How to Grill Lettuce + Simple Italian Grilled Romaine Salad

By Amanda Paa – Updated May 23, 2023
4.57 from 116 votes
Learn how to grill lettuce, an amazing way to transform romaine lettuce into something delicious. Grilling lettuce is simple and infuses it with smokiness and great flavor. You can top the salad with lemon and parmesan, or blue cheese and bacon!
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Lettuce might not be top of mind when it comes to grilling. I get it! A few years ago I too thought, “lettuce is so delicate, I just don’t think that will work. But after trying it, I understand why I was seeing it on restaurants everywhere. Because grilled romaine lettuce is amazing, and incredibly easy.

Without an ounce of effort, it turns lettuce into something so different and delicious. Hot and crisp, with browned ruffled edges. Tender on the inside, yet still some crunch to give.

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A drizzle of good olive oil, a splash of bright lemon, and a dusting of fresh parmesan cheese. It’s the absolute perfect side to juicy grilled bone-in pork chops or Rotisserie Chicken on the Grill!

Watch Video: How to Make Grilled Lettuce

Olive Oil Grilled Romaine Lettuce {heartbeet kitchen blog}

This grilled lettuce technique is pretty much foolproof, but here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Most important: slice the head of lettuce VERTICALLY, think lengthwise. This keeps the leaves connected to the core, thus your leaves staying together, nice and firm.
  2. Make sure your grates are clean, and brush them with a little oil.
  3. Turn that grill up to medium high, no need to be shy. This will give the lettuce those beautiful sear marks and infuse a smokiness.
  4. Don’t forget the fresh lemon juice. This is key to making the natural flavors of the lettuce sing, and brightens the entire dish.

You can watch this Grilled Lettuce video to help guide you in making it as well!

Grilled Romaine Lettuce Salad ~ easy vegetarian grilling recipe with how to video
Simple Italian Grilled Romaine Lettuce Salad on a plate with half lemon

This might just be the technique that turns your salad naysayers into believers. When I was filming this video with my friend, him hustling with the camera while I brushed, grilled, and ate, the least I could do was offer him was the of result of our work. I offered, and he hesitated…. “I’ll try it, but I don’t like lettuce.”

He took one bite, sat silent, and then… “Okay, I guess I like lettuce”. Three days later he texted me a picture of grilled lettuce, the starter to the dinner he had made for his girl. I’ll take that as a win. Hope you enjoy it just as much, xo.

Grilled Romaine Lettuce Salad ~ easy vegetarian grilling recipe with how to video

More Grilling Recipes:

How to Grill Lettuce + Simple Grilled Romaine Salad Recipe

Learn how to grill lettuce, an amazing way to transform romaine lettuce into something delicious! Grilling lettuce is simple and infuses it with smokiness and great flavor. You can top the salad with lemon and parmesan, or blue cheese and bacon!
4.57 from 116 votes
Prep Time :5 minutes
Cook Time :5 minutes
Total Time :10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Author: Amanda Paa

SCALE:

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of fresh and firm romaine lettuce cut vertically (you will have 4 halves)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 2 ounces fresh parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions 

  • Make sure grates of grill are clean and turn to medium high.
  • Brush lettuce halves liberally with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, cut side and back side. Then sprinkle each halve with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.
  • Grill for 3 minutes, cut side down, pressing with your tongs to make sure the lettuce gets a good sear. Flip and grill for 2 more minutes.
  • Remove from grill. Sprinkle with a touch more salt and 4 grinds of fresh black pepper for each half, drizzle with remaining olive oil. Then squeeze fresh lemon juice over each half.
  • Use a grater to shave LOTS of fresh parmesan on each halve. Or, another great way to serve it is by crumbling blue cheese and bacon over the top. I also like to chop the grilled romaine heads up, then toss with cheater homemade caesar dressing and sourdough croutons or this flavorful Green Goddess Dressing! If you'd like to make it vegan, my 5-Minute Vegan Salad Dressing is so good it's drinkable, and would be an excellent way to finish the grilled lettuce.

Did you make this?

tag @heartbeetkitchen on instagram and hashtag it #heartbeetkitchen

August 2, 2016

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28 comments

  1. Kylie

    5 stars
    This is surprisingly delicious. I fully expected this to taste like grilled salad but it was enjoyed by even the staunch salad haters. It has a lovely flavor and texture.

    • Amanda Paa

      Hi Kylie! I love how you describe the staunch salad haters and their enjoyment of the grilled lettuce! Thank you for making the recipe.

  2. Liz Baldwin

    5 stars
    Super easy and delicious! Anyone can make this tasty dish.

    • Amanda Paa

      So glad you enjoy the grilled lettuce; your photo of it on Instagram was beautiful!

  3. Tom Thoren

    5 stars
    Thank you the simple but easy trick of slicing the lettuce in half, much easier and better all around. The first time I tried to grill Romaine the recipe kept the lettuce whole – you need to cut it in half

  4. Joni Renee Zalk

    Do you close the lid of the grill while cooking or leave it open?

    • Amanda Paa

      lid stays open while cooking!

  5. Paul

    If you like a little heat, I recommend using chili oil in place of the olive oil.

  6. Lori

    That looks so great. Easy to make it. I can’t wait to try it tomorrow!

  7. Callie

    Really easy and an honestly great recipe. I used store bought caesar dressing, but will use your recipe next time! The grilled flavor with the flavor of the beans was spot on. Will be making again this week!

    • Amanda Paa

      oh, sounds so good with caesar dressing! glad you liked the recipe.

  8. Susan Dubose

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

    • Amanda Paa

      you are correct! :) thank you for noticing.

  9. Patrick

    This is fantastic! just don’t leave on the grill too long it will get a weird texture… Love the flavor.

  10. Erika

    Delicious! I tried it with toasted sesame oil instead of olive oil and it was out of this world.

    • Amanda Paa

      the sesame oil is genius! totally going to try that.

  11. Nicole

    DELICIOUS! Do you recommend serving the lettuce right off the grill? Or can you grill ahead of time and serve it room temp/cold?

    • amandapaa

      Hi Nicole!

      It’s good both hot right off the grill, or room temp! I like it both ways, and have made it ahead before.

  12. Kat

    Do you wash and dry the lettuce first?

    • amandapaa

      Yes, I do rinse it lightly!

  13. saltandserenity

    I love this idea. So simple and delicious. I have grilled romaine for Caesar salad but now I’m going to just forget the Caesar dressing and do it this way.
    Grilled radicchio is also delicious.
    Loving your Instagram feed!!

    • amandapaa

      oh, thank you for suggesting the grilled radicchio! i can’t wait to try that. xo

  14. Sarah @ Snixy Kitchen

    Grilled lettuce is AMAZING – I think you’ve hit it spot on – it transforms it into an entirely new vegetable. I love your video (especially your hat shot!) – your simple grilled lettuce is the prettiest ever.

  15. Kate @ Framed Cooks

    I absolutely LOVE grilling lettuce! And with lettuces (like Bibb ad Boston) that are too delicate for the grill, I saute them with olive oil and sea salt on the stove – especially good to do when things are getting a little wilted. Thanks for the delicious reminder – love how you have added lemon to the mix!

  16. Bethany @ Athletic Avocado

    I love the thought of grilled lettuce, so unique! Can’t wait to try it myself!

    • amandapaa

      such a simple way to change an ingredient we use so often. hope you enjoy! xo

  17. Megan @ MegUnprocessed

    That looks so delicious I can’t wait to try it out!

    • amandapaa

      ya, fire up that grill!