Flavor-Packed Mediterranean Steaks with Spinach, Feta, and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

As someone who truly values steak night, I have to admit that it can get a little boring, week after week.

Vertical image of two plates with cooked potatoes and a thick cut of beef encrusted with spinach and feta, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

I do love the combination of steak with classic vegetables like mashed potatoes and green beans. But you can only eat that so many times, am I right?

I am constantly looking for ways to shake up my dinner menu, especially when beef is involved. It could be a fancy new spice rub, or an epic topping combination, like what you see on these Mediterranean steaks.

This is quite possibly the easiest way to upgrade your steak night, and there’s no need to worry about sourcing fancy ingredients or learning any new cooking techniques.

Now, I know some of you might prefer to cook your meat on the grill, but that’s not always the easiest thing to pull off. There’s fickle weather, the time it takes to fire up the BBQ… sometimes it’s just easier to utilize your stove.

Vertical image of a steak topped with pesto next to potatoes on a white plate.

On nights like that, when you want some tasty steaks with an extra punch of flavor, reach for this recipe.

Not only do you get all the lovely beefy flavor that you’ve been craving when you slice into the steaks, you also get this crusty topping that seriously brings the juicy meat to life.

The flavorful topping is the perfect complement to this dish, and it is beyond simple to make. All you need are a few handfuls of spinach, breadcrumbs, feta cheese, and some sun-dried tomato pesto.

Can’t find sun-dried tomato pesto? Here’s a pro tip:

There’s a really simple store bought solution – buy yourself a jar of pesto, and a jar of sliced sun-dried tomatoes in oil. Combine the two in a blender or food processor, and pulse to combine.

Vertical top-down image of two white dinner plates with baby potatoes and steaks encrusted with a Mediterranean topping next to napkins and silverware.

Voila! Just like that, you have sun-dried tomato pesto that’s ready to enjoy, made the easy way.

Of course, we always recommend going the homemade route for maximum flavor. You can really taste the difference when you are using fresh basil, trust me.

Plus, right now as I’m writing this, it’s the height of basil season, so you should really make the most of it while it’s still summer (you know, before the prices go up at the store and all).

Want to try growing your own? Get expert tips for growing basil from our sister site, Gardener’s Path.

As for the cut of meat that you should choose to make this entree, I personally recommend using New York strip steaks because they are lean and have a lot of flavor.

Vertical image of an encrusted steak next to potatoes on a white plate next to a dish of tomato pesto.

However, lots of lean steak cuts work really well with this recipe. You can use sirloin or tenderloin, if you prefer.

This dish really packs a punch of flavor, so I like to keep the side dishes really simple.

Roasted potatoes, a simple salad of fresh greens, and green beans are all fantastic go-to’s. You can even serve it with your favorite pasta, or slice it up and make a sandwich.

Any leftovers are awesome on a salad the next day for lunch, too.

Anyone you serve this meal to will think you went through a ton of work to make it, but it only takes about 30 minutes. That’s the kind of dinner party recipe I love to serve!

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Horizontal image of a white dinner plate with an encrusted New York strip and a side of assorted baby potatoes.

Mediterranean Steaks with Spinach, Feta, and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto


  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 17 minutes
  • Total Time: 32 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

The crust on these Mediterranean steaks creates a flavorful new take on the classic protein entree. The topping is simple, but the flavor is sure to wow.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (plus 1 teaspoon if using fresh spinach)
  • 1 pound fresh spinach leaves (or one 10-ounce package frozen)
  • 4 New York strip steaks (2 1/2-3 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. If you are using frozen spinach, thaw it completely and squeeze out all excess moisture. Add to a bowl and set aside. Skip the next step if you use frozen spinach.
  2. If you are using fresh spinach, add 1 teaspoon olive oil to a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, add the spinach. Turn the leaves over in the pan a couple of times to coat them in oil. Cover the pan and cook for 1 minute, stir, then cook for another minute. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Set aside. 
  3. Season steaks on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large cast iron skillet or other oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat and coat the pan with a teaspoon of olive oil. Once it’s hot, add the steaks and cook 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Preheat broiler.
  5. While the steaks are cooking, add the feta, pesto, and breadcrumbs to the bowl of spinach. Stir to combine.
  6. Cover the steaks evenly with the spinach mixture. Place the skillet under the broiler for about 5-7 minutes, until a lightly browned crust forms on top. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

  • Category: Steak
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Beef

Keywords: Mediterranean, steak, pesto, feta, spinach, sun-dried tomato

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Measure Ingredients and Prepare Spinach

Measure out all of the ingredients as listed in the ingredients list.

Horizontal image of raw beef, spinach, and assorted flavorings in glasses on a gray surface.

If you are using frozen spinach, allow it to thaw completely, and use your hands to squeeze out all of the excess moisture.

Place it in a bowl and set it aside. You do not need to saute the spinach if you are using frozen.

For fresh spinach, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add the spinach and turn it a few times with tongs to coat it evenly in the oil.

Horizontal image of cooked spinach in a pan.

Cover and cook for 1 minute. Stir, then cook for another minute uncovered. Remove the pan from the heat, and transfer the spinach to a bowl. Set it aside.

Step 2 – Sear Steaks

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, coated with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

Horizontal image of two cooked steaks in a pan.

While the pan is heating up, season the steaks on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

When the oil is hot, add the steaks and sear them for about 2 to 3 minutes per side. You can adjust the cook time accordingly, depending on how well done you like your beef. Keep reading for tips at the end of this article!

While the steaks cook, preheat the broiler.

Horizontal image of a mixture of spinach, feta, pesto, and breadcrumbs.

Add the crumbled feta, pesto, and breadcrumbs to the bowl with the spinach. Stir to combine.

Step 3 – Broil

Remove the skillet from the heat. Top each steak evenly with the spinach mixture.

Horizontal image of seared and encrusted steaks in a pan.

Place the skillet in the oven under the broiler. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, until crusty and lightly browned. Remove from the oven (carefully – that handle is going to be hot!) and serve immediately with your choice of sides.

How Long Should I Sear the Steaks?

You don’t want to sear the steaks for too long, since they are going under the broiler to finish the dish, and this will continue the cooking process.

Horizontal image of a white dinner plate with an encrusted New York strip and a side of assorted baby potatoes.

Start by searing them for 2 to 3 minutes per side in the pan on the stove, and continue to cook them for 5 minutes under the broiler for medium rare.

If you want your steak to be cooked through more, you can sear it on the stove for a little longer before you transfer it to the oven – 3 to 4 minutes for medium, and 4 to 5 minutes for well done.

Craving even more delicious steak options? Try these recipes next:

How do you like your steak cooked? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to rate the recipe once you try it.

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on August 14, 2012. Last updated: August 24, 2020 at 15:52 pm.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

Flavor-Packed Mediterranean Steaks with Spinach, Feta, and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

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