April 17, 2024

Southwest Steak Salad (Gluten Free)

This Southwest Steak Salad is a meal prep favorite. I mean, it’s hard not to love a salad with steak involved! The steak is seasoned with chili lime and served over fresh lettuce with sweet corn, black beans, tomatoes, peppers, green onion, and ripe avocado. Top with my southwest yogurt ranch recipe, or store-bought yogurt ranch if you prefer.

Did you know? Grass-fed beef is higher in vitamin E, vitamin A, and other antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that help reduce cell damage and overall inflammation (source).

Southwest Steak Salad

Choosing the best beef

Of course, I usually go for grass-fed beef. "Grass fed" means that the beef were fed grass for "most" of their lives, but could have been finished on grain at the end. "Grass finished" means the beef was also finished with eating grass not grain. "Organic" beef must have access to pasture, fed 100% organic feed and forage, and cannot be administered antibiotics or hormones. Grass finished beef can have two to four times more omega-3 fats than grass fed (so it does make a difference), but if you want to avoid antibiotics and hormones, look for the "organic" label, too!

To keep saturated and overall animal fat content low, I recommend leaner cuts of beef like sirloin, round, or flank steak. Since lean beef can be less tender, you’re going to marinate it in lime juice, minced garlic, chili powder, and salt for about half an hour. Then you can either grill it outside or use a cast iron skillet to get a nice sear.

Southwest Steak Salad

Salad fixings

For the salad, I used organic romaine lettuce (feel free to switch it up), black beans, sweet corn, mini sweet peppers, tomatoes, green onion, and avocado. Be sure to add the avocado just before serving so it doesn’t turn brown! You could also use guacamole, grilled corn, and seasoned black beans to bring it up a notch - but I was just trying to keep it simple :

Southwest Steak Salad top view

Greek yogurt southwest ranch

For the dressing, I used a nonfat plain Greek yogurt base, but feel free to use dairy-free plain yogurt like Kite Hill or Forager brand if you need 100% dairy free! You could also  use full fat Greek yogurt or half mayo for a creamier dressing.

All I did was add spices that I had on hand: parsley, dill, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt. I even added a little lime, chili, and cumin for a southwest twist. Again, store-bought dressing works too but sometimes has artificial additives I’m not fond of!

Southwest Steak Salad side portrait

Meal prep option

I often meal prep these salads by dividing all the ingredients evenly into sealable containers (minus the avocado and dressing). When it’s time to eat, I just add my avocado and dressing! It's super easy and honestly keeps pretty well for up to five days in the fridge. 

Southwest Steak Salad closeup

Here’s the printable recipe for my favorite Southwest Steak Salad recipe! I hope you’ll rate and comment below if you try it 🙂

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