This Cheesy Leek Rice is easy to make and a delicious, different way to add leeks to the table! Made in one pot in under 30 minutes, this flavorful rice is brought next level with 2 different cheeses, the perfect blend of seasonings, and the addition of sautéed leeks.

A wooden spoon taking a scoop of cheesy leek rice out of the pot. There is finely chopped greens on top of the rice.

In my opinion, leeks are a wildly delicious and underrated veggie.

I truthfully didn’t start cooking with leeks until I was in my 30s, but with their sweet, mild onion-like flavor, I find that they are amazing in soups, stir fry recipes, and even pasta dishes. You can truthfully plug leeks into pretty much any recipe in place of onions and they will bring a delicate flavor that is just wonderful.

The one thing that some people find intimidating about leeks is how to cut and clean them. Since they do grow in sand and capture grit in their lovely layers, I get why people might shy away from leeks simply because they aren’t sure how to prep them. I’ve got you covered and you can use this tutorial about How to Cut & Clean Leeks where I walk you through the process. And I promise, it is super easy and 100% worth it!

Ingredients for cheesy leek rice on a white marble table before prepping.
Ingredients: garlic, olive oil, butter, leeks, broth, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, long grain white rice, salt, pepper, lemon juice.

If leeks are a new veg for you, this Cheesy Leek Rice should be the first recipe you make. A flavorful side dish that brings the delicate flavor of leeks together with two kinds of cheese (cheddar + parmesan) into one savory rice dish. Cooked to creamy perfection with your favorite broth, the acid from the lemon juice elevates this simple veggie side dish into something that tastes extra special. My foodie neighbor (who is one of my faithful taste testers of new recipes) declared this her favorite TNN recipe to date.

This leek rice is naturally gluten free and vegetarian when you use vegetable broth. It is made all in one pot and is done cooking in just about 30 minutes. Its a simple, yet flavorful veggie-loaded side to any dinner!

How to make Cheesy Leek Rice

A person trimming fresh leeks on a wooden cutting board.
Trim the rooted bottoms and dark green tops off of your leeks.
A person slicing leeks on a wooden cutting board with a knife.
Slice your leeks into half circles.
A hand using a large metal spoon to scoop clean leeks out of a metal bowl.
Wash your leeks well in a bowl of water and scoop out to dry.
A large skillet with oil and butter melting in it.
Add olive oil and butter to a hot pan.
Sliced leeks in a pot with a wooden spoon stirring them.
Add your sliced and cleaned leeks and saute.
Rice in the pot with the cooked leeks. A hand is sprinkling salt and pepper from a small wooden bowl over the rice.
Add rice to the pot and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Broth being poured into a large pot with rice and leeks.
Stir together.
Add broth.
A hand placing a lid over a pot with leeks, rice and broth.
Cover and cook until broth is absorbed and rice is tender.
Grated cheese on top of cooked leek rice before being stirred in.
Add cheese to the cooked rice.
Cheesy leek rice in a pot after being cooked. There is a wooden spoon in the pot.
Stir together to combine.
A wooden spoon with a spoonful of cheesy leek rice.
Serve and enjoy warm.

Can I use brown rice instead of white?

While, yes it could be used, this leek rice recipe was tested and created using white rice. If you really want to use brown rice, it is important to know that brown rice takes considerably longer than white rice to cook, so the recipe will need to be adjusted. I suggest following the cook time and liquid measurements on the packaging of your brown rice.

Can I make this leek rice dairy-free?

To make this dairy free, replace the butter with extra olive oil and omit the cheese. The rice won’t be cheesy, but it will still have a lovely flavor from the leeks and seasonings.

What can I serve this with?

I love this leek rice as a side dish to any main or as part of a spread. It is lovely next to a Kale + Brussel Sprouts Salad or served with a hearty main like Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies or Cauliflower + Turkey Meatloaves.

How to store and reheat leftovers

You can store leek rice in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

To reheat: Reheat leftovers in the microwave with a splash of broth or water.

Other leek recipes you will love

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A serving of cheesy leek rice in a white bowl with a metal spoon. The rice is topped with finely chopped parsley.
5 from 3 votes

Cheesy Leek Rice

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 28 minutes
Course: Side Dish
This Cheesy Leek Rice is easy to make and a delicious and different way to add leeks to the table! Made in one pot in under 30 minutes, this flavorful rice is brought next level with 2 different cheeses, the perfect blend of seasonings, and the addition of sautéed leeks.


  • 2 large leeks, or 3 small
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, or additional oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • cups long grain white rice
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, or 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable , or chicken broth
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • fresh parsley, optional garnish


  • Trim the root ends and dark green tops off the leeks. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise then thinly sliced across into half circles.
  • To ensure the leeks are thoroughly cleaned, fill a large bowl with cold water then add the sliced leeks and swish them around in the water, letting any dirt fall to the bottom of the bowl. Scoop leeks out of the water onto a clean kitchen towel to drain.
  • Add the olive oil and butter to a large, wide-bottomed pot and place over medium-high heat.
  • Once the butter has melted, add the sliced leeks and sauté until the leeks are softened and lightly caramelized, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in the rice, salt, pepper, rice, and lemon juice.
  • Add the broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to release any brown bits and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until all the broth has been absorbed, about 18-22  minutes.
  • Once cook time is up, remove from heat. Stir in the parmesan cheese and cheddar cheese until it is evenly distributed throughout the rice.
  • Serve warm with an extra sprinkle of cheese or some finely chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
Calories: 269kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 587mg, Potassium: 138mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 574IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 151mg, Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information provided here is only an estimate shared for convenience and as a courtesy. Information will vary based on ingredients + brands used to create the recipe.