How to Shred Lettuce

Instead of buying a whole bag of pre-shredded lettuce at the grocery store, make just the amount you need by shredding a head of lettuce yourself. This guide explains how to shred lettuce three ways.

Need a lot of shredded lettuce in a hurry for a chopped salad or as an accompaniment for your Taco Tuesday spread? You’ll need a head of a lettuce (of course!) and either a knife, grater or food processor.

How to Shred Lettuce

Lettuce stem removedSusan Bronson for Taste of Home

Before you begin, remove any bruised or damaged outer leaves on the lettuce head. Then, thoroughly wash the lettuce, shaking to remove any excess moisture. To remove the stem, whack the lettuce head against the surface of a cutting board with the core pointing down. The stem will easily pop out (seriously!).

Method 1: Use a Knife

You’ll need a sharp knife for this method. Be sure to follow the rules for proper knife care and maintenance.

Step 1: Cut the lettuce head in half

Use a chef’s knife or cleaver to cut the lettuce head in half.

Step 2: Cut into quarters

Halving lettuce headSusan Bronson for Taste of Home

Cut each lettuce half into quarters.

Step 3: Slice into shreds

Slicing lettuce into shredsSusan Bronson for Taste of Home

Place the quartered lettuce cut-side down on a cutting board. Then, use the knife to slice the lettuce into 1/8 to 1/4 inch shreds.

Method 2: Use a Box Grater

Step 1: Cut into quarters

Susan Bronson for Taste of Home

Prepare the lettuce head the same way you would when using a knife—by cutting it into quarters.

Step 2: Grate the quartered lettuce

Grating lettuceSusan Bronson for Taste of Home

Set a box grater in a large bowl to catch the shredded lettuce. Slide the flat side of the quartered lettuce down the side of the box grater with the large holes to shred the lettuce.

Note: A good box grater is one of the essential kitchen tools every cook should have.

Method 3: Use a Food Processor

This is the best food processor you can buy, according to our Test Kitchen.

Step 1: Cut into quarters

Again, prepare the lettuce head the same way you would when using a knife or box grater, by cutting it into quarters.

Step 2: Use the slicing disc attachment

Lettuce in a food processorSusan Bronson for Taste of Home

Set up your food processor with the slicing disc attached. Feed the quartered lettuce through the tube into the food processor to shred the lettuce.

Editor’s Tip: If you don’t have a food processor, you could use a blender instead. Proceed slowly and pulse to achieve the desired shredded lettuce texture.

How to Store Shredded Lettuce

The benefit of using one of these shredding methods is that you can shred just the amount of lettuce you need.

However, if you find yourself with some leftovers, store the shredded lettuce in the refrigerator for up to a week. Simply line a plastic zip-top bag with a paper towel to absorb any extra moisture, and place the shredded lettuce in the bag. Zip the bag almost all the way closed, leaving one corner slightly open to allow for airflow.

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Susan Bronson
Susan Bronson is a writer and editor based in Northern Wisconsin.