Steak Bites with garlic sauce are the perfect low-key appetizer that delivers big on flavor! The bites of steak get coated with bold spices before a quick stint in a cast-iron skillet to achieve a golden, savory crust. They’re delicious on their own, but add in a creamy roasted garlic aioli, and the entire dish gets taken to a whole new level.
What to Love About These Steak Bites
There’s nothing I love more than a recipe that’s versatile and forgiving—these types of recipes encourage riffing and playing around. What could be better?! Additionally, these steak bites are:
- Make a great appetizer or quick dinner
Plus, when paired with our roasted garlic and rosemary aioli, these bites are undeniably delicious and craveable.
Ingredients You’ll Need for Steak Bites
- Garlic: you’ll need 1 head of garlic for the roasted garlic aioli.
- Olive Oil and Butter: two pantry staples! Olive oil is used to roast the garlic while both olive oil and butter are used to cook the steak bites.
- Mayonnaise: the quickest and easiest way to make aioli at home is to use mayonnaise as the base (instead of making your own).
- Rosemary: you need 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary—that’s quite a bit! Buy 1 package of fresh rosemary then use any leftovers to infuse Sea Salt Caramels with rosemary!
- Lemon: you’ll need one lemon for this recipe. The zest is sprinkled over the steak bites and the juice is used in the aioli.
- Steak: the best cut of steak for steak bites is NY Strip, though you can also use Top Sirloin. You’ll need 2 pounds of steak.
- Spices: for this recipe you’ll need a teaspoon each of onion powder, smoked paprika and kosher salt. You’ll also need ¼ teaspoon of cayenne.
What’s the Best Cut of Steak to Use?
How to Make Steak Bites
Roast the Garlic
Roasting garlic is an easy process—simply trim off the top ¼ inch of the head, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and wrap in foil. Roast for about an hour then squeeze out the soft and sticky cloves.
Make the Aioli
Process the roasted garlic, mayonnaise, rosemary and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth. Make sure to season to taste with salt and pepper.
Prep the Steak Bites
Cut the NY strip steaks into 1 ½-inch pieces. Try not to cut them smaller or they will overcook before they form a flavorful crust! Toss the steak pieces with the spices and salt until coated.
Cook the Steak Bites
Preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. This ensures the pan is adequately and evenly preheated. Add the oil and butter, swirl to coat, then add in half of the steak bites in an even layer.
Cook the steak bites for 1 minute, then flip and bites and cook 1 minute more (for medium doneness). Pour the steak bites onto a serving platter and repeat the cooking process with the remaining bites.
- The beauty of steak bites is that you get a higher crust ratio in every bite compared to a normal steak. To achieve that golden, savory crust without overcooking the steak, it’s important to cut the steak into 1 ½-inch pieces. If you cut them smaller, the steak will end up being overcooked before a crust is formed.
- Avoid overcrowding the skillet. Cook the steak bites in two batches, making sure each batch of steak bites cooks in a single, even layer (no stacking!).
- Steak bites cook fast! I find they only need about 2 minutes in the skillet. To be sure they are done, use an instant-read thermometer to check their internal temperature. Shoot for 115ºF—they will continue to cook a bit after they are removed from the skillet.
Make it a Meal with These Sides
- Pair these steak bites and garlic sauce with any one of our salad recipes. One of our favorites is our 3-ingredient Fennel Salad but a Butter Lettuce Salad or Caesar Salad are also great options.
- Swap out the cayenne in the steak bites for Gochugaru then pair them with this Korean Cucumber Salad.
- Balance out all the savoriness with a fruit salad—try this simple Grape Salad or Savory Citrus Salad.
- Kaiser Rolls are a classic steak house dinner roll but I also love my Cheese Biscuits with these steak bites! Go one step further and pair it all with a dirty martini or my Non-Alcoholic Dirty Martini!
How can I make this dish to get some gravy along with it?
There will be quite a bit of drippings left over in the cast-iron skillet (and there will be some in the dish of cooked steak bites as they cool). Use these drippings to make a quick gravy.
To do so, heat the drippings in the cast-iron skillet over medium and whisk in 2 tablespoons flour and continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the flour is golden.
Slowly whisk in 1 ½ cups chicken or beef broth. Cook, whisking frequently, until it reaches the desired consistency. Season with a splash of white or red wine vinegar, Worcestershire, salt and pepper.
Can This be Made Ahead and Reheated?
We do not recommend making this recipe ahead of time and reheating. Though if you do, follow these instructions on how to reheat steak. These are best made and served fresh. If you want to get ahead on this recipe, prep the spice mixer, cut the steak and make the aioli in advance.
Use any leftover steak bites to make my Steak Hash!
Steak Bites Recipe
Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Aioli
- 1 head garlic
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Kosher salt
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 pounds NY Strip steak, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 350°F with rack set in middle position.
- Trim top ¼-inch off top of garlic head.
- Place garlic, cut-side up on a piece of foil; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Wrap foil around garlic and roast until cloves are deeply golden brown and tender; 50–60 minutes.
- Unwrap garlic and let rest until cool enough to handle. Squeeze cloves out into a mini food processor with ⅓ cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons rosemary and 2 teaspoons lemon juice; blend until mostly smooth. Season aioli to taste with salt and pepper.
- Preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high for 3 minutes.
- Toss steak with 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon cayenne to coat.
- Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon oil to preheated cast-iron skillet. Add half of steak pieces to skillet in an even layer and cook, without moving, for 1 minute. Rotate bites and cook another 1 minute or until a thermometer inserted in centers registers 115ºF. Transfer steak bites to a serving platter then repeat with remaining butter, oil and beef. Top steak bites with lemon zest and serve with aioli.
This post is written and created in partnership with the Iowa Beef Council. As always the thoughts, opinions, recipe, photos and content are all my own.