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6 Cheaper and Quick Alternatives to Lettuce

With the current lettuce shortage, what are some alternatives for your salad? We've compiled six cheaper and quick substitutes.

Closeup of Lettuce

There's a full-blown lettuce shortage at the moment. Torrential rains up in the northern parts of Australia have caused havoc to lettuce crops, and the price of lettuce has skyrocketed. 

Food chains like KFC have needed to alter their recipes to cater to this change in the food supply. 

For consumers like us, buying lettuce (if you can source it) at around $12 is a massive stretch on food budgets. So what are some alternatives to this crunchy green staple? Let's look at some options. 

1. Spinach

Lettuce is not the only green vegetable you can use in salads. Spinach is an excellent alternative to lettuce, giving a lovely deep green colour to your salads. If using English spinach, give it a good wash and store it in an air-tight container to keep it fresh. I like to slice it nice and fine when using it in my salads to help it blend with the other ingredients. 

Baby spinach is another great option; it stays fresh for a long time if stored in the fridge and can be sprinkled on virtually anything. 

2. Cabbage

Cabbage is a winter vegetable that is often overlooked. It's versatile and can be used in many dishes, including salads and stir-fries. It has a crunchy texture, making it the perfect substitute for lettuce in salads.

3. Cucumber

One of the most popular vegetables, cucumbers are a great addition to any salad. You may find they're more expensive during winter as they're out of season, but they're fresh and crunchy in a salad or sandwich. Checkout this 5-minute cucumber salad recipe

4. Silverbeet

Silverbeet is a leafy green vegetable often used as an alternative to spinach. It has a similar taste and texture to spinach but is much easier to grow. The leaves are about the same size as spinach, but the stems are thicker and more fibrous. Silverbeet's deep green makes it stand out from other vegetables. Enjoy silverbeet raw and thinly sliced in salads as a replacement for lettuce. If you like gardening, why not try growing some silverbeet? The great thing about this vegetable is that you can pick the leaves as you need them. 

5. Beetroot leaves

Did you know that the leaves on fresh beetroot are edible? Yep they are. I liken them to silverbeet. Beetroot leaves are a delicious and nutritious addition to any salad. They also have the added benefit of being less bitter than some other leafy greens. If you grow beetroot, simply harvest the leaves when you harvest your beetroot. If buying fresh beetroot in the supermarket, just check that the leaves are still fresh and crisp, give them a wash and store them as you would spinach and silverbeet in an airtight container. 

6. Celery

Celery is a vegetable often used in salads and other dishes. Celery has a long shelf life and a crunchy texture and is often used in soups or stews. Still, it can also be used as a replacement for lettuce in meals. It may not give the same bulk to lettuce but will undoubtedly add a good crunch. Try it in this bean salad. 


Happy substituting. What's your favourite alternative to lettuce right now? 


  • My pleasure Liza :)
    Hopefully, we get some relief from these high prices when the weather starts to improve.

    Kim on

  • Thank you for your helpful article as the price of lettuce soars!

    Liza on

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