How to Clean Leeks

how to clean leeksToday, I made a recipe with leeks for the first time.

It’s one of those ingredients that I always walk past in the grocery store because I wasn’t sure how to use it. But I’ve always been curious.

So, the other day when I saw them on sale, I picked up a bundle on a whim and decided, “I’ll find a recipe to use these.” And I’m glad I did! I am now a leek convert. (Yummy!)

I promise that I will post the chicken, potato, and leek soup that I made, but before I do, I wanted to post a little about how to clean leeks. Because if you don’t do it right, you could be eating sandy dirt instead of delicious leeks!

First, the dark green parts of the leeks can be chopped off and discarded. Cut the leeks a bit above where the dark green starts, and then remove the top layer or two (below should be a lighter green). You should also cut off the roots – the very end of the white part.

cleaning leeks

If you’re going to be chopping the leeks anyway, cut them in half length-wise at this point, since it’s easier to cut if there’s flat edge against the cutting board.

Chop, then throw the pieces into a bowl of really cold water. Swish them around a bit and break up the layers so all the dirt falls out and settles to the bottom of the bowl.

leeks cleaning

Scoop out the leeks into a colander to drain and pat dry. They’re ready for any recipe. Don’t dump the leeks into the colander, since you’ll be pouring the dirty water over them.

If you need to keep the leeks whole for your recipe, start by doing the same thing – cut off anything dark green and cut off the roots. Then, slice in half length-wise, but don’t cut to the very end of the white part; leave it connected at the top.

This allows you to fan out the leeks so you can rinse between the layers with cold running water.

I learned how to clean leeks from this video. It’s super recommended in case any of my directions weren’t clear!

Stay tuned – later this week, I’ll post the yummy leek recipe I made! 🙂

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Allison is one of the co-founders here at The PinterTest Kitchen. She also works as a content marketing consultant and freelance writer - find out more at

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