This Fajita Taco Salad is one of the most flavorful and wonderful salads I’ve made. (and I’ve made a lot of salads). It does look like it has a fair amount of ingredients, but it’s fairly easy to make and the ingredients are basic and easily substituted if you don’t have something.
My favorite part of this taco salad is twofold. First, I love the creamy avocado dressing. It blends up quickly and is the perfect creamy addition to this Tex-Mex salad.
Second, this salad makes incredible lunches. I didn’t even heat up the steak and veggies. Just tossed everything together for a cold version of this fajita taco salad and man did it hit the spot!
Let’s dive in and make this Fajita Taco Salad!
Making the Steak Fajita
I mixed up a simple blend of spices for my steak that includes chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, and red pepper flakes. This amount that I list for the seasoning mix is probably more than you need for the steak, but it keeps forever and you can use it for taco night!
That said, do use a liberal hand when seasoning your flank steak. Cover it well! It’s best if you can do this an hour or two before you want to cook the fajitas, but if you don’t have time, that’s fine also.
You could grill this flank steak, obviously, but if you want to cook them on the stovetop what I recommend is searing them in a cast iron skillet for about 5 minutes a side over medium-high heat. Then transfer them to the oven to finish cooking (your oven should already be going b/c you are obviously making the crunchy corn strips for this recipe!)
The steak is done when it reaches 140˚F in the thickest part of the steak. A good meat thermometer is your friend here.
Cooking the Fajita Vegetables
Once the steak is done, remove it from the skillet and add a fresh drizzle of oil. Then add in the chopped peppers, onions, and jalapenos. These will need to cook for just 5-6 minutes until they are charred in spots and starting to soften. No need to cook them to oblivion.
I like to sprinkle on a little extra of the fajita seasoning as the veggies cook.
How to make the Creamy Avocado Sauce
I love this quick homemade salad dressing for this salad. Just mix together avocado and some sour cream with lime and spices in a mini food processor and blend it up!
If it’s too thick for you, you can thin it with a little water and season it to your liking.
If you don’t have a food processor you can make this in a blender, but you’ll need to add water to get it to mix (probably 2 tablespoons).
Making the Crispy Corn Strips
This salad needs a crispy topping, similar to croutons for a standard chopped salad. I like to make these seasoned crispy corn strips. Just chop up a few corn tortillas and toss them with some olive oil, spices, and fresh lime juice. Bake them until they are crispy, about 10-12 minutes at 375˚F
These crispy corn strips store great at room temperature for a few days. Just be sure to let them cool completely before storing them in a bag or air-tight container so they don’t get soggy.
Serving the Fajita Taco Salad
To serve this bowl of Tex-Mex deliciousness, chop up some green lettuce or romaine lettuce as your base. Then add sliced steak, fajita veggies, crumbled cotija cheese, crispy corn strips, and a big dollop of the dressing. Garnish with cilantro and BOOM. Done.
As an alternative way to serve this, you could serve this taco salad in a homemade taco bowl shell. Check out my tutorial on how to make an easy taco bowl shell that is edible and so crispy and delicious!
Substitutions for the Salad
There are SO many things you could add to this salad. Here are a few ideas:
- Sweet corn
- Black beans
- Sliced avocado or guacamole
- Halved cherry tomatoes
- Roasted chilis
- Any protein instead of steak, but speciifcally lean chicken like chicken breasts is a great substitution
Leftovers and Storage
You will probably have some leftovers for this fajita steak taco salad, which is good news. The steak and veggies keeps great for a few days in the fridge. It keeps best if you don’t slice the steak until you’re ready to serve it.
No need to even reheat the ingredients to make a lunch salad. Everything is delicious cold as well!
Fajita Taco Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
- 1 ½ pounds flank steak
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 1 green pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, halved (optional)
- 1 head green lettuce, chopped
- 6 ounces cotija cheese, crumbled
- Cilantro, garnish
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Crispy Corn Strips:
- 6 corn tortillas, sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ lime, juice
Creamy Avocado Dressing:
- 1 avocado
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
- ½ lime, juice only
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Crispy Corn Strips
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. Chop corn tortillas into long strips and add to a bowl. Toss with olive oil, chili, salt, and lime juice. Spread out corn strips on a baking sheet.
- Bake corn strips for about 10-12 minutes, turning once halfway through until the strips are very crispy. Remove from oven and they will continue to crisp up as they cool.
- Combine ingredients in a small food processor and pulse until smooth. If the dressing seems too thick, drizzle in some water to thin it out until it reaches the desired consistency.
For Steak Fajita:
- Combine spice mix in a small bowl and then rub the flank steak well with the spice mix. You will probably only need about half of the spice mix for the steak, but save the rest for taco night!
- Place a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and flank steak. If steak is too big to fit, you can cut it in half.
- Cook flank steak for 4-5 minutes per side until the steak is well charred on both sides. Then transfer the cast iron skillet to the oven to finish cooking for another 5-6 minutes (you can do this while the corn strips are cooking as well).
- Steak is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 140˚F in the thickest part of the steak. If you don’t have a good meat thermometer you might have to slice into it to test the temperature.
- When steak is done, remove it from the cast iron skillet and cover it with foil. Let it rest. Place skillet back on stovetop and add another drizzle of oil over medium heat. Add sliced peppers and onions and jalapenos (optional). Sprinkle the veggies with a little extra fajita seasoning.
To finish salad:
- Cook veggies for 5-6 minutes until they are well charred.
- To serve the salad, chop some green lettuce and divide between bowls. Slice rested flank steak across the grain and place on lettuce. Add fajita veggies around the steak and then add crumbled cheese, corn strips, and a dollop of avocado dressing. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy.
- Leftovers store well for a few days and makes for great lunches!