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Grilled romaine lettuce is easy to make and adds a delightfully smoky flavor to any salad. Top with Parmesan for a simple appetizer or side dish!

Grilled romaine

OK, grilled lettuce might sound a bit strange, right? Alex and I started out pretty skeptical, too. But after trying it, somehow grilling romaine lettuce brings out an unexpectedly beautiful smoky flavor in this leafy green! I’m not quite sure how to describe it, but it is hands down one of the best things I’ve tasted lately. Grilled romaine is easy to make, and topped with a little Parmesan cheese, it’s an easy appetizer or side dish. You can even make it into grilled Caesar salad with our best Caesar dressing! Ready to fire up the grill?

Grilled romaine

Tips for how to make grilled romaine lettuce

How to get those perfect grilled char marks on your romaine lettuce? Here are a few tips on how to make grilled romaine:

  • Slice each romaine heart in half. Slice each heart in half and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Slicing the romaine hearts in half makes it easier to flip them, and prevents them from rolling off the grill.
  • Season well! Be sure to season the lettuce with balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper prior to grilling so that the flavors all meld together during the grilling process.
  • Grill a few minutes per side, until charred but mostly green. Leave it on the grill for about three minutes on each side (remember, you’re grilling lettuce, not a steak!). You want each side to be slightly charred, but still mostly green. Grilling for too long results in brown, soggy romaine.
Grilled romaine

Ways to serve grilled romaine

With a little freshly grated Parmesan, this grilled romaine is the perfect way to start a summer meal al fresco. We served it alongside pasta recently, and it was an excellent complement. Whatever way you serve this grilled romaine, give it a try and experience the magic of grilled salad! Here are a few ways you could add extra flavor to this grilled romaine:

Caesar salad

Make it a meal! Main dishes to pair

Lastly, what grilled dinner ideas go well with grilled romaine? Since you’ve already got your grill fired up, here a few that we’d recommend to make it a meal:

  • Easy Cedar Plank Salmon Grilling fish on a plank of wood infuses a smoky flavor that is to die for.
  • Perfect Grilled Shrimp This easy grilled shrimp is full of serious flavor, with zesty flavors of lemon and garlic. Add quinoa and make it a meal.
  • Best Veggie Burger This mouthwatering veggie burger recipe is slathered with barbecue sauce and doesn’t fall apart on the grill!
  • Grilled Eggplant This grilled eggplant is topped with feta and dill herbed quinoa, and colorful ripe cherry tomatoes, perfect for summer.

More romaine lettuce recipes

Have lots of romaine? Here are a few more romaine lettuce recipes to use it:

This grilled romaine recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, use vegan cheese or try sprinkling with vegan Parmesan.

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Grilled romaine

Easy Grilled Romaine

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Total Time: 11 minutes
  • Yield: 4 as an appetizer or side 1x


Grilled romaine lettuce is easy to make and adds a delightfully smoky flavor to any salad. Top with Parmesan for a simple appetizer or side dish!


  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce (or packaged romaine hearts)
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Optional: Easy Caesar Dressing


  1. Preheat a grill. (If you don’t have a grill, you also can use a stovetop grill pan; in that case, skip this step.)
  2. Wash and dry the romaine. If using romaine heads, remove a few of the outer-most leaves and save for a salad at another time.
  3. Cut each romaine heart in half lengthwise. Drizzle each side liberally with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and add several pinches kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  4. Place the romaine hearts on the grill, and grill for about 3 minutes on each side, until slightly charred.
  5. Top with grated Parmesan cheese (or Easy Caesar Dressing) and serve immediately.
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: grilled romaine, vegetables, grill, summer, side, vegetarian

Looking for more grilled & side dish recipes?

Here are a few more grilled and healthy side dish recipes to add to your repertoire:

Last updated: April 2020

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Ive always wanted to try grilled romaine but my BF is a stickler for spinach salads. Maybe I can convince him by telling him this one goes over the grill :D

  2. we have a portable grill, but nowhere to use it. (One of the downsides to living in NYC.) This is giving me another reason to have grill envy. Looks delicious and the description of smoky flavor really sold me.

  3. We love grilled romaine!! Caesar dressing or blue cheese dressing are my favorite toppings thus far. Now, I’ll try yours :-)

  4. Love grilled romaine – we keep the grill open all year long and made our own grilled salad in February. Delish!

  5. I love this! Grilled romaine is so tasty, just so much more flavorful!

  6. It’s amazing how much grilling adds flavor. PS love your new header- very nice! It changed right- or am I imagining it… LOL

    1. Haha! Thanks! Hopefully we’ll be getting around to giving the whole blog a face lift sometime soon :)

  7. I’ve been hearing about grilled romaine a lot lately, too! Thanks for giving it a try and posting. I guess I’ll have to give it a try as soon as our lettuces really get growing in the garden!

  8. So simple, so delicious! It looks so good (and that’s saying a lot for plain romaine with parmesan)!

  9. I immediately had to smile…the same with BBQ situation at my house. 5 of 7 days grilling. heard about grilled lettuce from an austrian cook. i never tried but i should. thanks for sharing.

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