Guaranteed to become one of your favorite ways to prepare steak! This grilled flank steak is stuffed with a fajita vegetable sauté and melted pepper jack cheese. If you're looking for a new spin on the classic steak recipe, then you have gotta try this stuffed flank steak on your next cookout!
And while you're grilling, pair it with this Grilled Corn on the Cob!
A delicious steak fajita recipe that's both grilled and stuffed. You are about to fall in love with this beef flank. I absolutely love steak on a nice summer day and let me tell you, this stuffed flank steak really hits the spot!
We're not talking individual steak roll ups here...we're talking one big beef roll that is stuffed with fajita vegetables and cheese. With this steak fajita recipe, you'll want to dollop on some of this chipotle lime crema and then you will have yourself something I can only describe as meat magic!
The crema adds an incredible spicy-sweet-acid flavor that is honestly my favorite part about this dish! I ended up using this crema on some air fryer baked sweet potatoes and as a delicious dipping sauce for these air fryer chicken wings. I am going to be sure to always keep a jar of this stuff in the fridge!
Why This Recipe Works
1. This flank steak is very tender and moist, which is quite an accomplishment considering beef flank steak is a tough cut of meat. The large slab of meat is butterflied and hammered down with a meat tenderizer to about ¼ inch thick so that it opens up like a book.
2. Using a meat tenderizer allows the long, fibrous muscle to soften up and break down. It is also a surprisingly fun process to whack away at the meat!
3. This steak marinade really pumps the meat full of flavor and makes it extra juicy.
4. All of the veggies are sautéed together to bring out some of the sweetness, making the steak fajita recipe mixture much tastier.
5. And of course, we have to add cheese! Pepper jack melts very well and makes a delicious glue that holds all of the sautéed veggies together.
Ingredients You'll Need
Let's start with the marinade. This flank steak marinade really makes this stuffed steak delicious. Since the meat is butterflied to be super thin, most of the meat is able to soak up the delicious flavor all the way through in a super quick amount of time.
I really enjoy the salty, sweet, and slightly spicy flavor from the marinade. It really does make the grilled flank steak more tender and juicy. This is the best steak marinade!
Now, let's talk about the sauce. What goes better with a steak fajita recipe than some creamy chipotle lime crema?! The Mexican crema is perfectly balanced. It has a limey tang to it with a creamy mellow texture from the avocado and sour cream. It's packed with sweet heat from the chipotle pepper and adobo sauce.
There's nothing better than that money shot of cheese oozing out of food when it is cut into. The pepper jack cheese melts around the sautéed bell peppers, onions, and jalapeños which really helps to hold all the stuffing together and keep it from spilling out when you cut the steak into pinwheels.
When sliced into, it resembles a beautiful glass art mosaic fit for a museum of delicious food!
Step-By-Step Recipe Instructions
It is essential to break down your flank steak into a more manageable slab of meat. In order to do this, you will need to remove any silver skin or super fatty sections. Then, butterfly the meat by running your knife through so that it opens up like a book. This step is important when making stuffed flank steak.
To make it more tender and a bit thinner, you can use a meat tenderizer mallet to hammer until it's thinner. Be sure to cover it with plastic wrap so that it doesn't stick to the mallet.
Next, sauté the fajita vegetables. Cooking the fajita veggies first will help bring out some of the sweetness. Onions are particularly amazing when sautéed because they have an amino acid that develops into a very earthy, almost meaty, flavor when cooked. This is why caramelized onions are so delicious!
Once the fajita veggies are cooked and the onions are almost translucent, add the garlic and allow it to cook for a couple of minutes until it becomes very fragrant. Expert Tip: Garlic burns easily when minced so only sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Finally, add the fajita seasoning and incorporate it well so it coats all of the fajita veggies. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool.
Now, it is time to stuff the flank steak! Stuffed flank steak is really easy to prepare. Start by distributing the fajita vegetables on top of the beef steak and be sure to coat it from edge-to-edge. Then, layer on the cheese. It's ok to get some spillage out of the sides when we roll the meat up.
When we roll the steak up into a meat log, we want to be sure that the fibers in the meat are oriented correctly. If we cut it with the grain of the fibers instead of against them, there will be a noticeable difference in the tenderness of the meat. In this case, the fibers are running lengthwise so make sure you roll it from long-edge to long-edge (or hotdog style).
Once the flank steak is rolled up, tie it with cooking twine so that it doesn't come unrolled when moving it to the grill. Expert Tip: I use several pieces of twine and ensure the ends are stitched together tightly so that I can minimize the amount of cheese that oozes out when cooking.
Now we have a stuffed flank steak that is ready to be grilled. Cooking flank steak on the grill is the way to go with this recipe. You'll want to cook the fajita stuffed flank steak at 300°F for about 40-60 minutes. Once the internal temperature of the steak reaches 130°F, remove it from the grill and cover it with a sheet of aluminum foil. Expert Tip: Wrap the meat in the shiny side of the foil to help hold in more heat.
It will continue to cook even when it is taken off of the grill. This is called carryover cooking, and you will notice the internal temp of the steak will go from 130°F up to 135°F when under the foil.
If you like your steak medium, medium well, or even well-done, adjust the cooking time until the desired internal temperature has been reached.
Chipotle Lime Crema
While the cooked steak is resting, you can start making the chipotle lime crema. In a food processor, combine the avocado, sour cream, chipotle peppers with adobo sauce, lime juice, garlic, salt, and lime zest. Combine it until it is creamy and smooth. Then, transfer it to a serving bowl or a condiment squeeze bottle.
Once it has cooled down a little, maybe 10 minutes, you can slice into it. Cut the meat into slices about ½ inch thick. Then serve with the chipotle lime crema sauce either on the side or on top. This steak fajita recipe is about to wow your tastebuds!
Expert Tips & FAQs
- This grilled flank steak recipe tastes amazing using a pellet grill at 300°F using your favorite wood. I use competition blend pellets by Pit Boss. Oak and Mesquite wood also pair well with flank steak.
- Since the meat cooks so quickly, we will not get TONS of smoke from the wood at 300°F. You can adjust the temperature down to 250°F or even 225°F to make this more of a smoker recipe, but you will double the cooking time. Besides, this flank steak already has so many great flavors!
- Be sure to use cooking twine to hold the steak together. I usually space the twine about 2-4 inches apart to be sure it is held together well. If you do not have cooking twine, you can use toothpicks or wooden skewers to suture it.
Marinades For Flavor
A great way to pump flavor into meat is with a marinade. However, most of the marinade will only work its way into the first ⅛th of an inch of the meat. This is because the molecular structure of garlic, sugar, and other flavoring or aromatics is very large. They hit a roadblock when trying to enter deeper into the meat. There's just not enough space for them to squeeze in any further.
The one successful passenger along for the ride that can penetrate deeper is salt, thanks to a vehicle called osmosis. Osmosis allows for moisture (water) to move in and out of the cells of the meat. During this process it takes the salt, and hopefully some of the other flavorings, in the marinade.
Marinades To Tenderize
A common misconception is that marinades can make a tough cut of meat tender, but unfortunately this isn't necessarily the case. Often times, an acidic marinade will make your meat mushy. An acid, like vinegar, or an enzyme, like those found in fruits, act to tenderize the meat by denaturing the proteins.
Think of the proteins as being an intricately curled ribbon that twists about through the meat. When a marinade works it's magic, it unravels these ribbons and takes away the plump structure of the meat. Some find this to be more tender but others may find it to be mushy and unappetizing. Since the marinade can only penetrate so deep into the meat, don't expect a thick and tougher cut of meat to be tender all the way through.
What Else Is Cooking?
Are you looking for air fryer desserts,to put your air fryer to the test!? Well, look no further than this air fryer banana bundt cake! This thing is super moist and is the perfect size for a small gathering. Or, it can even be your own personal dessert to devour during an all-day Netflix binge! I amped this thing up by putting a bit of bourbon in the frosting. And, it pairs amazingly well with this steak fajita recipe.
Check out this DELICIOUS smoked meatloaf! It's wrapped in bacon and smoked for a couple of hours. It is one of my favorite twists on a classic and is super easy to put together.
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Fajita Stuffed Grilled Flank Steak
- Grill or Smoker
- Meat Tenderizer Mallet
- Cooking Twine (100% Cotton Twine)
- 2 pounds flank steak
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced (seeds and stem removed)
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced (seeds and stem removed)
- 1 orange bell pepper, sliced (seeds and stem removed)
- 2 jalapeños, sliced (seeds and stem removed)
- 1 onion cut into strips
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 ounces pepper jack cheese
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- 1 cup chipotle lime crema
- ½ cup olive oil, extra virgin
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat the grill until it reaches an internal temperature of 350°F.
- Butterfly the steak by running your knife through the middle of the steak so that you can open it up like a book. Keep cutting carefully until you get to the other edge but don’t cut all the way through, you will need a binding to hold your steak book together.
- Lay the flank steak out flat and cover it with some plastic wrap. Pound with a meat tenderizer mallet until it is about ½-inch thick.
- Use a medium-sized bowl to mix the marinade ingredients. Expert Tip: If you don't want to use a plastic bag, you can use a large bowl with a lid.
- Place the meat in the plastic bag with the marinade and zip it shut. Let the steak marinate for about 1 hour.
- In a large sauté pan, heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the bell peppers, onions, and jalapeños until the onions are translucent or about 8-10 minutes.
- Then, add the garlic and fajita seasoning and sauté for another 2 minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Remove the meat from the marinade and lay it flat on your work surface. Using paper towels, pat the steak dry and begin to lay the fajita vegetables onto the steak.
- Cover it completely from edge-to-edge with the vegetables. Lay the slices of pepper jack cheese on top of the vegetables.
- Roll up the flank steak. Expert Tip: You want to be sure that you are rolling against the grain of the meat so that when you slice into the flank steak, you are cutting against the grain. It is ok if the vegetables fall out, just push them back in as you roll the steak up.
- Once it is completely rolled up, use cooking twine to tie a knot around the steak. Tie it shut every 2-4 inches to be sure it stays together well.
- Place the stuffed flank steak on the grill and cook at 300°F for about 40-60 minutes, until the internal temperature of the steak reaches 130°F for medium rare.
- Remove the steak from the grill and allow it to rest under a sheet of aluminum foil for about 10 minutes. NOTE: The aluminum foil should fit loose and not tightly wrapped around the steak.
- Slice the meat against the grain into 1-inch thick slices.
- Serve along with the chipotle lime crema, either on the side or drizzled over the top.
- Grill at 300°F using your favorite wood. I use competition blend pellets by Pit Boss. Oak and Mesquite wood also pairs well with this recipe.
- Since the meat cooks so quickly, we will not get TONS of smoke from the wood. You can adjust the temperature down to 250°F or even 225°F to get more smoke flavor but you will double the cooking time.
- Be sure to use cooking twine to hold the meat together. I usually space the twine about 2-4 inches apart to be sure it is held together well. If you do not have cooking twine, you can use toothpicks or wooden skewers to suture it.
Update Notes: This post was originally published in May of 2020, but was re-published with updated step-by-step instructions, pictures, and tips in March 2021.