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Herbs for Steak

 Let’s talk about the best herbs for steak and how to use them, so you can start making restaurant-quality steak in the comfort of your kitchen. There is nothing like cutting into a juicy, perfectly cooked steak. You just pictured it, didn’t you? And fresh herbs are a great way to enhance your favorite cut of steak.  

A bowl of different herbs.

What Herbs Go Well With Steak?

When using herbs for steak, the right combination makes all the difference. I’ve got the lowdown on the best herbs, both fresh and dried, to pair with juicy, flavorful steak.

1. Thyme

A bundle of fresh thyme.

Thyme has a slightly earthy and lemony flavor that pairs well with juicy steak. Use fresh or dried thyme leaves to season a steak or include them in a compound butter. Include fresh leaves in marinades or sprinkle them over the top.

You can also baste or air fry steak fillets with fresh thyme sprigs and butter as we do to make our Air Fryer ribeye steak.

A spoonful of homemade beef gravy.

Homemade Beef Gravy

Flavorful homemade brown gravy comes together quickly using pantry ingredients, including fresh thyme. Pour it over steak and mashed potatoes for a complete meal.

Peppercorn Steak in a jar.

Peppercorn Steak Rub

Take steaks and grilled meat from bland to bold with this cracked peppercorn steak rub. All you need is 5 minutes and a handful of ingredients.

Slap Ya Mama Seasoning recipe in a glass jar.

Slap Ya Mama Seasoning

Spice up your kitchen with a homemade Slap Ya Mama Seasoning recipe. Use the spice blend to coat juicy steak bites or Cajun honey butter salmon.

A small container of steak seasoning.

Homemade Steak Seasoning

With savory garlic and fresh thyme, enhance steak recipes with this basic steak rub.

Photo Credit: Dizzy, Busy, and Hungry

Bone marrow butter spread onto foccacia.

Bone Marrow Butter

Flaunt your chef skills and make savory bone marrow butter to flavor steak, chicken, fish, and vegetables, or spread it onto crusty bread.

2. Rosemary

Bundles of fresh rosemary.
Photo Credit: Fulvio Ciccolo

Fragrant rosemary goes hand in hand with savory steak recipes. Sprinkle chopped rosemary leaves over the steak before cooking, or use whole sprigs to infuse flavor while grilling, basting, or roasting.

Juicy steak coated in marinade.

Steak Marinade

Deeply flavor your steak with this herb-packed recipe for homemade steak marinade featuring fresh rosemary, parsley, and thyme.

Photo Credit: Spend with Pennies

Steaks in a large bowl.

Beer Marinade for Steak

Enjoy this easy recipe for a beer and balsamic vinegar marinade flavored with fresh rosemary leaves that’s perfect for steak.

Photo Credit: A Taste for Travel

3. Oregano

A close up of an oregano plant.
Photo Credit: Önder Örtel

Oregano provides steak with a robust and slightly peppery taste, making oregano a perfect addition to flavorful marinades or dry rubs.

Prepare a homemade marinade by combining fresh oregano leaves, minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Allow the steak to marinate for at least 30 minutes to a few hours before cooking for maximum flavor. In addition, fresh or dried oregano is a fantastic addition to compound butter or dry rubs for steak.

Blackened seasoning spices on a plate.

Blackened Seasoning

Although blackened seasoning is commonly associated with dishes like blackened mahi mahi, mahi mahi tacos, or chicken thighs, don’t overlook its potential to enhance steak. A blackened steak spiced with dried oregano is a dinner you will want to make.

Low sodium taco seasoning in a small bowl.

Taco Seasoning

Taco seasoning isn’t just for ground beef tacos. Use the spice blend with dried Mexican oregano to flavor your next batch of steak fajitas.

Barbacoa seasoning a mixing bowl.

Barbacoa Seasoning

Barbacoa seasoning comes together in 5 minutes and is packed with flavorful spices and herbs like dried oregano.

Photo Credit: Easy Family Recipes

4. Sage

A close up of a sage plant.
Photo Credit: Phillip Larking

Sage has an earthy flavor that pairs well with buttery, rich steak. Use the strongly flavored herb to make compound butter or rub fresh sage directly onto the meat before preparing it.

Use dried or finely chopped fresh sage leaves to make a dry rub with salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and other seasonings. After cooking your steak, deglaze the pan with wine or beef broth. Add minced garlic, finely chopped fresh sage leaves, and butter to the pan. Stir and simmer until it reduces slightly, creating a flavorful sage-infused sauce to drizzle over the steak.

Rub for Steak
Combine fresh sage, rosemary, olive oil, and seasonings for a simple rub for steak.
Sage and Rosemary Rub for Steak
Sage Thyme and Garlic Butter
Serve this butter processed with fresh sage and thyme as a topping for your steak recipes.
Sage Thyme and Garlic Butter

5. Parsley

A close up of a parsley bushel.

Reach for parsley when you want to add a touch of freshness and herbal goodness to your steak. Use fresh parsley as a garnish, in marinades, or as an ingredient in a sauce for steak. You can also add dried parsley to steak seasoning with other spices.

A small bowl of chimichurri with cilantro.

Chimichurri

Use Chimichurri with fresh cilantro and parsley as a marinade, dipping sauce, or topping for cuts like flap or skirt steak.

Skhug in a bowl with pita.

Skhug

Skhug is a brightly flavored Mediterranean sauce made with fresh parsley and cilantro. Use it to add a perfect pop of color and flavor to your steak recipes.

Marinade for steak in a small bowl.

Lemon Pepper Marinade

Want to take your steak grilling game to the next level? Try this recipe for lemon pepper marinade featuring freshly chopped parsley.

Photo Credit: The Oregon Dietitian

6. Chives

A close up of a chives plant.
Photo Credit: Andreas Lischka

Chives have a mild onion-like flavor to provide a subtle kick. Use finely chopped chives as a finishing touch for steak, or add it to toppings like compound butter. Fresh chives are also a delicious addition to a cream sauce, pesto, and marinades for steak.

A steak fillet with compound butter.

Steak Butter

Finish your next ribeye or filet mignon with flavorful compound butter. It features fresh chives and parsley to make a compound butter that is the perfect topping for steak and the Hasselback potatoes you’re serving it with.

Photo Credit: The Toasty Kitchen

Sliced steak with cowboy butter.

Cowboy Butter Sauce

Try this zesty garlic and herb butter (fresh chives, parsley, and thyme) with a deliciously spicy kick. You will love it as a dipping sauce for steak and roasted potatoes to finish the meal.

Photo Credit: Seanna’s Kitched

7. Basil

A close up of fresh basil.
Photo Credit: Yakov Leonov

Amp up the flavor of your steak with basil. You can chop the fresh leaves to garnish a juicy steak or add them to a marinade or herb-infused steak butter.

Pistachio pesto in a small bowl.

Pesto

Prepare pesto with fresh basil, pistachios, garlic, zesty lemon, and olive oil to make the perfect topping for a juicy steak just like this baked flounder recipe.

Steak Marinade
Create a classic marinade for steak that combines dried basil and parsley with umami-rich ingredients.
Steak Marinade with Dried Basil and Parsley

8. Dill

A close up of a dill plant.

When paired with steak, dill adds a refreshing and light balance. It tastes best with milder cuts of steak, such as tenderloin or ribeye. You can also add fresh or dried dill to sauce or compound butter.

Lemon dill aioli in a small bowl.

Lemon Dill Aioli

Discover the perfect pairing of zesty lemon and aromatic dill in our homemade Lemon Dill Aioli recipe; this will become a must-have addition to steak dinners.

Copycat Montreal Seasoning in a small bowl.

Copycat Montreal Steak Seasoning

Make your next steak the best you’ve ever had with this copycat recipe for Montreal steak seasoning with dried dill.

Photo Credit: A Gypsy Plate

9. Cilantro

Fresh cilantro on a cutting board.

Cilantro offers a distinct flavor profile that is fresh, citrusy, and slightly peppery. Incorporate the freshly chopped cilantro into a steak marinade or sauce, or sprinkle the leaves over a steak fillet for a refreshing pop of color. Dried cilantro seeds, also called coriander, is an excellent addition to dry rubs for steak if you want to go that route.

Serrano crema in a bowl.

Serrano Crema

Serrano crema is a bold sauce made with fresh cilantro to add the perfect spice to your meal. Drizzle it over thinly sliced steak or serve it on the side as a dipping sauce just like we do for our Peruvian chicken.

Chucky salsa on a serving tray.

Chunky Salsa

Finish steak tacos or fajitas with chunky salsa featuring fresh cilantro and creamy avocado.

10. Mint

A close up of several mint plants.

Mint is refreshingly cool with a hint of sweetness. Often not associated with steak, use mint to infuse marinades, sauces, or homemade steak rubs.

A small bowl of baharat seasoning.

Homemade Baharat

The Turkish-style Middle Eastern spice blend has an earthy flavor with warm spices and fresh herbs like dried mint to coat grilled steak recipes.

Photo Credit: The Sage Apron

Chermoula Sauce
Top steak with chermoula sauce! It’s an aromatic Moroccan sauce blended with fresh parsley, cilantro, and mint.
Chermoula Sauce with Fresh Mint, Cilantro, and Parsley

Pair the fresh herbs with one of these steak recipes!

A air fryer ribeye steak on a plate.

Ribeye Steak with Herbed-Bone Marrow Butter

How to Use Herbs for Steak?

Fresh or dried herbs bring much more to the table than simply being a garnish. Use them to draw out the natural flavor of steak and other beef recipes by preparing dry rubs, marinades, compound butter, and sauce with fresh or dried herbs.

Seasoning

When I am the one behind the apron, I love letting the natural flavor of a steak shine. So, my go-to seasonings are kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper. However, when it comes to seasoning steak, it depends on the cut of your steak and what kind of recipe you’re preparing. Popular seasonings for steak include garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, and spice blends that feature herbs like Italian seasoning or herbs de Provence.

Marinades

One of the easiest ways to flavor a steak is through marination, and I can say from experience that incorporating herbs into your marinade is the way to go. Begin by selecting herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley, or basil, either fresh or dried. Chop or crush them to release their aromatic oils.

Combine the herbs with other ingredients like oil, vinegar, citrus juice, soy sauce, and garlic; pour the marinade over the steak, ensuring it’s well-coated. Let the steak sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight for the best result. The herbs will work magic, infusing the steak fillets with deep flavor.

Compound Butter

Mmmm, butter! Melting compound butter over the steak fillets after searing them in the pan or grill is one of my favorite ways to enhance their flavor. Prepare homemade herb butter by selecting rosemary, thyme, parsley, sage, dill, chives, or other herbs and finely chop them to release their flavor. Then, soften the butter at room temperature and mix it with the chopped herbs until they are well combined. 

For even more flavor, include minced garlic, lemon juice, and other seasonings. Shape the butter into a log, refrigerate until firm, then slice into rounds. Once you have cooked your steak to perfection, place a pat of herb-infused compound butter on top, allowing it to melt and impart its herbaceous flavor.

Sauce

As much as I love food, I love sauce even more! And there is nothing this sauce girlie enjoys more than dipping flavorful steak into a delicious homemade sauce. Reach for classics like chimichurri or horseradish cream sauce sprinkled with parsley. Or consider preparing a creamy herb sauce béarnaise, a rich and tangy sauce made with egg yolks, butter, vinegar, and herbs such as tarragon, chervil, and parsley. The mushroom cream sauce is another tasty option. 

Tips for Using Herbs with Steak

  • Every herb has a unique flavor. When you use them in spice blends, sauces, and marinades, don’t be afraid to try different combinations and explore new flavors to serve with your steak.
  • Remember that the intensity of some of the herbs’ flavors (especially rosemary and sage) varies. I recommend experimenting to find a balance that suits your taste preferences.

What to Pair with Steak?

Serve your steak with classic sides like mashed potatoes, sweet potatoesroasted vegetables, or a simple salad. Grilled vegetables such as asparagus, zucchini, or bell peppers finish the meal, and don’t forget about savory sides like quinoa, orzo, or risotto allo zafferano.

Frequently Asked Questions

What herbs go with ribeye steak?

Herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley, and garlic pair well with rich, beefy ribeye steak. Whether you use them individually or combined, incorporate them into a rub or marinade to add a depth of flavor.

What herbs go with sirloin steak?

Sirloin steak is one of those go-to cuts of beef that strikes a perfect balance between tenderness and flavor. Rosemary, thyme, and marjoram are flavorful additions that can complement the meat’s natural flavor.

How long do I cook my steak?

People have their individual preferences when it comes to steak. To determine the ideal level of doneness, insert a food thermometer into the thickest part of the steak to let you know when the steak has finished cooking.

Rare: (120℉) – The outer part of the steak is brown, while the inside is red and juicy.
Medium Rare: (130 ℉) – Often referred to as the best way to enjoy steak, a medium rare steak is pink with a warm red center.
Medium: (135 ℉) – A medium steak cooks longer, resulting in a warm, pinkish center.
Well Done: (155 ℉ and higher) – The center of the steak will have a uniform brown color and be firmer to the touch compared to rarer cooked steaks.

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