How to keep lettuce fresh: tips for storing lettuce

Whether you’re making a flavorful wrap or preparing a homemade Caesar salad, using fresh lettuce is a great way to add a delicious crunch and brightness to your meals. Read on to learn how to properly store lettuce and other ingredients in your fridge so you can start experimenting with customizable recipes and creating delicious side dishes and appetizers.

What is the best way to keep lettuce fresh longer?

Using the “high humidity” setting on refrigerator crisper drawers is a great way to keep lettuce fresh. Over time, moisture is released by the produce inside the crisper drawer. Restricting the flow of air to the bin helps create a more humid environment ideal for lettuce and other fresh ingredients like broccoli or cucumbers.

When storing lettuce in the fridge, keep in mind that shelf life can depend on the type of lettuce being stored. With helpful refrigeration features like the Preserva® Food Care System, dual independent cooling systems and Produce Preservers on select KitchenAid® fridges, you can help keep your food at its peak and tasting great. Learn more about foods you shouldn’t refrigerate to ensure proper food storage and freshness.

How to keep lettuce fresh in the fridge

When it comes to keeping lettuce and other fresh ingredients in your fridge, understanding the specific storage needs of your produce is key. Help preserve the freshness and taste of lettuce by creating the ideal storage environment by understanding how to properly use your fridge’s storage compartments.


  • Sink or large bowl

  • Cold water

  • Paper towels

  • Colander

  • Plastic bags

  • Plastic containers 

  • Clean kitchen towel


  • Refrigerator, like models from KitchenAid brand

  • Knife or scissors

  • Salad spinner (optional)

4 Steps to Keeping Lettuce Fresh

Step 1: Prep the lettuce

Prepare the lettuce for storage by cutting, trimming or separating the leaves. If preparing store-bought lettuce, carefully remove the produce from its packaging.

Step 2: Wash the lettuce

Cleaning fresh lettuce thoroughly before storing can help protect the crisp texture of the produce and help prevent wilting. Submerge the lettuce in a sink or large bowl filled with cold water, gently agitating the leaves. Repeat this process as necessary until all dirt or grit is removed before drying with paper towels or a salad spinner.

Step 3: Chill the lettuce

Transfer the washed lettuce to the fridge in the spinner basket or a colander and chill for about 30 minutes. Avoid using a bowl, which can limit airflow to the leaves.

Step 4: Store the lettuce

Store the lettuce in the fridge crisper drawers with a high humidity setting or a storage compartment with higher humidity. Before placing the produce in the fridge, keep in mind the specific storage needs of different types of lettuce and fresh ingredients.

  • Romaine: If unwashed, store in a loosely closed plastic bag; if washed, store in a tightly sealed plastic bag.
  • Iceberg: Store in a perforated plastic bag.
  • Delicate or tender greens, like arugula: Store in a plastic salad container between layers of paper towels.
  • Freshly chopped or shredded lettuce: Store tightly wrapped in a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.

Should I wash lettuce before storing in the fridge?

From vegetables and fruits to leafy greens and herbs, it is usually recommended to wash most types of fresh produce before consuming. Washing can also be helpful for keeping certain types of lettuce crisp and fresh longer, such as romaine lettuce or bagged varieties.

Not all types of lettuce may need to be washed prior to storing. For example, avoid washing iceberg varieties of lettuce like butterhead or baby iceberg, as the external moisture can cause the leaves to wilt.

How long does lettuce last in the fridge? 

Depending on the type of produce, lettuce can generally be stored in the fridge for up to 10 days when properly washed or prepared. While most varieties of lettuce can usually last between 7–10 days in the fridge, it’s best to use freshly chopped or shredded lettuce quickly, within about 2–3 days.

How do I keep chopped or shredded lettuce fresh?

Wrapping up freshly chopped or shredded lettuce in a clean rolled kitchen towel prior to storing in the fridge can help keep lettuce crisp and preserve its taste. For optimal freshness, be sure to use the lettuce quickly, storing for no more than three days.

If you’re running low on prep time, bagged varieties of chopped or shredded lettuce are a great way to incorporate fresh ingredients in a pinch for use in recipes like homemade tacos or burgers. To store bagged lettuce, open the packaging to allow air flow and place in the fridge immediately.

How do I stop lettuce from browning?

You can help prevent your lettuce from browning too soon by using ingredients quickly and creating storage environments that limit oxidation.

Similar to temperature-controlled compartments, refrigerator crisper drawers are a useful way to do this, helping you better control air flow and preserve the bold flavors and vibrant colors of your fresh ingredients.

How can I use fresh lettuce in recipes?

Now that you’ve learned how to properly store lettuce in your fridge, you can use your fresh produce to pursue a range of culinary possibilities. Explore the following recipe ideas for inspiration on how to use fresh lettuce for your next creation.

Lettuce wraps from Yummy recipe


The versatility of wraps allows you to get creative with different textures and presentation styles for your next appetizer. Use cold, crisp lettuce leaves in homemade lettuce wraps or combine them with your favorite protein for a delicious club wrap for lunch.

Lettuce on sub from Yummly recipe

Subs and sandwiches

You can flex your creative muscles by customizing delicious subs and sandwiches with different meats, vegetables and sauces. Use lettuce as the fresh-tasting, finishing touch to a classic Italian sub or hoagie.

Layered veggie salad in glass bowl from Yummly recipe


There’s nothing quite like the brightness of a homemade salad to complement a main course or enjoy on its own. Create colorful salads filled with your favorite ingredients like fresh tomatoes, juicy grilled chicken or creamy avocado.

Glass of green juice from Yummly recipe with stalk of celery


Use a fresh leaf lettuce to create green drinks that are as delicious as they are healthy. Experiment with different add-ins like honey, lemon juice or fruits to find your next go-to breakfast smoothie or post-workout refresher.

Additional tips for storing fresh ingredients

Using fresh lettuce is a great way to elevate the flavor and freshness of your recipes. Below are a few additional tips that can help you get the most out of your fresh ingredients.

  • Storing lettuce between layers of paper towels can help protect the crisp texture of the produce while sitting in the fridge. To store, lay dry leaves out on the paper towels, folding and rolling carefully before placing them in a tightly sealed plastic bag. 

  • Dry lettuce thoroughly after washing to prevent sogginess. 

  • Store lettuce separately from fruits inside crisper drawers to take full advantage of humidity settings.

  • Store lettuce promptly after purchasing or harvesting to slow down the wilting process.
  • Refresh slightly wilted lettuce before serving by briefly soaking in icy cold water before draining and spinning dry, or dry well with paper towels.

Explore KitchenAid® refrigerators

Refrigerators by KitchenAid brand offer storage features that complement the way you create in your kitchen. Browse the full collection of KitchenAid® refrigerators to explore the convenience of features like crisper drawers and floating shelves on select models.

Discover more refrigeration and storage tips with KitchenAid brand