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What Is a Good Substitute for Flank Steak? 11 Options Here

Flank steak is a protein-rich beef cut prepared from the cow’s abdominal muscles. It’s pretty lean and quite delicious. People love flank steak because its flavor is quite tasty.

What if you prepare a flank steak recipe, but the main ingredient is missing? Can you use a substitute to make an equally delicious meal for your guests?

Yes, you can use a flank steak substitute to prepare the delicious meal for dinner.

Bonus: For those who are looking for the best oil for searing steak, check out our latest research here.

What Can You Use Instead of Flank Steak

1. Skirt Steak

grilled skirt steak
Grilled Skirt Steak

It’s one of the most popular replacement for beef shank and flank steak. Even though skirt steak is not that lean, it can be equally delicious. If you are grilling, boiling, or cooking the meat at high heat, you should try this substitute.

This beef cut is long and thin, produced from the diaphragm area. Both outside skirts and inside skirts are used for cooking delicious recipes. However, most users prefer the outside skirt due to its softness.

2. Hanger Steak

Hanger steak looks identical to flank steak, but it got higher fat content. You will find it much softer and juicier due to excess fat. You should try this substitute if your recipe requires marinades. Be careful while grilling this cut because two minutes are enough to maintain its juicy flavor.

3. Top Round

marinated top round steak
Marinated Top Round Steak

You can replace flank steak with top round or inside round if cooking roasted beef. It is soft and lean and that’s why it’s an ideal flank steak substitute. You can buy this beef cut at an affordable price.

However, you have to follow a proper cooking method to ensure it remains soft and juicy. It can get tougher if you overcook. Marinade top round and follow the main recipe to maintain the delicious taste of the dish.

4. Tri-Tip Steak

smoked tri-tip

This beef cut got that name due to its triangular shape. It is an affordable flank steak substitute in stir fry and readily available at the butcher shop. This boneless steak is known for its fantastic flavor, which was first produced in Santa Maria, California.

Being lean and soft, tri-tip steak is usually 1” thick. You should try it if you wish to prepare the recipe quickly. It’s perfect for recipes that require boiling, pan-searing, and grilling. Don’t forget to marinate it before cooking because thus, you’ll maintain its soft texture.

5. Flat Iron Steak

grilled flat iron steak
Grilled Flat Iron Steak

Popularly known as blade steak, the flat iron is cut from the shoulders or chuck primal of the cow.

Most people use flat iron as a flank steak replacement in slow cooker due to its delicious flavor. Both cuts are different in many ways, but both are equally delicious picks for beef recipes.

6. Flap Steak

Professional chefs often substitute flank steak with flap steak. Since it is pretty affordable, beef lovers prefer it over other cuts. It is pretty juicy and versatile. This cut comes from the belly region of the cow, and flank steak is also from the same area.

The flavor and other flap steak and flank steak qualities are the same. That’s why it is a popular replacement for flank steak. However, flap steak holds marinades pretty well due to coarse grains. Therefore, the dish tastes pretty delicious.

7. Top Sirloin

grilled top sirloin
Grilled Top Sirloin

You will get two kinds of sirloin cuts at the butcher shop. Top sirloin is a perfect choice when your recipe requires flank steak, and it is not available. This beef cut is from the tenderloin, and it’s much softer than bottom sirloin.

Buy it if your flank steak recipe requires marinated flank steak. Marinate top sirloin and cook it according to the recipe. The taste will be identical, and guests will enjoy the dish.

Suppose you are grilling the meat, do not overcook it because it can get quite tough. You will find it pretty tough to cut and chew if you overdo it!

8. Beef Fajita Strips

beef fajita strips

Flank steak is a crucial ingredient to make beef fajitas. Meat retailers also sell fajita strips separately to prepare this recipe. These are flavored and already prepared beef cuts. You get ready to cook meat and save the time required to prepare the meat.

I prefer fajita strips only when the main ingredient is missing from the recipe. These pre-seasoned beef cuts can be available in different flavors. Decide what type of taste you want for the dish, and then order beef fajita strips for your recipe.

9. Ground Beef

It is not a popular alternative to flank steak, but it is affordable and readily available. This substitute is available at the grocery store, and its price doesn’t change a lot. So, if flank steak is not available in your town, try this alternative.

Ground beef will be a perfect pick to prepare stir-fry, taco meat, and recipes you are preparing in the slow cooker.

Slightly increase the seasoning and marinade to enhance the taste of the dish. Ground beef can absorb all the spices and flavors perfectly, and the end product tastes way more delicious. The only issue with ground beef is that its fat content is relatively high. The dish may also feel quite dry, unlike flank steak dishes.

10. Chicken Breast

juicy air fryer chicken breast
Juicy Air Fryer Chicken Breast

Options in the beef cut are pretty limited as a substitute for flank steak. If you can try other meats, chicken breast will be a delicious replacement. It is more affordable and quite readily available at meat shops.

It will do the job if you prepare stir-fries, stews, and other steak recipes. Although chicken breasts taste great, the taste won’t be the same as flank steak. You can make the recipe more delicious by adding more ingredients and spices.

11. Seitan

If you are following a vegan diet and looking for flank steak alternatives, try setian. It is made of gluten, and its protein content is relatively high. That’s how it gets that delicious meaty texture. You will find its taste identical to mushrooms or chicken. It won’t taste like beef, and that’s the only drawback of choosing this flank steak substitute!

12. Mushrooms


Mushroom is another plant-based substitution for flank steak. Its flavor and texture are pretty different from flank steak. However, there are a lot of vegan users who enjoy its taste.

Mushroom absorbs marinades pretty quickly. You can experiment with the recipe to make it more delicious for your guests.

13. Vegan Steaks

Vegan steaks are a perfect choice if you have recently adopted a vegan diet plan. Food producers are offering ready-made vegan steaks packed and processed like meat.

This nutritious flank steak replacement will be a perfect pick for a health-promoting flank steak recipe.

14. Tofu


Tofu is our last pick as a substitute for flank steak because it’s delicious and prepared from soybeans. It can absorb marinades and spices pretty quickly. Add a little chili sauce, and tofu’s texture will feel quite identical to meat.

You can use it in any flank steak recipe and surprise your guests with a new delicious dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s another name for flank steak?

Except for flank steak, it’s also called as London broil.

What is the difference between flank steak and skirt steak?

Even though skirt steak is the best flank steak substitute, both beef cuts are pretty different. Intense muscles present in skirt steak make it a unique choice. It got a diverse fan base due to its muscular flavor.

You will enjoy the taste of skirt steak if you barbecue or roast it. Besides, it is a perfect beef cut for preparing pan-fried dishes.

Flank steak has several more recipes, and its flavor is also quite different. Regular beef eaters can easily spot the difference between the flavor and texture of both types of beef cuts. Therefore, you should not mistake skirt steak for flank steak.

How flat iron is different from flank steak?

The flat iron is produced from the cow’s shoulder and neck. Flank is produced from the rump or lower back of the cow. Many retailers mark flat iron as top edge steak. Both beef cuts got different flavors.

However, the flat iron is a delicious alternative when flank steak isn’t available for the recipe!

Does flank steak cost more than other beef cuts?

Even though demands are pretty high for flank steak, it remains one of the most cost-effective beef cuts. Unlike T-bone, sirloin, and ribeye, flank steaks are perfect to prepare occasional red meat at home. It won’t put an extra burden on your budget if you are inviting people for a house party.

Should you buy tenderized flank steak?

Flank steak is quite thin and lean. However, you should buy it tenderized to maintain that soft and juicy texture of the meat. The cooking time will decrease and the dish will taste quite delicious.


Flank steak is cheap, delicious, and always in demand. Suppose you cannot get this beef cut, try other substitutes recommended in this post. Your recipe will taste equally great and steak fans will admire your cooking skills!

I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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