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Alea’s Fiesta Steak and Pasta Salad

My husband will grill in any weather. He is not deterred by rain or snow if he has his mind setting on grilling. The kids and I  stay inside where it is warm and question his sanity. He insists that the barbecue provides enough heat to keep him comfortable. While we tease him for grilling in the snow, we are secretly glad he insists on defying cultural norms because we sure do appreciate eating barbecued steaks in the middle of winter.

When my husband barbecues, he always puts extra meat on the grill so that I have plenty of meat leftover that I can use to create fast and easy dinners with throughout the week.

This recipe works well with just about any type of leftover roast or steak. If your husband isn’t crazy enough to grill in the winter, you could always broil a small steak (3 -4 minutes each side) and use it in this pasta salad. This recipe comes together quickly. I can have the meat and veggies chopped and the dressing made in the time it takes me to boil the noodles.

We are starting to see good produce sales in our area. Roma tomatoes were on sale for 99 cents a pound and bell peppers were 2 for $1.00. It’s a good sign that spring has arrived in California and will soon make its way to our area and then my husband will not look so odd grilling on the weekends.

Fiesta Steak and Pasta Salad

Yield – 8 servings

Preparation Time – 15 minutes

Cooking Time – 10 minutes


  • 12 oz noodles (Use brown rice pasta to make this gluten-free)
  • 8 – 10 oz. cooked steak, diced
  • 1 cup tomato, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (or 2 tablespoons dried)
  • 2/3 cup vegetable or tomato juice
  • Zest and juice of one lime (use this tip when limes are on sale)
  • 2 tablespoons honey or sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram


  • Cook the noodles according to the package directions.
  • While the noodles are cooking, dice the steak and veggies and place them in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, combine tomato juice, lime juice, honey, and spices.
  • When the noodles are done cooking, place them in a strainer and run them under cold water until they are cool to the touch.
  • Add the noodles to the bowl and toss. Pour dressing over the steak and pasta. Toss until all of the ingredients are well coated.
  • This can be eaten immediately, but I think it tastes best after being refrigerated for at least 2 hours.