Steak and Lobster Tails: Surf and Turf for Two

5 from 1 vote
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Steak and lobster has never been so easy! Pan-seared steak paired with golden baked lobster tails topped with butter, lemon, parmesan, and breadcrumbs. A complete surf and turf recipe that’s the best of the land and sea. This recipe is easy to perfect and it all comes down to simple timing and easy technique!

Perfectly cooked garlic butter sirloin steak plated with two golden breaded lobster tails cut in half.

This recipe follows my favorite cooking method for steak. The combination of pan-searing and finishing in the oven offers a nice seared exterior with the perfect juicy interior. This tried and true process for steak has helped me cook hundreds of steaks perfectly every single time! (If you’re cooking thicker 2 inch steaks, try the reverse searing method)

My lobster tails are prepared with a flavorful and savory topping made with garlic, butter, lemon, fresh parsley, parmesan cheese, and crushed Ritz crackers. The golden breaded finish provides so much flavor and also helps to keep the lobster juicy and tender.

Why This Recipe Works

My goal when designing this recipe was to simultaneously cook both the lobster and the steak in the oven at the same temperature, so everything comes out hot all at once. Prep and timing are really important for this recipe. If you prep everything beforehand and follow my cooking times, you will get consistent and repeatable results every time!

If you’re looking for more steak recipes, try my filet mignon with red wine reduction or my ribeye steak with blue cheese butter. If you’re looking for more surf and turf options you can pair steak with pan-seared scallops!

Ingredients

Ingredients for steak and lobster surf and turf laid out on a cutting board.
  • New York strip steak (sirloin): I designed this recipe around sharing a steak. Look for a nice thick sirloin steak that is at least 1 inch thick. You can also substitute for filet mignon, porterhouse, or T-bone if you prefer.
  • Lobster tails (in the shell): most seafood counters have uncooked lobster tails you can buy as the tail only. Sometimes you can also find them frozen. Just make sure they’re thawed before cooking.
  • Ritz crackers: I like Ritz crackers because they’re flakey and buttery but you can also use similar crackers or panko breadcrumbs.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities below.

How to Make Steak and Lobster

Step 1.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Step 2.

Remove the steak from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking, this is to bring the steak to room temperature and ensure your cooking times are more accurate. Season all sides liberally with salt and pepper. This can be done while your steak comes to room temp.

Sirloin steak cut in half and seasoned with salt and pepper on a cutting board.

Step 3.

Using kitchen shears (scissors), cut the tails down the center, through the end of the tail, on both the underside and top of the shell. Use a knife to slice the lobster meat in half, separating it into two halves. (keeping lobster in the shell). Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Cutting the bottom of an uncooked lobster tail with kitchen shears.
Cutting the top shell of an uncooked lobster tail with kitchen shears.
Uncooked lobster tails sliced in half and seasoned on a cutting board.

Step 4.

Combine 2 tablespoons of melted butter, juice from half a lemon, garlic, and parsley in a small bowl. Stir until combined. Set aside. Crush Ritz crackers in a Ziploc bag until the crackers are finely crushed. Mix with parmesan cheese and set aside.

Melted garlic and herb butter, parmesan cheese, and a breadcrumb mixture on a cutting board.

Step 5.

Arrange lobster tails on a baking sheet flesh side up. Liberally baste the flesh side of each tail with melted herb butter. Sprinkle liberally with crushed Ritz mix. Bake lobster tails for 15 minutes. I throw them in the oven just as I’m about ready to start searing the steak.

Basting uncooked lobster tails with garlic and herb butter.
Topping uncooked lobster tails with a mixture of parmesan and crushed crackers.

Step 6.

Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to an oven-safe cast iron skillet and turn the heat up high, allowing the skillet to become very hot. Twirl the pan to distribute oil as it heats. Once the oil starts to smoke, place the steaks face down and sear undisturbed for 2 minutes. Flip the steaks and sear for an additional 2 minutes.

Searing steak in a cast iron skillet with oil.
Golden seared steak cooking in a cast iron skillet.

Step 7.

Add the remaining butter, rosemary, and whole garlic cloves to the pan before transferring it to the oven. The butter will melt and the herbs will season the pan drippings for a later step. Transfer your skillet directly to the oven. [WARNING] skillet may be hot, handle it with oven mitts. For rare, bake for 3-4 minutes. Medium rare, 4-5 minutes. Medium, 5-6 minutes. Medium well, 7-8 minutes.

Golden seared steak cooking in a cast iron skillet with rosemary, butter, and whole garlic cloves.

Step 8.

Remove the skillet from the oven and spoon some of the seasoned pan drippings over the steak to infuse it with extra flavor.

Basting a seared steak in a cast iron skillet with pan drippings with a spoon.

Step 9.

Remove steaks from the skillet and set them on a plate to rest for 5 minutes before serving. This is important to bring your steak to its final serving temperature.

Step 10.

After the 5-minute rest, your lobster tail should be ready. Serve each steak portion with 2 halves of lobster tails. Garnish each steak with a clove of roasted garlic and a portion of rosemary if desired. Serve with lemon wedges.

Perfectly cooked garlic butter sirloin steak plated with two golden breaded lobster tails cut in half.

Temperature for Steak

The timing/temperature chart below corresponds to the pan sear/oven method in this recipe. It’s a great guide assuming you choose a steak of similar size and thickness as listed in the recipe. I recommend a digital thermometer to verify your steak’s internal temperature for the desired level of doneness. Always measure in the middle of the thickest part of the steak.

DonenessInternal TempOven Duration
Very Rare/rare120°F to 125°F 3-4 minutes
Medium rare125°F to 130°F4-5 minutes
Medium135°F to 140°F5-6 minutes
Medium well145°F to 150°F7-8 minutes
Well done160°F and above9+ minutes

SMOKE WARNING: Cooking steaks at high temps in a skillet tends to get smokey. Open a kitchen window and turn on your kitchen’s overhead vent fan before you start to help with ventilation.

Prepping Lobster Tails

The “hardest” part of this recipe is cutting the lobster tails in half to expose the flesh. The best way to do this is to use kitchen shears (scissors) to cut the tails down the center, through the end of the tail. Cut both the underside and top of the shell with scissors and then use a knife to slice the lobster meat in half, separating it into two equal halves.

You can also accomplish this with a sharp knife, by piercing the underside of the lobster tail with the tip of the knife and then rocking the knife downwards, applying pressure, until you slice entirely through the tail and shell. The scissors method is much easier and much safer in my opinion. It’s worth picking up a nice pair of kitchen shears for.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a cast iron skillet?

Cast iron is really versatile and can be used for so many different recipes on my site. Here is the one I have. Any oven-safe pan should do the trick, however, as a disclaimer, I based the cook times and results on cast iron.

Any substitutes for lobster?

I also really like making this recipe with my pan-seared scallops.

Can I steam the lobster?

You can steam the lobster tails but I don’t recommend it for this recipe. The breading is delicious and adds a lot of flavor.

What if I don’t have an oven-safe pan?

If you don’t have an oven-safe pan, you can sear your steak on the stovetop and then transfer them to a baking sheet lined with a wire rack. This method works really well at keeping your steaks elevated from the direct heat while in the oven. Just note, that this will likely add additional baking time.

What to Serve With Surf and Turf

You can make this a complete celebration-worthy meal when you serve it with some of my favorite sharable sides. Surf and turf pairs perfectly with my cream cheese mashed potatoes, truffle fries, or roasted fingerling potatoes. For some greens, I love my bacon Brussels sprouts, restaurant-style brussels sprouts, or roasted lemon and parmesan broccoli.

More Steak Recipes

Enjoy this recipe? If you made this recipe, please leave a ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ star rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments!
5 from 1 vote

Steak and Lobster Tails: Surf and Turf for Two

Servings: 2
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Steak and lobster tails. Seared NY strip steak served with baked and buttered lobster tails.

Ingredients 

  • 12-14 ounce New York strip steak, 1 inch thick, cut in half
  • 2 uncooked lobster tails, in the shell
  • 4 Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, 2 whole, 1 minced
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • Sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
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Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Remove the steak from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking, this is to bring the steak to room temperature and ensure your cooking times are more accurate. Season all sides liberally with salt and pepper. This can be done while your steak comes to room temp.
  • Using kitchen shears (scissors), cut the tails down the center, through the end of the tail, on both the underside and top of the shell. Use a knife to slice the lobster meat in half, separating it into equal halves. (keeping lobster in the shell). Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Combine 2 tablespoons of melted butter, juice from half a lemon, garlic, and parsley in a small bowl. Stir until combined. Set aside. Crush Ritz crackers in a Ziploc bag until the crackers are finely crushed. Mix with parmesan cheese and set aside.
  • Arrange lobster tails on a baking sheet flesh side up. Liberally baste the flesh side of each tail with melted herb butter. Sprinkle liberally with crushed Ritz mix. Bake lobster tails for 15 minutes. I throw them in the oven just as I'm about ready to start searing the steak.
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to an oven-safe cast iron skillet and turn the heat up high, allowing the skillet to become very hot. Twirl the pan to distribute oil as it heats. Once the oil starts to smoke, place the steaks face down and sear undisturbed for 2 minutes. Flip the steaks and sear for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add remaining butter, rosemary, and whole garlic cloves to the pan before transferring it to the oven. The butter will melt and the herbs will season the pan drippings for a later step. Transfer your skillet directly to the oven. [WARNING] The skillet may be hot, handle it with oven mitts. For rare, bake for 3-4 minutes. Medium rare, 4-5 minutes. Medium, 5-6 minutes. Medium well, 7-8 minutes.
  • Remove the skillet from the oven and spoon some of the seasoned pan drippings over the steak to infuse it with extra flavor.
  • Remove steaks from the skillet and set them on a plate to rest for 5 minutes before serving. This is important to bring your steak to its final serving temperature.
  • After the 5-minute rest, your lobster tail should be ready. Serve each steak portion with 2 halves of lobster tails. Garnish each steak with a clove of roasted garlic and a portion of rosemary if desired. Serve with lemon wedges.

Notes

Temperatures for steak
Rare: 120°F to 125°F
Medium rare: 125°F to 130°F
Medium: 135°F to 140°F
Medium well: 145°F to 150°F
Well done: 160°F and above
You can also cut lobster tails with a sharp knife, by piercing the underside of the lobster tail with the tip of the knife and then rocking the knife downwards, applying pressure, until you slice entirely through the tail and shell. The scissors method is much easier and much safer in my opinion. It’s worth picking up a nice pair of kitchen shears for.
SMOKE WARNING: Cooking steaks at high temps in a skillet tends to get smokey. Open a kitchen window and turn on your kitchen’s overhead vent fan before you start to help with ventilation. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 658kcalCarbohydrates: 9.8gProtein: 43.8gFat: 27.7gSaturated Fat: 11.6gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 468mgFiber: 1.3gSugar: 0.8g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
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About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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5 Comments

  1. We made these lobster tails this evening and they were fantastic ? Dad, who is not a lobster fan loved them. Thank you!!
    Mom

  2. Looks delicious! Question? Is the lobster tail frozen or fresh? I used to fix surf & turf on New Years Eve – the last time was about 7 years ago. At that time I used frozen lobster tail and they were awful! Tasted like ammonia. I got so turned off I never fixed them again.

    1. Thanks Elaine! Hmm that sounds gross. May have been a bad batch. I’m assuming most fresh lobster tails at the fish counter have been previously frozen to store (mine were). You certainly don’t want pre-cooked, but maybe give another try from a trusted source. If frozen, be sure to fully thaw before cooking.