Steak Fajita Pasta Salad is perfectly cooked fajita steak and vegetables tossed with pasta and topped with a zesty dressing that brings all of the flavors together. It’s an easy pasta salad recipe for all of your summer picnics and potlucks!

easy potluck Steak Fajita Pasta Salad

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 dishes like this amazing Steak Fajita Pasta Salad.

The steak, bell peppers, and red onions are cooked with a fajita marinade like your usual steak fajitas but when they are ready you toss them into a large bowl full of al dente pasta with cucumbers, tomatoes, black olives, and pickled jalapenos for a delicious pasta salad bursting with flavor.

The fajitas don’t stop there, if you love them as much as we do make sure you try out our oven chicken fajitas, and chicken fajita skewers too!

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grilled Steak Fajita Pasta Salad

Ingredients You’ll Need

For the pasta:

  • Olive Oil
  • Spices – Chili Powder, cumin, paprika, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper
  • Flank Steak – This is the perfect cut of beef for fajitas. You can also use skirt steak if flank steak isn’t available.
  • Bell Peppers – a mix of red, yellow, and green peppers
  • Red Onion – I love the added color in the pasta salad but you can also use a yellow onion if you prefer.
  • Cooked Bow Tie Pasta – I think this pretty pasta holds the dressing perfectly but feel free to use any shape of pasta you like.
  • Add ins – English cucumber (we prefer these because they are seedless and the skin is very thin so it doesn’t need to be peeled, cherry tomatoes, black olives, and pickled jalapenos

Customize this pasta salad however you like! Feel free to skip add-ins that aren’t your favorite and substitute in others. Green onions, avocado, cheese, anything you like!

For the dressing:

  • Olive Oil – this is the base of the vinaigrette.
  • Cilantro – this herb adds a beautiful burst of flavor to the dressing
  • Lime Juice – Fresh squeezed lime juice is needed for this recipe. 1 lime usually gives you 1 tablespoon of juice.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – this vinegar is milder than white vinegar making it great for homemade vinaigrettes.
  • Honey – the sweetness helps to cut the acid from the limes and vinegar.
  • Garlic – Mmm…the more the better if you ask me!
  • Salt
dressing for Steak Fajita Pasta Salad

Instructions

Homemade dressing:

Every salad needs a dressing and pasta salad is no exception. This delicious fajita pasta is topped with a homemade cilantro vinaigrette. To make it combine the cilantro, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, garlic, salt, and a little honey to balance everything out.

The zesty dressing brings all of the flavors together to make the ultimate summer pasta salad!

Pasta Salad:

Step 1 – Marinate the steak. Mix the 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.

Step 2 – Cook the veggies. 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 the vegetables aside.

Step 3 – Cook the meat. Note: I’m going to give you instructions on cooking the steak on the stovetop but you can also grill it if you prefer.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Remove steak from fridge and place in hot pan. Cook until meat reaches desired level of doneness, approximately 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare.

Once meat is cooked set aside and let rest for 10 minutes then slice into thin strips.

Step 4 – Combine. 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.

how to make Steak Fajita Pasta Salad

What Kind of Steak is Best for Fajitas?

The best cut of beef for fajitas is flank steak or skirt steak. It is a slightly tougher cut of steak and that’s where the marinade comes it. The meat soaks up that amazing flavor and the acids in the marinade help tenderize the meat.

Make sure to cut it against the grain when you slice it so that it will be even more tender.

How to Make It Ahead of Time

Make this pasta salad the night before to save yourself time on party day. If you do, add half of the dressing to the pasta salad and place the other half in the refrigerator overnight. About an hour before serving add the rest of the dressing and toss the pasta salad to coat.

glass bowl of Steak Fajita Pasta Salad

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Servings: 8
Prep Time: 2 hrs
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs 20 mins

Steak Fajita Pasta Salad

Perfectly cooked fajita steak and vegetables tossed with pasta and topped with a glorious dressing that brings all of the flavors of this Fajita Pasta Salad together.
easy potluck Steak Fajita Pasta Salad
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

Fajita 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, mix of 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

Zesty Dressing:

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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 desired level of doneness, approximately 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare.
  • Once meat 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.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Note: If you are making this the day before divide the dressing in half and add half to the pasta salad when you make it then store in fridge overnight and add remaining half of dressing before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 550kcal, Carbohydrates: 54g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 34mg, Sodium: 832mg, Potassium: 694mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 2560IU, Vitamin C: 76.9mg, Calcium: 56mg, Iron: 3.2mg
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Author: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pasta salad, potluck pasta salad, summer pasta salad