Learn how to make pickled lettuce; this sweet and slightly sour condiment has a unique flavor that’s perfect on sandwiches or next to your favorite meat dish.
Pickled lettuce might not be all too common in the pickling world – and to many, it may seem strange and unusual. However, it is definitely a tasty and useful condiment to have on hand.
Every time I see a great opportunity on lettuce, I think of pickled lettuce. It’s unusual, yes, but it’s great on all kinds of sandwiches, in tacos, or as a side to your favorite meat or fish dinner.
You can eat it as is (pickled) or, instead, squeeze out the brine and add some olive oil and eat it as a salad. There are so many ways to use this creatively as a condiment.
This recipe uses romaine hearts – they fit rather nicely in my one gallon jar (previously used for olives!) I rinsed it out and gave it a good scrub. It actually works wonderfully to fit up to 3 romaine hearts very nice and snug.
Pickled Lettuce Combines:
- Iceberg lettuce, or romaine hearts
- Garlic cloves
- Fresh dill (optional but highly recommended!)
- Vinegar or Apple cider vinegar
- Red Pepper Flakes or a few Thai Chile Peppers
How to Pickle Lettuce
Start by washing and patting dry your lettuce. If you are using romaine hearts, I like to slice the end off the bunch to make the end as “flat” as possible – especially helpful when you pack it in the jar.
I packed 3 huge romaine hearts in my gallon glass jar. If yours is smaller, you may need to adjust the recipe accordingly.
If you are using iceberg lettuce, core it, slice in half and then cut in 3/4″ ribbons. In a measuring cup or small saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, salt, sugar and pepper flakes. Stir until completely dissolved on low heat, then cool to room temp so you can pour over the lettuce.
Once cool, pour your brine over the jarred lettuce. Add a few sprigs of dill (as desired). Refrigerate your lettuce in the fridge until ready to consume.
Check out these other pickling recipes:
- Pickled Brussels Sprout Halves
- Fire Roasted Poblano Queso Dip
- Pickled Sweet Corn
- Spicy Pickled Celery Sticks
- Pickled Hatch Chiles
Did you try this recipe?
If you did, please take a second to give it a 5 star review and leave a comment. I’d love to know how it turned out for you!
- 3 Romaine hearts see notes for alternative varieties of lettuce
- 1 C water
- 1/2 C vinegar
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbsp pickling spice or more, to taste
- Trim the lettuce to fit in your designated jar. I use a gallon glass jar.
- If you are using Romaine lettuce hearts, slice the bottoms off so that they will stand flat. If you are using iceberg lettuce, slice it in half and then cut it in 3/4" wide ribbons.
- Prepare your designated jar: place the pickling spice in the bottom of the jar. Then the garlic cloves. Then top with your lettuce. I usually stand all 3 romaine hearts upright in my glass jar.
- In a small saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, salt and red pepper flakes. Heat on low until sugar and salt are dissolved. Push off the burner and allow to cool.
- Once cooled, pour the brine over the lettuce in your jar. If more brine is needed, double the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and red pepper flakes as needed. Cover with your lid. Chill until ready to use.
- Lettuce will keep in the refrigerator up to 14 days.
Other lettuce varieties:
- This recipe can be made with 2 large bunches of green leaf lettuce, or 2 medium heads of iceberg lettuce
- If using green leaf lettuce, cut in 3/4" ribbons.
- If using iceberg lettuce, slice in half and cut in 3/4" ribbons.