Braised Leeks and Carrots

Braised Leeks and carrots with pumpernickel breadcrumbs.

The only requirement of this simple side dish are really fresh baby carrots and leeks, preferably from your local farmer’s market. Braised leeks and carrots are tender, light and unadulterated. The toasted pumpernickel breadcrumbs add depth and texture.

carrots with stems

You never know what you’re going to find at the farmers market from one week to the next.  In an organic food stall, we came across these beautiful little carrots with their bright green tops that were so fresh they hadn’t quite realized that they’d been plucked from the earth.  When you find vibrant veg, it’s a shame to bring it home only to shuffle it to the depths of your crisper drawer.


So I made a point to use them immediately.  I didn’t want to do anything to mask their flavor, only to enhance it.  I felt the same for these gorgeous spring green leeks – augment their natural essence not bury it in some other dish.

carrots and leeks in a casserole dish.

In fact, they were so pretty, I didn’t want to do much more than rinse away the grit and trim them.  To me, the best way to cook tender, fresh veg like this is an easy braise.  A little vegetable broth, fresh herbs and a toasty oven-sauna  transforms the raw vegetables into fork-tender succulence.  I love that.

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pumpernickel bread crumbs
braised leeks and carrots

To give it a little more texture and crunch I sprinkled them with toasted pumpernickel breadcrumbs, though any kind of fresh toasted breadcrumbs would work.

Braised Leeks and Carrots with Toasted Crumb on a napkin with spoon

This simple side dish comes together quickly and goes with any protein.  We served ours with a roast chicken.   Sublime.   If you live in Florida – get yourself to a farmer’s market.  If you’re from anywhere else, a Whole Foods should have new baby carrots and leeks in stock.

More carrot side dishes:

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Braised Leeks and Carrots with Toasted Crumb
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4 from 7 votes

Braised Leeks and Carrots with Toasted Crumb

This simple dish takes full advantage of spring.  Fresh from the garden leeks and carrots are braised until tender and finished with a crispy crumb.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword carrots, leeks
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4


  • 3 leeks pale green and white parts
  • 6 small – medium carrots organic preferably
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • ½ teaspoon rosemary chopped fresh
  • ½ teaspoon thyme chopped fresh
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons homemade vegetable broth more if needed
  • 1 slice pumpernickel or other – sourdough, rye, wheat


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Slice leeks in half lengthwise and rinse any grit or sand out of them. Place the leeks and carrots in a casserole dish. Drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil over the vegetables and lightly toss to coat. Sprinkle with rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Add two tablespoons vegetable broth and cover with lid or tight fitting aluminum foil.
  • Braise for 40-45 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
  • Meanwhile, place the bread in a mini prep food processor and pulse until you have fine breadcrumbs. Transfer breadcrumbs to a small bowl and add remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Toss to coat. Arrange breadcrumbs in a single layer and bake for 5-8 minutes until crisp. Set aside.
  • Transfer the vegetables to a serving platter and spoon any braising liquid over them. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and serve.


Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 374mg | Potassium: 133mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1380IU | Vitamin C: 8.4mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1.7mg

Don’t Forget To “Pin It” For Later!

Need a healthy vegetarian side dish recipe? Braised Leeks and Carrots with Toasted Crumb is a simple way to amplify the vegetable's natural flavors.

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  1. Karen Detwiler says:

    5 stars
    I thought this was excellent. I sprinkled with Panko crumbs rather than bread crumbs, but I don’t think it’s necessary to use either. The fresh rosemary gives a nice flavor and I plan to make this again.

  2. I would love to try these out.I have not tried leeks out yet. Looks delicious!

    1. Leeks are like a milder (and much larger) version of green onion – we love them.

  3. Mark, CompassandFork says:

    Couldn’t agree more with you about farmer’s markets. It is my favorite weekly activity. The food is fresher, better and the farmer receives fair compensation. Your recipe looks good. Love the idea of the breadcrumbs.

    1. We go to our farmer’s market every Saturday morning — my favorite time of the week!

  4. AiPing | Curious Nut says:

    Fresh produce from the farmer’s market is the best. Those carrots look amazing. I too try not to peel too much of the skin of organic produce like ginger roots, carrots and potatoes. Apparently, the nutrients are mostly under the skin. 🙂

    1. I didn’t know that about the nutrients being under the skin. Glad I didn’t peel them — I can feel my eyesight getting better already!

  5. Everyday Sarah Jane says:

    These look amazing. I live for vegetables, just love them! Especially carrots! This recipe is perfect and I can’t wait to try!!

  6. Linda Roisum says:

    I agree that when you find something so fresh at the Farmer’s Market, you should prepare it right away.

    It looks really yummy and oh so healthy.

    1. Hi Linda, This is farmer’s market season in South Florida and the stalls are full of gorgeous vegetables. At the market in West Palm Beach, they even serve mimosas! Fun!

  7. Natasha @ Salt and Lavender says:

    Yum!! This looks fantastic. I just love leeks.. and toasted crumbs. Oh and carrots too. Pinning!

  8. Betty Burdick says:

    5 stars
    Just give me a big plate of these – forget the meat! I think I may have to stop at the market on my way home from a day of substituting……in search of the perfect carrots and leeks! So simple, looks delish!

    1. Thank you Betty — I’m so glad you like it. You’ll need something tasty after a day of substitute teaching! Good luck!