Healthier Beef Recipes to Make for Dinner

Red meat can get a bad rap, but when eaten in moderation, it can also be part of a balanced diet. High in protein, iron, and B vitamins, there’s no reason you can’t indulge in a good cut of meat every now and again, and with the red meat recipes we’re highlighting today, you can serve up the good stuff at home. Red meat often comes at a high price at restaurants, but it can be made homemade for half the cost. Try out one of these 7 recipes featuring red meat, and find one that you can pull out time and time again when the craving strikes and your iron levels are low.

1. Flank Steak with Coffee-Peppercorn Marinade

flank steak

Flank steak | iStock.com

Our first recipe from Eating Well yields a flank steak that won’t set you back in the fat and calorie departments. As long as you buy a cut of lean meat, one serving of this dinner yields only 230 calories and 23 grams of protein. You’ll also get a caffeine hit as this flank steak is marinated in a dressing made up of coffee, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and peppercorns. Make this dinner when you’re feeling fancy, and enjoy the health benefits of flank steak.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound flank steak, trimmed of fat

Directions: In a glass dish, whisk coffee, vinegar, oil, sugar, garlic, peppercorns, and salt. Add steak, and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (you can chill for up to 8 hours).

Preheat grill to high.

Remove steak from marinade. Lightly oil grill rack. Place steak on grill, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steak to a cutting board, and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly across the grain, and serve.

2. Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff | iStock.com

Beef Stroganoff is an example of comfort food that everyone can enjoy, and this recipe from Cooking Light lightens the dish up a bit, with one serving clocking in at just over 350 calories. The dinner takes 40 minutes to make and can be done all in a large skillet. Grab your beef, egg noodles, and mushrooms, and get ready to go. Serving 4, this is one supper that can feed a family or one person with leftovers.

Ingredients:

  • 6½ cups water, divided
  • 4 ounces uncooked egg noodles
  • 1 pound flank steak, trimmed
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1 package pre-sliced exotic mushroom blend
  • 1 cup lower-sodium beef broth, divided
  • 5 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup fat-free sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions: In a large saucepan, boil 6 cups water. Add noodles; cook 5 minutes or until al dente. Drain.

Cut beef across the grain into ¼-inch-wide strips; cut strips into 2-inch pieces.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef to pan; sauté 4 minutes. Remove beef from pan. Add 1 cup onion, black pepper, salt, paprika, and mushrooms to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Reduce heat to medium.

Combine ¼ cup beef broth and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add broth mixture, beef, remaining ¾ cup broth, and remaining ½ cup water to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cover and cook 8 minutes or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream, green onions, and butter. Serve beef mixture over egg noodles; sprinkle with parsley.

3. BLT Steak Salad

Flank Steak Salad

Steak salad | iStock.com

If you want your red meat for lunch, try it on a salad with this recipe from Cooking Channel. This BLT steak salad is definitely something you can look forward to for your midday meal, and it’ll give you your iron and protein punch while also helping you eat healthy. Both flank steak and bacon stud this salad, as do blue cheese, tomatoes, and red onion. Pick a green of your choice, and don’t forget to make your own salad dressing.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 6 cups romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 slices crisp-cooked turkey bacon, crumbled

Directions: Sprinkle steak with ½ teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Spray a nonstick grill pan with cooking spray; set over medium-high heat. Add the steak, and cook 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board, and let rest 5 minutes. Cut the steak on an angle against the grain into 12 slices.

Meanwhile, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add the lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, and toss to coat well. Transfer the salad to a platter. Top with the steak slices, and sprinkle with the blue cheese and bacon. Serve immediately.

4. Bean Beef Burgers

burger

Juicy burger | iStock.com

Here’s a recipe from Taste of Home that lets you enjoy your beef and your beans. Hello fiber, protein, and iron. These bean and beef burgers offer a fun spin on traditional patties as they enlist black beans, bulgur, and green onions. The burgers are filling and will keep you satiated for hours, and whether you have them on a bun or a bed of greens, you’ll enjoy the mix of flavors from the smoky black beans and lean ground beef.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup bulgur
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

Directions: Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in bulgur. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. In a food processor, combine the beans, onions, mustard, and garlic. Cover and pulse until blended. Stir in salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the egg, bulgur, and bean mixture. Crumble beef over mixture, and mix well. Shape into six patties.

In a large nonstick skillet, cook patties in oil in batches for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit and juices run clear. Serve on buns with spinach, onion, and tomato.

5. Healthy Flank Steak Street Tacos

steak taco

Steak tacos | iStock.com

Serve up your steak street-style with this healthy taco recipe from Fit Men Cook. Pack your flank steak, veggies, cilantro, and homemade avocado-lime salad dressing into corn tortillas, and call it dinner. This dish is a fun spin on your typical steak recipe, and it steers you from your normal steak and potatoes. The recipe makes 3 tacos but can easily be multiplied if you’re interested in impressing some meat-hungry dinner guests.

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces lean flank steak
  • 3 corn tortillas
  • Choice of raw veggies
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime
  • Cumin
  • Chipotle chili pepper
  • Cayenne
  • Garlic

Avocado lime dressing

  • 1 medium avocado
  • ⅓ cup extra-light olive oil
  • ⅔ of cucumber
  • Small handful cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Juice of 1 lime

Directions: Season flank steak with cumin, chipotle chili, cayenne pepper, and garlic paste. Set a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat, and add seasoned flank steak. Cook until desired readiness. Chop flank steak into tiny pieces, and set aside.

Prepare the avocado-lime dressing. Chop up veggies, limes, and fresh cilantro. Warm corn tortillas in the oven or the microwave for about 30 seconds. Add desired toppings to tacos.

6. Beef and Potato Salad with Smoky Chipotle

potatoes, vegetable peeler

Peeling potatoes | iStock.com

If you are still interested in steak and potatoes, at least enjoy them on a salad — a Mexico-inspired salad, to be exact. This smoky beef and potato from Eating Well combines stew beef, potatoes, avocado, and chipotle chile. Whether you enjoy the salad as a main meal or side dish, its unique combination of flavors is guaranteed to please, and even better, the salad only takes 25 minutes of your active time to make.

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces stew beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into roughly ½-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 small red onion, cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 1 ripe medium avocado, cut into ¼-inch pieces

Directions: Boil 1 quart of water in a medium saucepan. Add beef, garlic, and salt. When the water returns to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low. Skim off the foam that rises during the first few minutes of simmering. Partially cover and simmer until the meat is fall-apart tender, about 1 hour. Remove the meat to a plate with a slotted spoon; let cool.

Add potatoes to the meat broth, and simmer over medium heat until tender, 13 to 15 minutes. Scoop the potatoes into a medium bowl with a slotted spoon. Sprinkle with vinegar.

Coarsely shred the beef, and stir it into the potatoes, along with onion, oil, and chipotle to taste. Let cool to room temperature. Stir in avocado just before serving.

7. Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry

beef fajitas and bell peppers

Stir fry with beef and veggies | iStock.com

Last but not least: a stir fry. Also known as the easiest one-skillet dinner to prepare. Try your hand at this beef and vegetable stir fry from Natasha’s Kitchen, and see what we mean. This supper will be on your table in 40 minutes or less, and it’s reasonably healthy starring flank steak, sugar snap peas, carrots, and bell peppers. This stir fry is dressed with an orange marinade, and it can be served alone or over rice.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1½ pounds flank steak (thinly sliced chuck steak works well also)
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1½ cups sugar snap peas
  • 1 large carrot, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced

Marinade

  • 3 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions: In a large bowl, combine marinade ingredients. Slicing against the grain, cut flank steak into thin strips. Add the steak to your marinade; mix well. Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To prep veggies, finely dice your onion, rinse and remove caps from snap peas, slice carrot into matchsticks, and slice bell pepper. Over high heat, preheat a heavy-bottomed skillet or wok over high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add in 1½ tablespoons cooking oil, followed by onion.

Drain the beef, and reserve the marinade. Add drained beef, stirring constantly for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the extra marinade to the pan. Add veggies, and continue cooking on high heat 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently or until vegetables soften and sauce starts to thicken. Serve with rice.

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