This satisfying steak salad is made with a mix of crunchy toppings, fresh vegetables, and tender steak drizzled in a creamy balsamic vinaigrette. It's simple and delicious — even salad skeptics will ask for seconds of this hearty, steak-loaded recipe!
About This Recipe
Steak salad is easy enough to make on a busy weeknight and impressive enough to make for a party! It's full of bold flavors and colors.
This recipe comes together in about 20 minutes and makes 4 - 6 servings as a main course. It's satisfying enough to serve as a main course but can also be served as a side dish.
To save time, this recipe has directions for how to cook the steak on your stovetop; but if you prefer, you could also cook it on your grill.
This steak salad is also very versatile... You can change up the lettuce, the type of steak, and the dressing (keep reading for tips on all this)!
Here's what you'll need to make this recipe:
For the salad:
- Olive oil
- Romaine lettuce
- Avocado, diced
- Grape tomatoes, halved
- Pepitas (pumpkin seeds), or pine nuts, walnuts
- Red onion
For the balsamic dressing:
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
See full recipe at the bottom of the page for quantities.
Step 1: Pat both sides of the steak dry with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
Step 2: Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add the steak.
TIP: if you have one, use a cast iron skillet to cook the steak.
Step 3: Cook the steak without moving it for 3 - 5 minutes, flip it and cook for 3 - 5 minutes more. The steak should have an internal temperature of 135°F for medium rare and 145°F for medium doneness.
For more information on different levels of doneness in steak, here's a helpful article with tips and temperatures from rare to well done: Steak Temperature Chart.
Step 4: Remove the steak from the pan and let it rest for at least 5 minutes. Cut the steak into thin slices against the grain.
If you aren't sure how to cut across the grain, here's a quick video showing how to do it: Cutting Across the Grain.
Step 5: In a small bowl, stir or whisk together the dressing ingredients until they are emulsified (fully mixed and thickened).
Step 6: Assemble the salad and place the steak on top. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to mix. Enjoy!
Steak: the most popular cuts of steak for this recipe are flank, flat iron, or NY strip. Feel free to use your favorite cut of steak, just keep in mind that you'll want to adjust your cooking time depending on how thick your steak is.
Lettuce: this recipe calls for romaine lettuce, but you can swap this out for your favorite alternative like spring greens, arugula, etc.
Pepitas: these are also called pumpkin seeds and can often be found next to the nuts in the grocery store. Pine nuts or walnuts can be substituted if you prefer.
Feta: swap this out for your favorite cheese (almost any cheese will work in this recipe). Some examples are parmesan, goats cheese, or queso fresco.
Dressing: this recipe is tasty with a variety of dressings! It includes a simple homemade balsamic vinaigrette but you could use ranch, cilantro lime, creamy avocado, or any of your favorite dressings.
About The Dressing
This recipe includes a simple, creamy, classic homemade balsamic vinaigrette. It's thick, flavorful, and pairs perfectly with the flavor of the steak.
This recipe is very versatile when it comes to the dressing — it would pair well with any dressing!
I've chosen to make this salad with a balsamic vinaigrette because it complements the flavor of the steak well; but you could easily swap this for your favorite alternative.
A cast iron skillet is nice to have for this recipe (for cooking the steak); but not necessary. This is my favorite brand and favorite size: Cast Iron Skillet.
If you don't have a cast iron skillet, you can use any large skillet or toss your steak on the grill to cook it.
How to Store Leftovers
Store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container. This recipe will stay good for 1 - 2 days as the avocados tend to brown quickly. For best results, store the dressing in a separate container and toss just before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Thinner cuts of steak like flank or flat iron steak work great for this recipe because they cut into thin slices that are easy to mix with the salad.
But feel free to use your favorite cut of steak! This recipe is tasty with any cut of steak. What's most important is that it's cooked properly and then sliced thinly for the salad.
For a steak that's about an inch in thickness, cook it for 3 - 5 minutes on each side, depending on how well done you want your steak. The steak should have an internal temperature of 135°F for medium rare and 145°F for medium.
Also, be sure to heat up your pan and olive oil before adding your steak so that it sears nicely.
This salad can be a main course that serves 4 - 6 people depending on portion size. It can also be a side salad for about 6 - 8 people and would pair well with any main dish, especially lighter ones because it's a hearty salad.
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your thoughts! Please leave a comment at the bottom of this page. And if you share a photo on social media, I'd love to see it! You can tag me on: Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok.Print