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Grilled Romaine Caesar

Salad rut? Happens to everyone. Luckily, our Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad is here to right the rut for once and for all.


Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad with pickled onion croutons and lemons on a serving plater with serving spoons

Hail, Grilled Caesar Salad!

Sure, you can grill burgers and brats, but grilled salad? Absolutely! Our grilled romaine salad is everything you love about a classic Caesar salad (crisp croutons, lemony zip, a piling of parmesan, and yes, the grilled romaine maintains its crunch!), but with a subtly smoky, barely charred, slightly spicy twist.

Grilled Romaine Lettuce on a platter
closer up of Grilled Romaine Lettuce on a plate

How to Make Caesar Dressing

What’s in Caesar dressing? Well, many Classic Caesar Salad Dressing recipes call for raw egg, which we don’t mind but know that a lot of people can’t enjoy for a myriad of reasons. So, we set out to create a Caesar dressing recipe with no egg. And it’s pretty darn good, if we do say so ourselves. Homemade Caesar dressing is quick, easy and so delicious—here’s how it’s done:

  • Gather your Caesar dressing ingredients: light olive oil, anchovy paste, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, fresh lemon juice, and cayenne (our spicy twist!)!
  • Blend—with a whisk or immersion blender or food processor—until the dressing is totally emulsified.
  • Drizzle on all the things!
Homemade caesar salad dressing in a bowl with a spoon

How to Grill Romaine Lettuce

Grilled lettuce? It’s totally a thing—we swear. And if you haven’t tried it, our grilled romaine salad recipe will be the one that convinces you. Here’s how to grill lettuce:

  • Garden-grown romaine totally works here, but we like the pre-washed, prepackaged stuff with the outer leaves already removed for our grilled romaine lettuce recipe. The packaged heads of romaine tend to be tighter, which works in your favor when it comes to grilling romaine.
  • Cut in half lengthwise, keeping the stem intact for ease and to help the head of romaine hold together on the grill.
  • Grill over medium-low heat, and whatever you do, resist the urge to move them! We want your grilled romaine caesar to show off those pretty dark grill marks.
  • Dress generously with Caesar salad dressing, crisp croutons, and fresh parmesan shavings. This is no time to skimp on the toppings.
Homemade rye bread croutons for caesar salad
Close up of Grilled romaine lettuce Caesar salad with pickled onions, crouton and lemon

Tools to Make Our Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad

  • You’re going to need a grill. Gas or charcoal both work great.
  • Your trusty food processor will come in handy to help the olive oil fully emulsify with the rest of the Caesar dressing ingredients.
  • This salad is p-r-e-t-t-y. Show it off on your favorite serving platter.
Grilled Romaine Ceasar Salad With Pickled Onions 9

Grill’s Already Preheated.

Keep those BBQ vibes going with these fave recipes:

So, Are You Officially Convinced Grilled Romaine Lettuce Is a Thing?

Go on, grillmaster! Snap a pic of your grilled Caesar salad and show us those char marks. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Grilled Romaine Caesar

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  1 hr 20 min
  • Cook Time:  6 min
  • Calories: 528


  • 2 romaine hearts, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved

Pickled Onions

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup distilled white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 5 whole allspice berries
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 whole cloves

Bread Crumbs

  • 2 slices dark bread, such as rye or pumpernickel
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing romaine hearts

Caesar Dressing

  • ¾ cup extra light tasting olive oil or ½ cup vegetable oil + ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons anchovy paste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more for serving
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Juice from 1 lemon, to taste


  1. Make the pickled onions. Add the onion, vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, allspice, bay leaf and cloves to a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and let the onions cool in the pan, about 60 minutes. Transfer the onions along with the brine to an airtight container. Can be made up to 2 weeks ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

  2. Make the bread crumbs. Turn the oven to broil with a rack in the upper position. Brush both sides of the bread with the olive oil. Place the bread on a baking sheet and broil until toasted on both sides, flipping halfway through, about 2 minutes total. Break the bread into large pieces. Transfer the bread pieces to a small food processor,
    pulsing until large crumbs form, about 10 times. Transfer the bread crumbs back to the baking sheet and broil until dry and toasted, about 1-2 minutes longer.

  3. Make the caesar dressing. In the base of a blender or food processor, combine the oil, anchovy paste, pepper, cayenne, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire and lemon juice. Blend until creamy and smooth, 2 to 4 minutes. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

  4. Preheat a grill to medium-low heat. Brush the cut side of romaine heart with olive oil and place them face down on the hot grill. Cook without disturbing until grill marks appear, 2-4 minutes. Using tongs, flip the romaine over and cook until grill marks appear, 2 minutes longer.

  5. Transfer the romaine to a serving platter or individual plates. Top with pickled onions, dressing and breadcrumbs and black pepper to taste.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories528
  • Protein30 g
  • Carbohydrates32 g
  • Total Fat32 g
  • Dietary Fiber5 g
  • Cholesterol81 mg
  • sodium1726 mg
  • Total Sugars10 g

Grilled Romaine Caesar

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • colleen richmond

    I am making this for dinner tonite and am confused how you have a white creamy dressing pictured for this when there is nothing in the recipe that would even give it that color. A true Caesar dressing is not milky white in color anyway? Please tell me if I am missing something?

    Hi! So the emulsion of the olive oil and lemon juice and Dijon mustard does yield a lightly colored, creamy dressing, and classic Caesar dressing (with egg yolk) is likewise usually pretty creamy. If it's looking super white on your computer screen or phone, it may be a weird screen thing? It is very light in color, though! Hope you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Jenn

    This was so delicious I've seen grilled salads and was skeptical but I have been convinced!!

    So glad you tried something new and loved it, thanks Jenn!