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Steak Pizzaiola The Easy Way

This Easy Steak Pizzaiola smothered in a flavorful homemade tomato and onion sauce is absolutely irresistible. This is my version of a classic Italian dish but you will find that it is pretty close to the authentic steak pizzaiola you find in most Italian households. This simple recipe is perfect for a quick but tasty weeknight meal!

Sliced flank steak on a white plate covered with a tomato and onion sauce.

Steak Pizzaiola

Pizzaiola simply means that it is cooked pizza style, in a tomato sauce. The recipe is a little different depending on the region of Italy that you come from, but the basic elements are the same.

Pizzaiola originated in Naples many, many years ago when pizza began to become popular. The first pizzas were made with a thin tomato sauce using simple ingredients. The leftover pizza sauce was then used to cook a cheap cut of meat like a chuck roast. What a delicious way to flavor and tenderize meat at the same time.

My mother used to make a delicious steak pizzaiola when we were younger. She cooked a chuck roast or a bone in roast with peeled tomatoes in red wine, onions and cheese. It was delicious but it needed to cook for hours in order for the meat to become tender.

This recipe is much quicker to make since we don’t have to worry about tenderizing the meat. Using tender thinner cuts of meat we can cut the cooking time considerably and create a great meal in minutes rather then hours.

Steak Pizzaiola Ingredients

Ingredients for making steak pizzaiola,: flank steakm diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, white wine, olive oil and herbs.

Sauce ingredients:

I used canned diced tomatoes, sliced yellow onion, garlic, white wine, oregano and basil to make the sauce.

  • White wine – any dry white wine will do.
  • Oregano and basil – I used dry herbs but if you have fresh herbs available feel free to use them. Dried herbs have a more concentrated flavor then fresh herbs so you will need to double the amount called for in the recipe.


  • Flank steak – I love flank steak because it is:
    • tender, so it cooks quickly,
    • it is flavorful and
    • it feeds multiple people or makes enough for leftovers that can be turned into an amazing steak pizzaiola sandwich the next day! Another good option would be a sirloin steak.

How to make Steak Pizzaiola

four photos: sautéing onions, pizzaiola sauce cooking, flank steak cooked in cast iron skillet and the steak sliced on a cutting board.

While the sauce is simmering, I cook the steak in a cast iron skillet. The whole thing is done in less then half an hour and it is delizioso!

The sauce

  1. In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat.
  2. Add the tomatoes and their liquid or puree to the onion. Cook for a minute.
  3. Add the wine to the tomatoes and allow the sauce to come to a boil.
  4. Lower the heat and add oregano, basil, salt and pepper.

The Steak

Season the steak with kosher salt and black pepper.

  1. Season the steak with kosher salt and black pepper.
  2. Cook the steak:
    • On a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
    • Place the steak into a hot skillet and cook undisturbed for 4 minutes.
    • Turn the steak over and cook for another four minutes for rare.
  3. On a grill
    • Grill the steak over medium high heat for 4 minutes per side for rare
    • When the steak is to your liking, remove it to a cutting board let the steak rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Slice the steak at an angle across the grain of the meat into thin slices.
  5. Place the steak in the sauce and let it cook in the sauce, over medium-low heat, for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Transfer the steak to a platter and spoon the sauce on top.

Steak Pizzaiola Variations

  • During my research I came across literally hundreds of recipes for pizzaiola that used chicken, pork, veal, steak and fish. So you can take this basic pizzaiola sauce recipe and pair it any way you like.
  • If you are looking for a version for your vegetarian friends, make this using eggplant or zucchini! Yum!
  • You can spice up the sauce a bit by adding red pepper flakes.
Flank steak slices on a white plate with chunky tomato sauce.

Tips: Steak Cooking Methods and Temperature

Stove Top or Grill

I have made this recipe in a cast iron pan and on the grill. Either way the steak is done in minutes and the searing process adds a lot of flavor to the recipe.

Whether you choose to cook the steak on the grill or in the cast iron pan, if you want the steak to be rare, you will want to cook it for about 4 minutes per side. Since the steak will continue to cook in the sauce, cook it to about 10 degrees below the final temperature you want your steak to be.

Here are the ultimate internal cooking temperatures to help cook the steak exactly to your liking:

Rare: 125 degrees.

Medium rare: 130-135 degrees,

Medium: 140-145 degrees,

Medium well: 150-155%

Well done: 160 degrees.

Slow Cooker

Steak Pizzaiola prepared in a slow cooker is amazing! The meat will simply fall apart because it is so tender from the slow and low cooking process. But if you choose to use this cooking method you should select a larger cut of meat that will benefit from the slow cooking process such as a chuck steak or roast.

  • Pan sear the steak until it is just browned on both sides and transfer to your slow cooker.
  • Prepare the sauce following the stove top method and pour it over the meat.
  • Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 7-8 hours.
  • Season the steak with kosher salt and black pepper.
Flank steak in a tomato and onion sauce on a white plate.

Steak Pizzaiola FAQ’s:

What kind of steak should you use:

You can really use any type of steak you like. This would be fantastic made with rib eye, London broil, sirloin or chuck roast. If you choose a tender cut of meat, the cooking process will be quite short. If you select a cut such as a chuck roast then you will need to cook the meat longer in the sauce so that it tenderizes it. I decided to make this with flank steak as it is a tender cut of meat that can be cooked quickly.

How do you store and freeze this steak?

Leftovers can should be placed in an air-tight container and refrigerated. The flavors are even better the next day and they make a great steak sandwich! It freezes well. Just make sure to place it in an air-tight freezer-safe container and it will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.

What can you serve with steak pizzaiola?

This recipe make a simple steak dinner when paired with a crisp salad and a loaf of crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce. You can also serve this over pasta or with mashed or roasted potatoes.

Sliced Flank Steak with tomato and onion pizzaiola sauce on a white plate

Steak Pizzaiola Recipe

This is a simple Italian dish of steak prepared in a pizza style sauce. Any meat or fish can be prepared in this manner for a delicious main course.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 374 kcal


  • 1 ½ lbs. Flank Steak
  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 Onion sliced thin
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 28 oz. Tomatoes diced in juice
  • ½ cup White wine dry
  • ½ tsp. Oregano dried
  • ½ tsp. Basil dried
  • ½ tsp. Salt kosher
  • ¼ tsp. Black Pepper ground


  • Start by seasoning a flank steak with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic .
  • Add the tomatoes and their liquid or puree to the onion. Cook for a minute.
  • Add the wine to the tomatoes and allow the sauce to come to a boil.
  • Lower the heat and add oregano, basil, slat and pepper. Allow the sauce to cook at a slow boil. The sauce will begin to thicken slightly.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet until it is hot. Add a tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Place the steak into the hot skillet and cook undisturbed for 4 minutes. Turn the steak over and cook for another four minutes for rare.
  • Remove the steak to a cutting board and tent it with foil. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes. Slice the steak at an angle across the grain.
  • Transfer the steak to the sauce and let it cook in the sauce for 3-4 minutes. Transfer the steak to a platter and spoon the sauce on top.


Serving: 4servingsCalories: 374kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 39gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 342mgPotassium: 1132mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1698IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 80mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Steak, tomato, tomato sauce, pizzaiola, dinner, easy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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