Classic Caesar salad gets a flavor facelift thanks to the grill! Romaine hearts, rosemary marinated chicken and even the bread for the croutons are all grilled to perfection in this healthy Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad!
When it comes to salads what’s your favorite part? The toppings obviously, am I right? The whole lettuce business is more of an obligation. You feel like you have to put it in there because you’ve always done it that way and if you didn’t, is it really a salad? Generally my feeling about lettuce is that it’s just getting in the way and taking up space for the stuff I really want. However, when I made this Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad my opinions of lettuce totally changed.
Why did my opinion change? Because I stuck it on the grill! Sounds crazy and I’ve been skeptical to try it, but it seems to be the thing to do in the summer. I was hesitant to give it a try because I was afraid the lettuce would get limp and soggy. This can absolutely happen if you leave it on the grill too long or use a delicate lettuce, but with a sturdy lettuce like romaine hearts, it works beautifully.
How to Grill Romaine Lettuce
When grilling romaine lettuce, my preference is to use romaine hearts. First, slice them in half lengthwise. You want the core to remain intact so leaves aren’t falling all over the grill. Drizzle the halves with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put them cut side down on the hot grill and cook them for about 2-3 minutes or until they have nice grill marks. That’s all there is to it and the added flavor that the grill gives the lettuce is a game changer!
The most classic and common salad that uses romaine lettuce is Caesar salad. It’s a salad I rarely make or order at a restaurant, but thought I’d give it a flavor facelift by making every component, except the dressing, on the grill.
Along with grilling the lettuce I also grilled the bread for grilled croutons (another game changer) and to make the salad a main dish I grilled chicken as well. The chicken gets an extra punch of flavor from the easy rosemary and lemon marinade that I made for it. The flavor of the marinade pairs perfectly with the healthy Caesar dressing that I made for the salad as well.
Caesar dressing is possibly one of the biggest calorie and fat bombs when it comes to salad dressing. To make mine lighter I eliminated the egg yolk and most of the oil and used plain Greek yogurt instead. It’s not traditional, but all the flavor is there, including the anchovies. Don’t let them scare you, there is absolutely no fish taste in the dressing.
If you’ve never had or made a grilled salad before this Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad is the perfect one to start with. Fresh, healthy and it will forever change your mind about the value of lettuce in salad!
More Summer Salads
- 1/2 of a lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 clove of garlic, mined
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 romaine hearts, halved lengthwise
- 4 slices whole wheat bread, a crusty artisan type is best
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 of a lemon, juiced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons worchestershire
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- In a small bowl whisk together the ingredients for the marinade.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper then place it in a freezer bag.
- Pour the marinade over the chicken, seal the bag, then massage it into the chicken with your hands. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
- add all of the ingredients to a bowl and whisk together until combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat and brush the grill grates with oil.
- Place the marinated chicken onto the grill and cook for 4-6 minutes depending on the thickness, then flip over and cook another 4-6 minutes or until cooked through (165 degrees F.).
- Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest while you grill the romaine hearts and bread.
- Drizzle olive oil on the romaine hearts and slices of bread and season them with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Place the romaine hearts cut side down on the grill and cook them for approximately 2-3 minutes or until they have nice grill marks.
- Grill the bread at the same time as the lettuce for approximately 1 minute per side. Once grilled, cut the bread into bite sized cubes.
- Place the grilled romaine hearts cut side up on a serving platter and top them with slices of the grilled chicken, cubes of the grilled bread, Caesar dressing, shredded parmesan cheese and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.
- This salad is best served right after it's made. The grilled lettuce tends to get soggy the longer it sits.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 388 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 93mg Sodium: 834mg Fiber: 6g Sugar: 5g Protein: 41g