Our Favorite Lettuce Substitutes

Lettuce is a general term encompassing four categories and wide varieties of this green, leafy vegetable, and it is an annual leaf vegetable of the aster family. Most lettuce varieties are eaten fresh and commonly served as the base of green salads.

Boston and Bibb Lettuce

Two of the most popular types of head lettuce are butterhead, also known as Boston, which has large leaves, and Bibb, which has smaller leaves.

Butterhead can be buttery and soft or crisp, crunchy, and savory to slightly bitter. Bibb is also known as limestone.

Crisphead and Loose Leaf Lettuce Substitues

Crisphead is one of the “cabbage” lettuces, with crisp leaves that form compacted heads or long-leaved without heads.

1. Romaine

= 1 lb romaine (crunchy and more flavorful) is a substitute for 1 pound of crisphead

Romaine lettuce is a leafy vegetable that is known by many names, such as cos, romaine and Batavian lettuce. The plant is a member of the family Asteracaeae and is native to the Mediterranean region.

Romaine lettuce has long green leaves with either white or red ribs along the edges of each leaf. The leaves are crisp and crunchy when eaten raw, but can be cooked as well. In fact, Romaine lettuce is often used in place of iceberg lettuce in Caesar salads because it has more flavor than iceberg lettuce does.

2. Leaf Lettuce

= 8 ounces leaf lettuce (less crunchy, less watery) can replace 1 pound of crisphead

Leaf, also known as looseleaf lettuce and Simpson lettuce. Popular types are green leaf, oak leaf, red leaf, and salad bowl. When shopping, choose leaves that look vibrant and evenly colored with no signs of wilting or yellowing.

lettuce substitute

Romaine Lettuce Substitutes

Romaine, also known as Cos lettuce. Leaf of choice for the classic Caesar salad. Here’s our favorite romaine lettuce substitutes:

1. Crisphead Lettuce

= 1 lb crisphead lettuce (iceberg, Great Lakes, or Imperial (rounder, crisper laves; less flavorful; more watery) can replace 1 pound romaine

2. Butterhead Lettuce

= 1 lb butterhead lettuce such as Bibb or Boston (smaller, more tender leaves; less watery) is a substitute for 1 pound romaine

Butterhead lettuce is a type of lettuce that’s also known as Bibb or Batavian. It has large, rounded leaves that form a loose head and can be eaten as a salad green or used in sandwiches and other dishes. Butterhead lettuce is also known as Bibb or Batavian lettuce.

Butterhead lettuce substitutes so well because is one of the most popular varieties of lettuce, whether it’s grown for home consumption or for commercial sale. It’s often used in salads because it holds up well against dressings, but it can also be cut up and used in sandwiches, tacos, wraps and other dishes.

3. Leaf Lettuce

= 8 ounces leaf lettuce such as oak or lollo (smaller, more tender leaves; less watery) can be used in place of 1 pound romaine

Leaf lettuce is a variety of lettuce that comes in many different varieties, including butterhead and romaine. Leaf lettuce is a very popular salad green because it has very little bitterness to it. It also has a delicate flavor that blends well with other salad greens.

Leaf lettuce is easy to grow at home, even for beginners. It’s a great way to start gardening if you don’t have much experience growing vegetables or herbs. Leaf lettuce can be grown from seed or transplanted from a nursery, but either way it will take about 45 days for the plant to mature before you can harvest it.

4. Mâche Green Leaf

= 8 ounces mâche green leaf (tender leaves; bittersweet, slightly nutty flavor) is a replacement for 1 pound romaine

Mâche Green Leaf is a leafy green vegetable that is often used as a salad green. It’s also known as corn salad, lamb’s lettuce and lamb’s tongue. The leaves are tender and delicate in flavor, with a hint of sweetness.

The leaves of mâche are typically harvested at about five inches long, so they’re perfect for salads and sandwiches. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked in soups, stews and stir-fries.

Lettuce Varieties you can Substitutes

Lettuce varieties include iceberg, Great Lakes, Imperial, Vanguard, or Western lettuce. Additional types of lettuce that you may consider as substitutes include:

  • Corn salad, also known as lamb’s lettuce or mâche green leaf
  • Mesclun
  • Oak leaf
  • Red leaf
  • Arugula
  • Endive
  • Chicory
  • Dandelion greens
  • Escarole
  • Frisee
  • Garden cress
  • Mizuna
  • Mustard greens
  • Nasturtium leaves
  • Peppergrass
  • Purslane
  • Radicchio
  • Sorrel
  • Watercress

If you’re looking to add a bit more vitamins you can always substitute spinach for your meal. You can find that almost anywhere and it tastes great!


What are the most used types of lettuce?

Lettuce has four popular categories: crisphead, butterhead, Romaine, and looseleaf.

Which lettuce is healthiest?

Of the wide varieties, the most nutritious lettuce is Romaine. Compared to substituting red leaf lettuce, green leaf, butterhead (Boston and bib types), and iceberg, it delivers more folate, potassium, beta carotene, and lutein.

How do I know if my lettuce is spoiled?

If lettuce has brown or black spots on its leaves, that is an indication that it has started to decay. The leaves may also be slimy, soft, limp, or wrinkled if they’ve gone bad. Fresh lettuce usually has little to no smell, so it’s best to throw it out if it smells sour or pungent.

How long does lettuce last in the refrigerator?

Loose leaf lettuce can last seven to ten days when properly stored, and head lettuce (iceberg, crisphead, etc.) lasts much longer. Head lettuce, left intact and unwashed, will last one to three weeks in the refrigerator.

About Rachelle

Hi, I'm Rachel! I love cooking and finding new recipes but was always missing one of the ingredients in my kitchen. I created Can I Substitute? for people like me who are one substitute away from a great meal. If you're looking for great ingredient substitutes you've come to the right place. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.