Caramelized Grilled Leeks

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I love to make these Caramelized Grilled Leeks on the grill or in the oven. They have such a unique and sweet flavor and go well with rice, corn on the cob, and any other veggies and starch.

grilled leeks with grill marks on a wooden cutting board.

Leeks are such a neat and versatile veggie. They are most often used diced up in soups, stews, and stir-fries, but this grilled or oven-baked whole version is one of my favorites.

I love to serve them with my creamy vegan butternut squash soup or sometimes even these healthy grilled veggie kabobs.

Grilled Leeks

We love grilled leeks because they’re…

  • Subtly sweet
  • Saucy
  • Tender
  • Super healthy
  • Flavorful
  • Wholesome

Leeks are in the onion family and look a lot like the giant version of green onions. The subtle, sweet flavor of the leek lends itself well to pairing with almost any other grilled veggie.

raw whole leeks on cutting board

How to clean leeks

The most important thing with leeks is to make sure and remove any sand or grit from between the layers. To do this, cut off the tops (hair-like ends) and most of the tough green parts.

sliced leek being fanned out with hand on cutting board

Then slice them in half, from top to bottom. Fan out the layers like in this photo, and rinse under running water to remove any dirt or grit. I’m serious here y’all. These things are grown in sandy soil, and that grit has lots of places to hide, so clean these well.

Cooking leeks

The recipe card at the bottom of the page has the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions.

These can be grilled or baked in the oven. I like to place them on a hot grill to get the darkened grill marks before adding seasonings. If you do this, make sure your grill is nice and hot first, and it takes a few minutes to get those brown marks.

leeks with grill marks in cast iron grill pan

Place leeks in a grill-proof pan. I line an aluminum disposable pan with parchment paper. Season with garlic powder, minced garlic, parsley flakes, and vegetarian ‘oyster’ sauce or soy sauce. Add 1/4 cup water to maintain moisture.

sliced leeks with seasoning in baking pan

Fold the parchment paper over the top. Then cover with a sheet of foil. Toss on the grill and allow to cook at medium-high heat for approximately 20-30 minutes. If baking in the oven, bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

If not cooked long enough, they will be chewy. Remove from grill and serve warm!

grilled leeks with lemon slices on daisy oval plate

*Originally published June 2015.

Tips for cooking

  • Don’t skimp on the washing process. There’s nothing worse than biting into gritty leeks.
  • There are some studies linking cooking with aluminum foil to Alzheimer’s disease, so I avoid allowing foil to touch my food while cooking, just to be safe. Parchment paper works great for this.
  • Some folks peel away a few layers of the outer green before cooking, but I like to leave mine on to help hold moisture inside the middle. A few of those can be removed after cooking if desired.
  • Make sure to cook well. Undercooked leeks are a bit chewy.

Nutrition in leeks

A close relative of onions and garlic, leeks have a mild onion-like flavor that works well in soups and a variety of other dishes.

One cup of leeks — approximately one whole leek — contains just 54 calories, so leeks add bulk to your meal to keep you feeling full, without significantly boosting your calorie intake.

Leeks serve as excellent sources of vitamins, and also offer health benefits thanks to their phytonutrient content.LiveStrong

grilled leeks with lemon slices on white plate

Dishes that pair well with grilled leeks

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leeks with grill lines on wooden board
4.38 from 24 votes

Caramelized Grilled Leeks

I love to make these Caramelized Grilled Leeks on the grill or in the oven. They have such a unique and sweet flavor and go well with rice, corn on the cob, and any other veggies and starch.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

  • 4 whole leeks
  • minced garlic fresh or from a jar
  • vegetarian "oyster" sauce or soy sauce (if gluten-free, check the label)
  • parsley flakes
  • garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  • The most important thing with leeks is to make sure and remove any sand or grit from between the layers. To do this, cut off the tops (hair-like ends) and most of the tough green parts.
  • Then slice them in half, from top to bottom. Fan out the layers like in the photo above, and rinse under running water to remove any dirt or grit. I’m serious here y’all. These things are grown in sandy soil, and that grit has lots of places to hide, so clean these well.
  • These can be grilled or baked in the oven. I like to place them on a hot grill to get the darkened grill marks before adding seasonings. If you do this, make sure your grill is nice and hot first, and it takes a few minutes to get those brown marks.
  • Place leeks in a grill-proof pan. I line an aluminum disposable pan with parchment paper. Season with garlic powder, minced garlic, parsley flakes, and vegetarian ‘oyster’ sauce or soy sauce. Add 1/4 cup water to maintain moisture.
  • Fold the parchment paper over top. Then cover with a sheet of foil. Toss on the grill and allow to cook at medium-high heat for approximately 20-30 minutes. If baking in the oven, bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
  • If not cooked long enough, they will be chewy. Remove from grill and serve warm!

Video

Notes

Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.
Tips for cooking this recipe
  • Don’t skimp on the washing process. There’s nothing worse than biting into gritty leeks.
  • There are some studies linking cooking with aluminum foil to Alzheimer’s disease, so I avoid allowing foil to touch my food while cooking, just to be safe. Parchment paper works great for this.
  • Some folks peel away a few layers of the outer green before cooking, but I like to leave mine on to help hold moisture inside the middle. A few of those can be removed after cooking if desired.
  • Make sure to cook well. Undercooked leeks are a bit chewy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 47kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g

Disclaimer

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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About Terri Edwards

Hi guys! I am the content creator behind EatPlant-Based and a licensed Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I am passionate about sharing healthy recipes and tips to empower others to get healthy.  I’m so glad you’re here! Read More…

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One Comment

  1. I made this recipe on the grill, combining leeks, carrots, and vidalia onions, and it was amazing! I’ve never been a big fan of leeks in the past, but the combination of charring them on the grill first, then caramelizing them until soft was perfect. I will be making this recipe again soon!!!

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