How to prepare lettuce leaves for the winter

In what cases do you resort to freezing?

There are completely different cases when housewives resort to freezing salads already prepared for consumption, in particular:

  • It is required to prepare a very large number of salads of different types (or a large volume of one type of salad) in the absence of assistants. In this case, it is simply impossible to cope with this task on your own in a short time, so you need to resort to freezing already prepared salads.
  • A certain amount of salad is left over after some event, and it’s a shame to throw it away. The broad Russian soul still contributes to the fact that all our celebrations take place with tables full of various dishes. For almost any housewife there is an iron rule: “it’s better to have some left over than not enough.” As a result, there remains a significant amount of food, including salads, that you want to save.

This need also arises in other cases, at the creative discretion of each individual housewife.

Freezing basil for the winter

We only freeze basil leaves. Separate them from the stems, wash and dry. Next, chop the basil leaves, but not very finely. You can drizzle them with a little olive oil. This will help the greenery retain its natural color. We pack all the greens into bags. Freeze it.

Many housewives have long adapted to freezing berries, tomatoes, and peppers. But undeservedly, salad greens are forgotten; they can also be frozen. Such preparations are very helpful in winter, saving the family time and budget.

Useful material

We will now tell you how to freeze salad for the winter, but first we will say a few words about its benefits. There are a huge number of lettuce varieties. These are small-leaved and cabbage species. What they have in common is their high content of microelements and vitamins.

Lettuce leaves contain a high content of vitamins C, A, D and group B. Metabolism is disrupted or the heart rhythm is disrupted, these symptoms indicate that the body is not getting enough potassium. The content of this substance in salad is more than 38%. Calcium ensures strong bones and strong tooth enamel. Lettuce leaves contain 15%. Sulfur, which is part of hemoglobin, is also found in salad greens.

The leader in iodine content is watercress salad. And, as is known, it is precisely with a lack of iodine that thyroid diseases develop, fatigue increases, and mental abilities decrease. Just 50 grams of salad and your daily iodine requirement will be satisfied.

Magnesium can protect against stress and has a positive effect on the nervous system. Iron is also found in lettuce leaves. Metabolism and the process of blood renewal cannot do without this substance. Helps strengthen the immune system.

Some types of lettuce contain bitterness and resins; they have anti-cold and diuretic effects and help improve appetite.

Salad, as a vegetable crop, is useful at any age. It can relieve obesity, prevent atherosclerosis, hypertension and normalize blood cholesterol levels.

Preparing for freezing

Many varieties of lettuce are used for freezing; the main thing is to prevent the start of bolting. Select leaves that are not damaged. Since lettuce grows close to the ground, it is washed thoroughly, the water is changed and washed under running water. After this, lay out the salad to dry.

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So, how to freeze salad for the winter and what you need for this


All types of food containers, bags and even foil are suitable for packaging. Wide leaves are placed in it and then wrapped tightly so that the leaves do not change their shape. It is better not to cut salad for freezing. But you can make puree from the salad by chopping it in a blender.

Freezing in the freezer

The packaged salad is placed in the freezer and frozen at a temperature of minus 18. With such freezing, the product is stored for 8–11 months, and at a temperature of minus 1–8 no more than three months. The fresher the salad, the better it will be preserved and will not lose its appearance after defrosting.

How to use frozen salad?

Most often, lettuce leaves are not used as an independent dish, but are added to soups, omelettes, and sauces. For them, pureed salad greens are suitable. Frozen lettuce leaves are also used in various stews, sautés, and dressings.

Now, knowing how to freeze green salad for the winter, don’t miss the freezing time. By the way, you can.

Ready-made salads cannot be frozen if they are produced in production. That is, freezing prepared salad can be used exclusively at home, at the discretion of the housewife. Such an action has its advantages, but can also lead to negative consequences.

Therefore, before freezing one or another type of salad, it is necessary to understand all the associated features. Otherwise, all the work put into preparing this dish can go down the drain, ruining not only the planned dinner or gala dinner, but also the mood for the entire near future.

Delicious and healthy properties of salad

Lettuce is considered to be a particularly valuable green crop. Nature has endowed it with many advantages, which include the following:

  • this crop begins to grow from early spring until mid-autumn (depending on the variety);
  • has a bright and rich fresh taste;
  • contains only useful elements in the form of folic acid, B vitamins and carotene;
  • the salad is “ready to eat” literally from the garden, that is, fresh, and is also great as an edible decoration for main courses and appetizers;
  • for use in salads it does not require cutting, it is enough to manually tear it into small pieces, this allows you to preserve the taste and smell;
  • used in cosmetology and dietary nutrition.

In ancient times, Greece was the record holder for the annual consumption of this crop. People explained this popularity of the salad by the presence of beneficial properties and the ability to recover from certain diseases - allergic reactions, colds, gastritis and ulcers. A drink made from lettuce leaves was widely used as a tonic and sobering agent.

To enjoy salad all year round, and in winter in particular, many people think about the question of how to properly store it at home? In fact, there is an answer, and more than one.

Why freeze lettuce leaves?

Salad contains a lot of water. It is crispy, juicy, and requires careful handling. The leaves are often used to decorate dishes. But it is after freezing that this cannot be done. The greenery loses its shape, becomes soft and limp, and loses its presentable appearance.

Do you freeze lettuce leaves?

Not really

The product is used mainly for vegetable salads and to enrich the diet. Green cocktails - smoothies - are prepared from it. It can be added to cold sauces, soups, dressings, various pastes and spreads, purees, and side dishes. Allowed to be added to baked goods with cabbage, rice, potatoes, and meat. Any food options except desserts.

Lettuce leaves can be frozen whole, chopped or pureed. Depends on the variety. Shelf life 10-12 months. It must be defrosted in the refrigerator.

Rules for storing fresh in the refrigerator

If the lettuce leaves begin to wilt, we recommend soaking them in cold water for half an hour. Next, place on a napkin and allow excess liquid to drain. Only after this can you put it in the refrigerator.

Basic Rules:

  • low temperatures. In warm conditions, especially at room temperature, the shelf life of lettuce leaves is limited to a few hours;
  • air access. This rule also applies to green onions, dill, celery, and leeks. Any greens in a sealed bag or container will quickly suffocate. Condensation will cause rotting;
  • protection from light. The sun loves greens only in the garden. When cut, leaves immediately lose their elasticity in the light, their appearance deteriorates, and their juiciness is lost;
  • regular checks. We recommend periodically inspecting supplies and immediately removing withered leaves and limp stems.

In winter, lettuce leaves are worth their weight in gold. They are in the store, but I'm not happy with the price. And the method of cultivation raises many questions. Growers often use a variety of fertilizers for quick forcing. Soaking in cold water will help remove harmful substances.

You can store lettuce leaves for a week or even more. But it is better to use within 2-3 days. You should not buy several bunches for future use. With each passing hour, the concentration of valuable nutrients in cut greens decreases. There is no point in preserving a useless leafy vegetable unless it is for garnishing dishes.

How not to store leaf lettuce

  • Storing green salad after it has been washed should not occur in tightly closed containers and especially in plastic bags. In this case, condensation will form on the walls of the container, which will accelerate the decay of the greens.
  • But even without packaging, in an open form, you cannot store leaf lettuce. The plant will lose most of its moisture and become limp the next day. This can happen due to large evaporation inside the household refrigerator and chapping of the product.

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If you figure out how to store leaf lettuce for the winter, you can have a healthy addition to various dishes on hand almost all year round. You can use one piece of advice from this article, or you can use several at once.

How long can it be stored?

Some types of lettuce can be stored for up to a month, but more often the maximum period is 7-10 days. It is important to create suitable conditions.

How to keep lettuce leaves fresh for a long time in the refrigerator:

  1. Renew stem tips. It is enough to cut off 0.5-1 cm. If they are long, you can do more.
  2. Pour water into a bowl. Not much, a height of 1 cm is enough.
  3. Place the salad vertically, any quantity. Do not insert it tightly.
  4. Place a plastic bag on top. Or cling film. Make punctures for free air circulation.
  5. Place in the refrigerator.

A common question is whether lettuce leaves should be frozen. They contain a lot of moisture; when thawed, they quickly lose their shape and turn into mush. But storing a large harvest in the freezer is not prohibited.

The greens are doused with boiling water, compacted tightly into bags, disposable glasses, and frozen. It will not decorate dishes; it turns into an incomprehensible mess. But it is a very useful ingredient for green smoothies. In winter, a cocktail will give you a huge portion of vitamins and charge you with a positive mood.

Other greens are frozen in a similar way. Even illiquid parts are suitable - stems, broken branches, fallen leaves, tops of young beets.

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How to properly freeze lettuce leaves in the freezer

Housewives still ask if they can freeze fresh green salad for the winter. Someone had a bad experience. You can freeze it. But not all species tolerate the process well. Iceberg and Kress are often frozen in this way. Rarely multi-colored species. The home harvest is harvested in the afternoon.

Step-by-step preparation instructions:

  1. Sort through, rinse. You should always wash it for freezing, regardless of where you collect it. For drying and storing in the refrigerator, it is better not to wet the leaves. It is advisable to soak purchased leaves in salt water - the dangerous substances will go away.
  2. Dry as much as possible. Shake off all drops first, then spread on a towel. Choose the coolest place in the house.
  3. Place into bags and containers. Iceberg can be cut or torn by hand.
  4. Seal and freeze.

Kress is a leader. It tolerates freezing well in bulk, in containers. The leaves retain their natural flavor throughout the winter and provide great health benefits. It is not advisable to crush or compact a miniature plant. Then after defrosting it will easily return to its original shape.

Some rules for freezing prepared salads

If it becomes necessary to freeze lettuce to store it for a longer time, certain rules must be followed to make this process as safe as possible for the quality and other characteristics of the lettuce, as well as to protect the process of eating this finished product. Among these rules are:

  • Under no circumstances should you season a prepared salad with mayonnaise, sour cream, yogurt or other dairy-based dressings.
  • It is better to store all salad components separately, due to the fact that when mixed they can have a negative effect on each other. Storing them separately allows you to preserve the finished salad even more.
  • During the cold season at low temperatures, salads can be stored outside the refrigerator, in unheated rooms. At the same time, you should approach this issue carefully, since storing salad components, for example, on an open balcony, can negatively affect its taste and safety for the human body.

Storage rules

To preserve lettuce throughout the winter, it is important to follow the following rules:

  • Thawed product cannot be re-frozen.
  • The salad is frozen in portions, and the container is marked (signed) for ease of identification.
  • Marinades and preserved salad are also stored in a cool place. In warm conditions it quickly deteriorates.

The most important rule for a refrigerated product is not to break the “cold chain” rule.

You can learn more useful tips on how to preserve green leaf lettuce by watching the following video:

What can you freeze them with?

It is not necessary to prepare only leaves. We suggest freezing it for the winter along with various additives.

There are several options:

  • assorted It is useful and convenient to immediately freeze different varieties. Mixtures are often used in winter snacks, cocktails;
  • mixtures with other greens. They are popular. Parsley, dill, cilantro, basil, arugula. Any options at your discretion. Convenient additives for preparing salads with tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage;

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  • In oil. Often green leaves are cut, filled into molds, and filled with sunflower oil. It helps preserve the workpiece. The only drawback is that it is not suitable for all dishes.

Methods for freezing salad
Features of freezing lettuce leaves

For lovers of purees and green smoothies, it makes sense to immediately chop the leaves in a blender, package them, and freeze them. In this form they will take up much less space in the camera.


The main selection criterion is the freshness of the product. You need to examine its appearance. The leaves should not fade, and the absence of mucus on the stems is important. The packages usually indicate the expiration date of the greens, which should also be taken into account.

lettuce leaves for the winter recipes

Crispy leaves are considered the best for various salads, cocktails, and smoothies. They decorate sandwiches, sandwiches, appetizers, vegetable casseroles, stews, pates. Fresh pieces of tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes along with lettuce leaves look beautiful on the holiday table.

It is advisable to consume fresh greens. But preparing lettuce leaves for the winter will allow you to preserve valuable components if you use proven methods. It is important to collect them and prepare them correctly.

Method 1. freeze

To preserve greens longer, take young lettuce and discard yellowed or darkened leaves.

How to freeze salad correctly so that all nutrients and minerals are preserved:​

Option 1. Ice cubes
To preserve the rich color and smell of greenery, you need to fill it with oil:
  • take fresh, washed and dried leaves;
  • It is best to tear off the root with your hands, since a knife oxidizes the greens;
  • Also tear the leaves with your hands or grind them in a blender;
  • fill the ice tray;
  • pour melted butter, olive or grape seed oil on top;
  • put in the freezer;
  • Place the frozen green cube in a plastic bag to prevent other odors from getting inside;
  • put back into the freezer.

Shelf life - about a year

Option 2. In plastic bags or foil
When storing this way, you need to close the bags/foil very tightly and remove the air. If air remains inside, the greens will quickly spoil:
  • Wash the salad thoroughly;
  • dry with paper towels;
  • tear or cut into small pieces;
  • put portions into bags or foil - there is no need to defrost and freeze again, the greens will lose their taste and appearance;
  • put in the freezer.

These greens are best used when preparing omelettes, soups, and vegetable stews.

Option 3. In containers
The disadvantage of this type of freezing is that the containers will take up a lot of space in the freezer:
  • take any type of fresh salad;
  • wash under running water several times;
  • dry by laying it on a towel;
  • place the leaves on a cutting board, for example, or on something hard;
  • place in the freezer for several hours;
  • take out the greens and put them in containers;
  • put it back in the freezer

To remove the bitter taste of the salad, you can mix it with other herbs: dill, parsley, basil, spinach, cilantro, etc.

Preparing greens for storage

Before processing lettuce leaves for storage, they must be washed and dried thoroughly:

  • The leaves are sorted, removing roots and rotten parts with a plastic knife.
  • Place in a spacious container and fill with cool water.
  • Rinse thoroughly.
  • If necessary, change the water several times (greens usually have a lot of sand and earthen dust).

The second important point in the preparatory work is blanching the leaves (short-term temperature treatment):

  • Pour boiling water over the salad in a bowl.
  • After a minute, the water is drained.
  • The greens are poured with ice-cold clean water.

Blanching preserves the healthy vitamin and mineral complex in the salad, as well as its elegant bright green color.

Then the greens are placed in a colander or large sieve. When the water stops draining, the leaves are laid out on clean kitchen towels (cloth, paper). For good drying, the greens are not placed in a bunch, but each leaf separately.

It is not recommended to cut or chop the salad using metal - an ordinary kitchen knife, blender or meat grinder. Upon contact with metal, an oxidation process occurs, which worsens the taste of the greens.

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Method 4. preserve

The longest way to preserve lettuce leaves is canning:​

Recipe 1. Frying in oil
  • prepare the leaves;
  • add salt so that the greens become juicy and release juice;
  • place the salad in a heated frying pan;
  • fry in oil for about 5 minutes;
  • transfer the salad mixture to a bowl;
  • add 1 tbsp. l. vinegar, mix thoroughly;
  • transfer to prepared sterilized jars;
  • roll up the lids on top;
  • turn the jar upside down and let it cool slowly, wrapping it in a blanket for a day
Recipe 2. Canning with spices
The salad can be diluted with dill and celery:
  • prepare a classic marinade;
  • Place garlic and chopped celery in a container;
  • top - salad, then dill, so that the mass fills a third of the container;
  • pour marinade over greens;
  • put pressure on top;
  • transfer the cooled mixture into jars and roll up
Recipe 3. Canning with linden leaves
  • add young linden leaves and dill to the salad, cut them into strips;
  • prepare the marinade;
  • add ground black peppercorns;
  • mix and pour into jars;
  • pour marinade on top;
  • store on the bottom or side shelves of the refrigerator

Method 3. marinate

Pickling is one of the most delicious ways to store salad. Here, much attention is paid to the marinade, which improves the taste of the salad, emphasizing its characteristics.

For the marinade you will need:

  • several liters of water;
  • salt;
  • sugar;
  • lemon acid;
  • vegetable oil.

Lettuce leaves should be placed in a spacious container so that the greens are completely immersed in the marinade.
In the photo, the container is not deep enough . Procedure:

  1. Place a layer of lettuce leaves in a deep and spacious container.
  2. Pour the prepared marinade over each layer.
  3. To remove bitterness and add piquancy, add bay leaf, garlic and allspice.
  1. Place the leaves under pressure - place something heavy on top.
  2. Place the container in the refrigerator.

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Shelf life - 1 month.

If you fry the salad in sunflower oil before marinating, pour marinade over it and roll it into jars, then the shelf life of such preparation can be extended to six months

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