Grilled Romaine with Lemon and Parmesan

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Chances are you’ll be grilling this weekend, am I right? So why not grill something a little outside the box…something that is sure to please everyone’s tastebuds: grilled romaine!

The first time I tried grilled romaine was in Philadelphia during college. The food scene in Philly is incredible and I feel so lucky that I got to experience it for four years. I actually think Philadelphia was a BIG influence on my passion for food and cooking, as it constantly encouraged me to try new cuisines and flavors.

My first grilled romaine experience was at a tiny BYOB restaurant on South St. in Philly. The romaine was a special on the menu that night and the waitress urged us to try it.  I have to admit, I was hesitant at first. Why would you grill lettuce? Wouldn’t that make it wilt or burn? Ooooooooh boy, was I wrong! It was simply incredible – charred to perfection and unlike anything I’ve ever had.

Grilled Romaine with Lemon and Parmesan Recipe. Easy to make and cooks under 10 minutes!

Surprisingly, I haven’t had grilled romaine since that one experience in Philly. This weekend Travis and I were at Whole Foods browsing the many Fourth of July specials. There were large bunches of organic romaine on sale, so we grabbed one and threw it into our shopping cart. All of a sudden I had flashbacks to that incredible grilled romaine from college, and I knew I had to recreate it that night.

This healthy side dish couldn’t be easier! If your romaine comes with extra leafy greens on the outside, simply pull those off and save them for a salad later in the week.  Slice the romaine heart in half and brush each half with extra-virgin olive oil. Then season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and throw them on the grill for about 3 minutes total.  Without blinking an eye, you have a very low calorie side dish in a matter of minutes! I decided to add a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese for added flavor, but the romaine is simply delicious on it’s own, too.

Grilled Romaine with Lemon and Parmesan Recipe. Easy to make and cooks under 10 minutes!

We paired our romaine with juicy grilled steak, but it would be great with burgers, chicken, fish, or whatever else you are grilling up this weekend! So easy and healthy!


Grilled Romaine with Lemon and Parmesan
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 1 Large head of romaine lettuce
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Parmesan (grated or shredded)
  1. If your romaine has extra loose leaves on the top and outer layers, remove these leaves and save them for a salad or another use. Rinse the romaine well, making sure to remove any dirt. Cut the romaine in half, vertically.
  2. Place the romaine pieces flat side down on a large cutting board. Brush the rounded backs of the romaine with olive oil. Sprinkle with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Flip over and repeat on the other side.
  3. Grill the romaine on three separate sides (like a triangle): first, place the romaine flat side down on a hot grill in direct heat. After about 1 minute, turn the romaine so it lays on half of the rounded side and grill for an additional minute. Complete on the final part of the curved side. Be careful - the romaine cooks quickly so do not walk away from the grill during this process.
  4. Remove the romaine from the grill and place it on a large serving platter. Squeeze the lemon juice over the romaine and sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve immediately.


  • July 1, 2014 - 10:07 am | Permalink

    I’m with ya on grilled romaine. It’s so easy and so delicious! Great post, Rachel!

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      July 1, 2014 - 10:47 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Bill!

  • Angie @ Friday Cake Night
    July 1, 2014 - 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Wow these look great! I’ve never tried grilling Romaine before, must try this asap!

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      July 1, 2014 - 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Angie – it is delicious! I hope you enjoy it!

  • Mollie
    July 1, 2014 - 7:51 pm | Permalink

    I currently live in Philadelphia and I agree – the food scene is fabulous! What was the name of the restaurant? Can’t wait to try this!

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      July 2, 2014 - 7:35 am | Permalink

      Mollie, I am so jealous you are in Philly! The restaurant was called Pumpkin – a tiny BYOB!

  • July 1, 2014 - 11:23 pm | Permalink

    I have never tried grilled romaine but I really need too, this looks great!

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      July 2, 2014 - 7:37 am | Permalink

      Suzanne, I hope you try it!

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  • Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes
    July 6, 2014 - 6:02 am | Permalink

    It does seem counter-intuitive to grill lettuce, but you are totally right. I have had it at restaurants and loved it, but never tried it at home. You have inspired me! Tweeting!

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      July 6, 2014 - 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for sharing this recipe, Katie!

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