Chili Rubbed Flank Steak with Roasted Pepper Salsa

Mains Meat Mains
Chili Rubbed Flank Steak with Roasted Pepper Salsa, Sacha Served What

This Chili Rubbed Flank Steak is smoky, spicy, and a little bit sweet. Serve it with the Roasted Pepper Salsa for even more flavor.

I love steak, and this Chili Rubbed Flank Steak with Roasted Pepper Salsa is one of my new favorite recipes. It’s great without the salsa, but seriously, when does salsa not make everything better? You might as well make it.

Flank steak is fantastic because it’s great for a crowd. It’s a large cut of meat that’s perfect served sliced up with really anything on the side. Salad. Veggies. Potatoes. Rice. But this rub and salsa will work for other cuts of steak, if you happen have something else lying around instead. Skirt steak. Rib eye. Strip. They all work!

The key to this Chili Rubbed Flank Steak is all in the delicious spice rub. It’s made with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and also brown sugar, used to balance out the spicy. Plus, it helps the steak get a really nice char.

The salsa is super easy to make. You toss all the veggies in a bowl with oil, Kosher salt, and pepper and then roast ’em. After that, you pulse in a blender with some scallion, lime, olive oil, and cumin. Really, it’s that simple! Plus, you can use this same method to come up with other salsas made with different veggies in the future, too.

Recipe Tips:

  • Don’t skip the two steps to tenderize the steak. First is pounding it a bit with a mallet. Second, is cutting slits into the meat at an angle.
  • Cook the steak to medium-rare, definitely not more than medium. If you cook it more, it may be very tough. If you’re using a thermometer I’d cook it to 130 degrees. It will continue cooking a bit more as it rests.
  • Slice the steak very thin and on an angle when serving, and slice against the grain. If not, it could be very tough and chewy. This helps cut though all muscle fibers.
  • For the Roasted Pepper Salsa, keep an eye on the veggies in the oven. All ovens are different, and you don’t want the peppers to get too black.

Ingredient Notes:

  • Flank Steak – As mentioned above, you can use other cuts of steak if you’d like.
  • Light Brown Sugar – I think this is necessary here and light brown is my preference. The sugar balances the flavors and helps to add a nice crust to the meat. I have not tested it with Dark Brown Sugar or Coconut Sugar, but my guess it that they will work as well.
  • Long Red Chili Pepper – If you can’t find one of these, you can use two jalapeños.
Chili Rubbed Flank Steak with Roasted Pepper Salsa, Sacha Served What

Chili Rubbed Flank Steak with Roasted Pepper Salsa

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Resting Time 5 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Latin
Servings 3


  • Paper Towels
  • Paring Knife
  • Meat Mallet
  • Grill Pan OR Gas Grill
  • 1 Small Bowl
  • 1 Sheet Pan
  • Parchment Paper
  • 1 Large Bowl
  • Food Processor


For the Chili Rubbed Flank Steak with Roasted Pepper Salsa:

  • 1 flank steak 1.5 lbs.
  • Kosher salt
  • Chili-Cumin Rub see recipe below
  • Avocado oil
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish
  • Roasted Red Pepper Salsa

For the Chili-Cumin Rub:

  • 1 ½ tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder Use half the chili powder if you don't love spicy
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


For the Chili Rubbed Flank Steak with Roasted Pepper Salsa:

  • Let flank steak come to room temperature and pat dry with paper towels. Using a paring knife, poke small cuts into the meat, almost all the way through. Cuts should be made on both sides in the direction of the grain on meat as the knife is going in, and the cuts should be about an inch apart from one another. Lightly tenderize the steak on both sides using a meat mallet.
  • Season both sides of the steak generously with Kosher salt, then rub the Chili-Cumin Rub all over the steak.
  • Grill Pan Directions (preferred method): Heat a drizzle of avocado oil in a grill pan over medium heat. Add flank steak to the grill pan diagonal to the grates. Cook for 1 ½ minutes, then turn the steak 90 degrees to make a crisscross pattern and cook another minute. Flip to the other side, repeating the crisscross cooking pattern for a medium-rare steak, another 1-2 minutes. If using a thermometer, cook until the steak registers 130°F.
  • Outdoor Grill Directions: Heat the grill to high, letting it come to 450°F. Oil the grill grates. Drizzle and rub the steak with avocado oil along with the spices. Cook steak at a diagonal across the grates for 1 minute per side. Reduce heat to medium, then flip the steak again and cook another 2-4 minutes per side, with the grill cover closed, until cooked to desired temperature.
  • Transfer to a cutting board and tent steak with tinfoil for 5 minutes. Thinly slice at an angle against the grain and serve on a platter with the steak juiced poured over. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves and serve with the Roasted Pepper Salsa on the side.

For the Chili-Cumin Rub:

  • In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together until well-combined.


For the Steak: Steak can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Let come to room temperature before serving, after taking it out of the refrigerator.
For the Chili-Cumin Rub: Store in an airtight container or ziplock bag in the pantry for up to 3 months.
For the Roasted Red Pepper Salsa: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Let come to room temperature before serving, after taking it out of the refrigerator. Taste and season with more salt, if needed, before serving after storage. 
Keyword Brown Sugar Rub, Grilling, Spice Rub, Spicy
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Reader Interactions


  1. Eva Ginsberg says

    5 stars
    This was a WOW, for all you meat lovers. The spicy and sweet flavors go so well together. Plus, I love red peppers!

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