Juicy, tender morsels of cajun-spiced steak, seared in a hot skillet, then finished in a decadent garlic butter sauce! Perfect for a quick and easy dinner or fun appetizer.
This is one of my Beef recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
Meat-eaters… this one is for you! We love steak here in The Chunky Chef household… even our youngest will go to town on a big ol’ steak.
This recipe is a fun way to make steak that will stretch a buck. You’ll need 1 1/2 lbs of steak, but that will make enough for 4 to 6 people!
You could also cut the steak into slightly smaller pieces and serve this up as an appetizer (just set out some toothpicks and let your guests go to town).
The homemade cajun seasoning is loaded with bold flavors, but not overly spicy, and it pairs so well with the rich flavor of steak.
Once the seasoned steak is seared and mostly cooked through, a glorious garlic butter sauce is made in the same skillet (hellllloooo amazing flavor!). Then the steak is added back to the skillet and tossed in the garlic butter… prepare for your mouth to water!
How to make cajun garlic butter steak bites?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Make seasoning. If you use a store-bought seasoning blend, skip this step.
- Season the steak.
- Sear. It’s important not to overcrowd the pan, otherwise the steak won’t really sear well.
- Remove to a plate. You may have to cook the steak in batches, so just transfer the cooked steak to a plate while the next batch is cooking.
- Make garlic butter. Make this sauce right in the same pan – that’s where a TON of flavor comes in.
- Return steak to pan. Just to really combine the seasoned steak with the garlic butter.
Make sure to preheat the skillet until very hot. The sear is important for both the flavor and the sauce. These steak bites only need to cook a couple of minutes per side, so it’s important the pan be nice and hot when you add the steak!
Variations of this recipe
- Seasoning – while I really love the homemade seasoning blend used in this recipe, if you’d rather save a little time, a store-bought cajun blend will work just fine.
- Garlic – this is nice and garlicky, but if you prefer a more subtle garlic flavor, use 2 garlic cloves.
- Herbs – I really love using the fresh parsley as a garnish, since the freshness brings out the smoky spice, but it’s entirely optional and not necessary for this recipe.
- Spicy – if you like things nice and spicy, add additional cayenne pepper, black pepper, or add some red pepper flakes.
- Mild – feel free to reduce or omit the cayenne pepper to tame the heat level.
The best steak to use, is the steak you enjoy the most. Personally, we’ve used sirloin, new york strip, and ribeye… all with great results. However, since the flavors are simple, you’ll want to use a really good quality piece of meat.
While I’m sure they can be cooked in the air fryer, I haven’t tested it and can’t speak for the exact cooking time. Plus, the benefit of cooking the steak bites in a skillet is that all those amazing browned bits lend an incredible flavor to the garlic butter sauce. You’d lose that in an air fryer.
Making steak bites ahead of time
I think steak tastes best when made fresh, so for that reason, I don’t advise making this recipe entirely ahead of time.
However, you can certainly prep ahead!
How to prep ahead for this recipe:
- Spices – the cajun seasonings can be combined and kept at room temperature until ready to use.
- Steak – the steak can be sliced into bite-sized pieces and stored covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Leftover steak bites should be refrigerated in an airtight container and enjoyed within 4-5 days.
Reheat gently on the stovetop with a bit of butter, or in the microwave.
Cast iron skillets are my go-to for recipes like this, where a great sear is needed. The even heat distribution just can’t be beat!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
Cajun seasoning blend
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or less, to taste
- 1/2 tsp packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1 1/2 lbs. steak strip steak, sirloin, ribeye, etc.
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil divided
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 5 cloves garlic finely minced or grated
- minced fresh parsley for garnish
- Slice steak into roughly 2" pieces and set aside in a mixing bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine seasoning blend ingredients, then add to the mixing bowl with the steak bites and toss to combine well.
- Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet over MED HIGH heat. Do this while the skillet is dry, and heat for several minutes, or until you see wisps of smoke.
Sear (in batches)
- Add 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil and swirl to coat the pan.
- Add about half the steak (adding less steak if the skillet isn’t very big – making sure not to overcrowd the skillet).
- Sear for 2 minutes without flipping, then flip over and sear another 2 minutes, until well browned. Set aside on a plate and repeat with remaining vegetable oil and steak bites.
Make garlic butter
- Reduce heat to MED LOW and use the same skillet (don’t wash it – you want all that flavor!), and add butter. Once melted, add garlic and cook about 30 seconds or so, using a wooden spoon to scrape browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Combine and serve
- Turn off the heat, add steak bites back to the skillet and stir well to combine with the garlic butter.
- Serve hot, sprinkled with minced fresh parsley.
Want to save this recipe for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own recipe box!
- If you want smaller steak bites, you can cut the steak into about 1 inch pieces, and cook for slightly less time.
- Cajun seasoning blend can be tweaked to your tastes.
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.