Grilled Kale Caesar Salad 8

Grilled Kale Caesar Salad? Kale? Really? I know, I know. I’ve been pretty critical of all things kale lately. I don’t dislike kale. I am just tired of all the talk about it. It seems to be everywhere. But there I was at the grocery store and they had kale on the stalk. They never had it on the stalk before this craze, just loose leaves. So despite my animosity toward the kale revolution, I’m here adding to the hype. Forgive me for selling out here. I just thought it looked good. Here’s my twist on kale otherwise known as my kale tale, the Grilled Kale Caesar Salad which is similar to the Grilled Romaine with the addition of the Caesar salad dressing and croutons.

Grilled Kale Caesar Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 head of kale (is it a head? I have no idea. A bunch of kale on the stalk)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic, divided
  • coarse salt black pepper
  • caesar dressing croutons
  • 1 tbsp grated asiago cheese

When I bought the kale it looked like this:

Grilled Kale Caesar Salad 1
Is that kale or a shrub?

The problem with it being so bushy like that is there is no way to char it thoroughly so I trimmed off a couple stalks to get it to lay somewhat flat:

Grilled Kale Caesar Salad 10
Remove a couple of the stalks to make the kale flat

Then I drizzled one side with 1 tbsp of the olive oil:

Grilled Kale Caesar Salad 2
Drizzle the kale with olive oil

Once the oil is applied, dust with half the granulated garlic, salt and pepper:

Grilled Kale Caesar Salad 3
Pepper should never come from a shaker

Flip the kale over and repeat on the other side with the oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Here’s a close up of the seasoned kale:

Grilled Kale Caesar Salad 4
Seasoned Kale

Prepare the grill for uber high heat grilling. Not kinda hot. Not pretty hot. We’re talking lava hot. If the grill isn’t laser beam hot, then the kale will wilt before it chars. So if your grill can’t reach temps of at least 600, then don’t try this recipe. This will work on a charcoal grill or gas grill (gas is what I used here) Place the kale on the hot grill:

Grilled Kale Caesar Salad 6
Kale on the grill

Keep checking the underside of a couple of the leaves by lifting the tip with the tongs and peaking under until there’s some char marks before flipping.

***Pro Tip ~ While pushing on a steak or a hamburger that is searing is sacrilege, pushing on the kale is OK. Next time I do this, I might place a cast iron pan on top to flatten the bunch out and maximize the charring***

Flip the grilled kale over after we get some nice char action (3-4 minutes, tops):

Grilled Kale Caesar Salad 7
Charred Kale

Char the other side and remove from the heat. Now don’t dawdle. Serve this immediately after it leaves the grill to get the full effect of how magical this stuff is. I finished this up by cutting off the stalks, drizzling the grilled kale with creamy caesar salad dressing, sprinkling with savory asiago cheese and scattering some crunchy croutons:

Grilled Kale Caesar Salad - 152
Grilled Kale Caesar Salad

How does this compare to our patented Grilled Romaine? It’s not as meaty. The kale has a much thinner and more delicate leaf than a heart of romaine and thus must be eaten immediately. While it’s not as meaty as romaine, it is much crispier. The charred leaves are almost like a tiny, single layer of crispy phyllo dough. If you liked the romaine, give it a try. If you have any questions or comments about the Grilled Kale Caesar Salad, feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email.

Check out another grilled salad recipe here

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Grilled Kale Caesar Salad

Kale, seasoned with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, grilled and then drizzled with caesar dressing, sprinkled with asiago and scattered with croutons.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: BBQ
Servings: 2 -3


  • 1 head kale (is it a head? I have no idea. A bunch of kale on the stalk)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic divided
  • coarse salt
  • black pepper
  • caesar dressing
  • croutons
  • 1 tbsp Asiago cheese grated


  • Tear off a couple of the kale stalks to make the bunch somewhat flat
  • Drizzle with 1 tbsp of the olive oil and then dust with the garlic, salt and pepper
  • Flip over and repeat on the other side
  • Prepare the grill for wicked hot
  • Place the kale on the hot grill and push on the top to flatten out (use a cast iron pan)
  • Once it chars on one side (3-4 minutes), flip over and repeat
  • When it chars on the other side, remove from the grill and add the dressing, cheese and croutons
  • Serve

Here’s a collage of the entire process:

Grilled Kale Caesar Salad

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Original Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to college with a suitcase and a grill where he overcooked, undercooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thousands of failures, and quite a few successes, nearly two decades later he started a website to show step by step, picture by picture, foolproof instructions on how to make great things out of doors so that others don’t have to repeat the mistakes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas

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