The extra beefy flavor of skirt steak, combined with the rustic chew of frisee makes a beautiful base for tomatoes, creamy avocado and chipotle infused dressing. This is a hearty skirt steak salad will satisfy the most manly appetite.
Main course salads
Summer, Winter, Spring, Fall, we love main course salads here on The Ranch. What a perfect way to combine nutritious healthy greens with lean proteins.
They’re quick and easy to make and high on the satisfaction level. I can’t think of a more healthy dinner option. Especially if you’re not adding a lot of those pesky starches that we all love.
We enjoy a good steak salad. And if you’re the sort of person who thinks eating a salad for dinner is for the birds … this hearty dinner salad will fill you up and have you seeking out more of its kind.
Let’s start with the steak
Steak seems to carry the stigma of being “fancy” food. A choice reserved for a special dinner. With that in mind, steak is incredibly easy to prepare and quick enough for a weeknight meal.
And you don’t need any fancy equipment to get the job done.
Just grab your trusty cast iron skillet.
For this steak salad recipe, I’ve chosen the humble skirt steak.
The skirt steak comes from the plate section of the animal. Which is next to the flank. And in some ways it resembles a flank steak, except that it’s a longer and narrower cut of meat.
Skirt steak is deep, rich and beefy in flavor. In fact it’s known more for its flavor than for tenderness. Skirt steak recipes routinely suggest a marinade before cooking.
However, for this recipe, I’m cooking the steak in a hot cast iron skillet to create a crusty outer texture and a medium rare inside temperature.
I recommend you invest in a good instant read thermometer. It will make your meat cooking life much more reliable. I’ve included an Amazon affiliate link for your convenience. If you purchase this thermometer, I will receive a small commission with no extra charge to you.
And always, after cooking, slice the skirt steak across the grain. So important.
Wilted greens for steak salad
Have you ever purchased frisee for salads? It’s a wonderful choice and it’s beautiful with color. Contrasting from chartreuse to dark green creates a lovely layer of color.
Frisee is a member of the chicory family and has a beautiful frizzy texture. The leaves go from green to white, making it an attractive choice for color variations for any tossed green salad.
We added it to practically every salad in Culinary School.
It’s also a tough textured green, making it a perfect selection for warm dressings like the one used for this skirt steak salad.
Frisee will stand up to a bit of heat where some lettuce greens would simply melt into an unappetizing texture.
Frisee is a perfect selection for a steak salad recipe. It’s tough enough to hold up to those heavy slices of steak. And will welcome any warm salad dressing without wilting. In this case a warm chipotle chile lime dressing.
Frisee can be hard to find. I purchase it at my local Whole Foods. If it’s not available, substitute fresh spinach.
Homemade chipotle dressing
As always, I highly recommend always preparing a homemade dressing. For the longest time, I didn’t. I grew up in the 60’s and my mom was all about the convenience food revolution. Yup, bottled Thousand Island and French Dressing were my world.
Homemade dressings and vinaigrettes are not only super easy and quick, they’re totally irresistible in flavor. The day I discovered I could make my own, was one of the better days of my culinary journey.
The combination of chipotle peppers, lime juice and garlic turn an ordinary steak salad into a savory treat. With just a little heat from the chipotle peppers to jazz up that steak, this warm dressing is a perfect topping for creamy avocado and cherry tomatoes.
Let’s build this easy steak salad
This easy weeknight steak salad will come together in a jiff. Let’s take a look:
- Wash, dry and chop the frisee, slice the tomatoes and place in a large bowl.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add some olive oil.
- Season both sides of the skirt steak and lay the steak in the hot oil and cook to medium rare. About two minutes per side.
- Turn the heat to low. Add garlic and stir until fragrant.
- Pour in some broth and stir to deglaze the pan.
- Turn off the heat and add the chipotle chile and 1/4 cup oil.
- Chop the avocado and sprinkle over the frisee and tomatoes.
- Slice the steak against the grain.
- Add the steak to the bowl of frisee and pour the warm dressing over the salad.
- Divide among four dinner plates and sprinkle with Mexican cheese.
Recipe for skirt steak salad with chipotle dressing
I hope you give this main course steak salad recipe a try, and if you do, please come back and give the recipe a star rating and leave a comment about your experience with the recipe.
And if you have a favorite steak salad recipe, let me know, I’d love to give it a try.
More main course salad recipes
- Blackened Shrimp Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette
- Casa Grande Mexican Chicken Salad with Avocado
- Chipotle Glazed Steak Salad
And if you’re just plain crazy over salads, don’t miss my salad category. You’ll find lots of really good recipes. Including the most popular on my site, a “how to” with the 9 Secrets to A Remarkable Tossed Salad.
The extra beefy flavor of skirt steak, combined with the rustic chew of frisee makes a beautiful base for tomatoes, creamy avocado and chipotle infused dressing
- 8 ounces frisee or spinach
- 2 medium tomatoes cut in 1/2 inch cubes. Or sliced cherry tomatoes
- 2 medium avocados flesh scooped from skin and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 pound skirt steak
- salt and pepper to taste or use steak seasoning
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and fine chopped
- 1/4 cup beef broth or water
- 1 large chipotle chile adobo Canned. Seeds and veins scraped out
- 1/4 cup lime juice fresh squeezed
- 1/3 cup Mexican crumbling cheese Cotija or grated Mexican queso anejo
Wash, dry and chop the frisee. Cut the leaves from the root and slice into 2-inch sections. Set aside.
Slice the tomatoes.
- Scoop the tomatoes and the frisee into a large bowl.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Season both sides of the skirt steak with salt and pepper. Or steak seasoning works good here.
Lay the steak in the hot oil and cook to medium rare. About 2 minutes per side. Or until meat thermometer reads 120 – 125 degrees. Remove the steak to a cooking rack set over a plate, tent with foil and let the meat rest.
- Turn the heat to low. Add garlic and stir until fragrant.
- Pour in the broth and stir to deglaze the pan.
Turn off the heat and add the chipotle chile pepper, the remaining 1/4 cup oil.
Chop the avocado and sprinkle over the frisee and tomatoes.
Slice the steak against the grain into 1/4 inch strips.
Add to steak to the bowl of frisee and pour the warm dressing over the salad.
Divide among 4 dinner plates and sprinkle with Mexican cheese. Serve immediately
You can replace the skirt steak with chicken breasts.
If local tomatoes are not in season, feel free to use sliced sun dried tomatoes.
Skirt Steak Salad with Chipotle Dressing … It’s Whats for Dinner