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Learn the simple steps for how to cut leeks for your favorite recipes. This guide and video cover how to clean, trim, and slice leeks into perfect half-moons or rounds for soups, stews, and more.

Wondering how to cut leeks but not sure the best way? We love cooking with leeks for their unique, mildly sweet flavor that’s gentler than the standard onion. This method is so slick and simple, perfect for any leek recipes like potato leek soup. Grab your knife and let’s get started on how to cut leeks, with this step by step guide!

How to cut leeks step by step

Step 1: Using a large chef’s knife, slice off the root end of the leek.

How to Cut Leeks | Slice off root

Step 2: Slice off the tough green top.

How to Cut Leeks | Slice off green top

Step 3: Slice the leek in half lengthwise.

How to Cut Leeks | Slice in half lengthwise

Step 4: Place both halves cut side down, then use a circular motion to cut the leek into thin half moons.

How to Cut Leeks | Cut thin slices

Step 5: Leeks generally have quite a bit of sand and dirt between the layers. To clean the leeks, place them into a bowl of water. The dirt will settle to the bottom. Use your hands to shake loose any visible dirt.

How to Cut Leeks | Place in bowl of water

Step 6: Scoop the leeks out of the bowl with your hands, allowing any dirt and sediment to stay on the bottom of the bowl.

How to Cut Leeks | Scoop leeks out

And there you have it: how to cut leeks in six easy steps! Let us know if you try our methods for how to cut leeks and how to clean leeks, and tell us how it goes in the comments below.

How to use leek greens

Since you remove the leek greens from the leek when you cut it, you might wonder how to use leek greens? Some people say you can use them for vegetable broth (here’s our vegetable broth recipe). Others say that leek greens can add bitterness to the flavor of recipes.

So, Alex and I simply discard them to our compost pile: they’re great for compost! If you’re wondering how to get started composting, here’s our Composting 101 tutorial.

Tip: use a great chef knife

A good knife can drastically improve your time in the kitchen! We’ve had our chef knives for over 10 years and they still work great. Our favorite knife is this 7″ Chef’s Knife. For safe storage, you can use a drawer knife organizer like this one. Make sure to keep your knives sharpened using a local service or home knife sharpener.

Ways to use leeks

Now that you know how to cut leeks, here are some of our favorite leek recipes for you to try:

Frequently asked questions

What part of the leek do I use?

The white and light green parts are the most tender and flavorful. Discard the dark green tops (or save them for stock!).

How do I cut leeks for cooking?

There are two main ways:

Half-moons: Cut the leek in half lengthwise, then slice each half into thin half-circles. This is great for soups, stews, and stir-fries.

Rounds/Slices: Cut the leek crosswise into thin slices. This is good for roasting or braising.

Can I cut leeks ahead of time?

Yes, but for best flavor and texture, use them within a day or two. Store cut leeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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How to Cut Leeks

How to Cut Leeks


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  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1/2 to 1 cup 1x

Description

Wondering how to cut leeks? Here’s a step by step guide and video that shows you exactly how to clean leeks and cut them into half moons.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 leek

Instructions

  1. Using a large chef’s knife, slice off the root end of the leek.
  2. Slice off the tough green top.
  3. Slice the leek in half lengthwise.
  4. Place both halves cut side down, then use a circular motion to cut the leek into thin half moons.
  5. Leeks generally have quite a bit of sand and dirt between the layers. To clean the leeks, place them into a bowl of water. The dirt will settle to the bottom. Use your hands to shake loose any visible dirt.
  6. Scoop the leeks out of the bowl with your hands, allowing any dirt and sediment to stay on the bottom of the bowl.
  • Category: Knife Skills
  • Method: Cutting
  • Cuisine: N/A

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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2 Comments

  1. Christopher says:

    What kind of knife do you use???