Roasting leeks in the oven yields a luscious, melt-in-your-mouth texture and caramelized flavor you’re going to love. You need just a handful of ingredients to make this roasted melted leeks recipe – leeks, olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and parmesan cheese. Serve roasted leeks as a side dish with dinner, or on top of toast.

speckled white plate of roasted leeks

Looking for a healthy side dish recipe that’s a little different? Try these oven roasted leeks with parmesan cheese! Roasting leeks gives them a super soft and “melted” texture. Perfect as a side dish or toast topping!

If you’re wondering, “what do leeks taste like?” you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you try this recipe! Leeks have a mild and sweet flavor, similar to an onion but with less of a harsh bite. When roasted in the oven, leeks take on a deeper caramelized sweet flavor you’re going to love!

Love leeks? Try my creamy broccoli leek soup recipe, asparagus and leek frittata recipe, and mushroom leek puff pastry tarts.

Leeks are part of the allium family with onions, garlic, scallions, and chives. As a Registered Dietitian, I love to include a variety of alliums like leeks in my diet because they have several health-promoting compounds. Read more about the nutrition benefits of leeks, below.

This recipe is vegetarian, gluten free, soy free, and nut free. It serves 4 as a side dish and takes about 45 minutes to prepare, though a majority is hands-off time while the leeks are in the oven.

Ingredients in roasted leeks

Everything you need to make this recipe, below:

  • Leeks: Leeks are of course the star of this recipe! When shopping for leeks, look for leeks that are firm with bright green leaves.
  • Shredded parmesan cheese: Salty, melted parmesan cheese pairs deliciously with the caramelized sweet flavor of leeks.
  • Olive oil: Olive oil is a heart-healthy fat source for roasting vegetables.
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dried thyme

Kitchen tools needed

You’ll need a good chef’s knife, a cutting board, and a glass or ceramic rectangular baking dish.

roasted leeks ingredients measured out on a light grey backdrop

What part of leeks do you eat?

The white and light green parts of leeks are usually eaten. The dark green leaves are certainly edible, but they don’t have as much of the onion-y flavor as the white and light green parts. You can either discard the dark green leaves or save them to make homemade vegetable stock!

How to clean leeks

Leeks, like onions, are made up of lots of layers. Leeks grow submerged in the soil, so as they grow, they collect dirt and sand in between their layers.

Because they are so dirty, it is crucial to properly clean leeks before cooking and eating them.

To clean leeks for this recipe, start by cutting the leeks in half lengthwise. then, run each half under cold water in your sink, fanning out the layers so any dirt and sand run out with the water.

Pat the leeks dry with a clean dish towel and they’re ready to use!

How to roast leeks in the oven

wooden cutting board with sliced leeks and a knife
1. Remove dark green leaves and stems from leeks. Cut pieces about 3-4 inches long, then slice each in half lengthwise. Clean leeks as instructed above.
Olive oil, shredded cheese, and dried herbs in a white ceramic baking dish
2. Add olive oil, shredded parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and thyme to the bottom of a ceramic baking dish.
sliced leeks in a white ceramic baking dish
3. Place leeks, cut side down, in the baking dish, all nestled together but not overlapping.
sliced leeks in a white ceramic baking dish
4. Drizzle the tops of the leeks with a bit more olive oil, and sprinkle with a little more cheese and seasonings.
roasted leeks in a white ceramic baking dish
5. Roast leeks in the oven until deeply browned, caramelized, and super soft and melty.

Serving suggestions

Pair these roasted leeks as a side dish with your favorite entree. They would be delicious alongside salmon, cod, tofu, or a hearty salad.

Leeks nutrition benefits

Leeks are super nutritious, and provide soluble fiber and prebiotics, which can benefit digestive and gut health. One cup of raw leeks provides:

  • 1.6 grams of dietary fiber
  • 1.9 mg iron (11% of your daily needs)
  • 0.210 mg Vitamin B6 (16% of your daily needs)
  • 56.6 mcg folate (14% of your daily needs)
  • 42.3 mcg Vitamin K (35% of your daily needs)
  • 0.11 mg copper (12% of your daily needs)

Additionally, leeks are rich in antioxidants, including polyphenols and sulfur compounds. Diets high in antioxidant-rich foods are associated with lower risk of certain diseases, including cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.

Let me know if you love this post by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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speckled white plate of roasted leeks

Oven Roasted Melted Leeks with Parmesan Cheese

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  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh, RD
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian
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Description

Roasting leeks in the oven yields a luscious, melt-in-your-mouth texture and caramelized flavor you’re going to love. You need just a handful of ingredients to make this roasted melted leeks recipe – leeks, olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and parmesan cheese. Serve roasted leeks as a side dish with dinner, or on top of toast.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 34 small leeks
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped – optional for garnish


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Cut off the dark green leaves of the leeks and discard. Then cut the leeks in half widthwise so each piece is 3-4 inches long. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise.
    wooden cutting board with sliced leeks and a knife
  3. Clean the leeks by fanning them out and running them under cold water to remove dirt and debris (see notes for more details). Pat them dry.
  4. In a 7×10 ceramic or glass baking dish, drizzle the olive oil. Then sprinkle in half of the parmesan cheese, half of the dried thyme,  and half of the salt and pepper. 
    Olive oil, shredded cheese, and dried herbs in a white ceramic baking dish
  5. Place the leeks cut side down in the pan, all in a row next to each other but not overlapping.
    sliced leeks in a white ceramic baking dish
  6. Drizzle with a touch more olive oil and the other half of the parmesan cheese and dry seasonings.
    sliced leeks in a white ceramic baking dish
  7. Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until leeks are super soft and “melted” and edges are deeply golden brown and caramelized. 
    roasted leeks in a white ceramic baking dish

Notes

How to clean leeks

Leeks, like onions, are made up of lots of layers. Leeks grow submerged in the soil, so as they grow, they collect dirt and sand in between their layers.

Because they are so dirty, it is crucial to properly clean leeks before cooking and eating them.

To clean leeks for this recipe, start by cutting the leeks in half lengthwise. then, run each half under cold water in your sink, fanning out the layers so any dirt and sand run out with the water.

Pat the leeks dry with a clean dish towel and they’re ready to use!