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Leek vs Green Onion [Taste & Profile Differences]

Leek vs Green Onion

Leeks are healthy, nutritious vegetables commonly used in garnishing, caramelizing, braising, and grilling.

Green onions are more often used in salads, garnishes, and stir-fries.

A Leek is the vegetable Allium ampeloprasum, coming from the genus Allium.

Green onions, also known as scallions, are also members of the same genus, together with garlic, chives, and onions.

Leeks look like large green onions but have a more subtle, delicate flavor.

Leeks belong to the family of onions with a light greenish middle and whitish base.

Leeks have a similar flavor as that of onion and are frequently used as a replacement for green onions.

In addition, it’s also used for sweetening the dish and in creamy soups.

Green onions, also known as scallions, are used for flavoring dishes and are sauteed with other veggies or in fresh salads.

Both vegetables are loaded with health benefits and are an excellent addition to any meal.

They help in weight management, improve gut health, and have properties that can help reduce the risk of cancer.

Comparison Leeks Green Onions
Appearance Leeks have dark green-colored leaves on the top, a light greenish middle, and a whitish base. Leeks are primarily available in the store as single stalks.


Green onions have a light greenish stem with a small onion-like bulb at the base. Green onions are smaller in size than leeks and are thus available in the market in bunches.


Species Leeks belong to the Allium ampeloprasum species. Green onions belong to the Allium cepa species.
Height Leeks generally grow up to a height of 2 to 3 feet. Green onions grow up to a height of 18 feet.
Taste Leeks come with a subtle flavor. Green onions come with a sharper taste in comparison to leeks.
Growing Conditions


Leeks require a low amount of sunlight and can be grown both outdoors and indoors. Green onions do well under direct rays of sunlight and are best to grow outdoors.
Method Of Consumption


The middle and base parts of leeks can be consumed easily by slicing off the leaves.


The entire vegetable can be consumed in the case of green onions. While the white part is edible as it imparts an onion flavor, the green portion is mainly utilized in garnishing.
Health Benefits


Leeks are loaded with Vitamin K and antioxidants and are thus beneficial in maintaining blood pressure.


Green onions are loaded with antioxidants and help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.


Can You Use Leeks Instead Of Green Onions?

Can You Use Leeks Instead Of Green Onions

Leeks and green onions are from the same Allium family and can taste reasonably similar.

While leeks have a milder, more subtle taste, green onions tend to have a more pungent and robust flavor.

Green onions are also known as scallions.

They look like smaller versions of leeks.

When substituting one for the other, it is essential to rebalance the amount used.

Leeks are milder than green onions, so if any recipe calls for green onions, you’ll have to use more leeks.

Leeks were an essential part of the ancient Greek and Roman diets.

Their flavor, far more delicate than the overpowering onion, was developed in the augmented soil along the banks of the River Nile.

This healthy, nutritious vegetable was enjoyed by everyone from the lower working class to the elite ruling class.

It was shown as a key element in the diet of the early pyramid builders.

They have been credited with many health benefits such as:

  1. They contain large amounts of minerals such as manganese, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
  2. They are a rich source of antioxidants that help fight free radicals and prevent oxidative stress.
  3. The kaempferol found in leeks helps fight inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease.
  4. Like most vegetables, they promote weight loss due to their high fiber content.
  5. Being rich in fiber, leeks promote a healthy digestive system by feeding the good gut bacteria in your colon.
  6. The sulfur compounds found in leeks and other alliums have been known to protect the brain from mental illness and age-related decline.

Do Leeks Taste Like Green Onions?

Leeks are sweeter, milder, and more delicate than green onions.

Green onions are more overpowering and, when eaten raw, tend to taste more like an onion.

In addition, how they are cooked decides the flavor of the leeks in the dish.

To eat leeks raw, cut them into thin, crescent shapes, and enjoy.

They taste herbal and grassy and generally like a mild onion.

However, when cooked, their taste and texture vary entirely from that of onion.

It has a buttery and creamy flavor with few similarities to the overpowering onion taste.

When roasted or braised, the leaves of leeks will taste crispier and almost melt down slowly in your mouth.

To enjoy the buttery flavor of this vegetable, you can use butter along with leek and braise them.

To enjoy the caramelized notes of leeks, you can combine them with fresh herbs and some salt.

The body of green onion has two visible parts; the greenish tops and the whitish bases.

Both these parts taste entirely different from the other.

While the whitish-colored bulbs have a sweet flavor resembling that of onions, the greenish-colored tops are soft and taste fresh and slightly spicy.

Leeks have a sweeter, less intense taste compared to green onions.

However, green onions have nothing on regular white or yellow onions!

Are Leeks A Superfood?

Are Leeks A Superfood

Leeks are a popular vegetable that has been used for thousands of years.

They are jam-packed with beneficial nutrients such as vitamins A, E, K, fiber, and antioxidants.

Widely regarded as a superfood, their incredible properties have been even known to reduce the risk of severe diseases.

A single cup of cooked leeks contains about 30% of the body’s daily Vitamin A and Vitamin K requirements.

In addition, it can satisfy the recommended daily requirement of manganese and folate.

Being loaded with nutritional benefits, leeks are one of the most beneficial vegetables and are frequently termed a “superfood.”

Name Amount
Calories 54
Carbohydrates 13 g
Fat 0 g
Protein 1 g
Sugar   4 g
Fiber 2 g
Manganese 0.481 mg
Potassium 180 mg
Magnesium 28 mg

Leeks have many sulfur compounds which help in strengthening the immune system, preventing and curing inflammation.

Sulfur has been known to slow the spread of cancerous cells and reduce the risk of cancers.

Inflammation is a frequent cause of heart disease and a compromised immune system.

Antioxidants are found in leeks such as a flavonoid called kaempferol.

Flavonoids are widely known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anti-cancer properties.

In addition, leeks are rich sources of prebiotics, the fermentable fiber that feeds the probiotics in your colon.

Probiotics are the trillions of gut bacteria responsible for maintaining optimal gut health and protecting the cells of your digestive system.

Fiber also encourages healthy bowel movements and provides the stool with bulk.

According to NIH, people consuming leeks daily have about 46% less risk of developing gastric cancer.

The high vitamin A content in leeks also helps maintain good vision and eye health, preventing common diseases such as night blindness, dry eyes, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Leeks are considered natural diuretics and can help reduce salt retention, water retention, and hypertension, preventing skin disorders such as cellulite.