Tasty makeovers for steak leftovers






90/365 – Steak Again!?
by Wayne-K @ flickr

The reasons why you might end up with leftover steak in your kitchen are countless. You may have gone a bit overboard and cooked more than your family can eat, or you might have simply found yourself unable to finish the steak you cooked. 

Whatever the reasons may be, leftover steak might look dull and unappetizing to you, but we are here to convince you otherwise.

Why leftovers need to stop being underestimated

Looks can indeed be deceiving. Steak leftovers are one of the greatest assets you can have in your kitchen as they can be used for endless delicious leftover steak recipes.

They serve as the ideal alternative to achieve the best dishes for the least effort, and they are often more tender and flavorful.

Moreover, with the high cost of steaks, the last thing you would want is to waste away perfectly usable leftover meat. Thus, using leftover steaks is a great way not to waste food and is usually more affordable than starting a meal from scratch.

To use every last bit of your last night’s dish, we will be your guide to amazing leftover steak ideas and recipes. 
To achieve the best steak leftover recipes, all it takes is a little creativity and a few additional ingredients. 
But, before learning what to do with your steak leftovers, we will first start by exploring the methods of storing them properly.

Your guide to saving steak leftovers the right way

It is horrifying what leftover steak can go through when thrown in the darkness of the freezer. What was last night’s tender and juicy steak is today’s tasteless and tough meat. The good news is that things do not have to go his way. 

Resurrecting steak leftovers and turning them into something savory until the next time you are ready to enjoy them is very much possible, thanks to some simple hacks.
First, storing meat correctly will make a world of difference when it comes to leftover steak consistency.

You have to make sure to retain the maximum amount of the natural juices of the steak. This will ultimately help to preserve both flavors as well as the texture of your leftover meat. Keeping air away from the leftover steaks is also crucial since it could dry them out.
You have to use the proper wrapping techniques as well to maintain the integrity of the meat intact. 

For this, a vacuum sealer is recommended as the best at ensuring that no air reached your steak. Since this machine tends to be on the expensive side, you can also wrap steak leftovers in freezer paper that can be an excellent alternative to secure moisture.

After wrapping every piece of leftover meat tightly in a freezer bag, use your hands to squeeze out any air left as possible before closing.

Finally, leftover meat should be put flat on a fridge shelf (preferably on the bottom one) with lots of space around it. This is important to ensure air circulation and to keep the steaks as cold as possible.

Saving steak leftovers: The 3-day rule

Most people just play the guessing game when determining whether their meat leftovers are safe to eat, using their sights and smell of the meat to decide. 

Nevertheless, you can’t always trust your eyes and nose when it comes to steak leftovers, since even though they might appear to be in good condition after sitting for a week in the fridge, this does not necessarily guarantee their safety for consumption.

In case you are sure that you used the appropriate methods to store them, leftover steaks are generally safe in the refrigerator for roughly three days. 

The United States Department of Agriculture recommends the same while it insists that four days is the maximum that leftover steak can go for when refrigerated at 40 degrees (Fahrenheit) or less. 

In case you lost count on the days and you decided to reheat your steak, be on the lookout for any weird smells, tastes, or others. Suppose you notice, for instance, that your leftover meat now has a wet, musty, or sticky feel to it, that it emits a weird odor (rancid or ammonia), or that your leftover steak ended up looking gray or slimy. In that case, these are all certain indications that it has gone bad.

Tips on how to reheat your steak leftovers properly

With our adequate techniques, your leftover steak will be good as new and as juicy and tasty as it once was. Correctly reheating a steak will only require some patience and trust on your part. 
This is one of the best methods to regain steak leftovers’ juice.  
Reheating a cooked steak in the oven must be done slowly in a preheated oven and then on the stovetop. 
Placing a wire cooling rack on a large baking sheet is also crucial. 
The full process goes as follows: 

  • Start by setting your steak leftovers on top of a cooling rack while the oven should be heated to 230 degrees Fahrenheit, which takes around 25 minutes (maybe more if your steak is thick). Heating your meat on a cooling rack enables the circulation of hot air throughout the steak evenly.
  • Use a large skillet to warm up some olive oil at medium to high heat. Then, add in your leftover meat and let it simmer on each side for approximately 1 minute. 

If you want, it is perfectly fine to skip the oven and go directly for the stovetop. To do this, warm up a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan or skillet over medium heat. Then for 2 to 3 minutes, add your leftover steak and flip every few seconds until it reaches the desired doneness. 

To enjoy leftover steak the second time just as much as the first time, we strongly recommend that you stay away from the microwave when reheating steak since it tends to dry out your leftover meat extensively, giving it a different feel and flavor than it once had the first time you cooked it.

Mastering what to do with steak leftover: Leftover steak recipes and ideas

Finding things to make with leftover steak is easier than you might think, as steak leftovers can be ideal for numerous recipes.
If your fridge is packed with all sorts of ingredients, but you lack enough meat for a whole dish, leftover meat will be your saving grace.
We have rounded up some of our favorite leftover steak ideas incorporating all kinds of leftover steaks.
From fajitas to pasta, we have your back with a wide range of recipes to find what to make with your leftover steak.

Leftover beef steak tacos 

leftover steak recipes
Leftover steak
by Rudolph Rodriguez Jr. @ flickr

For this recipe, the main ingredient is used leftover beef steak (any cut of leftover steak is also great, such as leftover ground beef, sirloin, or roast. However, beef leftovers are preferred).

  • Start by cutting your leftover beef into tiny pieces and prepare to make the most delicious tacos. You have to make sure the pieces are tiny enough, so they fit perfectly in the tortillas, do not break them when frying, and also so they would not draw everything out of your tortillas when taking a bite.
  • Once the beef leftover pieces are ready, start frying them using a pan. For seasoning, use your standard salt, pepper, and garlic as needed. You can also add some lime and paprika for extra flavor.
  • After successfully recooking the small pieces of leftover steak, it’s time to fry your corn tortillas, or you can always use store-bought taco shells.
  • Finally, we recommend dousing your leftover beef tacos in some hot sauce for an elevated taco-eating experience.

Learn how to make leftover steak Fajitas

Making fajitas using leftover meat is a crowd’s favorite. The recipe we picked for steak fajitas will take you less than 30 minutes to make and is a guaranteed pleaser. 

  • To prepare, first, you have to preheat your broiler within the upper third of the oven (at a high temperature). 
  • Throw in some well-seasoned onion and pepper with a drizzle of oil on a rimmed baking sheet. 
  • Let your mix broil for about 10 minutes until it starts to turn crisp-tender and golden.
  • Now, reheat your leftover steak as we recommended previously, leave it to cool down, and then slice it thin diagonally. 
  • Afterward, toss the resulting pieces into a hot pan with some olive oil for around 1 minute.
  • Next, take your veggie mix, add it to the pan, then sauté and stir all together for an extra minute or two. Meanwhile, pop your tortillas in the oven or microwave.
  • Now that everything is ready spoon your fajita blend in the middle of the now warm tortillas and fold! Of course, you can add whatever toppings you prefer, such as any salsa.

However, we recommend topping everything evenly with shredded Mozzarella cheese (or any other type of cheese that you might prefer). 

Pasta, using steak leftovers

Another yummy recipe to do with steak leftovers is pasta!
For this leftover steak idea, meat leftovers that are preferred are ribeye, but any steak can always do the trick.

  • The first thing to do is to cut off some large pieces of the leftover meat you have. 
  • The second step is preparing the pasta sauce, starting with some garlic and onion. Mix with lime juice, honey, and 2 tablespoons of oil in a ball. You can also add mushrooms to intensify the flavoring. 
  • In a large heated-up pan, over medium-high heat, cook up the mix in some olive oil.
  • Add in the tomatoes, then pop in the meat pieces to simmer in the sauce. Separately, start cooking the noodles according to box instruction.
  • When done, drain your noodles, rinse with cold water, and finally add the cooked noodles to the sauce until fully covered.

For maximum deliciousness, top everything with shredded cheese. 

Making fried rice with leftover steak

Another repurposing leftover steak idea we have is fried rice. This recipe is an excellent and never-failing way to enjoy steak leftovers. Like all the dishes we chose, any sort of leftover steak could work.
However, we recommend using leftover rice if available since it has very little moisture, which is better for this recipe. But, you can go ahead and use freshly cooked rice instead if you need to.

  • For this recipe, you should always start by cooking the vegetables (zucchini and mushrooms are a must!) in a hot and olive oil-covered pan. Let your blend cook up for 3 to 5 minutes or until it gets soft and brown. 
  • Then, add two eggs to the same pan and scramble until done. Next, add the rice in and mix everything for around 2 minutes.
  • Lastly, throw in your leftover steaks along with some oil of your choice. Now, stir everything fast over sizzling high heat.

When you are sure that your fried rice is heated through, you are done, and your meal is ready for serving.

Soup: The ultimate leftover beef recipe

The preparation of this leftover beef soup recipe is quick, and the dish itself is packed with flavor. 

  • To get started, you need any kind of beef leftover steak (preferably) that you have to cut into small cubes. 
  • Heat olive oil in a large pan over low to medium heat, and then add in a chopped-up large onion. Let this cook while you stir until you see it turn to see, though.  
  • Afterward, add in the mushrooms, minced garlic, and veggies.
  • Put in the garlic and let it turn soft in the pan. Then, add in some carrots, celery, and dry herbs and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes. We want everything to get all soft and brown. 
  • Next, move the now-cooked mix over to a big saucepan and throw in some peeled and chopped small potato chunks.
  • Finally, add in the prepared leftover beef pieces to leave everything to cook slowly over the lowest heat setting possible (for around 20 minutes). Do not forget to keep an eye out for seasoning if necessary.

Once your leftover beef soup is done, it can be served alone or with some crispy bread.

How to do leftover steak sandwiches right

Though throwing your leftover steak in a sandwich might sound boring, meat leftovers make an excellent hot sandwich filling.

  • For this recipe, start warming up your steak leftover by either letting it sit at room temperature or by reheating it after you had already sliced it. Our pro tip is to always cut against the grain to avoid terrible unchewable bites.
  • Begin by cooking some onion and pepper on a stovetop or the grill. Then, season with salt and pepper as you like, and top everything with melty shredded cheese. Towards the end, go ahead and throw in the leftover meat slices to heat it through. 
  • Lastly, you can now stuff your mixture into delicious sandwiches.

Leftover beef pie

What to do with leftover beef has never been an easier question to answer, thanks to our leftover beef pie idea. This recipe will guarantee that you wrap up all your favorite veggies combined with last night’s beef in a tasty pie crust.

  • First, dice your leftover beef into small cubes. 
  • Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large casserole dish or pan. 
  • Add in onion, garlic, carrots along with any vegetables you have on hand.
  • Let them fry on medium to low heat for around 10 minutes. We want everything to soften and start to turn golden.
  • Add in the meat, then turn up the heat.
  • Start stirring slowly, then add in dried herbs and seasoning.
  • Add tomato sauce or ketchup.
  • Reduce heat as everything starts to boil, then let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to around 300 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • To make the mashed potatoes, put in your chopped potato pieces to boil in a large pan filled with water. When they are ready and tender, season them add butter, season with salt, then mash the potatoes smoothly. 
  • Now that the pie filling is ready, pour the mixture into the pastry shell, already placed in an oven-safe dish, and top all with puff pastry.
  • Bake your beef pie for 30 to 50 minutes until it gets golden, browned on top, and is heated through.

Salad, reimagined, thanks to steak leftovers

You can always give steak leftovers a healthy makeover thanks to salads. 
This recipe’s dish puts your favorite fresh veggies to work.

  • The first thing to do is to transfer your leftover steak of choice to a cutting board after letting it rest for at least 6 minutes. 
  • Slice (for the best results, taste, and look wise, we always recommend slicing against the grain!)
  • While you wait, start preparing the salad dressing. Blend some sesame oil, salt, cumin, and lime juice.
  • Finally, throw in any vegetable you prefer: Cherry tomatoes, cucumber romaine, and bell pepper.
  • Add your steak slices along with some corn before topping everything with some blue cheese cubes.

An easy fritters recipe to make with beef leftovers

You have already gone through the trouble to make the most flavorful roast beef, and thanks to this easy beef leftover recipe, you can rest assured that none of your efforts will go to waste.
For beef leftovers, the possibilities are endless, and this includes leftover beef fritters.

  • Start by putting some flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  • Add an egg and a cup of milk to the same bowl and beat everything together until a smooth batter is formed.
  • Then, cut your leftover beef into tiny cubes and add them to the batter.
  • After you have added some butter to it, heat your frying pan on low heat.
  • Once covered in melted butter, add your beef leftover batter to the pan (one spoonful at a time) and fry until a golden brown tone is reached.

When your fritters are ready, you can serve them as they are or doused with any sauce of your choosing.

Conquering the toughest steak leftovers

Tips to soften tough steak leftovers

In case you ended up with a tough leftover steak, do not worry. There is always a way to turn things around. We recommend that you marinade your leftover meat in leftover steak juices if available or any steak sauce that you prefer. You can always tenderize meat using your hands as well.

Then, you should cover the steak with a plastic wrap and proceed to heat it on low to medium heat for around 30 seconds until it hits the right internal temperature. The key to tenderizing tough leftover steaks is cooking it low-and-slow.

If, despite all efforts, your leftover steak remains tough, the best you can do is to cut it into small pieces. In this case, the best tough steak leftover recipes include soups and as well tasty sandwiches. There is also the great idea of beef stroganoff!

Your classic stroganoff, only easier to do with beef leftovers

Beef stroganoff is the ideal meal to make when you have a tough cooked leftover steak from another dish.
To prepare beef stroganoff, you would ideally need around 3 cups of cooked and chopped leftover beef (if you do not have leftover beef at hand, you can always use any cut of your choosing).

  • Start by cooking up mushrooms and sour cream sauce, and then add an onion soup mix and chopped onions.
  • At the same time, pop your leftover meat in the slow cooker. To produce enough steam, add beef broth to the steak. Toward the end, throw the steak into your blend of sour cream and mushrooms.

Beef stroganoff pairs beautifully with any type of rice and vegetables as well as bread or mashed potato.

In a nutshell

Today, being economically, ethically, and environmentally conscious is more important than ever. So, making sure that we appreciate every bite of the meat we buy by repurposing steak leftovers is one of the simple things we can do to help protect the environment without breaking our wallets. Not only that but reusing your leftover steak goes perfectly with the new mindset of making the most of what you have and is a great way to avoid wasting food while enjoying amazing reborn dishes that prove to deliver notable health benefits. With a little bit of guidance and inspiration, we can all cut back on the amount of food waste we produce and work towards having a guilt-free kitchen!

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 2

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


Kobe Beef: A Deep Dive. Myths, Facts Explained

Introduction There are few things in the culinary world as captivating and equally mystifying as Kobe beef. Renowned worldwide for its unparalleled flavors, extraordinary marbling,...

Steak cooking times and temperatures

The quest for the perfect steak is one that has captured the imaginations and tantalized the taste buds of chefs and food lovers worldwide....

Wagyu Beef: A Comprehensive Guide to Japan’s Luxury Meat

Stepping into the fascinating realm of beef cuts and grades, the name 'Wagyu Beef' often emerges as an epitome of quality and luxury. Stemming...

Recent articles

More like this