This quick and easy steak fajita salad topped with a zingy cilantro lime vinaigrette is about to become your go-to Tex-Mex dinner recipe. It’s paleo and Whole30 friendly (seriously, it’s as easy as leaving off the cheese) and ready in just 30 minutes!
Mmmm, hmmm. Steak fajita salad bowls are here kids, and they’re going to make your summer dining plans so freaking delicious.
For all you purists out there thinking “Pffft…steak fajitas…in a salad?” I hear you. I respect you. But I raise you “cilantro lime vinaigrette”. Truly, the salad version of this tex-mex classic is worth it for the dressing alone. You won’t miss the tortillas one bit. Pinky promise.
Steak Fajita Salad Recipe Notes
This fajita salad recipe is super easy, and super fast, and you can (and should) be shoveling it into your mouth in just thirty minutes. It’s paleo and Whole30 friendly (it’s seriously as easy and just leaving out the cheese), and looks just as good as it tastes.
At first glance the ingredient list looks a little long, but it’s mostly spices and seasoning for the dry rub and dressing. And that just means this recipe is packed with tons and tons of flavor!
Homemade Fajita Dry Rub
Who needs store buy spice rubs filled with sugar and preservatives when you can whip up a tasty, homemade fajita spice blend in under two minutes? Not you? That’s right.
I’ll bet you $1 you have everything in your pantry needed to make this diy fajita rub from scratch – cumin, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, a lil’ oregano, and some salt and pepper. Go ahead, take a look…I’ll wait.
Got it all? Super. Mix it up, and then rub it into a nice, fresh cut of skirt steak and we’ll be ready to rock and roll.
Skillet Cooking Your Fajita Salad
Look, I know I blather on and on about my love affair with my charcoal grill so you’ll probably be shocked to know that it isn’t my first recommendation for this recipe. I know. For the sake of transparency, I’ll share with you that it was my first impulse, and I went there and did that, and then realized that my trusty cast iron skillet is actually the better choice.
And the reason is totally flavor based. As much as I love a grill for the smoky factor, what’s more important in this recipe is maximizing the fajita seasoning. The smoke really overwhelms those flavors here, so the skillet is the way to go.
You’ll start by searing your skirt steak in a cast iron skillet for about three, maybe four, minutes per side. Set it aside to rest, and then sauté the vegetables in the skillet. Don’t bother cleaning it out first. They’ll soak up some of the fat from the steak (more flavor!), as well as all of the leftover dry rub seasoning in the pan.
See those flecks of seasoning? That’s literally what I’m talkin’ about.
Easy Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
Ah, the piece de resistance – cilantro lime vinaigrette. The perfect combo of acid and bright herby flavor to pair with spicy fajita steak and sweet pan roasted peppers and onions.
This is a dump and whiz kinda deal. As in, you dump all of the ingredients into a blender and then whiz it up until it’s super smooth. It truly can’t be easier.
Let’s put it all together. Grab a few fancy (or not) salad bowls and pile ’em high with chopped romaine, a little queso fresco if you wanna be wild, some sliced avocado and cherry tomatoes. Add the saute veggies to that hot mess, and top it all off with thin slices of perfectly seasoned steak. Drizzle it with some vinaigrette, and dig in. Tortillas? Who needs ’em!!
Fajita Steak Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
You'll be making this quick and easy steak fajita salad with cilantro lime dressing all summer long!
Fajita Dry Rub
Steak Fajita Salad
- 1 lb skirt steak
- 1 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 1 green bell pepper sliced
- 1 head romaine lettuce chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 2 avocado sliced
- 4 tbsp queso fresco crumbled (optional)
Remove the steak from the fridge, remove packaging, and set on a cutting board to come to room temperature while you prepare the vinaigrette and dry rub.
Place all vinaigrette ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth. Set aside.
Prepare the fajita dry rub. Place all dry rub ingredients into a small bowl, then mix until thoroughly combined. Rub the fajita seasoning into both sides of the steak.
Reduce the head to medium high, then add the oil to the skillet. Add the peppers and onions and toss to coat in the fat and leftover fajita spices. Saute the vegetables, tossing frequently, until soft and charred in spots, 6-7 minutes. Remove the skillet from heat.
Thinly slice the steak against the grain.
Prepare the salad. Divide the lettuce between four bowls, then top with half a sliced avocado and one-quarter of the tomatoes. Top each salad bowl with a quarter of the onions and peppers and a quarter of the steak. Sprinkle with cheese if using, and drizzle with cilantro lime vinaigrette to taste. Serve immediately.