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Smokey Southwestern Grilled Romaine Salad

Smokey Southwestern Grilled Romaine Salad is topped with a delicious creamy avocado cilantro dressing, Queso Blanco cheese, and crunchy almonds.

Half of a head of romaine lettuce charred on the grill and topped with nuts, cheese, and avocado cilantro dressing.

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. This recipe and opinions are 100% my own.

A close up of a half of a head of romaine lettuce charred on the grill and topped with nuts, cheese, and avocado cilantro dressing.

I always keep nuts on hand. I love snacking on them, crushing them up in breading for chicken and shrimp, or tossing them in a salad. They add such a nice crunch!

It wasn’t too long ago that John and I were on vacation in the Dominican Republic. It should have been pretty easy to watch what I ate. There were so much fresh fruit and grilled fish that I should have lost weight (snicker snicker).

Southwester Grilled Romaine Salad - Hostess At Heart

Well, the rest of the story is that we enjoyed this particular rum drink that went down just a little too easy. In addition to rum, it was full of mint and their version of simple syrup. So the truth is, I came home with some work to do in the calorie counting department.

Ingredients you’ll need for this grilled salad

  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Queso Blanco Cheese (Feta works well too)
  • EVOO
  • Avocado
  • Champagne Vinegar
  • Lime
  • Garlic
  • Cilantro
  • Almonds

I am all about grilling right now. I think that it just brings out the natural flavors of food. The caramelization that vegetables take on is just delicious. Grilling Romaine adds a smokiness to all of the other flavors already going on.

This salad was so delicious, that I’ve eaten it three times this week already! It makes a great vegetarian meal or you could add some grilled shrimp for your meat lover.

I think you’ll enjoy these recipes too!

Smokey Southwestern Grilled Romaine Salad

Author: Hostess At Heart
Southwestern Grilled Romaine Salad is topped with a delicious creamy avocado cilantro dressing, Queso Blanco cheese, and almonds. This smokey salad is delicious and is perfect for lunch or as a side dish.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Dish, Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword: Grilled Romaine Salad
Servings: 8


  • 4 heads of romaine lettuce I used artisan which are compact and smaller
  • 2 oz Queso Blanco cheese plus additional for garnish
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • lime Zest and juice
  • 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro plus additional for garnish
  • 1/4 cup almonds roughly chopped (I used Blue Diamond Bold Sriracha flavor)


  • In a blender or food processor combine all ingredients except for the lettuce and almonds. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate until serving.
  • Cut heads of romaine in half. Spray with non-stick cooking spray on the cut edge. Grill cut side only on medium-high until grill marks appear.
  • Top grilled lettuce with dressing, crumbled Queso Blanco cheese, chopped Blue Diamond Sriracha almonds and additional cilantro if desired.
  • Serve immediately.


Calories: 84kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 2gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 187mgPotassium: 141mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 1395IUVitamin C: 2.3mgCalcium: 64mgIron: 0.5mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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Recipe Rating

Sally T

Saturday 30th of May 2020

We love salads in the summer and this looks like something that would be the perfect addition to any meal.


Tuesday 7th of July 2015

yum! good idea

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 7th of July 2015

Thank you! I appreciate your stopping by.


Monday 29th of June 2015

I love salads this time of year and this one looks perfect! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! This post has been pinned on the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! I love having you and can't wait to see you next week!

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 30th of June 2015

Thank you Stephanie!


Sunday 28th of June 2015

Looks and sounds great, Julie (though I am with Angie, and think I would probably add bacon :) )

Julie Menghini

Monday 29th of June 2015

Thank you Caroline! Bacon is a good thing!


Saturday 27th of June 2015

Julie, this salad looks so inviting and scrumptious! I have never tried grilling lettuce before but looks like I need to give this a try!

Julie Menghini

Sunday 28th of June 2015

Thank you! I really enjoyed this salad. It would be good without grilling the lettuce, but I really enjoyed the smokiness of the grill and the contrast the charred lettuce had.

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