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19 Best And Illustrative Substitutes For Flank Steaks That You Should Try

Flank steak is a cut of beef that comes from the underbelly of the cow, and it is flat and typically longer than most cuts of beef.

It is one of the most inexpensive cuts of beef, and it is popularly used in South America and Europe, as well as the US.

It is slightly tougher than other cuts of beef due to its location, but with the correct method of cooking and flavor, it is definitely delicious.

Flank steak can be cooked as a normal steak and eaten with garlic butter, but it is used in dishes such as London broil, (marinated broiled beef in thin strips) as well as in fajitas, stir fries, asian cuisine and as jerky.

You can use flank steak in any dishes that you would typically use steak, and it is relatively easy to cook because it is a lot thinner than other cuts of beef. 

Beef is diverse, with many different cuts. Most of the time, they’re similar in texture and taste, so luckily, if you need an alternative, it’ll be easy to find one!

If you want to use a different meat, or make a dish vegetarian, we have you covered! Below, we will list some of the best substitutes for flank steak. 

What Is Flank Steak?

To sum it up, flank steak is a thin and long piece of meat, that is usually cheaper, and is sometimes trimmed off to use for beef mince.

It is one of the healthiest cuts of beef because it is taken from the cow’s abdominal muscles.

It has less calories than cuts such as sirloin or t-bone, and it is rather lean due to the location of the cut on the cow. You need to slice flank steak across the grain to achieve the best, and tastiest results. 

The Top 19 Substitutes:

SubstitutesCalories (Per 100 gm)
Skirt Steak220
Flat iron Steak137
Hanger Steak205
Top Round166
Flap Steak141
Tri-Tip Steak177
Chicken Thigh177
Quorn Fillet84
Chicken Breast165
Tuna Fillet130
Top Sirloin Steak244
Vegan Steak300
Coulotte Steak134
Beef Fajitas149
Ground Beef254
Cabbage Steak24

1. Skirt Steak

Skirt steak is one of the most popular alternatives for flank steak, and it holds similar properties. Skirt steak is not as lean as flank steak, and it comes from the plate of the cow, which is just below the ribeye.

It comes from a muscle inside the chest and abdominal cavity, so it has slightly more calories because it is taken from a thicker area, with more fat. It is long and flat, and it is not the most tender cut of beef, but it is loved for its flavor and how quickly it takes to cook.

It is slightly more expensive than flank steak but just as good. It is typically cooked as a steak on its own, or in stir fries with noodles and vegetables. It takes on flavor really well, so it is good for marinating and grilling, frying or oven-roasting with aromatics and herbs. 

How To Substitute

The skirt steak is an easy substitute for flank steaks. A skirt steak is the same thickness as a flank steak but is cut more perpendicular to the bone. As a result, it is easier to cut and has more tender and juicy meat.

2. Flat Iron Steak

Flat iron steak is a good substitute for flank steak. It comes from the shoulder (chuck) of the cow, and has the grain from the chuck, meaning it is more marbled and slightly tougher than other cuts of beef.

It has a grisly membrane from the connective tissue in the shoulder, so it needs to be cooked slowly and at a lower temperature than a more tender cut of beef. The cut of beef is flavorful, like a flank, and holds similar characteristics to a flank steak. 

Flat iron steak would be perfect for beef gyros, beef ramen, stir-fries, and Asian inspired beef dishes. 

How To Substitute

If you were thinking of making beef recipes or stir fryers and ran out of flank steaks, here is your go-to ingredient. Flat iron steak can do wonders in your dish. Flat iron steak, also known as Flap steak, is a boneless steak with a thin, flat shape and a layer of fat.

3. Hanger Steak

Hanger steak is another obvious and excellent choice for a flank steak substitute. It is a thinner cut of beef, similar to flank, and it has a slightly higher fat content, meaning it is more tender and has more protein.

It comes from the loin of the cow, from the underside. This means it comes from a similar place to flank steak, so it has similar properties. It is a good substitute in dishes such as beef fajitas because it can be made tender.

When grilling or cooking, make sure you do not cook it for too long on each side. It is thin, so it will cook much quicker. It is best to cook it on a lower heat, searing each side if you desire.

It is popular in the US for its price, tenderness, and attainability. Butchers also love the cut, and it has been referred to as the ‘butcher’s cut’ because of how easy it is to cut, and its flavor profile. 

How To Substitute

Hanger steak is a type of steak cut from the longissimus muscle of the cow, which is found along the back and is the strongest muscle in the cow. It is known for its high level of marbling, is a tender cut, and is often used to substitute flank steaks.

4. Top Round

The top round is a lean, tough cut of beef. Because of this, it is inexpensive and flavorful. It is mostly used for roasting and sliced into paper-thin slices, but it also makes an excellent alternative to flank steak.

Flank steak is lean and tougher, similar to top round. It is versatile, and extremely easy to flavor and marinates. It is perfect for, using in tacos and fajitas, along with beef chili or stew.

It does not have much fat, hence why it is so lean. This means that it is intrinsically tougher, but this is not necessarily a bad thing, depending on how you are going to cook it. It’s a good alternative to flank steak because it can be flavored easily due to how lean it is, and can be sliced thinly and added to soups and stir-fries. 

How To Substitute

Cheap and flavorful top round is our go-to alternative if you run short of flank steaks. Because of its neutral flavor, it is easy to taste and works exceptionally well in soups and various other recipes.

5. Flap Steak

Flap steak is often used instead of flank in many recipes, and it is very similar in taste and texture. Flap steak is thin and lean, and also comes from the underside belly of the cow.

It has a grouse grain, so it takes on flavor well and is perfect for marinating. It is slightly tougher, similar to flank steak, and is perfect for grilling and marinating, or serving in a ramen or soup-based dish.

Because it is so thin, it cooks really quickly. You should cook flap steak on high heat, for just a couple of minutes per side. If you overcook it, it will be tough. Slice flap steak across the grain into thin strips. Like flank steak, it is perfect for fajitas and stir-fries. 

How To Substitute

Flap steak is a cut from the cow’s shoulder muscle. Flap steaks are cut from the top of the shoulder and are usually more tender than the more expensive flank steak. Flap steaks are easy to substitute for flank steaks in recipes, such as when making a flank steak salad.

RELATED: The Top 7 Substitutes For Flank Steaks

6. Tri-Tip Steak

Tri-tip steak is also a good choice as a substitute for flank steak. It comes from the bottom of the sirloin, which is based in the mid-underside of the cow, towards the back. It is tender and very rich in flavor.

The cut is triangular and thicker than flank steak, but it makes a good alternative because of its cheap price and tender texture. The sirloin is extremely tender and rich, so tri-tip steak is, too, as it comes from the same place. 

How To Substitute

Tri-tip steak is a beef cut from the rib roast’s triangular-shaped end with a thick layer of fat. It is considered to be one of the best substitutes for flank steaks. It is tender and rich in flavors.

7. Chicken Thigh

If you don’t fancy beef, chicken thigh makes a good alternative to flank steak. You can use chicken breast too, but chicken thigh has a meatier taste, and is a darker, richer meat. It is tender, and higher in fat than chicken breast.

It can be flavored easily and is perfect for marinating. It is a good alternative to flank steak because it has a similar texture, and goes really well in fajitas and Asian-style food such as ramen or pho.

The chicken breast could also work, as it is typically slightly tougher than the thigh, but is more difficult to flavor. 

How To Substitute

Chicken thigh is an excellent substitution for flank steak. If you are looking for a great budget-friendly meal, you can use chicken thighs instead. They have a similar texture and taste, but you must cook them a little longer.

8. Quorn Fillet

If you’re looking for a delicious, healthy alternative to flank steak, Quorn fillet is a great option.

Quorn fillet is a type of mycoprotein high in protein and fat, making it a healthy option for those looking to watch their waistline.

Additionally, the Quorn fillet is an excellent source of fiber, which can help to regulate digestion and keep you feeling full longer.

How To Substitute

Quorn fillet is a healthy alternative to flank steak with high protein and low fat. It is perfect for grilling, baking, and stir-fried meals.

9. Chicken Breast

Are you planning to cook your favorite recipe but need to eat something other than beef? No worries, choose chicken breast instead and make your recipe incredibly delicious.

The boneless substitute of flank steak is perfect for grilling, marinade stews, soups, etc.

Apart from this, it comes with high protein and low fat, which is a good choice for people who wants to limit the intake of red meat in their meal.

How To Substitute

Chicken breast is an easy and pocket-friendly substitute for flank steaks. It is a perfect addition to various dishes and has lower fat, making it a good choice for people looking for weight loss.

10. Tuna Fillet

Tuna fillet is a great, versatile and healthy option for those looking to reduce their meat intake. It is an excellent substitution for flank steak, which is often difficult to cook to a medium rare due to its dense and complex texture.

Tuna fillets are milder in flavor than flank steak, so add some additional seasonings. In addition, the texture of tuna fillet is quite different from flank steak.

How To Substitute

Cooked tuna fillets are juicy and tender to cook. They are low in fat and fulfill protein needs. They are also omega three fatty acids intact, making them a healthy alternative.

11. Top Sirloin Steak

If you are looking for an alternative to replace flank steak, then sirloin should be on your list. However, remember there are two types of sirloin, top and bottom, and the sirloin is perfect as a replacement.

It tends to be tender and soft and works exceptionally well in recipes that call for marinade or rubs. If you plan to cook stir-fries, consider using sirloin instead of flank steak.

Top sirloin is also pocket friendly and easily available. It is also suitable for grilling.

How To Substitute

Top sirloin is a tender cut of meat and easily affordable. For grilling and marinade, you must try this one.

12. Vegan Steak

Vegan is not only about eating salad; there are plenty of choices. Flank steak is an excellent option for those looking for a delicious, hearty steak experience without all the cholesterol and fat.

A vegan steak alternative like the Beyond Burger can provide a similar taste and texture without all the unhealthy side effects. First, you have to select a chewy ingredient to make steak, and you are good to go.

How To Substitute

Vegan steak is the perfect alternative if you are looking for a plant-based alternative. You may try tofu, jackfruit, and mushrooms to make steaks.

13. Tofu

Tofu is an excellent option if you’re looking for a vegetarian-friendly alternative to flank steak. Tofu is prepared with soybeans, a rich and healthy protein nutrient. Additionally, it is also low in calories and fat.

Despite this, you should keep in mind a few things. First, there are different types of tofu, and you must choose your tofu wisely and keep your recipe in mind.

For example, if you make soups or stew, go for soft tofu, but grilling and roasting hard and firm tofu will be perfect.

How To Substitute

To prepare tofu, drain it and cut it into thin slices. You can then pan-fry, grill, or bake the tofu slices. Finally, season them with your favorite spices or sauces, and enjoy!

14. Cauliflower

Look no further if you’re looking for a delicious and healthy way to substitute flank steaks with cauliflower! This unique vegetable can be used in many ways and is an excellent alternative to traditional steak. 

Here are some tips on how to use cauliflower as a substitute for flank steak:

  • Cut the cauliflower into thick slices, about the same thickness as a flank steak.
  • Season the cauliflower with your favorite steak seasoning.
  • Grill, broil, or pan-fry the cauliflower steak until it’s cooked to your liking.
  • Serve with your favorite steak toppings and sides.

So, give cauliflower a try the next time you’re in the mood for steak! You won’t be disappointed.

How To Substitute

With a meaty and soft texture, cauliflower is the perfect substitute for flank steaks. In addition, they are perfect for grilling, roasting, and boiling.

15. Coulotte Steak

Coulotte Steak is a thick-cut steak from the top of the loin and rib primal. This steak is cut across the grain and is known for its succulent flavor.

The grain of the steak runs in one direction, so it has a delicate, chewy texture that is tender and juicy. Coulotte Steak is also known for its ability to stand up to tough cuts of meat, which makes it perfect for braising.

Coulotte steak is a little challenging, but if you cook it properly, it is one of the best substitutes for flank steaks.

How To Substitute

You may use culotte steak for various recipes to replace flank steaks. They are an excellent alternative for roasting and grilling recipes.

16. Seitan

Seitan is a vegan substitute for flank steak. It is prepared with wheat gluten. Depending on the methods it is ready, the texture of the seitan may differ. It can be soft, chewy, meaty, and firm.

Seitan consists of a savory and mild flavor. Seitan is a protein popular in the vegan diet made from wheat gluten that can be found in many types of cuisine.

Seitan is often compared to tofu, though it has a slightly different texture and nutritional profile.

How To Substitute

Use seitan to replace flank steaks. They are perfect for braising, grilling, sauteing, and frying. In addition, you may use them as a substitute in different recipes such as sandwiches, stir-fries, fajitas, stews, etc.

17. Beef Fajitas

Grilled, seasoned, and served with signature homemade guacamole, house-made pico de gallo, and beef fajitas are easy and delicious.

Beef fajitas are easy to prepare and are loaded with taste, making them a delicious alternative to beef fajitas.

How To Substitute

Beef fajitas are a delicious, easy-to-prepare alternative to flank steaks. You may serve it with your favorite topping.

18. Ground Beef

Ground beef and flank steaks both are beef; however, to replace the flank steaks, you may try using ground beef. However, it will still have the same beef flavor, but you will get a different recipe made with ground beef.

Apart from taste, ground beef is cheap compared to ground beef so it will be a pocket-friendly substitution in your recipe.

How To Substitute

Ground beef will be the perfect substitute in various recipes such as stir fries, sandwiches, tacos, burritos, etc.

19. Cabbage Steak

Flank steaks are a kind of beef; not everyone will be comfortable having beef in their meal. So to ease the worry of those people, here is a vegetarian substitute for flank steaks named cabbage steak.

The cabbage steaks are sautéed in a pan, then baked in the oven to finish the cooking process. The dish can be cooked on the stovetop, in the oven, or a slow cooker. You may use butter to saute it.

How To Substitute

Cabbage steak is the perfect choice to replace the flank steaks, and for vegan people, it is a must-try dish since it is low in carbs and fiber. It is gluten-free too.

Honorable Mention:

Shiitake Or Portobello Mushrooms

If you are vegetarian, meaty textured mushrooms such as shiitake or portobello would be a good alternative to using flank steaks. They have a tougher, meaty texture compared to the general field or wild mushrooms.

They are widely used in Asian cuisine, similar to flank steak. This is mostly because of their texture, along with how easy it is to flavor and marinate them. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is More Tender Than Flank Steak? 

The more fat content a cut of beef has, the more tender it will be. Flank steak is not the most tender meat, but it is known for its cut and flavor. Skirt steak is similar to flank steak, and is more tender because it is taken from the ribeye area.

It has more fat, which cooks down during the cooking process, making your meat more tender. Other tender cuts of beef include top loin, tenderloin, and sirloin. Anything from the underside of the cow is more likely to be tender as it has a generally higher fat content. 

Is Flank Steak Better Than Ribeye?

It is up to personal preference. If you prefer a flavorful and slightly tougher cut of meat, then you may prefer a flank. It is really easy to marinate and flavor, hence why it is so loved in Asian cuisine.

Ribeye is tender, but it is expensive compared to flank steak. This does not mean it is worse than flank steak, but it is dependent on what dish you are making. 

Is Chuck Roast The Same As Flank Steak? 

Chuck roast is not the same as flank steak. Chuck roast derives from the shoulder of the cow, whereas the flank comes from the underside of the cow. Flank steak is long and flat, whereas chuck roast is thick and rounded.

Chuck roast is known for being tough, so it is often slow-cooked or barbecued. 

What’s The Best Way To Cook Flank Steak? 

The best way to cook a flank steak also depends on what you prefer. It is preferred to cook it in a pan with salt, pepper, and any other spices and seasonings you desire. This is because it needs to be cooked before it is added to dishes.

It is also helpful to tenderize the meat beforehand because it does not have a high-fat content. By tenderizing it, you are flattening the meat to ensure it will cook evenly and quickly, as well as staying tender and softer.

Once cooked, add your flank steak to your favorite dishes, or serve it with tortillas and salad for fajitas. 

The Top 19 Substitutes For Flank Steaks

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Flank steak is a relatively inexpensive cut of meat that is perfect for grilling. Here are some of the best substitutes for flank steak.


  • Skirt Steak

  • Flat Iron Steak

  • Hanger Steak

  • Top Round

  • Flap Steak

  • Tri-Tip Steak

  • Chicken Thigh

  • Quorn Fillet

  • Chicken Breast

  • Tuna Fillet

  • Top Sirloin Steak

  • Vegan Steak

  • Tofu

  • Cauliflower

  • Coulotte Steak

  • Seitan

  • Beef Fajitas

  • Ground beef

  • Cabbage Steak


  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio

Recipe Video

Jess Smith