Grilled Romaine Hearts Recipe

Grilled romain lettuces garnished with parmesan on a white platter.

The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
155 Calories
13g Fat
7g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 155
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 88mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 5mg 23%
Calcium 79mg 6%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 312mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Grilled hearts of romaine have picked up popularity within foodie circles and restaurants worldwide in recent times.

Multitudes of variations on romaine lettuce salads have been enjoyed since romaine's (kos) introduction in early Egypt, but its charms have just been waiting to be discovered as a top selection for grilling recipes. Romaine's mild sweetness turns into a delightful blend of smoky goodness when seared on the grill. Be warned, not all lettuce will respond as well as romaine on the grill so substitutes will be hard to find.

Though this grilled romaine lettuce recipe works best dressed with strongly flavored vinaigrettes or salty cheeses such as Parmesan or Grana Padano, the pure, unadulterated simplicity of salt and pepper is every bit as rewarding if you want to leave out the cheese. 

The grilled romaine is not a dish for keeping. It should be freshly made and served immediately. Leave it lingering and the lettuce will wilt and lose flavor quickly. In the middle of winter do not despair if you are not getting the outdoor grill fired up, this recipe works very well using a cast-iron grill pan; the results are almost the same except you are not in the fresh air. 

"Grilled summer salad, especially romaine, is delicious! Give it a try if you haven't already. The charred flavor is hard to beat, and it's so simple to prepare. You'll be hooked once you taste it!" —Diana Andrews

Grilled Romaine Hearts Recipe/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 3 heart romaine hearts, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Fresh romaine lettuce, olive oil, parmesan cheese and pepper on a table.

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  2. Prepare a medium-high (400 F to 475 F) gas or charcoal grill fire.

    Hot coals in a grill.

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  3. Pat dry the washed lettuce hearts with paper towel. Remove any browned or wilted outer leaves.

    Fresh romaine lettuce on a wood cutting board.

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  4. Halve the romaine hearts lengthwise, leaving the cores intact. Brush all the surfaces of the lettuce with the olive oil.

    Fresh lettuce covered in olive oil on a wood cutting board.

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  5. Grill the hearts, cut side down, over medium heat for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes on each side, until char marks appear on the surface of the lettuce and it wilts slightly.

    Fresh romaine lettuce on a grill.

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  6. Place the grilled lettuce, cut side up, on a serving platter. Drizzle the romaine with balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese and black pepper. Serve immediately.

    Grilled romaine lettuce garnished with parmesan cheese on a white platter.

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck