Grilled Pesto Steak Sandwiches

Pesto acts as a fresh contrast to rich, juicy steak in this easy grilled sandwich. Pickled onions lend pucker, and ciabatta rolls, texture, for this show-stopper dish.


Steak Marinade
  •  ¼ cup Armanino Pesto Sauce
  •  ¼ cup olive oil
  •  ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  •  2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  •  ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  •  one 1 ¾ lb flank steak
Pickled Red Onions
  •  1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  •  ¾ cup white vinegar
  •  ¼ cup water
  •  2 tablespoons sugar
  •  1 teaspoon kosher salt
  •  4 ciabatta rolls, split in half
  •  olive oil
  •  1 ½ cups baby arugula
  •  2 sliced tomatoes
  •  8 slices of provolone
  •  ¼ cup Armanino Pesto Sauce


  1. Marinate the steak: In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the pesto sauce, olive oil, vinegar, garlic and salt. Add the flank steak, seal the bag, turn a few times to coat and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  2. For the pickled onions: Peel and thinly slice the onion and place in a large heatproof 8 ounce jar or bowl, like a mason jar
  3. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook until the sugar and salt are dissolved, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the onions, screw on the lid, and shake briefly to fully combine.
  6. Let sit for at least 30 minutes. Check once or twice to make sure the onions are fully submerged in the liquid
  7. Serve or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. The onions will soften over time.
  8. For the sandwiches: Preheat a grill to high; at least 5 minutes for a gas grill. For a charcoal grill, heat the charcoal to very hot with an ash coating, then push the coals to one side of the grill. When the grill is ready – you should be able to hold your hand one inch above the grill grates for only a second – lightly rub the clean grill grate with an oil soaked paper towel using a pair of tongs.
  9. Remove the steak from the marinade, briefly pat dry and season both sides liberally with salt and pepper.
  10. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 6-7 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 135°F; medium – 140°F; medium-well – 145F°).
  11. Transfer the steak to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.
  12. While the steak is resting, split the ciabatta rolls, brush the cut sides lightly with olive oil and grill until lightly toasted.
  13. Thinly slice the steak across the grain on the diagonal.
  14. Build the sandwiches by adding the arugula, sliced provolone, sliced tomatoes, sliced steak, pickled red onions and a spoonful of pesto sauce to the grilled rolls.

Chef’s Tips

  • If you want to get fancy, rotate the steak 45 degrees halfway through grilling to achieve a crosshatch grill pattern on the steak. 
  • The best tools to thinly slice onions are a sharp knife or a mandoline. A mandoline makes quick and easy work of an onion resulting in perfectly even slices. Be sure to use the hand guard – the blade is deceptively sharp.
4 sandwiches
Prep Time
1 hour
Cook Time
10 minutes

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