Most people think that lettuce and cabbage are essentially the same things. They are both green and leafy, and generally rejected by most of the children of America. However, when it comes to nutrition, taste, appearance, and how to grow it, lettuce and cabbage are actually extremely different. Here's what you should know about cabbage vs lettuce before you take your next trip to the grocery store.


salad, lettuce, vegetable, spinach
Angela Pizzimenti

Most people think that lettuce and cabbage are basically the same. However, they are very different nutritionally. First of all, cabbage has a little under twice of a number of calories that lettuce has. Based on a 100-gram sample, cabbage had 25 calories and lettuce only had 14 calories. Cabbage also has over twice of the dietary fiber that lettuce has, which makes it a good substitute in a salad.

The nutritional content is also different between the two foods. Cabbage contains about 60% of the average Vitamin C intake, while lettuce only has about 4% of the average Vitamin C intake needed. Cabbage also contains Vitamin B6, where lettuce does not. In terms of vitamins and protein, cabbage is healthier than lettuce, since lettuce does not have much nutritional content.


cabbage, vegetable, red cabbage, kale, pasture
Anya Kassoff

Many people assume that since cabbage and lettuce look the same, they taste the same. Cabbage and lettuce are both green vegetables that have many layers of leaves. However, cabbage is tougher and contains less water than lettuce does. These differences decide what the vegetables are used for. Cabbage is typically boiled or steamed or used in coleslaw. Lettuce is known for being crunchy, which is why it is used in salads or on burgers.


vegetable, cabbage, salad, pasta, coleslaw, slaw, rice
Allie Patenaude

Cabbage is made up of a short stem and a head that forms a bulb-type shape. Although it is usually thought of as having a green color, there are also red and purple variations of cabbage. The outer leaves are harder to eat, while the inner ones are softer. It is for this reason that most people eat the inner leaves and throw out the outside leaves.

Lettuce, too, has a short stem, but the leaves wrap around one another, making lettuce look like one long stem. Lettuce has more chlorophyll, which makes it greener than cabbage. Part of the lettuce plant also starts flowering, which is known as bolting. Lettuce is usually picked right before the bolting process begins.

Growing Conditions

lettuce, vegetable, salad, parsley, Healthy, produce, Farmers market, Market, farmer's market, Health
Dea Uy

Cabbage can be grown in a large variety of soil environments, but it should not be grown in soil that has a pH above 6.5. The roots of the cabbage plant have a tendency to dry out very easily, so the plant needs to be kept moist while it is growing. Cabbage also needs to be grown in a cool environment.

Lettuce, on the other hand, needs to be grown in sandy soil with a pH of somewhere between 6 and 7. Lettuce needs to be grown in the shade, however, so most farmers hang a cloth-like mesh over their cabbage plants to protect the plant from the sun. Lettuce, like cabbage, also needs to be kept generally moist, because its leaves will begin to wilt if it is not kept watered.

In conclusion, lettuce and cabbage may look similar at times, but they are very different. They are grown in different conditions and acidities, taste different, prepared different, and can even be different colors.