This delicious steak salad is made with well-seasoned, sautéed sirloin and a classic vinaigrette of olive oil and vinegar.
Main-course salads are one of my favorite meals, especially during the summer. They are easy to make, and they don’t require heating up the oven, which is always a big plus, and especially when it’s hot outside. ☀️
In my version of a warm steak salad, rather than cook the cut of meat whole and then slice it, I do it a little differently. I cube a sirloin steak, season it well, then saute it in olive oil. The combination of crisp vegetables, a tangy vinaigrette, and warm, flavorful beef is wonderful.
The ingredients you’ll need
The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need when making this tasty and filling salad:
For the vinaigrette: Red wine vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper, olive oil. Note that I use kosher salt. If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use. A teaspoon of kosher salt weighs less than a teaspoon of regular salt.
For the salad: Mixed salad greens and cherry tomatoes. You can replace the salad greens with spinach leaves and the cherry tomatoes with sliced Roma tomatoes if you wish.
For cooking the steak cubes: Salt and pepper, spices (paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme), olive oil, and cubed sirloin or tenderloin. Make sure the spices are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
How to make a steak salad
Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed recipe. Here are the basic steps – it’s really quite easy:
Make the dressing. I quickly blend a classic vinaigrette.
Prepare the vegetables. Then I prep the salad vegetables and arrange them on a pretty serving platter.
Cook the steak. Cube the steak and coat it in yummy spices, then quickly saute it in olive oil, trying not to overcook it so it doesn’t become tough.
Assemble the salad. To assemble, I arrange the warm steak cubes on top of the vegetables, then drizzle the vinaigrette on top. That’s it!
What cut of beef to use?
You have quite a few options actually. I like to use sirloin because it’s lean and flavorful. I feel that fatty pieces of meat are not appropriate in terms of the salad’s overall texture.
However, sirloin can be a bit tough. Personally, I don’t mind it. But if you do, you can tenderize it overnight in a vinegar-based marinade prior to sauteing.
Or, if you don’t mind splurging, choose a more tender cut such as tenderloin. It’s lean and very tender, but not as flavorful as sirloin.
You could also use a New York strip, although I would cut off the fat cap for this recipe. And ribeye is flavorful and tender, and although it’s fatty, the lean parts are wonderful in this salad.
So as you can see, you have quite a few options when it comes to what cut of beef to use. Still, I almost always use sirloin.
What to put in a steak salad?
I like to keep it simple and let the steak be the star of the show. So apart from the meat itself, my salad consists of mixed greens and cherry tomatoes.
By all means, use whatever vegetables you like! Thinly sliced red onions would be a good addition, as would sliced bell peppers, or any other salad vegetable, really.
Another good option is to use baby spinach leaves instead of salad greens. If you go this route, forgo the vinaigrette. Instead, drizzle the pan juices from cooking the steak on the spinach.
The warm pan juices will wilt the spinach leaves just enough to make them perfectly cooked.
What dressing to use?
Just like the meat and the vegetables, you have many options and can use your favorite salad dressing.
Me? I am partial to a classic vinaigrette, keeping the classic ratio of 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, and adding Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper.
What to serve with this salad?
You don’t really need to serve anything with this dish. It’s a complete meal. But if you want something on the side, and you want it to be low carb, you can try cheese muffins, cheese biscuits, or keto focaccia.
How many calories are in a steak salad?
A serving of this recipe, which is one-fourth of the recipe, has 370 calories. When calculating the nutrition info, I take into account that quite a lot of the oil used for cooking the steak is left in the pan after you remove the cooked steak.
What to do with the leftovers?
You obviously can’t keep the dressed salad greens, as they will wilt. But you can keep the cooked steak in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. Reheat the leftovers very gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
More main-course salads that you might enjoy
I love having a salad for a meal, and not just for lunch. A few of my favorite main-course salads are:
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- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cups mixed salad greens
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb. sirloin, cubed into 2-inch cubes*
Prepare the vinaigrette:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until the dressing is emulsified. Set aside.
Prepare the salad:
- Arrange the mixed greens and the tomatoes on a large serving platter. Set aside.
Cook the steak:
- In a large bowl, mix together the kosher salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried thyme. Add the steak cubes and toss to coat.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned steak cubes. Cook until done to your liking. I suggest cooking 2 minutes per side for medium. Don’t overcook, or the steak will be dry and chewy.
- Remove the cooked steak cubes from the skillet and arrange them on top of the salad. Whisk the vinaigrette one more time and drizzle it on top. Serve immediately.