How to Cook Iceberg Lettuce

by Susan Brassard

Cooked iceberg lettuce makes a tasty and colorful addition to soups and stir-fry.

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Although many people think of iceberg lettuce as strictly a salad green, cooked lettuce is a frequent component of Chinese and French cuisines. The least nutritious of the salad greens, iceberg lettuce contains 95 percent water as well as trace amounts of vitamins A and C. It is also a source of vitamin B6, thiamin and folate. To get the most nutritional value from your cooked iceberg lettuce, prepare it with a small amount of healthy oil, and avoid leaving any cooking liquids behind in the pan.

Remove the outside leaves from the head.

Cut a thin slice from the bottom of the core and cut the head into quarters.

Soak and swish the quarters in a commercial produce cleaner or a white vinegar and cold water bath.

Rinse the leaves thoroughly under running water and place them in a colander to drain.

Pat each section dry with paper towels.

Sauté the lettuce quarters in the olive oil over medium heat until the outside edges turn golden brown.

Add the vegetable broth to the skillet, cover and simmer the leaves for 10 minutes.

Remove the lettuce quarters from the heat, and season them with salt, pepper and soy sauce to taste.

Serve the cooked lettuce as an appetizer with crusty bread or as a side with an entrée of your choice.


  • When purchasing iceberg lettuce, look for a firm head with shiny, fresh leaves. Avoid heads that are limp or have browned or discolored leaves.

    As with all produce, buy organic or locally grown iceberg lettuce whenever possible.

    Revive wilted lettuce leaves by soaking them in an ice water bath for 15 minutes.

    You can add shredded or coarsely chopped lettuce leaves to soups just before serving for a bit of color and added nutrition.

Photo Credits

  • Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

About the Author

Susan Brassard writes about natural health-related topics, complementary and alternative medicine and issues relative to a holistic approach to the aging process. Following a career in business and finance, she obtained a Master of Arts in gerontology and several certifications in energy therapies. She is the author of a workbook and resource guide for older adults.