Steak Fajita Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

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Steak Fajita Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing — 🥗🍅🥑🌶️ Tastes like your favorite steak fajitas, but in fresh and crisp salad form! Mouth-watering sliced sirloin steak, crisp bell peppers, onions, and juicy tomatoes are layered over a bed of lettuce to really level-up your salad game! The homemade creamy avocado and cilantro lime dressing comes together in seconds and adds so much incredible FLAVOR! There are so many fresh Mexican-inspired flavors in this FAST and EASY salad!

A wooden bowl filled with a salad featuring sliced steak, cherry tomatoes, avocado, red onion, and a green dressing. Other ingredients like parsley and lime are visible in the background.

Fast and Easy Steak Fajita Salad Recipe

To make this quick and easy recipe, sirloin steak is marinated for just 30 minutes in a simple mixture of olive oil, lime juice, and fajita seasoning before being cooked to perfection, sliced, and placed over a bed of fresh lettuces, along with an array of veggies.

A wooden bowl filled with a steak salad featuring slices of steak, chopped lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red onion slices, avocado, and a drizzle of green dressing. Lime wedges garnished on the side.

Guess what: you don’t even need a grill for this steak! If you have an outdoor grill and want to grill, go for it, but a grill pan or heavy skillet on your stove top is just fine. If you’re considering purchasing a grill, check out my Top 5 Grills for Beginners post where I narrow down thousands of grills to just a handful because I know it’s an overwhelming process!

The lime juice in the steak fajita marinade tenderizes the meat so it remains super juicy after being cooked while also infusing it with fresh lime flavor. 

A wooden bowl containing a salad with steak strips, avocado slices, cherry tomatoes, red onion slices, and dressed with a green sauce.

This salad has so much crunch and freshness to it from the veggies! The cherry tomatoes burst in your mouth when you bite into them, and the blend of romaine lettuce and tender baby greens adds just the right amount of crispness to the salad. 

And of course, bell peppers are a must in any fajita-style salad! Feel free to mix and match the bell peppers depending on which colors you prefer. 

A wooden bowl filled with a mixed green salad topped with grilled steak, avocado, cherry tomatoes, red onion, lime wedges, and a creamy green dressing. A striped cloth is partially visible under the bowl.

Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing For the Win

The star of this Mexican steak salad is the creamy cilantro lime dressing. Avocado makes the dressing super creamy, and a generous dollop of sour cream adds tanginess and richness. 

If you think salads are boring, you have to try this steak fajita salad. It’s the perfect summer main dish salad that will fill you up without weighing you down! 

Close-up of sliced grilled beef topped with green sauce on a bed of fresh vegetables and herbs, including onions, cilantro, and cherry tomatoes.

Go ahead and make a batch of homemade margaritas while you’re at it — it’s 5 o’clock somewhere! 

Love Fajitas? Make These Next!

Fajita lovers need to try my Skillet Chicken Fajitas or Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas next! I also have an easy recipe for Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas that readers adore.  

Ingredients for the Salad 

This simple steak salad has three components: the fajita-style steak, the salad itself, and the avocado lime dressing. Here’s what you’ll need:  

For the Steak: 

  • Sirloin steak – see FAQs for alternate cuts of steak you can use 
  • Olive oil 
  • Fajita seasoningsee FAQs for possible substitutes if you don’t keep fajita seasoning on hand 

For the Salad: 

  • Romaine lettuce – or your favorite
  • Baby green mix – butter lettuce, baby spinach, etc. will also work. Greens are very flexible! 
  • Bell peppers – I used one red bell pepper and half of a green bell pepper but this is mix-and-match
  • Cherry tomatoes – grape tomatoes, Roma, heirloom, whatever you have is just fine
  • Red onion
  • Avocado
  • Fresh cilantro 
  • Lime wedges, for garnishing
A display of various ingredients including a raw steak, chopped vegetables, sliced onions, herbs, spices, avocado, lime, and small bowls containing condiments and seasonings, arranged on a white surface.

For the Dressing (recommended, but optional)

  • Fresh cilantro 
  • Avocado 
  • Sour cream – plain Greek yogurt can also be used 
  • Lime juice 
  • Garlic
  • Apple cider vinegar 
  • Ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Water 
A salad featuring sliced grilled steak, cherry tomatoes, red onion, avocado, and greens drizzled with a creamy green dressing.

Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.

More Salad Dressing Options

If you’re short on time or simply don’t feel like making homemade cilantro lime dressing, feel free to buy a bottle instead. Try using this pre-made cilantro lime dressing and marinade or your favorite store brand. 

I also have plenty of other cilantro lime dressings on my site if you don’t want to make this exact avocado version. My loaded beef taco salad is topped with a creamy dressing made with mayo, sour cream, lime juice, and fresh cilantro — no avocado or extra seasonings required! 

My Mexican wedge salad features a homemade dressing that’s more cilantro-forward in flavor but that also uses avocado. There’s also Greek yogurt in the dressing to make it ultra thick and creamy. 

How to Make a Steak Fajita Salad 

Once the steak has had time to marinate, this cilantro lime steak salad comes together in around 30 minutes!  

  1. In a large mixing bowl, toss the sliced steak with the marinade ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to tenderize the meat. 
  2. Heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then cook the steak until done to your liking. It will cook quickly, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. 
  1. Make the avocado cilantro lime dressing by combining the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blending until smooth – either appliance works just fine.
  1. Add the salad ingredients to a large serving bowl. I like to toss with HALF of the dressing now.
  2. Arrange the steak on top, drizzle with the remaining dressing, then garnish with lime and cilantro. Enjoy! 
A wooden bowl filled with a salad of leafy greens, cucumbers, red onion slices, cherry tomatoes, avocado slices, topped with grilled steak strips, and drizzled with a green dressing.

Recipe FAQs

What’s the best steak for a fajita salad? 

I used sirloin steak, but flank steak or skirt steak can also be used. Be sure to slice the steak thinly and against the grain for best results. It’s the same process for Steak Quesadillas and this steak.

Can I grill the steak? 

If you have an outdoor grill, you’re welcome to fire it up for this recipe! Although if you’re making this salad at time of year where the weather isn’t cooperating for outdoor grilling, or you don’t have a grill, it’s fine if you make it indoors.

How long does the steak need to sit in the marinade? 

Let the sliced steak sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes. However, it’s safe to marinate the steak overnight if desired. Remove the steak from the fridge 10 to 15 minutes before cooking it because if you add cold steak to a hot pan, it won’t be as tender and juicy. 

Can I use different vegetables? 

Yes, you can mix and match the veggies in the Mexican steak salad as you see fit. 

can i grill or cook the peppers and onions?

If you prefer, by all means, saute the peppers and onions in the same large skillet you cooked the steak in (remove it, let it rest, then cook the veggies). Add a bit more oil if needed. Or grill them on your outdoor grill in a grill basket. Or use an indoor grill pan, until done.

What can I substitute for the fajita seasoning? 

You can replace the fajita seasoning with taco seasoning (which contains a little less cumin and a little more chili powder). 

Or, replace the fajita seasoning with the following: 
2 minced garlic cloves
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional) 

Can the salad be made in advance? 

You can prepare elements of the fajita steak salad in advance, but you should wait to add the avocado cilantro lime dressing until you’re ready to serve. 

Steak: Can sit in the marinade for up to 8 hours. It’s also fine to cook the steak in advance, but of course, freshly cooked is always better.

Dressing: Will last up to 4-5 days in the fridge. Store separately from the other ingredients. 

Salad: All of the vegetables can be chopped or sliced, tossed together, and sealed in an airtight container. If prepping in advance, keep the cherry tomatoes whole or else they’ll make the lettuce soggy. 

What to Serve with Steak Salad

Storage Instructions 

Store the steak, vegetables, and dressing in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator.

The cooked steak and vegetables will last up to 5 days and the dressing will last up to ~4 days. It make oxidize (darken in color a bit over time due to the avocado) although it should taste fine. Give it a quick stir before using it.

If you want to reheat the leftover steak, heat it for 15-second intervals in the microwave, or as desired.

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Steak Fajita Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

🥗🍅🥑🌶️ Tastes like your favorite steak fajitas, but in fresh and crisp salad form! Mouth-watering sliced sirloin steak, crisp bell peppers, onions, and juicy tomatoes are layered over a bed of lettuce to really level-up your salad game! The homemade creamy avocado and cilantro lime dressing comes together in seconds and adds so much incredible FLAVOR! There are so many fresh Mexican-inspired flavors in this FAST and EASY salad!
Prep Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time + Resting: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
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Equipment

Ingredients  

Steak

  • 1 ½ pounds top sirloin steak, sliced against the grain into 1/2-inch strips (flank or skirt steak may be substituted)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fajita seasoning, OR use the following spices below
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, (or smoked paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes for heat, optional and to taste

Salad

  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped butter lettuce or baby greens mix
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, whole or halved if desired (or grape tomatoes, Roma, heirloom, etc.)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin vertical strips
  • ½ green or yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin vertical strips (or your favorite combination of peppers)
  • 1 Hass avocado, sliced or cubed
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely minced; or to taste

Dressing (optional but recommended, or use your favorite dressing)

  • ¾ to 1 cup fresh cilantro, about one heaping handful of leaves, measured loosely
  • ½ a large ripe avocado
  • ¼ cup sour cream, or thick Greek yogurt may be substituted
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • ¼ cup water, or more if needed

Instructions 

  • Marinating the Steak – Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl, toss to combine, cover, and allow the steak to marinate for at least 30 minutes. Tips – If you're just marinating for 30 minutes, it's fine to keep it on your counter. If marinating longer, refrigerate it. You may marinate up to about 8 hours or overnight. When you are going to cook the steak, take the bowl of the fridge and let it sit on your counter for 15-30 minutes because chilled meat doesn't cook as nicely.
  • Cooking the Steak – You can grill the steak on an outdoor grill if you have one. Or use an indoor grill pan, or simply add the steak to a large, heavy-bottom skillet, and cook over medium-high heat on your stove for about 5-6 minutes, flipping the steak as it cooks. It will cook quickly, in 2-3 minutes per side, so keep an eye on it. When done, remove it to a plate and let it rest.
  • Salad Assembly – Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and toss to combine while the steak is resting.
  • Dressing – To the canister of a blender or food processor, add all the ingredients (except the water), and pulse or blend on high to combine. Cilantro Tip – When 'measuring' the cilantro, I use one normal sized bunch of cilantro, just whack off the leaves midway down the stalk and add all of that to my food processor. If your bunch is very large, you may only need about half. This is a very flexible recipe so add as much cilantro as you like.
  • As necessary for consistency, add the water a bit at a time. If you want a thinner dressing, you may need to add more than the 1/4 cup called for. Again, it's a flexible recipe based on your ingredients and desired texture consistency. Taste the dressing, and as desired, make any necessary tweaks. Flavor Tips – If your dressing tastes at all flat or boring, it likely needs more salt, so don't be afraid to add it. I add about 2-3 teaspoons salt total, but everyone preferences are different. But avocado, lime, and cilantro all beg for salt to taste best. Pepper is less critical, but add more, if desired, to taste.
  • Tossing – I like to add half the salad dressing to the salad, and give it a really good mixing and tossing now but do as you see fit with adding dressing.
  • Add the steak, remaining dressing, and serve.
  • Storage – Salad is best served fresh although extra components will keep airtight in the fridge (stored separated) for up to 4-5 days. Extra dressing may last a bit less 3-4 days most notably because the color could change (oxidation) of the avocado, although that won't affect taste, just the appearance. Give the dressing a good stir before using it on the leftovers. Reheat leftover steak, if desired, in the microwave for about 15 seconds, or as needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1portion, Calories: 480kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 42g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 16g, Cholesterol: 109mg, Sodium: 1302mg, Potassium: 1459mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 7212IU, Vitamin C: 73mg, Calcium: 139mg, Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

More Mexican-Inspired Salad Recipes: 

All of my Mexican recipes!

Beef Taco Salad — Loaded with crisp romaine lettuce, sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, and more! It comes together in just 20 minutes and is topped with the most incredible cilantro lime dressing!

Grilled Corn Salad with Chicken — An EASY salad that’s ready in 15 minutes and you won’t be able to stop eating it!! Tender chicken, juicy corn, crisp bell peppers and tomatoes, creamy avocado, cilantro, and fresh lime juice for the WIN!!

Corn Avocado Black Bean Salad — A FRESH, easy, and HEARTY mixture of corn, black beans, and avocado is tossed with a tangy cumin lime vinaigrette. It’s incredibly filling thanks to the beans and avocado, and can easily be meal prepped!

Mexican Corn and Black Bean Salad — An EASY corn salad with black beans, zucchini, red onions, cilantro, lime juice, and more!! So much Mexican-inspired FLAVOR in every bite of this family favorite recipe that’s sure to be a hit!!

Chicken Black Bean Avocado Salad — A Mexican-inspired salad with tender chicken, black beans, creamy avocado, juicy tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice and more! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, HEALTHY, and packed with fiesta FLAVORS galore!

Grilled Avocado Corn Salad — An EASY and HEALTHY salad that’s ready in 10 minutes and you won’t be able to stop eating it!! Juicy corn, creamy avocado, cilantro, and fresh lime juice is a FIESTA in your mouth!!

Mexican Bean Salad — Such a fast and easy recipe to make! Plus, it’s loaded with flavor and textures galore. Two kinds of beans, juicy corn and tomatoes, crisp peppers, and green onions are tossed in a lime-chili-cumin vinaigrette that’s perfectly light!! 

Layered Taco Salad — A classic taco salad that everyone LOVES, it’s EASY, and it’s ready in 20 minutes!! There’s ground beef, refried beans, red peppers, tortilla chips, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes!! 

Creamy Corn and Zucchini Salad — A healthy EASY salad that’s ready in 15 minutes and so flavorful!! Corn, zucchini, cilantro, queso fresco and more are tossed in a DELISH creamy lime sauce!!

Mexican Side Salad with Creamy Avocado-Cilantro Dressing — A Mexican twist on the classic wedge salad with black beans, peppers, corn, crunchy tortilla strips, and more!! Easy, healthy, and the dressing is so flavorful!!

Mexican Wedge Salad with Creamy Avocado-Cilantro Dressing - A Mexican twist on the classic wedge salad with black beans, peppers, corn, crunchy tortilla strips, and more!! Easy, healthy, and the dressing is so flavorful!!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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