Buttered Sautéed Leeks

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This easy and tender buttered sautéed leeks recipe makes the perfect quick and tasty side dish when in need of both comfort and nutrition.

A silver fork rests in a large ceramic bowl of cooked, sliced green leeks.
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❤️ Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • This is a quick and easy side dish recipe, perfect for those busy weeknights.
  • Sauteed leeks are tender, buttery, and truly comforting.
  • These buttered leeks pack a big flavor, yet are more subtle than raw leeks, for instance.
  • Like onions, leeks can be used and served in a large variety of ways.
  • These tender leek slices are packed with nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K.
  • They have a melt-in-your-mouth buttery taste.
  • Naturally vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free, with a vegan and dairy-free option.
Close shot of freshly sauteed leeks in a large ceramic bowl.

🥬 Ingredients and Substitutes

Olive oil: Using olive oil in addition to butter helps prevent the butter from burning and also contributes depth of flavor.

Butter: You can use salted or unsalted butter in this recipe with similar results. If you are vegan or dairy-free, you can use plant-based butter instead.

Leeks: Leeks are in the Allium family alongside shallots, onions, chives, and garlic. They have an onion-like flavor but are a bit more subdued and complex. Try to purchase vibrant, firm leeks for this recipe.

Garlic: A touch of minced garlic, not only enhances the flavor of the leeks but really works well with the butter in this recipe, adding overall complexity to the dish.

Salt and pepper: A touch of salt and pepper works well with just about any vegetable side dish and these sauteed leeks are no exception.

Lemon juice: My secret ingredient, lemon juice not only helps tenderize the leeks but adds a really nice flavor in combination with the other ingredients. If you do not have lemon juice, you can omit it or use any vinegar you have on hand instead.

A silver fork rests in a ceramic bowl of hot buttered leeks.

🔪 How to Saute Leeks

A skillet filled with sliced raw leeks.
A blue spatula rests in a skillet of sliced leeks.
A blue silicone spatula rests in a large skillet of sliced leeks, salt and pepper.
  1. Start by sauteing the garlic in olive oil and butter until golden.
  2. Then, add the remaining ingredients to the pan and stir, while sauteeing for about 8 minutes or until the leeks are nice and tender.
  3. Enjoy!
Freshly sauteed leeks rest in a dark black skillet with a blue spatula.

🍽️ Serving Ideas

  • Use sauteed leeks alongside cheese in a cheese quesadilla (trust me on this one!).
  • Use sauteed leeks in a frittata or omelet.
  • Sprinkle sauteed leeks over a baked potato.
  • Serve sauteed leeks over soups or stews.
  • Fold sauteed leeks into a favorite pasta dish.
  • Top with shredded parmesan cheese and chopped fresh herbs for something a bit extra!
  • Use buttered leeks as a salad topping.
A large tan ceramic bowl filled with cooked, sliced light green leeks.

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Can you eat the full leek?

While the entire leek is fully edible, the dark green leaves of the leek are bitter and hard to chew. The white and light green parts are far more agreeable.

How should I store sauteed leeks?

While sauteed leeks taste their best when served right away, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Close shot of a silver fork holding a forkful of sliced leeks in a bowl.

🍴 More Tasty Vegetable Side Dishes You Might Like

Garlic Bok Choy

Sauteed Mushrooms

Pickled Cabbage

Stewed Potatoes

Tender, sliced, buttered leeks in a large ceramic bowl with a silver fork.

Buttered Sautéed Leeks

This easy and tender buttered sautéed leeks recipe makes the perfect quick and tasty side dish when in need of both comfort and nutrition.
4.91 from 60 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Asian, British
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Kristen Wood


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 leeks, dark green tops removed white and light green parts thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


  • In a skillet over medium heat, add the butter, olive oil and garlic.
  • Saute for 2 minutes, or until the garlic turns golden brown.
  • Add the sliced leeks, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • Saute the leeks, stirring frequently, until tender, about 8 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, serve and enjoy!


If vegan or dairy-free, you can replace the butter with a plant-based butter instead.
Please see the full post above this recipe card for valuable information!


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 200mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 918IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
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4.91 from 60 votes (55 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating



  1. 5 stars
    Delicious side dish to our dinner of Lamb chops. Served over rice as a wonderful complete meal.

  2. I was planning to make this and the right protein never came up so I decided to use what I had at hand. I added some asparagus spears. And after making the leeks, in the same pan sautéed some lions mane mushrooms to top it off and delicious!

  3. 5 stars
    I love simple recipes like these that highlight fresh produce beautifully. So easy to make and so good.

  4. 5 stars
    This sautéed leeks recipe is so useful! I love making this recipe as a base for my other recipes such as soups, braised meats, and stews. So many great cooking ideas in this post.

  5. 5 stars
    This was really easy and delicious. I mixed the leeks into cooked pasta with a little pasta water – wonderful! Great way to prepare leeks that isn’t just soup.

  6. 5 stars
    I loooooove leeks but had no idea that they were so easy to prepare! I’m going to be making these buttered leeks often because they’re delish!