grilled steak and Munster cheese salad with chimichurri
Fast Dinner Recipes, Meats, Salads

Grilled Steak and Munster Cheese Salad With Chimichurri

Cooks in 6 Minutes Difficulty Easy 0 comments

The best family dinners are simple, and this easy grilled steak and Munster cheese salad is that. With plentiful fresh chimichurri sauce as its dressing, the steak salad fills bellies while being super flavorful! With all your favorite salad toppings, it’s a perfect complete light dinner or satisfying lunchtime meal the whole family will love.

There are so many great salads out there, but I wanted to create one that used flavorful steak to create a tasty, complete meal. This recipe uses flank steak that has been sliced thinly and tenderized with a meat mallet, making it fast to grill in your cast iron grill pan. If you don’t have a grill pan, don’t panic; a simple frying pan will work, too, with the fast cook on this thin steak strip. 

When thinking of the ideal green leaf for the base of the salad, I settled on iceberg lettuce. Why? It holds up to heavy toppings like steak and cheese while remaining crispy and crunchy. Soft leaf lettuce or fresh live lettuce would not hold up to hot steak strips being added. 

serving steak strip salad with munster cheese

Why you will love this steak and Munster cheese salad

It’s flavorful. Packed with crisp red pepper, red onion, and fresh parsley chimichurri with garlic, it’s a mouthful of flavor. Topped with seasoned grilled steak strips and loads of subtly flavored Munster cheese, it creates the perfect bite. 

Simplicity. Aside from tenderizing and grilling the steak, the salad is just a matter of prepping the veggies, shredding the cheese, and whipping up a large batch of chimichurri. Yum!

It’s a great lighter meal for summertime. When you think of the hot days ahead, the last thing you want to consider is standing over a hot stove. This grilled steak salad is simple enough that you can make the grilled steak in a few minutes in the grill pan. Meaning the heat from the stove is minimal. That’s a huge plus!

If you love this grilled steak salad, be sure to see our grilled steak and mushroom wraps for your next lunch.

Let’s get this salad started. 

When you’re shopping for steak for this salad, there are two things you should consider. The fat content. You want lean meat with relatively low-fat marbling. Any excess gristle or fat must be trimmed off to make the steak strips as lean as possible. The second thing to look for when meat shopping is the thickness of the cut. Because we are going to slice the steak thinly, we want a thicker cut. At a minimum, an inch, preferably more. 

Once you’re satisfied with the steak purchase, we can set to work on prepping for this salad. We will first clean the iceberg lettuce. This is one of my favorite things to clean, as I love getting the stem out of the lettuce. Years ago, I won’t say how many my first job was prepping food in a sub shop. They used iceberg lettuce shredded on a meat slicer. Part of my job was to prep the lettuce and other veggies first in the morning. I learned that you can take the head of lettuce and hit the cord down on a hard surface to shove the core into the lettuce. Flip it back over and pluck the hard central core from the head. So simple. Next, remove any outer layers that are browning. 

Now flip the whole head over to see the hole left by the central core. Run water into the hole. The way the leaves cling to each other, the water can run in between the layers of lettuce. Flip it over and allow the water to run back out. Set it on some paper towels so the remaining water can run out for the next 2-3 minutes while you work on the other vegetables.

The prep time is what takes the most work in this recipe. The next step in prepping the salad is to prepare the red pepper. It is cut, seeded, and sliced into thin slices. Or, if you prefer, you can cut it into chunks. Next, peel and slice your red onion to have lovely thin onion rings for the salad. After those steps are done, go ahead and grate the cheese. Be careful to protect your hands from being caught in the cheese grater. 

The next step is determining what dish you want to assemble the salad in. I decided on a deep casserole dish because it was deep enough to hold all the iceberg lettuce and large enough to accommodate all the ingredients. 

Using your hands, rip the lettuce apart and fill the dish you are using. Lay the red pepper and onion on top, followed by the garlic croutons. Keep the cheese set aside to go on before the steak. If you put it on now, it may get a bit soggy from the veggies. 

We are now going to make the chimichurri. Making it now ensures the flavors are infused before serving. It will also allow you to serve the steak salad while the steak strips are hot. So, let’s first chop up two cups of fresh flat-leaf parsley. Next, you will put it in a small bowl, cover it with one cup of olive oil and four tablespoons of red wine vinegar, and give it a stir. Next, peel and press six heads of fresh garlic into the bowl. Follow that up with a dash of salt and one teaspoon of red chili flakes. Lastly, add one and a half teaspoons of dried oregano and a dash of salt. Set aside while you get the steak working. 

It’s time to prep the steak for grilling. Using a sharp knife, slice thin strips through your steak/s. Be sure to remove any excess fat strips that may be on the exterior of the steak. The key here is to keep the thickness of the steak strips as uniform as possible. Once you’ve completely cut the steak into strips, it’s time to take out your frustrations with the meat mallet. Pound both sides of each steak strip so it’s nice and thin for grilling. Because we are cooking so much steak, we will be working in batches. If you have a warming burner on your stove, you can use it to keep a warm plate for the finished steak to rest on while you work the next batch. 

Mix up the steak seasoning. In this case, it’s two-thirds black pepper to one-third salt. We are seasoning the strips directly in the pan from a height of at least one foot. Heat the grill pan or large skillet before adding oil on medium-high heat. Your cast iron grill pan is seasoned, but we are going to add extra oil to keep the strips from drying out as they cook. Using approximately three tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil, heat it in the pan. When hot, you can place steak strips down on the pan. Now season generously and cook for 30 seconds to a minute per side. I flip the meat only once and season each side.

Remove the cooked steak strips to the warming element. And continue to work the steak batches until finished. Put the Munster cheese onto the salad, covering the entire surface. Lay the steak strips down the center of the dish and spoon the chimichurri over the steak. Reserve part of the chimichurri in a dish should anyone want extra for their salad.

To serve, use a set of salad forks or tongs to be sure that everyone’s plate is getting some flavorful grilled steak with their salad. 

Leftover chimichurri steak salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for use the next day. Incidentally, it makes a great wrap filling, too! 

Ingredients:

Flank steak: This is the cut I used for this recipe because it’s a leaner steak with a remarkable ability to be sliced thinly and soak up flavors. Any thick, non-fat steak will work for this recipe, though. 

Munster Cheese: This mild, softer cheese adds a tangy flavor to the salad and quickly melts when placed under the steak. With a distinctive aroma and a rich buttery taste, it pairs well with the hearty flavors of the steak and the crisp freshness of lettuce.

Iceberg Lettuce: This head lettuce brings a crisp crunch to any salad and holds up well to having the heavier steak added on top of it. Because it has a very mild flavor, it is the perfect backdrop to the other toppings in this steak salad. 

Red Pepper: Crisp, colorful, and juicy raw red pepper strips bring a vibrance to this meaty salad. I love the sweetness of red peppers, and they complement the red onion and steak well. 

Red Onion: Known for being sweeter than the plain old cooking onion, the red onion makes delicate rings with a bite to them that complement the cheese and other ingredients. 

Garlic Croutons: I went with garlic croutons because garlic brings a robust flavor to any steak. They are crunchy and add a bit of contrast to the other ingredients, bringing the whole salad together. 

Olive Oil: This is the classic choice for the base of any chimichurri. It adds richness and a fruity flavor that complements the herbs and other ingredients in the sauce.

Red Wine Vinegar: This vinegar was chosen because it brings a tangy acidity to the dressing, which balances the richness of the olive oil. The acidity also helps to cut through the fat of grilled meat.

Fresh Garlic: Garlic adds a robust and savory undertone to chimichurri, enhancing its overall flavor profile. Whether you prefer a subtle garlic presence or a more pronounced one, adjusting the amount of garlic allows you to tailor the chimichurri to your taste preferences.

Flat Leaf Parsley: This parsley is preferred in the chimichurri to curled parsley for its peppery flavor, plus the texture has a softer mouthfeel when being eaten. 

Red Chili Pepper Flakes: Add a moderate level of spice to the green condiment and balance its overall flavor profile. 

Dried Oregano: Bringing a distinctive aroma and herbal flavor to the sauce, this dried oregano is necessary to enhance the overall taste of the sauce. 

adding chimichurri to salad

Substitutions and Add-Ins. 

Flank steak: If you can’t find a suitable flank steak while shopping. Look for any thicker steak; steak that is at least one inch thick will be best suited to cutting into thin strips. The second aspect is marbling. The less fat in the steak itself, the better. Also, remember that if it has any fat around the outer edge of the meat, it will have to be trimmed. 

Munster Cheese: This soft, mild-flavored cheese was chosen for its pairing with the grilled steak strips. However, if you don’t like this particular cheese or wish to use something more easily accessible than a mild white cheddar or provolone. 

Iceberg Lettuce: If you want to avoid using this head lettuce, replace it with a leafy green that will hold up to the weight of the steak while not overpowering the other ingredients. Good choices would be either a Romaine or Endive. 

Red Pepper: This colorful ingredient can be replaced or added to other bell peppers. Remember that green bell pepper has a slightly bitter flavor, so using too much may be unpalatable to some. 

Red Onion: If you don’t have red onion, you can use regular cooking onions but cut them extra thinly to avoid being too intense. Other good choices would be to add scallions, pearl onions, white onions, or Spanish onions. 

Garlic Croutons: Switching garlic croutons out to any other crouton would be perfectly acceptable in this tasty dinner recipe. 

Olive Oil: While you can use regular olive oil in your chimichurri, it’s best to use extra virgin as it has a more pronounced flavor and it best reflects the original Argentinian sauce. 

Red Wine Vinegar: If you don’t have any red wine vinegar in the pantry, don’t panic. You can get away with using white wine, apple cider, sherry, balsamic, or rice vinegar. You can even make chimichurri with a splash of fresh lemon juice for the acid. 

Fresh Garlic Cloves: You can sub this out with garlic powder in a pinch, but it could be more pungent. Alternatively, you can get away with jarred minced garlic. Remember that you may need to adjust the garlic levels in the sauce if you use a different ingredient instead of the fresh garlic. 

Flat Leaf Parsley: This is a mild herb and isn’t easily replaced. However, if you want to experiment, my recommendation for this salad is a watercress with a slight bite to it. You can balance the bite by mixing the watercress with some other fresh herb, like basil, which pairs well with both the oregano in the recipe and the grilled steak. 

Red Chili Pepper Flakes: These can be substituted with red chili pepper pieces minced finely. Or add a splash of your favorite hot sauce to the mix. 

Dried Oregano: This aromatic dried herb can be subbed for dried thyme or marjoram. Alternatively, an Italian spice blend that has all three would also work. You can also use fresh herbs to take it to the next level. 

While we were making this recipe, we came up with a few other add-ins that you may also like. Try cutting back on the lettuce and adding golden brown roasted potato chunks, or cut up some juicy tomatoes. Or you can add a bit of fresh cilantro to the chimichurri for a different flavor. Use a wedge of lime to drizzle more acid over the whole affair for a yummy citrus taste. The best thing about salads is experimentation. What works for your palette?

In fact, if you wish to be more traditional, you can separate the steak from the salad altogether and make steaks with a side salad using the ingredients here. Simply season steaks while grilling and serve with the chimichurri-dressed salad. 

Expert Tips, Serving and Storing Suggestions

Tip#1: Don’t overcook the steak strips. In the grill pan, allow to cook for approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute for each side. 

Tip#2: Be sure to season the steak strips more than you think they will need. 30% of spices will come off in the pan. 

Tip#3: Use only the freshest ingredients. Older ingredients should never be used in a salad as salads are unforgiving in masking over-ripe produce. 

To serve this sizeable family-sized steak salad, use a deep dish. Using salad tongs, serve a generous portion with a mix of everything, and offer your guests extra chimichurri from the reserved sauce. 

Leftover salad can be stored in the fridge for up to two days after preparation. You won’t likely have any leftovers, though it is so delicious! You can use leftovers to make steak and lettuce wrap, or a steak sandwich for lunch the next day ~super yummy!

Have you tried this Grilled Steak and Munster salad? We would love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below the recipe card. We love hearing from you, our readers.

grilled steak and Munster cheese salad with chimichurri (1)

Easy Grilled Steak Salad With Munster Cheese and Chimichurri

Amber Bondar
This easy grilled steak salad is topped with Munster cheese and a fresh made chimichurri as dressing. It's flavors combine to make a delicious light supper or satisfying lunch time meal. The fresh herbs in the chimichurri pair perfectly with the seasoned steak strips and mild Munster cheese making a delicious easy dinner idea the whole family will love.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Course lunch, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American, Canadian
Servings 6

Equipment

  • 1 Grill Pan
  • Cutting Boards
  • knife For slicing steak thin
  • Paring Knife For vegetables
  • Deep Serving Dish
  • Meat Mallet

Ingredients
  

Steak Salad

  • 3 lbs Flank Steak 1.36gms, Fat Removed, Cut Into Thin Strips and Pounded With Meat Mallet
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Head Of Iceberg Lettuce Torn Into Chunks
  • 1 Sm Red Onion Cut Into Thin Rings
  • 1 Lrg Red Pepper Seeded and Cut Into Thin Strips
  • 2 Cups Garlic Croutons
  • 6 oz Munster Cheese 170gms, Grated

Steak Seasoning Blend

  • 3 Tbsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Salt

Chimichurri Dressing

  • 1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Cups Flat Leaf Parsley Cut Up
  • 6 Fresh Garlic Cloves Cut Up or Minced
  • 1 Tsp Red Chili Flakes
  • Tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • Dash Of Salt

Instructions
 

Making Chimichurri

  • Cut the parsley up and put in bowl.
  • Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar and chopped garlic.
  • Measure and add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Cover bowl and place in fridge until needed.

Preparing Meat

  • Trim excess fat from flank steak.
  • Using sharp knife cut into thin strips lengthwise.
  • Pound the steak strips front and back on the cutting board.
  • Set Aside to work on the vegetables.

Prepping Salad

  • Clean the head of lettuce and let drip on paper towel.
  • On another cutting board prepare the vegetables.
  • In deep serving dish assemble the iceberg by tearing into chunks
  • Lay the onion, peppers, and croutons across the surface of the lettuce.
  • Grate the cheese and set aside.

Cooking Steak Strips

  • Mix the steak seasoning and set by work area on stovetop.
  • Heat grill pan on medium-high.
  • Lay the first batch of steak strips in the grill pan.
  • Season with the pepper mixture generously.
  • Let steak cook for 30 seconds before flipping.
  • Season the meat again and let cook until it's no longer pink.
  • Remove meat from pan and repeat the process with all the steak strips until finished.

Assembling Salad

  • Lay the hot steak strips on top of the vegetables in serving dish.
  • Cover with the grated Munster cheese.
  • Using 2/3 of the chimichurri sauce drizzle over the surface of the salad.
  • Serve with reserved 1/4 chimichurri should anyone want extra.
Keyword cheese, dessert salad, steak strips

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