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grilled caesar salad

Grilled Caesar Salad

Grilled romaine hearts, topped with a homemade creamy caesar dressing, toasted breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese. A great BBQ side.
20 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 romaine hearts, cut in half (lengthwise)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded or shaved
  • salt and pepper


  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp paprika (preferably smoked)
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

Caesar Dressing

  • 1 egg yolk, large
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, shredded (packed)
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice (fresh)
  • 2 small anchovies
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper


Caesar Dressing

  • Add the egg yolk, 2 tbsp of Parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, fresh lemon juice, anchovies, garlic, vegetable oil, salt, and pepper to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. 
  • Note: Consuming raw egg yolk may increase your risk of foodborne illness.  To avoid the risk, omit the egg yolk and vegetable oil and replace with 6 tbsp of full fat mayo.


  • Turn a skillet on medium heat.  Add the breadcrumbs, olive oil, paprika, and garlic powder to the hot skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toast for 5-6 minutes until nicely browned.  Stir constantly, to brown evenly. 

Grilled romaine and lettuce

  • Pre-heat BBQ to medium-high heat.  Start by washing your romaine hearts well and allow to dry.  Cut in half, lengthwise.
  • Place romaine hearts and the lemon, cut side down, on the grill.  Cook the romaine lettuce for about 2 minutes per side until nicely charred and remove from the grill.
  • Cook the lemon halves for 4 minutes on the cut side down only and remove from the grill. 

Assemble the salad

  • To serve, place the grilled romaine lettuce on a platter. Drizzle liberally with the Caesar dressing, top with Parmesan cheese and the bread crumbs, and squeeze the grilled lemon over the top.  Can be served right off the grill, room temperature, or chilled.


  • The anchovy is optional. The anchovies add extra umami that makes the distinct flavor of the Caesar dressing.  Feel free to only add 1 anchovy or omit all together.
  • I like to use sunflower oil for my creamy salad dressings because it is a neutral oil.  Olive oil can add a strong flavor that overpowers some salads.
  • I personally love panko bread crumbs because the particulate size is larger and more light and airy.  You can substitute for any bread crumb you have.  Fresh is always best if you have.
Keyword bbq side, quick side, salads