This creamy and comforting Leek Risotto is a great way to make use of this seasonal vegetable. Sliced leeks sautéed in butter and then cooked low and slow with risotto rice and topped with Parmesan. Simple comfort food at its finest.
We LOVE leeks and we think they are such an underrated vegetable. This risotto with leeks is one of our favourite ways to use them.
Cooking them gives them such a sweet and creamy flavour and this leek recipe is a great way to use up a lot of them too if you have lots in your veg box or maybe you have grown them.
Leeks are super nutritious as well, being a great source of vitamins B6, C, K, iron and folate. They are also high in calories and low in fat. Leek risotto is a bit of a labour of love, because it does take time to cook - but it is totally worth it.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Oil and butter - Some olive oil to cook everything in and unsalted butter as it helps the leeks get nice and crispy.
- Shallots and garlic - The shallots add some sweetness, but you could swap them for a small brown onion instead.
- Leeks - The star of the dish! Make sure that you wash these really carefully, as the dirt can get right down the leaves. More tips on preparing leeks further down.
- Risotto rice (arborio rice) - We used arborio rice as that gives the best creamy risotto. However, you could use another rice, but cooking times would vary and you wouldn't get the same results.
- Wine - This adds a lovely richness to the leek risotto recipe, however you could just swap it for more stock if you prefer.
- Stock - Use a good quality vegetable stock, however for a really rich flavour you can use chicken stock - it wouldn't be vegetarian any more though. If making this for small children, then use a low salt stock.
- Parmesan - This adds so much extra creaminess and a hint of nuttiness too. You can use any cheese that melts well, like a mature cheddar or mozzarella (although this will make it very stringy). If you want to keep it vegetarian, then use a vegetarian Italian hard cheese instead.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make leek risotto - Step by step
One: Heat the oil and melt the butter over a low heat. Add the shallots and garlic.
Two: Add the sliced leeks and cook for 5 minutes.
Three: Add the risotto rice and mix well. Cook for a further 1 minute.
Four: Add the wine and a small amount of stock. Simmer until the liquid has reduced.
Five: Continue simmering for 20 minutes, adding a little more stock each time the liquid has reduced.
Six: Once all the liquid has gone, add the Parmesan and stir it in until it has melted.
How to cut leeks
It's really easy to prepare and cut up a leek, so don't be put off doing it. Simply chop off the root end, and most of the green stem (these can be kept to make stock with).
Cut the leek in half lengthways, and then each in half again until you have 4 long quarters. Slice them all up and then rinse them in water to make sure you have all the dirt off. Drain them and pat dry to get the excess water off.
The great thing about this leek risotto, is that it is easy to adapt. Use this as a base recipe and then add extra ingredients depending on what your family love. Here are some other additions that work really well:
- Cooked chopped bacon
- Cooked shredded chicken
- Chorizo (cook it at the same time as the shallots)
- Frozen peas
- Chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- Shittake and chestnut mushrooms
- Grilled cod or salmon
If you want to give this dish a green veggie boost, then stir in some spinach or peas a few minutes before serving. You could also serve it with some Crispy Kale Chips on top.
We used Parmesan as it goes really well with the leeks, but if you want to make a more indulgent leek risotto that would be perfect for date night then add some crumbled stilton for a blue cheese risotto twist.
What to serve with leek risotto
This is a really filling and hearty dish as it is, so you don't need to add much more too it. However, if you are serving it up to a few people that you could serve it with some homemade garlic bread and a big green salad like our Little Gem Salad.
Store: Risotto is always best made fresh, however if you do have some leftover then you can store it covered in the fridge for up to two days. Make sure that you follow food safety guidelines for cooked rice - do not leave it at room temperature and cool it very quickly by spreading it out on a baking tray as shown in the photo below.
Freeze: We wouldn't recommend freezing risotto, because the rice becomes really hard when frozen and the texture just isn't right when it is defrosted and reheated.
Reheat: To reheat, preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C(fan)/350°F/Gas 4. Place the cold risotto in an oven proof dish, and add a liquid like white wine, stock or simply water - just enough to loosen the rice. You can add a knob of butter too if desired. Bake for around 10 minutes until heated through, stirring every 2 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Leave the lid off. However, we recommend putting the lid on for a couple of minutes once finished cooking, as this will allow it to get the perfect texture.
The secret is cooking it low and slow and adding a little bit of stock at a time. This gives you the best creamy risotto. Using the right rice is important too.
You don't add all the stock at once in a risotto. You add a ladle at a time, so the rice can gradually soak up the stock which gives you a creamier risotto at the end.
Yes, if you swap the butter and Parmesan for vegan alternatives, then this can be a vegan recipe. Make sure to check that the white wine you are using is vegan too. The risotto rice has a natural creaminess to it anyway.
More risotto recipes
Creamy Leek Risotto
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Butter
- 3 Shallots - diced
- 2 Garlic cloves - crushed
- 1 Leek - medium; sliced
- 150 g (0.75 cups) Risotto (arborio) rice
- 700 ml (3 cups) Vegetable stock
- 125 ml (0.5 cups) White wine
- 20 g (0.25 cups) Parmesan - grated
- Heat 1 tablespoon Olive oil and 1 tablespoon Butter over a low heat.
- Add 3 Shallots and 2 Garlic cloves.
- Add 1 Leek and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add 150 g Risotto (arborio) rice and mix well. Cook for a further 1 minute.
- Add 125 ml White wine and a small amount of the 700 ml Vegetable stock. Simmer until the liquid has reduced.
- Continue simmering for 20 minutes, adding a little more stock each time the liquid has reduced.
- Once all the liquid has gone, add 20 g Parmesan and stir it in until it has melted.
- You can use any cold leftovers of leek risotto to make arancini.
- For even more creaminess in this risotto, add the rind of the Parmesan to the pan and take out just before serving.
- Don't skip frying the rice before adding the stock, as this is important for the final consistency of the dish.
- For some extra freshness, add a squeeze of lemon juice to the risotto.
- You could swap the arborio rice for brown rice for extra nutrition, however it would change the cooking time.
- Risotto rice should still have a bit of bite to it and be al dente. If it is mushy, then it is overcooked.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.