Flank Steak Peperonata is an Italian-inspired steak dinner that features a bold, zesty blend of bell peppers, garlic, capers, tomatoes, and more. Bold, meaty, healthy, and easy!
Easy Flank Steak with Garlicky Bell Pepper Sauce
Have you ever tried peperonata? It’s an Italian specialty, a side dish that’s equal parts salad and relish, made mostly of sweet bell peppers. Peperonata is good on just about anything, from an antipasti platter to a humble dinner of chicken and rice. With juicy, pan-seared flank steak? We’re talking-out-of-this-world good, people. Flank steak peperonata is an easy, healthy, and boldly flavorful dinner that you can make with ease.
Of course, real homemade peperonata is made with a low-and-slow cooking method to make the most of the flavors in the dish. And that’s fantastic, if you have the time! But you can also make this quick version, and it’s really fresh and hearty as well. I like to whip up the quick version alongside my flank steak, for a simple weeknight dinner that nourishes the family in a big way, without a big investment of time.
What You’ll Need
To make flank steak peperonata, first gather up your ingredients. This is a simple, straightforward dish without a lot of bells and whistles! Here’s the list of items you’ll need:
For the Steak
- Flank Steak: This large, affordable cut of meat is often described as “tough,” but when prepared right, it’s meaty and has a great texture.
- Oregano: Dried oregano is fine.
- Paprika: Made of dried sweet peppers, paprika adds a nice, earthy flavor without adding heat.
- Salt and Pepper
For the Peperonata
- Olive Oil: Some for the peperonata – and a little extra, for cooking the steak in the skillet.
- Bell Peppers: Red and yellow bell peppers tend to be the sweetest, but green will also work if that’s what you have. Cut them into strips.
- Onion: I like to use yellow onion here. A sweet onion like Vidalia would also be great. Really, though, any onion will do! Slice it into strips, as well.
- Garlic: Minced, fresh garlic is best, but garlic from a jar would also work.
- Salt and Pepper
- Diced Tomatoes: You’ll need canned, diced tomatoes. Don’t drain them, go ahead and use the juices as well as the tomatoes themselves.
- Capers: Capers are small, unopened flower buds from a type of flowering bush that’s common in the Mediterranean. They’re sold in jars, soaked in brine similar to artichoke hearts or olives. You can usually find them near the olives, artichoke hearts, or pickles.
- Fresh Basil: ½ cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish.
What’s the Closest Thing to Flank Steak?
If you can’t find flank steak at your local grocery store or butcher, you can still enjoy this dish! Honestly, peperonata is wonderful with any tender steak, so use what you love. If you’re looking for a cut of meat similar to flank steak, most cooks agree that skirt steak is very similar. It may be thinner (and a good bit longer!) than your typical flank steak, so cut it into short sections for cooking if necessary – and be careful not to overcook it.
How to Make Flank Steak Peperonata
Now for the fun part: cooking the dish. You only need one skillet, which is great. And, pro tip: While you can make this all in one evening, you can also let the steak marinate overnight, and make the peperonata a day or two in advance, if you like. But, here’s the basic gist:
- Dry-Marinate the Flank Steak. To start, trim any excess fat from the steak, and then combine the steak seasonings in a small bowl or baggie. Mix the seasonings well, and sprinkle them generously over both sides of the meat. Set this aside, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature. Alternatively, refrigerate overnight.
- Make the Quick Peperonata. While the steak is dry-marinating, heat up a few tablespoons of oil in a skillet. When the oil is hot, add your bell peppers, onions, and garlic to the skillet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cover. Let the veggies cook gently for 8 – 10 minutes. Once they have softened, stir in the tomatoes and capers and cook uncovered for about 5 minutes. Transfer the peperonata to a bowl, cover, and set aside.
- Cook the Flank Steak. Before cooking the steak, carefully wipe down the skillet, and return it to the burner. Add more oil and heat it over medium-high, and while it heats, pat the steak dry with clean paper towels. Lay the steak in the hot oil, and let it cook for 5 – 7 minutes per side. You’ll know it’s done when the internal temperature registers at 125˚F to 130˚F.
- Rest the Steak, Slice It, and Finish the Peperonata. Place the cooked flank steak on a cutting board, cover it loosely with foil, and let it rest for 8 to 10 minutes. While it rests, add the fresh basil to the peperonata and give it a good stir. Finally, slice the steak thinly against the grain. Taste everything for salt and pepper, and add more as needed.
- Arrange the sliced steak on a serving platter, along with the peperonata. Garnish with fresh basil, and serve.
Tips for Success
Check out these helpful tips for my best advice on cooking flank steak peperonata the right way. This flavorful cut of meat is a great main course, when you know how to use it!
- Cut Before Cooking: If your flank steak is too big to fit in your skillet properly, you can always cut it in half and cook one half at a time.
- Let It Rest: As with any steak, it’s important to let the meat rest after cooking. That way, when you slice it, the juices will re-distribute throughout the steak instead of running out onto your cutting board.
- Against the Grain: Another crucial thing to know about flank steak peperonata: it is tough – unless you cut it right. You’ll notice that the flank steak seems to be made of long “ribbons” of meat. Cut across those ribbons, so that instead of long, stringy pieces (hard to eat), you get strips made of little, tender bits (easy to eat).
Side Dish Inspiration
Wondering what to serve with this recipe? No worries, I’ve got you covered! Here are some easy, wholesome side dishes that work perfectly with garlicky, zesty flank steak peperonata.
- Bread: A slice or two of crusty, artisan bread would be perfect for soaking up the peperonata sauce and adding some healthy carbs. Try this Rosemary and Garlic No-Knead Skillet Bread – it’s incredibly easy, and addictively delicious.
- Potatoes: Speaking of rosemary, have you tried adding it to mashed potatoes? Because let me tell you, that is a game-changer. Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes might just be your new favorite potato recipe!
- Cauliflower: Looking for a low-carb side that’s still comfy and satisfying? This recipe for Instant Pot Mashed Cauliflower with Garlic and Chives hits all the right notes, without all the starch.
Storing and Reheating Flank Steak Peperonata
- Leftovers should be refrigerated in shallow, airtight containers, or in zip-top bags. They’ll keep for 3 to 4 days.
- To reheat, place the desired amount in a covered skillet over low heat, until heated through. Don’t overcook, or the steak will be tough.
Can I Freeze This?
- Yes, you can! Just pack your cooked, cooled steak and peperonata into a freezer bag. Press out as much air as you can before sealing, and mark with the date. It will keep for up to 6 months in the freezer.
- Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
Trim the steak and pat it dry with paper towels.
In a small mixing bowl combine the oregano, paprika, salt, and black pepper.
Season the steak with the oregano mixture, pressing down to adhere to the steak; set aside for 20 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
- In the meantime, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large 12-inch skillet set over medium-high heat.
To the heated oil add the bell peppers, onions, and garlic; season with salt and pepper, cover, and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until softened.
Uncover, stir in the tomatoes and capers; continue to cook uncovered for about 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Transfer the vegetables to a plate or bowl; cover and set aside.
Wipe down the skillet and return it to the burner.
Heat the remaining olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat.
Lightly pat dry the flank steak with paper towels.
- Add the steak to the heated oil and cook for 5 to 7 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature of the steak registers at 125˚F to 130˚F. Use an Instant Read Meat Thermometer to check for doneness.
Transfer steak to a cutting board; cover loosely with foil and let rest for 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the chopped basil to the peperonata and stir until well combined.
Slice the steak thinly against the grain.
Taste the steak and peperonata for salt and pepper; adjust accordingly.
Arrange the sliced steak on a serving plate with the peperonata.
Garnish with basil.
Calories: 285 kcal | Carbohydrates: 11 g | Protein: 26 g | Fat: 15 g | Saturated Fat: 4 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9 g | Cholesterol: 68 mg | Sodium: 814 mg | Potassium: 737 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 4 g | Vitamin A: 1633 IU | Vitamin C: 132 mg | Calcium: 75 mg | Iron: 3 mg | Net Carbs: 8 g
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.