the allium family. They are known for their mild and sweet flavor and are often used in soups, potato leek soup is probably the favorite.

Leeks have a long and cylindrical shape with white bottoms and dark green tops and almost look like large, sturdier green onions.

Nutritionally speaking, leeks are low in calories, high in fiber, and rich in vitamins and minerals including calcium, potassium, and vitamin C.

What do leeks taste like?

Raw leeks have a crunchy texture and a milder flavor compared to raw onions. Many people compare them to shallots in flavor. They offer a subtle onion taste with a touch of sweetness.

When cooked, leeks become tender, losing some of their initial sharpness while developing a sweeter and more complex flavor. Cooked leeks often add a rich, savory depth to dishes, making them a versatile and flavorful ingredient that can be used almost anywhere you would use onions.

How do you choose leeks at the store?

When choosing leeks at the supermarket, look for ones with firm, straight, and crisp stalks. The white portion at the bottom should be clean, plump, and free from blemishes or discoloration.

The green tops should be vibrant and fresh, not wilted or yellowed. Avoid leeks with slimy or withered areas, as these may have spoiled. Additionally, choose leeks with a relatively uniform thickness for more consistent cooking.

How to clean leeks and prep them for cooking?

Cleaning leeks is essential, as they can accumulate soil between their layers. Here's a simple step-by-step guide to clean leeks:

  1. Trimming: Start by trimming off the root end and the dark green tops of the leeks, leaving the white and light green parts. The dark green tops are tougher and are often not used in cooking.
  2. Slice Lengthwise: Cut the leeks in half lengthwise, creating two long halves.
  3. Rinsing: Holding the leeks under cold running water, fan out the layers to allow water to flow through them. This helps to remove any dirt or sand trapped between the layers.
  4. Soaking: If the leeks are particularly dirty, you can place the sliced leeks in a bowl of cold water. Swirl them around to loosen any remaining dirt, and let them soak for a few minutes. The dirt will sink to the bottom.
  5. Inspect: After rinsing or soaking, inspect the leeks to ensure they are thoroughly clean. If needed, repeat the rinsing process until there is no visible dirt.
  6. Pat Dry: Once clean, pat the leeks dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel

Now, your leeks are ready to be sliced or chopped for cooking. Cleaning leeks properly is very important, as it enhances and ensures a grit-free dish.

Roasted Parmesan leeks in a baking dish with crispy, golden brown edges.

How to Roast Leeks

Follow these three easy steps to make perfectly roasted leeks.

1. Prep the leeks

Always start by prepping the leeks. Slice them in half, rinse well to remove the dirt and debris, and then cut off the stems and dark green tops. Dry well. See above fro more detailed prep instructions.

2. Add flavor

Place the leeks in a baking dish in a single layer with the cut side facing down. It is important to place them cut side down so you get those golden brown, crispy edges. You can also use a baking sheet if you prefer.

Drizzle with olive oil and melted butter. Then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add any other seasoning or herbs you like.

3. Roast until tender

Roast the leeks for about 30 minutes until they are fork tender. The cut side of the leek should be a deep golden brown with crisp edges.

Flip the leeks over using tongs. Add the Parmesan cheese to the leeks. Return to the oven for 3-5 minutes until the cheese melts and bubbles. Or broil them for the last 5 minutes for golden brown cheese.

Recipe Ideas, Toppings, and More

Roasted leeks can be enhanced with a variety of garnishes, toppings, spices, seasonings, and fresh herbs.

Here are seven options to elevate the flavor of your roasted leeks:

  • Toasted nuts: Add a delightful crunch by topping roasted leeks with toasted almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts. The nutty flavor pairs well with the soft texture of the leeks.
  • Balsamic glaze: Drizzle balsamic glaze over the roasted leeks for a sweet and tangy kick. The acidity of balsamic vinegar adds a nice contrast to the rich and buttery flavor of the leeks.
  • Crispy bacon or pancetta: For a savory touch, crumble crispy bacon or pancetta on top of the roasted leeks.
  • Lemon zest or juice: Grate some lemon zest over the roasted leeks just before serving or squeeze on fresh lemon juice. The citrus balances out the rich flavor of the leeks.
  • Pomegranate Seeds: Scatter pomegranate seeds on top of the roasted leeks. The juicy, sweet-tart flavor and jewel-like appearance add a festive touch to the dish.
  • Crumbled Feta or Goat Cheese: Crumble creamy feta or goat cheese over the roasted leeks. The tangy and creamy cheese complements the mild sweetness of the leeks.
  • Fresh herbs: Sprinkle chopped fresh herbs like parsley, chives, thyme, or rosemary over the leeks before or after roasting.

Plate with roasted leeks served with Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.

Main Dishes to Serve with Leeks

These leeks work with so many different dishes and proteins, but we especially love serving them with:

Storage and Leftovers

Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. Use leftovers in:

  • Omelets, frittatas, or quiche
  • Salads
  • Grain bowls
  • Pasta and pasta salad
  • Pizza and wraps

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions and answers people have when roasting leeks.

Trim off the roots and dark green tops. Slice the leeks lengthwise and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Then inspect for any remaining dirt and rinse.

Soaking them or using a bowl of water can help if they are particularly dirty.

Absolutely! Roasted leeks pair well with a variety of vegetables and herbs. Consider adding carrots, potatoes, garlic, thyme, or rosemary for additional flavor. Just ensure that the ingredients have similar cooking times.

Leeks that are roasted and served in a glass baking dish with Parmesan cheese.
The Recipe
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Roasted Leeks

140 CAL 13g CARBS 9g FAT 4g PROTEIN 3
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  • 4 leeks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp melted butter (or more olive oil)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

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Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare the leeks. Trim the root end of the leeks and trim the dark green ends, You want the white and light green sections. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and rinse well to remove all dirt and debris. Dry well.


Place the leeks in a baking dish in a single layer with the cut side facing down. Drizzle with olive oil and butter. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.


Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the leeks are beginning to brown and caramelize on the bottom. The exact cooking time depends on the thickness of the leeks. Smaller leeks may cook in 25 minutes and larger leeks may take 40-minutes. They should be tender and easily pierced with a fork.


Carefully remove them from the oven and use tongs to flip the leeks over. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and return to oven.


Roast for 4-5 minutes until the cheese bubbles and browns.


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Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1 leek
Amount Per Serving
Calories 140
Calories from Fat 76
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
Saturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 13mg
Sodium 427mg
Total Carbohydrate 13g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 4g
Protein 4g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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