This Steak Pasta is like nothing you have ever seen! Perfectly cooked fajita steak and vegetables tossed with tender pasta and topped with a glorious dressing that brings all of the flavors together. It’s an easy steak pasta salad recipe to bring to all of your summer picnics and potlucks!
Summer is on its way, and once the weather gets warmer, the grill cover comes off and our weekends are filled with summer BBQs.
Whether I’m hosting or attending, I always make a few easy potluck side dishes like this amazing Steak Fajita Salad.
The zesty dressing brings all of the flavors together into one delicious bite!
Pasta salads are the perfect thing to bring to all of those summer picnics and potlucks because you can make them the night before, then pull them out of the fridge before you head to the party.
But, they make the perfect weeknight meal as well! Combine steak with pasta and veggies, then toss with dressing before you dig in. Easy peasy!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Pasta – Bowties (farfalle) are the perfect shape, in my opinion.
They don’t take up too much space on your fork, allowing you to get lots of different flavors in one bite.
- Beef – Use flank steak for this fajita steak recipe, and be sure to marinate it for at least an hour (up to 3 hours) for the best flavor.
You can cook fajita steak on the grill or sear it in a pan on the stove.
Either way, let it rest for 10 minutes to lock in the juices and slice against the grain to make it extra tender.
- Veggies – Cook bell peppers and onions with extra marinade, then add them to the steak pasta with English cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, black olives, and pickled jalapenos.
- Dressing – Start with a base of olive oil, then add lime juice and apple cider vinegar for acidity and honey for sweetness.
Cilantro is a staple for south-of-the-border dishes, so don’t try to make this fajita steak recipe without it!
Fajita Steak Recipe Variations
You can easily customize this steak fajita salad in a number of ways! Skip add-ins that aren’t your favorite or substitute in others.
Instead of bowtie pasta, try rotini or penne. Avoid smaller shapes like macaroni or shells — they’ll get lost among the other ingredients.
Sensitive to heat? Swap pickled jalapenos for banana peppers instead. You may also want to soak red onion slices in ice water to remove some of the natural bite.
You can also add a creamy element with chunks of avocado or your favorite cheese! Just wait to add the avocado until just before serving, or it will turn brown.
Kitchen Tools You’ll Need
- Colander – This awesome colander makes it so easy to drain the water from your pasta!
- Knife – A good chef’s knife makes it easy to get perfectly thin slices of fajita steak for this pasta salad.
- Cutting Board – You’ll need a cutting board to go with that knife. This cutting board is super durable and easy to clean.
Fajita Steak Pasta Salad FAQ
Absolutely! Combine everything the night before, adding just half of the dressing to the steak fajita salad. Store the other half in a jar and place both in the refrigerator overnight.
Then, add the rest of the dressing about an hour before serving and toss the steak pasta to coat.
Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
If you plan on eating this throughout the week, make extra dressing and store it in a separate jar. Then, you can add a little bit to your bowl to freshen it up!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Pasta Salad Recipes
Fajita Steak Pasta Salad
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pound flank steak
- 3 bell peppers, (red, yellow, and green peppers) sliced
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 16 ounces bow tie pasta, cooked
- 1 English cucumber, sliced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2.25 ounces sliced black olives
- 1 cup pickled jalapenos
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup cilantro, finely diced
- 4 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a small bowl combine all of the dressing ingredients and set aside while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- Mix 3 tablespoons olive oil, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.
- Divide in half and add 1/2 of the marinade to a resealable bag. Add steak to bag and rub the marinade into it. Place bag in the refrigerator and marinate for 1-3 hours.
- Add a 1 tablespoon of oil to a large skillet along with the sliced onion. Cook over medium-high for 2-3 minutes until the onion begins to soften.
- Add bell peppers and the remaining marinade to the onions and continue to cook until vegetables are tender.
- Set vegetables aside and add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Remove steak from fridge and place in hot pan. Cook until meat reaches the desired level of doneness, approximately 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare.
- Once the steak is cooked set aside and let rest for 10 minutes then slice into thin strips.
- Add steak, peppers, onion, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and jalapenos to a large bowl of cooked pasta. Toss to combine.
- Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and toss to coat.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published May 2018, updated and republished July 2023
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