Lettuce Recipes for the Backyard Vegetable Gardener

Most of our favorite lettuce recipes make a wide variety of salads. However, lettuce leaves can also be used to make wraps or cups that can be stuffed with lots of savory foods. It's hard to beat a cool, crisp, refreshing salad made with lettuce you harvested only minutes earlier. Before we share some of our favorite lettuce recipes, here is some nutrient information...

Growing Head of Lettuce

One large iceberg lettuce leaf contains:

  • 2 calories
  • 1 mg Sodium
  • 3 mg Calcium
  • 21 mg Potassium
  • 4 mcg Vitamin K

Here are some of our favorite lettuce recipes:

lettuce recipes

Candied Pecan and Gorgonzola Salad with Pears - this lettuce recipe makes a bright and refreshing salad, perfect for any occasion

1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup white sugar
3 cups looseleaf lettuce leaves, washed and dried
1 pear, peeled, seeded and cut into strips
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
2 tablespoons raspberry vinaigrette
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pinch ground black pepper

Put pecans and sugar in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves and coats the pecans. Pile the coated pecans onto a greased sheet of foil and spread them out to cool.

In a large salad bowl, place lettuce leaves, pear strips and Gorgonzola cheese. Toss together to combine and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine raspberry vinaigrette, white vinegar and olive oil. Whisk together until well combined. Pour over salad and toss gently. Add pecans and black pepper and toss again. Serve immediately.

lettuce icon

Wedge Salad with Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing - this lettuce recipe is popular at many steakhouses, unique because you need a knife to eat it

1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 large head iceberg lettuce
4 strips cooked bacon, crumbled

To a mixing bowl, add mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, salt, pepper and blue cheese. Mix well to combine. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Just before serving, cut lettuce into quarters and remove the core. Place each wedge on its own serving plate. Top with blue cheese dressing. Sprinkle bacon over the top and serve immediately.

lettuce icon

Spicy Ginger Chicken Lettuce Wraps - a fantastic lettuce recipe, the spicy chicken filling is offset by the cool lettuce cups, great as an appetizer or light meal

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon brown mustard
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 cups water chestnuts, diced
1 cup mushrooms, diced
1/2 yellow onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 head iceberg lettuce

In a large pan, heat oil over high heat. Add chicken breasts and cook about 8 minutes on each side, until chicken is cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.

While chicken is cooking, add brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ginger, pepper flakes and flour to a bowl. Whisk until all ingredients are well blended.

After chicken is cool, dice it into small pieces.

Return pan to the stove and heat sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add diced chicken, water chestnuts, mushrooms, onion and garlic to the pan and saute for 5 minutes. Pour sauce mixture over the chicken mixture in the pan and let come to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook about 3 minutes or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.

Rinse whole head of lettuce thoroughly. Carefully peel off leaves one at a time, trying to keep each leaf as large as possible.

To serve, spread lettuce leaves on a serving plate. Pile chicken mixture into a serving bowl. Let your guests spoon a little bit of the chicken mixture onto each lettuce leaf before eating.

***You can easily turn this recipe into a vegetarian dish by using tofu instead of chicken and preparing it the same way***

lettuce icon

Classic California Salad Bowl - this lettuce recipe makes a refreshing salad that features an avocado dressing and almonds

1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 large head Romaine lettuce
1/2 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 red onion, sliced
20 tortilla chips, crushed

To a food processor, add avocado, lemon juice, mayonnaise, sour cream, hot sauce, olive oil, garlic, salt and black pepper. Blend until smooth.

In a small pan, saute almonds over medium heat until lightly browned and aromatic. Remove from heat and set aside.

Rinse Romaine lettuce thoroughly and tear leaves into bite-sized pieces. Place lettuce into a large serving bowl along with cheese, tomatoes, red onion and tortilla chips. Top with avocado dressing and toss gently to combine. Sprinkle toasted almonds on top and serve immediately.

lettuce icon

Overnight Layered Salad - this lettuce recipe makes a delicious layered salad that is perfect for picnics or pot luck

8 cups Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 red onion, sliced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 (8 oz can) water chestnuts, drained and diced
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
2 large tomatoes, cut in half and thinly sliced
2 hard-boiled eggs, thinly sliced
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/4 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
6 strips cooked bacon, crumbled

Spread lettuce into the bottom of a large serving bowl. Add layer of red onion slices on top of lettuce, reserving a couple of slices of onion. Layer celery slices on top of onions. Sprinkle water chestnuts on top of celery. Top water chestnuts with peas, reserving a few peas. Arrange sliced tomatoes in a layer on top of peas, reserving a couple of slices of tomato. Layer eggs on top of tomatoes, reserving a couple of slices of egg.

In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Spread mayonnaise mixture over to the top of the eggs. Sprinkle sugar over the mayonnaise and top with an even layer of cheddar and Parmesan cheese. Cover salad and refrigerate overnight.

Just before serving, sprinkle the crumbled bacon over the top. Garnish with reserved onion slices, peas, tomato slices and egg slices. Serve immediately.

lettuce icon

Over-the-Top Chef Salad - this lettuce recipe features a chef salad loaded with everything but the kitchen sink!

4 cups looseleaf lettuce leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 hard-boiled egg, sliced
1 oz smoked turkey, diced
1 oz smoked ham, diced
1 oz pastrami, diced
2 tablespoons cheddar cheese, cubed
2 tablespoons Swiss cheese, cubed
2 tablespoons pepper jack cheese, cubed
1/4 of a bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
4 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 of a carrot, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 an avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
Salad dressing of your choice
1/4 cup croutons
2 tablespoons almonds, chopped
1 teaspoon sunflower seeds
3 cooked bacon slices, crumbled

Spread lettuce leaves on the bottom of a very large bowl. Arrange egg, turkey, ham, pastrami, cheeses, bell pepper, tomatoes, carrot, cucumber and avocado on top of the lettuce. Top with your favorite salad dressing and toss gently to combine. Add croutons, almonds, sunflower seeds and crumbled bacon and serve immediately.

We hope you've enjoyed some of our favorite lettuce recipes.

lettuce icon

Click here to move from our Lettuce Recipes page to our Growing Lettuce main page

Click here to return to our Home page