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Calorie Count Blog

Low Calorie, Delicious Leeks

By +Janice D'Agostino on Oct 12, 2012 10:00 AM in Recipes

I beseech you heartily, scurvy, lousy knave, at my desires, and my requests, and my petitions, to eat, look you, this leek: because, look you, you do not love it, nor your affections and your appetites and your disgestions doo's not agree with it, I would desire you to eat it....if you can mock a leek, you can eat a leek. - William Shakespeare (1564-1616) 'King Henry V'

Leeks may be mockable, but they are also a delicious member of the Allium family of foods. This mild mannered elegant vegetable will appeal even to those that do not like the more intense flavors of onion and garlic. Leeks cook up quickly, are delightful all by themselves, and serve as a tasty addition to stews and sauces. 

When purchasing leeks, look for a nice long white bulb and generous light green stem so there is more leek to eat. That's the part you eat. Size does not matter; the big fat leeks taste no different than the little leeks. Large leeks just take a little longer to cook. After trimming, use the dark green stalks to make a homemade vegetable stock or add them to the compost bin.

Unlike the tightly balled layers of an onion, a leek is more loosely formed. Because they grow in casual layers, soil can become trapped within - rinse leeks well before cooking. After slicing off the roots and dark green stems, simply slice open lengthwise and fan the layers out while holding them under cool water. Alternatively, slice or chop them as needed for your recipe, place in a bowl of cool water, swish vigorously while separating the strands, drain, and repeat as needed. Either way you clean them, drain and dry leeks well before proceeding with a recipe.

Try adding raw leeks to an arugula and watercress for a change of pace lunch or side salad. Leeks are remarkably nutritious raw or cooked. Before declaring that your “disgestions doo’s not agree with it”, sample the lovely 54 calorie per cup leek in one of these delicious recipes. Let this tasty vegetable win you over with its ease of preparation and delicate flavor.

Get your leeks for breakfast with this wonderful Potato Leek Quiche from the Savvy Vegetarian.

The subtle flavors in Pinot Grigio Braised Leeks were a hit even with my son who does not care for onions or wine. Take it from start to beautiful finish in under 30 minutes.

Herbivoracious’s recipe for Soba Noodle Soup in Shiitake Shoyu Broth with Asparagus, Leeks and Tofu perfectly satisfies your craving for vegetarian Asian soup. 

Baked Leeky Tortellini was a major leek hit with the guys in my family! This recipe makes enough for two family sized meals.

This Leeky Potato Soup is prepared the simply perfect manner of Julia Child with only a few minor tweaks. 

One Pot Lamb and Leek Casserole is the perfect family meal for a cool fall day.

Leeky Mushroom Bourguignon was superb sitting atop a baked potato and fabulous with each bite of grilled steak.

Roast your leeks with this knock out recipe by Refined Chef - Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Ricotta, Leeks and Sweet Potato

The Ravenous Couple made Leeks on a Whim one day and ended up with a delightfully different grilled side dish.

Your thoughts….

Have you avoided cooking leeks because you weren't sure what part to eat? Do you compost or make stock out of the dark stems? Did you ever eat leeks in a restaurant and wonder how they made that? Can one of our great Calorie Count members can help? Share the recipes with everyone here! If you would like your leeky recipe to be considered for CC Palate, please send it to me via pm. Prepare them anyway you want, just eat lots of leeks! This article may be reprinted (including bio) with prior permission from the author.



Love leeks! Good in soups, and I like them steamed, add plenty of pepper and some salt and a lick of butter...yum!

I love them in my roasted vegetables!  Just chop whatever vegetables you want to use--sweet potatoes, butternut squash, yukon gold potatoes, carrots, eggplant, peppers, red onion, leeks, etc.   Stir together vegetable oil and either apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar with some minced garlic and chopped fresh or frozen herbs (I like basil and rosemary).  Toss this with the vegetables, spread out on a pammed rimmed cookie sheet and roast at 475 till tender (about 40 min), stirring about every 10 min or so.  Delicious!!!

I don't think I have ever had a leek:)


Aw nuts...I thought those were green onions. Embarassed

I tried leeks for the first time this summer after finding them at the farmer's market. Wonderful! Now I buy them regularly.

Do leeks taste like onions?  I have never tasted them.  I just need to know what they taste like before I purchase them so I will know how they enhance my recipes.

Fabulous in potato soup! I did make a leek tart, didn't love it, but would try it again with some tweeks.  Leeks are pretty delicious!

They taste kind of like onions, but milder.

Original Post by: annred97

They taste kind of like onions, but milder.

Thank you.  Now I know how to use them.  And, I will try them.

The recipe listed above for chicken breasts stuffed with ricotta, leeks and sweet potato contains no leeks!

johamilton, you are absolutely right! I'll send a note to the Refined Chef and find out if the leeks were just omitted in the posting of the recipe. If that is the case, I'll let you know so you can check out the corrected recipe!

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