Grilled Romaine Salad with Creamy Jalapeno Ranch Dressing

Prep Time: 30 Min | Cook Time: 20 Min


  • 1
    Bacon - 6 Strips
  • 2
    Cherry Tomatoes - 10.5 Ounces
  • 3
    Sweet Corn - 2 Ears
  • 4
    Romaine Lettuce (halved lengthwise) - 3 Heads
  • 5
    Olive Oil - For Greasing
  • 6
    Crumbled Cotija Cheese - 1 Cup
  • 7
    Hard Boiled Eggs (Halved) - 4
  • 8
    Flaky Sea Salt and Ground Pepper
  • 9
    Mayonnaise - 6 Tablespoons
  • 10
    Milk - 6 Tablespoons
  • 11
    Sour Cream - 1/4 Cup
  • 12
    Dried Parsley - 1/4 Teaspoon
  • 13
    Onion Powder - 1/4 Teaspoon
  • 14
    Chopped Chives - 1 Tablespoon
  • 15
    Garlic - 1 Clove
  • 16
    Coarse Kosher Salt - 1/4 Teaspoon
  • 17
    Ground Pepper - 1/4 Teaspoon
  • 18
    Lime Juice - 2 Tablespoons
  • 19
    Cilantro - 1/4 Cup
  • 20
    Pickled Jalapeno - 4 Slices

This smoky grilled salad features charred romaine lettuce and sweet corn, blistered cherry tomatoes, and hearty toppings like crispy bacon bits, cotija cheese and hard boiled eggs. Served with a creamy homemade jalapeno ranch dressing, this salad pairs well with grilled chicken or steak.


For the salad:

1. Cook the bacon: Place bacon strips in a cold large nonstick skillet. Turn the heat to medium and cook for 8-12 minutes, turning occasionally, until brown and crispy. Transfer to a large plate covered in paper towels and set aside to cool.

2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat (about 400°F-450°F) for direct-heat grilling.

For Gas Grilling: Simply light all the burners on low, close the lid and let the grill heat up for 5-10 minutes.

For Charcoal Grilling: Open the lid and the bottom/side vents, remove the grill grates and set aside. Fill a chimney starter with charcoal briquettes. Place one or two fire starter cubes or wadded-up newspaper onto the charcoal grates and place the chimney starter on top. Light the cubes or newspaper underneath the chimney and let the briquettes heat up for 15 minutes. When the briquettes are lightly covered with ash, use a pair of heat-resistant insulated gloves and carefully spread out the hot coals in an even layer. Carefully place the cooking grates back on, close the lid, open the top vent and let the grill heat up for about 5-10 minutes.

3. Skewer the tomatoes: While the grill is heating up, thread the cherry tomatoes onto 4 large metal skewers. (If using wooden skewers, be sure to soak the skewers in water for 20 minutes beforehand so they don’t burn on the grill.)

4. Prepare the remaining ingredients: Brush or spray the ears of corn, cherry tomatoes and the inside of the romaine lettuce halves with olive oil or cooking spray.

5. Grill the corn: Grill the ears of corn with the lid closed for 10-15 minutes, turning
occasionally, until corn is caramelized and dark brown spots appear on the kernels. Transfer to a large plate or baking sheet and set aside.

6. Grill the tomatoes and lettuce: Grill the tomatoes and lettuce cut-side down with the lid open for about 3 minutes. Turn the tomatoes occasionally and remove when charred and blistered. Remove the lettuce when the cut-side is slightly charred. Be careful not to grill too much or the lettuce will wilt. Transfer to a large plate or baking sheet and set aside.

7. Cut the corn and crumble bacon: Cut the grilled corn off the cob and crumble the cooled bacon.

8. Serve: Place grilled lettuce cut-side up on a large serving platter and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with creamy jalapeno ranch dressing and top with grilled corn kernels, grilled cherry tomatoes, crumbled bacon, cotija cheese and hard boiled eggs.

For the dressing:

1. Add all ingredients to a blender of food processor and blend until smooth. 

(mayonnaise, milk, cup sour cream, dried parsley, onion powder, chopped chives, plus more for garnish, garlic, coarse kosher salt, ground black pepper, lime juice, cilantro, pickled jalapeños)

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