by Olena

Beef Stir Fry

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
4.9 from 31 votes

This Beef Stir Fry is loaded with juicy beef and crispy vegetables coated in an easy healthy stir fry sauce. A restaurant-quality dinner recipe that comes together in 30 minutes!

Serve with brown rice, quinoa, or over cauliflower fried rice for a low carb meal.

beef stir fry

Beef Stir Fry Recipe

Beef stir fry is Chinese inspired take out right at home! This way you’re able to control the amount of sugar and sodium and avoid all of the MSG.

Thinly sliced pieces of tender juicy beef and crisp veggies are tossed around in a sweet and savory teriyaki sauce. A low carb, high protein meal that comes together in minutes.

Stir fry is one of the best healthy and quick dinners if you plan a bit ahead. Other stir fry recipes we keep on regular dinner rotation are chicken stir fry, Korean ground beef bowls (inspired) and teriyaki shrimp stir fry. They’re customizable and a great way to add in veggies that everyone likes!

beef stir fry garnished with sesame seeds in black skillet

Ingredients for Beef Stir Fry

  • Beef: Sirloin, ribeye, tri-tip, tenderloin, flank, or shoulder steak. Thinly slice against the grain.
  • Vegetables: Sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, and white onion.
  • Stir fry sauce: Soy sauce (I use Bragg’s liquid aminos). Beef broth or water. Maple syrup, honey or brown sugar. Cornstarch.
  • Minced garlic and ginger: I also have used dried ginger many times. Flavour is not as great as freshly grated but saved me a trip to a grocery store!
  • Oil for frying: Best to use one at a high smoke point. A healthy choice would be avocado oil. For ultimate Asian inspiration, you can also use sesame oil.
  • Garnishes: Sesame seeds for an added earthy, nutty crunch. But it also looks pretty!

Tip: It is not the end of the world if you replace maple syrup or honey with brown sugar if that’s all you have on hand. I prefer sugar to honey in beef and broccoli recipe because it makes crispy beef extra saucy, almost like deep fried.

How to Make Beef Stir Fry

  • Prep: Chop and dice your veggies and slice your beef. You want to get everything ready ahead of time because making a stir fry happens quickly. sliced beef, mushrooms, onion, peppers, broccoli and stir fry sauce in bowls
  • Make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for the sauce and set aside while you get everything else going.
  • Preheat: If you haven’t got out your skillet yet, do that. You want to get the pan nice and hot on medium heat, so preheat it and add a bit of oil. Once it’s nice and hot you can add just half of the beef.
  • Cook beef in batches: Cook uncovered until nicely browned on all sides. Because the beef is sliced thin, it won’t take too long to cook through. Watch you don’t overcook it, the last thing we want is tough meat. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with remaining beef. Cooking in batches will help with even cooking. It will also help all the meat to brown nicely without overcrowding. browned beef strips in black skillet
  • Cook veggies in stages: Return the skillet to high heat and add the mushrooms. Cook until brown. Mushrooms produce a lot of water, so cooking them on their own will help avoid the other veggies getting mushy. Transfer to a plate and set aside. sauteed sliced mushrooms in skillet
  • Return the skillet to high heat once again and add the remaining oil. Cook bell pepper and onions, stirring a couple of times. The residual brown bits from the meat, as well as the high heat, will help give the veggies a bit of a char. So good! sauteed onions and peppers in skillet
  • Add the sauce: Return the skillet to medium heat and add the broccoli. Grab the bowl of stir fry sauce and give it a good stir. The cornstarch has probably settled by now. Once stirred, pour it into the skillet. Stir and let the sauce come to a boil. Cook until thickened, stirring often. pouring stir fry sauce over broccoli in black skillet
  • Combine and garnish: Grab all of your cooked ingredients that have been waiting patiently and invite them back into the party. Stir everything together gently. Turn off the heat, garnish with sesame seeds and serve it nice and hot! sauteed veggies and beef for stir fry

Make-ahead tip: Cut and refrigerate vegetables covered for up to 2 days. Then toss them in when you’re ready. Or to speed up dinner, buy pre-cut stir fry vegetables or a bag of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot mix.

Tips for Best Stir Fry

This beef stir fry recipe is super easy and even more delicious. There are a few things you can do to get great results. Below are my tips that will get you the BEST stir fry ever!

  • Be ready: “Stir fry” means to cook small pieces of food quickly on high heat while stirring constantly. So make sure all ingredients are prepped before you light the stove.
  • Avoid mushy veggies: Add stir fry sauce before vegetables look cooked to avoid mushy stir fry.
  • Cornstarch settles: Whisk sauce once again before adding it to the wok to blend the cornstarch that has settled.
  • Best oil for stir fry: When you cook on high heat the best oil to use is the oil with a high smoke point. The healthiest choice is avocado oil with a smoke point of 520 degrees F. You can also use toasted sesame oil to give it an awesome Asian flare! Here is a table outlining oils and their smoke points.
  • Best veggies for stir fry: You want veggies that will cook quickly when sliced thin. Bell peppers, zucchini, snow peas, sugar snap peas, carrots, and broccoli are great. You could also try cabbage, asparagus, mushrooms, bok choy, water chestnuts, and garlic.
  • Cookware: To get a good sear on beef and veggies, I recommend using a large ceramic non-stick skillet. I find a wok does not sear food well on a residential stove but rather steams it with its high walls. But use what you are used to.
  • Dark coloured sauce: If you would like dark stir fry sauce, use brown sugar. I use an organic one and alternate between maple syrup and honey.
  • Browning the meat: There are a couple of ways to help give the meat a nice brown exterior. One is to sear on high heat to trap all the juices on the inside while browning the outside. Another way is to toss the sliced beef in a bit of cornstarch and let it sit for a bit before cooking – I do so with beef and broccoli. This is just part of a process that many Chinese restaurants do in which they let the meat marinate in cornstarch, soy sauce, and egg white. Tender meat is a must!
beef stir fry with rice and sesame seeds on a plate

Variations

  • Frozen veggies: You can use a frozen veggie mix or the package labeled “stir fry blend” vegetables. I always use one for Instant Pot chicken stir fry. Just cook until veggies are heated through and to your preferred doneness. Keep in mind frozen veggies are already somewhat “cooked” by the freezing process. They also contain a bit more water, so you might need to drain the extra liquid before adding the sauce.
  • Additions: Optional add-ins for both texture and flavour could be 3/4 cup toasted cashews, sliced almonds, or bean sprouts.
  • Less meat: If you’re aiming to eat less red meat, use only 1 lb of meat.
  • Like a little heat? Toss in some red pepper flakes. Some might even enjoy sliced jalapeno.
  • No soy sauce? Try using Bragg’s liquid aminos or coconut aminos. You may need to adjust the salt with coconut aminos because they tend to have less than soy sauce.
  • Dried ginger: If you don’t have any fresh ginger, you can substitute it with 1 tsp of dried ginger instead. Or just omit.

Serving, Storing, and Reheating

Serve: There are plenty of options to serve with a good stir fry. Brown rice, quinoa, and brown rice vermicelli are just a few options. You can also serve over whole wheat spaghetti, steamed white rice, or cauliflower fried rice. To keep it light and low carb, serve all on its own or with a small side salad.

Store: This dish will keep in the fridge covered for up to 2 days. Leftovers will be just as tasty the next day.

Reheat: Simmer on the stovetop with a splash of water or broth until heated through. Stir occasionally to enjoy this dish all over again. If you’ve packed it for lunch at work, you can also reheat it in the microwave.

More Stir Fry Recipes

beef stir fry recipe closeup garnished with sesame seeds
Beef Stir Fry

Beef Stir Fry {Healthy 30 Minute Recipe}

This Beef Stir Fry is loaded with juicy beef and crispy vegetables coated in a easy healthy stir fry sauce. A restaurant-quality dinner recipe that comes together in 30 minutes!
4.94 from 31 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 293kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Beef Stir Fry Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce I used Bragg liquid aminos
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth or water
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar, maple syrup or honey
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 inch ginger minced

Beef Stir Fry:

  • 1 1/2 lbs beef sirloin, ribeye, tri-tip, tenderloin or shoulder steak thinly sliced
  • 1 large white onion thinly sliced
  • 2 large bell peppers sliced
  • 6 oz mushrooms sliced
  • 1 lb broccoli chopped
  • 2 tbsp oil for frying
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions

  • Cut the vegetables and beef. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, beef broth, brown sugar, cornstarch, garlic and ginger. Set aside.
    Beef Stir Fry
  • Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium heat and add 1 tbsp of oil. Add half of beef, cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes per side or until browned, and transfer to a bowl. Repeat with remaining beef. Set aside.
    Beef Stir Fry
  • Return skillet to high heat and mushrooms. Cook for 3 minutes or until browned, transfer to a plate. Set aside.
    Beef Stir Fry
  • Return skillet to high heat, add remaining 1 tbsp oil, bell pepper and onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring once or twice and transfer onto a plate. Set aside.
    Beef Stir Fry
  • Return skillet to medium heat, add broccoli, whisk stir fry sauce well (cornstarch settles fast at the bottom) and add to the skillet. Stir, let sauce come to a boil, then cook for a few minutes until thickened, stirring often.
    Beef Stir Fry
  • Return cooked beef, mushrooms, onion and bell peppers to the skillet. Stir gently, turn off heat and garnish beef stir fry with sesame seeds.
    Beef Stir Fry
  • Serve hot over quinoabrown rice, brown rice vermicelli or whole wheat spaghetti.
    Beef Stir Fry

Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 2 days.

    Reheating: To enjoy warm again, reheat by simmering stir fry on the stove with a splash of water or broth until heated through. Stir occasionally and enjoy all over again.

      Video

      Notes

      Recipe re-tested and updated Jan 2021.
      • Be ready: “Stir fry” means to cook small pieces of food quickly on high heat and stirring constantly. So make sure all ingredients are prepped before you light the stove.
      • Avoid mushy veggies: Add stir fry sauce before vegetables look cooked to avoid mushy stir fry.
      • Cornstarch settles: Whisk sauce once again before adding to the wok to mix in settled at the bottom cornstarch.
      • Best oil for stir fry: 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.
      • Frozen veggies: You can use frozen veggie mix or even labeled “stir fry blend” vegetables. Just cook until veggies are heated through and to your preferred doneness. Keep in mind frozen veggies are already somewhat “cooked” by freezing process.
      • Cookware: To get a good sear on beef and veggies, I recommend to use large ceramic non-stick skillet. I find wok does not sear food well on residential stove but rather steams it with its high walls. But use what you are used to.
      • Dried ginger: If you don’t have any fresh ginger, you can substitute it with 1 tsp of dried ginger instead. Or just omit.
      • Dark colour stir fry sauce: If you would like dark stir fry sauce, use brown sugar. I use organic one and alternate between maple syrup and honey.
      • Additions: Old recipe contained 3/4 cup toasted cashews.
      • Less meat: To make even more healthy beef stir fry, use only 1 lb of meat.
      • If using water: You will need to add 1 more tbsp of soy sauce.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 841mg | Potassium: 913mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1714IU | Vitamin C: 121mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 3mg
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      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

      79 comments on “Beef Stir Fry

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      1. 5 stars
        Thanks very much this was a winner in my house with fussy eaters we don’t always get to have a beef stir fry but everyone loved it even went back for seconds and the wok was empty.
        I add carrot to ours.

      2. I make stir frys all the time (have you noticed how much the Bragg’s has risen in price?!), but I have to ask – what’s wrong with fried onions? I make those often, too! With pork chops, steak, perogy’s, too. I cook them so long they become caramelized. Yummy! I didn’t make this recipe, but instead of sugar, I put in some Hoison sauce which adds some sweetness. From a CDN in Calgary 🙂

        1. Recipe has been updated last month to current version. Old recipe contained 3/4 cup toasted cashews, new sauce is even healthier with less sodium. You can use your favorite veggies. Notes of teh recipe will help. Enjoy!

          1. Can you please send me a copy of the old recipe? It was one of my favorites. I tried the new sauce but I liked it much better without the broth and so much cornstarch. Thanks.

          2. I agree with Bryna, the old recipe was better. This is too much liquid.Please post the former recipe. Thanks

        2. 5 stars
          My mom and I followed this recipe and we loved it! Delish. It ended up taking us a little over 1 hour. The chopping of the vegetables took us awhile. Perhaps we will be quicker next time or, if we do some prep before that will cut the time down. But it was well worth it!

      3. 5 stars
        I actually made this in my Instant Pot. I sautéed the beef first, removed it and then sautéed all of the veggies and removed them, turned off sauté. Then I returned the beef to the instant pot, added the sauce and 3/4cup of beef broth. Pressure Cook high for 5 minutes.

        QPR, thicken the sauce and add the vegetables back in. My husband enjoyed and he’s not really a stir fry/ vegetable person.

      4. Total cook time on meat seems like alot. 10 minutes by itself, 3-4 more with vegetables and the 3-4 more after sauce is added. Is that correct?

      5. 5 stars
        This is the second time I’ve done this recipe. First time was excellent, even with my dark, thick soya sauce that darkened everything…

        Tonight, I did it with my Bragg Liquid Amino and cooked everything to perfection, no overcooking.

        It was amazing! And colourful! And healthy! Definitely as good as, if not better than, in a good restaurant! 😋

      6. 5 stars
        This stir fry is absolutely delicious, my husband even likes it. The sauce has a great taste and I know it’s healthy. The first time I made it I used garlic powder because I didn’t have fresh garlic. I have made this recipe several times and changed up the vegetables and used chicken thighs instead of beef; delicious every time. Thank you for this recipe.

      7. It sounds yummy and super easy!
        Thanks for the clear instructions and great pictures!
        A fellow Canadian north of Toronto in Woodbridge Ontario.
        Some of my dear friends live in beautiful Victoria too!!
        Love it when I visited a few years ago!!!
        Much milder and less snow than Woodbridge!
        Happy Sunday!
        Be well and stay safe during these unprecedented times!!

      8. 5 stars
        THIS IS DELICIOUS!! We don’t have to go to fancy Asian restaurants anymore:D

        I have been looking for websites to find healthy recipes. They’re either not tasty or hard to do it! Olena, I really wanted to thank you with all my heart. I’ve lost 4.5 kg in one month with your healthy recipes! Me and my husband are eating healthy again!! As a young and newly married couple, it’s so hard to cook every week when you have a busy schedule. But your recipes made our lives easier! I’ll keep following:)

        1. Thank you for sharing your experience with my recipes. I am so thankful that my recipes are making it easier for you to enjoy healthy eating and cooking at home.

      9. 5 stars
        Another 5 stars Olena, this recipe is sooooo good?. Hubby approved?
        Got leftovers and looking forward to eat it.

        My only problem resides in my soya sauce, it’s so dark, and thick, that it really darkens everything and makes the meal less appealing to the eye. I was waiting to finish my bottle before buying the Bragg Liquid Aminos. That’s it, my soya sauce is in the garbage! Bragg is in tomorrow!

        1. I’m so happy to read this! Thanks for your positive feedback, Marie! Haha, perfect. Too funny but my husband made this last night too as it was is turn to cook and he loves this recipe. I even treated everyone with udon noodles in the freezer instead of brown rice.

      10. 5 stars
        This is a delicious recipe! I followed it exactly with no changes. It was a hit with my family. I served it with brown rice & egg rolls I got from Costco. Very yummy!! Thanks for the recipe!

        1. Hi Bridget! I think you may be looking at the general write-up I do for each recipe. The full list of ingredients and complete instructions are listed below in the recipe card. Just keep scrolling down. Hope this helps!

      11. 5 stars
        This was DELICIOUS! My family was happy. I had half of the products for stir fry but I didn’t reduce sauce. Loved it. Thank you!

      12. 5 stars
        Scrumpdillyicious
        Dead easy recipe to follow, delicious with simple ingredients, easy to halve the recipe for smaller portions, really looking forward to heating and eating the leftovers…not something I usually enjoy.
        Thanks for the hints you give in your recipes….you are expanding my culinary expertise!

      13. 5 stars
        I like your presentation! Its fresh and real food and easy to make. I have a dinner called chicken chowmein. Stir fry chicken with onion and garlic and celery, then I add some Chinese veggies to. Make a well in the center and stir in an egg and toss. Cook rice separately. Top off with lightly roasted crunchy chowmein noodles. Soy sauce on the side. Yum!

      14. 4 stars
        This was easy for me but cut it back in quantities as there is only two senior to serve. who doesn’t like stir frys.
        also I don’t use salt….love pepper.

      15. 4 stars
        Really good. I was looking for an easy, healthy weeknight recipe that was within my dietary requirements but was still delicious for the rest of the family, and this was it. The only real changes that I made were to use sugar-free syrup (I’m diabetic), and because even low sodium soy sauce has a lot of salt, I didn’t add salt to the sauce. No one complained about (or noticed) either change and the leftovers were quickly claimed. Will definitely make again!

      16. 5 stars
        Thanks! This reminded me to look in my cupboard and use my toasted sesame oil. Completely changed the flavor of our stir-fry. Yea!

      17. Thank you for the hints! No fun cooking stir-fries on an electric range but your advice for a low-sided pan sounds like it could help a bunch. Another fave high-heat point oil = grapeseed. A fave stir fry from when I was a kid (thank you mom): leftover roast beef or chicken, celery, green onions, almonds (whole or slivers) , oil (duh) and a little soy sauce.

      18. 5 stars
        I’ve been married 32 years and my husband said this is the best stir fry I’ve made in all of those years. And I make a lot of stir fry. The secrets are to use sesame oil and her sauce. Mmmmmmm.

      19. 5 stars
        We love stir fry and this one is awesome! Healthy, hearty and great mix of flavors! We will definitely make this again.

      20. 5 stars
        I tried this recipe tonight and loved it. My kids liked it too. I’ve been looking for a great stir fry recipe using fresh, real ingredients. At last, my search is over!

        1. Glad to hear that, Carmen. I totally understand – so many great stir fry recipes use store bought sauce or sugar laden homemade one. Enjoy!

      21. 5 stars
        I just tried this recipe yesterday night, I have to say it was very easy, fast and delicious. I didn’t used to make stir fry due to soy sauce, but now that I’ve found one that at least seems to be good for my body, I’m trying different recipes and is awesome, always with a lot of colour and flavour.

      22. 5 stars
        I can’t get enough stir fry in my life! Gorgeous photos and recipe. Love the sugar snap pea addition too -I eat those by the handful. And cashews make everything better! I too buy raw and toast them myself 🙂

        1. Hi Michelle. Thank you! No I don’t. I adjust the colours in Photoshop just enough to bring the colours to real life. As soon as you take the picture, the food doesn’t look the same, right?! I learnt that certain foods photograph better and natural light plays a huge part in good quality pictures. You are on the right track. Just keep practicing! Your tiramisu looks great!

              1. 5 stars
                will do thank you I actually made this dish with chicken and its one of my fav thank you so much love your site

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