13 Fragrant Leek Substitutes Your Mother Used

Leeks complement any dish that includes onions. They may be fried, sautéed, roasted, boiled, or braised, but they are best as a garnish for salads, casseroles, and particularly soups.

Leeks, on the other hand, may be difficult to get when they are out of season, just when you need them for a dish. As a result, knowing what to use as a leek alternative will be beneficial. Alternatives to leeks are many, given to the wide range of closely related crops.

  1. Red Or White Onions
  2. Shallots
  3. Scallions(Green Onions) Or Spring Onions
  4. Chives
  5. Garlic
  6. Celery
  7. Onion Powder
  8. Fennel
  9. Wild Ramps(Wild Garlic)

If none of the aforementioned work for you, keep reading as we go into the entire list of the greatest leeks Substitutes.

But first, let’s learn more about this classic soup component.

13 Best Leeks Substitute

Leeks, along with onions, shallots, scallions, chives, and garlic, are Allium vegetables. They have long, white cylindrical stems with flat leaves that get greener as they climb higher in the air.

Leeks have an onion-like flavor and scent, with a touch of garlic, but they are not as pungent and overpowering in flavor as onions; instead, they are sweeter and softer.

This might explain why slicing leeks does not make you weep and why they have no aftertaste when eaten. Onions, shallots, and scallions are some of the greatest alternatives for leeks in terms of flavor and look.

Feel free to experiment with the remaining excellent leek substitutions in your soup recipe.

Red Or White Onions 

Full body and slices of raw red onion isolated on white backdrop

Onions, whether white, red, sweet, or yellow, have a similar appearance to leeks. Despite having a stronger onion taste than leeks, onions are the most common and affordable leek alternative.

They are a fantastic alternative for leeks when diced, particularly in soups and other typical dishes.

If you don’t want the onion to overshadow your meal, go for a sweeter or milder onion. Leeks may easily be substituted for onion. Simply use the same quantity as you would leeks in your recipe, and it should be OK.


Shallots, like leeks, belong to the Allium family. They resemble onions but are much smaller in size. Because they are related, shallots make an excellent alternative for leeks.

They have a strong, sweet, acidic, and peppery taste similar to that of leeks.

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These little, mild bulbs may be substituted for leeks in a number of recipes, but they are particularly delicious when cooked.

Because they are more costly, shallots may not be the ideal option for soups and stews that call for a lot of leeks.

To create a replacement, use shallots in the same quantity or weight as the leeks in the recipe. Add additional shallots if the dish needs more flavor.

Shallots have a milder taste than onions and a touch of garlic, so know when to use more of them.

Scallions(Green Onions) Or Spring Onions

Scallions, often known as green onions, are a smaller type of leek with a taste profile similar to onion and garlic.

Aside from the flavor, they resemble leeks in appearance. They are also known as green onions because to their enormous green leaves and white stems. The white root tastes like sweet onion, while the green part tastes like grass.

Scallions provide flavor to salads, tortillas, grilled meats, stews, soups, and garnishes. To mix in with the tastes of the meal, they are usually stir-fried, grilled, or baked.

While these are all excellent ways to utilize scallions in cooking, the ideal way to serve them is to add them at the end of the cooking period so that the taste is as fresh as possible.

Scallions are smaller than leeks in size, therefore you may need to use more of them in your meal. Replace 1 big leek with 6 scallions when adding it to your recipe.

Add them fresh as a garnish to soups, eggs, tacos, or casseroles. It is better to add them shortly after you finish cooking your food.


Chives have a mild flavor and a distinct flavor that may clash with the flavor profile of leeks, making it a poor alternative in recipes that call for it.

Even if you don’t have any other alternatives, chives may provide a subtle, sweet, and earthy taste to a number of meals, especially soups.

Keep in mind that chives may react negatively with some spices, so approach with care.


Garlic and leeks are both members of the Allium family, so it’s no wonder that garlic made the list. Garlic, like leeks, has a powerful flavor that is at once aromatic, tender, and sweet.

While it may not be an ideal option for garnish, garlic will provide a savory flavor to your food, particularly in stir-fries, stews, and soups.

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Remember that garlic has a stronger and more pungent taste than leeks, so use it appropriately. To improve the taste and scent of your dishes, use little quantities of chopped or roasted garlic.

If you’re not sure how to estimate, start by replacing half a teaspoon of minced garlic for each cup of leeks in the recipe.


When mixed with shallots, garlic, and onions, celery offers a moderate flavor profile that enhances the overall flavor of leeks. The stalks are fibrous, aromatic, and crisp, while the celery leaves have a peculiar flavor that is both mild and robust.

Celery has a unique flavor profile that differs much from that of leeks, but if you’re looking to try something new, celery is a wonderful option. Celery, like leeks, is in season. It’s wonderful both raw and cooked.

Celery, on the other hand, has an aromatic flavor with a bitter aftertaste rather than a pungent flavor.

Celery, on the other hand, may be a wonderful replacement if you just need it for garnishing and are only concerned with appearance. Celery stalks are similarly white with lush, green leaves, so it will suffice.

Onion Powder


If you’re searching for a solid alternative for leeks, onion powder can be your best bet. Apart from the fact that it has been processed, onion powder might have a somewhat distinct smack. However, if you are really deficient in fresh veggies in your cupboard, this might suffice in little portions.

You won’t get the same appearance and texture as leeks, but it will help with flavour. If the leeks are not the major part of the recipe and you are just interested in the flavor, onion powder might be a fine substitution.

Because most spices have a strong taste, you may want to use less of them in your dish. One teaspoon of onion powder per cup of chopped leeks, for example, is a good starting point.


Fennel may not seem to be a frequent substitution for leeks, but it may provide a distinct taste to your recipe in the same way that leeks can. Fennel is the mildest and most fresh of the Allium family members.

Fennel does not taste like leeks, but rather like anise. If you dislike leeks and want to try something different, fennel is a fantastic choice. It also includes green, fluffy leaves with white stems that may be used to simulate leeks as a garnish.

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Wild Ramps(Wild Garlic)

Wild ramps, also known as wild garlic or wild leeks, are an excellent replacement since they have a taste profile similar to leeks.

Wild ramps, which are often found in mountains throughout the summer and spring, are one of the most important crops you may collect during these seasons.

Wild ramps taste similar to garlic but without the stink. Furthermore, their leaves lend a gorgeous color to your dish in addition to the taste.

The only disadvantage of this lovely plant is that it only blooms in the highlands for a brief time between late April and early June. So, if you want any for your recipe, keep a look out for it if you’re out on a trek.


Calcots are comparable to green onions and scallions not only in appearance but also in flavor, since they are sweet and delicate.

Calots are so popular in Catalonia, a region in northeastern Spain, that it even has its own winter feast called the Calotada, which consists of grilled Calots served with romesco, a delightful sauce composed of tomatoes and peppers.

Calots, with their white stem and dark green leaves, resemble leeks and make an excellent alternative. However, since they are virtually solely found in the region, finding them outside of Catalonia might be challenging.


In soup recipes, cabbage is a cheaper and healthier alternative to onions. Although cabbage does not have the same taste as onions, it may be used in the same way.

If you consume raw cabbage, you will note that it has a crisp texture and a somewhat bitter taste. When cooked, it absorbs the flavors of all the components in your meals. As a result, if cooked correctly, cabbage may be a terrific replacement.

Furthermore, cabbage has 59% less calories than leeks, with 25 calories per 100 grams vs 61 calories for leeks. Cabbage has a greater protein content, a lower carbohydrate content, and a lower fat content.

Green Garlic

Green garlic is a garlic plant that has not completely developed. It is mostly the result of decreased garlic supply. At the conclusion of the season, it often grows into a wavy green stalk with a closed bud on top.

Green garlic is somewhat thicker and has smaller leaves than leeks. It smells like ordinary garlic and has a garlicky taste, which is OK if you’re attempting to replace leeks with it.


What is a good substitute for leeks in soup?

What is the finest leek substitute? Shallots, thinly cut! Shallots are a kind of tiny onion that has a delicate, mild taste. Because the taste is more akin to a leek than a yellow or white onion, it works especially well as a replacement.

What can I substitute for 1 large leek?

1 cup chopped leek is comparable to 1 big leek. To replace for one big leek, use shallots, scallions, spring onions, white onions, or sweet onions.

Can you sub leeks for onions in soup?

Leeks, although comparable to scallions in principle, aren’t as well-suited to eating raw due to their more fibrous texture. When cooked, they may serve as an onion replacement. Winslow compares leeks to a cross between a scallion and a bulb onion.

Is bok choy the same as leeks?

Bok choy is a Chinese cabbage with a mild flavor, but leeks have a considerably stronger flavor. Bok choy is utilized in a variety of ways, with larger amounts forming the foundation of stir-fries or being grilled.

Why do you put leeks in soup?

They have a sweet, oniony taste that enhances soups, stews, pastas, and other dishes! I’ll include more of my favorite leek recipes in the article below, but in general, I use them to develop flavor at the start of a meal, similar to how I use onions and shallots.

Can you substitute leek with celery?

Leeks. To replace the celery, add chopped leeks. The flavor will be onion-y rather than celery-y, but it will surely taste better.

Are leeks just bigger green onions?

Leeks are not only bigger and thicker, but they are also offered on single stalks as opposed to bunches of scallions. When cooked, leeks have such a delicate taste that it’s difficult to tell them apart from the onion family, although green onions retain their trademark sharpness.

What is the same as leeks?

Onions, shallots, and leeks are all members of the Alliums family and are prized for their taste in recipes. They are all simple to grow in the garden and thrive when planted in full light. They do, however, vary.

Are leeks just big onions?

Leeks are not the same as green onions. While both are members of the onion family, they are two distinct herbs. The leek, technically known as allium porrum, resembles a big green onion stem. Even young and thinner leeks are substantially larger than green onions.

What can I substitute for leeks?

Best Leek Substitutes
Shallots. Leeks may be replaced with shallots.
Onion, either sweet or white. Sweet or white onion is an excellent replacement.
Garlic that is green. Green garlic is an excellent alternative for leeks! …
Onions in green.
Powdered onion.

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