Steak is more than just a dinner option; a perfectly grilled or pan-seared steak is a culinary masterpiece in its own right!
But the true magic of a steak dinner often lies in the toppings.
Think of steak toppings as the supporting actors in a blockbuster movie. They might not be the star, but they sure can steal the show.
And just like pairing wine with a meal, the right topping can elevate your steak from simple to sublime.
From the lasting appeal of beloved classics to the adventurous allure of unexpected delights, a treasure trove of flavors awaits your discovery.
So prepare to set sail, meat lovers, as we explore this ocean of delectable steak topping ideas.
Basic Steak Toppings: Foundational Flavors
Ah, the classics. Sometimes simple is best, and these are the toppings you've probably tried or at least heard of.
Easy to prepare and universal in appeal, these basic toppings serve as the cornerstone of steak dinners.
They're reliable options, whether you're a steak-cooking novice or a seasoned grillmaster.
Recommended Recipe: Melt a stick of butter and mix in three minced garlic cloves. Simmer on low heat until fragrant.
Pro Tip: Use unsalted butter to avoid excess saltiness, especially if your steak is already salted.
Simple A1 Steak Sauce
For those who enjoy a tangy kick, this classic store-bought sauce is a quick and effective way to flavor your steak.
And when it comes to choosing the best steak topping sauce for a last-minute barbecue, this is your go-to.
Recommended Recipe: Don’t want to buy A1 steak sauce at the store? Make it at home by combining ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, and spices, then simmering until thickened.
Pro Tip: Use the sauce sparingly to avoid overpowering the natural steak flavor.
Salt and Pepper With Olive Oil
This is the purist's topping: salt, pepper, and olive oil. Combined, these create a simple but powerful trio that enhances without overshadowing — the perfect grilled steak topping.
Recommended Recipe: Combine a dash of sea salt, a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper, and a drizzle of high-quality olive oil.
Pro Tip: You can also apply this topping before grilling to allow the flavors to meld with the meat.
Herb-Based Steak Toppings: The Natural Enhancers
Looking for steak topping ideas that elevate your cut without overshadowing it?
These herb-based options are for you. Herbs can bring a vibrant and aromatic quality to your steak that chemical additives simply can't replicate.
And herb-based toppings provide a delicate balance of flavor and fragrance, perfectly complementing the meat's natural richness. They also add a dash of green to brighten up your plate.
This Argentinian sauce combines parsley, garlic, and vinegar for a tangy, herbaceous flavor.
Recommended Recipe: Mix finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, red or white wine vinegar, and a dash of red pepper flakes.
Pro Tip: Prepare it a few hours in advance to let the flavors meld.
An Italian classic, pesto adds a rich, nutty, and herby profile to your steak.
Recommended Recipe: Blend together basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil.
Pro Tip: If you don't like the strong flavor of basil, you can swap it out with kale and spinach.
Rosemary-Infused Olive Oil
This topping is a minimalistic way to add a touch of earthy aroma to your steak.
Recommended Recipe: Heat olive oil and add fresh rosemary sprigs. Let it infuse on low heat for about 30 minutes.
Pro Tip: Don't let the oil boil; it should be hot but not smoking to maintain its nutrients.
Cheese-Based Steak Toppings: Indulgent and Creamy
Cheese and steak might sound like a rich combination, and it is — in the best way.
Cheese serves as an indulgent and creamy complement to the hearty nature of steak. From blue cheese to cream cheese steak toppings, the options are endless.
And there’s nothing better than a steak with a cheese topping. Don’t believe us? Try the options below and let your palate be the judge.
Cream Cheese Blends
A blank canvas for flavors, cream cheese can be spruced up with a variety of herbs and spices.
Recommended Recipe: Mix softened cream cheese with garlic, chives, and a touch of lemon zest.
Pro Tip: Let the blend rest in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavors sink in.
Blue Cheese Crumbles
Bold and tangy, blue cheese adds a sharp contrast to your steak’s savory profile.
Recommended Recipe: Simply crumble good-quality blue cheese over your cooked steak.
Pro Tip: Choose a milder blue cheese if you're not used to its strong flavor.
This hard Italian cheese provides a salty and nutty flavor that’s perfect for a ribeye.
Recommended Recipe: Shave fresh parmesan over your steak immediately after cooking.
Pro Tip: Use a vegetable peeler for thin, even shavings.
Gourmet Steak Toppings: For Those Special Occasions
When you're celebrating a milestone or simply want to make dinner an extraordinary affair, gourmet steak toppings are the way to go.
Often incorporating richer ingredients and requiring a bit more culinary finesse, these are not just toppings for grilled steak — they're conversation starters.
And if you’re on the hunt for the best gourmet steak topping sauce recipes for those special moments, you're in the right place.
Truffle butter provides a rich, earthy, umami kick, turning an ordinary steak into a luxurious treat.
Recommended Recipe: Combine softened unsalted butter with a teaspoon of truffle oil or truffle shavings.
Pro Tip: A little goes a long way; don’t overpower the steak with too much truffle. If you want more truffle flavors without adding truffle to your steak, pair it with truffle fries instead.
Here’s a rich, creamy, and tangy steak sauce topping that’s perfect for a tender cut like a filet mignon.
Recommended Recipe: Combine melted butter, egg yolks, white wine vinegar, and tarragon and cook over a double boiler until thickened.
Pro Tip: Constant whisking is crucial to avoid curdling.
Red Wine Reduction
This sophisticated sauce adds a depth of flavor that feels straight out of a high-end restaurant.
Recommended Recipe: Simmer red wine, beef stock, and shallots until reduced to a thick sauce.
Pro Tip: Opt for a Pinot Noir if you want a lighter sauce and a Merlot or a Cabernet Sauvignon for a more full-bodied sauce. Go for a high-quality wine too, as the quality of the wine you choose significantly influences the outcome of the reduction.
Seafood Steak Toppings: Surf Meets Turf
If you're looking to treat yourself or impress your guests, consider combining the best of both worlds: the land and the sea.
Seafood toppings for steak add a touch of opulence, making the dish feel restaurant-worthy.
From a steak with crab meat topping to more complex combinations like crab and mushroom steak topping or the extravagant crab Oscar steak topping, these options redefine the very concept of luxury in home-cooked meals.
Crab and Mushroom
A steak with a crab meat topping is the peak of luxury, with the tenderness and savory flavor of steak complemented by the delicate sweetness of crab.
Add mushrooms to the mix for earthy, umami notes, and you’ll have a truly indulgent meal.
Recommended Recipe: For a rich and creamy steak topping, sauté mushrooms and garlic in butter, add white wine, heavy cream, crab meat, and parmesan cheese, simmer until thickened, and season to taste.
Pro Tip: Use freshly cooked crab meat rather than canned for the best texture and flavor.
Shrimp brings a sea-kissed sweetness and a texture contrast to your steak.
Recommended Recipe: Season shrimp with garlic, salt, and a dash of cayenne, grill or sauté it, then place it on top of your steak.
You can also top your steak with asparagus, top it with your newly cooked shrimp, then drench with béarnaise sauce or any sauce of your choice for a steak Oscar with shrimp dish.
Pro Tip: Choose medium-sized shrimp for easier eating and better flavor distribution.
This decadent topping includes crab meat, asparagus, and béarnaise sauce for an over-the-top, luxe experience.
Recommended Recipe: Place crab meat and asparagus over your steak and drizzle with béarnaise or hollandaise sauce.
Alternatively, you can mix crab meat, mayonnaise, lemon juice, butter, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, sour cream, bread crumbs, sour cream, garlic, shallots, and salt and pepper for a creamier take on this topping.
Pro Tip: Blanch the asparagus for a few minutes before using it to ensure it’s tender but still vibrant.
International Steak Toppings: Globetrotting on Your Plate
Feeling adventurous? Take a culinary journey without leaving your kitchen by adding international toppings to your steak.
From Japanese wasabi mayo to Mexican salsa verde, these global flavors offer a whole new range of steak topping recipes that are both delicious and eye-opening.
They invite you to broaden your culinary horizons one bite at a time.
Japanese Wasabi Mayo
This gives your steak a spicy, creamy touch that’s distinctive but not overpowering.
Recommended Recipe: Mix wasabi paste into mayonnaise and add a splash of soy sauce.
Pro Tip: Add the wasabi incrementally to control the heat level.
Mexican Salsa Verde
This green sauce is spicy, zesty, and utterly refreshing — a complete flavor bomb that puts an exciting twist on a plain old steak dinner.
Recommended Recipe: Blend tomatillos, jalapeños, cilantro, and lime juice until smooth.
Pro Tip: Roast the tomatillos and jalapeños beforehand for a smokier flavor.
Indian Spiced Yogurt
Bring the aromatic flavors of Indian cuisine to your steak with this tangy, spicy sauce.
Recommended Recipe: Mix yogurt with turmeric, cumin, coriander, and a pinch of cayenne.
Pro Tip: Let the yogurt topping sit for a couple of hours before topping your steak with it to infuse the flavors.
Healthy Steak Toppings: Guilt-Free Deliciousness
If you're watching your diet but still crave a succulent steak, we've got good news: You don't have to compromise on flavor to keep things healthy.
With options ranging from avocado sauce to grilled vegetables, these healthy toppings for steaks are both nourishing and satisfying.
Each offering is designed to give you a guilt-free but indulgent experience, bringing a delicious layer of complexity to your steak.
Avocado sauce has a creamy texture that pairs well with any cut of steak.
Recommended Recipe: Blend ripe avocados with your favorite seasonings. Place the velvety concoction over your perfectly cooked steak for a harmonious pairing.
Pro Tip: Adding zesty lemon or lime juice to your avocados before blending adds that extra pop of flavor and freshness.
This colorful, nutrient-packed topping for a grilled steak complements the smoky flavor of your beef and creates a meal that’s both delicious and nutritionally balanced.
Recommended Recipe: Grill bell peppers, zucchini, and asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper. This is the perfect accompaniment to add vibrant flavor and texture that goes with your steak's rich and savory flavor profile.
Pro Tip: Cut the vegetables into similar sizes for even cooking.
Cream-Free Mushroom Sauce
Try this velvety mushroom sauce that adds richness and creaminess to your steak without the need for cream.
Recommended Recipe: Sauté chopped mushrooms, onion, and garlic, add broth and soy sauce, and then simmer until thickened.
Pro Tip: To intensify the mushroom flavor, use a mix of different mushroom varieties like cremini, shiitake, and porcini in your sauce.
Pairing Recommendations: Matching the Perfect Topping to Your Cut of Steak
When it comes to the ultimate steak experience, the topping can make all the difference.
Think of it like pairing wine with cheese; the right match elevates the entire meal.
But how do you choose from a smorgasbord of steak toppings to perfectly complement your specific cut of beef?
To help you navigate this delicious dilemma, we've created a table that offers recommended toppings for various steak cuts.
|Steak Cut||Recommended Topping|
|Filet mignon||Béarnaise sauce|
|Strip steak||A1 steak sauce|
|Skirt steak||Salsa verde|
|Flank steak||Wasabi mayo|
|Top round||Cream cheese blend with garlic and herbs|
Perfect Steak Toppings for Different Cuts
- Ribeye and blue cheese. The fattiness of ribeye pairs incredibly well with the sharp, tangy flavor of blue cheese.
The cheese cuts through the richness, making each bite perfectly balanced.
- Sirloin and herb butter. Leaner than other cuts, sirloin benefits from the added fat and herby notes that herb butter offers.
It's a garden-fresh twist on a meaty classic.
- T-Bone and garlic butter. A T-bone is often enjoyed on its own, but a topping like garlic butter adds an extra layer of flavor without overpowering the natural beefiness of the cut.
This pairing is great for a celebratory meal.
- Filet mignon and béarnaise sauce. For an elegant cut like filet mignon, a rich and creamy béarnaise sauce is the perfect companion that highlights its tenderness.
- Strip steak and simple steak sauce. A strip steak is a versatile cut that goes well with different toppings, especially the classic A1 steak sauce, which offers a tangy contrast to its rich, meaty flavor.
- Skirt steak and Mexican salsa verde: The strong beefy flavors of skirt steak are wonderfully enhanced by the zesty and herby notes of salsa verde.
- Flank steak and wasabi mayo. Given its fibrous texture, flank steak benefits from the fiery kick and creamy contrast of wasabi mayo, which also gives the cut an Asian cuisine-inspired flavor.
- Top round and garlic and herb cream cheese: This budget-friendly cut can be significantly enhanced with a garlic and herb cream cheese steak topping, offering both creaminess and herbal notes.
- Porterhouse and crab Oscar: Celebrate a special occasion with a luxurious Porterhouse steak and complement its robust texture and flavor with a rich crab Oscar topping, creating a surf-and-turf masterpiece.
- Flat iron and chimichurri: A flat iron cut pairs excellently with the vibrant flavors of chimichurri. The tangy, herby sauce complements the meat's natural flavors.
Armed with these tips, you're well-equipped to make the most out of every steak experience.
Remember, the best steak toppings not only enhance your cut but also reflect the uniqueness of your personal tastes. Happy grilling!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I Use These Toppings for a Steak Cooked in the Oven or on a Stovetop?
Yes, some of these toppings can complement a steak cooked in the oven or on the stovetop.
Oven-cooked steaks tend to be more tender, so they will benefit from toppings like garlic butter or a red wine reduction.
On the other hand, stovetop-cooked steaks get a nice sear, giving them a rich, tender flavor that pairs well with béarnaise sauce or mushroom sauce. The choice of topping depends on your preferred cooking method and desired flavor.
Are There Any Low-Sodium or Low-Fat Options for Steak Toppings?
If you’re watching your sodium or fat intake, you can make adjustments to your steak topping recipes.
For instance, you can use unsalted butter for garlic or truffle butter or opt for sauces with low-sodium ingredients like yogurt.
Herb-based toppings can also be good options for steak toppings that are flavorful but low in sodium and fat.
Can These Steak Toppings Be Used for Other Types of Meat Like Chicken and Pork?
Many of these toppings can be used for other grilled meats, like chicken or pork, to add flavor and variety to your dishes.
For example, pesto is a superb sauce choice for chicken, and grilled vegetables pair well with pork.
How Can I Store Leftover Toppings?
Leftover toppings can generally be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Cream and cheese-based toppings should be used within three to five days, while oil-based sauces can often last a week.
Always check for signs of spoilage before using.
The Final Sear: Trying New Steak Toppings for a Delectable Dinner
And there you have it, steak aficionados — a comprehensive guide to elevating your next beefy feast.
We've journeyed through the basics, touched upon some herbaceous marvels, dabbled in cheesy indulgence, surfed the seafood wave, lived the gourmet dream, experienced international culinary delights, and even added some healthy options.
So whatever your palate desires, there's a steak topping that's just right for you.
Remember, a steak is like a canvas, and these toppings are your palette of flavors.
You're the artist in your own kitchen, so free to mix and match until you find that perfect blend that makes your taste buds sing.
Go ahead — fire up that grill or preheat that skillet and let your culinary creativity run wild.
The world of steak toppings is vast and delicious, just waiting for you to dive in.
Cheers to mouthwatering steaks and the endless possibilities they offer!