Steak and Salsa Salad

If you are looking for big, punchy flavours then Steak and Salsa Salad is the recipe for you. Smoky grilled steak with a vibrant salsa and a zesty lime and coriander dressing. Perfect for summer barbecues or a weeknight dinner at home.

Spicy chilli-rubbed steak? Smoky grilled sweetcorn? Fresh bell peppers and tomatoes? A zingy lime and coriander salsa verde? Check, check, check! Steak and Salsa Salad is a Mexican inspired flavour explosion and a robustly delicious salad, summer or winter.

What’s so good about Steak and Salsa Salad?

I love big, punchy flavours and this salad delivers in every way. There is a lot going on in here and it really is a full meal. It’s as suitable for a summer barbecue (yes! All those smoky flavours) as it is for a winter warmer when you are pining for some summer sun.

It’s super flexible!

Don’t like coriander? Leave it out. Don’t eat steak? Swap it out for chicken breast (yum!) This is a great salad as you can mix it up to suit your individual tastes. It’s quick and easy to prepare and a great way of making a little meat go a long way. You can even use it as a soft taco filling if you want to bulk it out even more.

What sort of steak is best in a steak salad?

I like to use rump steak (known in the U.S as sirloin steak, British sirloin steak comes from elsewhere on the cow. I know, I know, don’t ask). You can also use flank steak, but any decent cut of steak will work well. It’s so important with steak to let it come up to room temperature before cooking, otherwise, you’ll end up with charred outsides and raw insides. Be sure to take the steak out of the fridge at least half an hour before it hits the pan.

This is a great salad for a BBQ!

If you’re heading out to a BBQ or a picnic, prepare the steak with the dry-rub and chop up all the veg and salsa verde. Then all you need to do is throw the steaks on the BBQ and toss it all together. Double or triple the ingredients as you need. This salad goes perfectly with some baked or barbecued potatoes too, especially if they’re laden with sour cream. So good!

Fancy a steak salad with even bigger flavours? Check out my Thai Beef Salad recipe!

Steak and Salsa Salad


What sort of steak should I use in steak salad?

Here we run into those quirks of Transatlantic English again! I’d recommend rump steak for this salad – to my readers in the U.S, I am talking about what you call sirloin steak. Any robust steak would be nice here, flank steak would work well too.

I don’t like coriander / cilantro – can I leave it out?

All the more for me! Sure you can. Just add a bit more parsley instead.

Can I make Steak and Salsa salad in advance?

Yes, of course, though I find I like the steak slightly warm, so I prefer to cook the steak as I go. It tastes great both ways!

Corn is out of season, can I use frozen or canned corn?

For sure, just boil or steam it. It won’t have the same smoky flavour but is perfectly good.

Rump Steak sliced for Steak and Salsa Salad

Covering the steak with a flavoursome dry-rub means you get a beautifully seared crust and perfectly pink meat inside.

Steak and Salsa Salad
Steak and Salsa Salad

Steak and Salsa Salad

Yield: Serves 2-4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Spicy chilli-rubbed steak? Smoky grilled sweetcorn? Fresh bell peppers and tomatoes? A zingy lime and coriander salsa verde? Check, check, check! Steak and Salsa Salad is a Mexican inspired flavour explosion and a robustly delicious salad, summer or winter.


for the steak:

  • 400g rump steak (U.S - sirloin steak)
  • 3 tsp spicy chilli powder (see notes)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp neutral oil (e.g. sunflower)
  • 1 Tbsp butter

for the salad:

  • 2 medium corncobs, husked
  • 1 Tbsp neutral oil (e.g. sunflower)
  • 1 red bell pepper / capsicum, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper / capsicum, diced
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 spring onions / scallions, finely sliced
  • 2-3 Tbsp pickled sliced jalapeños

for the salsa verde dressing:

  • small bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • small bunch coriander / cilantro
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • pinch of sugar
  • freshly ground black pepper


    1. DRY RUB THE STEAK: Pat the steak dry using kitchen paper. Whisk together the chilli powder, cumin, sugar, garlic powder and sea salt, then rub evenly over both sides of the steak. For best flavour, return the steak to the fridge for several hours (up to overnight). Take the steak out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. IF you are short on time, simply set the steak aside and continue the recipe as below.
    2. COOK THE CORN: Turn the oven grill / broiler to high. Brush the corn cobs with the oil, then place on a baking tray 15 cm. / 6 in. under the grill. Cook for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally until slightly charred. Set aside to cool. While the corn is cooling, chop all the vegetables for the salad.
    3. COOK THE STEAK: Heat the oil in a frying pan, and when hot, cook the steak for 3 minutes on each side (for medium-rare - see notes for alternate cooking times), turning twice and adding the butter to the pan for the last 3 minutes of cooking time. Remove from the pan, cover loosely with tin foil and keep warm - the oven is a great spot for this.
    4. MAKE THE SALSA VERDE: Finely dice the parsley and coriander, then place in a bowl. Stir through the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, sea salt, sugar a little black pepper, then taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
    5. COMBINE THE SALAD: Cut the corn from the cobs and toss it together with the other salad vegetables in a bowl. Finely slice the steak, spread over a platter, pouring over any of the resting juices. Top with the salad, jalapeños and salsa verde. Serve immediately.


COOKING TIMES: I have given the instructions for cooking rump steak medium-rare in the recipe. For variations of done-ness, use the guide below. It’s important to take the steak out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking for accurate results.

Rare: 2 minutes on each side.
Medium-rare: 3 minutes on each side.
Medium: 4 minutes on each side.
Well done: 5 minutes on each side.

Chilli powder is often sold outside the states as simply ground chillies, which is what I have used here. In the U.S you often have a chilli blend, so feel free to use that and skip the other herbs.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 916Total Fat: 65gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 43gCholesterol: 185mgSodium: 1418mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 6gSugar: 15gProtein: 58g

Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.

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Jay Wadams

Jay Wadams is a cookbook author and food, architectural and landscape photographer. Jay is the author of two cookbooks: 'Tasty' (2017) and 'Simply Summer' (2019). Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.

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