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This sautéed leeks recipe comes together fast, only uses a handful of ingredients, and makes the best melt-in-your mouth buttery side dish.

Can’t get enough leeks? Try my Bacon and Leek Pasta or this Easy Potato Leek Soup next.

close-up of buttered sautéed leeks

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.
preparing raw leeks for sauteing

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.

Pro tips

  • 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. 
sliced leeks in a metal colander

What to serve with sautéed leeks

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.
sautéed leeks in a skillet

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!

close-up of buttered sautéed leeks
5 from 4 votes

Sautéed Leeks

This sautéed leeks recipe comes together fast, only uses a handful of ingredients, and makes the best melt-in-your mouth buttery side dish. 
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 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.


Calories: 189kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 119mg, Potassium: 170mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1838IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 59mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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    1. Hi Carol! So, I think they should be ok for a day or two at least (I’m a bit concerned they could go soggy if you leave them much longer). I’d warm them up over a low heat.

  1. I was stunned to read “discard the green tops”!!….possibly the most nutritious part of leeks. Grew up in a country where leeks were served in different dishes, soups, at least 2-3 times a week. Due to that instruction, did not continue to read recipe.

    1. 5 stars
      I’m Welsh,we do not always eat the green parts as they can be on the bitter side..If you use the green parts suggest you cook them first,then add the white parts..Didn’t continue to read recipe ? Your choice,but please don’t criticise others because they don’t do as you do..Diolch yn fawr..😁

    1. Wonderful!! I’m so glad you gave it a try. Thanks for taking the time to write me a review, Aileen. 🙂