The BEST Steak Salad with Pita Bread

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Grilled steak and pitas tossed with baby spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, and feta cheese dressed in a delicious lemon-honey vinaigrette. This steak salad is simple to make, healthy, and packed with flavor!

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I’ve re-created and shared dozens of recipes adapted from a restaurant I worked at all through high school and college. (With menu changes twice a year, there was bound to be a lot of favorites.) As employees, we got a free meal if we ever worked double shifts and since my summers would basically consist of nonstop double shifts, I tried A LOT of each menu.

One of my very favorites on the menu, and a customer favorite, was a grilled pita and steak salad. That stayed on the menu all 7 years I was there because guests were obsessed with it. And I’ve finally perfected my version of it and am so excited to be sharing it today!

Grilled pita bread, medium rare steak, tons of veggies, feta cheese and the perfect lemon honey dressing? It doesn’t get much better than this! 🙂

So first off, how to grill the perfect steak for this steak salad:

  • Look for thickness: Try to get a steak at least an inch thick and preferably 1 and 1/2 – 2 inches thick. The thickness helps you get a beautiful red center.
  • Generously OIL your grill grates. When the grill is fully heated, clean it well with a wire brush, and then roll up a few paper towels, drench them in oil (I use canola), and (using tongs that are holding the paper towel wad), rub it along the grill grates generously. Cleaning the grill and brushing it with oil will give your steak gorgeous grill marks and contribute to a beautiful sear.
  • Make sure the grill is completely heated before you add your meat. High heat is going to sear the surface of the meat which will give you a juicier steak and allow the steak to get an amazing char.
  • Use tongs to flip the meat. Don’t stick a fork in your steak and flip it that way because the delicious juices will have a chance to escape.
  • Let the steak rest before cutting into it. Once the steak is perfectly grilled, it needs a bit of time to rest so the juices can re-distribute evenly throughout the meat. By letting the meat rest, you will have a juicier steak! I cover the steak in foil and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting into it. Of course, for a steak salad, you want the steak chilled not still hot, so I’ll then wrap it up and place it in the fridge until we’re ready to eat!

What temperature should I could my steak at for this steak salad?

I recommend using a meat thermometer for grilling the steak. The best way to ensure your meat is perfectly cooked to your liking is by using a meat thermometer. If you grill a ton you can often tell just by looking at a steak or by gently pressing on it if it’s done, but I still like knowing FOR SURE with a thermometer. Below is the breakdown of temperatures — cook to your desired steak doneness!

  • Rare: 120-125 degrees F
  • Medium-Rare: 135 degrees F (about 4-5 minutes on one side and another 3-5 minutes on the other side; high heated grill)
  • Medium: 140 degrees F (about 5-7 minutes on one side and another 3-5 minutes on the other side; high heated grill)
  • Medium-Well: 150 degrees F (about 8-10 minutes on one side and another 3-5 minutes on the other side)
  • Well-Done: 160-175 degrees F.
  • **Time of course depends on the steak’s thickness, your grill, and actual temperature of your grill** I usually pull off the steak about 5 degrees below what I want it to be at — it cooks a bit more after being taken off the grill.

After I’ve pulled off the steak, I also like to grill the pita bread. It adds SO much flavor to this steak salad and I highly recommend it! To do this, lightly brush both sides of the pita in oil (I use vegetable) and sprinkle sea salt on both sides. Place it on the grill grates and grill (with lid open) for 15-30 seconds on each side depending on how the grill is. If it’s still on high heat, it doesn’t take long to grill the pita — we’re infusing some flavor and getting them pillowy soft, not cooking them until they’re hard.

What dressing is good on a grilled steak salad?

I’ve had my fair share of steak salads in my life (I’m obsessed!) and I have to say my favorites have always included a really good vinaigrette. And I’m telling you, this honey lemon vinaigrette does not disappoint! It’s easy to assemble (just throw all the ingredients in a jar and shake), contains simple everyday ingredients, and it has so much flavor. It’s really the perfect complement to the vegetables, steak and pita. That said, of course, use whatever dressing you like best on a steak salad! And in a pinch, use your favorite store bought dressing. 🙂

Is steak salad healthy?

This salad has loads of healthy ingredients and a very healthy dressing (especially when compared to creamy and cheese filled dressings you might find on a lot of other steak salads). The dressing has fresh lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil all which are linked to numerous health benefits.

There are tons of fresh vegetables and of course, the base of this salad is spinach. Spinach is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, and has been linked to improved eye health, cancer prevention, and reduction of blood pressure levels. To add additional health benefits, you can use whole wheat pita bread.

More Delicious Salads

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The BEST Steak Salad

5 from 1 vote
Grilled steak and pitas tossed with baby spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, and feta cheese dressed in a delicious lemon-honey vinaigrette. This steak salad is simple to make, healthy, and packed with flavor!
Print Recipe

The BEST Steak Salad

5 from 1 vote
Grilled steak and pitas tossed with baby spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, and feta cheese dressed in a delicious lemon-honey vinaigrette. This steak salad is simple to make, healthy, and packed with flavor!
Course Dinner, lunch, Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword steak salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 403kcal
Author Chelsea

Ingredients

  • 1 pound steak (such as New York, rib-eye or filet mignon)
  • Olive oil, fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 Greek pita flatbreads (white)
  • 6 cups (130g) fresh baby spinach, large stems removed
  • 1 cup (155g) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1-1/2 cup (200g) Persian cucumbers, coined (about 3 Persian cucumbers or use 1 English cucumber)
  • 1/2 cup (60g) Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, coarsely crumbled
  • Freshly ground black pepper and fine sea salt

Lemon Honey Vinaigrette:

  • 1-2 large lemons (1/2 zest and 4 tablespoons fresh juice (55g))
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 cup (134g) extra virgin olive oil*

Instructions

Grill Steak & Pitas

  • Heat the grill to high heat (400-450 degrees F). Once the grill is hot, clean it with a wire brush. Roll up a few paper towels and drench them in canola oil. Using tongs, rub the paper towel wad along the grill grates generously. Remove the steaks from the fridge and drizzle with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon total) and then generously sprinkle with sea salt and pepper over the top, sides, and bottom (about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper).
  • Place the steaks on the grill and cook about 4-5 minutes. Using tongs, flip the steak over and continue to grill for 3-5 minutes for medium-rare (internal temperature of 135 degrees F).* Once the steaks are cooked to your desired doneness, remove them to a plate or cutting board and tent loosely with foil for 5-10 minutes to give the juices chance to re-distribute. Chill until ready to eat. Cut steak crosswise into thin slices. 
    Drizzle pita breads on both sides with olive oil and lightly sprinkle on salt. Grill for 10 seconds per side.

Salad

  • In a large bowl, combine the baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, kalamata olives, and half of the feta cheese. Toss the salad with enough vinaigrette to coat**. Season the salad with salt and pepper to taste. Add the steak slices on top of the salad. Top with remaining cheese and drizzle on a bit more vinaigrette over the steak. Serve and enjoy immediately!

Lemon Honey Vinaigrette:

  • Combine lemon zest and juice, apple cider vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper to taste (I use 1/2 teaspoon salt and a pinch of  pepper), honey, and oil in a large mason jar.  Put the lid on the jar and shake it well until the dressing becomes emulsified. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
  • You might not use all the dressing (it makes a lot!) but we love tons of dressing on this salad. Add to your preference and store leftovers, up to 1 week, in the fridge.

Recipe Notes

*The grill time will GREATLY vary based on your actual grill, your steak (thickness), and the actual temperature of your grill. For best results, use a meat thermometer and remove the meat when it is 5 degrees below your desired internal temperature. (It will cook a bit more after being removed from the grill.)
**Do not dress or add feta cheese to any salad you want leftover. This salad does not sit well with the dressing added. Separate leftovers first and then add dressing and feta.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 403kcal

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Grilled steak and pitas tossed with baby spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, and feta cheese dressed in a delicious lemon-honey vinaigrette. This steak salad is simple to make, healthy, and packed with flavor! via chelseasmessyapron.com
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4 Comments

  1. Hi Chelsea,

    This salad looks amazing, excited to try it! And I loved your intro video. I’m a boy mom too and they are just so incredibly sweet. I want to do a better job of letting them help in the kitchen. Sometimes it’s hard because you know it will be a total mess, but I also know the more I let them help, the better they’ll get and then maybe they’ll start cooking the dinners. I can dream, right? 🙂

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