Here’s the thing about barbecues: they’re fun and delicious, but can sometimes get pretty unhealthy. All that meat, burger and hot dog buns, potato dishes, beer… not exactly the most heart-friendly!
But Cassandra, I have salad on the side at my barbecue parties! 😉
Sure, but are you really filling up on boring salad greens when the grill’s going? My tip to make that salad more interesting? Make it an appetizing steak salad with yogurt dressing!
This steak salad features scrumptiously marinated, thinly sliced steak atop a bed of fresh vegetables complete with cheese and a dressing that’s good (and healthy!) enough to eat on its own. You’re going to want seconds!
Whether you’re looking for a healthy barbecue side dish or nutritious meal options, this steak salad is going to deliver.
Is This Recipe Healthy?
I mean, it has the word “salad” so it has to be healthy, right? Jokes aside, this steak salad recipe is fairly nutritious. We’re using flank steak, which is a leaner cut of meat and a homemade marinade that calls for low-sodium ingredients and no added sugar (which your average store-bought barbecue sauce is full of).
The salad base has a good assortment of vegetables and fruits that are packed with good vitamins and nutrients as well as healthy fats (thanks to avocado!). And the salad dressing…
Well, we’ve already established earlier that it’s good and healthy enough to eat on its own. I can’t promise there’s going to be enough dressing for your salad if you give it a taste-test after making it!
I’m no nutritionist, but I’d say this is a great option if you’re wanting to stay healthy, and just like everything else, eat this in moderation.
This steak salad recipe calls for ingredients you can easily obtain at your grocery store.
For the steak and marinade, you’ll need:
- Flank steak — You’ll want the whole piece for this as you’ll slice it after cooking.
- Olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, low sodium soy sauce and lemon juice — These liquids will make the marinade base.
- Garlic — I use about six cloves, but you may adjust according to your preference.
- Flat leaf parsley — This classic herb will add a nice fresh touch to your marinade!
- Salt and pepper — As always, add this classic combo to enhance the natural flavors of the marinated meat.
For the cilantro lime yogurt dressing (which I like to call Yogurt Green Goddess), you’ll need:
- Greek yogurt — Use plain greek yogurt. This creamy, thick and low sugar food also gives off a slightly tangy flavor and is great as a foundation for salad dressing.
- Fresh cilantro and basil — You’re going to want quite a bit of these fresh herbs as they are the essence of the dressing.
- Olive oil and lime juice — These help bring out the aroma of the fresh herbs and add a touch of acidity to balance the sapor of the other ingredients.
- Garlic — I use four cloves, but you may use the amount you prefer.
- Salt and pepper — Throw in some salt and pepper to season.
- (Optional) jalapeno — Use if you’d like a little spice!
And lastly, get these for the salad:
- Romaine lettuce — You may buy whole leaves and shred it yourself or buy pre-shredded lettuce.
- Cherry tomatoes — Quarter the cherry tomatoes before adding them to your salad.
- Avocados — I recommend slicing them, but you can cube them if you’d like.
- Corn — You’ll want to get corn cobs to grill them and slice them off instead of using canned corn (it’s just not the same!).
- Goat cheese — Top the salad with crumbled cheese as a final touch.
What Kind Of Cut Of Meat Should I Use For This Salad?
An important question! Now, I love all kinds of meat, but the best option for this steak salad in my opinion is beef flank. This lean cut of meat doesn’t require a long cooking time to achieve a juicy, tender, flavor-packed inside and crispy outside — a perfect complement to salad greens. I love having flank steak medium rare, but you can cook it to your liking.
You may also opt for other lean cuts of meat. I’ve occasionally made a skirt steak salad and it’s just as good, if not a little more fatty than flank steak. Tri tip and top sirloin are also good options.
Of course, if you’d like to branch out and experiment with other cuts of meat, you’re welcome to do so (I’m not the beef police!) — just keep in mind the different cooking times.
Follow these instructions, and you’ll have a mouth-watering steak salad guaranteed to satisfy.
We’ll start by making the Yogourt Green Goddess dressing (aka the refreshing cilantro lime yogurt dressing):
- Combine ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Next, the marinating and grilling:
- Whisk together all of the steak marinade ingredients in a bowl.
- Add the steak and marinade to a plastic bag. Let it marinate for a minimum of two hours (Pro tip: I have marinated my steak for 24 hours or more for the ultimate flavor!).
- Heat a grill over medium high heat. Remove the steak from the bag and generously season with salt and pepper.
- Place the steak on the grill and cook until medium, about 5-7 minutes on each side. Once cooked to your liking, remove the steak to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. When ready to serve, slice the steak against the grain and add to your salad.
- At the same time, drizzle each cob of corn with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and liberally sprinkle salt and pepper. Using tongs, add the corn to the grill. Cook each side until charred in spots and tender, about 10 minutes total.
- Remove the corn and let it cool slightly before cutting the kernels off the cob.
Lastly, prep the salad base and assemble!
- Add the shredded romaine lettuce, tomatoes, avocado and corn in a large bowl. Mix together with your Yogurt Green Goddess dressing.
- Top with sliced steak and goat cheese.
Salad Dressing Variations
Okay, so I love the Yogurt Green Goddess dressing, but if you’re looking for some variation, I’ve got you covered. Here are some salad dressing options you can try:
- Creamy balsamic vinaigrette
Mix balsamic vinegar, honey, dijon mustard (this is what makes it creamy!), olive oil and garlic together for a creamy tangy dressing. The more honey you add, the more neutralized the sour taste of the vinegar and dijon mustard.
- Blue cheese dressing
I think blue cheese is always a good option to pair with red meats. Any bottle of blue cheese dressing from your local grocery store would work for this salad.
- Simple olive oil and feta cheese
Extra virgin olive oil is a good enough salad dressing on its own! Pair it with feta cheese (I also like to add some Italian herbs to the cheese if I go this route) for a simple salad dressing that really makes the steak the star.
Steak Salad Recipe
For the Steak
- 1 ½ pounds flank steak, sliced after marinating and barbequing
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
- ⅔ cup low sodium soy sauce
- ⅔ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the Cilantro Lime Yogourt Dressing
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed (approx 1 cup)
- 1 cup fresh basil
- ½ jalapeno, seeds and stem removed, optional
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
For the Salad
- 6 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 2 large ripe avocados, sliced
- 2 large corn on the cobs, grilled and sliced off the cob
- ¾ cup goat cheese, crumbled
For the Steak
- In a bowl whisk together all of the steak marinade ingredients. Add the steak to a plastic bag, then the marinade and let marinate for a minimum two hours (Pro Tip: I have marinated my steak for 24 hours or more for the ultimate flavour)!
- Heat a grill over medium high heat. Remove the steak from the marinade and generously season with salt and pepper.
- Place the steak on the grill and cook until medium, about 5-7 minutes on each side. Once cooked to your liking, remove the steak to a cutting board and cover loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. When ready to serve, slice the steak against the grain and add to your salad.
- At the same time, drizzle each cob of corn with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and liberally sprinkle salt and pepper. Using tongs, add the corn to the grill. Cook each side until charred in spots and tender, about 10 minutes total. Remove the corn and let it cool slightly before cutting the kernels off the cob.
For the Yogourt Green Goddess
- Combine ingredients in a food processor until smooth and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Salad
- Add to a large bowl romaine lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, corn and mix together with your green goddess dressing.
- Top with steak and goat cheese. Bon Appetit!