Southwest Steak Sandwich

by Mike Bradley

Who doesn’t love a good steak sandwich? My only problem is that the same old steak sandwich can get boring and every now and then you need to spice things up a bit. For this sandwich I go with a southwest flair, using homemade pico de Gallo, chihuahua cheese, sandwich sirloin steak seasoned with chili powder and cumin, and some chipotle mayo piled onto a ciabatta bun.

The first step for this sandwich is making the pico. In this instance there is some adjustability to meet your own personal taste. My wife tends to prefer things to be more mild, so I chose to use poblano peppers instead of something hotter like Anaheim, jalapeño, or even habanero peppers. Your own preference here can be used, I wouldn’t blame you since I would personally go for something hotter. I also tend to use more onion than I would for a normal pico when making it for sandwiches, so if you want to make a pico for chips you can simply use half of an onion instead of a whole one. I use a moderate amount of cilantro since I feel that too much can be overpowering. So we are going to dice everything up (core the tomato first) into 1/4 inch or so size, stem and mince the cilantro, and zest the whole lime.

Now that we have made this, the rest of the sandwich can come together easily. Season the sandwich steaks with a pinch of salt and pepper, then add a sprinkling of chili powder and cumin (not Steak-Ums, actual sandwich sirloins from the butcher, like these). Heat a tablespoon of oil in a medium pan and add the steaks, cooking until they are “well” done. With a sandwich steak well done is a misnomer since they are so thin there isn’t really any other option. I liked using two of these steaks per sandwich.

Now it’s time to stack the sandwich up! Spread some chipotle mayo on each side of the bread, bought from the store, maybe I’ll make my own soon… Then add the steaks. Liberally add shredded chihuahua cheese on top of that. Finally add your pico on top. Push the top piece of the bread down onto the sandwich and enjoy! Bring napkins, this gets messy!

Southwest Steak Sandwich Recipe

Makes 4 Sandwiches


  • 1 poblano pepper, stem and seeds removed, diced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cored and diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • Zest of 1 Lime, and juice of half a lime
  • About 10 sprigs of cilantro, stem removed, chopped
  • 8 thin-cut sandwich sirloin steaks
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • 4 Ciabatta buns
  • Chipotle Mayo
  • Shredded chihuahua cheese


  1. Make the pico: In a medium bowl, combine the diced poblano pepper, tomatoes and red onion, chopped cilantro, lime zest and juice from half of the lime. Stir until the ingredients are well-dispersed. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Lightly season both sides of each cut of sirloin steak with salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin, to taste.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a medium pan over medium heat, and add the steaks, cooking until they are “well” done.
  4. Cut the ciabatta buns in half and spread chipotle mayo on the inside of each half.
  5. Place two of the cooked steaks on top of one of the bun halves, then sprinkle chihuahua cheese on top of the steak. Finally, top with a generous helping of pico de gallo.
  6. Press the other half of the ciabatta bun down on top to complete the sandwich. Hold on tight and enjoy!

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