This sautéed leeks recipe comes together fast, only uses a handful of ingredients, and makes the best melt-in-your mouth buttery side dish.
Why you'll love them
Leeks are one of those vegetables that are always overlooked and underrated, and I can't help but wonder why since they're actually really tasty. Leeks don't just go in soups and stews; their delicious mild oniony flavor is fantastic when sautéed and further mellowed with butter.
These irresistible buttered leeks are great when you want to try something a little different for a side dish. It has just a handful of pantry ingredients and is a very versatile savory recipe that goes with most main courses. It's a back-to-basics, quick and easy side dish that you can make anytime.
What goes into it
- Leeks - they're in the allium family, which means they're related to garlic, shallots, onions, etc. Some people think that the mild, sweeter flavor is actually superior to many onions!
- Olive oil and butter - to sauté and make the rich buttery coating. The olive oil helps to keep the butter from burning.
- Garlic - for even more savory goodness. I like to mince the cloves with this garlic press, making it easier since you don't even need to peel the cloves first.
- Salt & pepper - the only seasoning you need to bring out the natural flavors. I'm generous with both.
How to sauté leeks
This is an overview, and full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Cut the bulbs of the leeks into slices, and discard the top green portion. Want more info on how to prep leeks? Check out my Guide to Leeks.
- Add the olive oil and butter to a skillet and heat it up over medium-high heat. Cook the garlic for 30 seconds, and then add in the leeks and toss until they're coated in the butter/oil.
- Reduce the heat, and then cook them for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until they're softened. Some light browning is ok. It'll provide more flavor. Season with salt & pepper and serve immediately.
- You can slice the leeks lengthwise if you prefer (julienne cut) or do thicker rings than I did. It's all good.
- Leeks can take on a not so pleasant texture when they're overcooked (kinda limp and slimy), so be sure not to let them cook for too much longer than suggested in the recipe.
- Leeks can vary in size a lot, so you don't have to worry about being too exact for this recipe.
Leftovers and storage
- If you've got any leftovers, they'll keep in the fridge in an airtight container for a day or two, but fresher is best.
- Reheat over a low heat in a small saucepan, stirring every so often until warmed through.
- I don't recommend freezing the leftovers since the texture is liable to change.
Questions about these easy sautéed leeks? Tried this recipe? Leave me a comment below. As always, tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram if you've made one of my recipes so I can see your creations!
- 4 medium-to-large leeks chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup butter (half a stick)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Prep your leeks: discard the top dark green portion of the leeks and keep the bulbs. Slice the bulbs into rings (thick or thin is fine). Add leeks to a colander and rinse them thoroughly (use your hands to dislodge any stubborn dirt - it tends to hide). Shake them a few times so they're not too wet.
- Add the oil and butter to a skillet over medium-high heat and let the butter melt.
- Stir in the garlic and cook it for about 30 seconds.
- Add the leeks to the skillet and toss them until they're completely coated in the butter/oil. Turn the heat down to medium, and sauté them, stirring occasionally, for 7-10 minutes or until they're tender (but not mushy). I recommend tasting them and seeing if they're as soft as you like. Larger leeks tend to be a little tougher.
- Season leeks with salt & pepper as needed (I'm generous with both) and serve immediately.
- Serves 4-6 depending on how much people eat.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.