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Air Fryer Breaded Cubed Steak

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This breaded cubed steak recipe (bistec empanizado) is a Puerto Rican staple, and making it in the air fryer is easy and healthier!

Air Fryer Breaded Cubed Steak with rice and beans

Air Fryer Breaded Cubed Steak

If you’re in a cooking rut and need new dinner ideas, your family will love this breaded steak! Beef cubed steak is an inexpensive cut of meat, the same used in country fried steak (I have that recipe in Skinnytaste Air Fryer Dinners). Tommy grew up on this dish, which is now on our dinner rotation. Last year I started cooking Breaded Cubed Steak in the air fryer, and we all loved it. It’s crispy golden perfection, and now we don’t eat it any other way! I serve it with Puerto Rican Beans and rice and some lime wedges on the side. So good! And for more steak recipes without the breading, try this Air Fryer Steak.

Air Fryer Breaded Cubed Steak

You might not think of breading thin steaks, but in many Latin countries, fried breaded steaks (bistec empanizado), like chicken cutlets are very popular. It’s a tasty way of taking a cheap cut of beef and making it flavorful.

What is Cube Steak

Cube steak or cubed steak is an inexpensive cut of beef that’s been tenderized, usually top round or top sirloin. It is tenderized and flattened by pounding with a meat tenderizer. The name refers to the shape of the indentations left. This is also the meat used for the American dish chicken-fried steak. I personally like to tenderize it again at home with a meat mallet, so it’s extra tender.

Breaded Cubed Steak Ingredients

  • Cubed Steak: Buy 16 ounces of cubed steak, also called cube steak or beef round sirloin that you can tenderize yourself.
  • Eggs: Beat three eggs with one tablespoon of water.
  • Salt to season the beef.
  • Breadcrumbs: I used seasoned breadcrumbs, but if you only have regular, you can add spices, like onion powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.
  • Olive Oil Spray to spray on the beef

How Long to Air Fry Breaded Cubed Steak

  • After you salt the beef, dip it into the egg mixture and then the breadcrumbs. Pat the crumbs onto the meat with a fork to make it stick.
  • Spray the top of the steaks with oil and air fry them at 400°F for five minutes. Flip the steaks over, spray the other sides with oil, and cook them for another five minutes.

What to Serve with Breaded Cubed Steak

I love to serve these cubed steaks with rice and beans and a salad or sliced avocado. I always have sofrito in my freezer, so Puerto Rican rice and beans are a staple in my house, but any version will work, like these Black Beans and Rice or Dominican Beans.

How to Store Cubed Steak

The steak will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It’s best to reheat it in the air fryer so the breading stays crispy.

cubed steak in egg and breadcrumbs
breaded cubed steak with lime
Air Fryer Breaded Cubed Steak with rice and beans.

More Breaded Meat Recipes You’ll Love:

Air Fryer Breaded Cubed Steak (bistec empanizado)

4.88 from 8 votes
This breaded cubed steak recipe (bistec empanizado) is a Puerto Rican staple, and making it in the air fryer is easy and healthier!
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Latin, Puerto Rican
Air Fryer Breaded Cubed Steak with rice and beans
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 25 mins
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 1 piece


  • 4 pieces cubed steak (beef round sirloin), 16 ounces total
  • 3 large eggs, with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs*
  • olive oil spray
  • white rice and lime wedges, optional for serving


  • Season the beef with salt on both sides.
  • Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl with water.
  • Dip the beef in the egg, then into the breadcrumbs, patting it with the back of a fork so it sticks.
  • Transfer to the air fryer basket in batches as needed.
  • Spray the top of the beef with oil then air fry 400F in a single layer 5 minutes on each side, spraying the other side when you flip. Serve with rice and lime wedges, if desired.

Last Step:

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*4 tbsp get tossed, this is omitted from nutritional information.


Serving: 1 piece, Calories: 328 kcal, Carbohydrates: 15.5 g, Protein: 33 g, Fat: 14 g, Saturated Fat: 5 g, Cholesterol: 218 mg, Sodium: 944 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1.5 g


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31 comments on “Air Fryer Breaded Cubed Steak”

  1. This was delicious. I turned it into a “chicken fried steak” and served it with powdered gravy (shh…) and it was amazing! My whole family loved it!

  2. Avatar photo
    Becky Bowman

    I thought this was pretty good, but I have a problem when I have to spray olive oil on the breadcrumb tops. I spray away all the breading. Is there a trick to doing this so you don’t lose the topping?

  3. Avatar photo
    Maida Millan

    I made this tonight and it was very good! Did not have seasoned breadcrumbs, Only had Panko & I mixed it with oregano, grated romano cheese, and some Badia Adobo seasoning. Crunchy and yummy. Served with yellow rice. Thank you for sharing your recipe!! A keeper!

  4. Simple, fast, tasty meal. My husband said to add it to the monthly rotation! I will use a lighter hand with the salt and add some black pepper to my breadcrumbs.

  5. I couldn’t find cubed steak, so I tenderized the round steak as directed. So easy, so good. This really felt like cheating. Thank you!

  6. This was shockingly insanely good. I used top round not minute steak. I will definately be making this again. Thank you!!!

  7. This was tender and crispy. I enjoyed it so much. It was quick to put together. I definitely will make again.

    1. I am about to make it in oven with convection setting! Hoping it works. Was big hit in air fryer last time.

  8. Hopefully 5 star but haven’t tried it yet as I have a question. I just got a new range and it has an air fryer in the oven. I’ve not had experience with either type of air fryers. What, or is there, a difference in temperature and time to cook the air fryer breaded cubed steak in the oven, or in a counter air fryer? Don’t want to ruin a good piece of meat. Thanks

    1. I have a Frigidaire with the air fryer feature and did buy the air fryer rack. There definitely is a difference in both timing and temperature…both need more. I love that it can accommodate larger batches, but honestly, I’ve yet to master it. I also have a counter top air fryer and find myself still using it more, simply because I know how it works, and how long I need to cook to coordinate with the rest of my meal. So I think I can safely say there is a learning curve involved, and I need to dedicate more time to it.

  9. Avatar photo
    Roberta Scholer

    Curious as to what makes this Latin, as most seasoned bread crumbs are seasoned with Italian seasoning.

  10. I do not own an air fryer. It would be really nice if you could add information for cooking without using an air fryer. Thank you!

      1. Thank you! Just making sure. We LOVE your many recipes and have been using them solely for the last 7 years. Thank you for showing us a way to make delicious meals that are healthy.

    1. On the stove they would fried in oil, like chicken cutlets. I don’t think they would be good baked, but I could be wrong!

      1. I bought Gothum steel roasting pan from amozon works great in oven similar to the fryer

  11. I would love to try this. Does anyone know what the type of beef would be called in Canada? I can’t find “round sirloin”. I see “inside round” or “outside round”. Thank you!