Pickled leeks are easy to make and a great way to preserve leeks that would otherwise go bad! This quick refrigerator pickle recipe uses basic pantry staples and can be customized to your liking. Plus, I included tips for what to do with pickled leeks.
Pickling is just about my favorite way to prevent food waste. It’s so easy to preserve pretty much any vegetable with just some vinegar, sugar, salt, and spices!
Since apparently I have a thing for pickling different varieties of onions, this new recipe for pickled leeks shouldn’t surprise you. These tangy lil’ guys add a punch of flavor to salads and sandwiches. They would be a great addition to a charcuterie board, too!
The opportunities are endless, friends. So I recommend you go ahead and get pickling!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Leeks: Of course, you need these!
- White wine vinegar: This is my preferred vinegar for pickling leeks. You can substitute red wine or apple cider vinegar if needed.
- Salt: I like to use kosher salt.
- Sugar: I use granulated sugar and have not tried it with other types of sugar.
- Garlic: I like to add a couple cloves of smashed garlic to the jar. They may turn blue due to the vinegar. This is normal, so don’t be alarmed.
- Pepper: Use whole peppercorns.
- Fennel seeds: These are entirely optional, but they add a great flavor!
Pickled leeks are very customizable. Keep the base recipe as written: equal parts water and vinegar, salt, and sugar, but feel free mix up the seasonings! You can add fresh herbs like dill, thyme, or rosemary or things like whole coriander, mustard, or caraway seeds. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a spicy kick!
The full recipe card with ingredient quantities and instructions is at the end of the post.
Cut the leeks into circles. See How to Cut Leeks for more information.
Clean the leeks in a bowl of water, then drain and pat dry.
In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, and seasonings. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the salt and sugar have dissolved.
Stuff the leeks into a 10-ounce jar (or larger). Pour the vinegar mixture over the leeks. It will just barely cover them. Seal tightly and let the jar cool to room temperature before putting in the fridge.
This recipe for pickled leeks is a quick pickling or “refrigerator” pickle recipe. It is not intended to be a recipe for canned leeks or shelf-stable pickled leeks. Keep the jar in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks.
If you’re wondering what to do with pickled leeks, I have some ideas! Add them to salads, sandwiches, nachos, or charcuterie boards. They taste great on grain bowls or toast spread with ricotta or another creamy cheese. The opportunities are endless!
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
- Wide-mouthed jar with lid (at least 10 ounces)
- 2 leeks - sliced into circles; about 1 cup
- ½ cup white wine vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 cloves garlic - smashed
- ½ teaspoon whole peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- Slice the white and light green parts of the leeks into circles and wash. Pat dry.
- In a saucepan, combine the white wine vinegar, water, salt, sugar, garlic cloves, peppercorns, and fennel seeds. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from heat.
- Stuff the sliced leeks into a 10-ounce or larger jar with lid. Pour the vinegar mixture over the leeks. It should just barely cover them, but don't worry, they will shrink down while pickling. Seal the jar tightly.
- Let the jar cool to room temperature, then put the jar in the refrigerator. You can now eat the pickles whenever, but they will have a stronger flavor if you let them sit in the fridge for a day or two. Enjoy within two weeks.
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- Add pickled leeks to salads, sandwiches, toast, charcuterie boards, and pizza.
- Feel free to add other seasonings, such as fresh herbs like dill, thyme, or rosemary, whole caraway or mustard seeds, or red pepper flakes.
- Please note this is a quick pickle recipe and is not intended to be suitable for canning or shelf-stable pickling.
Enjoy pickling! – Lizzie