Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak


Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak is just three ingredients that add mouthwatering flavor to any cut of steak. 

Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak | iowagirleats.com

Hi everyone, I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day!

Despite some less than stellar weather, I had an awesome extended weekend, using the holiday to spend time with friends in Chicago, then bum around town with Ben and my parents.


Friday morning I was on the road at the crack of dawn, pulling into my girlfriend’s house on the outskirts of the city by 11am to spend the afternoon with her and her one-month-old. I can’t believe that in just three short months I’ll be holding a one-month-old of my own. WILD! Later that afternoon I drove 25 miles in 2 hours (gotta love holiday traffic in the city!) to finish girl’s weekend with two of my other besties in Wicker Park.


Friday night we took in a show at Second City (must go!) then Saturday we walked 5 miles in 5 hours, shopping and sightseeing all over the city, including making a stop at “The Bean.” I’ve been to Chicago more times than I can count but have never seen the famous reflective sculpture in Millennium Park. I think it’s actually supposed to be a water droplet, but to me it’s “the bean”. : )


We wrapped the day up with a stop at Whole Foods for dinner necessities including mini cupcakes, cheese, crackers, cheese, fruit, cheese, and wine (like I said, the necessities.) We also picked up a few steaks to grill, using them to make the 3-ingredient Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak recipe I’m sharing with you down below for a little pre-Memorial Day celebration.


Monday was pretty dreary so my parents, Ben and I caught a showing of Iron Man 3 late morning before heading out to Granite City for lunch. LOVED IM3. I always forget how funny Robert Downey Jr is! The movie was 2 hours long but I could have easily watched another 2 hours. Highly recommend you go see it.

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The sun finally peeked out later that afternoon so Ben and I wrapped up the holiday weekend with a long walk around the neighborhood. Glad we got to see a little outdoor action on the unofficial kick off to summer!


Now, about that steak! The recipe is from my wonderful friend Natalie, who got it from a co-worker who used to be a chef. Right. The recipe could. not. be. simpler. Just slather steaks in a simple three-ingredient marinade then grill to juicy perfection. You will devour this savory-sweet steak.

Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak | iowagirleats.com

First, the marinade: extra virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, and brown sugar. That’s it! (Oh and some salt and pepper.)

Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak | iowagirleats.com

Start by placing 1lb of your favorite steak in a shallow dish. We had tip steaks this weekend, and I used flat iron steak when I made this at home. Flat iron is a bit tougher than a New York Strip, for example, but it’s inexpensive and if you cook it very quickly over high heat, then slice against the grain, it’s stellar.

Use whatever you want though. If I was going all out I’d use a ribeye.

Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak | iowagirleats.com

Next add 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard, 2 Tablespoons brown sugar, and lots of salt and pepper. 

Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak | iowagirleats.com

Rub the marinade all over the steak then cover and marinate for 1-4 hours. You want a nice, thick coating on the outside of the steak.

Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak | iowagirleats.com

When it’s time to eat, pull the steak out of the fridge to get the chill off for 10-15 minutes then crank the grill up to high and cook to your preferred level of doneness.

Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak | iowagirleats.com

Let the steak rest off the heat for 5-7 minutes BEFORE you cut in. If you cut the steak too soon all the juices will come running out and you’ll have shoe leather. No bueno. After letting it rest, carve and eat up!

Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak | iowagirleats.com

Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak

Serves 2-3


Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak is just three ingredients that add mouthwatering flavor to any cut of steak.


  • 1lb steak (flat iron, flank, ribeye, tip)
  • 1 Tablespoon virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • salt and pepper (lots)


  1. Place steak in a large shallow dish. Add oil, mustard, brown sugar, and lots of salt and pepper then rub into steak and marinate for 1-4 hours.
  2. Let steak rest out of fridge for 10-15 minutes then heat grill to high and grill to preferred doneness. Let rest 5-7 minutes before serving.


  • Make sure grill grates are clean and carefully brush with canola or vegetable oil before grilling to prevent sticking.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak | iowagirleats.com

I seriously think this will be my go-to seasoning for grilled steaks from now on. The savory flavor of the mustard paired with the caramelized sweetness from the brown sugar is just ridiculous. So easy, plus I always have the ingredients on hand!

Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak | iowagirleats.com

I served my steak with Roasted Potato Coins. That’s just petite Idaho potatoes sliced into coins then tossed with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping half way through. Delicious!

Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak | iowagirleats.com

Hope you enjoy!

Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak | iowagirleats.com

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  1. Looks like you had a great weekend. Love those mini cupcakes!

    Steak looks wonderful, going to try it when the weather finally allows some grilling!

  2. Tiffany 05.28.2013

    we went to chicago too over the weekend…it was chilly but sunny :) what a great city!

  3. Alyssa 05.28.2013

    I swear I sat at a table next to your hubby in Galena, IL this weekend! Doppelganger?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 05.28.2013

      If he was with 3 other guys, it was most likely him! They were on a guys golf weekend! :)

      • Alyssa 05.28.2013

        Definitely him! Too bad about all the rain. I’m sure he still had fun! It’s a beautiful place no matter what.

  4. Kerry 05.28.2013

    That sounds amazing, and only three ingredients?! Sold! I will have to try this on the grill next weekend!

  5. Lori H 05.28.2013

    This looks so yummy! This weekend I made your mini chicken gyro sliders – wonderful!

  6. Stacey 05.28.2013

    You’ve mentioned cutting against the grain before in meats — curious what the reasoning is?

    I’d be okay with an updated baby bump picture :)

    Glad you left IA this weekend. We camped at Saylorville and just about floated away!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 05.29.2013

      Slice the steak against the grain to get a really tender cut. If you cut it with the grain it will be more tough and chewy!

  7. This steak looks a-mazing. I’ve been in a little recipe rut lately but this sucker looks like it’ll do just fine ;) Plus, you’ve reminded me to roast up some yummy potatoes before it gets too hot to roast anything.

  8. Lauren Williams 05.28.2013

    The steak looks great and I love easy recipes! Looks like you had fun in Chicago!

  9. As a vegetarian, I do not eat steak…but those potato coins! Wow, those look amazing!

  10. Elizabeth 05.28.2013

    I noticed that you had the Kirkland brand of olive oil. I’m completely lost when it comes to buying olive oil, so I tend to overpay for it because I associate a high price with good quality.

    What do you think about the Kirkland brand olive oil?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 05.29.2013

      Eh, it’s just ok. I actually really like Trader Joe’s brand extra virgin olive oil. It’s inexpensive and very good!

      • jim jones 08.18.2013

        Hi Kristen, Was looking for some marinade recipes and stumbled onto your site. Love it! I grew up in a little town NW of Chicago so can really relate.

        But, I moved to NO. California after graduating from U of Ill. and love it here for the outdoor opportunities. This is where I really got into cooking.

        As for you steak marinade I’ve been using it for years for grilling salmon (wild king salmon that I catch–so much better pen- raised color-added stuff you get at the super market salmon). Just baste it on rather than marinade. As for olive oil, sadly a lot of that expensive imported stuff is really cheap oil and not the good stuff according to a critique I read. The article found that did quality testing on a number of imported and domestic olive oils found there was a higher percentage of good quality olive oil coming from the US (mostly California’s Central Valley) than imported. And, YES! to Trader Joe’s–for lots of high quality products at reasonable prices.

  11. Love this marinade! Ive tried something similar, so I can imagine how good this is! Can’t wait to try it!!

  12. Debbie 05.28.2013

    Hmmm…I might have to try this with my newest OBSESSION – smoked brown sugar from The Smoked Olive! I think my family is getting a little tired of me putting smoked brown sugar on everything!

  13. Tieghan 05.28.2013

    Sounds like such a fun weekend and this steak sounds awesome! I mean brown sugar! Come on that is just awesome and genius!

  14. Tawni 05.28.2013

    I’d love to visit Chicago! Looks fun and that food is making my mouth water.

  15. Ann 05.28.2013

    I just recently subscribed to your blog & to my amazement today when I checked my emails there you were in Chicago this weekend. I grew up in NE Iowa (look at my email address for the town) & have lived in a SW suburb of Chicago for a little over 20 years. I am 1/2 hr. from the loop (downtown). You are correct on the bean! :)

    Any time I see or hear anything about the best state in the US of A I have to check it out & that’s how I came across your blog. Due to a life changing event (divorce) I might be moving back to my hometown in Iowa. My daughter is 22 & is starting her own life so now it’s time for me to start anew as well on my own. I have two four-legged boys that are a constant in my life thank goodness. They are 8 yr. old Frenchtons, Boston Terrier/French Bulldog mix brothers. Beauregard Mugsy or Beau for short & Brutus Maximus or Brutus. They keep me smiling & laughing! /(^-^)\

    Can’t wait to see what else you have in store with your blog! Your photography is awesome & the simplicity of this recipe makes my mouth water! :) Yes I will admit I am a “food” challenged person, so I’m hoping to become inspired by you!

    I look forward to future recipes from “Iowa Girl Eats”!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 05.29.2013

      So glad you found your way over, Ann, and that I can provide a little taste of home! :)

  16. Love how simple but delicious this recipe looks :)

  17. Anne 05.28.2013

    This looks delicious. One quick question: do you just rub the marinade on one side or both?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 05.29.2013

      Sorry I forgot to take a pic of that step – rub it all over on both sides!

  18. Kimber 05.29.2013

    Looks so good! I am always looking for hubby pleasing recipes and this definitely fits the bill! Thanks for sharing!

  19. There’s nothing like a big juicy steak! This looks tremendous and perfect for the grill….

  20. Ooo! I want to sink my chompers right into that gorgeous steak!

  21. Natalie Whitehead 05.29.2013

    You posted my marinade! I feel like a celebrity now! Love you!!

  22. Kathleen Welch 05.30.2013

    This was really good….I grilled squash and zucchini to go with the steak. Thanks for the ideas….It helps keep dinner time interesting !

  23. […] Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak […]

  24. Amy S. 05.30.2013

    Made this last night, or actually yesterday late afternoon before another round of rain here in NE Iowa, and YUMMY! Thanks for sharing the recipe – my whole family loved it! I will have to make extra steak next time around :)

  25. Zoren 06.02.2013

    looks great!!! i’m going to try this recipes on my off day!!! thanks for recipes

  26. Bob Benenson 06.02.2013

    I hope you had a great time in my wonderful hometown of Chicago, despite the sketchy weather that has plagued us all spring. I’ve tended to use dry rubs on meat and have been looking to expand my marinade collection, and this looks great (and easy, which I like a lot). We live in an apartment without easy access to an outdoor grill, so I’m going to try this in a cast-iron grill pan and can let you know the results. (I am a food writer myself, and post most of my work on Examiner.com.)

  27. Sharon Corcoran 06.02.2013

    Thanks for this recipe. It sounds like it’s right up my alley, and I’m always interested in different marinades. I’m thinking that it would also be great on pork chops or pork tenderloin. Think I’m going to really like the whole spicy sweet taste going on.

  28. Looks like you had a great time in Chicago! Jason and I have been meaning to go there ever since we started dating.

    And wow, this steak is just amazing. We don’t really have a lot of red meat at home but I think I’ll have to make an exception with this!

  29. Kathy 06.06.2013

    Thank you for the great recipes. I fixed the steak and the potatoes this week (used flank steak) and we loved it! Easy & delicious!!

  30. […] it was Father’s Day, we of course, grilled out. Eric’s mom made these delicious marinated steaks, and we added some grilled asparagus to the mix. I feel kind of silly even posting this recipe, but […]

  31. […] Dijon Brown Sugar Marinated Steak […]

  32. Betsy 09.03.2013

    Is there any harm in leaving the steaks in the marinade longer than 4 hours? I’d like to marinate them after work tonight and grill them after work tomorrow night. Is there a downside to marinating that long? Thanks!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 09.04.2013

      Hey Betsy, great question! I would think it’d be fine. I just wouldn’t marinate them for longer than 24 hours. Let me know how it turns out!

  33. […] For more details please visit this link were you will find instructions : iowagirleats.com […]

  34. imogen quigley 11.23.2013

    Stumbled across this little recipe on pinterest. Im from a little place called Maffra, in Victoria Australia. Trying this recipe tonight. Cannot wait to see what it tastes like. Anything with mustard is a winner in my book.

  35. Tammy 02.06.2014

    How would you make this in the oven?

  36. […] Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak from Iowa Girl Eats […]

  37. […] Click Here For Recipe […]

  38. […] 24. Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak […]

  39. […] 24. Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak […]

  40. […] 24. Dijon-Brown Sugar Marinated Steak […]

  41. Elizabeth 06.03.2015

    any recommendations on where to stay?

  42. […] Recipe via iowagirleats.com […]

  43. […] Recipe via iowagirleats.com […]

  44. janriav 07.14.2015

    Chicago is a GREAT City! Love going there! I’m going to try this dinner out soon! Gosh! It looks yummy!

  45. […] Savory and sweet – there’s no better way to describe this end-of-summer dish. Find the recipe here. […]

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