Fresh lettuce

How to select

Choose lettuce that is crisp with fresh-looking green leaves. Avoid heads of lettuce with withered or yellow/brown leaves. Avoid heads of lettuce with bitter-smelling stems or that appear overly large.

How to prepare

  • Peel away any outer leaves that appear withered or discolored. 
  • Pick the amount of leaves you wish to use from the head and rinse under running water. 
  • Keep leaves whole or chop into pieces.

How to store

  • Lettuce can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week. 
  • Store unwashed lettuce attached to the head in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. 
  • Lettuce can be stored in its original packaging, a paper towel, or a plastic bag.

Ways to use

  • Add some color and crunch to your favorite sandwich. 
  • Toss different types of lettuce in a salad for variety and color. 
  • Shred lettuce for tacos or to top off other Mexican dishes.

Fun facts

  • If lettuce is stored near fruits like apples and bananas, it will ripen more quickly due to presence of ethylene. 
  • Lettuce is second only to the potato as the most popular vegetable in the U.S. 
  • On average, Americans eat about 30 pounds of lettuce per year. 
  • Lettuce is about 95% water.

Nutrition info and facts

Lettuce is a good source of vitamin A, is low in calories & sodium, and contains no carbohydrates.

1 cup shredded lettuce = 5 calories, 1 g carbs, 13 mg calcium, 5 mg magnesium, 10 mg phosphorus, 70 mg potassium, 3 mg vitamin C, 5 mg choline

Learn more

Growing lettuce, endive and radicchio in home gardens (UMN Extension)

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FoodData Central. Lettuce, green leaf, raw. April 2018.

Mavis Butterfield: One Hundred Dollars a Month. 10 Fun Facts about Lettuce. January 11, 2019.

The Produce Moms. Iceberg lettuce.