Pioneer Woman Big Steak Salad Recipe

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Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond has created this fantastic Big Steak Salad. All of the delicious flavors from the steak, blue cheese, candied pecans, and onion strings meld together with the wonderful flavors of the dressing to make an unforgettable recipe that you’ll want to make again.

Pioneer Woman Big Steak Salad. Photo by CookThink.
Pioneer Woman Big Steak Salad. Photo by CookThink.

This is a somewhat fancy salad that can be simplified and scaled back for a basic weeknight dinner. If you’re thinking, uh this has too many steps and I don’t have time for that, you could cut corners by using a bottle of your favorite salad dressing and even using a can of French-fried onions, rather than making homemade onion strings. Whatever the plan, we trust you’ll enjoy this great recipe!

Equipment

Grill or Cast Iron Pan
Large Mixing Bowl
Medium Sauce Pan

Shopping List

Rib-Eye or Strip Steaks
Canola Oil
Red Wine Vinegar
Balsamic Vinegar
Worcestershire Sauce
Soy Sauce
Lime Juice
Sugar
Garlic Cloves
Fresh Ginger
Salt
Black Pepper
Onions
Buttermilk
All-purpose Flour
Mixed Greens
Grape Tomatoes
Crumbled Blue Cheese

The Dressing

Making the dressing is really quite simple. It works great as a marinade too. Just dump all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk them together. Or better yet, add them to a jar with a lid and shake them until well mixed. The flavor of the dressing adds a bit of a vinaigrette to the mix.

The Steak

Do you like steak? Who doesn’t! The beauty of making Pioneer Woman Big Steak Salad is that you can cook the steak according to your desired perfection. Do you like your steak medium rare? You can do just that. If you use the marinade it also continues the wonderful flavors throughout the steak.

The Pecans

Candied pecans add just the right amount of sweetness and crunch.  Don’t forget them in your salad!

The Onion Strings

Mmm. Homemade French-fried onion strings are so delicious. They add just the right amount of crisp with a hint of salt to this salad. Are we making your mouth water yet?

The Salad…Finally!

Use your favorite mixed greens such as Romaine, Arugula, Raddiccio etc. If you’re planning to serve it right away, go ahead and toss with the dressing and blue cheese. If you’re not planning to serve it until later, hold the dressing and blue cheese until right before it’s served.

Pioneer Woman Big Steak Salad. Photo by CookThink.
Pioneer Woman Big Steak Salad. Photo by CookThink.

What Kind of Onions Should You Use for the Onion Strings?

White onions, Yellow onions, Vidalia onions will all work well for the onion strings. The key is to slice them as thin as possible. They will cook more quickly that way. Remember they’re intended to serve as onion strings, not onion rings.

What Kind of Steak Should You Use?

This recipe calls for 2 Rib-Eye or Strip Steaks. But any thin-cut beef steak of your choosing will work just fine. In our testing we used a delicious top round steak, and it was fantastic! Be sure to cut off any excess fat from the steak before it is marinated. Serving chunks of fat in a salad is not cool.

How To Store Pioneer Woman’s Big Steak Salad

If you know ahead that you’re going to want to store all of or a portion of this salad, then consider saving the assembly for right before it is served. This will keep the lettuce from wilting from the dressing. It will help the other ingredients such as Blue Cheese, pecans and onion strings to maintain their freshness more thoroughly as well.

Pioneer Woman Big Steak Salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It is best when eaten fresh.

How To Reheat Pioneer Woman Big Steak Salad

As you likely know, the salad portion should not be reheated. Lettuce is gross when heated and becomes wilted. Instead, just separate the pieces of steak for reheating. You can reheat the steak for 30 seconds in the microwave, on the grill or in a frying pan on the stove top.

Can Pioneer Woman Big Steak Salad Be Made Gluten Free?

This recipe is ALMOST naturally gluten free, with the exception of Soy Sauce. You’ll want to either eliminate the Soy Sauce completely or use a gluten free alternative to Soy Sauce, such as Tamarai. It’s a great alternative for people who want to enjoy the flavor of Soy Sauce but can’t eat gluten. It can usually be found in the ethnic isle at your local grocery store.

What To Serve With Pioneer Woman Big Steak Salad

If you’re planning on serving this delicious Big Steak Salad for lunch or dinner, you might be thinking about what to eat with it. Pioneer Woman Big Steak Salad is a wholesome dish that includes meat, vegetables, and cheese. So, there’s not a whole lot of ground left to cover. Here are some ideas:

Corn Bread and Butter.

Simply whip up a batch of corn bread using a mix, serving it warm with butter.

French Bread and Butter.

Pick up a loaf of already prepared French bread at your local grocery store. Serve with soft butter.

Fresh Cherry Pie

Goes great with any salad or meal. recipe here.

Easy Coconut Cream Pie

Whip up this traditional classic to top off your meal. recipe here.

Pioneer Woman Big Steak Salad. Photo by CookThink.
Pioneer Woman Big Steak Salad. Photo by CookThink.

How To Cook The Steak To Perfection

This recipe uses a thin cut steak such as a rib-eye or strip steak. You can also use a flank steak or a top round steak if preferred. Using a thin cut steak is important because you want to be able to just sear the outsides to perfection, quickly on the grill or in a cast iron pan on the stovetop is our favorite.

Of course, each person has their favorite way they like to eat their steak.  Some like it rare, some prefer medium rare, and, in our family, we like to have it closer to well done. Whatever you prefer, you can achieve with this dish.  That’s the beauty of it.  The key is to be present while your steak is cooking and attentive. Make sure you cook both sides.
If you’re cooking it on the grill, you’ll want to preheat the grill and place it directly on the grill rack.  If you’re cooking it on the stovetop in a cast iron pan, then you’ll want to add a bit of butter to the preheated pan to get it started. This will help it to maintain moisture while it cooks.

Resting the meat is also important to help the juices develop while it continues to cook. If you’re interested in the importance of resting meat, you might like to read more about it here.

How To Make Pioneer Woman Big Steak Salad

The classic Big Steak Salad by Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond is a delicious combination of flavors. We’ll show you how to make it in the step-by-step instructions below. If you like steak and salad, then you’re sure to enjoy it!

Ingredients

2 whole rib-eye or strip steaks

For the Dressing/Marinade

¾ cups Canola Oil
3 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Lime Juice
2 tbsp Sugar
3 Garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp Minced Fresh Ginger
1 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the Onion Strings

2 whole onions, sliced thinly
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp salt
1 quart canola oil

For the Pecan Bits

½ cup pecans, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp water

For the Salad

Mixed Greens: Romaine, Arugula, Raddiccio etc.
Small Grape Tomatoes
¾ cups crumbled blue cheese

Directions

For the Dressing/Marinade

Combine all ingredients and whisk together until well mixed.Place steak in a plastic zipped bag, add half the marinade and seal. Store in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

For the Onion Strings

Prepare onion strings by peeling and slicing the onions as thin as possible. Place in a bowl and soak with buttermilk.

Heat oil to 375 degrees. Combine dry ingredients. Dip buttermilk-soaked onion rings in the flour mixture. Tap off any excess and carefully place in hot oil. Turn them as they cook. Cook until a nice golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove and place on a paper towel. 

For the Pecan Bits

Place pecans on a sheet of parchment paper. In a medium saucepan combine sugar and water and cook until the temperature reaches about 280 degrees and the syrup becomes an amber color, about 5 minutes. Pour mixture over pecans and quickly stir. Allow to cool.

For the Steak

Grill or sauté the steak over medium high heat until it reaches the desired doneness. About 2 minutes on each side for medium rare. Remove from heat and allow it to rest. Slice steak in thin slices.

For the Salad

In a large bowl combine lettuce mix, add blue cheese and cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with remaining dressing and toss to combine. Add candied pecans.

Assembly of Pioneer Woman Big Steak Salad

Add a heaping of salad on a plate, being sure to get plenty of blue cheese, pecans and cherry tomatoes on each serving. Add half a steak to the top of each salad. Then top the steak with fresh onion strings. Serve while warm. Enjoy!

Pioneer Woman Big Steak Salad

All of the delicious flavors from the steak, blue cheese, candied pecans, and onion strings meld together with the wonderful flavors of the dressing to make an unforgettable recipe that you’ll want to make again.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pioneer Woman Big Steak Salad
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Grill or Cast Iron Pan
  • large mixing bowl
  • Medium Sauce Pan

Ingredients

  • 2 whole rib-eye or strip steaks

For the Dressing/Marinade

  • ¾ cup Canola Oil
  • 3 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 3 cloves Garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Freshly ground black pepper

For the Onion Strings

  • 2 whole onions, sliced thin
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 quart canola oil

For the Pecan Bits

  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp water

For the Salad

  • Mixed Greens: Romaine, Arugula, Raddiccio etc.
  • Small Grape Tomatoes
  • ¾ cup crumbled blue cheese

Instructions

For the Dressing/Marinade

  • Combine all ingredients and whisk together until well mixed.Place steak in a plastic zipped bag, add half the marinade and seal. Store in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

For the Onion Strings

  • Prepare onion strings by peeling and slicing the onions as thin as possible. Place in a bowl and soak with buttermilk.
  • Heat oil to 375 degrees. Combine dry ingredients. Dip buttermilk-soaked onion rings in the flour mixture. Tap off any excess and carefully place in hot oil. Turn them as they cook. Cook until a nice golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove and place on a paper towel. 

For the Pecan Bits

  • Place pecans on a sheet of parchment paper. In a medium saucepan combine sugar and water and cook until the temperature reaches about 280 degrees and the syrup becomes an amber color, about 5 minutes. Pour mixture over pecans and quickly stir. Allow to cool.

For the Steak

  • Grill or sauté the steak over medium high heat until it reaches the desired doneness. About 2 minutes on each side for medium rare. Remove from heat and allow it to rest. Slice steak in thin slices.  

For the Salad

  • In a large bowl combine lettuce mix, add blue cheese and cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with remaining dressing and toss to combine. Add candied pecans.

Assembly of Pioneer Woman Big Steak Salad

  • Add a heaping of salad on a plate, being sure to get plenty of blue cheese, pecans and cherry tomatoes on each serving. Add half a steak to the top of each salad. Then top the steak with fresh onion strings.Serve while warm. Enjoy!


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