Flank steak has a reputation for being dry, bland, and tough. But fear not! With just a few simple tricks, you’ll be grilling up these insanely tender and super flavorful flank steak skewers in no time. Sweet burst tomatoes and parsley pesto are the perfect companions for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or crowd-pleasing healthy appetizer.
It’s well past Labor Day and I’m stilling grilling.
Grillin’ and chillin’.
Okay, definitely not chilling with the kids back into the school groove, but I am totally grilling. Such a rebel.
The kids being back in school (and the chaos commensurate with that transition) is the #1 reason to extend the grilling season well into the fall. Quick, easy, nutritious, flavorful meals with minimal effort? Those are the recipes that make my heart beat faster.
So without further adieu I give you these flank steak skewers with burst tomatoes and parsley pesto. Late summer dinner perfection. On a stick!
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How to Make Flank Steak Skewers
Flank and skirt steak are my preferred cuts of meat for grilled skewers. Both cuts are flavorful (when cooked right), versatile, and inexpensive for the “steak” family of cuts. Flank steak is a fairly lean cut of beef, which means it can be a little tough, a little bland, and dries out easily if prepared improperly. But fear not – you’ll be a flank steak grilling pro in no time with these easy tasty tips!
Tenderize the Steak
We’re gonna go ahead and skip the traditional flank steak marinade. I know, but like I said – rebel. Marinades serve the purpose of tenderizing and flavoring lean cuts like flank prior to cooking, but what happens if you forget the marinade?
You simply salt it.
Salt is the classic tenderizer, and it’s also delicious. It both moistens and flavors the steak, resulting in tender, juicy steak that tastes amazing – sans a fancy marinade. Lazy cooks rejoice!
Remove your steak from the packaging and lay onto a flat surface. Sprinkle with a teaspoon (or so) of kosher salt, then rub the salt into the steak. Now walk away. Heat the grill, prep a side dish, take a power nap, do a load of laundry…whatever. Just let the salted steak rest for at least 20 minutes, and up to an hour. The longer you wait, the better it’ll be.
Slice Across the Grain
After your flank steak has had ample time to chill with the salt, it’s time to slice it.
Slice into thin (less than inch, closer to half an inch) strips across the grain. If you’re having trouble slicing the steak try using kitchen shears. Once you have the long strips sliced, cut those into thirds.
Skewer the Steak and Tomatoes
Thread the steak onto some skewers, alternating steak pieces with tiny tomatoes that have been tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Thread the steak by piercing one end, then piercing through the center of the strip, then piercing the end a third time. This will cause the steak to fold in over itself and become more compact. By reducing the surface area, you’ll be rewarded with a perfectly charred exterior and a juicy, medium-rare interior.
Grill, Baby, Grill
Flank steak skewers should be grilled fairy quickly over high heat.
Grill them about 2 minutes per side, for a total of roughly 8 minutes. The steak will be browned and charred on the outside, and the tomatoes will be just about ready to burst.
These flank steak skewers taste amazing on their own dusted with a little bit of extra salt and pepper, and perhaps some chopped parsley, but pesto dipping sauce really makes them next level. And for some reason food on a stick dipped into sauce (even a green one!) makes it tempting for kids.
My dairy free parsley pesto was perfect. It’s vibrant and tangy, and perfect for dipping.
Dietary Accommodations and Variations
- Naturally paleo, Whole30, and gluten free
- Dairy free, peanut free, soy free
- Low carb – just 3 grams of net carbs
- A full serving of Vitamins A and C
- Feel free to use your favorite pesto sauce, or a whole foods store bought variety that you love
- Substitute skirt or sirloin steak
More Recipes You’ll Love
Grilling season is still 100% on, so check out these other grilled recipes from OSK:
- Grilled Skirt Steak Skewers with Dipping Sauce Trio
- Grilled Zucchini Salad with Corn and White Beans
- Grilled Lemon Thyme Chicken Skewers
- Grilled Corn Salad with Peppers and Basil
- Charcoal Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
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Flank Steak Skewers with Tomatoes and Parsley Pesto
Flank steak is a fairly lean cut of beef, so it has a reputation for being a little tough, bland, and dry. But fear not - you can achieve tender and flavorful flanks steak skewers by first tenderizing the steak with salt. Dip these skewers into vibrant parsley pesto for a quick and easy late summer dinner.
- 1.5 lb flank steak
- 1.5 tsp kosher salt divided
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil plus extra for the grill grates
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup parsley pesto
Prepare a grill for high heat. I love my charcoal grill, but a gas grill works well too.
Remove the steak from the fridge and pat with paper towels or cotton kitchen towel until dry. Lay the steak onto a flat surface, sprinkle with one teaspoon kosher salt, then rub the salt into the meat. Set aside to tenderize and come to room temperature, at least 20-25 minutes and up to 1 hour.
Toss the cherry tomatoes with 1 tbsp olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ tsp cracked black pepper.
When the steak is ready, slice into 1/2" to 1" strips against the grain. Depending on the width of your steak, slices those strips into halves or thirds for strips roughly 3" wide and 1/2" thick.
Thread the beef and tomatoes onto the skewers, alternating. To thread the beef, piece one end of the skewer, then pierce again through the center, and once more through the other end so that the steak folds in on itself.
Brush the grill grates with olive oil, then place the skewers onto the grill. Grill 2-3 minutes per side, until the tomatoes and steak are charred, about 8 minutes total for medium rare and 10 minutes total for medium. It's not recommended to cook flank steak beyond medium.
Remove the skewers from the grill, sprinkle with additional salt, pepper, and/or fresh parsley to taste and serve immediately with pesto dipping sauce. This recipe serves 4 as a main course, or up to 12 (one skewer per person) as an appetizer.
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