Chicken with Cheese, Leeks & Spinach

Monday 29 November 2021

Chicken with Cheese, Leeks & Spinach 

I do eat a lot of chicken it seems. More often than not it is on the menu.  That is probably for a variety of reasons!

One it is reasonably affordable, and two its a pretty versatile protein to prepare. It goes with just about anything and adapts to many flavors and cooking methods! 

I never run out of interesting and delicious ways to prepare this healthy source of protein!

Chicken with Cheese, Leeks & Spinach 
I especially love to use Chicken breasts.  With their mild flavor they provide a canvas upon which to layer many other textures and flavors.  

I love to play with them and come up with delicious ways of preparing them. This is one of my favorite things I have ever done with them.  

You end up being able to get in several of your five a day,  as well as some tender moist and flavor filled chicken.  The cheesy sauce and crispy topping is the icing on a very tasty cake!

Chicken with Cheesy Leeks and Spinach 

There is nothing much out of the ordinary here.  It might seem like a long list, but its a really simple list.

boneless, skinless chicken breasts (try to get them as evenly sized as possible)
baby spinach leaves
Leeks (you will only need the white and light green parts
butter (I use salted)
flour (all purpose, plain)
salt and pepper
dry mustard powder
milk (I use whole milk, but feel free to use semi-skimmed or 2%)
a good strong cheddar cheese
some stale bread

Chicken with Cheesy Leeks and Spinach 

Leeks are a hugely versatile and delicious vegetable that is pretty much available to us all year round these days. They can be somewhat gritty however and do require thorough cleaning to get rid of that grit.

Because leeks grow for the most part under ground, much like an onion, they often accumulate sand and sediment in their layers. Some people can find it very troublesome to remove this, but if you follow my instructions that won't be a problem.

Chicken with Cheesy Leeks and Spinach 

First you will need to cut off the root end and the tougher dark green tops. You can easily do this  using a sharp chef’s knife. You’ll have the light green and  white stalk left. 

Slice this lengthwise down the middle to form two long, skinny halves. This will expose all the layers in the middle of the leek.

Soak the stalks in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes or so, then rinse under cold running water in the sink. The long soak allows the water to penetrate the leek’s many layers, clearing out all the bits of debris.

You are now ready to go!  Simply slice or dice, etc. as per the recipe requirement. In this case you will be slicing them into half moons.

Chicken with Cheese, Leeks & Spinach


It might seem complicated, but really if you break it down into parts you will find that this is really a simple dish that goes together very quickly.

One of the components of this dish is a lush cheese béchamel sauce.  This is very similar to make as you would a sauce for macaroni and cheese.

Melt the butter, whisk in the flour and dry mustard powder.  Cook for a minute or so to cook out any flour taste and then slowly whisk in the milk, whisking constantly until the mixture bubbles and thickens. You can taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Chicken with Cheese, Leeks & Spinach 

You could always sauté the leeks in some butter to soften them, but I like to soften them in the microwave, which saves on fat and calories.

Just pop them into a glass measure/dish and add a bit of water. Cover with plastic cling film and microwave on high for about a minute, then set aside to cool.

You can melt the butter in the microwave as well, which will be mixed with bread crumbs for the crispy topping. I usually make my own bread crumbs by whirring some stale bread in a food processor, but you can use any bread crumb you like. Panko gives a nice crispy finish.

Chicken with Cheese, Leeks & Spinach 
You can lightly pound your chicken pieces between some cling film to even them out so that they are all one thickness. Once you have done that it is simply a matter of layering things in a baking dish.

The uncooked baby spinach goes on the bottom of the baking dish.  Don't worry, it will cook in the heat of the oven to perfection. You place the chicken on top of the spinach.

Spoon the leeks over the chicken and the top with the cheese sauce and buttered crumbs. That's it. Your dish is now ready to bake to perfection!

Chicken with Cheese, Leeks & Spinach 

Half an hour later you are rewarded with some tender and juicy pieces of chicken, bathed in those lovely leeks and that rich cheese sauce, all bubbly and scrumptious, with a crispy, buttery, crumb topping.

What's not to love about that!!  This is quite simply delicious!

Chicken with Cheese, Leeks & Spinach

I served it with some steamed baby potatoes and a mix of frozen grilled Mediterranean style vegetables. They were very easy to warm  up in the microwave.  You can dress them with a bit of balsamic if you want.

This was one very delicious Mid-week supper!


Chicken with Cheese, Leeks & Spinach

Chicken with Cheese, Leeks & Spinach

Yield: 4
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 30 MinTotal time: 45 Min
This makes for a delicious supper, midweek. All you need on the side is some rice or potato and a vegetable, or salad. Simple and hassle-free, my kind of cooking. Use good quality chicken breasts for this.


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 2 leeks, washed and thinly sliced (White and light green parts only)
  • a small bag of baby spinach leaves, washed and dried and de-stemmed (about 4 handfuls)
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 2 TBS flour
  • 1/2 tsp dried mustard powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups (300ml) whole milk
  • 1 generous cup (125g) grated strong cheddar cheese
To top:
  • 2 sliced of stale bread made into crumbs
  • 1 TBS melted butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 400*F/200*C/ gas mark 6. Butter a shallow baking dish large enough to hold the chicken in one layer. Set aside.
  2. Make the cheese sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and mustard powder. Cook for a minute, whisking constantly, then slowly whisk in the milk.
  3. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cheese to melt. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  4. Put the leeks into a large bowl with 1 TBS of water. Cover with plastic cling film. Microwave on high for 1 minute until well wilted. Set aside to cool.
  5. Melt the butter and toss with the bread crumbs. Set aside.
  6. Place the spinach into the baking dish in a single layer. Lay the chicken breasts on top of the spinach.
  7. Divide the wilted leeks equally between the chicken breasts, laying them on top of the chicken. Pour the cheese sauce evenly over all. Top with the buttered crumbs.
  8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. The juices should run clear. Delicious!
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  1. This dish is fabulous! I have made it at home for our supper many times, and my family really likes it. It is one of my favorites. I even made this recipe for my dad's birthday party for about 40 people. I repeated the recipe multiple times to fit into a large chafing dish and baked it. It was one of three meats served at the party. It was a huge hit and there was nothing left of it at the end! Whenever I have leeks, this is one of my go to recipes. Thanks for a great recipe that is fairly simple yet elegant.

    1. I am so pleased that you and your family enjoy this recipe Cynthia! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your comment and experience with this recipe for others to read. It is so very much appreciated! Thank YOU! xo


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