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steak salad with cilantro-jalapeno pesto

steak salad with cilantro-jalapeno pesto

Have your steak and eat it, too.

We’re steak lovers around these parts (and by these parts, I mean me & the hubs). But you know what they say about red meat – that’s it’s not very good for you & shouldn’t be consumed often. My compromise is to make a big steak salad like the one you see above, where the steak is definitely present but we’re still getting lots of vibrant colored veggies along with it. This way, you can have your steak and not stress about eating it!

cilantro jalapeno pesto

The pesto really is the star of the show, however. This is my {current} favorite pesto recipe. I love making any type of pesto, really, since they only take a minute and go with just about anything you can think of. This version isn’t spicy at all; removing the seeds from the peppers also removes the heat and leaves just the jalapeno flavor behind. Here are a few ideas for other ways to use it:

  • As a sauce for fish or chicken
  • On crostini with ricotta cheese
  • In a mexican version of lasagna
  • Toss with spaghetti and top with crumbled queso fresco
  • Mix it into meatloaf
  • Have it with eggs for breakfast
  • Add it to a grilled cheese
  • Toss with potatoes after roasting
  • Slather onto corn on the cob

And I obviously like using it as a salad dressing, too. The hubs mixes a bit of ranch in his {shudder} but I like it straight up. As salad dressings go, it’s not a strong flavor, and I like that it doesn’t overpower the flavor of the actual salad ingredients. Keep this in mind the first time you try it in case you prefer a stronger flavored dressing, too.

steak salad

steak salad

Steak Salad with Cilantro-Jalapeño Pesto

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This Steak Salad & Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto is not only a fantastic use for leftover steak but it's delicious enough that you'll be cooking a steak just so...


For the Pesto

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch cilantro, about 4-5 cups, more or less to taste; use the stems, too!
  • 5 jalapeños, roasted
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 - 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Salad

  • 1lb ribeye steak, grilled to your liking and diced
  • 2 ears of corn, kernels removed
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 pint small cherry tomatoes, halved if large
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce, cut into small pieces


Make the pesto:

  1. Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender (I adore my Vitamix) and blend until very smooth. Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve (the flavors will develop if you allow it time to sit awhile). NOTE: Pesto can be frozen! Double the recipe so you'll have some for another dinner - it goes really well with EVERYTHING - even on baked potatoes!)

Grill the Steak

  1. Season ribeye with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. Grill the ribeye at a medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes on each side.

Assemble the salad:

  1. Cut the steak.
  2. Place salad ingredients in a large bowl. If no leftovers are anticipated, toss the pesto with the salad and serve. Alternatively, divide salad between bowls and add pesto as needed.


To roast jalapeños pop under the broiler until they're blackened in spots; no need to peel after, just slice off the stem once roasted and you're good to go.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 983Total Fat: 84gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 59gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 404mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 8gSugar: 7gProtein: 41g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

Kristy Bernardo
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Tuesday 28th of August 2012

"We’re steak lovers around these parts ," heck ya, us too and I know hubby would love this... thanks!

the wicked noodle

Tuesday 28th of August 2012

Anytime!! xoxo


Saturday 25th of August 2012

The pesto looks delicious.I love the idea of adding jalepenos! I've had some great success substituting chicken broth for at least part of the olive oil. Reduces calories, adds salt, some of the most favored pestos have been done this way.

the wicked noodle

Tuesday 28th of August 2012

Great suggestion! I've actually never tried adding chicken broth but I'm always willing to experiment!

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