Cleaning Leeks

Several years ago I made the jump and tried leeks for the first time. I would see recipes for soup or recipes for pastas that had leeks as an ingredient. I never tried them though, always nervous about making that leap.

When I learned that they are basically just like a huge green onion then my mind was made up.  I love green onions so I knew that I would love leeks.

I have been getting leeks ever since, typically in the fall and winter months though.  I’m not sure what their season is but for me, my taste for them usually pops up around late September.

Which is now!  Hooray fall!

While leeks have a similiar, though more potent, taste as green onions, they take a little more effort to clean.  They grow up through sandy soil and have a ton of layers.  All these layers usually will contain some of the soil which needs to be removed.

You don’t want to eat that!

All suggestions for cleaning them say to fill a sink with water, add the chopped leeks and give them a good swishing around to get the sand out.

That’s lovely but when you want to remove the leeks, you’re chasing chopped bits all around the sink.

Not my idea of a good time so I’ve come up with a better more efficent way to clean leeks.

Cleaning Leeks

  1. Cut off the ends of the leek, the root tip and most of the top green part.
  2. Cut leek in half length-wise.
  3. Chop each halves into pieces, size up to you.
  4. Fill your sink with cold water.
  5. Place a large strainer in the water.
  6. Add chopped leeks into strainer.
  7. Swish around, break up the layers, and help remove sand from the leeks.
  8. Pull strainer out of water and drain.
  9. Set strainer on a towel or paper towel and set aside.
  10. Use when needed!

Easy and effective!  The stainer keeps the leeks together and contained.  It makes it easier to clean and then you just lift the strainer up out of the water.


Your chopped leeks stay together, they drain easily, and now they are ready to use.

You’re not chasing leek bits all around your sink as you try to remove them.

Leeks, simple and easy to clean!

Have you cooked with leeks before?  Do you like the flavor of them?

8 thoughts on “Cleaning Leeks

  1. Dustin Webster says:

    Ohhhhhh!!! Thank you!!!!
    I just bought leeks to make with my Chanko Nabe (recipe if your interested )
    Leeks are so tasty! But a little frustrating if you get a bit of sand in your food. “What are the crunchy pieces in this?”…..”Ohh, ummmm, pepper!?!”
    Thank you!!

  2. Nicole says:

    LOVE leeks! I prefer them over onions in most things if I happen to have them on hand. I bought some to make a potato leek gratin similar to something I had at Le Chatelaine…but then three days of flooring installation kinda threw all cooking off last week. Sad leeks are going to end up in my soup today.

    I tend to just slice them in half and rinse them before chopping them up, although your way sounds smarter since I usually end up chopping them anyway.

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