Do you know how to make lettuce last longer? See how it’s done in the quick video below, and then grab some of the best salad and lettuce cup recipes to make with your fresh and crunchy lettuce!
My kids love lettuce on their subs, sandwiches, and tacos, but I rarely bought it because I knew that after the first use, it would just sit there in my fridge, taking up valuable space, only to eventually get thrown out. I found it too inconvenient to wash a couple leaves every time I needed it, which added precious minutes to mealtime preparations. I didn’t like to buy bagged lettuce because it’s more expensive, spoils quickly, and I’m not a fan of the taste—it just never seemed fresh to me.
Being efficient in the kitchen is all about planning. If you can spend just a bit of time planning your week out in one day, life will suddenly become a lot less hectic in the morning, and even around dinner time, plus you’ll be able to store and use leftover food more efficiently! MOMables is here to help you and provide you with a weekly meal plan that gives you recipes, photos, tips, and even a shopping list! If you need a bit of help, join us here!
How to Keep Lettuce Fresh Longer
By spending about 10 minutes prepping one head of lettuce ahead of time, it can now be conveniently available to you when you need it. Just follow these simple steps to have fresh, clean lettuce ready for use in your fridge:
1. Remove all the lettuce leaves, and place them in a big bowl or salad spinner.
2. Pour 1 cup of vinegar in the bowl or spinner and fill the rest with water.
3. Gently mix the lettuce, water, and vinegar around and let it soak for a few minutes.
4. Drain the vinegar-water solution, and rinse the lettuce thoroughly in water.
5. Spin dry if using a salad spinner. If not, transfer the lettuce to a colander and shake off excess water.
6. Lay out and air dry the lettuce on a clean counter, dish towel, or paper towels until completely dry.
7. Place the lettuce in a gallon plastic zip-top bag along with a paper towel.
8. Squeeze all the air out of the bag and refrigerate.
I also like to take several dried lettuce leaves, chop or shred them, and store them in a smaller 1-quart plastic zip-top bag with half a sheet of paper towel for grab-and-go chopped or shredded lettuce. Perfect for tacos, salads, burritos, subs, and so much more! Want to try it? Let me show you how it’s done.
How to shred lettuce
1. Starting with a washed head of lettuce, place it onto the cutting board, and cut it into quarters.
2. Place one quarter, cut side down and slice in 1/4-inch thick increments.
3. Repeat with remaining quarters
No more waste. Fresh and crispy lettuce. Tastes great. READY-TO-EAT! Plus, it makes packing fresh school lunches on the MOMable’s school lunch plan that much easier!
A whole head of lettuce is much cheaper than the bagged type, and by preparing it ahead of time, it is just as convenient. It also makes fun taco salad nights that much easier, too! And speaking of salads…
Best Lettuce Salad Recipes
Now that you have all the fact to keep lettuce fresher, longer let’s put those greens to use with these epic salads! Each recipe is packed with protein, yummy toppings, and homemade dressings for a quick dinner or make ahead lunch option.
Bacon, lettuce, tomato, and a few tasty additions turn the classic combo into an epic lunch.
Salmon Nicoise Salad
An iconic dish of France tweaked into a hearty, refreshing meal with hard-boiled eggs, olives, tomatoes, and cooked salmon.
Asian Salad Lettuce Cups
This isn’t your “typical” salad. Instead, the lettuce is kept whole and turned into a “cup” to hold the tangy Asian Chicken Salad.
Buffalo Chicken Salad
Buffalo chicken, Blue cheese, avocado, and homemade Ranch dressing- it’s the ultimate low-carb meal prep!
Santa Fe Chicken Salad
Turn grilled chicken and last night’s taco leftovers into this southwest style salad for a protein-packed meal.
Classic Cobb Salad
Pack it for lunch or turn it into a salad bar for dinner.
How to Keep Salad Lettuce Fresh Until Lunch
No one wants to open their lunchbox to find a bunch of wilted greens. No bueno! Thankfully you can avoid this mishap with a few simple tips:
- Include an ice pack in the lunch bag to keep everything crisp and fresh.
- Don’t toss the dressing with the salad until just before eating. The acids in the dressing break down the lettuce, causing it to shrink and become soggy. I like using these sauce containers to pack in the lunch bag along with the salad.
- If you found this how-to and salad ideas helpful, you’ll love what we’re doing in our weekly family meal plans. We take the guesswork out of mealtime with real food recipes, a completed shopping list, and prep tips so parents can stay ahead of the game.
Get a better view at one of our plans here, and while you’re there, grab a free sample, you won’t be disappointed. And here’s that recipe for Asian Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups I was telling you about.
Fresh Lettuce Wraps with Asian Chicken Salad
This easy recipe will transform your favorite Asian Chicken salad into a healthy lunch. Check out these lettuce cups holding the most delicious healthy Asian salad.
- 2 cups leftover cooked chicken, chopped
- 10.5-ounce can No Sugar Added mandarin oranges,
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup purple cabbage, finely shredded or chopped
- 2 green onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large Bibb lettuce
SESAME GINGER DRESSING
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
- In a large bowl, combine cooked chicken, mandarin oranges, celery, carrots, cabbage, almonds, green onions, salt, and pepper. Add in 1/2 cup of dressing and toss to combine.
- To serve, place 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup chicken salad inside a few lettuce leaves. Fold in the sides, roll to eat.
- In a large bowl, combine dressing ingredients with a whisk. Transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate up to 1 week. Dressing recipe yields approximately 1 cup.
Refrigerate the dressing for up to 1 week.
- Serving Size: 1 lettuce cup
- Calories: 312
- Sugar: 7g
- Sodium: 1001.3mg
- Fat: 9.2g
- Saturated Fat: 1.2g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 40.7g
- Fiber: 2.2g
- Protein: 16.1g
- Cholesterol: 38.6mg