How to Shred Lettuce and Cabbage for Tacos, Slaw, and More

No need to buy a bag of shredded lettuce when you can easily learn how to shred lettuce at home.

Shredding lettuce or cabbage is an easy task to accomplish in your own kitchen. The best part? You don't need any fancy equipment. Because shredding veggies in a food processor or on a grater produces much finer pieces, our Test Kitchen recommends shredding cabbage and lettuce by hand. All you have to do is simply grab your knife and cutting board and you can cut fresh lettuce for tacos or cabbage for your favorite salads and creamy coleslaw recipes. Read on for the best way to shred cabbage and lettuce for that delightfully fresh crunch in your recipes.

Shredding cabbage/lettuce
Blaine Moats

How to Shred Cabbage and Iceberg Lettuce

Leave your grater in the drawer! The best way to shred cabbage (red, green, and other varieties) and iceberg lettuce (or other round vegetables with tightly packed leaves) is with a chef's knife ($100, Williams Sonoma).

  1. Discard the wilted outer leaves. To wash the cabbage or lettuce, hold the head, core-side up, under cold running water, pulling leaves apart slightly. Invert the head and drain thoroughly. Repeat if necessary.
  2. Cut the head of cabbage or lettuce through the core into quarters. Use your knife to cut the core from each quarter. Discard the core.
  3. Place a quarter section, cut side down, on a cutting board ($8 Target).
  4. Hold your knife perpendicular to the cabbage or lettuce. Slice it into long ⅛- to ¼-inch shreds.

That's it! Your greens are ready for topping tacos or making a delicious slaw. Continue showing off your knife skills by serving a fresh row salad or serving some crunchy slaw atop these pork roast sandwiches.

If you're curious about using a food processor or box grater, use this guide on how to shred vegetables to find more detailed instructions on shredding all the other veggies (including more tips for other types of leafy greens) stocked in your kitchen.

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