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Wave goodbye to takeout with this Healthy Beef and Broccoli recipe that’s about to become your go-to meal. With tender beef, perfect broccoli, and a sweet and salty sauce, it t swaps out traditional ingredients for healthier options without compromising on taste. This 20-minute meal is sure to be a hit with the whole family. Paleo and Whole30 options included!

Healthy beef and broccoli in a bowl next to a fork and a frying pan of food.

❤️ Why You Will Love This Recipe

If you’re a fan of Chinese food but looking for a healthier version that doesn’t skimp on flavor, this Healthy Beef and Broccoli recipe is for you. Here’s why it’s going to be a hit in your kitchen:

  • Quick and Easy Meal: Ready in just about 20 minutes, this healthy dish is perfect for those busy weeknights when you want a nutritious meal without spending hours in the kitchen.
  • Nutrient-Rich: Packed with lean protein from the beef and a bounty of vitamins from the broccoli, this dish is as good for you as it is delicious.
  • Versatile: Whether you’re catering to gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, or low-carb dietary needs, this recipe is easily adaptable to fit your lifestyle.
  • Family-Friendly: This dish is a crowd-pleaser, guaranteed to satisfy both kids and adults alike. It’s a great way to introduce more veggies to your family’s diet in an appealing way.
  • Better Than Takeout: Enjoy the flavors of your favorite Chinese restaurant from the comfort of your home, with the added benefit of knowing exactly what’s in your meal.
  • Meal Prep Magic: This beef and broccoli stir-fry recipe works beautifully for meal prep, ensuring you have a healthy and delicious option ready to go in the fridge.

🗝️ Key Ingredients & Substitutions

This Healthy Beef and Broccoli recipe is made with simple, nutritious ingredients that pack a punch in terms of flavor and health benefits. Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll need and some possible substitutions if needed:

  • Broccoli: The star of the show, broccoli is full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. No need for substitutions here!
  • Flank Steak: Chosen for its lean quality and tenderness, flank steak makes this dish protein-rich. You can also use skirt steak or sirloin steak if you prefer.
  • Olive OilAvocado oil is a great alternative if you’re looking for something with a higher smoke point.
  • Onion and Fresh Garlic: These aromatics add depth and flavor. Feel free to adjust the amounts to your taste.
  • Fresh Ginger: In a pinch, you can use ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger as a substitute, but fresh is best.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: For a hint of heat. Adjust according to your spice preference or omit entirely if you’re not a fan of spicy food.
  • Low-Sodium Soy Sauce: For a gluten-free option, use tamari or coconut aminos. Coconut aminos also works for paleo and Whole30. Regular soy sauce is okay too, just be aware of your sodium intake.
  • Honey: Adds a touch of natural sweetness. Maple syrup or a small amount of brown sugar or coconut sugar can be used as substitutes. Skip it for Whole30.
  • Sesame Oil: Gives the sauce a rich, nutty flavor. 
  • Chinese 5 Spice Powder: This adds a unique flavor that’s hard to replicate. If you don’t have it, you can omit it, or try a mix of ground star anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, and fennel seeds.
  • Tapioca Starch: Thickens the sauce without adding a floury taste. Cornstarch or arrowroot flour are perfect substitutes.
  • Lemon Juice: Fresh is best for that bright, citrusy kick. If unavailable, try lime juice or a bit of vinegar can mimic the acidic component but use less.

🥣 How to Make This Healthy Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry Recipe

Creating this delicious dish is simpler than you might think, and it’s all about timing and preparation. Let’s break it down:

Steam the Broccoli

First off, let’s get the broccoli ready. You’ll want to steam it until it’s just tender but still has a bit of crunch. This is so it doesn’t turn mushy when you add it to the stir-fry later on. Just chop it into bite-sized florets, pop them in a microwave-safe bowl with a bit of water, cover, and microwave for about 3-4 minutes. Easy, right?

Prep and Cook the Beef

While the broccoli is steaming, heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Thinly slice your flank steak across the grain to ensure it’s tender, then fry it until it’s nicely browned. This should take about 2-3 minutes or so – it doesn’t need to be cooked through. Once done, set it aside on a plate.

Flavor Base and Sauce

In the same skillet, add a bit more oil if needed and toss in your sliced onions. Give them a few minutes to soften before adding the minced garlic and ginger. After another couple of minutes, it’s time for the beef and broccoli sauceMix your soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, Chinese 5 spice, lemon juice, and water in a bowl. It doesn’t have to be smooth, just well combined.

Pour the stir fry sauce over your aromatics in the pan, let it simmer for a bit, and then thicken it up with your choice of starch.

Bringing It All Together

Now, add your beef back into the skillet along with the steamed broccoli and a pinch of red pepper flakes for a bit of heat. Stir everything well to coat with the sauce and let it cook together for a minute or two. This is where everything comes together, and your dish really starts to look like that classic beef and broccoli stir-fry.

Serve It Up

Once everything is heated through and coated in that delicious sauce, it’s time to plate up. Serve your Healthy Chinese Beef and Broccoli over a rice or noodle of choice, garnished with some sliced green onions and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds for that extra touch. And there you have it, a simple yet incredibly tasty dish that’s sure to become a new favorite.

Healthy beef and broccoli in a bowl next to a fork and a frying pan of food.

🪄 Recipe Notes & Tips

  • Beef: Slicing the beef against the grain is crucial for making sure it is tender and not chewy. Look for the lines in the meat and cut perpendicular to them. Also, keep a close eye on your beef as it cooks. It should just turn brown on the outside. Overcooking will make it tough.
  • Don’t Oversteam: You want your broccoli to be vibrant and slightly crunchy, not soft and mushy. Steaming it for 3-4 minutes should be just right.
  • Shock in Cold Water: If you’re not going to use it immediately, plunging the steamed broccoli into cold water stops the cooking process and keeps its color bright.
  • Adjust Sauce Thickness: If your sauce isn’t thickening up how you like, you can add a little more starch mixed with water. Conversely, if it’s too thick, a splash of water or broth will thin it out.
  • Taste and Season: Before adding your beef and broccoli back into the pan, give your sauce a taste. Adjust the seasoning if needed, maybe a bit more honey for sweetness or soy sauce for saltiness.
  • Other Meat: Chicken, turkey, or pork are great alternatives to beef for this recipe. Just make sure to cook them thoroughly until they’re no longer pink inside.
  • Make it Paleo or Whole30: To make this a paleo beef and broccoli recipe, swap the soy sauce for coconut aminos. For Whole30, do the same and skip the honey.

🫙 Storage Instructions

Got leftovers? No problem! This Easy Beef and Broccoli recipe keeps well and can easily be enjoyed again. Here’s how to store it to maintain its flavor and texture:

  • Cool Before Storing: Let the dish cool down to room temperature before you pack it away, and then place it in an airtight container.
  • Refrigerate Promptly: They’ll keep well for up to 3-4 days.
  • Reheat Gently: When you’re ready to enjoy your beef and broccoli again, reheat it gently on the stove over medium heat, adding a splash of water or broth if needed to loosen up the sauce. You can also use the microwave, but be sure to cover the dish and stir halfway through heating to ensure it warms evenly.
Close up of healthy beef and broccoli recipe.

🍽️ What to Serve with This Broccoli Beef Stir Fry Recipe

Choose Your Base

  • Rice: A classic option, white rice, brown rice, or jasmine rice works beautifully by soaking up the sauce and adding a soft texture contrast.
  • Cauliflower Rice: For a low-carb alternative, cauliflower rice pairs perfectly and adds an extra serving of veggies.
  • Noodles: Rice noodles, egg noodles, zucchini noodles, or even spaghetti are delicious with this healthier version of beef and broccoli.
  • Quinoa: If you’re looking for a protein-packed base, quinoa is a great choice that brings a nutty flavor to the dish.

Add More Color

A side of simple roasted vegetables like green beans or carrots, or spicy garlic Chinese zucchini can add color and nutrition to your meal. You can even mix extra steamed veggies like baby corn or snow peas into the stir-fry for more volume!

Extra Toppings

  • Nuts and Seeds: Sprinkle some toasted almonds, peanuts, cashews, or sesame seeds on top for a crunchy texture.
  • Fresh HerbsChopped cilantro or sliced green onions can add a fresh burst of flavor and color to the dish.

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Is this recipe gluten-free?

As long as you use a gluten-free soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos this recipe can be made gluten-free. Always check the labels on your ingredients to be sure.

Can I add other vegetables to the stir-fry?

Yes, feel free to add other vegetables you enjoy. Bell peppers, snap peas, and carrots all make great additions. Just keep an eye on cooking times to ensure everything is tender but not overcooked.

How can I make this dish spicier?

To add more heat, increase the amount of crushed red pepper flakes, or add a diced chili pepper when you fry the onions and garlic.

Is this recipe suitable for meal prep?

Yes, this Healthy Beef and Broccoli is perfect for meal prep. It stores well in the fridge and reheats nicely, making it a convenient option for busy days.

Healthy beef and broccoli in a bowl next to a fork and a frying pan of food.

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📖 Recipe

Healthy beef and broccoli in a bowl next to a fork and a frying pan of food.

Healthy Beef and Broccoli Recipe

Bethany Galloway
Wave goodbye to takeout with this Healthy Beef and Broccoli recipe that’s about to become your go-to meal. With tender beef, perfect broccoli, and a sweet and salty sauce, it t swaps out traditional ingredients for healthier options without compromising on taste. This 20-minute meal is sure to be a hit with the whole family. Paleo and Whole30 options included!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 335 kcal

Ingredients
  

Steamed Broccoli

  • 2 heads broccoli cut into bite-sized florets
  • 2 tablespoons water

Stir-Fried Beef

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound flank steak thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Green onions to garnish
  • Toasted sesame seeds to garnish

Stir Fry Sauce

  • 1/2 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce or coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1.5 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 1.5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice about 1/2 a lemon
  • 1.5 tablespoons Tapioca starch or cornflour starch/ arrowroot starch
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions
 

Steam the Broccoli

  • Begin by steaming the broccoli in the microwave. Add the chopped broccoli florets and water to a large bowl.
    2 heads broccoli, 2 tablespoons water
    Pouring water over broccoli in a large bowl.
  • Place a plate or microwave-safe lid on top, covering most of the broccoli.
    A plate covering a bowl with broccoli.
  • Microwave for 3-4 minutes until it's just becoming tender.

Cook the Beef and Stir Fry Sauce

  • Meanwhile, add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.
    1 tablespoon olive oil
  • When the oil is hot, add the beef and cook it until it's browned on the outside, about 2 minutes.
    1 pound flank steak
    A frying pan with meat in it.
  • Remove from the pan, leaving any juices behind. Set aside.
    A plate of meat with a green spatula on it.
  • To the same pan, add the onions and stir fry for 3 minutes, until beginning to soften.
    1 medium onion
  • Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
    1 tablespoon fresh ginger, 4 garlic cloves
    A frying pan with onions and a wooden spoon.
  • Meanwhile, mix the stir fry sauce ingredients together in a bowl. It doesn't have to be completely smooth.
    1/2 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce, 2 tablespoons honey, 1.5 teaspoons sesame oil, 2 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice powder, 1.5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1/2 cup water
    A bowl of stir fry sauce with a blue spoon in it.
  • Pour the sauce over the onions, garlic, and ginger, and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
    A frying pan with onions, sir fry sauce, and a wooden spoon.
  • Sprinkle the starch over the pan in a light layer and mix quickly with your wooden spoon.
    1.5 tablespoons Tapioca starch
    A frying pan with onions, sir fry sauce, cornstarch, and a wooden spoon.
  • Add the beef, broccoli, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to the skillet, and stir everything together.
    A frying pan with broccoli and meat in it.
  • Season to taste, and serve garnished with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.
    Healthy beef and broccoli in a bowl next to a fork and a frying pan of food.

Notes

  1. Beef: Slicing the beef against the grain is crucial for making sure it is tender and not chewy. Look for the lines in the meat and cut perpendicular to them. Also, keep a close eye on your beef as it cooks. It should just turn brown on the outside. Overcooking will make it tough.
  2. Don’t Oversteam: You want your broccoli to be vibrant and slightly crunchy, not soft and mushy. Steaming it for 3-4 minutes should be just right.
  3. Shock in Cold Water: If you’re not going to use it immediately, plunging the steamed broccoli into cold water stops the cooking process and keeps its color bright.
  4. Adjust Sauce Thickness: If your sauce isn’t thickening up how you like, you can add a little more starch mixed with water. Conversely, if it’s too thick, a splash of water or broth will thin it out.
  5. Taste and Season: Before adding your beef and broccoli back into the pan, give your sauce a taste. Adjust the seasoning if needed, maybe a bit more honey for sweetness or soy sauce for saltiness.
  6. Other Meat: Chicken, turkey, or pork are great alternatives to beef for this recipe. Just make sure to cook them thoroughly until they’re no longer pink inside.
  7. Make it Paleo or Whole30: To make this a paleo beef and broccoli recipe, swap the soy sauce for coconut aminos. For Whole30, do the same and skip the honey.

Storage Instructions

  • Cool Before Storing: Let the dish cool down to room temperature before you pack it away, and then place it in an airtight container.
  • Refrigerate Promptly: They’ll keep well for up to 3-4 days.
  • Reheat Gently: When you’re ready to enjoy your beef and broccoli again, reheat it gently on the stove over medium heat, adding a splash of water or broth if needed to loosen up the sauce. You can also use the microwave, but be sure to cover the dish and stir halfway through heating to ensure it warms evenly.

Nutrition

Calories: 335kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 32gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 1262mgPotassium: 1073mgFiber: 5gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 942IUVitamin C: 140mgCalcium: 131mgIron: 4mg
Keyword easy, healthy beef and broccoli, quick, stir-fry
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