Easy Pizzaiola Sauce: A Flavorful Italian-American Gem for Steak Lovers

You know those moments when you’re eavesdropping on strangers (oh, don’t look at me like that, we’ve all done it) and then – bam! – you stumble upon a goldmine of a story? So there I was, strolling through the city and hearing these tourists gushing about the origin of Pizzaiola Sauce. They were all, “Did you know it’s low-key Italian?!” People are so adorbs when they dive headfirst into their newfound culinary knowledge; it’s like watching a toddler lost in the wonderment of a bubble.

Anyway, I got myself in a total tizzy as I listened to their miniconference on Pizzaiola Sauce trivia. I mean, I’ve got two kiddos to wrangle daily, and the only trivia that matters to me is how many waffles my son can fit in his mouth at once (current record: one and a half… he’s working on two). So, while the history of Pizzaiola Sauce might not be a hot topic during a round of midnight diaper changes, sometimes it’s nice to remember there’s a large, scrumptious world outside our little bubbles.

So, don’t worry – you’re not in for an epic retelling of Pizzaiola Sauce’s origin story; it’s just fascinating to think about how we end up with these mouthwatering dishes in our lives. Let’s just say there’s more to the journey of Pizzaiola Sauce than meets the eye (or the taste bud). And as for me, I’m just one NY mom, trying to figure out how soon I can whip up another batch of this sauce without raising any eyebrows. The countdown starts now!


  1. Steaks – The star of this Pizzaiola sauce recipe, sliced horizontally, pounded out and seasoned with salt and pepper.

  2. Garlic – A teaspoon of minced garlic adds flavor to the sauce.

  3. Onion – Essential ingredient that adds sweetness to the sauce.

  4. Bell peppers – Adds a crunch and slight sweetness to the sauce.

  5. Tomato sauce – 16 ounces, the base of the sauce.

  6. Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes – These ingredients give the sauce its unique Pizzaiola flavor.

  7. Water – ¾ cup, to thin out the sauce.

  8. Parsley – 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, adds a freshness to the sauce.

  9. Cheese – Optional, add some shredded cheese on top before serving.

Note: Chicken can be used instead of steak, just make sure to pound it out thinly and use a meat thermometer to make sure it’s cooked through. Can be made in an Instant Pot or Slow Cooker, just make sure to sear the meat first for maximum flavor.


  1. Let’s start off by prepping the steak, ’cause trust me, it’s worth it. If you’re using steak for your Pizzaiola sauce, first butterfly it by slicing it in half horizontally and stopping just before cutting all the way through. Then, go to town with a meat tenderizer and pound it out until it’s nice and flat. Cut away any silver skin, if you’ve got it, and generously season with salt and pepper.
  2. Now it’s time to cook that steak. Heat up some olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, then sear the steak until it’s nice and browned on both sides. Set it aside on a plate, but don’t clean that skillet just yet.
  3. Keep the heat on, and add a little more olive oil if you need it. Throw in some minced garlic, diced onions, and bell peppers, and cook until they’re nice and soft. Then, add in your tomato sauce, a pinch of red pepper flakes, a tablespoon of Italian seasoning, and some water. Stir it all up, and bring it to a simmer.
  4. Now, put that steak back in the skillet and simmer for 15 minutes on each side. Once it’s done, transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for a bit. Let the sauce continue to simmer and thicken while the steak takes a little break.
  5. Once the steak has rested, slice it thinly against the grain, and serve it up with that delicious sauce spooned over the top. If you’re feeling fancy, you can add some chopped parsley and shredded cheese.
  • You can also use chicken as an alternative protein. Make sure to pound the chicken out thinly as you would with the steak, and use a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of at least 165 to 175.
  • And, don’t forget, no matter what protein or cooking method you use to serve pizzaiola sauce, sear the meat first, then begin cooking the sauce. This will add essential flavor to the sauce.

Serving Suggestions for Pizzaiola Sauce

Pizzaiola sauce is a delicious and flavorful sauce that can be used in a variety of ways. Here are a few serving suggestions that will make your taste buds dance with joy:

  • Pour it over freshly cooked pasta for a quick and easy dinner. The sauce will perfectly coat each noodle, giving you a taste of Italy in every bite.
  • Use it as a dip for garlic bread or bruschetta. Perfect for those who love a little extra zing in their life.
  • Spoon it over a juicy, grilled steak for a restaurant-quality meal at home. The sauce will add an extra layer of flavor to your steak, making it the star of the show.
  • Use it as a base for a hearty meatball sub. The sauce will bring a delicious and tangy flavor to your meatballs, making each bite an explosion of taste.
  • Serve it as a side with roasted vegetables. The sauce will add a touch of sweetness and acidity to your roasted veggies, making them irresistible.

No matter how you choose to serve your pizzaiola sauce, one thing’s for sure – you’ll never get tired of its delicious and versatile flavor. Bon appetit!

Steak Pizzaiola with Tomato Sauce

Savor the taste of Italy with this classic steak pizzaiola dish, featuring juicy steaks simmered in a rich tomato sauce with bell peppers and onions.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 min
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 People
Calories 812 kcal


  • 1 Large Skillet
  • 1 Meat Tenderizer
  • 1 Wooden Spoon
  • 1 Sharp Knife
  • 1 Cutting Board
  • 1 Plate


  • 4 Ribeye Steaks, (8-12 oz each)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 6 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Large Onion, diced
  • 2 Bell Peppers, sliced
  • 24 oz Can of San Marzano Tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese


  • Season the steaks generously on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the steaks and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Remove the steaks from the skillet and set aside on a plate.
  • In the same skillet, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and the minced garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the diced onion and sliced bell peppers to the skillet, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and water. Bring the sauce to a simmer.
  • Return the steaks to the skillet and spoon some of the sauce over each steak. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the steaks are fully cooked and the sauce has thickened slightly.
  • Remove the steaks from the skillet and let them rest for 5 minutes.
  • Stir the chopped parsley into the sauce and adjust the seasoning to taste, if necessary.
  • Serve the steaks with the sauce spooned over, and sprinkled with shredded Parmesan cheese.


If desired, you can also use chicken breasts or thighs in place of the steaks. Make sure to pound the chicken to an even thickness before cooking.
For a spicier version, increase the amount of red pepper flakes in the sauce.
Serve the steak pizzaiola with a side of crusty bread to mop up the delicious sauce, or over a bed of creamy polenta.


Calories: 812kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 60gFat: 49gSaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 168mgSodium: 1437mgPotassium: 1321mgFiber: 5gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 910IUVitamin C: 99mgCalcium: 340mgIron: 6mg
Keyword Steak, Pizzaiola, Tomato Sauce
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