Braised Steak Pizzaiola with Homemade Sauce

published Aug 12, 2021
Steak Pizzaiola

Enjoy your steak, pizza-style.


Prep10 minutes

Cook1 hour 30 minutes

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Steak Pizzaiola on a plate with red sauce and basil leaf garnish
Credit: Laura Rege

Thinking about steak night? Try something different and give red meat the pizza treatment. Traditionally steak pizzaiola was a dish invented to use up extra pizza sauce and save money by stewing cheaper cuts of beef until tender. Our recipe follows these basic principles, but because not everyone has leftover pizza sauce in their refrigerator, we make a quick homemade version with whole peeled tomatoes, garlic, and oregano. 

Often overlooked as the main attraction, stewing cuts can be as tender and delicious as quick-cooking cuts; they just require a bit more time to get there. Enter: braising. Not only does the low-and-slow method benefit the dish both in flavor and texture, but it also makes planning super easy. Braised dishes can generally be made ahead and then reheated in the sauce to serve. (They often taste even better the next day!)

How Do You Make Steak Pizzaiola?

  • Sear the meat: Cook steaks in a hot skillet until the meat develops a nice golden crust on both sides.
  • Simmer the sauce: In the same skillet, make the sauce (or heat leftover sauce).
  • Get braising: Slowly cook the steaks in sauce until steaks are irresistibly tender.

What’s the Best Cut of Steak for Steak Pizzaiola?

We love sirloin steaks for this recipe. As the steak simmers, it tenderizes and soaks up the flavors of the sauce. In turn the rich flavor of the meat boosts the sauce into an incredible marinara.

Credit: Laura Rege

Can I Make Steak Pizzaiola in the Oven?

The skillet can be transferred to a 350°F oven after returning the steaks to the skillet. Braise in the oven until tender, flipping the steaks halfway through. You could also double the sauce and cook everything in a large pot instead of a skillet. During the last five minutes of cooking, add diced fresh mozzarella on top and sprinkle with Parmesan, then serve with spaghetti.

Steak Pizzaiola

Enjoy your steak, pizza-style.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 4

    (6-ounce) thick boneless sirloin steaks (about 1/2-inch thick)

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 1

    medium yellow onion

  • 5 cloves


  • 2 sprigs

    fresh oregano

  • 1 tablespoon

    tomato paste

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 cup

    dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc

  • 2 cups


  • 1 (28-ounce) can

    whole peeled tomatoes

  • 2 sprigs

    fresh basil


  1. Pat 4 sirloin steaks dry with paper towels and season with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Hheat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy-bottomed skillet until shimmering. Add the steaks and sear until golden-brown, about 5 minutes per side. Meanwhile, finely chop 1 medium yellow onion (about 1 1/2 cups). Thinly slice 5 garlic cloves. Strip the leaves from 2 fresh oregano sprigs and until you have 1/2 packed teaspoon.

  2. Transfer the steaks to a plate. Drain of any excess oil in the skillet if needed. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute.

  3. Add 1/2 cup dry white wine and simmer until almost completely evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add the oregano, 2 cups water, and 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes and their juices. Bring to a boil, stirring often and using a wooden spoon to break up the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces.

  4. Return the steaks to the skillet, nestling them into the tomatoes, and pour in any accumulated juices from the plate. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally and flipping the steaks halfway through, until the steaks are tender, 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes total.

  5. Remove from the heat. Taste and sauce and season with kosher salt and black pepper as needed. Strip the leaves from 2 fresh basil sprigs, tear the leaves, and sprinkle over the pizzaiola.

Recipe Notes

dStorage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.