Grilled Steak, Zucchini, and Pesto Salad | Paleo recipe by

Grilled Steak, Zucchini, and Pesto Salad

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This Grilled Steak, Zucchini, and Pesto Salad isn’t your average salad! With no lettuce in sight, this summer salad recipe instead relies on zucchini and grape tomatoes for a nutritious, veggielicious base.

And then there’s pesto. I knew I couldn’t let a summer go by without a pesto recipe! Is there any other sauce that radiates summer more than pesto?!

Easy AF lettuce-free salad

I already mentioned that this gluten free salad recipe is devoid of lettuce or leafy greens.

know that someone out there is going to scoff at that. It’s not really a salad without leafy greens. What the heck is this chick talking about?

The certainty comes from someone graciously informing me that my Mushroom, Bacon, and Cauliflower Casserole isn’t really a casserole because the finished product doesn’t bind together. So I let them know that nowhere in the definition of a casserole can you find a specification that the casserole has to keep form as it’s served.

Grilled Steak, Zucchini, and Pesto Salad | Whole30 recipe by

So in case you disagree that this steak salad is a salad, here’s the definition of a salad, according to Google:

“a cold dish of various mixtures of raw or cooked vegetables, usually seasoned with oil, vinegar, or other dressing and sometimes accompanied by meat, fish, or other ingredients.”

Grilled Steak, Zucchini, and Pesto Salad |

Hello, easy summer meals!

Semantics aside, let’s just agree that this dish has all the ingredients for an awesome meal. We’ve got a red wine vinegar-marinated steak. Grilled zucchini. Perfectly ripe grape tomatoes. And a fresh summer pesto to bring the whole thing together!

Grilled Steak, Zucchini, and Pesto Salad | Gluten Free Recipe by

This steak salad recipe makes a wonderful, oven-free dinner on hot summer nights. Save the leftovers for lunch the next day, or share with enough people that you don’t have to worry about your pesto losing its vibrant color.

I love this combo of foods. I initially thought about adding a few more veggies, some arugula, or a couple add-ins like nuts or herbs.

Grilled Steak, Zucchini, and Pesto Salad | Paleo recipe by

But I came to the conclusion that adding anything more would simply overcomplicate things. This grilled steak zucchini, and pesto salad is completely fine without any of that!

Yes, certain recipes definitely require more ingredients and more steps to create a truly epic finished product, but more often than not keeping it simple is the way to go.

Plus, the last thing you want to do in the dog days of summer is slog through dozens of steps for one meal.

Ready for this? Grab a handful of basil and let’s get grilling!

Grilled Steak, Zucchini, and Pesto Salad | Paleo recipe by

More Lettuce-Free Salad Recipes

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Grilled Steak, Zucchini, and Pesto Salad | Gluten Free Recipe by

Grilled Steak, Zucchini, and Pesto Salad

  • Author: Chelsea at Do You Even Paleo
  • Prep Time: 5 hours 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 45 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: American


An easy, oven-free summer salad with grilled steak, grilled zucchini, grape tomatoes, and fresh pesto! This flavorful salad recipe is paleo, gluten free, keto, and Whole30.


  • 1.5 pound flank steak
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced diagonally
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


Combine 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, chopped parsley, and crushed red pepper in a shallow dish or zip-top bag. Add flank steak and coat. Marinate for at least 5 hours to overnight.

Once steak has marinated and you’re ready to make the salad, turn on and heat a gas grill, with two burners on medium-high heat and two on low heat. Add the steak to the hot side of the grill, cooking for two minutes on each side. Transfer to the cooler side of the grill for an additional 2 minutes (or longer, depending on how well done you like your steak). Remove from the grill and place on a cutting board to rest while you prep the rest of the salad.

Toss the zucchini slices in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the zucchini slices to the hot side of the grill and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and turn off the grill.

Next, make the pesto. Add the basil leaves, pine nuts, lemon juice, and remaining tablespoon extra virgin olive oil to a food processor or blender. Process until almost smooth.

Now put it all together. Thinly slice the steak. Add the grilled zucchini, halved tomatoes, steak slices, and pesto to a large bowl. Toss to combine and serve immediately! Will keep in the fridge for a couple days, but the pesto may discolor.

Keywords: Grilled Steak, Zucchini, and Pesto Salad


Grilled Steak, Zucchini, and Pesto Salad | Paleo recipe by
Grilled Steak, Zucchini, and Pesto Salad | Paleo recipe by


I'm Chelsea, the author behind Chelsea Joy Eats! I believe life should be full of flavor. I enjoy creating recipes that are nourishing, flavorful, and satisfying. When not experimenting in the kitchen, I usually have a camera, barbell, or mug of coffee in hand. My posts may include affiliate links, which means if you click through a purchase something, I make a small commission at no cost to you. It helps me fuel my coffee habit and pay rent!

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