How to Clean Leeks: A Step-by-Step Guide

Leeks are a delicious vegetable, but they're grown in sandy soil, so they need a good cleaning before you use them in recipes.


Follow these steps to make cleaning leeks a cinch.

Step 1: Trim the Roots
Leeks are a lot like onions or scallions, but they have their own unique flavor. Trim the root end and remove the dark tops.

Step 2: Prepping Leeks
Typically, you should use the light part of the leek for cooking, but you can also try the dark end for stocks. If your recipe calls for large pieces or asks you to cut matchsticks, here's how you clean them.

Step 3: Cut Into Sections
Cut the leeks into sections about 4 inches long.

Step 4: Cut in Half
Slice the leeks in half lengthwise.

Step 5: Rinse
Fill a baking dish or bowl with water and add the leeks. The leeks will float and the dirt will fall to the bottom. Check the layers for any hidden dirt.
Tip: A baking dish works well because it's flat.

Step 6: Slice the Clean Leeks
Slice the leeks according to the recipe.

Step 7: Or Clean After You Cut Them
You can also clean the leeks after you cut them. Simply slice and rinse. Set them on a paper towel to drain. Tip: You can store leeks in a damp paper towel in the fridge for two or three days.

Step 8: That's It!
Now they're ready to add their subtle flavor to your braise, saute or roast. Watch our how-to video for more.