Easy and creamy instant pot cheesy leeks. One of the easiest cheesy side dishes to cook in the instant pot pressure cooker, this will become your new favourite way to serve leeks.
Also known as leeks in cheese sauce, leeks in white sauce or leeks au gratin, it is a fantastic way to use up those leeks in your pantry that you forgot about.
These instant pot cheesy leeks were originally shared in 2018, and today we have made them even better for you.
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Have you ever had cheesy leeks before?
I always had leeks as part of my homemade veggie bake, but I never gave them the love they deserved in their own right, and they never became the hero of the dinner table.
They would be in the veggie bake with cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, carrots and sometimes swede.
Then I got a job as a waitress in a café by the seafront. I was 18 and it was an awful place and the food really didn’t look very good.
I was kind of embarrassed when a customer came in and had to eat the food.
They had a small carvery and instead of cheesy leeks or a cauliflower cheese, they served leeks in white sauce.
Yeah, you guessed leeks in a heavy white sauce and zero cheese.
I saw them making it in bulk and it really didn’t look very good.
But it gave me an idea….and that was to try cheesy leeks instead of just a veggie bake and I fell in love with leeks cooked in a creamy sauce with plenty of cheese.
Today is all about sharing the faster, easier version, using the leftover veggie stock from steamed leeks, and making something that is ideal for those tired weeknights when you want to get veggies on the dinner table.
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What Are Cheesy Leeks?
If you have not heard of cheesy leeks, then note they are just how they sound, leeks with cheese.
Or more specifically leeks in a cheese sauce.
You might know them as leeks au gratin, leeks in cheese sauce, cheese leeks or even cheesy leeks.
Whatever name you would give to them, note that you can make your leeks more interesting with this cheesy leeks recipe and it will become a favourite instant pot hack once you make it once!
Traditional Leeks In Cheese Sauce
I was taught to make a cheese sauce at a young age, and it was one of the first things that I mastered in the kitchen. I always joke that when I did home economics at school at age 12, the two things I could always cook was a cheese sauce and a quiche.
What you did is you melted the butter in a pan, added flour, this created a roux and then you gradually added the milk and then you had a white sauce. Cheese was then added to the white sauce and then you had a cheese sauce you could use for everything.
Fast forward to at about 20 years old and the hubby got a job in a meat factory and we had beautiful steaks for a fraction of the usual cost. I became obsessed with making sauces to go with the steak and that’s when my love for making a cheese sauce a different way happened.
I realised that Philadelphia was your best friend and how Philadelphia mixed with either stock or milk and then grated cheese, made the best cheese sauce ever and have not made a roux for about 15 years.
You could call this recipe cheesy leeks with Philadelphia because it follows the exact concept. We are following on from yesterday’s updated recipe for instant pot steamed leeks and showing you how to make the fastest cheese sauce ever.
And don’t think just because it’s the Philadelphia sauce doesn’t mean its not the best.
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Cheesy Leeks Recipe Ingredients
Leeks – Leeks in cheese sauce start with a couple of leeks. I find for an impressive side dish that 1 leek per person that you are feeding is the best quantity. So, for 2 people two large leeks is perfect.
Stock – For the perfect flavour to your steamed leeks, and to make the creamy sauce I recommend some instant pot vegetable stock. What I do is make it ahead of time and then freeze it and then I can get a small portion out at a time when I need it.
Cheese – I love cheesy leeks with Philadelphia rather than making a classic cheese sauce. You mix vegetable stock from cooking your leeks with Philadelphia, then add in your favourite grated cheese and you have simple cheesy leeks. Though you can use Philadelphia light and you can swap the grated cheese for any cheese that melts well.
Extras – I love salt, pepper, and parsley for seasoning and then to add some cherry tomatoes on top before serving.
Then for the kitchen gadgets that we have used in this instant pot cheesy leeks recipe it has just been our Instant Pot. We have this one and its my favourite and great for a quick veggie loaded side dishes.
As well as this, we recommend a good steamer basket that fits into your instant pot (we have this one) and then it expands, and you can use it for any pressure cooker steaming recipes.
Plus, we recommend you head over to our instant pot recipes category as we have many electric pressure cooker recipes and have been using instant pots for 5 years.
How To Cook Leeks In Cheese Sauce?
- Steam. Dice your leeks, wash them and load into the steamer basket. Add your stock to the instant pot, place the steamer basket over and then pressure cook for 0 minutes.
- Sauce. Next remove the steamer with the leeks and then place the Philadelphia into the veggie stock, stirring it a little at a time until you have a creamy sauce. Then add in grated cheese and stir until the cheese is fully melted.
- Serve. Load leeks into a serving dish and then pour over creamy sauce and then sprinkle with extra salt, pepper, and parsley. Then add sliced cherry tomatoes before serving.
And I am sure you can see now how easy it is to pressure cook creamy cheesy leeks and why it has become one of my favourite simple veggie dishes.
Beyond Leeks In Cheese Sauce
Once you master the concept of our leeks in cheese sauce recipe, there are so many different variations that you can make.
Or best of all, go with a veggie medley and make our veggie bake.
Can You Freeze Leeks In Cheese Sauce?
Yes, you can freeze leeks in cheese sauce and if you are a follower of our weekly newsletter, you will have read about how often I am freezing veggies in cheese sauces and then reheating them for a quick dinner.
At Christmas I will always buy veggies in bulk and make a lot of veggie bakes (always with leeks included) and then I will freeze them in Pyrex glass containers and then reheat them as I want them.
Simply allow your leeks in cheese sauce to cool before placing the lid on and freezing.
What To Serve With Cheesy Leeks?
I sometimes like to just have leeks in cheese sauce on its own. But if you are looking for ideas to serve with cheesy leeks, I recommend you think of it as the side dish and then plan a main to go with it.
Chicken and leeks go together perfectly. Serve your cheesy leeks with air fryer frozen chicken breast, slow cooker whole chicken with potatoes, or even with our air fryer whole chicken. Or another idea, is to make one of our Derby Cobb Salad and then the cheesy leeks give a sauce to the salad.
Or serve it with our air fryer pull apart bread and dunk the bread into the cheese sauce.
Leeks In Cheese Sauce Tips & Tricks
- No need to turn the instant pot on to cook your cheese sauce. The heat from pressure cooking is enough to make your sauce.
- Don’t skip the step of washing the leeks. There is nothing worse than gritty leeks at the dinner table.
- You can use any Philadelphia flavour. I love to use the garlic and herbs version for extra flavour. You can also keep the calories down by using lightest Philadelphia.
Interesting Instant Pot Trick – Make our instant pot veggie stock and freeze it into cubes. You can then add these frozen cubes to the instant pot. As the instant pot goes to pressure, it will defrost them for you, giving you a fantastic flavoursome recipe.
More Easy Instant Pot Veggies
- Instant Pot Frozen Broccoli
- Instant Pot Butternut Squash
- Instant Pot Cauliflower
- Instant Pot Beets
- Instant Pot Asparagus
Your instant pot leeks in cheese sauce recipe is below, note you can print it out with or without photos, adjust servings, or click between metric and imperial depending on where you are in the world.
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Instant Pot Cheesy Leeks
- Slice your leeks into medium slices and then wash your leeks. Add 240ml of vegetable stock and load steamer basket into your instant pot inner pot. Add the leeks to the steamer basket and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parsley.
- Place the lid on your instant pot pressure cooker, set the valve to sealing and cook for 0 minutes with a quick pressure release. After releasing pressure, remove the steamer basket with your just cooked leeks.
- Add the Philadelphia to the veggie stock and stir with a wooden spoon until it thickens into a white creamy sauce.
- Add the grated cheese and it will melt as you stir.
- Then transfer the leeks to a serving dish, add the cheese sauce over and then sprinkle with extra salt, pepper, and parsley before adding the sliced cherry tomatoes.