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This side dish casserole is loaded with creamy mashed potatoes and savory leeks. Make extra for the leftovers!
Leeks Are For More Than Soup
I bet the first thing anyone thinks about when this vegetable is mentioned is soup. In fact, several years ago, I made a very tasty cream soup when I bought a couple of leeks on impulse. That entry is from the early days of my site, so the photos are pretty awful, however, the soup is delicious.
Other than roasting them on the grill, I couldn’t think of what else I could do with them. You guessed it, I bought some more on impulse because I just love the way they look!
The idea for this casserole side dish comes from what British people do with leftover potatoes and cabbage. They make a dish called “Bubble & Squeak” with those ingredients. It’s very tasty too. I don’t really know the origin of the name, but I imagine it’s based on old Cockney rhyming slang. I never thought to ask my mother, who grew up in the UK exactly what it meant.
Anyway, I substituted the cabbage with sauteed leeks and the taste was just unbelievable. I kept stealing spoonfuls of the sauteed leeks because they tasted so wonderful. That’s the flavor base in this, but they are so awfully good, they’d make a side dish just by themselves.
Leeks are sandy and require thorough cleaning before you use them. It’s not complicated and rather than put it into words, here’s a link to a great video:
Potato & Leek Casserole Makes Great Leftovers
Any time my mom had leftover plain mashed potatoes, what she’d do was add some onion, make patties and fry them. They were delicious!
Well, you can do that with these too! The “onions” are already in it so all you have to do is just make the patties. They are great for snacks or even a light meatless meal if you have enough leftovers.
Potato & Leeks Casserole
- 2 lbs russet potatoes
- 3/4 cups warm milk
- 2 tbs Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbs butter
- 2 leeks
- 3 slices crisp-cooked bacon diced
- 2 tbs olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- Crunchy topping:
- 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 tbs melted butter
- Prepare leeks by slicing and cleaning them, as per link in the post. Lightly spray a 1.5-2 quart baking dish. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Heat the olive oil and add the leeks. Cook until leeks are translucent, about 5 minutes; set aside.
- Cook potatoes until tender; drain.
- Add the 1 tbs butter and mash until smooth. Add the milk in small amounts until potatoes are creamy, yet hold their body. You may not use all the milk.
- Mix the Panko crumbs with the melted butter.
- Fold the cooked leeks Parmesan cheese and bacon into the potatoes. Turn into prepared pan and top with the buttered Panko crumbs.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until heated through and crumbs are golden brown.