Can You Microwave Lettuce?

Q. I’ve been wondering something for a while now, but no one I know has been able to give me a straight answer. Everyone seems to guess, but no one seems to have tried it. I like to eat things with lettuce, like sandwiches or burgers, and I eat salads several time a week. I sometimes would like to reheat my sandwich in the microwave, or have a warm salad instead of a cold one. The problem is, I’m not sure what will happen if I microwave lettuce. It seems like such a silly thing, but I’ve heard so many stories about why you can’t microwave lettuce that I’m afraid to even bother trying it. Still, I other vegetables can be microwaved, I find it hard to believe that lettuce can’t be microwaved too. Can you microwave lettuce?


A. There do seem to be a lot of weird stories out there about why lettuce can’t be microwaved. Fortunately for you, they’re just stories, and they’re wrong. Lettuce can be microwaved! It should be noted though that lettuce has a high water content so there is a chance it might be a bit less crispy after being microwaved. Still, it won’t turn black or taste funny or do any of the other weird things people seem to think will happen.

If you are microwaving lettuce on its own, start with already cleaned lettuce. Make sure that it is completely dry before putting it in the microwave. To do that, run it through a salad spinner first, and then lay it on paper towels with a layer of paper towels on top. Let it sit for a while to really draw out any moisture. Then, place the lettuce on a plate or on paper towels in the microwave, and microwave on medium. Check the lettuce every 30 seconds and remove when the desired temperature is achieved.

To microwave lettuce that is already part of a dish, such as a hamburger or sandwich, simply place the item in the microwave on a microwave safe dish, and heat as you normally would, checking on the item periodically. Remove the food item from the microwave and let stand for a few minutes before eating. Refrigerate leftovers promptly and consume within a few days for best results.

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