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posted December 27, 2021

Grilled Romaine Lettuce

Grilled romaine lettuce is a simple, yet amazing way to prepare a delicious salad. Homemade ranch brushed on the romaine prior to grilling cooks in all sorts of amazing flavor. Finish it off with crumbled bacon and blue cheese and you have a salad unlike any other.

Grilled romaine lettuce topped with ranch dressing and bacon bits with text overlay - Grilled Romaine.

Grilled Romaine

Okay, hear me out. Grilling romaine lettuce is really possible and results in a delicious salad. It may seem simple and basic, but grilling will take this romaine up a major notch to greens you’ll actually WANT to eat.

I ain’t lying! Grilled romaine is a salad experience unlike any other. Hearty heads of romaine lettuce are charred hot and fast for flavor and a killer crunch. The homemade ranch, crispy bacon bits, and punchy bite of blue cheese set this salad apart from the rest.

Ranch dressing being stirred in a glass bowl.

Grilled Romaine Salad Dressing

The best part of this lettuce has to be in the homemade ranch dressing. If you must use a storebought brand of ranch dressing, so be it, but making it yourself will be about a million times better. Here’s what you’ll need to snag to make this dressing.

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tablespoons buttermilk
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons chives
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Fish and Veggie Rub

My Fish and Veggie Rub is a great seasoning that tastes amazing on any vegetable. You can purchase a bottle from the Hey Grill Hey Store, or make a similar seasoning using my recipe for Homemade Vegetable Seasoning.

Ranch dressing being spread on romaine hearts with a basting brush.

How to Grill Romaine Lettuce

Here’s how to grill romaine lettuce without overcooking the leaves or ending up with a wilty mess.

  1. Preheat. Fire up the old grill and get it going nice and HOT. We’re talking high, direct heat, around 450-500 degrees F. You can cook this on whatever grill you have available, but a gas grill or charcoal grill work especially well.
  2. Prep the romaine. Cut the romaine lettuce in halves, making sure to cut through the stem as well to help the romaine keep its shape.
  3. Make the dressing. Combine all ingredients for the homemade ranch dressing in a bowl. Brush it over the lettuce, getting in between the leaves as well.
  4. Grill. Once your grill is good and hot, place the dressed romaine halves on the grill, dressing side down, and grill for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Serve. Remove your lettuce to a serving platter and enjoy immediately.

You can top this lettuce with whatever toppings you enjoy on a salad. I prefer crumbled bacon and blue cheese, but diced tomatoes, black olives, and even some croutons would taste amazing!

Romaine hearts on the grill.

How Long to Grill Romaine

It only takes 2-3 minutes to grill romaine lettuce. Make sure your grill is preheated for high, direct heat. Your grill should be running consistently around 450-500 degrees F when you place the lettuce on the grill.

A nice hot grill is key to correctly char the romaine. You want to give the leaves a nice sear, so the hotter the better!

Tips for Making Grilled Romaine

Here are some tips for making this grilled romaine. Don’t skip this section! I’m here to make sure your lettuce is cooked just right and tastes amazing.

  • Don’t overcook the lettuce. You really only need a quick burst of heat to blister and blacken those lettuce edges. Do not leave the lettuce on the grill for longer than a few minutes. The lettuce will wilt and you’ll lose that crisp edge.
  • Only cut once. Splitting your lettuce in half while leaving the stem intact will keep your lettuce together on the grill. 
  • Make the ranch in advance. If you find yourself in a pinch for time when making this lettuce, plan ahead! You can prep all of your dressings and toppings a day or so ahead of time, so when that lettuce is ready to hit the grill, you’re ready too! My goal for this recipe is that it is as quick and easy as possible.

Three grilled romaine hearts topped with ranch dressing and bacon bits.

More BBQ Salad Recipes

I know, I know, can you really qualify salad as a BBQ? Here at Hey Grill Hey, we’re pretty much determined to take anything and everything and turn it into a BBQ favorite. So YES, salad is totally BBQ, and these other salad recipes are here to prove my point.

Grilled Romaine Recipe

Now that you have a major craving for lettuce (you don’t have to deny it any longer), jump on this recipe! If anyone questions why you’re setting lettuce on the grill, just tell ’em Susie told you to.

Follow the recipe, and I’ll teach you the simple steps to making your own grilled romaine at home. If you’re looking for the ultimate way to help you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero, join my members-only group The Grill Squad for full access to all my meat, rubs, sauces, and meat buying masterclasses, podcasts, and so much more.

Three grilled romaine hearts topped with ranch dressing and bacon bits.

Grilled Romaine Lettuce

Taylor Shulman
Grilled romaine lettuce is a simple, yet amazing way to prepare a delicious salad. Homemade ranch brushed on the romaine prior to grilling cooks in all that amazing flavor. Finish it off with crumbled bacon and blue cheese and you have a salad unlike any other.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time : 15 mins
Cook Time : 3 mins
Total Time : 18 mins
Servings : 6 people
Calories : 383kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 3 heads romaine lettuce (halved lengthwise)
  • 1 cup bacon (cooked and crumbled)
  • 1 cup blue cheese (crumbled)

Homemade Ranch Dressing

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tablespoons buttermilk (may been 1/4 cup to reach desired thickness)
  • 2 clovces garlic (minced)
  • 3 Tablespoons chives (finely chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Hey Grill Hey Fish and Veggie Rub (alternative seasoning recipe in notes section)

Instructions

  • Preheat. Preheat your grill to 450-500 degrees F for high heat, direct grilling.
  • Make the ranch dressing. In a bowl, combine the sour cream and buttermilk, stirring until smooth. Add in all remaining ranch ingredients, stir, and set aside.
  • Cut. Cut your romaine heads into halves, slicing through the stem.
  • Dress the romaine. Using a basting brush, cover the cut side of your romaine halves in ranch, getting the dressing between the leaves as well.
  • Grill. Place the romaine halves, cut side down, on your grill grates, and cook over high, direct, heat until the ranch and romaine caramelize, but do not wilt. This only takes about 2-3 minutes. Do not close the lid of your grill at all while grilling the romaine.
  • Enjoy. Transfer your grilled romaine halves to a serving platter and top with blue cheese, bacon, and additional ranch, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 789mg | Potassium: 981mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 27765IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 277mg | Iron: 3mg
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