Level up your Caesar salad game with this Grilled Caesar Salad. Both the romaine & croutons are grilled and served with an easy, homemade Caesar dressing. This is the perfect summer salad!
Grilling season is in full swing. In the heat of summer, I'm always searching for recipes that don't require turning on the oven in the house. We do plenty of grilling this time of the year with everything from burgers, steaks, to even pizza. Those are often the things you typically think of grilling, but have you ever thought of grilling a salad? You just have to try this Grilled Caesar Salad!
Caesar salads are without a doubt my favorite kind of salad. Growing up I was never a huge fan of salads. I was actually a very picky eater who would steal the croutons off people's salads and not touch the rest. As I got older, I came around to liking salads and with the perfect ratio of parmesan cheese & croutons, Caesar salads are still my go-to.
What You'll Need for a Grilled Caesar Salad
The ingredients for this Grilled Caesar Salad are no different from a regular one except we are taking these ingredients and turning up the flavor by grilling the romaine & making our own grilled croutons. It gives this salad a whole new flavor! Romaine is the typical lettuce used in Caesar salads and is hearty enough to stand up to some grilling.
There is debate on whether or not Caesar dressing must contain anchovies. In many recipes, anchovies give the dressing a salty, umami flavor. I've found a workaround to achieve this flavor with a more common pantry ingredient: Worcestershire sauce. If you read the ingredients on the bottle of Worcestershire sauce you will see none other than, drumroll please, anchovies! Along with lots of other spices and flavors, it adds the perfect touch to this delicious Caesar dressing.
The rest of the dressing includes basic ingredients that I bet you have in your fridge or pantry:
- Dijon mustard
- red wine vinegar
- Worcestershire sauce
- lemon juice - grill the lemon, trust me!
- parmesan cheese
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
How to Make Grilled Caesar Salad
For the croutons: brush each side of the bread slices with olive oil that is infused with minced garlic. Place on the grill over medium heat and grill for about a minute on each side until nice grill marks form. Don't walk away from the grill, the bread can burn very quickly! After the bread is cooled, cut it into cubes. These croutons are not as crunchy as baked ones, but the flavor is amazing!
For the romaine: if not pre-washed, rinse romaine hearts and pat dry. Cut each in half lengthwise, then cut off the bottom inch or so of the core. I have found it easier to cut the romaine in half first before cutting the ends as it stays together better. Brush the romaine with a little olive oil and a pinch of Kosher salt.
Grill romaine over medium heat for about 2 minutes per side. You want the outer leaves to begin to wilt and get some nice, charred grill marks. At the same time, cut a lemon in half and place it on the grill. Grilling the lemon extracts more of the juice and gives it some smoky flavor. Plus, they look so pretty!
For the dressing: simply combine all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Start with 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil and add up to ½ tablespoon more until the dressing is as thick or runny as you prefer.
To serve: I love serving the grilled romaine hearts whole on a serving platter. If you prefer, cut the lettuce up and place it in a serving bowl. Drizzle with Caesar dressing and top with parmesan cheese, grape tomatoes & croutons. Have extra Caesar dressing on the side for people to add more if they prefer!
Can I Add Protein?
Turn this Grilled Caesar Salad into the perfect summer night dinner by adding protein options like grilled chicken, steak or even shrimp! The flavor of all the grilled components is so good together and what makes it even better is that you don't have to turn on the oven to make it!
Can I Use Store Bought Dressing?
Sure! While I love this easy recipe for Caesar dressing, there are many store-bought options that are also delicious. Pick your favorite and use it on this salad. This method for grilled romaine can be used to create other salads, too. Top with a variety of other fresh veggies, cheese and dressing for a unique, new salad!
Other popular side dishes:
Grilled Caesar Salad
- 6 slices Italian bread about 1 inch thick
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 hearts romaine lettuce
- 1 cup mayo
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- juice of half a lemon
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1.5-2 tbsp. olive oil
- pinch of salt & pepper
- shaved parmesan cheese
- grape tomatoes
- grilled chicken
- In a small bowl mix together olive oil & garlic. Brush each side of the Italian bread with the oil.
- Turn grill onto medium heat. Grill bread slices about a minute on each side until nice grill marks form. Allow bread to cool and cut into cubes.
- Cut each romaine heart in half lengthwise. Cut off about an inch of the core end. Brush each side with olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt.
- Grill romaine hearts over medium heat about minutes on each side until the outer leaves begin to wilt and there are some nice grill marks. Remove from grill onto a sheet pan.
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Start with 1 ½ tbsp. of olive oil and add up to ½ tbsp. more to get desired texture.
- Place romaine heart on a plate and top with grilled croutons, parmesan cheese, dressing and desired toppings.