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What Is The Difference Between Leeks and Green Onions

Leeks and green onions are both vegetables that belong to the onion family.

These two vegetables are very common and they are used to prepare several culinary delights.

Except for the strikingly huge difference in size between leeks and green onion, they resemble each other in appearance and share several other similar characteristics. One might even assume that the green onions are just a smaller type of leek. However, they are two entire different vegetables with so many differing features.

In this post, we are going to highlight a couple of the significant differences between leeks and green onions.


Leeks are vegetables grown for their narrow bulb and leafy sections. They belong to the Allium family which consists of other bulbous members like onions. But in contrast to onions leeks lacks a bulbous portion.

In leeks, the lower portion happens to be cylindrical in shape and made of leaf sheaths that have been bundled. This narrow bundle of leaf sheaths is also produced by a process known as trenching which also causes it to blanch.

Trenching involves pushing soil around the base of the base of the plant in order to blanch the sheaths.

Leeks have a mild onion taste that also has a somewhat sweet flavour to it. They can be used in several different ways to prepare so many dishes; leeks can also be eaten raw, boiled, roasted, or sautéed.

The mostly used parts in the leeks are the blanched cylindrical bases and the light green parts due to their soft texture. While the leafy green tops are less used due to their fibrous texture.

They are biennial, some varieties of leeks are hardy and can even withstand cold temperature.

These vegetables are rich in fibres and vitamins.

Leeks are also low in calorie, fat, or cholesterol.


You may also know green onions as scallions.

These particular vegetables represent several varieties of onions which are harvested before they fully mature, therefore they also belong to the Allium family together with onions, leeks and even garlic.

Green onions have a white base, as well as dark and light green sections which are long leaves. The bulb of green onions is not fully mature and therefore small.

These vegetables have a milder taste compared to the mature onion can be cooked or eaten raw.

They are also low in calorie content but rich in vitamins.


1. SIZE.

When compared in size, the leek plants are 2 or more folds larger than green onions. A typical leek plant when fully mature could measure about 15 inches in height while a green onion stands about 7 inches. Size alone could be the most obvious  distinguishing feature between leeks and green onions when compared


leeks have a sweet taste and a very mild flavor compared to other onions and green onions. Because of its sweet flavor, it is used for salads. However, green onions have a sharper taste than leeks.


leeks are crunchy when raw, however are soft when cooked  green onions happen to be crispy


leeks are a biennial plant and are harvested from winter to spring. Green onions are harvested prior to the formation of a mature bulb and are in season around spring to summer


Unlike leeks, green onions have bulbs, although smaller that other onions which gives it that cylindrical appearance. In the place of bulbs, leeks are made up of of bundle of leaves with are tightly held together resembling a stalk these bundle of leaves are produced by a process known as trenching


Leeks are harvested fully mature while green onions are gotten from an onion plant  that has not been fully mature, as a result of this, the bulbs on green onions are not fully mature and are very small on the plant   


leeks are actually a cultivar of allium ampeloprasum grown specifically for their leaf sheaths which is harvested and used in different cuisine. While green onions are derived from several allium species including allium cepa which are harvested before they are fully mature.

SIZE2 to 3 times larger than green onionssmaller size
TASTESweet, mild onion tastesharper taste than leeks
TEXTURESoft when cooked Crispy texture
PEAK SEASONwinter and spring spring and summer
BULBSHas no bulbs Their bulbs are very small
HARVESTINGHarvested fully mature Harvested as onions not fully grown