Steak Pizzaiola

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Treat yourself to this tasty Steak Pizzaiola with perfectly seasoned seared steaks simmered in a robust tomato sauce with onions, bell peppers, olives, and capers. This dish is easy to make and incredibly delicious, offering a fantastic meal with a touch of gourmet flair.

For those who love the flavors of Italy, don’t miss out on the comforting warmth of my Italian Wedding Soup! Also, try these Roasted Italian Mushrooms, or enjoy this simple and fresh Italian Chicken and Vegetables In Foil.

Steak pizzaiola in a skillet with a wooden spoon.


 

My husband loves Italian food beyond measure. When we lived in Europe, we flew to Rome or Milano every few months just for the food and wine. It was a 59 euro round trip. And we did it all with two small kids in tow. So, to experience authentic Italian cuisine, I present to you our take on the Steak Pizzaiola recipe, also known as Carne Alla Pizzaiola.

This beloved dish features tender sirloin strip steak simmered in a robust pizzaiola sauce, creating a cozy and comforting meal that reminds me of our little family dinners back in Rome. It’s simple to prepare, combining juicy, seared steak with a delicious tomato sauce that pairs perfectly with nice crusty bread and a crisp salad. My family adores this recipe, and it’s become a part of our meal rotation. Ready in just 30 minutes, this protein-packed entrée captures the essence of authentic steak pizzaiola and will always satisfy your cravings for an Italian feast!

For a twist on the traditional, you can also make versions of pizzaiola chicken, similar to my mom’s saucy chicken recipe, to enjoy a different yet equally delicious meal.

What Is Steak Pizzaiola?

Steak Pizzaiola is a classic Italian dish and a classic example of peasant food. It is typically made using a cheaper cut of beef or veal. The meat is seared and then simmered in a garlic-infused tomato sauce reminiscent of a rich pizza sauce—it’s in the name. To enhance the sauce’s flavor, common ingredients like onions, bell peppers, olives, and capers are often added, creating a more complex and dynamic taste.

Ingredients for steak pizzaiola separted into bowls and labeled.

Recipe Ingredients

With this collection of simple ingredients, you can prepare to create a dish featuring tender steak simmered in a flavorful tomato sauce in just half-an-hour! For precise measurements and full instructions, scroll down to the recipe card.

  • Sirloin Steaks – Each steak should be about 1 inch thick. If you have slightly thicker steaks, use a meat mallet to pound them to the proper thickness. You can also opt for cuts like London broil, beef tenderloin, flank steak, or chuck steak.
  • Salt & Black Pepper – Used to season the dish and enhance the flavors.
  • Avocado Oil or Olive Oil – Feel free to use another cooking oil with a higher smoke point. Sunflower oil or canola oil work beautifully.
  • Onions – They add a nice sweetness to the sauce once caramelized. You could use white onions or shallots, too.
  • Garlic – No recipe, especially an Italian one, should be without fresh garlic, but garlic powder can be used instead.
  • Bell Peppers – Any color bell pepper works.
  • Dry White Wine – Deglazes the pan and adds acidity and depth to the sauce. You can use chicken broth instead if you prefer not to use alcohol.
  • Canned Crushed Tomatoes – We will use crushed tomatoes for the pizzaiola sauce to give it a rich tomato flavor. Fresh crushed tomatoes or tomato puree are good alternatives. You could also cook down peeled whole tomatoes.
  • Pitted Green Olives – The olives provide a briny, salty contrast to the sweetness of the sauce.
  • Capers – These will flavor the dish with a tangy and vinegary taste.

How to Make Steak Pizzaiola

All that remains is to season and sear the steaks, simmer them in a rich, delicious sauce, and eat! Follow these simple steps to create a hearty and flavorful dish your family will ask for again and again.

  1. Prep. Season the steak with salt and pepper and let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  2. Sear the steak. Heat some cooking oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the steak for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. Cook the veggies. Heat some more oil in the pan. Add the onion and bell pepper, season with salt, and sauté until softened. Stir in the garlic and sauté until aromatic.
  4. Deglaze the pan. Add the wine. Stir to knock any brown bits off the bottom and sides of the pan and into the sauce. Cook until the wine evaporates.
  5. Make the sauce. Add the crushed tomatoes, olives, and capers. Bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce to a simmer.
  6. Finish the steak. Add the steak to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes on one side. Flip and cook for 2 more minutes.
  7. Serve: Remove from heat; plate it and serve it hot with crusty bread, pasta, and a salad.
Steak pizzaiola served on a plate with a fork near fresh parsley.

Recipe Tips

  • Select a thin cut. It is important that the fillets are close to 1 inch in thickness throughout. If they are slightly thicker (or have thicker parts), feel free to use a meat mallet to pound them to even thickness.
  • Let the steak sit at room temperature. After seasoning the steak, let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Searing a cold piece of meat often produces a tough steak.
  • Don’t crowd the pan. When searing the steak, it is important not to crowd the pan. The steak will not brown properly, will release excess moisture, and will likely end up tough and chewy. If you have a smaller pan, brown the steaks in batches.
  • Use low heat. When finishing the steak in the sauce, cook over medium-low heat. You want the sauce to be just simmering. Tomato-based sauces have a lot of natural sugars and run the risk of burning if cooked over high heat.
  • Use leftover sauce. You could totally use leftover pizza sauce for the delicious pizza style sauce and create a great meal with what you have on hand. Pasta sauce also works!
  • Add herbs. Feel free to add fresh or dried herbs and seasonings – oregano is very popular in steak pizzaiola as is Italian seasoning. You could also mix in red pepper flakes for a bit of a spicy kick.

Serving Suggestions

This delicious entree of carne pizzaiola calls for an equally delicious side dish or two. I love dipping No-Knead Skillet Olive Bread or my Whole Wheat Focaccia Bread into the tomato sauce. Toss together some fresh greens with this Homemade Italian Salad Dressing, or whip up my Green Goddess Salad.

Enjoy this delicious dinner with Crispy Air Fryer Potatoes, Lemon Garlic Oven-Roasted Potatoes, or even these Garlic Butter Hasselback Potatoes. Keep it Italian and serve Steak pizzaiola with Creamy Asparagus Pasta, Olive Pesto Pasta, or this Creamy Tomato One Pot Pasta.

Steak pizzaiola on a serving platter with a serving fork.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

  • Allow the dish to cool to room temperature before sealing it in an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat, allow the steak to thaw in the refrigerator (if applicable), add the leftovers to a large skillet, and cook over medium heat until heated through.

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5 from 13 votes

Steak Pizzaiola

Steak pizzaiola is made with seared steak simmered in a tomato sauce chock-full of onions, bell peppers, olives, and capers.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

  • 4 boneless sirloin steaks,, about 1-inch thick
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil,, divided
  • 2 small yellow onions,, thinly sliced
  • 2 bell peppers,, any color will do, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 cloves garlic,, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup white wine,, or chicken broth if you would prefer not to use alcohol
  • 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup pitted green olives
  • 2 tablespoons capers
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Instructions 

  • Season the steaks with salt and pepper on all sides; let the steaks sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  • In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat 2 tablespoons avocado oil over medium-high heat. Sear the steaks for 2 minutes. Flip and sear for 2 more minutes. Don't crowd the skillet; cook the steaks in batches if your skillet isn't big enough.
  • Remove the steaks from the pan and set aside on a plate; keep them covered.
  • Add the remainder of the avocado oil to the pan. Add the onions and bell peppers to the pan. Season with salt and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes, frequently stirring.
  • Stir in the garlic and cook for 15 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Add the wine to the pan. Stir to scrape up any browned bits off the bottom and sides of the pan and into the sauce. Let the wine cook until it evaporates, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, olives, and capers. Bring the sauce to a boil; then reduce the heat to a steady simmer.
  • Add the steaks to the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Flip the steaks and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and transfer the steaks and sauce to a serving platter.
  • Serve hot with crusty bread, pasta, and a light salad.

Notes

  • Sirloin Steaks: Each steak should be boneless and 1-inch thick, at the most, and weigh about 4 to 5 ounces each. If the steaks are thicker, use a meat mallet to pound them down.
  • Refrain from crowding the pan when searing the steaks because they will not sear properly and will likely be tough and chewy.
  • I prefer using avocado oil for searing and sauteeing, but you can use vegetable oil, canola oil, or any other cooking oil with a high smoke point.
  • I suggest using your favorite drinking white wine. Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay are my favorite choices. If you don’t want to use wine, you can use chicken broth in its place.
  • When finishing the steak in the tomato sauce, cook over medium-low to low heat. You want the sauce to be just simmering. 

Nutrition

Serving: 8ounces | Calories: 414kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 2714mg | Potassium: 1218mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 2432IU | Vitamin C: 99mg | Calcium: 144mg | Iron: 5mg

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.

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