Skip to Content

Grilled Romaine Lettuce Recipe: Simple Steps to Delicious Flavor

I’ve included some videos below for those who prefer to watch rather than read.

Scrumptious homemade Grilled Romaine Lettuce

Grilled romaine lettuce is a quick and tasty way to elevate your salads. Grilling romaine hearts brings out a smoky flavor and adds a delightful crunch. Pair it with a tangy lemon dressing, parmesan cheese, and your favorite toppings for a delicious summer dish.

You’ll love how easy it is to prepare this dish. Just a few minutes on the grill transforms the lettuce into a warm, charred base for any meal. The contrast between the crisp outside and the tender inside makes grilled romaine a unique and flavorful addition to your salad lineup.

Ready to get started? Follow along as we guide you through the simple steps to make this flavorful dish. Whether you serve it as a side or a main course, grilled romaine is sure to impress your family and friends.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)


  • Romaine Lettuce: You’ll need whole romaine lettuce hearts. Cut them in half lengthwise.

  • Olive Oil: Use this to coat the lettuce before grilling. You can also use avocado oil if you prefer.

  • Salt and Pepper: Simple seasoning to taste.

  • Parmesan Cheese: Adds a nice flavor when sprinkled on top. You could use feta or blue cheese as alternatives.

  • Vinaigrette: A mix of oil and vinegar. You can use balsamic, red wine, or even apple cider vinegar. Whisk it with olive oil and add herbs if you like.

  • Garlic: Fresh minced garlic is best. Garlic powder can work in a pinch.

  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed is recommended. Bottled lemon juice is an easy substitute.

  • Herbs: Fresh or dried herbs like parsley, basil, or thyme for added flavor. Feel free to use what you have on hand.

Possible Substitutes

  • Oil Substitutes: If you’re out of olive oil, try using vegetable oil, coconut oil, or your favorite type of oil.

  • Cheese Options: If you don’t have parmesan, try using shredded mozzarella, crumbled goat cheese, or even shaved pecorino.

  • Vinaigrette Variations: You can substitute the vinegar with lemon juice or lime juice. For a sweeter twist, try adding a dash of honey or maple syrup.

This mix of ingredients and substitutes allows you to tweak the recipe to fit what you have in your kitchen. Enjoy experimenting!


  1. Prepare the Grill
    Preheat your grill to medium-high heat (around 450-500°F).

  2. Cut the Romaine
    Slice the romaine hearts in half lengthwise. Leave the stem ends intact to keep the leaves together.

  3. Season the Romaine
    Brush the cut sides with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Grill the Romaine
    Place the romaine cut side down on the grill. Grill for 3-5 minutes until charred in spots.

  5. Flip and Grill More
    Turn the romaine over and grill the other side for 1-2 more minutes.

  6. Dress the Lettuce
    Remove from the grill and place on a serving platter. Drizzle with more olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

  7. Add Toppings
    Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and extra black pepper if desired.

  8. Serve
    Serve the grilled romaine immediately. You can serve whole or chop into smaller pieces.

Enjoy your delicious grilled romaine!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Selecting the Lettuce:
When picking romaine lettuce, look for green, crisp leaves without brown spots. Fresh lettuce will give you the best flavor and texture.

Prepping the Lettuce:

  1. Wash: Rinse the romaine heads under cold water.
  2. Dry: Pat them dry with a clean towel or paper towels.
  3. Trim: Use a sharp knife to cut off the bottom inch to remove tough outer leaves.

Grilling Tips:

  1. Oil and Season: Brush the leaves with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper for added flavor.
  2. Heat: Preheat the grill to medium-high before placing the lettuce on it.
  3. Cook Time: Place cut side down and grill for 3-4 minutes. Flip and grill for another 1-2 minutes until charred.

Serving Suggestions:
Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. You can serve the grilled romaine whole or chopped.

Storing Fresh Romaine:

  • Whole Heads: Wrap in a damp paper towel and store in a plastic bag in the fridge. This keeps them fresh for up to one week.
  • Shredded Leaves: Place in a plastic bag with paper towels to soak up moisture. Store in the fridge’s crisper drawer for up to five days.

Quick Tip:
Grilled romaine is best served immediately. If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge and consume within a day.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

There are many ways you can jazz up your grilled romaine lettuce. Here are some ideas:


  • Cheese: Sprinkle crumbled feta, blue cheese, or grated parmesan.
  • Nuts: Add chopped almonds, walnuts, or pine nuts for crunch.
  • Fruits: Top with sliced strawberries, avocado chunks, or dried cranberries.


  • Classic Caesar: Whisk together garlic, anchovies, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and olive oil.
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette: Mix balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, and a pinch of salt.
  • Creamy Ranch: Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, and spices.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Appetizer: Serve as a starter with a drizzle of lemon juice and olive oil.
  • Side Dish: Pair it with grilled chicken, fish, or steak.
  • Main Salad: Add grilled shrimp, slices of grilled chicken, or hard-boiled eggs.

Cooking Variations:

  • Smoky Flavor: Use a charcoal grill for a deeper, smoky taste.
  • Stovetop Option: If you don’t have a grill, use a grill pan on your stove.

Herb Infusions:

  • Herb Choices: Mix fresh herbs like basil, thyme, or mint into your dressing.
  • Garlic & Onion: Toss minced garlic or thinly sliced red onions with the grilled lettuce.

You can customize your grilled romaine lettuce to match your preferences or what’s available in your pantry. Enjoy experimenting with different flavors and textures!

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.