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 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!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
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!
- 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
- Salmon stir fry
- Chicken and broccoli stir fry
- Buckwheat stir fry
- Mushroom stir fry
- Chicken and cauliflower stir fry