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
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.
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