7 Best Leek Substitutes for Home Cooking

Leek Substitute

When out of season, leeks can be difficult to get, just when you need them for a dish. Knowing what to use as a leek substitute will come in handy.

Thanks to the wide variety of closely related vegetables, leek alternatives are fairly easy to find.

Here are some of the most effective ingredients to use in place of leeks in your recipe.

Leek Substitutes

1. Shallots

Shallots - Leek Substitute

Shallots belong to the Allium family, just like leeks. Since they are related to each other, you can pick shallots as one of the top substitutes for leeks. They have a taste that is sharp, sweet, acidic, and spicy.

These small, mild bulbs can substitute leeks in a variety of dishes, but they are a particularly good sub for sauteed leeks. Shallots may not be an ideal fit for a recipe requiring large amounts of leeks, like soups and stews, because of their high cost.

To substitute, add shallots in equal proportion by volume or weight of leeks needed for the recipe. You can use more if the dish lacks some flavor.

2. Scallions


Scallions, also called green onions, have the closest taste and appearance to leeks. You can use scallions in any dish that requires fresh leeks, such as salads, garnishes, and more.

Please note that scallions can have a stronger taste than leeks, and their texture differs. But you can still use them as a substitute. You should use scallions as a stand-in for leeks in a 1:1 ratio.

3. Spring Onions

Spring Onions - Leek Substitute

Another choice you can consider is spring onions. Spring onions resemble scallions except they have tiny onion bulbs at their roots. These onions are more mature variants of scallions that come from bulb-producing varieties.

Spring onions have a mellower and sweeter flavor compared to regular onions. Their bulbs can either be red or white. Similar to regular bulb onions, you can use them by frying, roasting whole, or acting as pearl onion. Compared to scallions, the greens’ flavor is much strong and more distinct.

4. Sweet Onions

Sweet Onions

Sweet onions are the most readily accessible and cheapest leek alternative, despite having a stronger onion taste than leeks. They are a fine alternative for leeks in soups, stews, and other common dishes when chopped.

Choose an onion that is not as intense in flavor as you do not want it to overwhelm the dish.

As a leek substitute, use onions in the same measurement as leeks in the recipe.

5. Garlic


Grab some garlic to replace your leeks. Garlic is excellent at providing additional flavor. You can use it as a leek replacement if you want to, but keep in mind that it has a deeper and more pungent taste than leeks.

However, if you have no other choice, garlic will suffice. To enhance the flavor and aroma of your dish, use small amounts of chopped or roasted garlic.

Begin by replacing half a teaspoon of chopped or roasted garlic for each cup of leek asked for in the recipe.

6. Celery

Celery - Leek Substitute

You can also use celery as a leek backup in certain dishes, but it doesn’t work exactly like leeks, particularly in stews and soups.

Celery breaks down and turns mushy more quickly than leeks do. If you are going to use celery as a replacement, monitor the cooking times and make sure it doesn’t break down.

When substituting celery for leeks, use a 1:1 ratio.

7. Wild Ramps

Wild Ramps

Last on our list of substitutes are wild ramps. If wild ramps are available, use them in equal proportion to leeks.

These wild onions will taste quite similar to leeks when cooked. 

What are Leeks?

What are Leeks

Leeks are a vegetable from the Allium family. Because of their mild taste and solid texture, leeks are often used in rich and creamy recipes. They are commonly used to provide a balance to other ingredients.

Most recipes use the white stalk of the leek at the root rather than the green leaves at the top. Leeks are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

You can boil, roast, fry, or braise leeks. They can even be sauteed in oil or butter or caramelized. You can also eat leeks fresh, particularly in casseroles, soups, salads, and pizza.

Wrapping Up

If you can’t find leeks, you can use any of the vegetables listed above. Each of them can deliver a close approximation of leeks.

The ingredients given in this article have similarities with leeks that make them ideal substitutes in many recipes.

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