Simple Grilled Romaine Salad with Chicken Recipe

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Our Grilled Romaine Salad recipe combines grilled Romaine lettuce, tender chicken, crispy bacon, pecans, Feta, and tangy balsamic dressing.

The star of this dish is the grilled lettuce, which adds a smoky and slightly charred taste to the salad.

This delicious salad is quick, easy to make, and an ideal, light summer lunch or dinner to enjoy al fresco.

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A plate with grilled lettuce, chopped chicken, red cabbage, pecans, feta and balsamic dressing. A small bowl of the dressing is in the background. The text overlay says"Chicken & Grilled Romaine Salad" Similar photos of the recipe from various angles are used throughout with different text overlays unless otherwise described.

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While you may prefer to skip to the recipe card, we suggest reading the entire blog post to avoid missing valuable tips and substitution suggestions and to ensure you have the necessary ingredients, equipment, and understanding of the steps and timings.

Grilled Romaine Salad

Sometimes the smallest tweaks make the biggest difference. On its own, Romaine lettuce is a delicious, crispy addition to any salad*.

However, when you cut a head of fresh Romaine in half, brush it with some olive oil, and place it on a grill for a few minutes… Magic happens!

The quick grilling process enhances the natural flavors of the lettuce and creates a unique texture that pairs perfectly with the other ingredients.

*We have used romaine lettuce in our Rainbow Salad with Zesty Dressing, Classic Caesar Salad, Strawberry Feta Salad, and Cobb Salad recipes, to name a few.

Romaine is also great as a vessel for other foods, like in our Vegan Black Bean Lettuce Wraps and Chicken Fajita Lettuce Wraps with Creamy Cilantro-Lime Sauce. Both are solid recipes that everyone can enjoy!

Chicken and Grilled Romaine Salad

Grilled Romaine Lettuce Salad

To complement the grilled Romaine, tender and flavorful chicken breasts are cooked in the Instant Pot® using the pressure cooking method.

(Although warm rotisserie chicken can also be used for even faster preparation.)

The rest of the preparation can be completed while the chicken cooks for a super quick and easy meal.

The chicken is then sliced into bite-size pieces and added to the salad, providing a protein-packed element that makes this dish satisfying and complete.

The salad is further enhanced with crispy bacon, crumbled Feta cheese, thinly sliced red cabbage, and chopped pecans, adding a variety of textures and flavors to each bite.

The balsamic vinaigrette, made with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, and honey, ties all the components together with its tangy and sweet notes.

This grilled romaine salad with chicken has so much flavor and is a great option for summer dinner parties, family meals, or summer barbecues.

The vibrant colors and unique presentation make it an eye-catching dish that will impress your guests!

What Can I Serve With Grilled Romaine Salad with Chicken?

Ingredients Needed for Grilled Romaine Salad

Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe

The ingredients and tools in this recipe are conveniently linked to online retailers like Amazon or Amazon Fresh.

Ingredients Needed For Grilled Romaine Salad with Chicken

  • Fresh ProduceRomaine Lettuce, Red Cabbage, Parsley, Garlic
  • ProteinBoneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Thick-Cut Bacon
  • Chilled & DairyFeta
  • PantryExtra Virgin Olive Oil, Sea Salt, Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Pecans
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Dijon Mustard
  • HoneyTry to buy locally produced honey when possible.

The complete list of ingredients with measurements is on the recipe card at the end of this post.


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Equipment Needed For This Recipe

The Purple Pumpkin Blog uses both cups and weighted measurements in its recipes, making American cups and kitchen food scales valuable tools for trying all the recipes. We provide US customary, imperial, and metric measurements. Still, it’s important to note that while you can combine cup measurements with weighted measures, never mix US customary/imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.) with metric (kilograms, grams, liters, etc.).

Grilled Romaine Chicken Salad

Reasons You’ll Love Grilled Romaine Salad with Chicken

  • It is the perfect combination of smoky grilled lettuce and tender chicken.
  • The balsamic dressing adds a tangy and sweet flavor profile.
  • Quick and easy to prepare, ideal for a busy weeknight.
  • Versatile dish suitable for various occasions, from casual gatherings to elegant dinner parties.

Dinner Party Menu Suggestions

You’ve made the main dish, but what about the rest of the courses?

Here are additional recipes to create a menu for a dinner party or special meal:

30-Minute Recipe - Grilled Romaine Chicken Salad

How Do I Make Grilled Romaine Salad with Chicken?

The printable recipe card with the ingredients list and instructions can be found at the end of this post.

Number of Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 9 minutes | Additional Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 29 minutes

Step 1 – Cook Chicken: Pour water into the Instant Pot® container and place the metal trivet inside the unit.

Generously season the chicken breasts with garlic powder. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Place the seasoned chicken on top of the trivet and lock the lid into place.

Set the pressure valve to “Sealing” and select the “Manual” button on the highest setting. Adjust cook time to 9 minutes.

Step 2 – Prepare Vinaigrette: Prepare the balsamic vinaigrette by vigorously whisking the ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined and emulsified. Set aside.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Step 3 – Preheat & Prep: Set the broiler (grill) to high. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set it aside.

Step 4 – Prepare Romaine: Cut the Romaine heads in half lengthwise (through the core) and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Do not overcrowd.

Brush the exposed surface of the lettuce with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper to taste.

Step 5 – Cook Romaine: Place the Romaine lettuce under the preheated broiler (grill) for a couple of minutes or until it is nicely browned on the edges. Remove and set aside.

TIP! Keep a close eye on it because the lettuce will burn quickly if left unattended.

Step 6 – Cut Chicken: When cooking time on the Instant Pot® is finished, allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, and then do a quick release for any remaining pressure. Turn the unit off and remove the lid.

Transfer the chicken to a non-permeable cutting board and rest for 5 minutes before cutting it into bite-size pieces.

Step 7 – Assemble Salad: Transfer the grilled Romaine to individual serving plates and top each with an equal amount of the chicken, bacon, feta cheese, red cabbage, and chopped pecans.

Step 8 – Garnish & Serve: Drizzle some vinaigrette over each salad and garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

Serve immediately with the remaining dressing on the side. Enjoy!

Grilled Lettuce and Chicken Salad

More Recipes Using Lettuce

One of the hero ingredients in this recipe is lettuce, so here are some more using the same:

Grilled Lettuce Salad with Chicken and Balsamic Vinegar

Recipe Tips

  • Ensure the Romaine lettuce is well-coated with olive oil to prevent it from sticking to the grill.
  • Adjust the grilling time based on the lettuce’s desired char level and tenderness.
  • Keep a close eye on it because the lettuce will burn quickly if left unattended.
  • Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before cutting to retain its juices and tenderness.

Storing Leftovers

  • Storing Leftovers:
    • This salad is best enjoyed freshly made, but you can store leftovers if needed.
    • Store leftover salad components separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
    • The grilled Romaine lettuce can be stored for up to 2 days.
    • The chicken can be stored for up to 3 days.
    • Dress the salad just before serving to maintain freshness and crispness.
  • With all leftovers, ensure the food looks and smells okay before consuming.
  • You can always consult the Food Standards Agency in your country for the most up-to-date advice on storing and freezing foods: Food Standards Agency (UK) | Food Safety (USA).

Printable Grilled Romaine Salad with Chicken Recipe Card

 

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Grilled Romaine Salad with Chicken Recipe

Grilled Romaine Salad with Chicken

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 29 minutes

Ditch the traditional salads. Try our Grilled Romaine Salad with Chicken - a delight for your tastebuds.

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lb (450g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 large heads Romaine lettuce, rinsed patted dry, and cut in half lengthwise
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 strips thick-cut bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
  • 4 oz (100g) Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 c. red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

For the Dressing

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 fresh garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tsp honey
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Pour water into the Instant Pot® container and place the metal trivet inside the unit. Generously season the chicken breasts with garlic powder. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Place the seasoned chicken on top of the trivet and lock the lid into place. Set the pressure valve to “Sealing” and select the “Manual” button on the highest setting. Adjust cook time to 9 minutes.
  2. Prepare the balsamic vinaigrette by vigorously whisking the ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined and emulsified. Set aside.
  3. Set the broiler (grill) to high. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set it aside.
  4. Cut the Romaine heads in half lengthwise (through the core) and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Do not overcrowd.
    Brush the exposed surface of the lettuce with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Place the Romaine lettuce under the preheated broiler (grill) for a couple of minutes or until it is nicely browned on the edges. Remove and set aside. TIP! Keep a close eye on it because the lettuce will burn quickly if left unattended.
  6. When cooking time on the Instant Pot® is finished, allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, and then quickly release any remaining pressure. Turn the unit off and remove the lid. Transfer the chicken to a non-permeable cutting board and rest for 5 minutes before cutting it into bite-size pieces.
  7. Transfer the grilled Romaine to individual serving plates and top each with an equal amount of the chicken, bacon, Feta cheese, red cabbage, and chopped pecans.
  8. Drizzle some vinaigrette over each salad and garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired. Serve immediately with the remaining dressing on the side. Enjoy!

    Grilled Romaine Salad with Chicken Recipe
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 683Total Fat: 61gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 45gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 611mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 22g

This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.

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Summer Recipe - Grilled Romaine Chicken Salad with Balsamic Dressing

FAQs About Grilled Romaine Lettuce

Here are some questions people often ask about grilling romaine.

Click the question to read the answer. If you have one of your own, please comment on this post!

Why do people grill romaine lettuce?

People grill romaine lettuce to bring out a slightly smoky, caramelized flavor that is unique and different from its raw form. Grilling also softens the texture of the lettuce, making it a warm and interesting addition to salads or as a side dish. Try it! It might become one of your new favorite things!

How to make grilled romaine?

Grilled romaine is easy to make. First, preheat your grill to medium heat. Cut the romaine heads in half lengthwise, leaving the end intact, so they hold together. Brush the cut sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the lettuce cut side down on the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes until lightly charred. Flip and grill for another 2-3 minutes.

Is grilled romaine good for you?

Yes, grilled romaine is good for you. Romaine lettuce is a great source of vitamins A and C and fiber. The grilling process can slightly reduce the amount of these nutrients, but lettuce remains a healthy choice. However, the nutritional profile can be altered depending on what you add to the lettuce, like dressing or toppings.

Do you wash romaine before grilling?

Before grilling, you should always wash romaine lettuce to remove any dirt or contaminants. After washing, make sure to thoroughly pat the lettuce dry with a paper towel to prevent it from steaming instead of grilling on the barbecue.

Do you use the outer leaves of romaine lettuce?

Yes, you can use the outer leaves of romaine lettuce. While they are often more fibrous and tougher than the inner leaves, they become tender and flavorful when grilled. If leaves are discolored, however, discard them.

Can you eat raw romaine lettuce?

Yes, romaine lettuce can be eaten raw and is often used in salads and sandwiches.

Is romaine lettuce healthier than iceberg?

Yes, romaine lettuce is generally considered healthier than iceberg lettuce. It has a higher content of vitamins A and C, folate, and potassium.

Is romaine a superfood?

While “superfood” is not a scientific term, it’s often used to describe foods with high nutrient density. In this regard, romaine lettuce can be considered a “superfood” due to its high vitamin A and C content and good folate and fiber source.

Is cooked romaine lettuce good?

Yes! Cooked/grilled romaine is delicious. Cooking brings out a new flavor profile in the lettuce, adding a smoky, slightly sweet touch to its naturally crisp and fresh taste.

How long will grilled romaine lettuce last in the fridge?

Grilled romaine lettuce should be eaten immediately for the best taste and texture. It can last in the refrigerator for up to two days if you must store it. However, the lettuce may become wilted and lose its crispness.

What to serve with grilled romaine lettuce?

Grilled romaine lettuce can be served with a variety of dishes. It goes well with grilled meats like chicken, steak, fish, or other grilled vegetables. It’s also delicious when topped with dressings like Caesar or vinaigrettes.

What sides to eat with grilled romaine lettuce?

Grilled romaine lettuce can be paired with sides such as roasted potatoes, grilled corn, a fresh tomato salad, or some crusty bread. It also pairs well with various proteins, making it a versatile addition to any meal.

How do you serve grilled romaine?

It is typically served immediately off the grill while it’s still warm. It can be served as a whole half for a dramatic presentation or chopped and served as part of a warm salad. Popular toppings include creamy dressings like Caesar, grated Parmesan cheese, or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

How to make grilled romaine without a grill?

You can make grilled romaine on the stovetop using a grill pan if you don’t have an outdoor grill. Preheat the pan over medium-high heat, then follow the same instructions for grilling: cut the lettuce in half, brush with oil, season, and then place in the pan cut side down. Cook for a few minutes until the leafy greens are charred, then flip and cook the other side.

Can I grill other types of lettuce?

Yes, other types of firm, hearty lettuce can be grilled. This includes varieties like radicchio, endive, and escarole. Softer lettuces, such as butter lettuce or spinach, are not suitable for grilling as they will wilt too much and may fall apart.

What other salads can I make with grilled romaine lettuce?

If you want more simple recipes after trying our grilled romaine and chicken salad, we’ve got you covered! Check out the recipes below.

More Grilled Romaine Salad Ideas To Try

Salads are one of the great things about summer, so here are some more grilled salads for you to make:

Classic Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad: Grill romaine hearts until they have lovely grill marks, then top with a homemade Caesar dressing made in your food processor. Just add a sprinkle of Parmesan and some homemade croutons to finish this simple recipe.

Grilled Romaine and Tomatoes & Lemon: Grill some tomato and romaine halves on the cut side until they reach your desired char level. Add a sprinkle of kosher salt, and finish it with a zing of fresh lemon zest for good brightness. It’s a simple romaine salad recipe and a perfect way to enjoy the grilling season!

Bacon and Corn Salad with Grilled Romaine: This is a great main dish salad to try—grill romaine hearts on your grill, and chop and add to a large bowl when ready. Toss with fresh corn and salty bacon, and toss everything together with your favorite salad dressing.

Grilled Romaine with Basil and Lemon Dressing: This romaine lettuce recipe is easy but has a lot of delicious flavors. Use your grill grates to get those aesthetic charred lines on the romaine hearts, then dress them with fresh basil and lemon dressing. It’s a perfect side dish for chicken or fish.

Grilled Romaine, Vegetable, and Chicken Salad: A simple romaine salad recipe that pairs the smoky flavor of grilled chicken, grilled romaine, and grilled vegetables. Before grilling, use a pastry brush to coat your chicken with oil and your favorite herbs. Serve it on a big platter for a main dish salad that is satisfying and full of flavor.

Grilled Romaine and Sweet Corn with Red Onions: Fire up your charcoal or gas grill and grill romaine halves, fresh corn on the cob, and red onions. Cut the kernels away from the cob and toss them with the grilled lettuce and onions in a large bowl for a refreshing and smoky salad.

Grilled Romaine in a Cast Iron Skillet: If it’s your first time grilling lettuce, and you don’t have a grill, you can use a cast iron skillet to achieve those coveted grill marks. Add protein and dressing of choice for a simple dish.

Romaine Hearts with Creamy Garlic Dressing: This romaine salad recipe starts with grilled hearts of romaine, achieving that delicious smoky flavor on the grill grates, and finishes with a creamy garlic dressing made in a food processor.

BBQ Romaine Salad with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil: In this easy recipe, grill romaine hearts until charred, then toss with fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, and a simple vinaigrette. It’s an easy and delicious flavor-packed salad.

Grilled Romaine with Bacon and Tomato: This is a perfect side dish at a backyard BBQ. Grill the lettuce head for about 4-5 minutes, flipping it with your grilling tongs halfway through. Add crispy bacon and fresh tomatoes, and serve it with your favorite dressing on a big platter.

Grilled Romaine and Steak Salad: Tender pieces of grilled steak and grilled romaine hearts create a satisfying main dish salad. Add blue cheese crumbles, cherry tomatoes, and red onions. Drizzle with a creamy garlic dressing for a rich, hearty salad for steak lovers.

If you love steak salads, try our Balsamic Steak Salad with Spinach, Cherry Tomatoes, and Feta or Greek Steak Salad with Feta & Kalamata Olives.

Vegan Grilled Romaine with Tofu: For a plant-based option, season and grill tofu until it has nice grill marks and pair it with smoky grilled romaine hearts. Add cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and red onions, then dress with a tangy vinaigrette made from lemon juice, Dijon mustard, olive oil, and a touch of maple syrup for a bit of sweetness. It’s a flavorful salad that everyone can enjoy.

Grilled Romaine with Grilled Shrimp: Skewer seasoned shrimp and grill alongside your romaine hearts until they’re nicely charred. Serve on a big platter and drizzle with a tangy lemon dressing. It’s a light, fresh main dish salad perfect for summer.

Grilled Chicken Caesar Romaine Salad: Grill chicken breasts and romaine hearts for a protein-packed salad. Slice the chicken and serve over the romaine, then sprinkle with shaved Parmesan and drizzle with Caesar dressing. Add croutons for some crunch and extra flavor.

Grilled Romaine Lettuce with Quinoa and Chickpeas: This plant-based salad features protein-rich quinoa and chickpeas. Grill your romaine hearts, then top with cooked quinoa, chickpeas, cucumber, and tomatoes. Drizzle with a dressing made from olive oil, lemon juice, fresh garlic, and Dijon mustard. This salad is a hearty and filling option that’s full of flavor and texture.

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