Southwest Steak Bowls

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Tender and delicious Southwest Steak Bowls with perfectly cooked steak, black bean and corn salsa, cilantro, steamed rice, and the most delicious cilantro lime dressing. Quick, easy, and healthy!

448 CAL 51g CARBS 10g FAT 44g PROTEIN 8
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We love making rice bowls, and this new Southwest Steak Bowl with seasoned steak, shortcut black bean and corn salsa, and a delicious cilantro lime sauce is the ultimate weeknight dinner or meal prep recipe.

Last week, I made our family’s favorite steak tacos and used the leftover steak to make these delicious steak burrito bowls. They turned out so delicious I knew I had to share them.

Building layers of flavor is the key to making a good bowl recipe. In this recipe, that all starts with the steak. It’s seasoned with lime juice and a homemade spice blend (or taco seasoning.) 

The next layer of flavor is a quick and easy salsa made with canned black beans, corn, pico de gallo, and lots of fresh cilantro and lime juice. It’s so easy and adds flavor, texture, and crunch.

Then, everything is finished with the most delicious cilantro lime yogurt sauce, which is made with Greek yogurt, fresh cilantro, and salsa verde. It’s so good and tastes amazing on everything.

Why You Should Make These Steak Bowls

  • Quick and easy: Many steak bow recipes include hours of marinating, slow cooking, or complex prep. This recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes with lots of shortcuts to save time.
  • Cheaper than chipotle: Love chipotle steak burrito bowls? This is so much more affordable!
  • Healthy meal prep: These bowls keep well in the fridge, making them perfect for meal prep with plenty of protein, whole grains, fiber, and veggies.

Looking for more burrito and taco bowls? Try these Fish Taco Bowls, Chicken Fajita Bowls,  or Breakfast Burrito Bowls.

Ingredients for Southwest steak bowls including sirloin steak, rice, corn, black beans, pico de gallo, and spices.

Ingredients and Easy Swaps

Here is everything you need to make these tasty rice bowls and ideas for swapping in alternate ingredients.

  • Steak: These easy steak bowls can be made with any steak you enjoy. I usually use lean sirloin steak since it’s tender and affordable, but they're also great with flank steak, skirt steak, filet, rib-eye, and even ground beef. This is also a great recipe for leftover steak or steak taco meat.
  • Seasoning: This recipe uses a simple seasoning mixture that includes chili powder, kosher salt, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and oregano. You could swap in taco seasoning, cajun seasoning, or any other seasoning mixture you like on your steak. Don’t skip the lime juice! It adds tons of flavor and helps tenderize the steak. You could also use lemon juice or vinegar, but I love lime juice's flavor with steak.
  • Black beans: Whenever I think about Southwest flavors, I think about black beans. You could swap in pinto beans, white beans, kidney beans, or chickpeas. Or leave out the beans if you prefer.
  • Corn: Corn is another ingredient I often associate with Southwest flavors. Use fresh, canned, or frozen corn. If you have grilled corn or roasted corn on hand, use that for even more flavor.
  • Pico de Gallo: Pico de gallo is a great shortcut for adding flavor without tons of prep. In this recipe, it’s combined with black beans and corn to create a quick Southwest salsa. Swap in homemade pico de gallo or another thick and chunky salsa (drained). Or just use fresh tomatoes, onions, and jalapeno peppers.
  • Rice or grains: This bowl's base is white or brown rice. You could also use quinoa, cauliflower rice, greens, or any other base you like.
  • Cilantro sauce: This cilantro yogurt sauce is completely optional but so good! It’s a combination of Greek yogurt, fresh cilantro, lime juice, green salsa, garlic, salt, and pepper. It’s also delicious with jalapeno ranch, Southwest dressing, or a drizzle of olive oil and lime juice.

How to Build the Perfect Steak Rice Bowls

Here is how to build these delicious steak and rice bowls.

1. Prep the base and toppings

When making rice bowls, start by prepping the rice or grains for the base of the bowl. They tend to take the longest. For a shortcut, use frozen or precooked rice to speed things up.

While the rice cooks, make the cilantro dressing if you are using it. Then, combine the black beans, corn, pico de gallo, lime juice, and cilantro. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

2. Cook the steak

Start by creating the rub for the steak by combining the lime juice and spices. You can add some olive oil as well if you like. If you have time, let the steak marinate in that mixture for 15-20 minutes, but if not, it will still taste great.

Preheat the broiler or grill, so it is nice and hot. Cook the steak for 3-7 minutes per side, depending on its thickness and your desired doneness. My sirloin steak was about 1 inch thick and needed 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare.

You can also cook the steak in a heavy cast iron skillet. Usually, if I make it in a skillet, I cut the steak into bite-sized pieces and then quickly sear it in a hot skillet so it’s browned on all sides and medium rare.

Let the steak rest for 10 minutes for the juices to redistribute. Then, cut into bite-sized chunks.

3. Build Your Bowls

Now, it’s time to build your bowls. Start with a base layer of rice, quinoa, greens, or cauliflower rice. Then, layer in the black bean and corn salsa, steak, and drizzle with the cilantro sauce. Squeeze on some fresh lime juice and serve.

Steak rice bowls with steak bites, corn and black bean salsa, avocado, sour cream, and cilantro sauce.

Southwest Steak Bowl Topping Ideas

There are so many ways to customize these bowls by adding all your favorite toppings.

Close up of a spoonful of a southwest steak bowl with steak, rice, black beans, and cilantro sauce.

Variations and Recipe Ideas

This recipe is so easy to customize based on your preferences and dietary needs.

  • Low carb: For a low-carb or keto bowl, make this bowl with cauliflower rice, spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, or greens.
  • Vegetarian: Swap in tofu, vegetarian beef, or double up the beans to make a vegetarian southwest burrito bowl.
  • Not spicy: Simply skip the chili powder in the marinade or use mild taco seasoning or steak seasoning.
  • More veggies: We love adding more veggies to this recipe. It’s delicious with sauteed onions, bell peppers, cauliflower, or spinach. It’s also great with roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, or butternut squash.
  • Change the sauce: Instead of the cilantro sauce, use chimichurri, romesco, teriyaki sauce, or ranchero sauce. Switch up the spice blend to match the dressing flavors.
  • Change the protein: This steak bowl can also be made with chicken, pork, turkey, shrimp, fish, or ground meat.

Meal Prep, Leftovers, and Storage

This meal is great for meal prep, especially since it tastes great cold, room temperature, or warmed up. Make sure to let everything fully cool before storing it.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. For best results, store the dressing separately.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions about making these steak bowls.

Here’s how you can grill a sirloin steak to achieve different levels of doneness. Always make sure the steak is room temperature and well seasoned before grilling. Place the steak on the hot grill and cook it without moving for about 2-3 minutes on each side to get a good sear.

  • Rare (120-130°F / 49-54°C): About 2-3 minutes per side
  • Medium Rare (130-135°F / 54-57°C): About 3-4 minutes per side
  • Medium (135-145°F / 57-63°C): About 4-5 minutes per side
  • Medium Well (145-155°F / 63-68°C): About 5-6 minutes per side
  • Well Done (155-165°F / 68-74°C): About 6-7 minutes per side

Rest Before Serving: Once the steak reaches your desired level of doneness, remove it from the grill and let it rest for about 5 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it juicier and more flavorful. Slice against the grain.

For rice or burrito bowls, you want a cut that is flavorful and can be cooked quickly. Flank steak, skirt steak, and sirloin steak are popular choices. They are relatively affordable, cook quickly, and can be sliced easily against the grain for tenderness.

To make your steak bowls healthier, focus on balancing your bowl with a variety of vegetables. Add lots of colorful veggies like bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and leafy greens. Use whole grains like brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice, and consider adding beans for extra fiber and protein. Be careful for higher fat toppings like sour cream, cheese, and high fat dressings or sauces.

Steak burrito bowl with steak, avocado, rice, black beans, corn, and pico de gallo.
The Recipe
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Southwest Steak Bowls

448 CAL 51g CARBS 10g FAT 44g PROTEIN 8
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  • 1 lb lean sirloin steak, trimmed of all fat
  • 2 limes, juice
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn (fresh, canned, or defrosted frozen)
  • 1 cup pico de gallo
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 2 cups cooked white rice (white, brown, or quinoa)
  • 1 lime (for serving)
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp green salsa
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tbsp lime juice
  • Salt and pepper

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For cilantro sauce: Blend together all of the ingredients for the sauce. If you have time, refrigerate for one hour before serving.


Preheat the oven to broil. You can also use a grill. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Combine the lime juice and spices. Rub over the steak. If you have time, let the steak marinate for 15 minutes.


Broil (or grill) for 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare, or to your desired doneness. Let rest for 10 minutes and slice thin or chop into small pieces. You can also chop the steak into smaller pieces and cook it in a skillet. It will take 3-5 minutes in a hot skillet with about one tablespoon of oil.


In a medium bowl, combine the black beans, corn, pico de gallo, and cilantro to make a quick black bean salsa. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and additional lime juice if needed.


Assemble bowls with rice, cooked steak pieces, black bean salsa, and any additional toppings you like. Drizzle with cilantro sauce.


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Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving
Calories 448
Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
Saturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 89mg
Sodium 1479mg
Total Carbohydrate 51g
Dietary Fiber 8g
Sugars 9g
Protein 44g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.


Optional toppings: avocado, sour cream, sliced jalapenos, shredded cheese, cabbage, Romaine lettuce, guacamole, salsa, hot sauce, etc.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
† We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
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