Flank steak is one of the most versatile and delicious cuts of meat. If you've got one to cook, here are the 40 best flank steak recipes to make this cut of beef shine! It can be a tough cut of beef but with the right marinating and cooking techniques, it transforms into juicy and flavorful steak that is delicious grilled, pan-seared, broiled and more.
Read on for lots of tips or jump down to your favorite method of cooking this flavorful cut of beef. From Traeger to Air-fryer, Grill To Crockpot, there's sure to be one to suit your mood.
With over 50 delicious side dishes, here's what to serve with flank steak.
- What is Flank Steak?
- Tips for Selecting the Best Flank Steak
- Flank Steak Recipes
- Cast Iron + Pan Fried
- Stir-fry + Asian Noodles
- Fajitas, Quesadilla + Mexican Stew
- Grilled + Broiled
- Traegar + Smoked
- Air Fried
- Best Substitutes For Flank Steak
- Why You Should Use A Marinade
- Flank Steak vs. Skirt Steak vs. Hanger Steak
- How To Cook Flank Steak Perfect Every Time
- Related Recipes
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What is Flank Steak?
Flank steak is a long and flat cut of beef that comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow. It can be a tough cut of meat because it contains a lot of muscle fibers and connective tissue. But when cooked properly, it can be incredibly tender and more flavorful than other cuts of beef.
Flank steak is often used in dishes like tacos, fajitas, stir-fries, pasta, and steak salads. Although less common in stews because it is so lean, done properly, it can make a rich and tender stew recipe. It can also be smoked, grilled, air fried, made into jerky and cooked in a crock pot.
Tips for Selecting the Best Flank Steak
When selecting flank steak, look for a piece of meat that is bright red in color and has a bit of marbling. While flank steak is a lean cut of beef, if you can find one with some marbling it will help keep the meat moist and tender during cooking.
Avoid any pieces of meat that have a grayish-brown color or a lot of visible fat. Also, try to choose a piece of meat that is as uniform in thickness as possible to help it cook more evenly.
Flank Steak Recipes
Flank steak is incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. A perfect cut for grilling season but also at home cooked on the stovetop or even in the oven. Here are a few of my favorite recipes.
Flank steak is fantastic for appetizers. While there is just one recipe here, if you've got some leftover steak to use, it makes the perfect pre-dinner bite. Toast or grill up some crostini and top it with some seasoned tomatoes and thinly sliced beef. Or swap the tomatoes for a dollop of cambazola cheese or fresh cut salsa. Yum 🙂
Thin slices of flank steak work so well in salads. This lean cut of meat makes a great topping for a main course salad and it's a great way to use up leftover flank steak too.
Cast Iron + Pan Fried
There's nothing better than a juicy steak on a Friday or Saturday night. Sear it in a cast-iron skillet, slice it thinly and surround it with your favorite mashed or fried potatoes and some grilled veggies and red onion for a delicious and easy steak dinner. A dollop garlic butter or blue cheese on top is a great idea too.
Stir-fry + Asian Noodles
With bold flavors of soy sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and sriracha and fresh herbs like cilantro, green onion and basil, these recipes will excite the taste buds.
Thin cut and served over pasta, these are delicious flank steak recipes that are pure comfort food.
Flank is the perfect cut of steak for tacos. If it's grilling season, light up the barbecue to cook up your taco filling in the great outdoors. With so many great taco recipes to choose from, you could try a new one every day of the week!
Fajitas, Quesadilla + Mexican Stew
Flank steak fajitas and quesadillas are another popular way to use this flavorful cut of beef. Use the grill or try them in your crockpot or in a sheet pan recipe. The Mexican ropa vieja is a fantastic Mexican stew that is a great way to try something new.
Stuffed flank steak is a tasty way to add extra flavor. Place flank steak on a cutting board and spread your fillings inside. Roll it up and cook it before slicing it into beautiful round slices bursting with flavor.
Grilled + Broiled
A good marinade can be a simple marinade and a rub can be a great tenderizer too. Try one of these below and hopefully one will become your new favorite. Place steak in a non-reactive dish (avoid aluminum or other metals) and marinade in the fridge for optimal food safety.
Traegar + Smoked
Cook up a tender steak dinner with the low and slow method of smoking. This cooking method takes outdoor grilling to a new level and is lots of fun!
Follow the simple steps of the Air Fryer recipe below for a healthy and tasty meal cooked in less time than other methods.
Here's a great flank steak recipe to take out hiking or camping. Light weight and tasty, it's a great, high-protein snack for lunch bags too!
Best Substitutes For Flank Steak
You may see flank steak called London broil but if you can't find the flank or London cut, you can choose a substitute. Skirt steak is the closest, followed by a hangar steak and then the tri tip. These are all lean cuts of beef that have amazing flavor, just like a beef flank steak. You can use them in all of these recipes, and be sure to cut them across the grain, just as you would for the flank steak.
Why You Should Use A Marinade
Marinating is essential for a juicy flank steak. The marinade helps break down the tough muscle fibers in the meat, helps retain moisture when cooking, and infuses it with flavor.
My favorite flank steak marinades are soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and garlic or a simple red wine vinegar and olive oil mixture. Soy sauce adds saltiness and umami, while the vinegar helps to tenderize the meat and add richness. Other great marinade options include Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, balsamic vinegar and fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme.
When marinating your steak, let it sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes and as long as overnight. About 6-8 hours is optimal to flavor the meat while still keeping a nice texture. Time allows the flavors to penetrate the meat and make it more tender. Before cooking the steak, bring it to room temperature an it will cook more evenly.
Flank Steak vs. Skirt Steak vs. Hanger Steak
Flank steak, skirt steak, and hanger steak are all cuts of beef that come from the abdominal area of the cow. While they are similar in texture and flavor, they are each slightly different.
Flank steak is the leanest of the three cuts, with a rich, beefy flavor. It is also the most tender when cooked properly. Skirt steak has a more pronounced beefy flavor and is slightly tougher than flank steak. Hanger steak is the most flavorful of the three cuts, with a beefy taste that is often compared to that of a ribeye. However, it is also the toughest and most difficult to cook properly.
How To Cook Flank Steak Perfect Every Time
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature reaches 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare. This will help you avoid overcooking the steak and making it tough. If you prefer your steak more well-done, you can cook it for a few extra minutes on each side. However, be careful not to overcook it, as this will make it tough and dry.
- After cooking, let the steak rest for at least 5-10 minutes before slicing. Letting flank steak rest before slicing is crucial for achieving a juicy and tender steak. When you cook meat, the juices are drawn towards the center of the meat. If you cut into it too soon, the juices will escape and leave you with a dry and tough steak. Letting the meat rest allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and make it more tender.
- When slicing the steak, cut against the grain to break up the muscle fibers and make it easier to chew. Grab a sharp carving or chef's knife and a cutting board with a groove around the edge to catch the juices. Cutting it across the grain makes a big difference in the finished dish.
Cheers and happy cooking, Friends! Sabrina