Skillet Steak Peperonata

This skillet steak peperonata uses the popular Italian sweet pepper, onion, garlic, and vinegar condiment to jazz up budget-friendly sirloin steak for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

A cast-iron pan filled with skillet steak peperonata and two slices of toasted baguette.

Peperonata is a delectable Italian condiment that I married with steak for a taste that’s reminiscent of a great pepper steak sandwich. When teamed with an ample mix of sweet peppers, a single steak can make a steak supper for four that’s light and a little unexpected. Top round steak is wonderfully lean with excellent beefy flavors that would work with this bold combination. You could instead use tri-tip steak, which has a pleasingly coarse texture, for this rustic supper. Serve this colorful sauté with orzo, polenta, or spaghetti squash. You could go all the way and turn this into a submarine sandwich on a toasted roll, seeing as this recipe makes ample peperonata to load the sub up.–Lynne Curry

Can I substitute green peppers in the Peperonata?

A word of caution: Don’t use green bell peppers in this peperonata. We know, some of you love your green bell peppers. And that’s terrific, in a lot of instances. But red, yellow, and orange bell peppers have a distinctly different flavor profile, one whose sweet notes meld marvelously with the other ingredients here. The rather unique smack of green bell peppers? Not so much.

Skillet Steak Peperonata

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 30 M
  • 45 M
  • Serves 4
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Preheat the oven to 250°F (121°C).

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to turn limp and barely brown at the edges, about 8 minutes.

Add the garlic, salt, paprika, and pepper flakes, and cook until it becomes fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce, parsley, and vinegar and cook until the sauce thickens to nearly a paste and the peppers are tender, about 10 minutes. Spoon the peperonata mixture into a heatproof bowl and place it in the oven to keep warm.

Wipe out the skillet and return it to medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and heat until it shimmers. Meanwhile, pat the steak dry and season it liberally on both sides with the salt and pepper. Toss the steak in the skillet and let it cook, untouched, until nicely browned, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. 

Using tongs, flip it and let it brown on the second side, an additional 3 to 3 1/2 minutes for medium-rare. (If you prefer to cook the steak to medium or beyond, slide the skillet off the burner and let the steak rest in the skillet for 1 to 3 minutes and the residual heat will continue to cook it.) Move the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Slice the steak across the grain into strips about 1/4 inch thick. Divvy the steak slices among plates and top with the peperonata. Originally published July 17, 2013.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

I’m singing because this meal of skillet steak with peperonata was so good! Delectable, simple, and versatile. And it was so easy to prepare. It’s incredibly healthful, and yet it seems incredibly sinful.

For the sauce, I used canned tomato sauce and red wine vinegar. Smoked paprika was unobtainable but regular paprika worked well. The sauce comes together quickly, and keeping it warm in the oven while sautéing the steak ensures a hot dish. The sauce keeps well which makes it a perfect “make ahead” dinner—just make the sauce the day before or earlier in the day and sauté the steak just prior to serving it.

I spooned the peperonata over rustic smashed potatoes and it was delicious. This sauce would also be great over pork chops or chicken. I absolutely love this dish! I’m already planning to make it again. It would be perfect to serve to guests.

You really can’t go wrong with this skillet steak with peperonata recipe. If I could rate the peperonata alone, I'd give it a 15 on a scale of 1 to 10. That stuff is so addictive. I can see using it with many other dishes. I believe it takes longer to prep all the vegetables than it takes to actually cook the whole recipe.

I cooked the steak 3 1/2 minutes on the first side and only 3 minutes on the second side. It was perfect. I used regular canned tomato sauce for this recipe, which I made twice. The first time I served it over cheesy polenta along with some fresh green beans and it was very nice. The next time we made sandwiches, using hard rolls and topping everything with provolone cheese and it was even better.


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