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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, making it even better with homemade, wood-fired croutons and mixing in grilled kale into this smokin’ caeser salad for a healthier twist.

Prep Time

20 Min

Cook Time

50 Min




Number of People Serving


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Units of Measurement:
2 Head red or lacinato kale, leaves washed and towel dried
As Needed extra-virgin olive oil
As Needed kosher salt
2 Head romaine, sliced in half lengthwise with core kept intact
2 Whole lemons, halved
2 Clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Teaspoon anchovy paste, optional
1/4 Cup lemon juice
3 Cup cubed country bread, preferably a day old
1/4 Cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 To Taste freshly ground black pepper


  • 1

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

    300 ˚F / 149 ˚C


  • 2

    Place whole kale leaves in a large salad bowl and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and toss until the leaves are coated evenly.

  • 3

    Place the kale on a baking sheet and place on the grill. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the kale is slightly wilted.

    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 and cook for 10 minutes.

    300 ˚F / 149 ˚C


  • 7

    At the same time, place the lemon halves cut side down and allow to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until juicy and slightly charred.

    300 ˚F / 149 ˚C


  • 8

    Remove the lettuce and lemons from grill and allow to cool. Coarsely chop the lettuce and add it to the kale. Juice the lemons, they should yield at least 1/4 cup of lemon juice.

  • 9

    Increase the Traeger temperature to 350℉ and preheat, lid closed.

    350 ˚F / 177 ˚C

  • 10

    For the Dressing: Combine the minced garlic with the Dijon mustard and anchovy paste (if using) and whisk to combine. Whisk in 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of olive oil until the mixture is emulsified. Taste, adding salt and freshly ground pepper.

  • 11

    For the Croutons: Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt, then drizzle 1/2 cup of olive oil over the bread. Toss the bread cubes in the oil until they are well coated. If necessary, add a few more tablespoons of oil so they are very well coated.

  • 12

    Spread the bread cubes out evenly on a baking sheet. Place on the grill and cook, stirring once, until the croutons are crispy and browned, about 20 to 30 minutes.

    350 ˚F / 177 ˚C


  • 13

    Remove from the pan and let dry on paper towels.

  • 14

    To serve, drizzle half of the dressing over the lettuce, add the croutons and 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Toss to coat, adding more dressing until you reach the desired consistency.

  • 15

    Finish with a freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy!

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