These cheesy leeks make a super vegetarian main. I struggle to find meat free mains that don’t leave me feeling short changed but this definitely hits the spot. All I need is a dish of these leeks and a good chunk of fresh wholemeal bread, and I’m sorted. Alternatively they make the perfect side dish served alongside your favourite Sunday roast or a casserole.
The sauce in this dish is thickened with a roux but, unlike a traditional roux, I don’t add the cold milk slowly, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Instead I heat the milk first until it’s just below boiling point then add it all in one go. It’s a much quicker way of achieving the same result and one I use frequently.
This dish is perfect at this time of year, when it’s cold and bleak outside but, if leeks are not your thing, try my gorgeous Cauliflower Cheese recipe which is also gluten free! So next time you get snowed in or it’s blowing a gale and raining horizontally, you know what to cook.
- 1 large leek
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil or butter
- 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
- 200 ml milk
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 80 g mature cheddar (finely grated and divided)
- Salt and pepper
- Finely slice the leek then wash thoroughly and drain well.
- Place a medium sized pan over a low to medium heat then add the oil or butter and the leek and cook, lid on but stirring often, until the leek has fully softened – 10 to 15 minutes.* Meanwhile, warm the milk so that it is hot but not scalding.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350F).
- When the leeks are soft and the juices have evaporated lower the heat. Add the flour and stir in, cooking for a minute or so, then pour in the hot milk and stir into the leeks.**
- Bring to a gentle simmer. Now add the mustard, ¾ of the cheese and the pepper and combine. Check the seasoning adding salt if necessary.
- Pour the leeks into an oven dish, sprinkle with the remainder of the cheese and place into the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and bubbling.
I have made this for every holiday and dinner party since I found your recipe a few years ago. It’s easy and people LOVE it!
It look an amazing leek recipe. I am surely gonna try it on this weekend.
I made Gordon’s Mushroom, Leek and Tarragon Pasta and I absolutely loved it. Since then, I’ve loved leeks. These cheesy leeks sound delicious! Thanks, Anna!
When I was a kid, my mum would make cheesy leeks using a cheese powder mix. It worked OK, and we didn’t know any different, but this was super simple and turned out exactly like you described. The internet is a wonder isn’t it?? How did we ever cope before. Thank you
Can we use chedder and mozzarella in this recipe?
Absolutely. Feel free to switch things up as you like!
Can I make this up to the point of putting in the oven the day before? Hoping to make for Christmas dinner but would like to prep as much the day before!
Absolutely. That would work really well x
Great recipe. Made it with unsweetened almond milk and added a tablespoon of single cream
Sounds like a good switch! Glad you like the recipe.
I’m making this right now! I just have two questions, though. At what temperature should I set the oven, and the cheese should be divided into what measurements? I’m just winging it, with the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and divided the cheese into 3/4 cup and 1/2 cup. Yes, I LOVE cheese! LOL
Hi Roni. So sorry I couldn’t get back to you while you were cooking. It sounds like you got the oven temperature and cheese split pretty spot on so I’m sure it turned out really well, especially with all that extra cheese! Thanks for pointing out those omissions in the recipe. I’ll correct it right now. Anna
Hi…this looks glorious…am planning to do it as part of an Easter lunch…do you think it could easily be doubled and work out just as yummy.
Looks marvelous! One question: are you using the whole leek minus the bottom or only the white and light green part of it?
Hi Laura. I always eat pretty much the whole leek. I remove any tough, dark green leaves then just slice the rest and give it a really good wash. I hope that helps x
Kat (The Baking Explorer)
I could eat that whole pan to myself, that golden cheese is making me drool!
Glad you like the look of it x
April J Harris
What a lovely way to serve leeks! Pinning and sharing! Thank you for bringing this yummy, cheesy recipe to the Hearth and Soul Link Party. Hope to ‘see’ you again this week!
Hi April. Thanks for pinning and sharing! x
This is a gorgeous side dish, full of flavour and so easy to make too! Thank you for bringing it to #CookBlogShare:)
You’re welcome! Thanks for continuing to share my recipes with your readers.
Only have one leek in the fridge and it’s too cold to go shopping, so lunch for 2 uses your recipe and some finely sliced onions. Thanks for the idea
Sounds like a great plan and perfect for such a cold day.
Love leeks and adore cheese, so I’d be super happy with this dish. It’s made me feel all nostalgic. My grandmother (who was a bit non-plussed by vegetarian food) used to make me something similar.
Ooh, I love food that makes me nostalgic. Happy memories:)
Michelle Frank | Flipped-Out Food
Oh my goodness, this looks like pure, decadent deliciousness! You treat your roux the same way that I do. So much easier!
Glad it looks delicious. Yes, no time for all that stirring!!