Substitutes for Leeks

Leek is a vegetable that has become an increasingly popular ingredient in many recipes due to its mild onion-like flavor. It is an underrated vegetable.  If you don’t have leeks on hand or are looking for something with a similar taste, there are several substitute options available. From onions and shallots to celery and fennel, there are plenty of tasty alternatives that will add flavor to your dishes without compromising the integrity of the recipe. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best substitute for leeks in dishes that you enjoy so that you can be sure your meals come out just as delicious as ever.

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Some Ideas of what to use as a substitute for Leeks


Shallots have a flavor that is very similar to leeks, making them an excellent substitute. They are milder than onions and can add a subtle sweetness to any dish.

Onion – Onions are the most popular replacement for leeks. They offer a much stronger taste than leeks, but they still make a great substitute if you don’t have access to this vegetable. When using onions, it’s best to go with a white onion or a sweet onion or yellow variety as they will have the most mild flavor.

Celery – Celery is another great a leek substitute, as it has a similar texture and taste. It can be used in for leeks in soups and sauces as well as other dishes that call for leeks.

Fennel – Fennel is an alternative for leeks.  It has a sweet, licorice-like flavor that is very similar to leeks. It can be used in many dishes where you would normally use leeks and it adds great flavor without being overpowering.

Garlic – Garlic is a suitable replacement leeks.  While not as subtle as some of the other substitute options, it can still be used if you’re in a pinch. Just remember to go light on the garlic, as its strong flavor can easily overpower other ingredients

Green Onion (Scallions)

Green onion (also known as scallions) is another good substitute for leeks. It has a mild onion flavor and can be used in many of the same dishes where one would use leeks


Celery is another substitute that can be used in place of leeks. It has a milder flavor than leeks, but it still adds a nice crunch and subtle sweetness to dishes. When using celery as a substitute, you’ll want to use less than what the recipe calls for as it won’t have the same intensity as leeks.


Fennel is another substitute that has a sweet, licorice-like flavor which is similar to leeks. It can be used in many recipes calling for leeks and will add great flavor without being too overpowering.

Garlic or Onion Powder

If you’re in a pinch and don’t have access to any of the substitute options listed above, garlic or onion powder can be used as a substitute. They won’t offer the same texture as fresh or delicious vegetables, but they do add great flavor to dishes. Just remember to go light on the amount you use as these powders are quite potent.


Green Onion (Scallions) are a great substitute for leeks. They have a mild onion flavor, but with a slightly sweeter taste and crunchier texture. You can substitute them in any recipe that calls for leeks, but that they will not have the same level of flavor as leeks do.


Garlic can also be used as a substitute for leeks, although it does offer a much stronger flavor. If you do choose to use garlic in place of leeks, just remember to go light on the amount as its strong taste can easily overpower other ingredients.



Fennel is another substitute that has a sweet, licorice-like flavor which is similar to leeks. It can be used in many recipes calling for leeks and will add great flavor without being too overpowering.

Bok Choy

Bok Choy is a great substitute for leeks and can be used in many recipes. It has a mild flavor and crunchy texture, making it the perfect substitute for leeks. Just remember to go light on the amount you use as its flavor can be quite strong if too much is used.



No matter which substitute you choose, your recipes will come out with delicious results every time. With these tasty alternatives you won’t have to worry about compromising on flavor when making your favorite dishes. Whether you’re using leeks or a replacement vegetable, get creative and experiment with different flavor combinations until you find the perfect one. Use this list of substitutes as options a try the next time you’re cooking with leeks and see for yourself just how good they can be.

Questions about leeks and replacing them in recipes

Can I use onion instead of leek in soup?

Yes, you can use leek as an alternative to leeks for  onions in soup. Keep in mind that onions have a much stronger taste than leeks and they may overpower some of the other flavors in the soup. It’s best to use a milder variety such as white or yellow onions.

What do leeks taste like?

Leeks have a mildly sweet, onion-like flavor that is quite mild and mellow compared to onions. They are often used in dishes such as soups, casseroles, and sauces to add a subtle sweetness and earthy flavor.

Do leeks taste like green onions?

No, leeks and green onions do not taste the same. Leeks have a mild onion-like flavor while green onions have a much more pungent taste that is similar to garlic or shallots.

Is a leek a big onion?

No, leeks are not large onions. They have a much milder  sweet flavor than onions and are typically used in dishes where subtlety is desired. Leeks also have a unique shape with a white base and long green stalks that resemble tree branches.

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