Swiss steak is a beloved classic, known for its tenderized beef and richly flavored tomato sauce. It's a meal that resonates with nostalgia, often associated with cozy family dinners and the warmth of home cooking. In this post, you'll find a detailed guide to crafting the perfect Swiss steak, from choosing the right cut of meat to seasoning it just right, and stewing it until it's fork-tender. Whether you're a kitchen novice looking to expand your culinary repertoire or a seasoned home cook eager to master the art of Swiss steak, this recipe is for you.

Swiss Steak Recipe

Ingredients List

For the Basics:

  • 2 pounds of beef round steak, cut into serving-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Optional Additions:

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon paprika for a smokier flavor
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme for a herby profile
  • Bay leaves for fragrance
  • Sliced carrots for additional color and flavor


  • Instead of round steak, you can use chuck steak or cube steak.
  • If you love the heat, swap the green bell pepper for a couple of jalapeños.
  • For a tangier sauce, replace some of the beef broth with red wine vinegar.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

Pound and Prepare the Steak

Start by pounding each piece of round steak with a meat mallet until it's about 1/4-inch thick. This not only tenderizes the meat but also allows the flour and seasonings to adhere better.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge the steaks in the flour mixture to coat them thoroughly. Shake off any excess flour and set the steaks aside.

Sear the Steaks

In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the steaks and brown them on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Do this in batches if necessary, to avoid overcrowding the pan. Transfer the seared steaks to a plate and set them aside.

Build the Flavor Base

In the same skillet, add the onions, celery, and green pepper. Sauté the vegetables until they're softened, about 5 minutes. If you're using garlic, add it now and cook for an additional minute.

Bring It All Together

Return the steaks to the skillet on top of the sautéed vegetables. Pour the diced tomatoes and beef broth over the steaks. If you're using wine for a more complex flavor, now is the time to add it. Stir the ingredients to combine and bring the mixture to a gentle boil.

Simmer to Perfection

Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet, and simmer the Swiss steak for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally. If the liquid reduces too much, add a little more beef broth, as needed.

Serving Suggestions

Swiss steak pairs well with mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or rice — perfect for soaking up the savory tomato gravy. A side of steamed green beans or a simple garden salad provides a fresh contrast that balances the meal beautifully.

For an extra touch, sprinkle chopped parsley or a pinch of paprika on top of the Swiss steak before serving. Not only does this make your dish pop with color, but it also adds a hint of vibrant freshness.

Tips and Variations

Making It Your Own

This Swiss steak recipe is delicious as is, but feel free to make it your own. Add your favorite seasonings, adjust the thickness of the sauce to your liking, or sneak in some extra veggies. Cooking is an art, after all, and every artist has their own unique style.

Cooking for a Crowd

If you’re cooking for a larger group, you can easily double or triple the recipe. Use a large pot or Dutch oven to accommodate the increased quantity, and ensure that you adjust the cooking time as needed to tenderize the additional meat.

Speedy Swiss Steak

For a quicker version, you can prepare the recipe in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Sear the meat as directed, then follow the instructions, sealing the pot and cooking on high pressure for 35-40 minutes before allowing a natural release.


Swiss steak is a timeless dish that has graced the tables of countless families around the world. With this foolproof recipe, you can recreate that homey, comforting taste in your own kitchen. Remember, the key to a great Swiss steak is patience — give the flavors time to meld, and your effort will be rewarded with a hearty and satisfying meal. Enjoy the cooking process, and savor the delicious results with your loved ones.

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