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Mexican Salpicon Shredded Beef Salad Recipe (Perfect for Leftover Beef!)

Updated on September 29, 2010

Mexican salpicon style beef salads remind me a lot of Thai shredded beef salads – they’re both a little bit spicy, and fresh tasting and full of herbs and vegetables, and they both make fantastic light meals.

I like to make a salpicon for an easy lunch meal anytime I’ve got a lot of leftover beef in the fridge – and I find it works just as well with leftover roast beef, or old bits of uneaten steak or perhaps best of all, that end of unwanted pot roast.

Here’s a recipe that assumes you’ve got about a pound of leftover beef in your fridge and that instead of another meal of boring leftovers you’d rather transform that humdrum meat into an exciting meal of its own right. Serve with fresh tortillas and you’ve got yourself a tasty meal.

Mexican Beef Salpicon Salad

  • 1 pound of leftover beef, finely chopped (or if cooked to well done, shredded with 2 forks or between your fingers)
  • 1 small red onion, finely shaved (about ¾ cup)
  • About 3 cups of crisp but not bitter salad greens, romaine lettuce, or even iceberg will do here – cut into smallish bite sized peices
  • 2 or 3 fresh tomatoes, cut into small wedges
  • abouit ¼ cup of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbls of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • A pinch of dried oregano
  • A handful of chopped and pitted black olives
  • 1 or 2 ripe avocados, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup of queso fresco (or substitute feta cheese)
  • Salt to taste
  • About ¼ cup of pickled jalapenos, or more to taste


  1. Mix together the dressing by combining the olive oil, the lime juice, the oregano and a good pinch of salt. Whisk or shake this together until thickened and taste for salt and balance, adding more lime juice if necessary.
  2. Add the lettuce, beef, onions, tomatoes and cilantro to a mixing bowl and toss with the dressing to coat.
  3. Arrange this ‘dressed’ salad on a large serving platter and then scatter over the olives, avocado cubes and crumbled queso fresco on top.
  4. Either finish this off by scattering over the pickled jalapenos, or if you’re serving chili shy diners, serve them on the side so that each may spice up their salpicon as desired.

Serve with fresh corn or flour tortillas on the side.


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