Grilled Caesar Salad

Grilled Caesar Salad is a smokey spin to the classic recipe. Leafy sections of romaine are seared on the barbecue to create a lightly charred texture. The flavors come together with a drizzle of creamy homemade caesar dressing, croutons, and parmesan cheese.

Switch up your typical salad game by grilling the lettuce! The contrast between crisp leaves with lightly grilled warm pieces is unexpectedly delicious. Looking for more tasty salad recipes? Then try Greek Broccoli Pasta Salad, Farro Caprese Salad, or Summer Corn Salad.

Grilled Caesar Salad

Grilled Caesar Salad

Caesar salad is a staple on restaurant menus, but it can be easily made at home. Crisp chopped greens tossed in a creamy anchovy dressing is a classic combination. To take the taste to the next level, the lettuce is grilled to add a hint of char flavor.

It’s important to use hearty types of lettuce like romaine for this recipe. The sturdy structure keeps makes it easy to sear on the grill. This dish is great to make during the summer when you want to cook every meal outdoors.

romaine lettuce

How to make Grilled Caesar Salad

  • Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, anchovy paste, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • Slowly drizzle and whisk in olive oil into the dressing until smooth and creamy.
  • Cut the romaine lettuce into quarters. Brush with olive oil and season with salt.
  • Heat the grill to medium-high and grease the grates.
  • Place the lettuce cut side down, cook until light grill marks appear, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Repeat on the other cut side.
  • Serve grilled romaine with caesar dressing, croutons, and parmesan cheese.

How do you grill romaine lettuce?

Learning how to grill romaine is easy! Depending on how large the head of lettuce is, cut it in half or into quarters. To prevent the lettuce from sticking to the grill lightly brush some olive oil on the cut sides. I like to season it with a little bit of kosher salt to enhance the savory flavor.

Sear the lettuce for just a few minutes until light grill marks appear and the edges become toasted. The lettuce should not be completely wilted. The warm edges and cool centers make for a nice taste-texture variation.

grilled romaine

How do you make caesar dressing?

The essential ingredients are anchovy paste, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, egg yolks, mustard, minced garlic cloves, and extra-virgin olive oil. I often make a classic caesar salad using egg yolks for the dressing.

If you’re hesitant about using raw eggs, substituting some mayonnaise is a great solution. I did that for this recipe. It has pasteurized yolks and provides a creamy mouthfeel.

caesar dressing

What toppings do you add?

Freshly grated aged parmesan cheese is always a must. I love how restaurants add a big speck of black pepper right before eating the salad and have been doing that at home every since.

Whenever I have leftover bread slices or loaves, I make homemade croutons. It’s super easy to prepare and stores for months! Since you have the barbecue fired up, for a more hearty entree salad, add some chopped grilled chicken.

Looking for more grilled salad recipes? Try these ones!

Grilled Caesar Salad with croutons on top

Grilled Caesar Salad

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people

Grilled Caesar Salad with leafy sections of romaine seared on the barbecue to create a lightly charred texture then drizzled in homemade dressing.

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword barbecue, caesar salad, grilling

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper plus more for seasoning
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for brushing
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese finely grated, plus more for garnish
  • 2 hearts romaine
  • 1 cup croutons

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, anchovy paste, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  2. Slowly whisk in olive oil until a thickened dressing is formed. Add the parmesan cheese and whisk to combine.
  3. Cut romaine lettuce heads in quarters lengthwise leaving the cores intact. This will yield eight sections. If the lettuce head is small, keep it in halves.
  4. Brush olive oil on the cut sides of the lettuce. Lightly season with salt.
  5. Preheat grill over medium-high heat (350 to 400ºF). Carefully grease the cooking grates with tongs using a paper towel dipped in oil.
  6. Once the grates are hot, place the Romaine lettuce cut side down on the grill. Press the lettuce down so it creates direct contact with hot grates. Cook until lightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Flip to the other cut side and grill 1 to 2 additional minutes.
  8. Transfer grilled lettuce to serving plates.
  9. Drizzle with Caesar dressing and top with freshly cracked black, parmesan cheese, and croutons.

Recipe Notes

Makes about ¾ cup dressing

Nutrition Facts
Grilled Caesar Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 368 Calories from Fat 360
% Daily Value*
Fat 40g62%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Cholesterol 14mg5%
Sodium 641mg27%
Potassium 22mg1%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 90IU2%
Calcium 83mg8%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

Jessica Gavin

Jessica is a Certified Food and Culinary Scientist. She’s also a culinary school graduate and a teacher at heart. Jessica loves nothing more than unraveling the science behind better, healthier cooking and sharing that know-how with her readers at JessicaGavin.com

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