Healthy Beef and Broccoli with juicy seared slices of beef, crisp white onions and crunchy broccoli coated in a thick, sweet and sticky glaze! Serve this 30ish minute meal over rice, quinoa or noodles and soak up the compliments.
Beef and Broccoli Recipe
Healthy beef and broccoli is a classic dish found at many Chinese inspired restaurants. This quick and easy version of the classic stir fry is a game-changer that will satisfy all of your late-night take out cravings.
Recipes like this beef and broccoli along with teriyaki chicken and cauliflower, salmon stir fry and shrimp stir fry bring you everything you love about takeout without sacrificing your health or your tastebuds. It’s a low carb, high protein healthy dinner without the added refined sugar and high sodium content of MSG.
A little bit sweet, a little bit sticky, a little bit tangy, and a whole lot delicious. It’s layer after layer of bold flavours, wonderful textures, and out of this world aromas. This simple and satisfying comfort meal comes together in minutes and makes the most delicious leftovers the next day.
Ingredients for Healthy Beef and Broccoli
- Beef: Flank, tri-tip, or sirloin, sliced thin, will all work. Save flank steak for the best carne asada recipe in the world!
- Broccoli & onion: Cut broccoli into florets and thinly slice the onion.
- Cornstarch: This will be used to coat the beef. When combined with the glaze it will help thicken it up.
- For the glaze: Soy sauce (I use Bragg’s Liquid aminos). Maple syrup or honey. If you’re ok with a bit of refined sugar then, by all means, use brown sugar. Minced garlic and ginger.
- Low sodium beef broth: You’ll use this to deglaze the pan to get all the yummy bits left on the bottom.
- Oil: Avocado oil is great for frying. Both coconut and olive oil can be used, but keeping in mind the flavour profile may not be what you’re looking for. Whichever you use will need to have a high smoke point.
- Optional garnish: Finely chopped onion sprig. Sesame seeds.
How to Make Healthy Beef and Broccoli
- Prep: As with any stir fry you want to make sure all of your ingredients are chopped, minced, sliced, and ready to go. You move fairly quickly, so it just makes things a lot easier when you’re prepared! If you’re serving a side dish, such as rice, you’ll want to have that going at the same time.
- Make the sauce: In a small bowl, add the soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic, and ginger. Whisk and set aside until it’s time to add it in.
- Coat beef: Place the slices of beef in a bowl and sprinkle with the cornstarch. Use a pair of tongs to stir and coat well. We must give credit to where it’s due. Without the magic of starch, this sauce wouldn’t be what we’ve all come to know and love.
- Brown meat: Preheat a large ceramic non-stick skillet and add in oil. Swirl to coat. Add in half the beef and cook until nicely browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate, add a bit more oil to the skillet and repeat this step with the remaining beef. Cooking in batches allows for more even cooking and making sure to get all of the sides a lovely brown exterior.
- Deglaze: Return the skillet to high heat and add the broth. Using a wooden spoon, deglaze the pan for a couple of minutes, scraping off any remaining bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. This will add tremendous flavour to the mixture. Add in the broccoli and onion and continue to cook for a few minutes more.
- Combine: Remember the sauce you mixed earlier? And the beef you set aside? Go ahead and grab both of those and add them into the broth. Now we’re cookin’! Can you smell that? Reduce the heat and cook for no more than 5 minutes. Stir often to combine everything and until the sauce has thickened. You don’t want to overcook the broccoli. Crispy, crunchy broccoli is the texture we want!
- Garnish and serve: If you have made a pot of brown rice, quinoa, or your choice of noodles, it may very well be done by now. For extra fun, serve it in cute little take-out boxes, like you see on TV, and give people the option to use chopsticks for good measure!
Tips and Variations
- Be ready: “Stir fry” literally means to cook cut, chopped, and sliced ingredients quickly on high heat while stirring constantly. Because of this constant stirring, you can’t take the time to cut, chop, or slice along the way. Have everything prepped even before you turn on the stove and that way you can move through the process that much faster.
- Sodium content: If you are not using a low sodium broth, you want to cut back to 3 tbsp of soy sauce.
- Broth substitute: Options for different types of broth would be, chicken stock or broth, vegetable broth, bone broth or even water. Each will give a hint of a different flavour, but they will all give you a delicious dish in the end.
- Broccoli stalk: Adding pieces of stalk adds all the more crunchy texture. It’s highly nutritious, especially when it’s organic, and a great way to reduce waste. Just peel, chop and add it in. I always do so with salads like in this broccoli quinoa salad and broccoli salad recipe.
- Onion substitute: You can use red onion if that’s what you have on hand. If you’re purposely going shopping for this recipe, definitely go for the white onion. If you have none of the above, it’s fine if you omit it completely.
- Cookware: Stick to using a ceramic non-stick skillet if you can. Cooking in a wok steams the food, and a cast iron skillet uses a ton of oil. Also, cooking in batches helps get beautiful brown results.
- Sweetener: I personally find the taste of honey comes through a bit too strong in this dish, but give it a go, and see what you think. Otherwise, you can try maple syrup or anything you use regularly.
- Dried ginger: If you don’t have any fresh, use 1 tsp of dried instead. This is another ingredient you can omit if you haven’t got any and aren’t prepared to make an extra trip to the store.
- Best oil: When making stir fry you want to use oil that remains stable at high heat. Although there are a few different oils that do this, we always look for the ones that are also the most healthy and whose flavour isn’t overpowering. Avocado wins out!
Storing and Reheating
Store: Much like when you order take out, this dish doesn’t last much longer than a day in the fridge. Keep it in an airtight container and enjoy any leftovers the next day, but that’s it. Otherwise, the broccoli will become soggy.
Reheat: To enjoy warm again, reheat by simmering it on the stove with a splash of water or broth until heated through. Stir occasionally and enjoy all over again.
More Favorite Recipes
- Turkey and broccoli pasta
- Pressure cooker chicken stir fry (Instant Pot)
- Easy beef barley soup
- Pressure cooker beef barley soup (Instant Pot)
- Ground beef and rice bowls
- Pressure cooker beef stroganoff (Instant Pot)
Healthy Beef and Broccoli
- 1 lb flank, tri-tip or sirloin steak thinly sliced against the grain
- 1 lb broccoli cut into florets
- 1/2 large white onion thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp oil for frying I use avocado oil
- 1 cup beef broth low sodium
- 3 tbsp soy sauce I use Bragg's liquid aminos
- 2 tbsp maple syrup, honey or brown sugar
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 tbsp ginger minced
- 1 green onion sprig, finely chopped & for garnish optional
- 2 tsp sesame seeds, for garnish optional
- Prep all ingredients for beef and broccoli and start side dish like rice on the stove.
- In a small bowl, add soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic and ginger; whisk with a fork and set aside.
- In a bowl, add beef, sprinkle with cornstarch and stir well to coat, using tongs.
- Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium-high heat and swirl 1 tbsp oil to coat. Add half of beef and cook for about 3 minutes per side or until nicely browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add remaining 1 tbsp of oil and repeat this step with remaining half of meat.
- Return skillet to high heat and add broth. Deglaze pan for about 2 minutes. Add broccoli and onion, stir and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add sauce and previously cooked beef. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring often to combine everything and until sauce has thickened. Cornstarch from beef will incorporate with the sauce and thicken it. But don't cook too long to overcook the broccoli.
- Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds. Serve hot over brown rice, quinoa or noodles of choice.
Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 24 hours (longer broccoli becomes too soggy). I would not recommend to freeze it.
Reheat: Simmer on the stove with a splash of beef broth or water until heated through, stirring occasionally.
- Be ready: "Stir fry" means to cook small pieces of food quickly on high heat and stirring constantly. So make sure all beef stir fry ingredients are prepped before you light the stove.
- Not low sodium beef broth: Cut back soy sauce to 2 tbsp if using non-low sodium beef broth.
- Other broth: You can use any other broth or stock like chicken, vegetable or even water.
- Using broccoli stalk: I always incorporate the stock because it is nutritious, especially organic. Peel, chop and add to the stir fry.
- White onion substitute: It is such a wonderful addition to a stir fry but you can omit it or use red onion instead.
- Choice of skillet: I like to use ceramic non-stick skillet and cook veggies and meat in batches for most browned results. I find residential quality wok steams the food and cast iron requires a lot of oil.
- Honey: I found a taste of honey coming through a bit too strong for my taste. But you can use it.
- Sugar free sweetener: If you have one that you use on a regular basis like erythritol, feel free to use it.
- Dried ginger: Use 1 tsp instead of fresh or skip it all together.
- What is the best stir fry oil? When you cook on high heat the best oil to use is the oil with high smoke point. The most healthy one is avocado oil with smoke point of 520 degrees F. Here is a table with all oils and their smoke points.
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