Southwestern Steak Salad

In Florida, summer can start in April.  Hot, sultry days and warm, breezy nights.  The kind of climate where the thought of turning on the stove or oven seems like an affront to the air conditioning that’s working overtime to keep the sauna-like temperatures at bay.  On days like this, I find it’s better to forage in the fridge for dinner.  

That’s what happened last night.   It was too hot to cook and I had enough fresh vegetables in the crisper drawer to make me think I didn’t have to

A cool salad — with a Southwestern twist.  That sounded good!

 I had some leftover grilled flank steak, corn on the cob and a can of black beans…  Definitely the makings of something good.  I always have a supply of different cheeses on hand and the queso fresco (left over from last week’s chicken tacos) was perfect with this combination. 

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To bring it all together with that smoky, spicy southwestern-ness, I made a simple lime vinaigrette with some cumin and chili powder.  Yum.

What I like about this kind of meal, is that you make the most of what you have on hand.  If you have leftover chicken instead of steak — use it instead, it will be delicious.  No queso fresco?  Substitute some shredded cheddar.   

Add chopped  jicama or green onions. Or don’t.   Hate cilantro?  Skip it.  Pass on the chipotle if you don’t like heat.  Add sliced jalapenos if you do.

Make it your own, and don’t work up a sweat!  It’s just dinner, after all.

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4.67 from 6 votes

Southwestern Steak Salad

If you’ve got leftover steak in the fridge, this is a great way to transform it into another meal!  Make sure the steak is sliced thinly!
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword salad, steak
Dietary Restrictions Gluten-Free
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4


  • 6 cups of lettuces I used a blend of arugula, bibb and red leaf
  • 1 ear corn kernels removed or 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 7 oz can black beans rinsed and drained
  • ½ red or yellow bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes halved
  • ¼ red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 ripe avocado sliced or cut into bite size chunks
  • ½ cup queso fresco crumbled
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and minced
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 hardboiled eggs halved or quartered
  • ½ pound leftover steak very thinly sliced
  • For vinaigrette
  • 1 lime zested and juiced
  • cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ancho or chipotle chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper


For Vinaigrette:

  • Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.  Set aside.

For Salad

  • In a large bowl combine the lettuce, corn, black beans, bell pepper, tomatoes, onions, queso fresco, jalapeno and cilantro and toss to combine.  Add a about 3-4 tablespoons of dressing and toss to combine.  
  • Arrange the sliced steak and avocado over the salad.  Slice the eggs in half and tuck into the salad.  Drizzle with remaining dressing and serve.


Another serving method — toss all ingredients but steak and eggs in a large bowl. Arrange steak slices and egg halves or quarters atop the salad.


Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 716mg | Potassium: 699mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1550IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 2.2mg

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Use everyday pantry ingredients and leftover steak for this easy recipe for Southwestern Steak Salad! Ready in minutes!

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  1. How long do you think the dressing would keep for?

    1. On its own the dressing will keep in the refrigerator for a week, however if you dress the salad with the dressing, it should be eaten immediately. Once greens are dressed, the salad can’t be saved for another day. (The exception are sturdy greens like kale).

  2. Excellent salad …felt like it needed more dressing so I doubled the vinagrette. Very yum.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Kathie! I keep vats of that vinaigrette in my house!!!

  3. I love salads that have a ton of flavor and colors. Using a blend of lettuces always helps to mix it up too!

    1. I know – salads don’t have to be boring, right?!!

  4. 5 stars
    This looks super amazing!! I love all the flavors in this!!!

  5. 5 stars
    This is so colorful and gorgeous Lisa. That steak and boiled eggs are absolutely the best combination. Sounds so good.

  6. 5 stars
    Great combo of flavors, including the 3 well mingled lettuces to really make that tasty steak pop!

    1. Thank you! It’s a great salad for lunch or dinner. Enjoy!