Here is one of my favorite bites from the bustling streets of Uruguay! I spent some time studying in Argentina when I was younger, and even today I have a love affair with South American cuisine. There are a lot of ways to make a mouthwatering steak sandwich, and this chivito recipe is one of the best. 

Chivito Steak Sandwich with Grilled Onions

What is chivito? Uruguay’s Legendary Sandwich

A chivito is a sandwich of sliced steak with toppings like mozzarella, hard-boiled eggs, bacon, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and black or green olives. Inspired by the traditional chivito sandwiches I tasted on my travels, my recipe uses sirloin steak topped with mayo, hard-boiled eggs, grilled onions, and bacon for a savory, crispy crunch! Everyone in my family loves this sandwich at summer cookouts!

Chivito Steak Sandwich with Grilled Onions
Chivito Steak Sandwich with Grilled Onions

What’s the best kind of steak for a chivito sandwich?

Choosing the right kind of steak is the trickiest part… but don’t worry, I did that part for you! I prefer a thick-cut sirloin from my favorite butcher. An important step in preparing the steak is to butterfly it, and then pound it. Butterflying is a method that opens up the steak to look like butterfly wings. This makes it easier to cook. Let me tell you how.

Pro Tips for the Perfect Chivito Sandwich

How to Butterfly Cut a Steak

To butterfly your steak, start by laying it flat on your cutting surface. Holding your knife parallel to the countertop, cut through the meat, almost to the opposite end. You want to be able to unfold the steak. It should look like an open book when you’re done. Cover the meat with a piece of plastic wrap. Using a flat meat pounder, gently pound the steak until the whole thing is about ¼ inch thick.

Use a Meat Pounder, not a Tenderizer

One very important note: Be sure to choose a flat meat pounder—NOT a tenderizer with teeth—to avoid tearing the meat.

One of these sirloin steaks will make two gigantic sandwiches. After it is butterflied and pounded, I suggest cutting each streak into three pieces. This will make a total of six (still hearty) sandwiches for your family. There might even be leftovers for lunch tomorrow! 

Butterflying Steak
Butterflying Steak

You can make chivito on the stovetop or on your outdoor grill.

This recipe can be made on the grill, with the bacon and onions done in a cast iron skillet or grill plate. I included a stovetop version below, in case you’re staying indoors!

Chivito Steak Sandwich with Grilled Onions
Chivito Steak Sandwich with Grilled Onions

Oven Method

If you don’t have a grill or if the weather’s not right, you can make your chivito steak sandwiches indoors in the oven. To make these inside, prepare them in a large cast iron skillet or a cast iron grill plate. Heat the skillet or grill plate on your stovetop. When hot, proceed with the recipe as written, starting with the bacon, followed by the onions, then finish with searing the steak.

Next, place the steaks on a foil-lined baking sheet and top with bacon, onions, and cheese. Flash the steaks under a hot broiler to melt the cheese, then place them on the dressed buns and add the additional toppings as described above.

Yield: Makes 6 small sandwiches
Chivito Steak Sandwich Recipe with Grilled Onions

Chivito Steak Sandwich Recipe with Grilled Onions

Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 3 MinTotal time: 23 Min
Here is a mouthwatering steak sandwich with a Latin twist! Filling, shareable, and absolutely delectable.


  • 1¼ pound thick-cut sirloin steak, trimmed of excess fat
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch rounds
  • 6 slices of Monterey Jack or provolone cheese
  • 6 long sandwich rolls, split and toasted
  • Mayonnaise
  • Chimichurri sauce
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, cut into rounds
Additional items needed
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Large cast iron skillet or cast iron grill plate
  • Meat pounder
  • Metal spatula


  1. Heat the outdoor grill to 400 degrees. Place a large cast iron skillet or a cast iron grill plate on the grill to heat it up. If you want to use the oven method, make sure to read the blog post above for details.
  2. Toast your sandwich rolls and set aside.
  3. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut the steak using a butterfly-style cut to create two thinner pieces of steak. Place one piece of the butterflied steak between two pieces of plastic wrap. This method will protect the meat from tearing while you pound it thinner.
  4. Using a meat pounder (make sure it is a pounder and not a meat tenderizer that has teeth), pound each piece to a thickness of about ¼-inch. Cut the pounded steak into 3 long pieces and set aside. Repeat with the remaining piece of steak. You will have a total of 6 thin steak pieces. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  5. When the cast iron skillet or cast iron grill plate is hot, add the bacon. Cook until crisp, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Using a paper towel, carefully wipe out excess grease.
  6. Add the sliced onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly charred and softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and place in a bowl.
  7. Now it’s time to quickly sear those thin steaks! You can either cook them in the same pan or grill plate used for the onions and bacon or grill them directly on your grill. If you do them in the pan, you will have to do them one or two at a time. On the grill, you can cook them all at once. Sear the steaks, turning them so they are nicely colored, for about 2 minutes. Flip the steaks over and top with a piece of bacon, charred onions, and a piece of cheese. Let cook for 1 to 2 more minutes. This will finish the steaks and melt the cheese.
  8. Dress the sandwich rolls with mayonnaise or chimichurri and lettuce.
  9. Remove the steaks from the heat using a metal spatula and place the grilled meat on the bottom halves of your toasted rolls.
  10. Add sliced tomato on top of the beef, followed by sliced hard-boiled egg. Top with the other piece of the roll and secure with a decorative toothpick. If you like, you can cut the sandwich in half and secure each half with a decorative toothpick. Enjoy!
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @blameitonbiscotti on instagram and hashtag it #ChivitoSteakSandwichRecipe
June 10, 2024 — Mary DiSomma