Inspired by the world famous Brazilian Churrasco, flat iron steaks grilled with a simple yet powerful seasoning. A side of grilled veggies topped with a delicious cilantro chimichurri sauce!

This post has been sponsored by Awaken180° Weightloss but all opinions stated are my own.

flat iron steaks on a cutting board with grilled veggies. A pinch bowl with sea salt and fresh herbs on the table.

There is a good chance that you have heard of or perhaps even enjoyed a round of churrasco or rodízio at a Brazilian steakhouse or the more popular Brazilian buffet. But what is churrasco? and why is the meat so tender, juicy and flavorful?

I am here to answer all your questions and assure you that you can too, make a delicious churrasco steak quickly and inexpensively, right at home!

Growing up in Brazil, your life pretty runs around churrasco and soccer. Every celebratory occasion is followed by a grand churrasco, and if there is nothing to celebrate we still make churrasco because that’s pretty much a way of like.

Making churrasco steak is quite simple and only requires few ingredients. In this post I share all my secrets on how to make a juicy and mouthwatering churrasco steak and how to pair it with fresh veggies and an authentic cilantro sauce, so you can enjoy a delicious and satisfying healthy meal.

Four uncooked flat iron steaks in a blue bowl. Fresh cilantro, zucchini, summer squash and lime on the table.

In fact this churrasco steak with grilled veggies is Awaken180° Weightloss approved! Amazing right?

While in the Awaken180° Weightloss program you can be sure to lose the weight, get the results you desire while eating delicious foods! The program offers over 1,000 recipes like this one to support you on your weightloss journey.

In addition to this churrasco steak recipe with grilled veggies, I have had the pleasure of making this Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies recipe and this amazing Green Tuna Salad, both also Awaken180° Weightloss approved!

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Now on to the recipe, and because I know you have so many questions we’ll get right to it!

Seasoned flat iron steaks for churrasco. Fresh veggies in a kabob. Herbs and lime slices on the table.

What exactly is churrasco?

Churrasco is a Brazilian and Portuguese term that refers to beef cooked on a spit over an open fire or grilled over an oven flame. However, churrasco can also refer to barbecue in general. Picanha is the most traditional Brazilian cut but you may find other type of meat, chicken and sausage included in a “churrasco”.

What meat cuts are best for churrasco?

Technically you can use any meat cut to make churrasco. Though the most used are “fraldinha” or flank steak, skirt steak, flat iron steak and “picanha” are amongst the most traditionally used cuts for churrasco. For this recipe I used flat iron steaks.

What is flat iron steak?

The flat iron is very similar to any of the flat steaks, so any recipe calling for skirt or flank steak will be the perfect opportunity to try the flat iron steak. This cut is best grilled over medium-high heat and it’s perfect for churrasco.

Is churrasco the same as carne asada?

Carne asada is the whole, uncut piece of beef meat, while churrasco usually refers to individual cuts of beef. A good example of carne asada would be flank or skirt steaks used for fajitas. The steak is cooked whole and then served sliced. In churrasco you can expect the meat to be cooked in individual portions.

zucchini, summer squash, radish and red bell pepper in a kebab. Fresh cilantro and lime on a plate.
Grilled flat iron steaks, churrasco style, on a cutting board. A pinch bowl with sea salt.

how to make the best churrasco steak

  • Brazilians rely on rock salt to make their world famous mouthwatering churrasco. If you don’t have rock salt use Maldon sea salt flakes BUT DO NOT USE TABLE SALT. Trust me on this one!
  • Same goes for the ground pepper, don’t use refined. Every Brazilian household owns a mortar and pestle and believe me they use it daily! Crush your peppercorn until rough and grainy.
  • If you have flavored oil or infused oil in hand use it, it will add good flavor!
  • Generally for steak best practices , allow the meat to reach room temperature before grilling.
  • DO NOT slice the steak right away, instead allow it sit out for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Lime and cilantro adds good flavor (see cilantro sauce recipe below)

how to make a delicious cilantro chimichurri sauce

Very similar to the traditional chimichurri sauce, this cilantro chimichurri sauce uses only cilantro and it pairs really well with churrasco.

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp peppercorns 
  • 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • lime juice

The best way to make this cilantro sauce is by using a mortar and pestle. Add peppercorns and sea salt and crush it until it reaches a rough sandy consistency. Then add the cilantro and crush until pasty green. Next add the oil, red pepper flakes and a generous squeeze of lime juice. Stir well.

Grilled churrasco flat iron steaks. Veggie kebabs, topped with cilantro chimichurri sauce.
Churrasco steak with grilled veggie kebabs

What veggies can I serve with under the Awaken180° Weightloss program?

  • zucchini and summer squash are abundantly in season, and are delicious on the grill
  • asparagus are another amazing option, probably my go-to side dish
  • kale! yes, you can grill kale! In fact I grilled some this past weekend. Use a grill basket and toss with oil, salt and oregano
  • you can also do a mix of broccoli and cauliflower
  • eggplant round or sliced the long way. In fact the best way to cook eggplant is on the grill!
  • lets’ not forget bell peppers. Green and red are approved!

Note: veggies can be seasoned with oil, a pinch of sea salt and oregano. You can cook them on a grill basket or skewers. If using wooden skewers be sure to soak them for 30 minutes so they won’t burn.

a sliced churrasco flat iron steak on a cutting board. A veggie kebabs grilled with cilantro chimichurri sauce.
Brazilian churrasco steak

Churrasco Steak with Veggies

by Silvia Dunnirvine
Inspired by the world famous Brazilian Churrasco, flat iron steaks grilled with a simple yet powerful seasoning. A side of grilled veggies topped with a delicious cilantro chimichurri sauce!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Marinate: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

  • 4 flat iron steaks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • coarse sea salt and fresly ground black pepper
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 summer squash
  • radishes
  • 1 red bell pepper

Cilantro Chimichurri Sauce

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • lime, juiced

Instructions 

  • In a small glass bowl add oil, salt, pepper and minced garlic, stir to combine.
  • Season the steaks on both sides with garlicky oil mixture. Save a little bit of this oil aside for the veggies. Let the meat marinate while you work on the veggie kebabs (see marinate times in notes)
  • Prepare your veggie kebabs by slicing both the zucchini and summer squash into rounds, then half each round (like a half moon). Cut the bell pepper into square pieces and you can leave the radishes whole. Then arrange the veggies in skewers in any combination you like (see notes)
  • Pour remaining garlicky oil over the veggie kebabs. Otherwise just add a drizze of olive oil and a pinch of dried oregano.
  • Pre-heat grill to medium-high. Grill the steaks over direct heat for about 8 minutes on each side (see notes) or until internal temperature of meat reaches 145F – 150F. Grill the veggie kebabs simultaneously, turning them half way through.
  • When steaks are done, transfer to a cutting board, sheet pan or platter and cover for 5 minutes with foil.
  • Meanwhile, using a mortar and pestle, add peppercorns and sea salt and crush it until it reaches a rough sandy consistency. Then add the cilantro and crush until pasty. Next add the oil, red pepper flakes and a generous squeeze of lime juice. Stir well. (See options on this)
  • Serve the churrasco steaks with veggie kebabs, top with cilantry chimichurri sauce.

Notes

*Marinate the steaks for anywhere from 30 minutes prior up to 4 hours. Keep refrigerated until the last half hour, so the steaks reach room temperature before grilling
**If using wooden skewers you may soak for 30 minutes to prevent the wood from burning. Or you can wrap the ends will foil for easy flipping.
***If you are cooking with a thinner meat like flank or skirt steak, times will be reduced. The best way to know when the meat is ready, is by checking the internal temperature. 
****Alternatively, you can use a food processor to make the cilantro chimichurri sauce, however I do not recommend using peppercorns in this case. Use ground pepper instead

Nutrition

Calories: 774kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 61g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 35g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 165mg | Sodium: 487mg | Potassium: 1147mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1442IU | Vitamin C: 57mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Keyword: Barbecue, Churrasco, Grilled Steak, Steak
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Brazilian
Like this? Leave a comment below!

Hi! I’m Silvia.

My goal is to make cooking simple and enjoyable.

Garden in the Kitchen is full of easy and balanced recipes for busy families. Classics get a healthier twist with additions of veggies or alternative ingredients.

I hope my recipes will inspire you to cook more home meals and above all have fun in the kitchen!

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3 Comments

  1. Thank you for the recipe, the food looks fantastic and I want to try it, but I have one question, and one comment. First, the amount of oil in the chimichurri? I may be missing something, but the only oil I saw was 2 T for the meat marinade and veggies. Second, the link you posted for rock salt took me to Amazon for Pro- Cure rock salt. In the item picture, the label on the bag says that it’s not for human consumption.

    1. Hi Linda, that’s so strange about the rock salt!! my apologies I don’t know why it was linked to that item but I fixed the link to the rock salt we use that’s also available on Amazon. Now as for the oil I add about 1/2 cup of olive oil and there is usually chimichurri sauce left, so feel free to use less oil if you want to or the amount recommended and have sauce left to use in other dishes. Let me know when you try this recipe! xoxo

  2. Thank you for responding so promptly Silvia. I ordered the salt and plan on making the meal for Friday night dinner- I’ll be sure let you know how it turn out