Can You Freeze Leeks?

Leeks are like a subtle onion making them perfect for boiling up and serving alongside a variety of dishes as they don’t pack quite as much of a punch as an onion. But can you bulk prepare leeks and then store them in the freezer?

The Quick Answer

You can freeze leeks for around 10 months. But it’s not as simple as taking them out of the fridge, tossing them in the freezer and hoping for the best. We would, first, recommend trimming and slicing your leeks. We would then recommend blanching them to lock in their flavour. We would finally suggest flash freezing them before storing them for the longer term.

How to Freeze Leeks

This is the best approach to take when it comes to freezing leeks. This will allow you to grab a portion of leeks from the freezer as easily and when you need them. It does involve a bit of preparation in advance, but you’ll then have your own ready-to-go supply of leeks:

How to Freeze Sliced Leeks

This is the best approach to opt for when freezing leeks. It also makes it far easier to use them when you come to grab a portion from the freezer:

  1. Prepare Your Leeks
    Clean your leeks and trim the root end and any excess green stems. Those green stems do still contain some flavour, so keep them for stocks or soups. Chop or slice your leeks into the size you normally would when cooking leeks.
  2. Blanch Them
    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, submerge your leeks to blanch them for a matter of 30-45 seconds. This will help the leeks retain their colour, texture and flavour. When removing the leeks, place them into cold water to stop them cooking further.
  3. Dry
    Drain the leeks and let them dry thoroughly. You can aid this process by removing excess water with thick kitchen towels. If you freeze them with too much excess moisture, then you can ruin their texture.
  4. Flash Freeze
    Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper then spread your leeks out over it. Try and keep your leeks in a single layer. Flash freeze this tray for an hour or so. This is to freeze them on the outside.
  5. Bag Them
    Once flash frozen, you can tip the semi-frozen leeks off the tray and into a freezer bag or container. Seal the bag up, removing as much air from the bag as possible. This will both protect the leeks but also save on space. You don’t want to fill your freezer with air!
  6. Final Freeze
    Place this back in the freezer, and you can now grab a handful of frozen leeks as and when you need to use them.

Freeze Leeks Sliced

How to Freeze Leeks Whole

Leeks might freeze whole, but we would avoid it. The reason being that it will take a lengthy period of time to defrost and you won’t be able to prepare or cut your leeks up until they had had time to thaw thoroughly. Why not simply take the time to slice or dice your leeks before freezing them? It’s far more efficient!

3 Tips for Freezing Leeks

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing leeks to have the best results:

  • Blanch Them – Whether you’ve got the time or not, you need to make time to blanch your leeks before freezing them. It’ll only take an extra 5 minutes or so and can make a huge difference to the quality of your frozen leeks. They will be packed with both flavour and nutrients thanks to your effort.
  • Flash Freeze Them – As well as for blanching, flash freezing is well worth the effort. It will enable you to easily grab a portion of leeks from the freezer as and when you need them.
  • Don’t Bother Defrosting – If you freeze your leeks in thin ribbons, then you don’t even need to defrost them. They’ll thaw and then cook from frozen in a pan. You can either boil them or saute them in plenty of butter.

How Long Can You Freeze Leeks?

Leeks will keep for a surprisingly long time in the freezer… That’s if you go through the method of blanching them. If you have blanched the leeks to help lock in their flavour and nutrients, then you can keep them in the freezer for around 10 months.

If, however, if you didn’t spend time blanching them, then we would recommend keeping them in the freezer for a maximum of 2 months. Beyond this time, you may find the flavour is lacking.

You Can Freeze Leeks for Around 10 Months

How Do You Defrost Leeks?

The good news is that you don’t need to defrost your leeks. You have two option:

a) Boil Them – Bring a large pot of water to the boil, salt it and then tip your frozen leeks in. Give them 5-8 minutes depending on the size of the pieces until cooked through. They will thaw in the boiling water fairly quickly.

b) Saute Them – Place a pan over a medium to low heat with a knob of butter and tip in your leeks. Cook slowly until thawed out. You can then whack the heat up to high if you want to get some colour on them at the end. If you use a high heat too early on, then the leek centre will remain frozen.

Can You Refreeze Leeks?

Leeks are not a vegetable we can recommend refreezing. Every time you freeze and then thaw leeks, you’ll break the structure down. If you repeat this, then you’ll break the structure and, therefore, texture down. Instead, use the method above to freeze your leeks in a way that allows you to thaw a portion at a time.

Do Leeks Freeze Well?

Leeks do freeze well. As we’ve mentioned many times already, blanching is the key element. If you don’t blanch your leeks, then you will notice the flavour degrade quite rapidly. If, however, you do blanch them, then you’ll find leeks freeze particularly well and will last for an extended period of time.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing leeks or leeks in general, then these may help:

What is the Best Way to Freeze Leeks? 

Leeks can be frozen in a variety of ways. The best way to freeze leeks will be determined by how you normally use leeks. You want them to be convenient so if you like to use them in rings then freeze them in rings. If you prefer to use them shredded then shred them to freeze. 

Can You Freeze Leeks Without Blanching?

You can – but it will shorten to the amount of time you can freeze them for. Blanching any vegetable before freezing will lock in the flavour, nutrients and colour. This will then allow you to store them in the freezer for a far longer period of time. So no, you don’t have to blanch them, but we would highly recommend doing so.

Can You Freeze Leek and Potato Soup?

You certainly can freeze soup containing leeks. The easy way to do this is to tip your cooled soup into a freezer bag. You can then squeeze the air out and store it. We’ve written a full article about freezing soup so why not check that out?

4 thoughts on “Can You Freeze Leeks?”

  1. Leeks tend to be full of sandy soil, even into the folds of the whole leek. I believe they would need to be properly washed in cold water, then rinsed thoroughly before freezing.

    Sauteing the dark green tops in some butter for about 10 minutes, then adding a cup of broth and simmering on low for about an hour is a tasty side dish (or freeze to add to soups, casseroles, etc. for a rich flavour). I’ve added fresh cilantra and thyme for the last 15 minutes or so for an extra flavour pop.

    It’s fun to experiment and satisfying to not waste food when possible.

    Reply
    • Thanks for taking the time to comment Alex! Butter and leek always go so perfectly well together. Anything to prevent food waste is always worthwhile.

      Reply

Leave a Comment