Simple Beef Salad

What a creative way to use up (and stretch!) a small piece of leftover beef – leftover pork works well too – with a quick, meaty salad. Just add some rice and veggies then tie it all together with mayonnaise laced with soy sauce and horseradish. Is it almost a fried-rice salad? Maybe! But it's definitely retro good!

Simple Beef Salad ♥, a great way to use or stretch a small piece of leftover beef or pork.

Whole Food, Mere Minutes to the Table. Another Quick Supper, a Kitchen Parade Specialty. Budget Friendly. Easy Weeknight Supper. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free.

Leftover Roast Beef? Leftover Steak? Leftover Pork Roast?

I'm always looking for ideas for using up leftovers. With leftover meat, tacos are easy, so are sandwiches.

But this is the one recipe that makes me the happiest to have leftover beef. Truth, on occasion I even buy deli meat to make this meaty "salad".

It's an old-old recipe dating back into the 70s and 80s, one of my mother's.

I've scaled the Soy Dressing so there's just enough for this recipe but back in the day, Mom so loved what the family still calls "Lynda's Dressing" (after my cousin Lynda, hey Lynda!) that she mixed a big batch: it used an entire giant jar of Miracle Whip!

But retro or not, this salad still appeals. I made it for the first time in a long while a couple of months back, enough, I thought, for dinner with my husband and lunches the next day. In the morning, it was g-o-n-e gone! Any guesses who found a midnight snack?!

Simple Beef Salad ♥, a great way to use or stretch a small piece of leftover beef or pork.

About This Recipe

Simple Beef Salad is a chopped meat salad that's packed with fresh vegetables and cooked rice all melded with a zesty soy and horseradish mayo-based dressing. It makes for a quick high-protein lunch salad or an impromptu hearty and filling supper salad.

The distinctive ingredients are the beef (pork works well too), the crunchy vegetables, the soft rice and the delicious dressing.

Salad Ingredients = cooked beef + cooked rice + red pepper + celery + carrot

Salad Dressing Ingredients = mayonnaise + sugar + onion + vinegar + dry mustard + horseradish + celery seed

It takes only about 20 minutes to throw this salad together, including chopping the vegetables. Who's hungry? It's time to eat!

"Meat Salad" vs "Meaty Salad"

This is such a good distinction to understand! Here's my thinking.

What Is a "Meat Salad"? A meat salad isn't a "salad" at all. It's all about the meat even if there are a few finely chopped vegetables. Meat salads are often held together by mayonnaise. If you can spread a salad like this onto a cracker or a slice of bread, that's likely a meat salad.

No doubt, meat salads are so handy for sandwiches! These are regulars in my kitchen.

What, Then, Is a "Meaty Salad"? This idea is more obvious, right? These are big salads, usually supper salads, with lots of vegetables plus meat. Somehow, they're definitely salad meals that include meat vs mostly meat "meat salads" destined for sandwiches.

Here are some favorites. LOL, the tell is right here: I lean on rotisserie chickens for meaty salads.

So Where Does This Simple Beef Salad Fall? This recipe belongs in the "Meaty Salad" category. It does contain meat and it is bound with mayonnaise but it also has a lot of vegetables (instead of just a little onion or celery) and thanks to the rice, you wouldn't likely spread it onto bread for a sandwich.

Simple Beef Salad ♥, a great way to use or stretch a small piece of leftover beef or pork.

You Might Wonder Be Wondering ...

Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!

  • Why chop the red pepper and celery but grate the carrot? Red papper and celery have good crunch but are slightly softer than carrot. So I grate the carrot so that the pieces are smaller and sort of melt into the salad vs stand-alone bites. Could you chop up the carrot? Sure, just chop it into really small bits.

  • Are there good substitutes for the rice? Absolutely. In this house, we love rice. I always make extra for the freezer, a small container thaws in a couple of minutes in the microwave and is perfect for two. (Recipes? Of course! Please see Oven-Baked Brown Rice and How to Cook White Rice.)

    But quinoa would work (see How to Cook Quinoa for Meal Prep), so would barley, millet, even lentils, I think – or leftover pasta, especially if small like orzo or Israeli couscous. But don't skip this starchy addition entirely: at least to my taste, it's what really takes this salad somewhere special.
Simple Beef Salad ♥, a great way to use or stretch a small piece of leftover beef or pork.

What Makes This Recipe Special

  • It's a useful way to stretch a small amount of leftover meat.
  • It's switches proportions to "less" meat and "more" vegetables.
  • It's a healthy mix of protein-carbs-veggies, all in one salad.
  • It's easy to adapt on the spot based on taste and what's in the fridge.
  • It leans into common fridge and pantry ingredients.
  • It's just good!
  • Ready to get started? Here's your recipe!

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How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this recipe for an easy meaty salad inspires you, please do save and share! I'd be honored ...

Simple Beef Salad ♥, a great way to use or stretch a small piece of leftover beef or pork.


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time-to-table: 20 minutes
Makes about 5 cups
  • 1/4 cup (52g) mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish (or to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 red pepper, diced small
  • 2 ribs celery, diced small
  • 2 carrots, peeled & grated
  • 1 cup (135g) cooked rice
  • 1/2 pound cooked beef, diced small

SOY DRESSING Use a large fork or a whisk to combine all the ingredients until smooth in a bowl large enough to hold the whole salad.

MEAT, RICE & VEGGIES Add all the ingredients to the bowl. Stir really well, distributing the Soy Dressing.

CHILL & SERVE Refrigerate until ready to serve, best within a few hours of making.

ALANNA's TIPS Naturally, my choices of bell pepper, celery and carrot are interchangeable with other fresh vegetables. Aim for color, crunch and wetness. No beef? Leftover pork works really well too. So does chicken, just not as well.

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See .
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cup: 203 Calories; 12g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 35mg Cholesterol; 303mg Sodium; 13g Carb; 2g Fiber; 3g Sugar; 11g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS (purple assumes brown rice) Old Points 5 & PointsPlus 5 & SmartPoints 6 & Freestyle 5 & myWW green 5 & blue 5 & purple 4 & future WW points

More Meat "Salads" for Sandwiches & Spreads

~ meat salads ~
Chicken Salad for Sandwiches ♥, simple, fresh, useful. WW Friendly. High Protein.

Easy Ham Salad ♥, a great way to use up leftover ham from the freezer.

Kalamata Tuna Salad Bok Choy Wraps ♥, tuna salad made with olives wrapped in peppery bok choy leaves. Weight Watchers Friendly. LowCarb. Naturally Gluten Free. Paleo. Whole30 Friendly.

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ bell pepper recipes ~
~ celery recipes ~
~ carrot recipes ~
~ rice ~
~ beef recipes ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.