The Easiest Way to Use Up Salad Greens

published Mar 17, 2020
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Do you have a bag of salad greens that you bought with the very best intentions and then promptly forgot about? Maybe it’s not-quite-fresh enough to use in a salad, but still on the right side of edible? Don’t throw them away! There’s a super-easy (and super-delicious) way to use them up.

Credit: Jennifer Kushnier

But, First: How to Prep Your Salad Greens

The first thing you should do, before your greens get to this sad, wilted state, is prep them the right way to extend their fridge life. If you have a salad spinner, wash and spin-dry your greens and then just put the spinner (and the greens) in the fridge. If you don’t have a spinner, wash and dry your greens, line your crisper with paper towels and put the greens right into the drawer. When properly prepped and stored, they should last a week to 10 days.

The Easiest Way to Use Up Salad Greens Is to Cook Them

Here’s a thing that I’ve learned: salad greens are super-tasty when cooked. Packaged greens tend to be of the “baby” variety, which means they’ll cook up very quickly. I like to sauté mine in a skillet over moderate heat with a bit of minced garlic and salt, and finish with a squeeze of lemon and maybe a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. It’s simple. It’s fast.

Credit: Jennifer Kushnier

You can add greens to a variety of hot dishes. For example:

  • Add them to eggs. Add a handful to eggs while you scramble them or get a bit fancy these eggs. 
  • Add them to soups and stews. Toss in a few handfuls to any variety of simmering soup, or try this dal.
  • Add them to pasta. Mix them into freshly drained hot pasta along with some olive oil or butter and salt and pepper. You can also stir greens into tomato sauce or layer them into lasagna
  • Add them to stir fries. Amp up a veggie stir fry or side, like these sautéed mushrooms

The bottom line is that your greens can be used in so many ways besides salad. How do you use up that package of supermarket greens?