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Grilled Kale Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

Grilled Kale Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

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We’re taking everyone’s favorite salad and making it even better with homemade wood-fired croutons, then mixing in some grilled kale for one smokin’ Caeser salad.

Prep Time

20 Min

Cook Time

50 Min




This recipe serves:


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Units of Measurement:
2 Head red or lacinato kale
3 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
kosher salt, plus more to taste
To Taste freshly ground black pepper
2 Head romaine, sliced in half lengthwise with core kept intact
3 lemons, halved
Caesar Dressing
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Teaspoon anchovy paste, optional
Kosher salt, to taste
1/2 Cup Olive oil
To Taste freshly ground black pepper
Homemade Croutons
3 Cup cubed country bread, preferably a day old
1/2 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 Cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
freshly ground black pepper


  • 1

    When ready to cook, set Traeger temperature to 300℉ and preheat with the lid closed for 15 minutes.

    300 ˚F / 149 ˚C

  • 2

    Place the kale leaves in a large salad bowl and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and toss until the leaves are coated evenly. Transfer the kale to a baking sheet, arranging in an even layer.

  • 3

    Place the baking sheet with the kale on the grill grates. Close the lid and cook until the kale is slightly wilted, about 5 minutes.

    300 ˚F / 149 ˚C


  • 4

    Remove kale from the grill, allow it to cool and strip the leaves off of the stems. Coarsely chop the kale and place in a large salad bowl.

  • 5

    Brush the halved heads of romaine with a tablespoon of olive oil on the cut sides, then sprinkle with salt.

  • 6

    Place the romaine, cut-side down, directly on the grill grates. Close the lid and cook until grill marks appear, about 10 minutes. At the same time, place the lemon halves, cut-side down, on the grill grates next to the romaine and cook until juicy and slightly charred, 10-15 minutes.

    300 ˚F / 149 ˚C


  • 7

    Remove the lettuce and lemons from grill and allow to cool. Coarsely chop the lettuce and add it to the bowl with the kale. Juice the lemons (you should have at least 1/4 cup of lemon juice) and set aside for the dressing.

  • 8

    Increase the Traeger temperature to 350℉ and preheat with the lid closed for 10 minutes.

    350 ˚F / 177 ˚C


  • 9

    Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, Dijon mustard, and anchovy paste, if using, to combine. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the grilled lemon juice. While whisking, slowly stream in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

  • 10

    Make the croutons: In a large bowl, sprinkle the bread cubes with the salt, then drizzle with the olive oil. Toss the bread until well coated with the oil, adding more as needed to coat evenly.

  • 11

    Spread the bread cubes in an even layer on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet on the grill grates, close the lid, and cook, stirring once, until the croutons are crispy and browned, 20-30 minutes. Transfer the croutons to paper towels to drain.

    350 ˚F / 177 ˚C


  • 12

    When ready to serve, drizzle half of the dressing over the kale and romaine, add the croutons and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and toss to combine, adding more dressing to taste. Finish with a few grinds of black pepper. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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