Easy Steak Pizzaiola Recipe (Carne Alla Pizzaiola)

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Easy Steak Pizzaiola Recipe (Carne Alla Pizzaiola)– is a super easy meal in under 30 minutes. It is a classic Italian dish with tender, thin, seared steak cooked in a robust tomato sauce with briny green olives and capers, providing a savory and vibrant dish!

Serve with Homemade Ciabatta Bread and a simple green salad. Buon appetito.

close up ofplatted steak pizzaiola recipe in a white dish with fresh basil as a garnish.
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This authentic steak pizzaiola recipe is great for a dinner party, a special occasion, or a simple weeknight meal for the whole family. It tastes like an Italian restaurant and is easy for any home cook to make.

Steak Pizzaiola or Carne all Pizzaiola translates as “meat pizza style.” Originating from the region of Naples, it is usually made with a cheap cut of meat and served in a rich garlicky tomato sauce with oregano and basil. It is a simple, humble, and irresistible dinner!

You will also like my pan-fried steaks recipe and homemade marinara sauce.

platted steak pizzaiola recipe in a white dish with bread on the side to serve.

Simple Ingredients

ingredient shot
  • Sirloin steaks (about 1/4 inch thick)
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh garlic cloves
  • Crushed tomatoes (San Marzano-style tomatoes) 
  • Dried oregano
  • Fresh basil
  • Red pepper flakes (adjust to your preferred level of spiciness)
  • Red wine (optional)
  • Green olives
  • Capers
  • Fresh basil leaves and oregano sprigs for garnish

See the recipe card for quantities and full printable recipe.

How to Make Steak Pizzaiola Step-by-Step Photos

After you sear the steak, it is stewed in a delicious tomato pizzaiolo sauce! It is a great meal for any night of the week!

How to make steak pizzaiola step by step- patting the steaks dry.

Pat steaks dry with clean paper towels to remove any excess moisture.

How to make steak pizzaiola step by step- seasoning steak.

Season the steaks generously with salt and pepper on both sides.

How to make steak pizzaiola step by step- frying steak in a pan.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the steaks and sear them for about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side or until they are nicely browned. This step will give the steaks a nice crust. Once seared, remove the steaks from the skillet and set them aside.

How to make steak pizzaiola step by step- adding the tomato sauce and seasonings to the pan.

Add the minced garlic and sauté for about 1 minute in the same skillet until fragrant. Scrap the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
Pour in the crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, fresh basil, and red pepper flakes. If you’re using red wine, add it at this stage. Stir well to combine all the flavors.

How to make steak pizzaiola step by step- adding the olives and capers.

Stir in the green olives and capers.
Place the seared steaks back into the skillet, nestling them into the tomato sauce along with the olives and capers. Spoon some of the sauce over the steaks.
Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet with a lid, and let the steaks simmer in the sauce for about 15 minutes, or until the steaks are cooked to your desired level of doneness, and the flavors meld together.

Once the steaks are cooked, remove them from the skillet and place them on serving plates.
Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if needed. If the sauce is too thick, you can add a splash of water to thin it out. If it is too thin, add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. 

platted steak pizzaiola recipe in a white dish with bread on the side to serve.

Kind of Steak for Steak Pizzaiola Recipe

Steak Pizzaiola’s steak choice largely depends on your personal preferences and budget. Many of these are cheap cuts of meat. Here are a few options that work well for this dish:

  1. Ribeye: Ribeye steak is known for its rich marbling and tenderness, making it a popular choice for many steak dishes. The marbling adds flavor and juiciness to the Steak Pizzaiola.
  2. Sirloin: Sirloin steak is leaner than ribeye but still offers good flavor. It’s a more budget-friendly option while maintaining a nice balance between tenderness and texture.
  3. New York Strip: New York strip steak is well-marbled and flavorful, balancing tenderness and beefy taste.
  4. Flat Iron: Flat iron steak is becoming increasingly popular for its excellent flavor and tenderness. It’s relatively affordable and works well with the bold flavors of the Pizzaiola sauce.

Spoon the sauce, green olives, and capers over the steaks and garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serve the Steak Pizzaiola hot. It pairs well with a side of crusty bread.

Substitutions

  • Vegan/Vegetarian: Replace the steaks with portobello mushrooms, tofu, or seitan for a vegan or vegetarian version.
  • Gluten-Free: Serve the Steak Pizzaiola with gluten-free pasta or alongside roasted vegetables for a gluten-free option.

Variations

There are various ways to customize and adapt the Steak Pizzaiola recipe to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs. Here are a few variations you might consider:

  • Mushroom Medley: Add a variety of sautéed mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake, or portobello, to the sauce for an earthy flavor and added texture.
  • Bell Peppers: Sauté diced red, green, and yellow bell peppers and garlic for extra sweetness and color. Even sundried tomatoes would taste great!
  • Fresh Herbs: Instead of dried herbs, use fresh basil, oregano, or thyme for a burst of herbal freshness.
  • Protein Substitutions: Try the recipe with chicken breasts or pork chops instead of steak for a different protein option.
  • Spicier Kick: Increase the amount of red pepper flakes or add a pinch of chili powder for a spicier version.
  • Creamy Twist: Stir in a touch of heavy cream or coconut milk at the end to create a creamy tomato sauce.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: Add a splash of balsamic vinegar to the sauce for a slightly tangy and complex flavor profile.
steak pizzaiola on a plate with a fork.

Equipment

Storage

To store Steak Pizzaiola, cool the dish to room temperature before separating the steak from the sauce to preserve its texture.

Place both components in airtight containers or resealable bags, ensuring proper sealing to prevent leaks. Refrigerate the dish for 3-4 days. For long-term storage, freeze the sauce separately in freezer-safe containers or bags for up to 2-3 months.

Thaw the frozen sauce in the refrigerator before gently reheating on the stovetop. Remember that reheating may slightly alter the texture of the steak due to moisture from the sauce.

Top tips

  • You can use any steak you like for this recipe. For best results, use a quick-cook steak and not stew beef.
  • Vary the olives and use black olives. You can omit the capers if they aren’t your taste.
steak pizzaiola on a plate with a fork.

FAQs

What does “Pizzaiola” mean in Italian?

“Pizzaiola” refers to a cooking style inspired by the flavors used in pizza-making. It often involves tomatoes, garlic, herbs, capers, and olives, as seen in Steak Pizzaiola. You can even use leftover pizza sauce to make this delicious steak pizzaiola.

Can I use different types of meat for Pizzaiola?

Yes, you can adapt the recipe to use other types of meat, such as chicken breasts (chicken pizzaiola), pork chops, or even fish. Adjust cooking times accordingly to ensure proper doneness.

Can I make this dish without olives and capers?

Yes, you can omit the olives and capers if you prefer. These ingredients contribute to a specific flavor profile, but the dish will still be tasty without them.

Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:

What to Serve with Steak Pizzaiola

These are my favorite dishes to serve with Steak Pizzaiola:

Make sure to leave a ⭐️star rating on the recipe card and comment below if you make the recipe. I love to connect with you through my recipes.

I would love for you to tag me on Instagram @cucinabyelena so I can see your delicious Italian recipes. To get more ideas, follow me on Pinterest.

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Easy Steak Pizzaiola Recipe (Carne Alla Pizzaiola)

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5 from 5 reviews

Easy Steak Pizzaiola Recipe (Carne Alla Pizzaiola)– is a super easy meal in under 30 minutes. It is a classic Italian dish with tender, thin, seared steak cooked in a robust tomato sauce with briny green olives and capers, providing a savory and vibrant dish!

  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 4 boneless sirloin steaks (thin- about 1/4 inch thick)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes (San Marzano)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to your preferred level of spiciness)
  • 1/4 cup red wine, or beef broth
  • 1/4 cup green olives, pitted and whole
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • Fresh basil leaves and oregano sprigs, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Pat steaks dry with clean paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Season the steaks generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the steaks and sear them for about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side or until they are nicely browned. This step will give the steaks a nice crust. Once seared, remove the steaks from the skillet and set them aside.
  3. Add the minced garlic and sauté for about 1 minute in the same skillet until fragrant. Scrap the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
  4. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, fresh basil, and red pepper flakes. If you’re using red wine, add it at this stage. Stir well to combine all the flavors.
  5. Stir in the green olives and capers.
  6. Place the seared steaks back into the skillet, nestling them into the tomato sauce along with the olives and capers. Spoon some of the sauce over the steaks.
  7. Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet with a lid, and let the steaks simmer in the sauce for about 15 minutes, or until the steaks are cooked to your desired level of doneness, and the flavors meld together.
  8. Once the steaks are cooked, remove them from the skillet and place them on serving plates.
  9. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if needed. If the sauce is too thick, you can add a splash of water to thin it out. If it is too thin, you can add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. 
  10. Spoon the sauce, green olives, and capers over the steaks and garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serve the Steak Pizzaiola hot. It pairs well with a side of crusty bread.
  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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10 Comments

  1. this was the best recipe I have used. everyone loved the olives and capers addition to the sauce. I used chuck steaks eye cut, it was amazing !






  2. The Pizzaiola recipe was superb. Made it tonight. Nice easy to follow instructions. The blend of flavours from the tomato sauce, the olives and the capers was outstanding. Will make this again. My husband loved it🥰






  3. I made this for the first time earlier this week. It was amazing! I’m making another batch tonight (prepping meals for the week), and adding mushrooms and a little balsamic vinegar this time. It was quick and easy, perfect for a busy weeknight.






  4. My family loved this super easy dish. I added a splash of good balsamic vinegar near the end of cooking which elevated the flavors even more.
    Cosí buono!