Southern Killed Lettuce

Killed Lettuce
Diana Rattray
  • 19 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 4 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Ratings (8)

This killed lettuce is an authentic mountain recipe. See McGentry's notes below the recipe for her excellent and detailed instructions. She uses watercress, spinach, lettuce, or arugula in the recipe and she has many suggestions for flavor.

See Also
Sandy's Southern Wilted Lettuce with Hot Bacon Dressing

What You'll Need

  • Package of lettuce, spinach, or salad greens (see McGentry's notes)
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • Bacon drippings, about 2 to 3 tablespoons
  • Optional: diced cooked bacon
  • Optional: crushed red pepper flakes
  • Optional: Texas Pete hot sauce

How to Make It

  1. Wash the greens and pat dry; put them in a serving bowl.
  2. Put the sliced onion and bacon drippings in a small skillet. Place the skillet over medium heat and cook the onion until it is softened.
  3. Pour the onions and hot bacon grease over the greens; toss to coat the greens thoroughly.
  4. Add cooked diced bacon, crushed red pepper flakes, or Texas Pete, as desired. 

McGentry's Notes

  • Wash greens thoroughly. Set aside in a colander to drain, then pat dry with toweling.
  • Heat bacon grease in​ the skillet.
  • Thin-slice onions and saute in bacon grease until tender to your preference (I prefer them still slightly crunchy). Once onions are ready, pour over greens, stirring as you pour, coating greens thoroughly.
  • Lettuce/greens will wilt, thus the ‘killed' effect. In the Appalachian Mountains, where I am originally from, the lettuce of preference for this is ‘branch lettuce' (watercress, which grows wild in North-facing creek beds in early spring). Any sturdy green will work, I have had good success with arugula and buttercrunch lettuce, also spinach greens. You can add chopped bacon, or crushed red pepper or a dash of Texas Pete, to make it lively. I have used Italian dressing in place of the grease, it tastes quite a bit different, but it's very good. My grandmother used to keep a grease pot on the back of her stove, where she would save any leftover bacon drippings for cooking with, so as not to waste.
  • A traditional mountain supper would be lettuce, pintos, fried potatoes, corn bread, biscuits, chow-chow, and buttermilk.


Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 23
Total Fat 1 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Unsaturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 3 mg
Sodium 53 mg
Carbohydrates 2 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 2 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)