Best Lettuce Substitutes 12 Ideas To Try Next

Salads are a healthy part of a balanced diet. They are also a popular choice at restaurants and cafes. However, sometimes ordering salad can be tricky and without lettuce, salads can be incomplete. This is why it’s important to know what other types of vegetables you can use in place of lettuce.

There are lots of different types of lettuce out there. Some are better suited to certain dishes while others are less suitable. In times of need, you can call on the Lactuca sativa’s many faces and siblings. There are plenty of choices to make. You can choose which lettuce substitute you like the best.

Best lettuce substitutes

The best lettuce alternatives are endives, arugula, iceberg lettuce, romaine, bok choy, Chinese lettuce, escarole, radicchio, Boston lettuce, kale, spinach, and cabbage.

That may look like a long list. Finding a substitute for lettuce will never be a problem because its role is easy to fill with similar greens. These all have their own unique flavors that complement each dish perfectly.

A bit of crunch, color, and vitamins are what lettuce is meant to provide. It can easily be replaced with another green if it has no real taste. Let’s look at the replacements you can use for lettuce.

All of these will do, whether you need them for a salad, soup, or just as aGarnish. You can use several of them at once. This way you’ll get a dish that is colorful and textured.

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They’re a little bitter and part of the chicory family. The outer leaves can be too bitter and tough to use, so we recommend using the innermost leaves.

Endives are good as appetizer plates and can be chopped into thin strips and added to soups or salads.

Escarole or frisee

Frisee is close to endives and has been in the greens section before. There are thin and spiky looking leaves that look like a cross between arugula and lettuce.

The curly leaf version is similar to endives and can be found here. Since the leaves are too thin and long to be used as an adornment in a salad or soup, these are better.


Similar to endives, radicchio is extremely delicious. It has more bitterness than other types, but if you don’t use a lot of the lower stem you should be fine.

Boston lettuce

Boston lettuce is a large head of greens. It goes with pretty much anything. It’s a great all-round player because of the big wide leaves. Boston lettuce will work well with soups, salads, and plated food.


The other lettuce substitute is easier to eat than the one with kale. You can still use it as a substitute, since it will give you plenty of vitamins and minerals. It would work really well in a soup or platter dressing.

Arugula or rocket

We recommend you use arugula along with other alternatives, because it adds a very flavorful punch to any salad. It works better when it isn’t warm, and may remind you of the aged flavor in prosciutto.

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Iceberg lettuce

Even though it’s mostly water, it’s hard to resist the satisfying crunch and easy availability of iceberg lettuce. It’s best to use it in salads or as a garnish since it will go wild immediately.


One of the most popular lettuce types, romaine is easy to find and works just as well as Boston. A good all-rounder again.

Bok choy

A cross between a cabbage and a lettuce, bok choy is easy to find and pronounce. It’s similar to romaine lettuce and is also known as Chinese cabbage. Being a form of cabbage, be sure to tenderize it with a rub of salt and vinegar.

Chinese lettuce

You might confuse this one with bok choy, because it is Chinese lettuce. Chinese lettuce is almost identical to romaine lettuce, except it’s a lighter shade of green and has a crisp taste.

On the other hand bok choy has a white stem and dark green leaves that are similar to romaine. The vegetables are very striking.

Spinach leaves

If you like, you could also use the leaves of spinach. If you want to use them along with another substitute, be aware that they will quickly oxidize if you add either salt or vinegar.

Plain ol’ cabbage

It’s cabbage, yes. It’s much harder than lettuce, but it’s equally delicious. If you want it to be very tender, rub the cabbage with salt and a bit of vinegar. You will end up with a red, itchy hand if you don’t use a glove.

More of a knead is what we mean by salt and vinegar rub. Just like kneading regular dough, yes. Take a few chopped cabbage, fold it in on itself and press it into the rest. You can take another handful and do the same thing.

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We’re trying to break down the tough cell wall, and we need elbow grease.

What lettuce is not bitter ?

There are a number of options if you want a lettuce that isn’t bitter.

If you want a specific type of lettuce like romaine or iceberg, you have to get it first. These aren’t really bitter and are very tender.

It is possible to only use the top half of the leaves. The stalks/ribs go up the middle of the leaves. You have removed most of the bitterness by cutting out those parts.

Unless you are dealing with radicchio, endives, or escarole. It might be best to avoid them in this case because of their bitter nature.


Lettuces are an important part of our diet. They provide us with fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants. We should always try to include some kind of leafy greens in our diets. However, there are many different kinds available. Some people prefer to stick to certain varieties while others enjoy experimenting with new ones. There are so many ways to make your own salad dressings, too!

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