The #SeptemberWhole30 is underway and this Steak Fajitas Salad is a great way to kick things off! It’s super easy to prepare, loaded with delicious Tex-Mex flavours, and leftovers are perfect for lunch the following day. Assuming, of course, you don’t eat it all the first night!
This recipe is actually very similar to these Flank Steak Fajitas, but with some minor differences. I made a few changes to the marinade, cooked the steak in a flat cast-iron skillet, as opposed to a grill pan, and serve everything as a salad instead of in lettuce cups.
When it comes to steak fajitas, I am a big fan of using less expensive cuts of meat, such as flank steak, skirt steak, top sirloin medallions, flat-iron or even Denver steaks. These cuts taste best when they’re marinated, quickly seared to develop a crust, and cooked until medium-rare or medium in the centre.
Even though they would be incredibly delicious as fajitas, I wouldn’t use more expensive cuts, like ribeye, NY strip or tenderloin here. If I’m paying a premium for steak, I want to be able to taste the subtle nuances in its natural flavour and that’s best done with little more than some salt and pepper. But, hey, you’re the boss, applesauce.
Today, I’ve used a flank steak and have decided to cook it in a cast-iron skillet. You can, of course, cook the steak on a grill, and if you watch my Instagram stories, you know that I love nothing more than cooking outdoors on my grill.
Even though the weather was nice enough to be outdoors, I went ahead and cooked inside because I’m often asked by my apartment-dwelling readers for recipes they can enjoy as well. The caveat is that if you’re cooking these Steak Fajitas indoors, make sure you have adequate ventilation in your kitchen or your smoke detector is going to be going off every minute.
If using a Traeger, cook the steak on a grill that has been preheated to 450F for approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Or, if using charcoal or gas, cook over direct, medium-high heat, for anywhere between 3 and 5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the steak. Then remove from heat and let the steak rest for at least 6 minutes before slicing against the grain.
And because I’m often asked:
- I have been cooking with cast-iron cookware on electric stoves for years without any major issues. Just try not to slide the pan across the surface of the cooktop or it can scratch it. Aside from that, you should be fine.
- Please read this article for my Cast-Iron Cleaning and Maintenance You’ll also find a helpful video there that explains my process.
Steak Fajitas Salad - Whole30, Paleo
- ¼ cup avocado oil plus extra for cooking
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1.5 pounds flank steak
- Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
- 1 medium red bell pepper – julienned
- 1 medium green bell pepper – julienned
- 1 medium red onion – thinly sliced
- 2 heads romaine lettuce – roughly chopped
- Whole30 compliant salad dressing or salsa of choice – I used Tessemae’s Cilantro Lime Ranch
- In a bowl, combine avocado oil, lime juice, garlic, chipotle powder, coriander, cumin, and oregano. Stir to incorporate and set aside.
- Using a fork, poke holes in the flank steak to let the marinade penetrate more quickly. Liberally season both sides with salt and pepper. Add the flank steak to a zip-top bag, pour in the marinade and massage to coat. Seal the bag, squeezing out as much air as possible, and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours.
- 45 to 60 minutes before cooking, remove the steak from the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Preheat 2 tablespoons of avocado oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the steak and cook, flipping every 60 to 90 seconds, until the thickest part of the meat reads 140F to 145F on an instant read thermometer, about 8 to 9 minutes total, depending on the thickness of the steak.
- Transfer steak to a board and let it rest at least 6 minutes before slicing against the grain.
- Wipe the skillet clean and add 2 tablespoons avocado oil. Add the onion and red and green peppers and season with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened and slightly caramelized. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt as required.
- Add romaine lettuce to individual serving bowls. Top with sliced steak and sautéed vegetables, and drizzle with compliant salsa or dressing of choice. Enjoy!