This healthy beef and broccoli stir fry recipe is one of the easiest things you will ever make. Not to mention, it’s gluten-free and paleo as well. You can even make it in an Instant Pot, and with leftover steak, if you want to take a shortcut. No matter how you make it, this gluten free beef and broccoli stir fry tastes just like the original and is bound to become a staple in your household.
A lot of people think that Asian take-out meals are unhealthy and impossible to make at home. Well, today I’m going to show you that you can make an easy beef and broccoli stir fry at home, that also happens to be super healthy. Exciting, right?!
Asian Beef and broccoli is normally loaded with sodium and refined sugars. But this gluten free beef and broccoli stir fry, however, is sweetened with dates, and seasoned with coconut aminos, making it healthier and suitable for meat lovers of any kind.
Using a natural sweetener instead of sugar, and coconut aminos* instead of soy sauce, I made it Paleo, gluten-free, and Whole30 friendly.
I love how the thinly sliced steak gets nice and charred, and the broccoli is tender but has some nice crispy bits around the edges. Serve with a simple side, like rice, rice noodles, or quinoa for a complete meal.
More Beef Recipes:
Stir-fries can intimidate a lot of people because you need to cook them super quickly, at a very high temperature. The great thing about this healthy beef and broccoli recipe is that you can prepare all the ingredients, including the sauce, before you cook it. So you’ll only have to babysit the stir fry as it cooks. It’s pretty much impossible to mess it up.
And if you still have any reservations about cooking this easy beef and broccoli recipe at home, keep reading for some useful tips and tricks.
In the next section, I will tell you how to marinate the beef, how to make the sauce, which beef cut to use and more. So stick around, ’cause it’s gonna get crazy delish.
How To Make A Super Easy Beef And Broccoli Stir Fry – Best Tips & Tricks
1. Do I Need To Marinate the Beef?
A lot of steak recipes recommend marinating it before cooking to tenderize and flavor the meat.
In this Paleo beef and broccoli stir fry recipe, however, it’s not necessary to marinate the steak. There are a couple of reasons for this, other than the fact that it will save you some time and energy.
For one, the steak is sliced so thinly, that you don’t need a marinade to penetrate and flavor the interior of the pieces of meat. Thinly slicing the steak also allows makes it easier to eat, because it will be nice and tender.
The other reason is that the stir fry sauce is so flavorful on its own, that a marinade would compete with the flavor of the sauce.
That said, if you still want to marinate the steak, here’s a simple marinade for this healthy beef and broccoli stir fry:
- In a small bowl or measuring jug*, whisk together Worcestershire sauce*, sesame oil, minced garlic, wine or rice vinegar, soy sauce (or coconut aminos), and maple syrup*.
- After mixing the marinade, cover the meat with it and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight, either in a bowl or Ziploc bags*.
You can add as much or as little of the ingredients as you’d like, depending on your tastes and the quantity of beef that you want to marinate.
Keep in mind that this marinade is not Whole30, Paleo, nor gluten-free. If that’s an important factor then you might want to skip it.
2. How Do I Make the Sauce for Whole30 Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry?
To make the sauce for this Whole30 beef and broccoli stir fry, all you have to do is whisk all of the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl. And keep in mind that these are totally customizable depending on your tastes and diet.
The original sauce is gluten-free, Paleo, and Whole30 friendly but if that’s not an important factor you can use low-sodium soy sauce rather than coconut aminos, gluten-free flour or corn flour instead of arrowroot starch, and another natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup instead of date paste.
Don’t worry if the sauce seems too thin. The magic of stir fry sauces, like the one used in this healthy beef and broccoli stir fry, is that they contain thickeners like cornstarch or arrowroot.
The thickening properties don’t activate until they are heated, so the sauce will be the right consistency as soon as it hits the hot pan.
Also, you can change the quantity of the sauce depending on how saucy you want your stir fry to be. Make a little more if you want some extra sauce to spoon over some rice, or less if you want a very thin coating of sauce.
3. Best Cut of Steak for Gluten Free Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
Flank steak is always a safe choice any time you are cooking with high heat, for stir-fries. It’s also one of the most economical cuts to purchase, and can be easily sourced from most grocery stores.
Sirloin or top sirloin are also great choices for this easy beef and broccoli stir fry recipe.
It’s very important to slice the meat thinly, especially flank steak which is a tougher cut and will be too chewy if not sliced thin enough.
The key to getting perfectly thin slices of meat for the Whole30 beef and broccoli stir fry is freezing the steak for about 30 minutes before slicing.
This keeps the meat solid, keeping it from moving too much while slicing it. Just be sure to use a very sharp knife.
4. Can I Use Other Proteins or Leftover Steak for Whole30 Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry?
You can make this healthy beef and broccoli recipe with pretty much any protein!
Chicken, shrimp, tofu, and tempeh are all great options, though depending on what protein you use, it may not be gluten-free or Paleo.
If making your stir fry with chicken, I recommend using thighs, because they tend to stay juicy and tender, but chicken breasts will work too.
This recipe is also great for using leftover steak. Start by thinly slicing your steak filets with a sharp knife. When you are ready to stir fry, cook the broccoli as directed. Add the sauce, and simmer until the sauce thickens and the broccoli is tender-crisp.
Since the steak is already cooked, add it towards the end of the cooking process, being sure to stir it into the sauce so that it heats through.
5. Can I Make this Healthy Beef and Broccoli Recipe with Leftover Gravy?
One of the things that makes this easy beef and broccoli stir fry so great, is that you can use whatever you have on hand.
If you’ve got leftover brown gravy, you can use it instead of the stir fry sauce, for a shortcut. Cook the recipe as directed, but replace the stir fry sauce with the gravy. Since the gravy will already be thickened, don’t worry about thickening the sauce further.
You can also add a dash of soy sauce or sesame oil to the gravy if you want to give it an Asian flavor. But keep in mind that soy sauce is not Whole30, Paleo and gluten-free.
6. Can I Make This Easy Beef and Broccoli Recipe in an Instant Pot?
The Instant Pot is great for a lot of things, however, stir fries are not one of them.
First of all, this Whole30 beef and broccoli stir fry cooks up so quickly, that you won’t save any time by using the Instant Pot.
In fact, the Instant Pot method adds unnecessary steps, because you have to steam the broccoli separately.
Second of all, a large skillet or wok is the best tool for cooking stir fries, because you need a lot of surface area so that the edges of your beef and broccoli get nice and browned. If you make it in an Instant Pot*, you risk the ingredients becoming steamed, rather than browned.
That said, I know that many foodies can’t part away from their Instant Pots no matter what. So if you really want to, here is how to make this easy beef and broccoli stir fry in an Instant Pot:
- Start by setting the Instant Pot* to the Sauté function.
- Add oil and sear the beef, until it is lightly browned on both sides.
- While the beef is searing, mix all of the ingredients for the sauce, except for the arrowroot or cornstarch. Pour the sauce into the Instant Pot, and use a wooden spoon* to stir the ingredients, and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Close and seal the lid, and set the Instant Pot to high pressure, for 12 minutes.
- While the beef is cooking, prepare the broccoli by steaming it over the stovetop, using a steamer*. It should take about 4-5 minutes.
- While the broccoli is steaming, whisk the flour and 2 tablespoons of water into a small bowl.
- When the Instant Pot timer is up, use the quick release method to release the pressure. When the pressure pin drops, open the lid and set the Instant Pot to the Sauté function.
- Add the cornstarch mixture, and stir it into the sauce. Allow the sauce to simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until thickened.
- Stir in the steamed broccoli, before serving this healthy beef and broccoli stir fry.
7. What Sides Can I Serve With Gluten Free Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry?
Rice is always a good side dish option for stir fries. Rice noodles, egg noodles, or quinoa are also good options.
You’ll want to serve the stir fry with something simple that will mellow out the saltiness of it, and soak up the extra sauce.
My favorite part of stir fries is gobbling up the yummy rice that’s covered in the sauce.
If you want to keep things low carb, a simple green salad is a great side dish. It’s nice to have something fresh next to a meaty stir fry.
This healthy beef and broccoli recipe stir fry is so easy to make and will become an instant favorite to anyone you serve it to. It’s so versatile because you can use whatever protein you have on hand, and it also cooks up in a jiffy.
Don’t you just love the kind of meals that save you a ton of time? This is the best beef and broccoli stir fry you’ll ever taste, so make sure you make extra!
Oh, and if you like this easy beef and broccoli recipe video and want to see more like it, please Subscribe to my YouTube Channel.
Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry (Gluten Free / Whole30 / Paleo)
For the stir fry sauce:
- 3 Medjool dates - pits removed and softened in hot water
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos - or low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup bone broth or vegetable broth
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic - grated on a Microplane (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger - peeled and grated on a Microplane (or 1 tbsp ground ginger)
- 1 tbsp arrowroot starch - you can also use gluten-free flour or corn starch
For the stir fry:
- 2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil - divided
- 1 lb (450g) broccoli - cut into 6 cups of florets
- 2-3 tbsp water
- 1 1/2 lb (680g) sirloin steak - you can also use top sirloin, or flank steak, thinly sliced into bite-sized strips
- 2 tbsp sliced green onions - for garnish
- 2 tsp sesame seeds - for garnish
- In a high-speed blender*, place the drained dates, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, bone broth, and sesame oil. Add in minced garlic, ginger and arrowroot starch. Put the lid on and blend until smooth. Set the stir fry sauce aside until ready to use.
- Place a large skillet* over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp oil. Add the broccoli florets and stir fry for 2-3 minutes, or until lightly browned in spots. Drizzle with 2-3 Tbsp of water, then cover with a lid to steam-cook the broccoli, for 3-4 minutes, or until it's bright green and crisp-tender. Set aside.
- Quickly wipe the pan clean with a paper towel. Add in the remaining tablespoon of oil and heat the pan over medium-high heat.
- Meanwhile, working quick but careful, thinly slice the beef. Add the beef in a single layer to the pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes, flipping it at halftime.
- Stir in the sauce and simmer until thickened, about 2-3 minutes.
- Return the broccoli to the pan and toss it with the sauce and beef. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes more, or until everything is heated through.
- Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds, and serve.
- You don't have to marinate the beef as it's flavorful enough, but if you still want to, check out Tip 1 for a simple and delicious marinade recipe.
- The sauce is made up of a mixture of pantry ingredients. Check Tip 2 to see how to make the sauce using what you have on hand, and how to formulate it according to your diet.
- Flank and sirloin steak are the best cuts for this healthy beef and broccoli recipe. Check Tip 3 to see how to slice your beef perfectly thin.
- One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. Check Tip 4 to see some alternative proteins you can use instead of beef, or how to make this recipe with leftover steak.
- Check Tip 5 to see how to make it with leftover gravy, instead of the stir fry sauce. This will save you a bit of time.
- Making this easy beef and broccoli recipe in an Instant Pot* will add a few unnecessary steps so I don't recommend it. But if you really want to try it in an Instant Pot, Tip 6 will show you the step-by-step process.
- This Paleo beef and broccoli stir fry loves to be served with starchy carbs to soak up all the extra sauce. Check Tip 7 to see some side options, as well as a low carb side.
*This post may contain affiliate links