In partnership withBeef. It’s What’s For Dinner. on behalf of the Beef Checkoff

Chopped Greek Salad with Grilled Steak Is the Best Thing to Happen to Your Summer BBQ

published Jun 20, 2023
Chopped Greek Salad with Grilled Steak Recipe

Grilled skirt steak turns a regular Greek salad into a hearty main dish that's full of crunchy veggies and feta cheese in a lemon-oregano vinaigrette.

Serves4

Prep30 minutes

Cook10 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Armando Rafael; Food: Brett Regot

A beautiful Greek salad with a base of juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and salty feta cheese celebrates the best of summer produce. It’s also a beautiful blank canvas that you can add easy, tasty additions to. Turn Greek salad into a satisfying meal by tapping into the beauty of outdoor summer grilling: Throw some marinated skirt steak, bell peppers, and red onion onto the grill and watch some smoky magic happen. Arranged on a bed of lettuce dressed in an easy lemon–oregano vinaigrette, this rainbow assortment of toppings leaves you with a salad full of textures and flavors so that every bite is exciting and different.

This is not your ordinary side salad; it’s a true protein-packed main dish that calls for skirt steak, an affordable cut of beef full of flavor. As Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. on behalf of the Beef Checkoff advises, since it’s thin, it soaks up marinade and grills quickly. Plus, it’s easy to slice up thinly once cooked. If you can’t find skirt steak, flank steak is a wonderful substitute that will offer similar flavors and grill up just as quickly.

Credit: Photo: Armando Rafael; Food: Brett Regot

How to Make Chopped Greek Salad with Grilled Steak

Most of the work that goes into making this salad is prep, with just a little bit of grilling at the end. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Make the dressing/marinade. Whisk together olive oil, garlic, dried oregano, red wine vinegar, and lemon zest and juice. This will double as both the marinade for the skirt steak and a salad dressing.
  2. Marinate the steak. Season the skirt steak, then marinate in some of the dressing while the grill heats.
  3. Prep the other toppings. Slice up romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and bell pepper. Crumble feta cheese and pita chips.
  4. Fire up the grill. Grill the steak, onion, and bell pepper until the steak is cooked to medium doneness (160°F as measured by a meat thermometer), and the onion and bell peppers are crisp-tender.
  5. Assemble the salad. Dress the romaine with some of the dressing and arrange on a large platter. Top with rows of the toppings, then drizzle with the remaining dressing.
Credit: Photo: Armando Rafael; Food: Brett Regot

Tips for Making Chopped Greek Salad with Grilled Steak

  • Keep the onion and bell pepper in large pieces. Larger pieces of onion and bell pepper are easier to grill. Cut them up after they’re cooked.
  • Buy feta in brine. Feta cheese sold in chunks in brine, rather than pre-crumbled feta cheese, has better flavor and texture.
  • Distribute the dressing evenly. Tossing the lettuce in some of the dressing helps to provide a well-dressed base for the salad. After you arrange all the toppings on the lettuce, drizzle the toppings with the remaining dressing.
  • Use tongs for grilling. Don’t use a fork to flip the skirt steak, as it can poke into the meat and let some of the tasty juices out. Grab a set of tongs instead, which will also make flipping the onion and bell pepper easier.
  • Rest and slice the steak properly. Steak needs to rest for a few minutes after cooking so that the juices redistribute themselves and don’t leak out onto the cutting board when sliced. Let it rest before slicing across (not with) the grain of the steak. Cutting across the grain results in more tender slices.
Credit: Photo: Armando Rafael; Food: Brett Regot

This grilled Greek salad has lots of colorful toppings and is quite beautiful when arranged like a chopped salad. Grab your biggest platter (one about the size of a baking sheet is perfect) so that there’s a lot of room to assemble the rows of ingredients on top of the lettuce. A lot of the elements can also be made ahead: The dressing can be made and the veggies chopped up to two days ahead. All you have to do when you’re ready to cook is marinate the steak and then get to grilling. Divvy up the salad onto plates and enjoy a meal that will make you feel like you’re eating next to the Aegean Sea on a beautiful Greek island.

Chopped Greek Salad with Grilled Steak Recipe

Grilled skirt steak turns a regular Greek salad into a hearty main dish that's full of crunchy veggies and feta cheese in a lemon-oregano vinaigrette.

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup

    olive oil

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 1 clove

    garlic

  • 2 tablespoons

    red wine vinegar

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    dried oregano, plus more for sprinkling

For the salad:

  • 1 pound

    skirt steak

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided

  • 2

    medium romaine lettuce hearts (about 14 ounces total)

  • 1 cup

    grape or cherry tomatoes

  • 1/2

    medium English cucumber (about 6 ounces)

  • 4 ounces

    feta cheese

  • 1 cup

    pita chips

  • 1/2

    large red onion, root end untrimmed

  • 1

    large bell pepper, any color

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil, plus more for oiling the grill

Instructions

Make the dressing:

  1. Pour 1/2 cup olive oil into a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. Prepare the following, adding each to the oil as you complete it: Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lemon. Juice the lemon until you have 2 tablespoons. Finely grate 1 garlic clove.

  2. Add 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano. Whisk until combined.

Make the salad:

  1. Pat 1 pound skirt steak dry with paper towels. Place on a plate and season all over with 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of the dressing and flip to evenly coat with the dressing. Let sit at room temperature while the grill heats, at least 15 minutes.

  2. Heat an outdoor grill for medium-high, direct heat (about 425ºF). Meanwhile, prepare the remaining salad ingredients.

  3. Core and cut 2 medium romaine lettuce hearts into bite-sized pieces (about 9 cups). Place in a large bowl. Halve 1 cup grape tomatoes. Quarter 1/3 medium English cucumber lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup). Crumble 4 ounces feta cheese (about 1 cup). Crumble 1 cup pita chips.

  4. Peel 1/2 large red onion, then quarter through the root end. Quarter 1 large bell pepper through the stem and remove the seeds and membranes. Place the onion and bell pepper on a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and rub the oil evenly over the pieces. Season all over with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.

  5. When the grill is ready, scrape the grill grates clean if needed. Oil the grill grates with a paper towel dipped in olive oil. Grill the steak, onion, and pepper at the same time if it will fit in a single layer (otherwise grill the steak first): Place on the grill (reserve the baking sheet), cover, and grill until dark grill marks form on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip everything over. Cover and grill until the steak is medium doneness (160°F as measured by a meat thermometer) and the onion and bell pepper are crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer each item to the reserved baking sheet as it is ready.

  6. Drizzle 1/4 cup of the remaining dressing onto the lettuce and toss to combine. Transfer to a large serving platter (about the size of a baking sheet) and arrange into an even layer. Cut the bell pepper into 1/2-inch thick strips. Cut the onion into rough 1-inch pieces and discard the stem end. Cut the steak crosswise into pieces about 3 inches long, then thinly slice each piece across the grain.

  7. Arrange the following in rows on top of the lettuce, working from left to right: Bell pepper, cucumber, feta, steak in the middle, pita chips, onion, and tomatoes. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and sprinkle with a little more dried oregano if desired.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The dressing can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container. Let come to room temperature and re-whisk before using.

Storage: Leftover steak can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.