Vegetarian Grilled Romaine Taco Salad

Bold and smoky, grilled romaine taco salad will win "Best Vegetarian Dish" at the BBQ! You'll love the seared poblanos, cotija cheese and avocado dressing.

Bold and smoky, grilled romaine taco salad will win “Best Vegetarian Dish” at the BBQ! You’ll love the seared poblanos, cotija cheese and avocado dressing.

Bamboo plate with a half head of romaine lettuce, grilled, and topped with pepper slices, creamy dressing and crumbled cheese

Grilled Romaine: A Fork & Knife Salad

Maybe you’ve had an overpriced grilled romaine salad with bleu cheese and steak in a restaurant. Well summer is here, and you can level-up your grill game with this SERIOUSLY BOMB taco salad on a grilled romaine wedge.

Halve the romaine lengthwise and brush with a little olive oil. Use tongs to arrange them cut-side-down on a hot grill (550-600) and let them sear for 20-30 seconds on each side.

Man with oven mitts turning corn on a green grill

All vegetables are better grilled, especially romaine heads. Just make sure to sear it for only 20-30 seconds per side or you’ll get a wilted soggy head of romaine worse than raw.

Jeremy, my “everything-is-better-grilled” husband

Tip: You can make this salad in your kitchen just as easily with a grill pan on high!

The lettuce leaves absorb the wonderful smoky grill aroma, and lovely grill marks too! But, unlike more delicate heads of lettuce, romaine retains it’s crunch and is still a sturdy base for loaded toppings. The outside leaves will get softer, but this is 100% a fork & knife salad.

romaine lettuce heads on an outdoor grill

Let’s Make Grilled Romaine Taco Salad!

Grilled poblanos & bell pepper, beans, salsa, cotija cheese and a big drizzle of avocado green goddess dressing make this a show-stopper. But trust me, you can use any taco salad-ish ingredients floating around the fridge & pantry. Try crumbling up a tortilla chip on top for crunch. Or adding grilled zucchini and baby tomatoes. Or thick wedges of avocado. If it says “taco”, it goes on this salad!

Any veggie that gets a gorgeous char when grilled is my favorite. And poblanos… oh, I’m lookin’ at YOU!

Slice and grill the peppers in a vegetable pan set on the grill grate, and cook until softened and slightly blistered.

orange and green pepper slices on a grill

As with all tacos and Tex-Mex food, toppings are everything… and totally flexible. Use what you’ve got! I do love this combo of black beans, salsa and tangy cotija cheese.

white bowls with crumbled cheese, salsa and black beans

I used Bolthouse Farm’s “Avocado Green Goddess” salad dressing and my whole family raved about the creamy flavor. (This is not a sponsored/paid brand mention… we just really liked it!)

Closeup of a grilled romaine taco salad, with creamy salad dressing. A small pile of baked beans on the side.

When you try this super simple, boldly flavored taco salad, I’d love to hear about it in the comments! Enjoy your long afternoons and evenings, my friends!


Hungry for more Veg BBQ food?

Grilled romaine salad with sides of corn and beans

Grilled Romaine Taco Salad

  • Author: Katie Allen
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Bold and smoky, grilled romaine taco salad will win “Best Vegetarian Dish” at the BBQ! You’ll love the seared poblanos, cotija cheese and avocado dressing.



  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, halved lengthwise
  • 1/21 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 poblano peppers, sliced & deseeded
  • 14 oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup avocado green goddess salad dressing (I used Bolthouse Farms)


  1. Heat a grill (or grill pan) over high heat. Grill temperature should be over 550 F.
  2. Arrange pepper slices in a single layer on a grill pan or foil. Cook for 5-10 minutes until soft and blistered, but not burned.
  3. Halve romaine heads lengthwise. Brush the cut side lightly with olive oil.
  4. Use tongs to place lettuce cut-side down on the grill rack. Sear for only 20-30 seconds. Flip and sear for another 20-30 seconds.
  5. To serve, lay one lettuce half on a plate. Top with beans, salsa, peppers and cotija cheese. Drizzle with green goddess salad dressing.

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex

Keywords: taco salad, vegan taco salad, grilled salad, vegan bbq


  1. This is a perfect lunch on a hot summer day! So refreshing!

  2. This looks like a meal that my family would love! We are definitely going to make this over the weekend. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Salads are the best option for a Happy meal. Your salad looks so very perfect and special.

  4. This grilled salad is blowing my mind! I love the colors and easiness of this recipe! This just got bumped to my ‘must try’ list!

  5. This recipe looks wonderful. I am thinking I might make this for lunch tomorrow. Saving recipe! Will let you know how it goes.