Grilled Romaine Lettuce

What are romaine hearts? Just the inner leaves of romaine lettuce that stay somewhat tightly together, not the outer leaves.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3-4


  • 3 to 4 romaine hearts
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or cider vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper


1 Prep the romaine hearts: Pull off any old leaves. Chop off the top 1 or 2 inches of the lettuce head, and shave off the browned part of the root end, leaving the root end intact so that the lettuce head stays together.

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2 Prepare your grill for high, direct heat.

3 Prepare the vinaigrette: Put the oil, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk with a fork to combine. Paint the lettuce hearts all over with the vinaigrette.

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4 Grill: Grill the romaine hearts until lightly browned on all sides, turning every minute or two until done.

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Serve immediately. You can either serve the hearts whole, or chop them and toss them for a salad.

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  • George

    Tried it this past week and it was great. One question, can this also be done on an electric indoor grill?


  • Lisa

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


  • Michelle Williams

    Sounds great! Making it this weekend ❤️


  • Carey

    This was very good. I chopped it, added some more of the vinaigrette and added a can of tuna to make a salad.


  • Linda

    I have been making romaine this way for years and it’s always a hit with guests. We have a little different twist…we wrap it in proscuitto then lightly spray with olive oil to prevent it from sticking on the grill. It doesn’t need a lot of dressing since it has so much flavor already. Sometimes add some chopped hazelnuts if you want to take it over the top. I could eat this once a week! BTW, if you don’t have an outdoor grill, you can do it on a grill pan on your stovetop.


  • Celeste

    I have looked all over the web for a grilled romaine salad without a grill (I live in a condo). Any suggestions? I have a grill pan, don’t know if I should use that or just put it on the actual burner itself.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Celeste, I would use a grill pan rather than putting them directly on the burner.

    • Richard

      Buy a George Foreman they work great,exspecially in a condo apt etc.

    • ian

      you can do it in the oven too, just crank up the heat, cut the lettuce in half and roast for 10 mins

  • Susan Gosser

    Love, love, love Grilled Romaine Lettuce – having it tonight along with a Tenderloin Steak. Yum, Yum, Yum.

  • Nadea

    I must try grilled, or baked as it would be in my case, lettuce. In Hong Kong we eat it steamed instead of raw. It sounds disgusting and I must admit it took some getting used to, but it is ok, actually. I think it would be fun to experiment with seasonings to make it a little more exciting, like oyster sauce and black bean sauce and garlic and or ginger. That would definitely liven it up!

  • shermeals

    I tried this tonight on the grill and we loved it. I added some fresh parmesan since I just bought a piece. Wow! What a different and tasty side dish to have with whatever else you happen to be cooking on the grill. Thanks for posting this recipe which encouraged me to try grilling romaine.


  • Helen

    How do u wash it if it’s kept whole ?

    The romaine hearts are closed, dirt doesn’t get in so you don’t have to wash inside. On the outside you can just rinse. ~Elise



  • Traci

    FAB.U.LOUS!!! I don’t want un-grilled romaine salad EVER AGAIN!!! This was amazing! Thank you! I also grilled red peppers and red onions. I then tossed it all with capers, blue cheese and chopped pears in a champagne caper vinegarette. Doing it again tonight!

    • Leslie Merical

      Yum! This sounds relish too Traci! I’m going to try this week! Thanks! ;)

  • mantha

    Wow, that looks fantastic! I think I’d like to season with Herbes de Provence, and just work a few strips of mild pickled sweet red pepper into the center, like a stuffing.
    You have the best ideas!

  • Judy T

    Love grilled romaine! I also slice down the center because the vinaigrette gets between the leaves and has an even better taste. I use balsamic instead of red wine or cider vinegar.

  • Framed Cooks

    What a coincidence…this is on my dinner menu tonight! I ran across a recipe for grilled Caesar salad that involves grilling the lettuce, and now you’ve given me the confidence to go through with it! (And we’re tossing some steak on the grill as well…) :)

  • KimH

    We sliced ours down the middle making sure to keep the rib end intact. The last 2 years we couldnt get enough of them. They’re pretty yummy!

  • Africanaussie

    oh my gosh that sounds so strange I will have to try it! I know there is a french recipe where lettuce leaves are cooked with green peas, I have never heard of barbecuing it though – gosh I love grilled vegetables.

  • Lisa S.

    I had this at a restaurant once. It was good. They charged $14 for this salad (for 1). I knew it wasn’t worth that price, but I wanted to try it. It’s good and different so make it! Your readers aren’t reading your blog for same-old, same-old. I might have to make this with the July 4th hamburger and hot dog fare to give the holiday meal a bit of class.

  • Peter D. Albertson

    I live in a city apartment that doesn’t allow grills on my tiny deck. So I can’t grill. But I do the same thing in a hot pan until it browns. Even better is baby bok choy, sauteed in a hot cast iron pan with olive oil and a small amount of garlic. Delish!

  • Diana

    We LOVE grilled romaine!!! Had it as a main salad dish several years ago at a little local restaurant in Colorado and have recreated it at home every since. We like to rub olive oil on the romaine, grill it then top with black beans, yellow corn, red onion, bacon, croutons and a Chipolte dressing. Delicious!

  • lolaphong

    I also recommend grilling Treviso–it’s bitter and a purplish red like radicchio, but shaped like a small compact head of romaine. It holds
    it shape up very well against the heat of the grill and I love the flavor with a simple vinegar based dressing.

    We have a grilled radicchio salad on the site which I love. Treviso is just like it. Great, isn’t it? ~Elise

  • Marion Olson

    Somewhere this past winter I came up with a recipe for roasted Romaine and chicken breasts in the oven, painting the Romaine with olive oil and anchovies, and using seasoned breadcrumbs and Parmesan on the chicken. I like the idea of doing it on the grill and chopping it to make a salad.

    A few chopped anchovies in the olive oil on the hearts and grilling some thin-sliced peasant bread for croutons would be good, too. Adding grilled chicken breasts could turn this into a nifty summer salad meal.

    What great ideas! Thanks for sharing. ~Elise

  • Dave

    Hi Elise,
    I have done this many times and always love it. If i’m using a gas grill I usually add a scant drop or two of liquid smoke to the vinaigrette to get a smoky effect.


  • Monty

    First reaction: Elise has lost her mind.
    After figuring that you haven’t lead me astray yet, I tried it. Yum Yum Thanks for the idea.

  • Tim Clark

    It’s also great to use the grilled romaine for Caesar salad. Parmesan takes on a whole new personality when it hits that smoky lettuce.

  • Mike G

    This is so good. And it doesn’t get wilted and soft. Eat your veggies!