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Grilled Romaine with Pumpernickel Croutons and Lemon Caesar Vinaigrette in a bowl.
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5 from 3 votes

Grilled romaine with pumpernickel croutons and lemon caesar vinaigrette

Grilled romaine with lemon caesar vinaigrette is a simple update on a classic that the whole family will love! Pair with grilled chicken or salmon, then add homemade croutons for a much needed crunch. You'll eat the dressing by the spoonful!
Prep10 mins
Cook15 mins
Total25 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: caesar dressing, caesar salad with chicken, grilled caesar salad, grilled romaine, homemade caesar dressing, how to grill romaine
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 563kcal
Author: Ari Laing


For the salad and dressing

  • 2 anchovies about 1 tsp
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • juice from ½ large lemon about 3 Tbsp
  • 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 Tbsp garlic minced
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil plus 4 Tbsp, divided
  • 2 cups pumpernickel bread cut into ½" cubes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 hearts of romaine

For the grilled chicken, optional

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • lemons for serving


For the salad and dressing

  • Place anchovies in a mortar and grind with pestle until a smooth paste forms. Alternatively, you can chop the anchovies very finely with a knife. Place in a medium mason jar.
  • Add Dijon, lemon zest, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, minced garlic, and ½ cup olive oil. Secure lid on, then shake until well combined. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine pumpernickel and 2 Tbsp olive oil on a large baking sheet, then toss to combine. Season with about 1 tsp kosher salt, then bake 7-9 minutes, or until crisp. Set aside.
  • Heat a grill over medium-high heat (about 400 F). Trim the tiniest amount off the ends of each romaine heart, just removing the part that is brown, then slice each in half lengthwise. Drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil on the romaine.
  • When grill is hot, grill romaine cut side down for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until charred and beginning to wilt. Remove and set aside.

For grilled chicken, optional

  • In a large mixing bowl or tupperware, combine olive oil, salt, oregano, garlic powder, and black pepper. Whisk to combine. Add chicken breasts and toss in marinade. Let sit for as long as you have time -- 5 minutes, 30 minutes, overnight. The longer it sits, the better.
  • When ready, cook over medium-high heat on a grill (about 400 F) for about ~5-8 minutes per side (depending on thickness), or until internal temperature reaches 165 F. Let rest 5 minutes, then cut into thin slices. Serve over grilled romaine with croutons and lemon wedges.


  • Dressing can be made ahead and kept in a refrigerator for up to 2 weeks
  • Grilled romaine should be used the same day it is cooked to remain crisp. On subsequent days it will be a little soggy.
  • Homemade croutons can be made from any crusty, dense bread such as pumpernickel, rye, sourdough, or any baguette.
  • Anchovies should not be omitted! Give them a try before deciding you don't like them! The flavor is totally umami.


Calories: 563kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 1350mg | Potassium: 455mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 7401IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 4mg
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