Steak Salad Recipe

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Our favorite Steak Salad recipe! Romaine lettuce is topped with grilled steak, sweet cherry tomatoes, dried tart cherries, toasted sliced almonds, roasted red pepper, crunchy green onions, and tangy feta cheese. This salad is dressed with an herby cilantro-lemon vinaigrette.

Overhead image of Steak Salad, dressed and about to be tossed.

Steak Salad 

There’s a great salad and sandwich shop near my home that has lots of healthy options made with fresh and organic ingredients. It’s one of the boys’ and my favorite places to grab a quick lunch. I’m totally obsessed with the salads and my boys love them too. Their steak salad recipe is a personal favorite of mine so naturally I had to make a “copycat” recipe to share. 

There are plenty of fresh veggies and herbs with the most addictive lemon-cilantro vinaigrette. The dressing is tangy and a little bit sweet; it’s got loads of cilantro, plenty of fresh citrus, and just the right amount of honey to balance everything out. If you’re a fan of cilantro and lemon, you are going to go crazy for this vinaigrette!

Process shots-- images of the steak being grilled and the dressing being made.

Steak Salad tips

  • Juicer: This recipe calls for fresh lime and lemon juice in the dressing, which can be a pain to juice by hand. I recommend a small juicer or citrus reamer — you don’t need anything special or crazy expensive. This one is inexpensive and a great investment if you juice a lot of citrus. A microplane is also nice for zesting the citrus.
  • You can buy jars of roasted red peppers at the store; they are usually near things like pickles, capers and artichoke hearts. We love the soft texture and smokey flavor of roasted red peppers, but a raw chopped red pepper is also delicious in this steak salad recipe.
  • Thoroughly dry lettuce. Nothing ruins a salad quicker than wet lettuce! Dry it completely after washing; a salad spinner makes this process a breeze.

Images of the dressing being drizzled over all the different parts of the salad.

Steak tips 

A few overall steak cooking tips:

  • Generously season the steaks. A good steak doesn’t need much more than a drizzle of oil and good sprinkling of salt and pepper! But don’t skimp on the S&P; it’s going to bring out all the flavor in the beef.
  • 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 pink center.
  • Try to get the center cut, which will ensure more even cooking
  • Make sure the grill is completely heated before you add the steak. High heat is going to sear the surface of the meat, resulting in a juicier steak with an amazing char.
  • Let the steak rest before cutting into it. Once the steak is 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 recommend covering the steak in foil and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting into it.
  • Cut the cooked steak against the grain. Here’s more on that! Once it’s sliced, it’s ready to go.

The best way to ensure your meat is perfectly cooked is by using a meat thermometer. If you cook steak often, you can likely tell when it is done by gently pressing on the meat, but I still like knowing for sure with a thermometer.

Temperature tips

I think New York steak (and rib-eye) is best at medium rare and can lose flavor and texture when cooked beyond medium. Of course, to each their own though — cook the steak exactly how you like it!  Below are the temperatures for cooking steak to your personal preference.

  • 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)
  • Medium: 140 degrees F (about 5-7 minutes on one side and another 3-5 minutes on the other side)
  • 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 depends on the steak’s thickness, your grill, and actual temperature of your grill**

Pull the steaks off about 5 degrees below the desired temperature — the steaks will “cook” those last 5 degrees from carryover heat as they rest. 

Up-close overhead image of steak salad, dressed.

How to toast almonds

Place the almonds in a single layer in a heavy skillet (you don’t need to add anything else) and stir them around on medium-low heat. It only takes about 2-3 minutes (sometimes less depending on how much heat they are getting) until they are toasted and smelling quite fragrant. Make sure you are stirring them around and watching constantly so they don’t have a chance to burn! 

Storage

Steak Salad doesn’t sit or store well after it’s made. Once assembled, the salad needs to be eaten soon after; otherwise the dressing wilts the greens and the almonds soften. The steak also loses flavor and texture the longer it sits. This recipe can easily be halved to ensure it can be enjoyed without having leftovers. 

To make ahead: Prepare everything, but store ingredients separately in the fridge. Grill steaks and assemble everything right before eating.

Dressing can be made one day in advance. Simply store in a mason jar and thoroughly shake to recombine before adding to the salad.

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Steak Salad

5 from 6 votes
Our favorite Steak Salad recipe! Romaine lettuce is topped with grilled steak, sweet cherry tomatoes, dried tart cherries, toasted sliced almonds, roasted red pepper, crunchy green onions, and tangy feta cheese. This salad is finished with an herby cilantro-lemon vinaigrette.
Print Recipe

Steak Salad

5 from 6 votes
Our favorite Steak Salad recipe! Romaine lettuce is topped with grilled steak, sweet cherry tomatoes, dried tart cherries, toasted sliced almonds, roasted red pepper, crunchy green onions, and tangy feta cheese. This salad is finished with an herby cilantro-lemon vinaigrette.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword steak salad
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 782kcal
Cost $13.62

Equipment

  • Tongs, canola oil, & paper towel for prepping the grill grates

Ingredients

Steak or Chicken

  • 1 pound (453g) steak (such as New York or Rib-eye)
  • Olive oil, freshly cracked pepper, and fine sea salt

Salad

  • 8 cups (258g) chopped romaine lettuce (~2 heads)
  • 1 cup (167g) halved cherry tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup (121g) chopped roasted red peppers (See Note 1)
  • 5 thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/3 cup (47g) dried tart cherries (or dried cranberries)
  • 1/3 cup (31g) sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup (51g) feta cheese

Dressing

  • 1 large lemon (3 tablespoons lemon juice & 2 teaspoons zest)
  • 1-2 large limes (2 and 1/2 tablespoons lime juice)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup (22g) lightly packed cilantro (~1 bunch)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup (74g) extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

STEAK

  • 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. 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 all sides (about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper total).
  • 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). (See Note 1) 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. Cut steak against the grain into thin slices. 

DRESSING

  • Using a zester, zest the lemon to get 2 teaspoons lemon zest. Squeeze to get 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Squeeze the lime to get 2 and 1/2 tablespoons lime juice.
  • For the cilantro, chop off the large stems (no need to remove all the tiny stems) and lightly pack into measuring cup to get 1 cup.
  • Combine all of the dressing ingredients except for the olive oil in a small blender. Add salt and pepper to taste ( I add 1/4 teaspoon of each). Blend until cilantro is broken down. Add in olive oil and pulse until emulsified. Do not over-blend with the oil or it can make the dressing taste metallic. Taste and adjust dressing to personal preference (more honey, more salt/pepper, etc.). Place in the fridge until ready to use.

SALAD

  • Wash and thoroughly dry the lettuce. Chop the lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Halve the cherry tomatoes, chop the roasted red peppe,r and thinly slice the green onions.
  • When ready to serve, toss the lettuce, green onions, and tomatoes with half of the dressing. Stir in the dried cherries, sliced and toasted almonds, and feta cheese. Add thinly sliced steak on top and drizzle with the remaining dressing (add dressing to desired preference; we like all of the dressing on this salad, but you may like less).
  • STORAGE: All ingredients are best when combined right before eating. The salad doesn't sit or store well. (If you don't plan on eating it all or are making in advance, toss small amounts of the salad with the dressing and store separately)

Recipe Notes

Note 1: The grill time will vary depending on your actual grill, thickness of the steak, and the 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.)
Desired doneness temperature guide:
  • 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)
  • Medium: 140 degrees F (about 5-7 minutes on one side and another 3-5 minutes on the other side)
  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 4Servings | Calories: 782kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 30.4g | Fat: 70.8g | Cholesterol: 79.1mg | Sodium: 187.7mg | Fiber: 4.4g | Sugar: 7.3g

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

 

A delicious tri-tip steak OR chicken salad with cherry tomatoes, dried cherries, toasted almonds, red pepper, and a delicious healthy cilantro-avocado dressing.
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