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Spring Leek Cassoulet

Every spring when leeks become available at market, I buy a bunch and dream up new ways to incorporate them into weeknight meals like roast chicken, soups and stews, and a family favorite: this white bean cassoulet. Leeks have a unique mild, savory flavor that serves as a reminder that even though there’s still a chill in the air, spring is here, and warm, sunny days are on their way. This vegan take on the classic French dish is the perfect thing to serve on an early spring evening.

Note: Leeks grow underground, so be sure to follow the first step below to clean them before you begin cooking.

Bon appetit!

Spring Leek Cassoulet

Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6

Equipment

  • Large, heavy pot
  • Sheet pan
  • Casserole dish

Ingredients

  • 2 small leeks (about 3 cups), white and pale green parts only, sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 15-ounce cans of cannellini or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups water

For breadcrumbs:

  • cups gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free breadcrumbs (I use Ian's)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Clean the leeks: Place sliced leek rounds (white and light green parts only) into a large bowl, then fill bowl with cold water until leeks are covered. Allow to sit for at least 5 minutes so that the grit from the leeks falls to the bottom of the bowl. Remove leeks from bowl, place on top of a towel and pat dry. Discard water.
  • Place a large, heavy pot on the stove, turn heat to medium and drizzle in olive oil.
  • Add leeks, carrots, celery, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme and parsley, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes.
  • Add bay leaf, beans and water and bring to a boil.
  • Lower heat to a simmer, cover partially with a pot lid and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and water is mostly absorbed.
  • To make the breadcrumbs, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place the breadcrumbs on a sheet pan lined with foil or parchment paper, add olive oil, salt and pepper, then evenly distribute the breadcrumbs on the pan.
  • Place in oven and cook until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and fragrant, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool, then toss with chopped fresh parsley.
  • Remove bay leaf from bean mixture, and use a fork or potato masher to mash some of the beans.
  • You can leave the beans in their pot and move directly to the next step, or, like I did for this photo, spread the beans evenly in a casserole dish, then top with breadcrumbs.
  • Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the bean mixture and serve.
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Hey there, I'm Liz!

As a former food editor and everyday home cook, I’ve spent the past 15+ years testing, tasting and saving delicious, Octofree recipes for my family. It’s with lots of love that I share the best of the bunch with you, along with tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.

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Join Octofree to get a handy, printable chart of Octofree substitutions for common ingredients.