How to Chop Lettuce for Salad


A crisp summer salad complements a meal or makes a light meal on its own. The lettuce is often just one component of a successful salad. Other ingredients, including vegetables, meats, cheeses and fruits, add variety and interest to your salad choices. Properly prepared lettuce is chopped small enough to eat easily without cutting but large enough to hold dressing. Using a variety of lettuce types, including Romaine and Bibb lettuce, provides further color and flavor to the salad.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Colander
  • Salad spinner
  • Tear the outer leaves off the head of lettuce. These leaves are typically limp and don't have a desirable texture or flavor.

  • Thump the stem end of the head lettuce firmly on the counter two or three times. Thumping breaks the stem and core away from the leaves, easing leaf removal.

  • Grasp the stem and pull it out of the lettuce head. Cut through any leaves that remain attached to the core to ease removal.

  • Cut the stems off of the bottom of leaf lettuce varieties. Leaf lettuce does not contain a hard core, so only the small stems require trimming.

  • Place the lettuce leaves inside a colander. Rinse clean with cool running water. Shake the excess moisture from the leaves or use a salad spinner to dry them completely.

  • Tear or chop the leaves into bite-size pieces. 2-inch-square pieces work well for a standard tossed salad.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add your dressing immediately before serving or allow your guests to add their own dressing. Adding the dressing too early results in a soggy salad.
  • Use a plastic or ceramic knife if you must cut lettuce. Metal knives cause the cut edges of the lettuce to brown.

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