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Easy Grilled Romaine Hearts Recipe

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These grilled romaine hearts with a creamy yogurt dressing are a must-make! You are going to love this easy-to-make, flavorful salad.

If you've never considered grilling lettuce, I'm here to tell you why you should try it! This unexpected salad has great flavor. Grilling romaine brings out a lovely sweetness and adds a delightful char and crispiness to the edges of the leaves. It's truly a standout side dish for a barbecue.

Grilled romaine hearts topped with creamy dill dressing on a platter.

This grilled romaine salad is a take on a Caesar salad - it's got a creamy herb dressing and a little Parmesan cheese to add a mellow, buttery flavor.

With just a few minutes of grilling time you can have a great little side dish!

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Ingredients

Here are the simple ingredients you'll need to make this grilled romaine salad.

Romaine hearts, parmesan, basil, dill, yogurt, olive oil, salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar.
  • Romaine Hearts - the star of the show, you can either remove the outer leaves of whole heads of romaine lettuce and use the extra leaves in a salad or purchase romaine hearts in a package from the grocery store. The hearts are the center of the lettuce; they are smaller leaves, more yellow or light green, and have a sweeter flavor. They also tend to be a bit crisper (making them better for grilling).
  • Olive Oil - the oil will help prevent the lettuce from sticking to the grill and allow it to cook more quickly and get nice crisp grill lines. You can use avocado oil or any other high-smoke point oil as well.
  • Salt & Pepper - a pinch of sea salt (or kosher salt) and fresh ground pepper will help to flavor the lettuce.
  • Parmesan Cheese - mellow Parmesan cheese adds a buttery, nutty flavor to this dish.
  • Yogurt - the plain yogurt serves as a base for the creamy salad dressing. You can use full-fat or low-fat yogurt.
  • Red Wine Vinegar - adds a bit of tang to the creamy dressing. See substitution suggestions below.
  • Fresh Herbs - you'll use both chopped fresh dill and basil to season the dressing. See substitution ideas below.

See the recipe card for quantities.

Instructions

Heat a grill (or grill pan) to medium high heat. 

Wash any grit out of the romaine hearts and pat dry with a paper towel. 

Brush the olive oil on both sides of the romaine. Then sprinkle with the salt and black pepper.

Halved romaine hearts being brushed with olive oil.
Halved romaine hearts dressed with olive oil, salt, and pepper on a cutting board.

Place the romaine hearts, cut side down on the hot grill. Cook for 3 minutes, then flip and sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top of the romaine hearts. Grill for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Six halved romaine hearts being grilled.

Remove the romaine from the grill and place on a large platter. 

Grilled romaine hearts topped with parmesan on a black cutting board.

Place the yogurt, mint, dill, red wine vinegar, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add a tablespoon or two of water to the dressing to thin it to the desired consistency. 

A creamy dill dressing being mixed in a glass bowl.

Drizzle the dressing over the romaine hearts and serve immediately. 

Grilled romaine hearts with parmesan on a platter next to a bowl of creamy dill dressing.

Tips for Making this Recipe

Cooking Tips - to prevent your lettuce from sticking to the grill, use tongs and a paper towel soaked in canola or vegetable oil to oil your grill grates.

Preparation Tips - hearts of romaine can sometimes have a little grit between the leaves - especially at the base. Make sure to thoroughly inspect and rinse your romaine while still keeping it together as one piece.

Storage

Grilled romaine is best served fresh, as it gets soggy quickly.

However, if you have leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. If possible, store the romaine and the dressing separately as the dressing.

I don't suggest reheating the romaine, but you can take it out of the refrigerator before serving and allow it to come to room temperature.

Substitutions & Variations

  • Vinegar - the red wine vinegar can be substituted for balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar. I would not recommend substituting it for regular white vinegar though.
  • Fresh Herbs - you can swap the dill or basil for fresh mint, parsley, or cilantro.
  • Yogurt - you can use Greek yogurt instead of plain yogurt, but you may need some additional water to thin the dressing to a drizzly consistency.
  • Optional Toppings - you can squeeze a little lemon juice on top of the romaine or top it with toasted nuts like pepitas, pine nuts, or chopped walnuts.

What to Serve with Grilled Romaine

Want to throw something else on the grill alongside the romaine? Make a complete meal with one of these main dish ideas.

More Great Grilled Sides

If you like grilling veggies or making unusual grilled side dishes, try some of these favorites!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Connect with us on Instagram and share your photos, or leave us a rating.

Yield: 6 servings

Grilled Romaine Hearts

Grilled romaine hearts topped with creamy dill dressing on a platter.

These fantastic grilled romaine hearts with a creamy yogurt dressing are a fantastic and flavorful side salad!

Ingredients

  • 3 fresh romaine hearts, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Dressing Ingredients

  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • water, as needed

Instructions

  1. Heat a grill (or grill pan) to medium-high heat. 
  2. Wash any grit from the romaine hearts and pat dry with a paper towel. 
  3. Brush the olive oil on both sides of the romaine. Then sprinkle with the salt and black pepper.
  4. Place the romaine hearts, cut side down on the grill. Cook for 3 minutes, then flip and sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top of the romaine hearts. Grill for an additional 2 minutes.
  5. Remove the romaine from the grill and place on a large platter. 
  6. Place the yogurt, mint, dill, red wine vinegar, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add a tablespoon or two of water to the dressing to thin it to the desired consistency. 
  7. Drizzle the dressing over the romaine hearts and serve immediately. 

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 131Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 448mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 3g

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