How To Prepare, Cook and Store Leeks

Q: How do I prepare, cook and store leeks?

A: It’s not surprising that leeks are part of the onion family, because they look like giant green onions!


They have flat, green leaves and a thick, white, edible base. Their flavour ranges from sweet and mildly oniony to nutty.


This vegetable is much more popular in Europe than in North America, but they are still easy to find in our grocery stores, no matter the time of year.

At the store, pick leeks that are bright green leaves and a crisp white bulb. Avoid any that are yellowing or spotted. Once you get them home, store them, unwashed, in a plastic bag and they should last about 5 days. To keep your leeks even longer, try freezing them using the instructions on our Freezing Vegetables page.

When preparing leeks, they need to be thoroughly washed because they harbour a lot of sand. To do this, slice off the root end and halve the leek lengthwise. Separate the layers under cold running water to dislodge any sand and put the cleaned leeks in a colander to drain. When they are relatively dry, you can thinly slice or chop the white and pale green parts. Traditionally, the dark green parts of the leek are thrown away, but they can be saved for broth-making to cut down on kitchen waste.