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There are so many great pairings for sirloin steak recipes — including simple steak and eggs or hearty steak and potatoes — but this steak salad recipe transforms it into one of my favorite salad recipes. Juicy steak, fresh greens, sweet tomatoes, and a tangy balsamic vinegar create a dish that tastes straight out of your favorite cafe (and it’s so easy to customize!).
You can make steak salad recipes a million different ways, but this one is inspired by a popular Italian second course called tagliatata di manzo. That phrase literally means “sliced beef” or “cut of beef”, but the dish is typically served with arugula (or rocket), tomatoes, and parmesan. I’m calling it a steak salad because that’s basically what it is!
Why You’ll Love This Steak Salad Recipe
- Combination of savory, sweet, and peppery flavors
- Juicy, tender steak
- Crisp greens, fresh tomatoes, smoky parmesan
- Super simple ingredients
- Complete meal ready in 15 minutes
- Grill or stovetop options to make year-round
- Easy lunch idea!
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for steak salad, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Steak – The best steak for salad is ribeye or sirloin, but skirt steak, sirloin tip steak or flank steak make good affordable options, or choose a filet mignon or New York strip steak for a special occasion. You can use other cuts of steak, but the cooking time will be different if they are on the thinner side. For the best steak salad recipe, choose meat that is at least 1 inch thick, which is less prone to overcooking.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper – I season my steaks simply with salt and pepper most often, but you can add steak seasoning, standalone spices such as garlic powder, or use my steak marinade recipe if you like.
- Avocado Oil – You only need avocado oil if you are cooking steaks on the stovetop. You could also use olive oil or any neutral cooking oil you prefer.
- Arugula – I used fresh arugula, but you could use rocket greens, romaine lettuce, spinach (to make a steak spinach salad), or any fresh greens you like.
- Oil & Vinegar – I simply drizzle the greens with olive oil and balsamic vinegar instead of making a separate steak salad dressing. You could substitute other dressings here, such as ranch, green goddess dressing, Italian dressing, or even chimichurri sauce.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
- Cherry Tomatoes – These are the perfect combo for a steak arugula salad. Roasted cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes or chopped larger tomatoes would work as well. You can also add other vegetables, like sliced bell peppers, red onion, corn kernels, or avocado slices.
- Shaved Parmesan Cheese – I like the texture that shaved parm imparts, but shredded also works. You can also opt for a crumbled cheese, such as goat cheese, feta cheese, blue cheese, or Gorgonzola. Chopped cheese crisps would also be delightful if you like some crunch!
- Lemon Wedges – For a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to finish.
VARIATION: Add eggs.
For even more flavor and an extra protein boost, make some easy peel boiled eggs, chop them up and throw them into the salad.
How To Make Steak Salad
This section shows how to make salad with steak, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Prep and season the steak. Preheat the grill or heat avocado oil in a cast iron skillet (for stovetop method) on high. Pat the steaks dry with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Cook the steak. Grill or cook steaks on stovetop until they reach your desired doneness (see cook times below).
- Combine steak salad ingredients. In a large bowl or on a platter, toss arugula in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Top greens with cherry tomatoes and shaved parmesan.
- Rest and slice the steak. Let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes after cooking, then slice against the grain.
- Combine. Place the steak over the salad. Enjoy your grilled steak salad with a squeeze of lemon juice, if desired.
TIP: Never overcook steak again by using a probe thermometer!
A probe thermometer is the best way to test internal temperature — you just set your desired temperature and it beeps when your steak is ready! If you prefer a more classic option, a regular meat thermometer works as well.
If you don’t have a thermometer at all, check the steak time charts I have in my posts for grilled steak (if grilling) or ribeye steak (if using the stovetop, this is a good estimate even if you’re cooking a different cut).
Like most green salads, steak salad recipes that use leafy greens are best fresh. If you want to prep ahead, keep the veggies, meat, and dressing each in a separate airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Once combined, the salad will last no more than 1 day, as it gets soggy fast.
What To Serve With Steak Salad Recipes
I often serve this steak salad recipe all on its own — I love a 15-minute meal! But if you’re making it for company or just want to pair it with something else, these make great options:
- Potatoes – An easy way to make your meal more hearty! Try my lemon potatoes recipe (my fave pairing with this salad when I need to add something), oven roasted potatoes, or air fryer baked potatoes.
- Soups – Make a soup and steak salad combo by adding roasted cauliflower soup or stovetop vegetable soup (or Instant Pot vegetable soup).
- Pizza – Choose your favorite crust (I like cauliflower pizza crust for a lighter option) or make pizza-inspired dishes like cauliflower pizza casserole, meal prep pizza bowls, or summery zucchini pizza boats.
More Meal-Worthy Salad Recipes
Skip the plain lettuce! Spice up your salad with these easy recipes:
- Quality Outdoor Grill – This comes from my favorite trusted brand and has options for gas or propane. Of course, you can also use a charcoal grill.
- Indoor Electric Grill – If you want to grill steak during the cooler months, this is perfect for that. You can use the same method!
- Cast Iron Skillet – A cast iron skillet is ideal for cooking steak on the stove because it keeps the steak juicy and evenly seared.
- Probe Thermometer – The easiest way to ensure your steak is cooked to your desired doneness. It will beep when your desired internal temperature is reached!
Steak Salad Recipe (Grill Or Stovetop)
Make this steak salad recipe with crisp greens, sweet tomatoes, shaved parmesan, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. An easy meal in 15 minutes!
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Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Steaks – Grill Method:
Preheat the grill on High for at least 15 minutes, until it reaches 500 degrees F (260 degrees F).
Meanwhile, pat the steaks dry with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
Place the steaks on the grill. Close the lid and sear for 2 minutes. Flip the steaks over, close the lid again, and sear for 2 more minutes.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Continue to grill steaks with the lid closed until they reach your desired doneness. For 1.5-inch-thick steaks: 1-2 minutes (120 degrees F) for rare, 2-3 minutes (130 degrees F) for medium rare, 3-4 minutes (140 degrees F) for medium, 4-5 minutes (150 degrees F) for medium well, or 5-6 minutes (160 degrees F) for well done. Steak temperature will increase by an additional 5 degrees when resting in the next step. For 1-inch-thick steaks, they may be done to medium rare after step 3 without needing additional time at reduced heat.
Remove the steaks from the grill, tent with foil, and rest for 10 minutes.
Steaks – Stovetop Method:
Preheat the oil in a cast iron skillet on the stovetop over medium-high heat, until screaming hot.
Meanwhile, pat the steaks dry with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
Add the steaks. Cook, flipping every 30 seconds but not moving around in between, until done to your liking. Steaks will take 3-4 minutes for rare, 5-6 minutes for medium rare, 7-8 minutes for medium, 9-10 minutes for medium well, or 11-12 minutes for well done. The final internal temperature should be 120 degrees F (49 degrees C) for rare, 130 degrees F (54 degrees C) for medium rare, 140 degrees F (60 degrees C) for medium, 150 degrees F (66 degrees C) for medium well, or 160 degrees F (71 degrees C) for well done.
Remove the steaks from the pan, tent with foil, and rest for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, toss arugula in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Add cherry tomatoes and shaved parmesan.
Slice the steaks against the grain and place over the salad.
Serve steak salad with a squeeze of lemon juice if desired.
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Serving size: 2 cups
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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