Steak Pizzaiola is a rustic peasant-style beef dish that combines mushrooms, peppers, and beef that’s braised in a pizza-style sauce that’s so good it’s almost drinkable! Since we use inexpensive cuts of beef for our alla pizzaiola, this dish packs maximum flavor with minimal cost.

Pan with steak pizzaiola and block of parmesan cheese on wood table.


Editor’s Note: Originally published on January 29, 2019. Updated with expanded information and all new photos.

Growing up, steak pizzaiola, or “pizza maker’s steak” was something my mom made often and a dish that can be found in many Italian-American restaurants in the New York metro area.

It’s also one of the Italian-American dishes made even more famous by Ray Romano who had an affinity for his mom’s steak pizzaiola in his sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond.

While many high-end restaurants will use expensive cuts of beef, such as dry-aged ribeyes, I prefer a more economical peasant-style version of alla pizzaiola using chuck steaks.

It’s not only budget-friendly, but braising the beef in the pizzaiola sauce for a few hours yields super tender meat with tremendous flavor!

If you love the pizza-style combination of oregano, tomato, peppers, and mushrooms, check out my chicken pizzaiola recipe as well!

Want to learn more?  We discuss the roots of this dish, cooking methods, and variations in episode 20 of The Sip and Feast Podcast – Steak Pizzaiola: The Affordable Steak Dinner Solution.

Recipe Ingredients

All ingredients for this recipe are shown in the pic below and special notes are made in this bulleted list to assist you.

Ingredients shown: stuck cheaks, red bell pepper, mushrooms, oregano, basil, garlic, olive oil, beef stock, white wine, red pepper flakes, and plum tomatoes.
  • Steak. I use chuck steaks for this recipe because they’re budget-friendly and hold up really well to the braising method outlined in the recipe. If you can’t find chuck, you can use top or bottom round, or blade steaks. And while you can use more expensive cuts of beef, I’m a big believer that a really good steak needs little beyond salt, pepper, and maybe some rosemary as illustrated in my reverse-seared ribeye recipe.
  • Olive oil. Opt for regular olive oil over extra virgin due to the heat needed to sear the steaks.
  • Wine. Opt for a dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Mushrooms. I used cremini mushrooms, also known as baby bellas. They have a great texture and flavor that pairs perfectly with steak and we use these in our beef marsala recipe as well. You can use white button mushrooms or any mushroom you’d like.
  • Bell peppers. I love red bell peppers with bistecca alla pizzaiola, but feel free to use orange or yellow if you prefer.
  • Tomatoes. Hand-crush your canned tomatoes, or use a can of already crushed tomatoes. Hand-crushing will allow for greater variation of texture so use whichever you prefer.
  • Beef stock. Either use your own homemade beef stock, or opt for an on-demand stock using beef base, such as Better Than Bouillon, dissolved in water (follow the instructions on the package).
  • Dried oregano. This is a key ingredient and one that gives steak pizzaiola its distinct “pizza maker” flavor!

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. Hand-crush a 28-ounce can of plum tomatoes and set aside. Slice 1 red bell pepper and 8 ounces of cremini mushrooms. Chop 15 cloves of garlic and set aside. (Photo #1)
  2. Pound 4 boneless chuck steaks (roughly 3 pounds total) to 1/2″ thick, then pat dry with paper towels and season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides (Photo #2).
4 part steak pizzaiola process shot collage showing hand crushing tomatoes, seasoning the steaks, searing the steaks, and sauteeing the mushrooms and peppers.
  1. Heat a large heavy pan to a touch higher than medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sear the steaks on both sides until well browned, then move to a plate and set aside (Photo #3).
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the same pan along with the mushroom and pepper slices. (Photo #4).
  3. Cook the peppers and mushrooms for 7-10 minutes or until soft and browned (Photo #5).
  4. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes or until fragrant and lightly golden (Photo #6).
Process collage group number two showing seasoning the mushrooms, adding garlic, deglazing the pan, and simmering with plum tomatoes.
  1. Add 1/2 cup of dry white wine along with 1/2 cup of low-sodium beef stock and turn the heat up to high for 2 minutes to cook off the alcohol, then reduce the heat to medium-low (Photo #7).
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes to the pan, give it a stir, and bring to a lively simmer. (Photo #8).
  3. Taste test the sauce and add salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Add 1 teaspoon of dried oregano. (Photo #9).
  4. Return the steaks to the pan and ensure they’re covered with the sauce (Photo #10).
Process shot collage group three showing seasoning with oregano, adding the chuck steaks to pan, simmering with covered lid, and testing the finished dish.
  1. Cover the pan with a lid and cook over a low simmer until very tender, about 90-120 minutes. Flip the steaks every 30 minutes to ensure even cooking. At the 60-90 minute mark, check for tenderness and if the sauce is too thick, add a bit of water to loosen it up (Photo #11).
  2. After 2 hours the beef should be very tender and you can turn off the heat. Use a spoon or use the paper towel method to remove some of the fat. You can even use slices of white bread to absorb the fat. (Photo #12). Plate the steak pizzaiola and top with hand-torn fresh basil and serve with grated cheese and crusty bread to mop up the sauce. Enjoy!
White plate with cut piece of steak pizzaiola and lots of garlic cloves.

Top tips

  • Pound the steak. Pound them to around a 1/2″ thick using a meat mallet so that the steaks will braise equally and all be tender at the same time. If you are cutting individual steaks from a large chuck roast this step is more important.
  • Skim the fat. When braising any type of beef with a high-fat content, such as braised short ribs, it’s important to skim the fat off the top to prevent a greasy sauce. You can do this in multiple ways. Use a spoon, bulb blaster, or the paper towel method, or even by laying pieces of white bread on top of the sauce. You can also place ice cubes into a ladle and move the cup side around the top of the sauce. The fat will cling to the bottom of the ladle. Wipe it off and repeat until most of the fat has been removed.
  • Double the sauce! If you’d like to serve your steak pizzaiola with pasta, simply double the amount of tomatoes and you’ll have plenty extra!

Frequently Asked Questions

What to serve with steak pizzaiola?

Steak pizzaiola is great with a side of pasta in the same pizza-style sauce, or some crusty bread to mop up the sauce. A side of greens such as sauteed spinach with garlic and oil, or garlicky sauteed broccoli rabe would also be great.

What does pizzaiola mean?

Pizzaiola is an Italian word that roughly translates to “in the pizza style” and typically refers to meat prepared with tomatoes, garlic, white wine, and sometimes peppers, mushrooms, or other vegetables.

What should I do with leftover steak pizzaiola?

Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container and can be reheated on the stovetop or in the oven.

Steak pizzaiola in pan with large fork and basil leaves.

More braised beef recipes

If tender braised beef sounds like heaven to you, check out these other fantastic beef recipes!

If you’ve enjoyed this steak pizzaiola recipe or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and tell us about it in the comments below.

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Steak Pizzaiola

5 from 27 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 2 hours 20 minutes
Total: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Steak pizzaiola combines peppers, mushrooms, and chuck steaks that are braised until tender in a garlicky tomato-oregano sauce. Best served with plenty of crusty bread to mop up the delicious pizza-style sauce!

Ingredients 

  • 4 boneless chuck steaks flattened to 1/2" thick, about 3 pounds total
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper sliced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms sliced
  • 15 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 28 ounce can plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup low sodium beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 large basil leaves chopped

Instructions 

  • Pound the chuck steaks to approximately 1/2" thick.
  • Heat a large heavy pan to a touch higher than medium heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Pat the steaks very dry and liberally season with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear the steaks in the hot pan until well browned on both sides then remove the steaks to a plate.
  • Add the remaining olive oil to the pan along with the mushrooms and peppers. Saute until soft and brown (about 7-10 minutes) then add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes or until lightly golden.
  • Add the hot red pepper flakes and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Add the beef stock and wine and turn the heat to high for 2 minutes to cook off the alcohol.  After 2 minutes reduce heat to medium-low and add the tomatoes to the pan and stir together.  Bring the sauce to a lively simmer. Taste test and add salt and pepper to taste along with the dried oregano.
  • Add the steaks to the pan and cover with the lid. Cook over a low simmer until very tender (90-120 minutes). Flip the steaks every 30 minutes to ensure even cooking. If the sauce starts to dry out during the braising process, just add a few ounces of water to the pan.
  • Once the steaks are very tender, turn off the heat and taste test one more time, adjusting salt and pepper if required. There will be a good amount of fat in the sauce that has risen to the top. If you like, you can spoon it out, or use paper towels. Simply lay the paper towels on top of the sauce and lift. The fat will adhere to the paper towels. Repeat until the sauce looks
  • Top with fresh basil and serve with grated Pecorino Romano and crusty bread to mop up the amazing sauce. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Tough cuts of beef, pounded thin, like top round and bottom round work just as well as chuck steaks.  Bone in chuck steaks also work great for this dish.
  • The sauce can easily be doubled for pasta.  
  • Removing the fat can be accomplished in a few different ways.  Laying paper towels on top of the sauce and discarding until the sauce no longer looks fatty is the quickest way to remove fat from a sauce like this.  You can also skim the fat with a spoon or use multiple other methods.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and can be reheated on the stovetop or in the oven.

Nutrition

Calories: 741kcal | Carbohydrates: 11.9g | Protein: 74.2g | Fat: 41.8g | Saturated Fat: 13.2g | Cholesterol: 240mg | Sodium: 211mg | Potassium: 1066mg | Fiber: 2.2g | Sugar: 7.2g | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 10mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!Check us out on Instagram at @sipandfeast or tag #sipandfeast!

This recipe was originally published on January 29, 2019. It was completely updated on September 19, 2023.

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50 Comments

  1. Looks great James!…Question: can I cook this by putting my pan into an oven, and if so what temp should I use and for how long?

    Or should I make this in a Dutch oven ,and again if so what temp and for how long?

    Great job as always keep up the good work waiting for the cookbook!!

    1. Hi Thomas, you can braise this in the oven (covered) until tender at 300-325f until fork tender, which depending on the thickness could be 1 hour 45 minutes to 3 hours.

  2. 5 stars
    I just made this tonight and it was amazing! I have to admit, I put in waaaay more mushrooms because I love them. Nonetheless, this was so good I’ll definitely be making it again! Thank you, S&P for this recipe! I made another recipe from your show and site previously, and it was also a hit. This has become my first stop for what to make

  3. I had a 1# flat iron steak. So tonight I seared it 2 min on each side. Made the sauce, then sliced up the rare steak and finished It to med in the sauce over low heat. A couple of sliced up picked pepperoncini peppers were added. Saw that in another recipe. So good. Looking forward to the leftovers.