The Ultimate Summer Special Occasion Meal: Grilled Tuscan Steak with Garlic, Lemon, & Herbs
Chris & I always turn to a classic steak night dinner for special occasions like birthdays & anniversaries. We used to go out to ritzy steakhouses, but these days we prefer to stay in – especially now that we know how simple & affordable it is to make restaurant-worthy steak at home. We hit a few bumps along the road to grilling steak perfectly – you can read about my epic steak dinner fail here! 🙈 – so I get how intimidating it can be. But I promise – this Tuscan grilled steak recipe is one of the easiest, most delicious places to start!
Tuscany is well-known for its wine & pasta, of course, but it’s also the meat-loving & grill-loving region of central Italy. That’s why dishes like Florentine steak & Grilled Tuscan Chicken are so popular! This Tuscan steak recipe uses a simple marinade made of lemon zest, garlic, & loads of rosemary & oregano for big, beautiful Tuscan-inspired flavor. That’s what Italian cooking is all about, anyway: highlighting simple ingredients & making them taste incredible.
Once the Tuscan steak takes on all the garlicky, herbaceous goodness from the marinade, it sizzles away on the grill until perfectly charred & juicy. Serve the Tuscan steak with a glass of wine & some simple sides, & you have yourself a perfect grilled Tuscan steak dinner. No need to go out to eat when celebratory steak is as simple as that!
Tuscan Steak Recipe Highlights
This Tuscan grilled steak is the perfect summer meal because it’s…
- MEGA FLAVORFUL. This Tuscan steak recipe only uses a few simple ingredients, but they’re some of the best flavors in life. It doesn’t get better than fresh herbs, bright lemon zest, & plenty of garlic!
- JUICY & CHARRED. Your humble backyard grill gives the Tuscan steak a juicy & tender center with a crave-worthy summertime char – no passports required!
- EASY EVENING GRILLING. Steak night has never been easier. Let the Tuscan steak marinate all day, then grill it up in a few minutes around dinnertime. Seriously the best!
A taste of Tuscan sunshine! ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make Grilled Tuscan Steak, or jump straight to the recipe & get grilling!
Quick Talk: Is This Tuscan Steak the Same as Florentine Steak?
Florentine steak (or bistecca fiorentina) is a popular way to prepare steak in Tuscany. It’s named after the city of Florence, the capital of Tuscany, where the dish has been served for centuries. What makes Florentine steak special is its made from Chianina beef, an ancient Tuscan breed of cattle loved for its super tender meat. Each extra-large T-bone steak is aged for weeks before grilling & traditionally served very rare as a juicy contrast to its charred exterior.
Traditional Florentine steak can really only come from its region of origin – kind of like how legit champagne only comes from the Champagne wine region of France. A recipe isn’t quite a real deal steak Florentine without using Chianina steak, so it’s very different from this particular Tuscan-inspired steak recipe.
Instead, this particular grilled steak recipe draws inspiration from Tuscany – in both its big, punchy flavor & its char-grilled preparation. Similar to Florentine steak, this grilled Tuscan steak uses simple seasoning & a high heat grill to get a beautiful charred crust & juicy center. Each bite will remind you of Italy, but you have to travel to Florence to get real deal steak Florentine!
Key Ingredients for Tuscan Style Steak
Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
Here’s what you need to make this grilled Tuscan steak recipe:
- Steaks of choice – Don’t skimp on quality when you’re grilling steak! The steak is the star of the show here, so splurge on your favorite cut (I’m willing to bet it’ll still be cheaper than a night out to a steakhouse). We like New York Strip or ribeye at the PWWB House because they’re tender & flavorful. Choose whatever catches your eye at the butcher counter!
- Herbs – Plenty of fresh rosemary & dried oregano make the Tuscan marinade burst with herbaceous flavor.
- Aromatics – Tons of garlic (8 whole cloves!) & optional crushed red pepper flakes add more Italian-inspired flavor to the Tuscan steak marinade. I love the peppery bite from crushed red pepper flakes, but feel free to omit if you don’t care for the added heat.
- Olive oil – This Tuscan steak marinade is super simple, so be sure to use the good stuff here. Good-quality extra-virgin olive oil makes a major difference in the marinade. This EVOO is my go-to.
- Lemon – A surprising yet delicious add-in for a rich steak dinner! I use lemon zest to get the most intense bright flavor.
How to Choose the Best Steak For Grilling
Choosing the best steak for grilling really comes down to what you prefer most! There are tons of excellent options out there & it’s hard to choose wrong. Here are 3 things to keep in mind when steak shopping:
- Quality. The steak is the star of the show here, so I feel free to splurge! (Remember: It’s still probably be cheaper than going out to a fancy steak dinner at your favorite restaurant!) Choosing the best quality cut you can find & afford will make it super easy to cook the best Tuscan steak ever. If you’re not sure where to start, head to your favorite local butcher shop & ask the experts what’s best that day.
- Cut. When making steak dinner, Chris & I gravitate towards New York Strip for its tenderness or ribeye for its flavor & marbling. A T-bone, porterhouse, filet mignon, or a nice top sirloin are also all perfect for grilled Tuscan steak. Use what you love!
- Thickness. A nice & thick steak helps ensure it doesn’t overcook as it chars on the grill. I developed this Tuscan steak recipe using 1 1/4 – 1 1/2-inch thick steaks (the standard thickness available at most butcher counters). It’s totally fine if your steaks are thicker or thinner – simply adjust the cooking times as needed for desired doneness.
Start with an Easy & Flavorful Tuscan Steak Marinade
The first step to making Tuscan grilled steak is prepping the Tuscan-inspired marinade. I love this Tuscan steak marinade because it’s really, really simple (yet totally packed with flavor).
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
What you’ll need for this Tuscan steak marinade. ⇢ This Tuscan-inspired marinade tastes light, bright, herbaceous, & garlicky thanks to a combination of olive oil, rosemary, oregano, garlic, & lemon. It’s super important to use a good quality extra-virgin olive oil since the ingredient list is so simple. You can totally taste the difference with the fruity-peppery flavor of a nice extra virgin olive oil.
How to marinate this Tuscan steak. ⇢ Add the steaks to an airtight container or resealable storage bag & pour the Tuscan steak marinade over top. Use your hands to rub the spices & herbs into every nook & cranny of the steak so it takes on as much flavor as possible.
Suggested Marinating Time
Let the marinade do its thing for at least 12 hours or up to 2 days. This may seem like a long time, but steak’s naturally rich flavor means it needs more time to absorb the Tuscan-style marinade.
Meal Prep Tip!
Since it’s so easy to throw together, I like to prep the Tuscan steak marinade the night before I plan to make a steak dinner. The steaks can marinate overnight with no extra effort or worrying the day of – easy!
How to Grill Tuscan Steak (Plus, Plenty of Steak Grilling Tips!)
Grilling steak is something that always feels way more intimidating than it actually is – I promise. While I love a good cast-iron steak, there’s something about the charred smokiness of grilled steak that I can’t get enough of. Grilling steak is a skill worth learning – I guarantee you’ll love it too!
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Whether you’re new to grilling steak or a grilling pro, you’ll love this grilled Tuscan steak recipe because of how easy it is to prepare. Here’s what you need to do:
Prep the Tuscan steaks for the grill. About 30 minutes before you want to grill your steaks, pull them out of the refrigerator so they can come up to room temperature. Why? ⇢ A room temperature steak is more likely to cook evenly on the grill, resulting in meltingly tender texture with perfect char!
Prepare your grill. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Once hot, clean the grill grates with a bristle brush so no leftover charred bits interfere with the Tuscan grilled steak. Right before you’re ready to toss the Tuscan steak on the grill, take a paper towel to pat the steak nice & dry, then generously season each steak with salt & black pepper. Why? ⇢ Removing extra moisture is another essential step for crispy char! Once dry, generously season each steak with salt & black pepper. The Tuscan marinade infuses the steak with tons of flavor, but S&P is a simple finishing touch.
Grill the Tuscan steaks. Place the Tuscan steak on the grill grates directly over the heat, then close the lid to let the hot air circulate around the grill. Grill 3-5 minutes per side. We like a nice medium rare in our house, which takes about 4 minutes per side. Pull the Tuscan steak off the grill once it’s cooked to your liking & set it aside to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
*Take It to the Next Level!
Cooking Tuscan grilled steak over direct heat as directed here is nice & simple, but my all-time favorite way to grill steak is grilling with the 2-zone method. This easy modification adds extra juiciness & char that’s absolutely perfect, every single time. You can read all about this method in our Seriously Perfect Grilled Steak recipe. If you’re intrigued, give it a try on your Tuscan grilled steak!
A Quick Guide to Steak Doneness & Temperature
How long to grill steak depends entirely on what you’re aiming for. A general rule of thumb is to add 1 extra minute of grill time per side for one extra level of doneness – e.g. 5 minutes per side for medium, 6 minutes per side for medium-well, etc.
In the end, the most accurate way to gauge doneness is always with an instant-read thermometer.
Here’s a quick guide you can reference when deciding how long to grill steak:
- Rare (red & cool center): Cook to an internal temperature of 105-110 degrees F. The steak’s carry-over heat will cause the internal temperature to rise to a final internal temperature of 120-125 degrees F.
- Medium-rare (red & warm center): Cook to an internal temperature of 115-120 degrees F. The steak’s carry-over heat will cause the internal temperature to rise to a final internal temperature of 130-135 degrees F.
- Medium (pink & warm center): Cook to an internal temperature of 125-130 degrees F. The steak’s carry-over heat will cause the internal temperature to rise to a final internal temperature of 140-145 degrees F.
- Medium-well (slightly pink center): Cook to an internal temperature of 135-140 degrees F. The steak’s carry-over heat will cause the internal temperature to rise to a final internal temperature of 140-145 degrees F.
- Well-done (cooked through with little to no pink): Cook to an internal temperature of 145-150 degrees F. The steak’s carry-over heat will cause the internal temperature to rise to a final internal temperature of 150+ degrees F.
Grilling Steak FAQs
How do you season steak for grilling?
Keep it simple! Our Tuscan marinade is perfect for steak because its simple ingredients don’t compete with natural flavors of a rich steak. You can’t go wrong with garlic, lemon, herbs, salt, & pepper.
How long to grill steak?
It depends. We love a juicy medium-rare steak at the PWWB house, which takes about 4 minutes per side. Feel free to cook the grilled steak to your desired level of doneness. Our quick guide to steak doneness & temperature (above) is a helpful resource, but the best way to check your Tuscan steak is always with an instant-read thermometer.
Do you close the grill while cooking steak?
Yes! Keeping the lid closed allows the hot air to circulate throughout the grill. The warm air cooks the Tuscan steak all the way through until nice & tender.
Do you flip steaks on the grill?
For sure! Grilling the steak on each side helps the Tuscan steak cook evenly & gives each side picture-worthy grill marks.
*More Grilling Tips & Tricks
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Hosting A Dreamy Italian Summer Dinner: Grilled Tuscan Steak Serving Suggestions
The Tuscan grilled steak is ready to slice & serve once it has rested for about 5-10 minutes. Resting helps the steak juices settle so it’s even more tender. 🤤 Then it’s ready to go!
Grilled Tuscan steak is super delicious as-is! The Tuscan-inspired marinade has done wonders to make the rich steaks herby, garlicky, & lemony. If you want an extra touch, you can also serve Tuscan steak with a sprinkle of smoky finishing salt, a vibrant sauce like pesto or Italian-style salsa verde, or the charred lemon juice of grilled lemon wedges.
Serving your Tuscan steak with Italian-inspired sides brings everything together for a complete meal. It’s the perfect way to serve your steak, whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply dreaming of a Tuscan villa. A few ideas to get you started:
- Kick things off with Italian-inspired appetizers like Tomato Bruschetta with Whipped Ricotta or Prosciutto-Wrapped Melon. They’re easy to munch on as the steaks grill!
- A side of potatoes, of course! These Grilled Fries with Lemon Pesto Aioli are convenient because they use ingredients you’ll already have on hand for the Tuscan steak marinade.
- Salad. Make a fresh green salad with summer veggies & this All-Purpose Vinaigrette. Or level up with Italian-inspired salads like my Caprese Salad 2.0 or Grilled Panzanella.
- A Grilled Vegetable Platter is so easy to whip up since your grill is already lit! Feel free to choose whatever veggies you love most. Red peppers, eggplant, mushrooms, & zucchini are great choices to stick with the Italian vibe.
- Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad is easy to make & always a big hit.
- & a glass of Italian wine, of course!
If you give this Grilled Tuscan Steak a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations!
Dreaming of Italy? You’re in the right place! 🙌🏼 Be sure to try these grilled meals with Italian flair soon! Grilled Bruschetta Chicken, Best-Ever Grilled Pizza, The Ultimate Grilled Italian Sausage Sandwiches, & Tuscan-Style Grilled Spatchcock Chicken. Happy grilling! ♡Print
A taste of Italy, right in your backyard! This Grilled Tuscan Steak recipe is a deliciously fun way to switch up your steak night at home.
Inspired by Tuscany, a region in central Italy famous for its grill-loving & meat-loving food culture, this recipe soaks your tender steak of choice in a fragrant combination of lemon, garlic, & aromatic fresh herbs. It’s not overly citrusy, but a little lemon brightens up the flavor of rich grilled steak – if you’ve never had a little lemon with a steak dinner, you’re seriously in for such a treat!
Be sure to read through the blog post, above, for plenty of grilling tips & some guidance for steak doneness!
- 2 (two) 1 1/4 – 1 1/2-inch steaks of choice – ribeye, New York Strip, T-bone, etc. (see Recipe Notes, below)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lemon, zested
- 8 cloves garlic, smashed open or finely chopped or grated
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, broken in half
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- optional: up to 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, as desired
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- Prep the Tuscan-style marinade & marinate the steaks: Add the steaks to an airtight container resealable storage bag. Top with the olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, fresh rosemary sprigs, dried oregano, & crushed red pepper flakes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Use your hands to really rub the herbs & spices into the surface of the steaks. Cover & marinate in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours or up to 2 days.
- Prep the Tuscan steaks for the grill: About 30 minutes prior to grilling the steaks, pull them out of the refrigerator to let them come up to room temperature. I typically just pull them out of the fridge right before I preheat the grill (Step 3, below). Just before you’re ready to toss them on the grill, use paper towel to pat the steak as dry as you possibly can, then season generously with kosher salt – a good rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon per pound of meat – & ground black pepper as desired.
- Prepare the grill: Preheat the grill for medium-high direct heat grilling, 450-500 degrees F. Once preheated, clean the cooking surface by firmly brushing a wire brush over the grates. (If you do not have access to an outdoor grill, you can also preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat.)
- Grill the Tuscan-style steaks: Place the steaks on the grill grates, directly over the heat. Close the grill lid. Grill 3-5 minutes per side. For a nice medium rare, I grill 4 minutes per side, until an instant read thermometer inserted in the steak registers an internal temperature of 115-120 degrees F (refer to blog post above for more guidance on different steak temperatures & cook times), transfer the steaks to a plate & set aside to rest.
- Rest, carve & serve: Set the grilled Tuscan-style steaks aside to rest for 5-10 minutes, then carve & serve as desired. We think this grilled Tuscan steak is wonderful as-is, finishing with just a touch of smoky finishing salt, but you can serve it with a vibrant sauce like pesto or Italian-style salsa verde if desired. Pair with your favorite pasta salad & grilled veggies for the ultimate summer dinner! Enjoy!
- Best steaks for grilling: Whenever you’re making steak at home, buy the highest quality steaks you can find. The steak is really the star of the show here! (Plus, no matter what, I guarantee you’ll spend less on your steak than you would for a steak dinner at a nice restaurant!) We love New York strip or ribeye at our house, as both are tender with great flavor. This method will work for sirloin or tenderloin, too, noting you may need to adjust cook times based on the thickness of the steak.
- Storage & Reheating: Leftover steak will keep, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Enjoy leftovers cold from the fridge, or reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave, just until warmed through.
Keywords: tuscan steak, perfect grilled steak, tuscan grilled steak recipe, easy, Father’s Day, grilling & smoking, American, Italian, low-carb, gluten-free
Recipe by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by KJ & Company, Kate Poskochil
Ready to Hit the Grill?
If this all still feels new to you, I encourage you to head over to Grilling 101, a compilation of tips & tricks for all of the grilling basics – everything from how to light your grill to how to clean your grill.
All this talk about grilling have you feelin’ ready to hit the grill? Me too! Be sure to check out this post for my 15 go-to marinades you need this grilling season. At our house, a good marinade is at the heart of grilling season. I’m positive these marinades will be on repeat at your house this summer! For even more grilled goodness, be sure to check out all of our Grilling & Smoking recipes.
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