Steak and Caramelized Onion Salad
This steak and caramelized onion salad is the perfect dinner-worthy salad recipe for an easy weeknight meal. I don’t know about you, but I live for recipes in the summer where I don’t have to touch the oven. This steak and caramelized onion salad is equal parts hearty and full of flavor, while still feeling light and fresh.
I absolutely love a good steak, but sometimes a steak and sides can feel like too much in the summer. This combination of perfectly tender steak with mixed greens, caramelized onions, radishes, avocado, and the most glorious onion vinaigrette is perfect for the warmer months.
I love enjoying a hearty salad for dinner. This salad is a far cry from sad wilting greens! It’s truly a salad you can make a meal of.
A Dinner-Worthy Salad Recipe
If you think that a salad for dinner won’t be filling or satisfying enough, I urge you to give this steak and caramelized onion salad a try! Satiety comes in the form of hearty steak and all the huge flavors that this salad packs. The salad mix is a combination of butter lettuce, radicchio, and arugula–so flavorful!
I love a salad for dinner, but I’m only into hearty and interesting salads! Salads with texture and full of flavor. If you love salads too, check out my Thai Beef and Noodle Salad or my Vietnamese Chicken Salad.
If you’re a meal-prepper, this recipe is great for weekly lunches! The steak is delicious even chilled. Just keep the dressing separate so that the lettuces don’t get soggy.
How to make Steak and Caramelized Onion Salad
All you need is about 30-40 minutes to make steak and caramelized onion salad for dinner. It’s an easy weeknight dinner recipe that’s sure to satisfy.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Steak – I love using NY strip or flank steak for this recipe, but use your favorite as long as it’s tender.
- Onions – A mix of sweet vidalia onions and shallots make the best caramelized onions.
- Salad Mix – I used a mix of butter lettuce, radicchio, and arugula, but use your favorite.
- Radishes – Sliced radishes add a nice crunch to the salad.
- Avocado – I LOVE avocado on salad. The creaminess is the perfect contrast to the steak.
- Gouda – Some aged gouda grated on top is the perfect punch of saltiness.
- Onion vinaigrette – I love this dressing so much! It’s made with some of the caramelized onions and a bit of honey, sherry vinegar, dijon, Worcestershire, olive oil, salt and pepper. It’s the perfect vinaigrette with tons of flavor!
- Step one: Start with the onions! Melt butter in a large skillet and add your sliced onions and shallots. Stir to toss the onions in the butter and season with a bit of salt. Cook low and slow until the onions are golden brown.
- Step two: While the onions cook, season your steaks. Liberally season both sides of your steaks with salt and pepper and drizzle on a little Worcestershire sauce. Rub the seasoning into the steaks and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Step three: Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a mason jar and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. If it’s really thick, thin the dressing with a little water. Set aside.
- Step four: I love cooking my steaks in a cast iron skillet, but you can also grill them. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. You’re aiming for medium-rare/medium so the internal temperature should be somewhere between 130-140F. Rest the steak for 10 minutes before slicing.
- Step five: Assemble! Layer the greens in a large salad bowl and spread the onions on top. Sprinkle in the chives, avocado, and radishes. Top with the sliced steak and drizzle on the dressing. Grate some of the aged gouda on top.
Best Cuts of Steak for Steak and Caramelized Onion Salad
Using the perfect cut of steak for steak salad is paramount! You want a cut that has enough fat and marbling to keep it tender. Below are my favorites:
NY Strip: NY strip is my absolute favorite cut of steak. It’s packed with flavor and as long as you go with a choice or prime grade, it’s very tender with great marbling. Slice diagonally to make sure you’re slicing against the grain.
Flat Iron: Flat iron comes from the top blade and is extremely tender and well marbled making it my absolute favorite for grilling.
Ribeye: Ribeye is a little fattier, but it still makes for an incredibly tender and flavorful grilled steak.
Sirloin: Sirloin is a great economical option with big beefy flavor! They’re a bit leaner so I wouldn’t cook them past medium temperature.
Flank Steak: Grilling is actually the best way to cook flank steak. It’s very lean so you absolutely cannot cook it past medium. Make sure to slice flank steak thinly across the grain.
Tips for Perfectly Tender Steak
When enjoying steak on a salad, it’s essential that it’s super tender. Below are my best tips for achieving the most tender steak every time.
- Bring your steaks to room temperature. Season your steak liberally with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire. Really rub the seasoning into the steaks and then let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
- Rest after cooking. If you cut your steak immediately after cooking, all the juices will run out leaving the steak tough and dry. Give the steaks at least 10 minutes to rest before slicing so that the juices can redistribute.
- Cut against the grain. If you look at a piece of steak, you can see the direction that the stringy muscle fibers run. You want to cut perpendicular, or ‘across the grain’, to those fibers. This ensures that every bite is tender and easy to chew.
- Hit it with some flaky sea salt. After slicing the steak, I always sprinkle some flaky sea salt over the steak slices. It makes every bite a perfectly flavorful one!
More Steak Recipes to Try Now
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Steak and Caramelized Onion Salad
- 2-3 NY strip steaks (or other steak), 1 inch thick
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- kosher salt
- freshly cracked pepper
- 3 tablespoons chopped caramelized onions
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- kosher salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 sweet vidalia onions, thinly sliced
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 6 radishes, sliced
- 2 avocados, sliced
- 1 bunch chives, cut into 1" batons
- 2 heads butter lettuce, torn
- 1 head radicchio, core removed and chopped
- 3 cups arugula
- 2 oz aged gouda, grated
- Start with the caramelized onions. Melt the butter in a large skillet and add the sliced onions and shallots. Toss to coat the onions in the butter and season with a bit of salt. Cook low and slow, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deeply golden brown.
- While the onions cook, liberally season the steaks with salt and pepper on both sides. Drizzle the Worcestershire sauce over the steaks and really rub the seasoning in. Let the steaks sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- To make the vinaigrette, combine all the ingredients in a mason jar and blend with an immersion blender. If the dressing is really thick, thin it with a bit of water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To cook the steaks, heat 1 tablespoon of high-heat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the steaks for 4-5 minutes per side depending on thickness. You're aiming for an internal temperature of 130-140 F for medium-rare/medium. Alternately, you can grill the steaks on a grill pan or outdoors. Rest the steaks for 10 minutes before slicing.
- Assemble the salad by layering the salad greens in a large bowl or serving platter. Spread the caramelized onions over the salad and top with the sliced radishes, avocado, and chives. Top with the sliced steak and onion vinaigrette and finish with the grated gouda. Serve immediately!