Looking for the best substitute for leeks? In this post we share the best options + how to substitute them!
Have you ever cooked with leeks before? They’re a part of the onion family and have a mild, onion-like flavor.
They’re often used in soups and stews, but can also be used in other recipes.
If you don’t have any leeks on hand, or if you just don’t feel like using them, here are some substitutes that you can try.
What are leeks
Leeks are similar to onions, but they tend to be much thicker. They can also grow quite long and have a much milder flavor than regular onions.
Leeks are often used in soups and stews because of their relatively short cooking time compared to other vegetables.
However, leeks can also be eaten raw! If you’re eating a leek raw, be sure to cut it lengthwise down the middle and thoroughly wash it in order to remove any dirt from its layers.
Leeks are related to both garlic and onions, but they’re actually in their own separate genus of Allium. In fact, leeks were used as a traditional remedy for colds long ago.
If you don’t like the strong flavor that can sometimes come from onions and garlic, leeks might be a good way to add some extra flavor to your favorite recipes without sacrificing taste.
Best Substitutes for Leeks
Shallots are another type of onion that are very similar to leeks.
You can use shallots in basically any recipe that calls for leeks, but if you want to substitute them out, there are a couple different options.
Shallots have a mild flavor and a bit more crunch to them than leeks, so if you want a recipe that’s more on the leek side of things, try using shallots.
Green onion, also known as scallion or spring onion, can be used in place of leeks for soups and stews.
These type of onions are smaller than leeks, so you’ll want to use more than one if using them in place of leeks.
If you don’t mind the flavor being a little stronger, try using green onion tops.
Garlic is another great substitute for leeks in recipes that are more on the aromatic side of things, like stews or soups.
If you don’t want the flavor to be quite as mild but still want to use garlic, try using some garlic scapes instead.
Garlic scapes are the green flower stalks of a garlic bulb.
They’re fresh and they’ll last about a week in the fridge, but you can also pickle them, dry them out, or freeze them if you want to keep them longer than that.
Are you looking for a quick substitute? Try onions!
White onions work best in this case because they’re slightly sweeter than other onion varieties.
If you’re looking for a leek-ish flavor, try adding some grated ginger along with the onions! The taste is similar but it adds an extra depth to the flavor of your dish.
If you don’t mind eating a slightly more pungent onion, spring onions can also be used as an alternative to leeks.
They’re often marketed as green onions or scallions and are quite similar in appearance to leeks. The leaves of the spring onion plant should not be used for cooking, but the white part of the spring onion is fine to use.
Substitute for leek in soups
If you’re looking for a substitute in a soup, remember that leeks are often used because of their relatively short cooking time compared to other vegetables.
Garlic is another option if you want the flavor but not the texture. To use garlic in place of leeks, try using 4-5 cloves in your recipe – equal to about one leek, depending on how much your recipe calls for.
If you’re looking for something that’s more sweet and less pungent, onions are an option too! Just make sure to chop them up small because they can be quite hard to eat once cooked otherwise.
Shallots overall make the best substitute to leeks in soups – especially because they have a milder flavor similar to leeks.
You could also try using green onions or garlic scapes if you don’t mind the stronger flavor!
Frequently asked questions about substituting leeks
Can I substitute spring onions for leeks?
Leeks are often used in recipes because of their mild, sweet flavor. Spring onions, on the other hand, have a pungent onion-like flavor.
If you want to substitute spring onions for leeks in a recipe where the flavors aren’t as strong as an onion, go ahead and use spring onions as your leek substitute. If, however, you’re looking for something that’s more leek-like in flavor, try using shallots instead!
Can I substitute shallots for leeks?
Yes! Shallots make a great substitute for leeks in any recipes that require leeks, such as soups and stews.
If using shallots in place of leeks, however, remember to use more than one shallot if you want a similar flavor. Leeks tend to be slightly sweeter and milder than shallots.
Can I use celery instead of leeks
Yes, while it’s not quite the same, celery can be used in place of leeks! Just remember that it’s a little more potent, so use less.