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The best steak salad recipe includes marinated, grilled flank steak, fresh vegetables, crispy fried onions, crumbled blue cheese and a homemade creamy balsamic vinaigrette. It’s light, flavorful and incredibly satisfying! Pair the entrée salad with a loaf of crusty bread for easy dinners all summer long.

Overhead image of grilled steak salad recipe on a large serving platter with a side of bread

Grilled Steak Salad

Keith and the boys love steak dinners, but during the hot summer months, we don’t usually want to serve the rich meat with heavy sides like mashed potatoes or broccoli casserole. Instead, a grilled steak salad is the perfect compromise! You get the satisfying flavor and texture of the beef, paired with the crisp, light and refreshing in-season veggies. Bring it all together with a slightly sweet, tangy and creamy balsamic vinaigrette dressing for the ultimate warm-weather meal!

The Best Steak for Salad

We love a grilled flank steak for this salad. It’s ideal for quick family dinners because it’s relatively affordable and easy to work with. Flank steak is thin, so it cooks fast, and it can be prepared in advance.

Flank steak typically requires additional tenderizing in order to achieve the best flavor, and an acidic marinade is one way to accomplish this. This grilled flank steak marinade is a combination of brown sugar, Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce, which gives the meat a lovely sweet-and-savory flavor. The marinade has just enough acid to tenderize the meat, but not so much that you can’t leave the meat in the marinade overnight. I recommend marinating the flank steak for at least 30 minutes, but longer is really best — and up to 24 hours will be fine. The marinated flank steak is tender, juicy, and full of flavor!

Of course, if you don’t care for flank steak, you can assemble this salad with just about any of your favorite cuts of steak. From filet mignon or ribeye in a cast iron skillet, to skirt steak, London Broil, grilled New York Strip or grilled steak tips, the recipe is versatile and the salad will be delicious!

Pouring dressing on steak salad

What dressing is good on a steak salad?

I’ve paired this steakhouse salad with a sweet, creamy and tangy balsamic vinaigrette. It’s easy to whisk together with just a few simple ingredients in about 1-2 minutes! Plus, the light, acidic dressing nicely balances the richness of the meat.

If you prefer, you can certainly substitute with another type of dressing. A homemade buttermilk ranch would be delicious, or try a pepper jelly vinaigrette for a little bit of heat, a classic Caesar dressing, or this simple red wine vinaigrette.

Creamy balsamic vinaigrette dressing in a measuring cup with whisk

Ingredients

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a grilled flank steak salad. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Flank steak: typically weighs about 1 ½ – 2 lbs. and serves about 4-6 people.
  • Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and Dijon mustard: to marinate the steak.
  • Garlic powder, kosher salt and black pepper: to season the meat before grilling.
  • Balsamic vinegar, mayonnaise, water, brown sugar, garlic, Dijon, olive oil, salt and pepper: form the dressing.
  • Lettuce or greens: just about any lettuce will work. I like a mix of crunchy Romaine and tender baby spring greens. With its peppery flavor, arugula is also a nice companion for the steak.
  • Cherry tomatoes, red onion and cucumber: vegetables that add fresh flavor and crisp texture to the salad.
  • Crumbled blue cheese: or sub with your favorite cheese. Goat cheese, crumbled feta or freshly-grated Parmesan would all work well, too.
  • Crispy fried onions: these French’s crispy fried onions remind me of my favorite restaurant steak salad! They’re an optional garnish that you can add at the end for extra flavor and crunch, or omit them if you don’t want to bother.
Overhead shot of ingredients for steak salad recipe

How to Make Steak Salad

The best entrée salads always include a variety of flavors and textures for a hearty, satisfying dish that truly eats like a meal! This steak salad is the perfect combination of cool, crisp veggies and greens, rich, tender, and juicy meat, sharp, creamy blue cheese, and crunchy fried onions. It’s a restaurant-quality dinner that’s easy to make at home!

  1. Marinate the steak for at least 30 minutes (or overnight).
  2. Whisk together the dressing.
  3. Remove steak from marinade, pat dry, and season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Let rest for 30 minutes while you prepare the grill and the rest of the salad ingredients.
  4. Grill the steak.
  5. Assemble the salads.
  6. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.
Marinating flank steak
Seasoned flank steak
Horizontal shot of a pan of grilled steak salad with blue cheese

What goes with Flank Steak Salad?

Serve the steak salad with a loaf of crusty No-Knead Bread, homemade focaccia, or easy garlic bread. It’s also delicious alongside skillet cornbread, corn muffins, buttermilk biscuits, cheese biscuits, or Aunt Bee’s 3-ingredient sour cream muffins.

Preparation and Storage Tips

  • Serve the salad warm or at room temperature. You can prep the ingredients in advance and serve the steak at room temperature on top of your salad. Alternatively, pair warm steak with the crisp, cool lettuce for a nice contrast.
  • Prepare the dressing up to 1 week in advance. Store the dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Leftover steak salad will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day; however, it’s not ideal. The lettuce and veggies get soggy as they sit in the dressing.
Hands holding a platter of steak salad

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of grilling the flank steak, sear the meat in a cast iron skillet. To do so, heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil or vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot. Add the steak and cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Flip the steak and cook until it reaches desired level of doneness, about 3-5 more minutes.
  • Rather than flank steak, try filet mignon, ribeye, skirt steak, London Broil, New York Strip steak or grilled steak tips on top of your salad.
  • Swap out the blue cheese for any other type of cheese. Good options include goat cheese, fresh Parmesan, or crumbled feta.
  • Any lettuce will work. I like a blend of Romaine and mixed spring baby greens, but radicchio, iceberg, or arugula are all good, too.
  • Add extra fresh vegetables, such as radishes, sweet bell peppers, shredded carrots, or corn off the cob.
  • Pick your favorite dressing. If you don’t care for this balsamic vinaigrette, a homemade buttermilk ranch would be delicious, or try a pepper jelly vinaigrette for a little bit of heat, a classic Caesar dressing, or this simple red wine vinaigrette. Green goddess is also a delicious choice!
  • Southwest Steak Salad: add corn, black beans and sliced avocado. Serve the salad with Ranch dressing or a salsa-ranch dressing. Use this fajita flank steak.
  • Steak Caesar Salad: add the grilled flank steak to this classic Caesar salad recipe.
Close up side shot of grilled flank steak salad on a platter

Tips for the Best Steak Salad Recipe

  • Marinate the steak for at least 30 minutes, but if you have the time, it’s best to use the flank steak marinade overnight. This will give the marinade more time to penetrate the meat, which helps to break down the tough fibers for a more tender and flavorful piece of steak.
  • Allow the marinated flank steak to sit on the counter and come to room temperature before grilling. This will ensure that it cooks more evenly.
  • The total grilling time will vary depending on the size, thickness and temperature of your flank steak when it goes onto the grill. Use a thermometer to know when your meat is done. For a medium-rare finish, the beef should reach an internal temperature of 130-140°F.
  • Allow the grilled flank steak to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing. This will give the juices time to redistribute through the meat so that they don’t all run out onto your cutting board.
  • Always slice flank steak thinly against the grain (perpendicular to those long fibers that you see). This will result in tender (rather than chewy) steak.
Overhead shot of summer steak salad served with balsamic dressing.

More Salad Recipes to Try

Square overhead shot of a steak salad recipe served in a cast iron dish with homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Steak Salad

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Resting and Marinating Time 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour 18 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 519 kcal
The best steak salad recipe includes marinated, grilled flank steak, fresh vegetables, crispy fried onions, crumbled blue cheese, and a homemade creamy balsamic vinaigrette!

Ingredients
  

FOR THE GRILLED STEAK

FOR THE CREAMY BALSAMIC DRESSING

  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

FOR THE SALAD

  • 6 cups chopped Romaine lettuce, baby spring greens, arugula, or other greens of choice
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • 1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • Crispy fried onions, to taste (optional)

Instructions

MARINATE THE STEAK

  • In a small bowl, whisk together Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and Dijon mustard. Place the steak in a large zip-top plastic bag or shallow dish and pour marinade over top. Squeeze air out of the bag and seal to close or cover the dish. Gently toss to coat the beef in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.
    Marinating flank steak in a Ziploc bag.

PREPARE THE DRESSING

  • In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together balsamic vinegar, mayonnaise, water, brown sugar, garlic and mustard. While continually whisking, gradually stream in the olive oil until the ingredients are completely combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients, or refrigerate in an airtight container or jar for up to 1 week.
    Whisking steak salad dressing in a glass measuring cup.

GRILL THE STEAK

  • After at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator, remove the steak and discard the marinade. Wipe excess marinade off of the steak by patting it with paper towels. Season the meat on both sides with the garlic powder, salt and pepper. Allow to stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before grilling.
    Seasoned and marinated flank steak before grilling.
  • Lightly brush or spray the steak with oil. Preheat your grill for high direct heat (about 450° F). Grill the steak covered for about 5 minutes. Turn and cook covered for about 3-4 more minutes, or until the meat reaches the desired level of doneness. Baste with the glaze during the final few minutes. Pull the steak off the grill at 120 to 125°F for rare, 130-140°F for medium rare, and 145°F for medium. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain.
    Square overhead shot of flank steak marinade on a blue and white serving platter.

ASSEMBLE SALAD

  • Place the lettuce on a large serving tray or on individual plates. Top with the tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, blue cheese, and sliced steak. Drizzle with balsamic dressing. Garnish with crispy fried onions, if desired. Serve immediately.
    Horizontal side shot of steak salad on a white table.

Video

Notes

    • Marinate the steak for at least 30 minutes, but if you have the time it’s best to use the flank steak marinade overnight. This will give the marinade more time to penetrate the meat, which helps to break down the tough fibers for a more tender and flavorful piece of steak.
    • Allow the marinated flank steak to sit on the counter and come to room temperature before grilling. This will ensure that it cooks more evenly.
    • Allow the grilled flank steak to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing. This will give the juices time to redistribute through the meat so that they don’t all run out onto the cutting board.
    • Always slice flank steak thinly against the grain (perpendicular to those long fibers that you see). This will result in tender (rather than chewy) steak.

Nutrition

Serving: 1salad with dressingCalories: 519kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 43gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 717mgPotassium: 1114mgFiber: 3gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 6722IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 180mgIron: 4mg
Keyword: flank steak salad, grilled steak salad, steak salad
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. Kim says:

    5 stars
    When I first made this recipe, it was way too hot outside to cook the steak on the grill. I used our George Foreman grill
    inside instead. It’s the perfect summer supper I will definitely make again!

    1. Blair says:

      I’m so glad to hear that, Kim! Thanks for your note. 🙂

  2. Alaina says:

    5 stars
    This was such a delicious salad!! I absolutely loved the dressing. Usually homeade dressings are a bit bitter for me, so the addition of the brown sugar made it just perfect. Thank you!!