Healthy Grilled Caesar Salad with Crispy Parm

The inspiration behind this salad comes from one of my favorite local restaurants! I recreated a healthier version with a lighter caesar dressing and crispy parm crisps.

June 30, 2024

Healthy Grilled Caesar Salad with Crispy Parm

Alissa DiSanto
  • Cook Time
    30 min
  • Total Time
    30 min
  • Servings
  • Difficulty


  • 2 large heads of romaine lettuce cut in half lengthwise
  • Nonstick spray
  • Salt + Pepper


  • 1/3 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp mayo
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste- optional
  • Salt + Pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parm cheese


  • ½ cup grated parm cheese
  • ¼ cup capers


  1. Make the salad dressing by putting all ingredient into a blender or food processor expect for the olive oil and parm cheese. Once blended, turn the blender on low and slowly add in the olive oil. Once it’s totally combined, you will notice it thickens slightly and the oil is fully emulsified and does not separate out. Fold in the parm cheese. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the grill to 450° While the grill is preheating, lightly spray your romaine lettuce with the nonstick cooking spray and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Once the grill is heated, add a small nonstick skillet to the grill and in a thin layer, add your grated parm cheese. The cheese will take a few minutes to get nice and crisp on the first side. You should be able to flip the entire round of cheese once you’ve let it go long enough. Approximately 4-5 minutes on the first side. Flip and allow the other side to crisp up for another 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool and harden further on a dish.
  4. Once the cheese is crispy and done, add your romaine lettuce cut side down onto the grill. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side and another 2-3 on the second side. I leave the grill open, so the lettuce does not get soggy. The goal is to just get a slight char on the lettuce while the edges crisp up. Remove from grill onto a serving dish.
  5. Top the lettuce with the capers and a good drizzle of your homemade dressing.
  6. Lastly, break up the crispy cheese and top your salad with it. It will give your salad the crispy texture its missing and will almost make it feel like a crouton.
  7. Serve with extra dressing on the side.



  • The anchovy paste is what creates that salty bite in the dressing. I recommend using it, but it is always optional.
  • This dressing is slightly thinner than a typical Caesar salad dressing since we used lighter ingredients and less mayo.
  • If the cheese is still gooey in the skillet, let it go longer. It will get to the point where you can flip the entire round of cheese without it breaking. You could also make this ahead of time inside on the stove top.
  • Great to serve with grilled chicken or shrimp.

Rate this recipe!

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Votes: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this recipe.