Skirt Steak with Avocado Chimichurri

Quick and EasyChimichurriSkirt Steak

Add a little Argentinian flair to pan-seared skirt steak with a simple avocado chimichurri sauce. The lean and beefy cut cooks in just minutes in a sizzling hot skillet. It’s a quick dinner that will take your taste buds on a South American adventure!

Photography Credit: Jessica Gavin

Skirt steak is often the cut of choice for popular dishes like fajitas. However, its versatility and ability to take on robust flavors begs to be enjoyed with a tangy and herbaceous sauce like chimichurri.

Because of its natural intense beefy flavor, I kept the seasoning simple for this recipe, and let the sauce shine. It’s a culinary duo that will get devoured fast!

WHAT IS SKIRT STEAK?

Skirt steak is sold as long and relatively thin strip of meat in most grocery stores. It comes from the short plate (diaphragm area) of the steer found under the rib section.

It’s an affordable cut that sells quickly. For that reason, it’s a rare commodity to find as there are only four steaks per cow, two from the inside and two from the outside skirt. The outside skirt is more tender in texture.

What makes it unique is its coarse visible muscle fibers that create small pleats like a skirt. Those tiny peaks and valleys on the surface mean it has more area for seasonings and marinades to be added for extra flavor.

It also requires proper carving across the grain, so that those tough fibers can become more tender and delectable.

Quick and Easy weeknight skirt steak sliced across the grain and covered with avocado chimichurri on a white plate

HOW TO COOK SKIRT STEAK

Learning how to cook skirt steak is simple. It’s a long and thin cut so you may have to cut it in half or thirds to make it fit in the pan and get a proper sear.

  • Make sure to dry the surface from any excess moisture before adding the salt and pepper. This will help the surface of your steak caramelize, or get a good sear.
  • Use a pan that can tolerate and hold high heat well. I use my trusty 12-inch cast-iron skillet and preheat it.
  • Sear for a few minutes on each side for medium-rare doneness. If the meat becomes overcooked, the texture is extremely tough and chewy. Medium-rare is the way to go for this cut.
  • It’s crucial to carve the steak against the grain for maximum tenderness.

We have even more tips on how to cook the perfect skirt steak here!

Avocado chimichurri to accompany skirt steak being lifted out of the bowl with a spoon for weeknight skirt steak

WHAT’S IN CHIMICHURRI?

My avocado riff on chimichurri recipe starts by breaking down fresh cilantro, parsley, and garlic together in the food processor to extract their flavor and aromas into the sauce.

You can also chop the herbs with a chef’s knife if a processor isn’t handy. Kosher salt, cumin, and red pepper flakes add savory seasonings with a hint of heat. Red wine vinegar provides pungency to the sauce to complement the rich meat.

A high-quality extra-virgin olive oil gives a slight fruitiness and body to the sauce. I wait until the very end to dice the avocado to keep it bright green in color. The creamy lime green fruit adds mini creamy bits to the sauce.

HOW TO MAKE CHIMICHURRI AHEAD OF TIME

The chimichurri sauce can be made up to one day ahead of time.

The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two days. Make sure to stir the sauce a few times before serving to mix all of the ingredients that might have settled or separated.

Quick and Easy weeknight skirt steak sliced across the grain and covered with avocado chimichurri on a white plate

HOW TO USE LEFTOVER SKIRT STEAK

Hands down the ultimate way to use the leftovers is to enjoy it with some fried eggs and potatoes the next day for breakfast. The steak and the sauce would also be delicious in tacos, burrito bowls, or on top of a salad.

LOOKING FOR MORE GREAT STEAK RECIPES?

Skirt Steak with Avocado Chimichurri Recipe

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the avocado chimichurri sauce:

  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, packed
  • 1 cup parsley leaves, packed
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium avocado, diced about 1 cup

For the skirt steak:

  • 1 pound skirt steak
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, as needed for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, as needed for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Method

1 Prepare the chimichurri sauce: Add the cilantro, parsley, garlic, salt, cumin, and red pepper flakes to a food processor. Pulse until the leaves are coarsely chopped, about 5 pulses. Add the red wine vinegar, pulse 5 times. Add the olive oil, pulse 5 times. The chimichurri sauce should be emulsified and the herbs coarsely chopped.

Herbs, spices and oils mixed together in a food processor to make chimichurri with avocados for skirt steak Herbs, spices and oils mixed together in a food processor to make chimichurri with avocados for skirt steak Herbs, spices and oils mixed together in a food processor to make chimichurri with avocados

2 Add the avocado: Transfer the chimichurri sauce to a medium bowl. Cut the avocado into 1/2-inch dice. Add the avocado to the chimichurri and gently stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Avocado chimichurri to accompany skirt steak being lifted out of the bowl with a spoon

3 Cut the steak: If the skirt steak comes in a long strip, cut across the grain into 2 to 3 smaller pieces, about 5 to 7 inches in length. This will allow the steak to fit better in the pan.

Easy Skirt Steak Recipe - steak on cutting board

4 Dry and season the steak: Thoroughly pat dry each steak with paper towels on each side. The surface should be very dry to help brown the surface of the meat. Generously season each side of the steaks with salt and pepper.

Easy Skirt Steak Recipe - drying steakHow to Cook Skirt Steak on the Stovetop - skirt steak on cutting board

5 Heat the pan: Heat a large 12-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat for 3 minutes. Once hot add the olive oil.

6 Cook the steak: Use tongs to carefully add the steak to the pan, then press down on the surface a few times for more contact. Sear the first side until browned, about 2 to 4 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat. Flip and cook another 2 to 4 minutes.

For medium-rare doneness, cook steak until it reaches an internal temperature of 130ºF. Work in two batches if needed.

How to Cook Skirt Steak on the Stovetop - searning steak in pan

7 Rest the steak: Transfer steak to a cutting board, loosely cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

8 Slice and serve the steak: Hold the carving knife at a 45-degree angle and then slice the steak against the grain, about 1/4-inch thick slices. Transfer skirt steak to a serving plate and either top with avocado chimichurri sauce or put the sauce on the side.

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Jessica Gavin

Jessica Gavin is both a Certified Culinary Scientist and Certified Food Scientist. Her first cookbook is Easy Culinary Science for Better Cooking.

More from Jessica

7 Comments / Reviews

No ImageSkirt Steak with Avocado Chimichurri

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Ellen

    My husband has NEVER developed a like for cilantro- any suggestions????

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Deanna

    This was delicious. Even though I goofed and pureed the avocado with all ingredients. Grilled meat on BBQ.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Lynn

    Made this tonight for my bf and a guest. They loved it! Bf thought the chimichurri was better than restaurant. Served with a zucchini and corn “succotash”. Thank you!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Amy

    Delicious! Paired with sous vide corn on the cob, and it went perfectly. Wonderful dish.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Hermien

    The chimmichurri was delicious, served with snapper and pearl couscous. Omitted most of the “hot stuff”. Thanks for all your inspiration!

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Quick and Easy weeknight skirt steak sliced across the grain and covered with avocado chimichurri on a white plateSkirt Steak with Avocado Chimichurri