Leftover Lettuce: What To Do When You Have Too Much.

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Articles, Nutrition

There often comes a time when we find our refrigerator full of those leftover bags or boxes of lettuce, or, if you're lucky, perhaps even your own personal garden that is overflowing with lettuce. This is often a case in the summer, with the advent of large amounts of produce, farmer's markets, and an abundance of fresh vegetables.

The problem is that you've already had a lettuce salad earlier in the day. Perhaps you just don't feel like another lettuce salad. Or perhaps you're just tired of lettuce salads. Or it could be that you're just curious about what you can do with leftover lettuce when you have too much.

You hate to waste food, and you don't want your lettuce to go bad, turn that brown, nasty color and smell up your fridge, before you're forced to throw it out…

Below, you will find five different recipes which I've harvested (no pun intended) from the internet, tweaked just a bit with nutritionist superpowers, and provided to you so that you finally have a  use for all that extra lettuce. In no particular order, here they are:

Lettuce Superfood Smoothie:

1 Cup Strawberries
2 Bananas
1/2 bunch romaine
Water & ice to desired texture

Simply throw all ingredients into a blender, blend well and serve! Ratio is 60% ripe organic fruit, mixed with about 40% organic green vegetables.


large lettuce smoothie

Lettuce Superfood Smoothie #2 (higher calorie/nutrients):
Handful Strawberries –  anti-oxidant packed superfood
Handful Blueberries – also a superfood
1/2 cup Yogurt – lovingly homemade by my husband – full of calcium and active cultures
Tablespoon ground flax seed – for omega 3 fatty acids
Handful of lettuce – for fiber and vitamins A, C, and K
1/2 cup Passion fruit juice or orange juice

Ice and blend to desired texture.


grilled lettuceGrilled Lettuce Salad

1 head of romaine, red, green, butter, radicchio, endive or Bibb lettuce
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper

Lightly add a few drops or better yet, a spray, of extra virgin olive oil to each “piece” of lettuce. Sprinkle each side lightly with salt and pepper before placing them on a hot grill. Turn approximately every minute until there are small black spots on each side (which should take 5 to 6 minutes). Place into a bowl and sprinkle liberally with balsamic vinegar and a little more olive oil and serve. If you want to add another touch, sprinkle some Parmesan, feta or goat cheese shavings over the lettuce. Serve hot.



Lettuce Soup

Use whichever herbs you like, and about the amount of one head of lettuce. You could serve this with a crostini, and a dollop of yogurt, cottage cheese, or sour cream.

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced a minute or two
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 head of lettuce, washed and cut into thin slices or several handfuls green lettuce
5 cups of water (0r broth)
1/4 cup of coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/2 to 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat until hot. Add onions and sprinkle with a little salt, reduce heat to medium and saute until onions become translucent. Then add the garlic cloves and saute for a minute or two.

Add the water and potatoes and some salt and pepper. . If you have thick, tougher lettuce leafs add now as well. If you have thinner, tender lettuce, simmer for ten minutes, then add. At this point, simmer for about another 7 minutes, then add fresh basil. Simmer until everything is soft and add vinegar or lemon juice. Then blend in a blender! Salt and pepper to taste and serve.


lettuce4Stomach Soothing Broth
Sicilians say this is how families treated stomach ailments.

Boil 2 heads of romaine lettuce or several large handfuls of green lettuce with 1 teaspoon of salt for 3-4 minutes, drain and reserve 1/4 cup water and mix with 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Put liquid mixture on top of Cooked romaine.


So there really is a way to use your leftover lettuce without eating a salad. Print this, or use our special “Tell A Friend” button below, and just e-mail it to a friend or bookmark it. Enjoy your healthy meals.

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5 thoughts on “Leftover Lettuce: What To Do When You Have Too Much.

  1. Smoq BBQ says:

    Taught my g-daughter this recipe to teach her how to read a recipe and cook it. Came out delicious.

  2. Melanie says:

    Would not have thought to put lettuce in my smoothies, but what a great way to use it up!

  3. Melanie says:

    The soup is surprisingly good! Thanks for sharing these recipes.

  4. CC Beroza says:

    A local Italian restaurant is famous for its “greens and beans.” I learned that they add leftover lettuce to the standard greens (typically escarole) in making this delicious dish.

  5. ChefGreer says:

    Interesting and vibrant ideas! I really like the color you've obtained in all of your dishes. TIL about cooked lettuce soup for stomach ailments! thank you!

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