Peppered steak and lentil salad recipe

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Our peppered steak and lentil salad is ready and on the table in just 20 minutes...

Peppered steak and lentil salad
(Image credit: Future)
Preparation Time14 mins
Cooking Time6 mins
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories531 Kcal27%
Saturated Fat8 g40%
Fat23 g33%
Carbohydrates29 g11%

This peppered steak and lentil salad is a great light lunch or dinner but could also be served as a starter for four if you're hosting friends and family one evening.

This is a really simple recipe using only a handful of ingredients but with plenty of flavour, taste, and texture. Lentils are rich in fibre and potassium so they’re not only good for the heart but help manage blood pressure and cholesterol. You can also swap the steak for chicken or fish if you prefer or make it veggie and serve it with halloumi or lots of grilled vegetables.


  • 2 x 125g (4oz) sirloin steaks, trimmed of all visible fat
  • 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2tsp pink peppercorns, lightly crushed

For the salad:

  • 250g (9oz) pouch beluga or other cooked lentils
  • 1⁄2 cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1⁄2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 30g (1oz) bunch mint or parsley or a mixture of both, chopped
  • 45g (11⁄2oz) wild rocket
  • 1tsp Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
  • 1tsp clear honey




  1. Heat a griddle pan or a large frying pan. Brush the steaks with half the oil, then sprinkle one side with peppercorns, pressing them in firmly. Cook the steaks, peppercorn-side down, for 2-3 minutes on each side until nicely browned but still a little pink in the centre. Transfer to a plate, cover and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
  2. For the salad, toss together the lentils, cucumber, red onion, herbs and rocket in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together the remaining 1⁄2tbsp oil, the mustard, lemon juice and honey to dress the salad.
  4. Slice or dice the steak and fold through the salad. Transfer to individual plates or a platter and serve immediately.

Top tips for making this peppered steak and lentil salad 

If you want to prepare the salad ahead, keep the dressing in a separate jar until you’re ready to assemble and serve. Otherwise, your salad leaves will go soggy and wilted. 

What is the leanest cut of steak?

Fillet steak, also known as beef tenderloin is the cut of steak with the least fat. It is very tender but is, therefore, less flavoursome compared to other cuts like sirloin or ribeye. 

Are black lentils and beluga lentils the same?

Yes, black lentils are sometimes called beluga lentils because they look like beluga caviar.

For this recipe you can use any type of cooked lentil you like, red, green, brown, and yellow will all work perfectly. 

What can you serve with salad to make it more interesting?

We think this recipe is great as it is but you could serve it with some fries on the side for a little treat. It would also be yummy with fresh baguette as you can soak up any excess salad dressing and juices from the steak. 

Profile picture of Jessica Ransom
Jessica Ransom

“I find that adding a warm element to my salad, in this case steak, makes it feel like a more satisfying, comforting meal. At only 531 calories you could easily bulk it out further with some grilled courgettes and peppers too.”

To achieve thin ribbons of steak you need to use a sharp knife. We like this versatile chef’s knife from Wüstof.

WÜSTHOF Classic Stainless Steel Cook's Knife, 16cm - View at John Lewis 

WÜSTHOF Classic Stainless Steel Cook's Knife, 16cm - View at John Lewis 

This knife will make light work of slicing the onions, cucumber and steak for this recipe. Food writer Jessica Ransom says: “I find 16cm to be the perfect size knife for nearly all my cooking and baking. It’s comfortable to hold and easy to clean and maintain with regular sharpening.”

Learn how to cook the perfect steak with our handy guide. Then you can try our chilli and pepper buttered steak or our steak, chicory and orange salad.

Rose Fooks
Deputy Food Editor

Rose Fooks is Deputy Food Editor at Future Publishing, creating recipes, reviewing products and writing food features for a range of lifestyle and home titles including GoodTo and Woman&Home. Before joining the team, Rose obtained a Diplome de Patisserie and Culinary Management at London’s Le Cordon Bleu. Going on to work in professional kitchens at The Delaunay and Zedel.

With contributions from