If you’re looking for something different to make for fall or Thanksgiving, why not try a steak and squash salad? It certainly makes a change from turkey, ham and all the trimmings. This savoury salad has a wonderful apple maple dressing as a nod to the fall season, while squash and cranberries also play their part. This is one of the best fall salads!
A healthy option for fall or Thanksgiving this year, this dinner salad is colourful, appetizing and simple to prepare. Steak and squash salad is also bursting with not only flavour but nutrients too, making it a win-win for dinner. It’s the perfect salad when you have leftover steak!
Ingredients for this Dinner Salad
This savoury salad is made with flank steak, a beautiful cut of beef if you know how to cook it to perfection. Yellow squash and butternut squash add colour and delicate sweetness, while endives, arugula and red onion form the base of the salad.
Seasonings include thyme, black pepper, salt, and garlic. And then you need some olive oil. Feta cheese (or goat cheese), cranberries and pepitas combine for the topping, adding crunch, salty savouriness and sweetness.
The apple maple dressing is made with apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, oil, mustard, garlic, shallot, black pepper, onion powder, and thyme, for a perfectly balanced flavour which is neither too sweet or too sharp.
How to Make Steak and Squash Salad
Season the steak and give it about 45 minutes on the countertop to come to room temperature. This is important. If you cook it from cold it will ‘seize’ and toughen, which is the exact opposite of what you want.
Sauté the garlic and shallot in oil for a few minutes in a pan, then add the other apple maple dressing ingredients except the olive oil and cook some more. Add the oil and take it off the heat. Let it completely cool. You may want to blot with paper towels if it has a greasy appearance.
Now chop the butternut squash and toss it with oil, garlic and salt, then roast it in a hot oven for about 10 minutes. Chop the yellow squash then toss with more oil, garlic and salt, and add to a grill pan. Cook for several minutes.
Add black pepper and thyme to the steak and cook for a few minutes per side in the grill pan. Finish off in the oven. Let the steak rest for a few minutes before slicing it on a cutting board. This hearty salad is so easy to put together.
Toss the salad greens (endive and arugula) then top with red onion, crumbled feta, and the squash. Sprinkle over the pepitas and cranberries, and finally add the steak. Drizzle over the salad and serve while the steak is still warm.
A lot of the ingredients can be swapped for others if you want to change things up in this green salad. You could use roasted chicken instead of the steak, or perhaps turkey. Other beef cuts like skirt steak, New York strip steak or flat iron steak are also an option. Crunchy pecans or creamy avocados might even be a tasty addition.
If you don’t want meat at all, simply add more veggies to the leafy greens. Mushrooms would be good in this savoury salad. Or consider this vegetarian butternut, feta and arugula salad instead. This is such a great recipe for family dinners or your holiday table.
Talking of veggies, pumpkin tastes nearly the same as butternut squash while zucchini can be used in place of the yellow squash. You can also sub yellow onion for the shallots. Cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, brussels sprouts or even honeycrisp apples are other options to make this fresh salad a little “extra”. The most delicious salad recipe is the one with all your favourite veggies and homemade dressing.
Any kind of salty cheese can take the place of the feta, such as Mexican queso fresco or Greek halloumi (and you can grill that without it melting). As for dressing variations, really whatever is your favourite will work. A simple balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard and lemon juice mixture to make a tangy balsamic vinaigrette would be delicious, too. I have also made with a fall favourite – apple cider vinaigrette.
If you love flank steak as much as I do, I bet you’ll also love this teriyaki flank steak recipe.
Steak and Squash Salad FAQs
The steak can be cooked ahead and the veggies too. Just store then in an airtight container. You can also prepare the apple maple dressing in advance. For the best results, don’t assemble the salad until just before serving though, else it will get soggy.
This is simply another term for pumpkin seeds, but they might not be what you think. Although there are a type of pumpkin seed, pepitas grow without the shell in oil seed or Styrian pumpkins. They’re rich in iron, copper, zinc, manganese, and magnesium.
With flank steak, I recommend giving it a few minutes per side in the grill or griddle pan and then popping it in the oven for a few minutes. Once it’s 125 degrees F in the thickest part, it’s perfect. The temperature will increase by another 5-10 degrees as it’s resting. This yields a delicious medium-rare result.
Savoury Steak and Squash Salad Recipe
Savoury Steak and Squash Salad
- 2.5 Pounds flank steak
- 1 Teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 yellow squash
- 2 Cups butternut squash diced
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Teaspoon sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 Teaspoon black pepper coarse
- 1 endive chopped
- 2 Cups arugula
- 1 red onion sliced
- 1 Cup dried cranberries
- ¼ Cup pepitas
- ¼ Cup feta crumbled
- ¾ Cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ Cup maple syrup
- ½ Cup olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon brown mustard
- 2 Cloves garlic minced
- 1 shallot minced
- ½ Teaspoon black pepper
- ½ Teaspoon onion powder
- 1 Teaspoon thyme
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Season both sides of the steak with salt and allow to come to room temperature.
- Prepare dressing. Add olive oil to a saucepan followed by garlic and shallot. Cook for 4 minutes. Add all but olive oil and simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk in olive oil and remove from heat. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to cool.
- Preheat a grill pan over high heat.
- Chop butternut squash. Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, ½ tbsp garlic, and salt. Place onto a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes
- Slice ¼” pieces of yellow squash and cut each slice into half moons. Brush with remaining olive oil, minced garlic, and pepper. Place onto the grill pan and cook for 2 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.
- Season steak with pepper, and thyme.
- Add steak to grill pan and cook for 3 min per side. Place onto the oven for 5 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 125 degrees F.
- Allow steak to rest for 5 minutes on a wooden cutting board to finish cooking. Thinly slice steak.
- Arrange salad. Add chopped endive and arugula to a salad bowl. Top with red onion, crumbled feta, grilled squash, and roasted squash. Add dried cranberries and pepitas. Top with steak.
- Drizzle salad with dressing.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Steak and squash dinner salad is ideal for fall or Thanksgiving, if you’re in a salad mood but still want something warm. It’s a richly flavoured dinner salad with a delicious maple syrup and apple cider vinegar based dressing to complement all the different flavours in there. Add this tasty main course or side dish to your list of fall recipes. This is the best steak salad recipe!