Leeks and Beans for Lunch

Few ingredients. Quick to make. Healthy, delicious, and satisfying. What more could you ask for?

Because we grew so many leeks in the garden, I’ve gotten creative – even in simple ways – of using them.  This has been my go-to lunch at least once a week for a couple of months now.

In a busy week of pre-holiday cooking prep and making someone a failed birthday cake, this is a great recipe to have in one’s back pocket. (The birthday request was a cheesecake. Graham crackers are not sold where I live so I tried, spectacularly UNsuccessfully, at making my own using Alton Brown’s recipe for the base. I don’t recommend it. Then my oven decided that it wanted to be 100 degrees off, so I had to bake it 45 minutes longer. Rigging up a water bath was a whole other story.)

The recipe for Leeks and Beans for Lunch, however, is as easy as cleaning and sautéing a couple of leeks, adding in garlic and seasoning and heating through a rinsed can of beans, usually cannellini, but others work well, too.


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Leeks and Beans for Lunch

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


* 2 large leeks
* 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans (or, bean of your choice), drained and well rinsed
* 1 large garlic clove, minced
* Salt and pepper to taste
* Ground red chili pepper to taste (optional)
* Olive oil, a little in the pan to sauté the leeks, and a little more to drizzle on the final dish
* Optional, some grated shards of Pecorino, Grana Padano, or Parmesan cheese


  1. Rinse and drain the beans
  2. Cut and discard the dark green part of each leek. Slice each leek vertically up until the root end. Rinse each leek under running water to remove any dirt. Cross cut each leak into 1-inch (2 cm) pieces and discard the root end
  3. Add the leeks, salt, pepper, and ground chili pepper (if using) to a medium sauté pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Heat over medium heat and stir occasionally until they are soft, translucent, and begin to brown (about 12 – 15 minutes)
  4. Add the minced garlic and the rinsed beans and continue to stir until they are heated through, then divide the beans and leeks into two serving bowls
  5. Drizzle each dish with olive oil and top with shards of pecorino, Grana Padano, or Parmesan cheese

Author: gregnelsoncooks

Visit weekly for original and adapted recipes as well as cooking tips to make your kitchen life easier — and more delicious! I’ll include simple, straight forward instructions along with recipes that are truly worth your time making. And, recipes that elevate the familiar and introduce you to the new and unexpected.

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