Change up your weekend grilling with this tasty Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad with Creamy Light Dressing. The lettuce, bread and chicken are ALL grilled to perfection.
If you’ve never grilled this classic salad you are in for a treat!
Everything from the romaine lettuce to the succulent boneless chicken breasts are grilled adding a delicious smoky flavor.
There are even grilled croutons to top it off.
It’s easy to prepare and clean up!
No table-side preparation needed for this classic salad. It’s all going to happen on your grill!
This recipe is packed with flavor and just as delicious when made at home as at a fancy restaurant.
Cool, fresh, crunchy romaine lettuce.
Easy tangy homemade dressing featuring distinct flavors of oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic and anchovies (don’t be afraid!).
Smoked juicy boneless chicken breasts.
Crisp-edged croutons are a perfect finishing touch. The croutons can be made with regular or gluten-free bread too.
How to Grill Romaine Lettuce
Grilling lettuce seems totally counter intuitive. You’d imagine it would wilt and become totally well, creepy (at least that was what I imagined).
Grilled romaine lettuce is still crunchy and the flavor becomes deeper and smoky, actually giving the lettuce some flavor (which lighter varieties often do not have much of).
- Slice the head of romaine lettuce is sliced in half vertically, retaining the stem (which keeps the leaves together during grilling).
- Brush it with an oil-herb mixture (in the recipe) and grill until grill marks appear; 1-2 minutes.
- Flip it over and repeat! It just takes a few minutes per side.
- Allow to rest before making the salad.
How to Make a Lighter Caesar Dressing
The dressing has been lightened up from the traditional classic version, still retaining the signature flavors but making it forgiving to our exposed summer waistlines.
The dressing is packed the big flavored ingredients such as lemon, anchovy paste (a Caesar classic ingredient), vinegar, red wine vinegar, garlic, Dijon mustard and more.
To keep it creamy and slim down the fat we’ve used light sour cream. It adds tang and a wonderful texture.
TIP SAVING TIP: The dressing may be made beforehand and chilled in the refrigerator until ready to use it, or warmed at room temperature.
Due to the sour cream it should not be left out for any duration especially in hot temperatures.
Optional Trick for Smoking the Chicken Breasts
I have an easy smoking trick I learned when attending Barbecue University a few years ago.
Place a piece of heavy foil on the back section of the grill and add grilling wood chips to it then heat the grill.
As the grill heats the wood begins to smoke imparting more smoky flavor to the chicken breasts!
This technique is a great way to bring some smoky flavor to any grilled foods especially when using a gas grill.
How Long Does the Recipe Take?
12 Minutes Grilling Time!
The entire salad takes about 12 minutes to grill if grilling the components in serial fashion.
The chicken is grilled first, followed by the bread and finally the lettuce.
PRO TIP: The time can be made shorter by grilling the lettuce and bread at the same time but they need to be watched closely to not char them more than desired.
How to Make it- Step by Step:
Don’t let the length of the recipe scare you off.
Everything is divided into sections with easy directions and no step takes more than 5 minutes!
- Combine the salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl, whisk to fully combine and refrigerate.
- Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness (which ensures even cooking), brush with an oil-herb mixture and grill for 3 minutes on each side (a tip for getting perfect grill marks in the recipe!)
- Slice and butter a baguette, and grill for 30-60 seconds. Flip and grill for 30-60 seconds more.
- Brush Romaine lettuce with olive oil-herb mixture and grill 1-2 minutes on each side then allowed to rest.
- Chop the chicken, bread and lettuce into bite size pieces. Add to a large bowl with the dressing and shredded Parmesan cheese. Toss to coat.
What to Serve with it
- Grilled Spicy Salt and Pepper Shrimp Skewers
- Easy Grilled Chicken Shish Kabobs
- Honey-Mascarpone Ice Cream with Balsamic Ripple, Grilled Figs and Walnuts
More Salad Recipes You’ll Love!
- Grilled Flank Steak Salad with Peaches
- Strawberry Salad + fresh Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing
- Mongolian Beef Salad with Ginger Vinaigrette
- Vietnamese Noodle Bowl with Lemongrass Chicken
This recipe was originally share July 18, 2015.