These simple air fryer steak bites with garlic butter make a great low carb snack or quick weeknight dinner protein option. Since they don’t require any time in a marinade, you can have them seasoned and air fried in around 20 minutes. And thanks to lean top sirloin, the recipe makes 4 servings with 25 grams of protein and just 200 calories each!
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How to Cook Steak Bites in the Air Fryer
I’ve included a visual recipe walkthrough below with tips and ingredient notes. You’ll find a full recipe card to print at the bottom of the post if you’re feeling confident and want to skip down. If you have any recipe questions I don’t cover in the recipe card or post, drop a comment at the bottom of the post.
Season bite size pieces of top sirloin with a quick homemade steak seasoning.
I’ve included a note in the recipe card for different cuts of steak you can use. All the nutrition information is pulled from the USDA FoodData Central. If you’d like to see a quick reference cheat sheet for different cuts of steak, check out this steak nutrition guide from friend of the blog, Matt Rosenman.
Once you’ve decided on your cut of steak, here’s everything you’ll need for the steak seasoning:
- kosher salt and black pepper
- chili powder
- garlic and onion powder
- brown sugar
You’ll also need a half tablespoon of olive oil or your choice of oil. Like I mentioned in my BBQ pulled chicken thighs and Mexican shredded chicken thighs, tossing the meat in a little oil before seasoning helps everything stick for max flavor.
Preheat an air fryer for 5 minutes at 400ºF before adding the seasoned steak bites.
You should hear some sizzle when you add the steak bites to the air fryer basket. This is the only recipe on my blog that calls for preheating the air fryer. In this case, you want the basket to be hot so you can get a mild sear on the steak without overcooking the center of your steak bites.
Air fry the steak bites for 4-6 minutes at 400ºF.
Every air fryer is different, but my 8-quart Instant Pot Duo Crisp cooked nearly every test batch to the 140ºF-145ºF range in about 4 minutes. And by the 6-minute mark, my test batches were around 150ºF-160ºF. We won’t get into the “rare vs well done” argument here!
Melt butter and mix with garlic powder, parsley flakes, and crushed red pepper.
Apparently some people don’t enjoy butter on steak. So this step is totally optional. But for the rest of us sane folks, it’s a great way to pack extra flavor into your steak bites. Since it’s a quick recipe without any time in a marinade, we’re really after surface flavor.
Like I mentioned in my air fryer chicken nuggets guide, cutting proteins into bite size chunks and seasoning all sides is a great shortcut method for packing flavor in without marinating or brining.
If you wanted to really show off, you could sauté freshly minced garlic and maybe even some shallots and fresh herbs in a pan before adding in the steak bites. Which brings up a good point.
Can I make these steak bites without an air fryer?
Yep! Get a large skillet (cast iron if possible) with lots of surface area really hot before adding a little oil and the steak bites. Cook for 2-3 minutes before stirring to finish cooking, about 4-5 minutes total. A meat thermometer would come in clutch here.
Toss the air fried steak bites in the garlic butter.
And that’s a wrap. You’ll want to serve your steak bites fresh out of the air fryer. So be sure to plan out your sides before you start cooking.
Serving Your Air Fryer Steak Bites
Pictured above is a simple combo of steamed broccoli with lemon juice and parmesan with an air fryer baked potato. More pairing ideas:
- oven baked crinkle cut fries (the garlic parmesan version)
- use my air fryer Greek chicken and potatoes recipe as a template for steak and potatoes
- the best air fryer green beans
- you can swap the air fryer for oven baked in all 5 of my air fryer brussels sprouts recipes
- or do the same oven swap for any of my air fryer potatoes recipes like cajun fries or ranch potato wedges
These air fried steak bites would also be great as a toothpick-friendly appetizer with something like this creamy horseradish sauce or Oh My! steak sauce.
However you end up serving your steak bites, I’d love to hear about it. Come back and leave a recipe review or join my Facebook group and share it with the 15,000+ healthy home cooks there.
Air Fryer Steak Bites
Lean top sirloin steak bites air fried with a simple steak seasoning and tossed in garlic butter.
For the Steak Bites
- 16 oz Top Sirloin Filet*, cut into bite size pieces
- 1/2 Tbsp (8g) Olive Oil
- 1/2 Tbsp (6g) Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
For the Garlic Butter
- 1 1/2 Tbsp (21g) Butter
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/4 Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/4 tsp Parsley Flakes
- Toss the steak pieces with the olive oil. Mix the brown sugar and spices together and coat the steak in the seasoning. Set aside.
- Preheat an air fryer for 5 minutes at 400ºF. Once heated, add the steak to the basket and air fry for 4-6 minutes at 400ºF to your desired doneness.
- While the steak cooks, melt the butter and mix in the garlic powder, red pepper, and parsley. Toss the finished steak in the garlic butter before serving.
*Top sirloin filet has 5g fat per 4 oz raw. You can also use round steak (7g fat per 4 oz raw), flank steak (9g fat per 4 oz raw), or skirt steak (14g fat per 4 oz raw). Note: Thinner cuts will cook faster. Nutrition information via the USDA Food Database.
Each serving of steak bites has 5 WW SmartPoints (blue).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Servings Serving Size: 1 Serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 200Total Fat: 10gCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 25g
Sunday 12th of March 2023
Tried this last night at the recommendation of my sister. They are fantastic tasting and so quick and easy. This may be the way I cook steak from now on! My husband didn’t even use A1 sauce, which he always does for steak. I have a toaster oven/air fryer combo so I just heated an iron skillet in it so that it would get the sear.
Saturday 4th of February 2023
Winn Dixie sells super cheap steak that is below Choice. It is called Rancher's Home. It is a horrible steak, but makes great air fryer steak bites. Yesterday got four NY strip steaks for $5.99/lb. Trimmed off the fat, cut in cubes, rolled in a dry rub and put in cold air fryer and went 400F for about 6min. Nice medium rare.
Tuesday 24th of January 2023
I’ve made these twice now! First with garlic butter sauce, second time without (only bc everybody was starving lol). I followed the directions exactly, except a tiny bit more here and there of seasonings. ( and on the second time I added crushed red pepper flakes to the mix). I also cooked them longer than the recommended time because we like our steak a little bit more done. I just kept checking the basket after a few minutes, shaking them up, sticking them back in, and checking in again until I felt they were ready for us. I poured them out onto a baking sheet with a lip and they pretty much made their own sauce. My son kept dipping it back into the sauce as he ate. The first time I cooked these, I put them onto paper towels before I tossed them in the garlic butter sauce. Both ways are awesome! I will definitely do this time and again! Thanks!
Sunday 4th of December 2022
Ran across this one day looking for a good idea to cook sirloin steaks in my airfryer. Oh my my! I made them and there was nothing left. So tender and tasty! Twice this week I have made them. Love it...I will definitely be checking out more of your airfryer ideas! Keep on cooking!
Wednesday 7th of December 2022
So happy to hear you enjoyed them. Thanks, Susan. Will do!
Saturday 5th of November 2022
Made this tonight and my sons said This ranks in their top five favorite dinners ever and I have to agree. It was delicious. The brown sugar is a fun surprise and the chili powder gave it the perfect amount of heat.