Southwest Salad with Steak

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Love Southwest salad? Make it at home with all your favorite toppings: avocado, crunchy tortilla strips, a zesty dressing, and sliced steak.

Two plates of steak salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, onion slices, beans, and yellow bell pepper. A pitcher and cherry tomatoes are in the background. Fork placed beside the front plate.

I’m one of those people who loves to order a good restaurant salad. 

You know the kind — a salad totally loaded with everything you’re craving, from creamy dressing to crunchy sweet peppers to tender grilled meat. Sure, there’s lettuce, but that’s just the vehicle for the toppings!

Southwest salad ranks right up there as a favorite. The combination of flavors and textures always hits the spot. Plus, it’s a great way to serve grilled chicken or steak.

This is the perfect salad for summertime dinners on the patio. 

Ingredients for southwest salad

Full list of ingredients including quantities is located in the recipe card.

You’ll need:

Ingredients for a meal are laid out, including spring mix, bell pepper, avocado, onion, corn, black beans, steak, olive oil, tomatoes, and tortillas on a gray surface.
  • Steak – A skirt steak or flank steak is ideal. You can also use chicken if you prefer.
  • Olive oil
  • Corn tortillas – We’ll make our own crispy tortilla strips! You can also purchase premade tortilla strips.
  • Spring mix
  • Bell pepper
  • Corn
  • Avocado – Make sure it is ripe but not too soft. You want it to hold shape in the salad.
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Red onion
  • Cooked black beans

For the spicy ranch dressing, you’ll need:

Ingredients for ranch dressing displayed on a wooden surface: buttermilk, parsley, dill, chives, garlic powder, hot sauce, onion powder, mayonnaise. Labels by each ingredient indicate their names.
  • Buttermilk
  • Mayonnaise – Or swap in Greek yogurt.
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh dill
  • Fresh chives
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Hot sauce – I like to use Cholula hot sauce, but you can swap in your favorite brand.

Note that you can use dried herbs in the dressing if you like, but remember to reduce the amount by one-third.

A plate of salad topped with grilled steak strips, mixed with tomatoes, red onions, avocado, and tortilla strips. A small jug of dressing and cherry tomatoes are placed nearby on a wooden surface.

How to make this recipe

Cook the steak first. Season the steak on both sides with salt and pepper.

Preheat your grill to high heat (or use a grill pan or skillet on the stove) and lightly oil the grates.

Sear the steak for 3-4 minutes on each side, then remove to a plate and tent with foil.

Let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute and settle as it cools. Once rested, slice against the grain into thin strips.

While the steak is resting, make the tortilla strips. Cut the corn tortillas into thin strips, cutting each strip into halves or thirds.

Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a skillet over medium. Add the tortilla strips in batches and cook for 30-60 seconds per side, until lightly browned. Drain on a paper-towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt if desired.

In a large bowl, toss together the spring mix, bell peppers, corn, avocado, tomatoes, onions, and black beans. 

To make the dressing, whisk together all of the ingredients until smooth. Taste and adjust any seasonings as needed.

Pour half the dressing over the salad and toss well. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Divide the salad between plates and top with steak and tortilla strips, serving the additional dressing on the side.

Two plates of steak salad with vegetables, tortilla strips, and dressing on a wooden table, surrounded by a fork, cherry tomatoes on a vine, a sprig of parsley, and a small container of dressing.

Recipe suggestions

You can swap or add salad ingredients to suit your tastes. I love using red bell pepper, but any color of bell pepper will do.

Instead of red onion, swap in shallot, or omit for more sensitive palates. 

Fresh or frozen and thawed sweet corn can be used. Leftover grilled corn on the cob is a great option as well, or you can use seasoned corn nuts.

The dressing can be made in advance. It will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

Add a squeeze of lime juice for a pop of citrus, or pickled jalapeños for a tangy, spicy kick.

If you don’t want to make the tortilla strips, you can add crushed tortilla chips instead, or try roasted pepitas for a crunch.

Two plates of salad topped with grilled steak slices and a variety of vegetables, a fork, a turquoise cup, and cherry tomatoes on the side.

Enjoy this flavorful and filling Southwest salad with a glass of rosé sangria or cold beer. The perfect way to summer!

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It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.

Two plates of steak salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, onion slices, beans, and yellow bell pepper. A pitcher and cherry tomatoes are in the background. Fork placed beside the front plate.

Southwest Salad with Steak

Loaded with fresh vegetables and grilled steak, this Southwest salad features a spicy homemade ranch dressing.
Author : Megan Myers
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 603 kcal


For the salad:

  • Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 1 – 1 1/2 pound skirt steak, or flank steak
  • 2 corn tortillas
  • 6 cups spring mix
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers
  • 1 cup sweet corn
  • 1 medium or large avocado, cored and diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced red onion, or shallot
  • 1 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Fine sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

For the spicy ranch dressing:

  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • Pinch ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Cholula hot sauce, or to taste (or similar brand)


  • Season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper. Preheat the grill to high heat (you can also use a grill pan or skillet) and lightly oil the grates. Sear steak for 3-4 minutes per side, or until desired doneness is reached. Let rest for 5-10 minutes, then slice against the grain into thin strips.
  • Using kitchen shears or a pizza slicer, cut the tortillas into thin strips. Halve the longer strips.
  • Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook tortilla strips in batches until lightly browned on both sides, approximately 30 – 60 seconds per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle lightly with salt.
  • In a large bowl, combine the spring mix, bell peppers, corn, avocado, tomatoes, onions, and black beans.
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
  • Toss half the dressing with the salad ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add additional dressing as needed (or you can drizzle it over the steak before serving). Divide the salad between plates. Top each salad with tortilla strips and steak.


Calories: 603 kcalCarbohydrates: 37 gProtein: 46 gFat: 32 gSaturated Fat: 8 gCholesterol: 115 mgSodium: 440 mgPotassium: 1.36 mgFiber: 10 gSugar: 7 gIron: 5 mg

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.

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About Megan

I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…

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