Chipotle Cocoa Rubbed Steak and Wilted Spinach Salad

Chipotle Cocoa Rubbed Steak and Wilted Spinach Salad

Chipotle Cocoa Rubbed Steak and Wilted Spinach Salad is a light, satisfying supper that comes together in under 30 minutes.  It’s perfect for busy weeknights and bound to become a family favourite.

Chipotle Cocoa Rubbed Steak and Wilted Spinach Salad | cookglobaleatlocal.comHere in Johannesburg, we’ve been having a bit of a schizophrenic spring.  The weather seems undecided.  It swings like a pendulum from hot to cold.  This situation makes meal planning a bit more challenging than usual.  I’m never quite sure whether I should plan a meal that’s warm and satisfying or one that’s cooling and soothing.

Thus, I’ve found myself preparing dishes such as this steak salad on a more regular basis.  The beauty of this simple salad is that it doesn’t involve a lot of time in the kitchen and it’s equally delightful hot or cold.  So, regardless of the weather, this chipotle cocoa rubbed steak and wilted spinach salad is a winner!

The bonus?  This salad comes together in a mere 25 minutes, which makes it perfect for those busy end of year weeknights.  As we race towards the holiday and our well-earned breaks, there is no need to compromise on what we eat.  This simple dish is proof that you don’t have to go to a restaurant to eat well when you’re in a hurry!  You can’t get takeout in the half hour it takes to get this meal from fridge to table.

Timesaving Tip

If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to whip up extra steak rub to pep up your burgers, roast, and barbecue game with minimal effort.  Having pre-blended spices on hand makes cooking so much quicker and easier.  It takes no more time to multiply the spice rub quantities by four today, and that leaves you three meals ahead of the game later!

Chipotle Cocoa Rubbed Steak and Wilted Spinach Salad |

About the Recipe

I confess I’m a sucker for a tasty rub, especially one with Mexican flavours.  So, when I started playing around with the idea for this recipe, all sorts of flavour combinations floated through my head.

I knew I wanted to use a combination of chipotle chiles and cocoa because because they are delicious together.  However, I initially wanted to complicate things by adding other seasonings.  After trying a variety of combinations involving cinnamon, cumin, coriander and more, I wound up at “less is more.”  The other spices only served to muddy the brilliant flavours of the chipotle and the cocoa.  So, this steak uses a straightforward, 4 ingredient rub that really complements and accentuates the flavour of top quality sirloin steak.

The salad couldn’t be simpler.  Greens, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and freshly ground pepper with a smattering of caramelised shallots, which cook in the juices from the steaks while they rest.

This is a meal that comes together in under 30 minutes and is equally good hot or cold.  Add a loaf of warm, artisan bread to soak up all the terrific juices and you’ve got a simple, hearty meal that’s fit for a king.

I sincerely hope your family enjoys this delicious salad every bit as much as mine does.  Bon appétit!


Chipotle Cocoa Rubbed Steak and Wilted Spinach Salad

Chipotle Cocoa Rubbed Steak and Wilted Spinach Salad |
Jeanette Marie
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Prep Time:  10 minutes - Cook Time:  15 minutes Servings:  4

This delicious butcher style wilted spinach salad is topped with chipotle cocoa rubbed sirloin steaks for a healthy, decadent dinner that comes together in under 30 minutes.

  • 4 sirloin steaks, 2 cm thick (about 800 g/1 lb 12 oz)
    For the rub
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
    For the salad
  • 200 g baby spinach, rinsed and dried
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or grated
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters

  1. Mix the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl to thoroughly combine. Rub both sides of the steaks with the rub and heat a medium-sized, nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  2. When the skillet is hot, add the steaks to the pan. Cook until desired doneness is achieved, being sure to leave the steaks in place for long enough to achieve a nice sear. (I like to cook mine for about 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare steaks.)
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the spinach with the garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper to combine. Taste, and adjust seasoning as needed.
  4. When steaks are done to your liking, remove them from the pan and set on top of the spinach for 5-10 minutes to allow the steak to rest and the spinach to wilt.
  5. While steaks are resting, add the shallots to the remaining juices in the skillet. Cook, stirring intermittently for 3-4 minutes, or just until the shallots are lightly caramelized.
  6. To serve, remove steaks from the spinach salad. Divide spinach evenly among four dinner plates. Slice the steak thinly, across the grain and place one steak atop the spinach on each plate. Top each plate with 1/4 of the shallots and pan drippings and add a lemon wedge to each one. Serve immediately and encourage diners to squeeze the lemon over their plates before tucking in.

If you're in South Africa, I highly recommend Cape Herb & Spice's chipotle chile powder, which is readily available nationwide.


Serve with a crusty loaf of artisan bread for a delicious hearty dinner.


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