Spicy 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 beef 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. You have layers of smoky flavour with sliced steak, vegetables and spicy salsa all having a party on the plate. This easy salad is 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.


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. I’ve given instructions in the recipe for cooking the beef on the stovetop, but it is equally delicious cooked on the grill.

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 for best results.

This is a great salad for a Barbecue or for grilling!

If you’re heading out to a barbecue 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 and corn on the barbecue for a few minutes and toss it all together. Double or triple the ingredients as you need. Remember when grilling to cook the steaks over a medium heat to stop the dry rub burning.

What should I serve with steak and salsa salad?

Steak and Salsa Salad is a meal all by itself, but if you’re wanting to add some comforting carbs, 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?

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 or skirt 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.

Looking for more easy salad recipes?

Try my Italian Caprese Pasta Salad, my Orzo and Roast Pepper Salad or my Summer Roast Vegetable Salad recipes! Want something even easier? My traditional Greek Salad recipe is ready in five minutes flat.

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 (14 oz.) rump steak (U.S - sirloin steak)

for the marinade / dry rub:

  • 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 or grape tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 spring onions / scallions, finely sliced
  • 2-3 Tbsp pickled sliced jalapeños

for the salsa verde dressing:

  • small bunch fresh 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 a paper towel. Combine marinade ingredients by whisking 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 hot 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 or cast-iron skillet over a medium-high heat, and when hot, place beef steaks into the pan and cook 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, place steak on an oven-proof dish, cover loosely with aluminium foil and keep warm - the oven is a great spot for letting the steak rest.
    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. ASSEMBLE THE SALAD: Cut the corn from the cobs and toss it together with the other salad vegetables in a bowl. Finely slice the steak with a sharp knife into thin strips, spread over a serving platter, pouring over any of the resting juices. Top with the salad, jalapeños and salsa verde. Serve immediately.


COOKING TIMES FOR STEAK: 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.

Chili 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.

If you want to add even more healthy vegetables to this salad, or simply bulk it out you can add a couple of big handfuls of salad greens.

Don't have spring onions or scallions? Sub for thin slices of red onion instead.

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.

IF you enjoyed this recipe, please leave a star rating in the recipe card and sahe it using the buttons below so that others can find it too.

Jay Wadams
Jay Wadams

Jay Wadams is a cookbook author and food photographer. Current Flipboard Food Writer in Residence and Le Cordon Bleu Gastronomy and Nutrition graduate. Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.

Articles: 306

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to Recipe