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Love fresh lettuce, kale and other leafy greens, but they always go bad before you can use them up? Extend their life by using these simple tricks for how to wash lettuce and how to store it. Be sure to stick around because at the end of this post I’ve got some seriously delicious ways to get your salads in all year long!

Farmer's Market Chopped Salad

We have quite the affinity for salads. My kids love them, and have been known to my Farmer’s Market Salad with diced baked chicken breast for dinner over chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. I really love salads, and it makes me happy that they love them too. Salads are a great way to incorporate more vegetables and fiber into your diet, and they are a perfect meal for these hot summer days.

In the past year, I’ve been buying more and more produce at our local farmer’s market. I love to mix it up when it comes to lettuce, so I usually end up buying two or three different kinds. But even with us eating salads nearly every day, a lot of my lettuce was going bad because I hadn’t quite mastered storing it properly. I finally have a great method down and I’m going to share it with you today! Keep in mind that it’s important to do this within one day of bringing it home.

Two kinds of lettuce

How to wash lettuce

I highly recommend having a salad spinner on hand for this step, but you can manage without one (the process just takes quite a bit longer).

  1. Gently peel your lettuce leaves and place them in the colander of the salad spinner. If they’re really big, you can tear or cut the leaves to fit.
  2. Next fill the bowl about halfway with water and swish the leaves around in the water to rinse the dirt away. Lift up the colander and empty the dirty water.
  3. Repeat this step a couple of times until the water is clean. Now you can place the top on your salad spinner and dry it.
  4. This is a great way to get little ones to help in the kitchen – mine love to pump it up and down…and in the most unusual ways.
4 image collage depicting how to wash lettuce
Using a salad spinner

How to store lettuce

  1. Place a paper towel in the bottom of a sealable container or bag.
  2. Place dried lettuce leaves in the bag on top of the paper towel.
  3. Place a second paper towel on top.
  4. Seal completely and store in your produce drawer or near the middle of your fridge.

So that’s it! Now you know how to properly store your lettuce and other leafy greens to keep them fresh for as long as possible.

How to store lettuce to keep it fresh - lettuce in a bag with paper towels

But what if my lettuce is wilted? Can I revive it?

YES! If your lettuce has begun to wilt, revive it by giving it a little ice bath. Place the lettuce leave in a bowl filled with water and ice for about 10-20 minutes. Keep in mind this is for lettuce that is only partially wilted, so if the leaves have already started to turn brown or a slimy, no amount of soaking will fix it!

Be sure to try out these tips with these delicious salads and dressing recipes. The best part is they can be made all year long!

12 Salads to Make All Year Long

Farmer's Market Chopped Salad

This Farmer’s Market Salad with homemade Ranch Dressing takes advantage of whatever produce is in season.

a close up image of a taco salad

This Easy Taco Salad is always a hit – especially with hard to please kiddos!

A bowl of spinach with tomatoes and onions

Simple Spinach Salad – Super easy to make and with a homemade vinaigrette.

classic cobb salad with toppings lined up on top of lettuce

Classic Cobb Salad – Ever wondered exactly what is in your favorite classic salad? Now you know!

lettuce in a bowl with tomatoes and bacon and avocado and lemon vinaigrette

Bacon Avocado Chicken Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette – So many amazing flavors in this incredible and healthy chopped salad!

Overhead shot os lettuce, tomatoes, onions and olives in a bowl

Olive Garden Salad Copycat – Make your favorite restaurant salad at home!

A bowl of salad, with Chicken, bacon and tomatoes and avocado

Bacon Avocado Chicken Salad is a great lunch or dinner all year round. Chicken can be grilled on the stovetop or outdoor grill.

Chicken Fajita Salad in a white bowl

Enjoy the flavors of your favorite Mexican fajitas with the Chicken Fajita Salad.

Check out this yummy salad bowl recipe full of grilled chicken, cooked quinoa, kale, raspberries, sliced almonds, feta cheese, green beans and a homemade basil vinaigrette. Super healthy and absolutely delicious! #OrganicBound #Ad

This Chicken Quinoa & Kale Salad looks gorgeous, and by swapping the apples or cranberries for the raspberries can easily be enjoyed year round.

This simple chopped Crispy Thai Cashew Chicken Salad has robust flavors of soy, honey, peanut butter, ginger and red pepper flakes. Then tossed with chicken and fresh vegetables, topped with cilantro, green onions and crunch cashews!

I love a good Asian style salad, and this Crispy Thai Cashew Chicken Salad sounds so delicious.

Buffalo Chicken Salad Recipe

My second favorite salad is a buffalo style, like this Big Bad Buffalo Chicken Salad. Look at those crispy onion straws!!!

Teriyaki Chicken and Spinach Salad | A fresh Asian inspired salad with a delicious teriyaki dressing! | @reciperunner

Yummy oranges and cranberries with a sweet Teriyaki dressing? Yes please! I’ll be trying this Teriyaki Spinach Salad for sure!

Ultimate Taco Salad ~ an explosion of contrasting flavors and textures, from spicy taco meat and velvety black beans to acidic tomatoes and crisp fresh corn, all topped with crunchy tortilla chips and a creamy, cilantro-flecked Avocado Ranch Dressing! |

This gorgeous Taco Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing is almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

Also be sure to grab this handy printable for how to store all of your fresh produce! CLICK HERE to download.

How to Store Fresh Produce - Counter or Fridge

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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  1. Tracy says:

    Do you take the air out of the bags

    1. Kristin says:

      Some, but not all.

  2. Crystal says:

    Thanks for how to keep lettuce fresher longer. I get so frustrated when it starts wilting so fast. Great salad recipes!!

  3. Chrissa - Physical Kitchness says:

    I’m a leafy/salad OCD person. My grocery list always includes spinach, kale, romaine, chard, and butter lettuce (at minimum). I am usually pretty good at consuming it all but sometimes it’s a mad dash to eat before it goes bad. I have never stored in bags with a paper towel – now I will!

    I was scrolling through all these salad options saying, “ooo yes that one looks the best”, then scroll down further, “no, that one. That one looks the best”, and by the time I got to the fourth photo I gave up and just decided they all look the best! Can’t wait to try.