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How To Cook Flank Steak To Perfection (& Meal Ideas)

By Nick Holt / July 3, 2018

Pan-seared flank steak is one of my absolute favorite recipes. It’s a delicious and relatively inexpensive cut of beef that’s very nutritious and simple to make. The best part is that you don’t need a grill or any fancy equipment. All you’ll need is a few basic spices, a pan, and a stove.

What Makes Flank Steak So Good?

Red meat in general (especially 100% grass-fed beef) is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. That statement is tough to refute nutritionally.

Flank steak, which is a lean cut of beef from the belly of the cow, is a great, flavorful piece of meat that you can put on salads or tacos, or eat as a snack. Because flank steak is leaner, it has fewer calories per gram when compared to other cuts of beef.

As with all cuts of beef, you get a high amount of protein with zero grams of carbohydrates. Additionally, red meat is a great source of B-vitamins, iron, zinc, selenium, and other micronutrients that are very beneficial to your body.

Flank Steak Recipe Facts

This recipe makes 6 4-oz. servings of steak.

Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
5 minutes 10-12 minutes 15-17 minutes

Flank Steak Nutrition Information

Nutrition info per 4 oz. serving (about the size of a deck of cards):

Calories 219 cal
Fat 9.4g
Carbs 0g
Protein 31.4g

I normally eat about 2 servings per meal.

Pan-seared Flank Steak Ingredients

Amount Ingredient
1.5 lbs. Flank Steak
1-2 TBSP Garlic powder
1-2 TBSP Salt
1-2 TBSP Black pepper
Enough to coat pan Coconut oil / Butter

Pan-seared Flank Steak Cooking Instructions

Step 1: Coat each side of the steak with a generous amount of garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside for 10-20 minutes.

Step 2: Heat stove top to medium heat. Add oil.

Step 3: Sear meat on each side for 3-7 minutes depending on thickness of cut. For thinner cuts, aim for the lower range of 3-4 minutes. Thicker cuts will require 5-7 minutes per side. Since flank steak is not the most tender cut of beef, you want to avoid cooking past medium.

Step 4: Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

Important note: Make sure you cut the steak against the grain, which you can see on the meat. See image below.

Make Flank Steak A Complete Meal

For a complete meal, you can pair this perfectly cooked flank steak with:

1. A baked sweet potato and steamed broccoli.
2. Two corn tortillas, salsa fresca, avocado, and a big salad.
3. Baked spaghetti squash, sautéed mushrooms, and your favorite pasta sauce.

Can You Stay Lean & Healthy Eating Red Meat?

Absolutely. Wait a minute you say – I thought red meat leads to higher rates of cancer? I thought red meat is really bad for you?

Not so fast.

It seems like every year there’s a new study that comes out linking red meat to cancer. But if you were to look at the actual studies, and read past the sensational headlines, you’d find that there actually isn’t much evidence linking red meat to cancer or any other major disease.

This topic a bit beyond the scope of this article, but if you want to read more you should check out this article discussing whether grassfed beef is worth the extra money.

My personal opinion is that quality red meat consumed in moderation is perfectly fine. I usually eat red meat a few times per week.

Is There A Difference Between Grass-fed Beef and Conventional Beef?

Yes. All cows start their lives eating grass and drinking milk. After about 12 months, cattle that are raised in conventional large-scale industrial farms, sometimes referred to as CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) are then given a diet of corn- and soy-based feed. In addition to this unnatural diet, they are often given antibiotics to survive the less-than-sanitary environment.

On the other hand, grass-fed cattle are allowed to roam free and eat a predominantly natural diet of grass. Some “grass-fed” meat is finished with grains, meaning the cattle are fed grains for a few months at the very end to increase the fat content of the meat.

Without going into too much detail, the main reason you want to eat “grass-fed” beef instead of grain-fed is because the fatty acid composition in grass-fed beef is better for you (grass-fed beef has more Omega-3 vs Omega-6 fatty acids).1

Also, grass-fed beef tends to be lower in fat and therefore lower in calories.2
Overall, it has a number of higher-level of beneficial nutrients than the grain-fed beef.3

Give this recipe a shot and let me know what you think in the comments! Do you eat red meat? I’d love to know why or why not.