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Grilled Kale Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

Amanda Haas

Grilled Kale Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

Prep Time



Cook Time




4 - 6




What's this?

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.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!