Grilled Caesar-ish Romaine Salads Recipe - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

Grilled Caesar-ish Romaine Salads Recipe

Photography by Victoria Wall Harris

I am on vacation this week on Long Island with my family and I really had no idea how much I needed a break and a change of scenery.  I wish I had planned for 2 weeks here since 5 days in and I’m just starting to unwind.  We are having a great time hanging out, cooking together, swimming, puzzling, and the usual.  We aren’t going on any outings obviously, but it’s no big deal.

I made this Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad early in the week and all the kids went bananas for it.  I planned for 1/2 head of lettuce per person and I think they each could have eaten an entire head or more.  My 12-year-old nephew was using his hands to mop up the dressing on his plate and shovel the salad into his mouth LOL.  Nothing could make me happier than seeing the kiddos eat vegetables with gusto!

I didn’t tell anyone that this is the easiest salad ever.  Dressing is so simple and so good.  Just wash the lettuce (see tips below) and grill for 30 seconds-ish on each side and serve immediately with shaved parmesan, if desired.  The taste is out of this world.  My niece said it tasted like a fast food hamburger without the burger. 😉

Caesar salad is Mr. Picky’s favorite salad and he said he likes it even better grilled.  You can use a stovetop cast iron grill pan too, but it will take a little longer to get those char marks.  You’ll want to leave this until you’re a couple minutes from eating since it only takes a few minutes to get grill marks and you want to serve the lettuce pronto.

Caesar salad, whether raw or grilled, goes with anything and everything.  You can make this even more hearty with crispy chickpeas on top or sliced avocado.  You could chop up the grilled lettuce and serve immediately (so the lettuce doesn’t get soggy) with grilled fish or chicken.  It would also be the perfect accompaniment to pizzas!  However you make it, I am confident this salad will be a huge crowd-pleaser!  Make sure to tag me @pamelasalzman #pamelasalzman if you make this.  I love seeing your creations!  I hope you are enjoying the last bits of summer. 🙂

You can shop the tools I used for this recipe by clicking on the images below:

4.7 from 3 reviews
Grilled Caesar-ish Romaine Salads
Serves: 6 Romaine Quarters or 12 Baby Romaine Halves
  • Dressing:
  • 6 Tablespoons Vegenaise (I like soy-free) or good quality mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon capers, drained from brine or anchovy paste
  • 3 Tablespoons unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed
  • 1 ½ large heads Romaine lettuce or 6 Baby Gem/mini Romaine lettuces
  • Unrefined avocado oil or cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil to brush lettuce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces Parmesan or Pecorino, shaved or grated
  1. To make the dressing, place all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until well combined. Taste for salt and season accordingly. Set aside.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  3. Cut large Romaine head through the end into 4 wedges, trying to keep leaves intact. If using Baby Gems or mini Romaine heads, cut each one in half and wash*. Brush olive oil on the outside of the leaves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for 30 seconds on both sides, or until char marks appear. Be careful not to overcook as this will wilt the leaves. You want crisp lettuce with char marks.
  4. Drizzle with dressing and serve with cheese, if desired.
*When you wash the romaine, wash the outside with water and submerge in cold water and rub your thumbs on the inside leaves at the base of the core to remove any dirt. Pat the heads dry with a kitchen towel as much as you can or spin them dry in a salad spinner. You won’t be eating the inch of lettuce at the core because it probably won’t be perfectly clean.

Look for vegan Worcestershire sauce, if needed.


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    • Completely agree! Glad you loved it. The spicy caesar with toasted breadcrumbs recipe on my site is also fantastic!

  1. Hi Pamela.always love your recipes and your book Quicker than Quick! Question: can I char the romaine heads ahead of time? I am having guests over for dinner Friday and do not want to be preparing things last minute (want everything ready at the table to serve as buffet). Please let me know. Thank you so much!

    • Thank you, Denisse! I would caution grilling these in advance because the leaves will wilt and become soggy. You can prep the components ahead of time (dressing, shave cheese, wash and dry lettuce, brush with oil and salt and pepper). I would have the lettuce heads prepped on a tray and grill preheated before your guests arrive so that way all you have to do is grill for a quick minute when you are ready to serve. We do this all the time and you can have a friend join you at the grill while these cook.

  2. This looks delicious and I want to try it for tomorrow night with a steak dinner. I’m not quite sure how to cut the romaine. Do you cut it all the way to the end and then cut in half?
    Also if I do t have capers for the dressing should I substitute something else?
    Thank you

    • Slice in half the long way, cutting through the core. If the heads are large, you can cut in half again or leave them large. The core is what keeps the leaves together, so you cut through the core. If you don’t have capers, try anchovy paste or a drop of worcestershire.

  3. Is the dressing all of the ingredients listed above the romaine? Looks good – Thanks!

    • Yes, sorry if that was confusing.

  4. This was delicious and the timing was perfect – my husband spontaneously asked a friend and his sons over for a boys’ bbq, and he asked me if I had any ideas for an easy side or salad he could make. This had just arrived in my inbox! I made the dressing, handed him the washed romaine, then went to have a nice quiet dinner on my own!! They loved it!

    • Terrific!!

  5. I bought two of your books and use your recipes regularly.

    • Thank you, Shelly! Happy to be in your kitchen with you!

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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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