Top 8 Choices of Herbs Make for a More Flavorful Steak!

Salt and pepper are the go-to seasonings for a flavorful steak, but did you know that you can make your steak’s flavor healthier without adding too much salt? Yes, you just need the right herbs!

In this article, we’ll share what herbs go with steak. But more than that, we’ll also answer some of the most frequently asked questions about seasoning steaks with herbs, including what other ingredients you can use to make your steak even greater.  

So are you ready to know what herbs go with steak? Let’s get started!

What Herbs Go with Steak? (Best Options)

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To be honest, not all herbs go with steak. There are only a few selected herbs that you can use to season your steak. Here are some of the best herbs that we’ve tried:

1. Basil

What herbs go with steak? Basil would be at the top of the list! Coming from the mint family, Basil is an herb known for imparting a strong flavor to different types of pasta dishes and meat recipes like steak.

We especially love using it on steak simply because it has the right balance between savory and sweet flavors. It also has hints of anise, pepper, and mint, which go oh so well with the deep beef flavor of the steak.  (*)

You should keep in mind that Basil turns black and tasteless when dried, so it’s best used fresh. When using fresh Basil, you must add it towards the end of the cooking process.

Pro Tip: You can try to preserve Basil for longer storage by making a slurry. You can do this by blending basil leaves with enough oil and then pouring them into ice cubes before freezing.

When it’s time to use it, you just need to heat it until the oil melts.

2. Chives

Chives are long and hollow green stems that look just like leeks—only thinner. This herb tastes like onion, but its flavor is milder than yellow or red onions.

The best news is chives won’t leave the trademark onion breath, which is a big plus for steak lovers.

Warning: When using chives, please note that you should avoid cooking this herb for a long time as high temperatures can destroy its delicate flavor and ruin its texture.  

3. Oregano

This herb has been used to add a spicy twist to Mediterranean cooking for decades.

Did You Know?

In addition to being a culinary staple, oregano has been associated with joy and happiness by the Greeks and Romans because of its wide range of benefits. (*)

The flavor profile of oregano is described as strong and pungent, which means that it has an intense spicy taste with sweet and sour hints. Additionally, the herb gives off an earthy, savory, and slightly bitter taste.

Same with other herbs we’ve talked about, this is also best used as fresh leaves, so it shouldn’t be exposed to high temperatures for an extended period. Because of this, most people use this either as a crust or garnish for steak.

Pro Tip: Due to its sweetness, it’s often used to balance the acidity and saltiness of certain dishes.  

4. Rosemary

If there’s one word that would best describe the taste of Rosemary, it would be piney. This subtle taste works well in balancing steak’s heavy and greasy flavors, toning it down and making its flavor more well-rounded. Additionally, it imparts a woody fragrance to meals, making them more appealing.

Rosemary is different from most herbs in this list for two reasons. First, you can use it both in dried and fresh forms. Also, it’s one of the few herbs that can withstand heat even for prolonged periods.

Because of these characteristics, Rosemary has become the go-to herb for flavoring roasts and the tougher cuts of meats. That’s why you would most commonly see it in stew recipes.

Pro Tip: Rosemary is one of the best herbs for basting.

5. Thyme

Try browsing beef recipes, and you’ll most likely see thyme because its sharp minty flavor with floral and grassy notes is fantastic with regards to adding depth and rounding out the flavors of the steak.

Because of this, it’s widely used on different types of meaty dishes, including roasted, baked, and braised dishes. You can use it either dried or fresh, and you can rub it into the steak before grilling it or using it as your steak’s crust.

Pro Tip: If you want a strong Thyme flavor, use fresh thyme leaves in seasoning your steak. On the other hand, dried thyme is the best option if you add a crunchy crust to your steak.

6. Sage

This is quite an underrated herb and is only often used during the holiday season, which is unfortunate because it has an earthy and peppery taste that goes well with the strong beef flavors of the steak.

The good news is you can also use both dried and fresh versions of Sage in your steak recipes and even on other meaty dishes like stews and stroganoffs.

Pro Tip: Marjoram and thyme are two excellent herb alternatives for sage.

7. Parsley

Before, parsley was only commonly used as a garnish. But, thankfully, this herb has already gone from merely being a garnish.

The peppery, earthy, and slightly bitter taste of parsley does a fantastic job of balancing the flavors of a steak dish.  

Did You Know?

Parsley is often mistaken for cilantro, but the truth is the former has darker and shinier leaves than the latter.

If you want your steak to have intense parsley flavors, we suggest using the stem instead of its leaves. We also highly recommend using fresh parsley leaves, but it only towards the end of the cooking process.

Pro Tip: Parsley can also brighten heavy winter beef dishes.

8. Garlic

Since garlic is added to meals and dishes to boost their flavors, most people consider onion an herb. The truth is, it’s garlic and not an herb. (*)

But as we know, garlic and steak are a match made in heaven, so we also decided to include this “herb” in the list.

When it comes to boosting the savory flavors of steak, garlic is your best option. In addition to enhancing its taste, garlic can also boost your dish’s nutritional value. (*)

Frequently Asked Question About What Herbs Go With Steak

And now, let’s get to the exciting part! Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about herbs and steaks:

1. Which should you use: Thyme vs. Rosemary

These herbs belong to the mint family, but they are pretty different. For example, Rosemary has a more bitter flavor while thyme has lower calorie content.

So which is better? The answer would depend on your personal preference.

2. What’s the best way to introduce the flavor of fresh herbs to steak?

There are two ways how you can season the steak with fresh herbs.

The first option is to marinate steaks before grilling. Next, you can soak finely chopped herbs in an acidic liquid like wine or lemon juice. Afterward, add a few sweet ingredients like honey, sugar, or molasses.

Another option is to make compound butter for your steak. You can make this by adding chopped fresh herbs to mashed butter. Season it with pepper, salt, and minced garlic, and mix everything. Refrigerate afterward.

Slice a portion of the butter and top it off your freshly grilled steak when preparing your steak.  

3. Which should you use—fresh or dried herbs?

The answer would depend on the type of herb you wish to use. If you’re using heat-sensitive herbs like chives, basil, and oregano, it would be best to go for dried herbs. On the other hand, go for fresh parsley, sage, thyme, and Rosemary if you want to enjoy the stronger flavor, and choose their dried versions if you want a crispy crust.

4. Aside from herbs, what other ingredients can make your steak great?

In addition to herbs, other amazing ingredients that you shouldn’t miss out on are:

  • Compound butter
  • Steak rub (spices, salt, and pepper)
  • A few smoky ingredients (paprika, cumin, cayenne powder, and chili flakes)
  • Finishing salt
  • Steak marinade
  • Umami-rich ingredients (mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and red wine sauce)

If you wish to achieve the perfect crust, use a cast-iron skillet for cooking your steak.

Wrapping It Up

Cooking steak is not exactly a walk in the park, but its preparation can be made a whole lot easier with the right seasonings. If you want to add an earthy and peppery taste to your steak, using herbs is the way!

What herbs go with steak? There are plenty of herbs that you can choose from, and we’ve shared the best ones on this list!

We highly suggest that you try these herbs to see which one you like the best. Then, let us know which one is your favorite in the comment section!

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