Creamed Leeks Recipe

Sliced leeks, sautéed in butter until soft and sweet, finished with cream and Parmesan.

creamed leeks in a bowl

Serious Eats / Liz Voltz

Why This Recipe Works

  • Cream binds the leeks together while parmesan—an untraditional addition—adds salt and additional savoriness

Nothing irks me more than the neglected vegetable. It's abusive—to the vegetable, for one, and to you, because you're either missing out on your vegetables altogether, or eating ones that taste like mush. Neither is acceptable.

I was vegetarian for twelve years, so I get a special thrill when I see vegetables done right. Creamed leeks is not exactly something new in France, but it was new to me when I first had a bed of them underneath a simply sautéed fillet of fish.

The dish is simple: Sliced leeks are sautéed down in a little bit of butter until they're soft and sweet. Then I add cream and a dash of Parmesan (my addition to tradition). The cream binds the leeks together and has that same savory-sweetness of the leeks themselves, while the Parmesan adds a punch of salt to wake it all up. This simple but decadent dish goes perfectly with everything—under fish, seared chicken breasts, even sliced steak.

This recipe originally appeared as part of the column "French in a Flash."

May 2011

Recipe Details

Creamed Leeks Recipe

Cook 15 mins
Active 5 mins
Total 15 mins
Serves 4 servings

Sliced leeks, sautéed in butter until soft and sweet, finished with cream and Parmesan.


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 2 large leeks, washed, and thinly slice

  • 1/4 cup water

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan


  1. In a nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and water, season with salt and pepper, cover, and reduce heat to low, cooking until the leeks are soft—10 minutes. Stir in the cream and Parmesan, and serve.

    collage of process of making creamed leeks

    Serious Eats / Liz Voltz

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
162 Calories
14g Fat
8g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 42mg 14%
Sodium 201mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 4mg 20%
Calcium 62mg 5%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 115mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)