Italian Beef and Fennel Salad

Finally, a way to indulge in steak and not sacrifice your health in the process.

Steak and Asparagus
 chang / Getty Images

Beef can be part of a healthy diet, as long as you select a lean cut and a reasonable portion (roughly 4oz raw)—like the one we use in this recipe.

The end result is a whopping 36g of muscle-building protein per serving, along with a ton of antioxidant-packed vegetables.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 467; total fat: 14g; saturated fat: 3g; protein: 36g; carbohydrates: 54g; fiber: 9.1g; cholesterol: 56mg; sodium: 341mg

Recipe by Chef Dave Zino, executive chef, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association on behalf of the Beef Checkoff.

Prep time

20 min.

Cook time

40 min.

  • 2 beef Strip Steaks Boneless, cut 3/4 inch thick (8 ounces each) or 1 Top Sirloin Steak Boneless, cut 3/4 inch thick (1 pound)
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 oz asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups uncooked whole-wheat spiral pasta
  • 1 large fennel bulb
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 tsp. garlic-pepper seasoning
  • For the lemon vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

Heat oven to 425°.

Place bell peppers and asparagus on metal baking pan; spray vegetables with non-stick cooking spray. Roast in 425° oven 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Set aside; cool.

Whisk lemon vinaigrette ingredients in small bowl until blended. Set aside.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, omitting oil and salt; drain. Set aside; cool.

Remove feathery tops from fennel bulb, reserving several for garnish, if desired. Trim and discard fennel stalks from bulb. Cut bulb into quarters lengthwise; remove, and discard core. Thinly slice fennel quarters lengthwise. Place sliced fennel, pasta, and onion in large bowl. Set aside.

Press garlic-pepper seasoning evenly onto beef steaks. Heat large non-stick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place strip steaks in skillet; cook 10 to 12 minutes for medium rare (145°) to medium (160°) doneness (top sirloin steak 10 to 13 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness), turning occasionally.

Carve steak into thin slices. Add steak slices and roasted vegetables to pasta mixture; toss to coat evenly with vinaigrette. Garnish with reserved fennel tops, if desired.