How to Cut Leeks

5 from 8 votes

This tutorial shows 4 simple techniques for cutting and washing leeks. They're perfect for adding to soups, stews, casseroles, pasta, & more!

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Sharpen your knife skills with this tutorial on how to cut leeks. The veggie that looks kind of like a giant scallion is the often forgotten member of the allium plant family. But, just like its hardworking cousins, onions, and garlic, it brings a lot to the table.

Knife cutting leeks
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What are leeks?

This long, green veggie with a white tip often works like an onion, for instance – raw in salads and diced and sautéd for stews and soups. And, like an onion, they are comprised of many layers which naturally separate as you slice through them. But unlike most onions, it is mild enough to stand alone, or roasted whole.

Leeks are totally worth getting to know for their health benefits. Like all alliums, they are believed to help lower the risk of certain cancers, they have lots of vitamins iron and calcium.

How to cut leeks

Trim leafy greens & root

  • First, use a sharp knife to cut off the bottom root of the leeks.
  • Next, take off the dark green leafy part at the other end. These are too tough to eat, but if you keep a bag of scraps for vegetable stock, throw them in.
2 image collage to show how to remove the stem and root

Julienne cut

  • Cut the remaining part of the leek stalk in half lengthwise.
  • Place half of the stalk parallel to your knife and slice thin strips. Repeat with the other half.
2 image collage to show how to julienne cut leeks


  • After removing the top and bottom, cut the remaining part of the veggie in half lengthwise. Then, cut in half again.
  • Holding two of the leek quarters together cut into desired sizes. Repeat with the second half.
2 image collage to show how to dice cut leeks
  • Regardless which way you sliced the leeks, rinse cut leeks well in warm water to remove dirt, strain, let dry for a while, and store in a plastic bag or container.

Recipes with leeks

Frequently asked questions

Can leeks be substituted for onions in recipes and vice versa?

Yes, and recipes will often suggest this. They can be substituted one for one. However, they have a milder flavor so you may want to compensate by adding more garlic or spices to your recipe.

How do I chose leeks at the store or farmers market?

Look for stalks where the edible white and light green parts predominate. You will get more for your money that way. As always, avoid vegetables with brown spots or wilted leaves. The colors should be bright. The white part should be free of marks or discoloration.

What’s the best way to store leeks?

Store fresh, uncut leeks loosely in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. No need seal tightly. They should last from five days up to two weeks.

I found dirt between the layers of my leek, is it still okay to eat?

Yes! That is a by-product of how they are grown. They always need a thorough rinsing, inside and out! That’s why it’ a good idea to wash after slicing, but you can also rinse, after slicing in half. Then blot dry and proceed.

Two types of cuts of leeks

This nutrition-packed veggie is the basis of the popular potato leek soup but it can be used in some many more recipes or on it’s own simply grilled or roasted. And now you know how to cut leeks to use in so many recipes!

More cutting tutorials:

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How to Cut & Wash Leeks

This tutorial shows 4 simple techniques for cutting and washing leeks. They're perfect for adding to soups, stews, casseroles, pasta, & more!
5 from 8 votes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 27
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
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  • 1 leek


  • Using a sharp knife, cut off the top tough dark green part of the leek and discard. Next, cut off the bottom root end of the leek.
  • Cut the white part of the leek in half lengthwise.
  • For rings, slice the trimmed leek crosswise into rings of your desired thickness (about ¼-inch).
  • For half moons, cut the trimmed leek in half lengthwise. Then, slice the leek crosswise into semi-circles of your desired thickness (about ¼-inch).
  • For matchsticks or julienne cuts, cut the trimmed leek in half lengthwise. Place the leek half cut-side down on the cutting board. Slice the leek lengthwise into thin strips (about ⅛-inch).
  • For dice cuts, cut the trimmed leek in half lengthwise. Place the leek half cut-side down on the cutting board. Slice the leek lengthwise into thin strips. Hold the strips together and cut crosswise into small cubes.
  • To wash the leeks, place the leeks in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Allow them to sit for 5 minutes, agitating occasionally. Pull the leeks out of the water and drain well in a colander before using as desired.


Storage: Cut leeks can be stored in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days before use.
Freezing: Freeze the cut and cleaned leeks solid on a baking sheet then transfer to a freezer bag. They will keep well for up to 10 months.
Photo Credit: Erin Jensen


Calories: 27kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 9mg, Potassium: 80mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 742IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
5 from 8 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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