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Healthy Beef and Broccoli (Paleo & Whole30)

Learn how to make Healthy Beef and Broccoli! This paleo beef & broccoli is always a huge hit! Who knew this take-out favorite is so easy to make at home? And–BONUS–it’s gluten-free, and Whole30 approved!

Healthy Beef and Broccoli from One Lovely Life

I’ll always have a soft spot for something that takes a bit more time and effort (like slow-simmered soups or stews, or a fancy dessert), but most days we’re eating meals that are fairly straight-forward and simple.

That never (EVER!) means we sacrifice flavor, and this healthy beef and broccoli stir-fry recipe is one of those dynamite recipes that hits all my favorite criteria–fast, healthy, easy, and delicious.


Healthy Beef and Broccoli from One Lovely Life

HERE’S WHAT I PUT IN MY HEALTHY BEEF & BROCCOLI:

Thinly sliced beef gets dredged in a little bit of arrowroot (or cornstarch, if you’re not paleo/don’t have it), and a super-quick sear in the pan. Paired with tender, delicious broccolini (or broccoli), and a five-ingredient sauce, the flavor combination is magic. I love when I can coax as much flavor as possible out of a short ingredient list. Here’s what you need to get started:

  • THINLY SLICED STEAK. You’ll be using thin slices of lean beef for this healthy beef & broccoli. I tend to buy either top sirloin steak or loin tip steak, but readers have made this with all kinds of steak over the years. PRO TIP: The thinner you slice it, the faster it cooks and the better the dish. Also, watch it while it cooks–it only takes 60-90 seconds per side to cook through.
  • ARROWROOT OR CORNSTARCH. The cornstarch does double duty in this beef and broccoli recipe. It thinly coats the beef which gives it a gorgeous seared texture, and it helps thicken the sauce. For Paleo or Whole30, be sure to use arrowroot instead of cornstarch.
  • BROCCOLI OR BROCCOLINI. To add some veggies and a pretty pop of green, you’ll add some fresh broccoli or broccolini. Either will work! See the notes section below for more details.
  • LOW-SODIUM SOY SAUCE, GLUTEN FREE TAMARI, OR COCONUT AMINOS. The base of our beef and broccoli sauce is a little gluten free tamari, soy sauce, or coconut aminos (paleo). I *highly* recommend using low-sodium if you’re using tamari or soy sauce. For paleo/Whole30, use the coconut aminos option. It’s naturally lower in sodium, so no worries there.
  • GINGER + GARLIC + BLACK PEPPER. Then, to round out the sauce’s flavor and give it some depth, I add a combination of fresh ginger, fresh garlic, and black pepper. It’s super flavorful without being spicy, and tastes incredible with the rest of the ingredients!
  • GARNISH. I usually garnish my beef and broccoli with some sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, or sliced green onions.

The beef stays tender, the broccolini is cooked just enough, and the savory sauce ties everything together. Serve this with a side of fresh pineapple, and some rice or cauliflower rice, and dinner is done!

Healthy Beef and Broccoli from One Lovely Life
Healthy Beef and Broccoli from One Lovely Life

NOTES ON THIS HEALTHY BEEF & BROCCOLI:

*THIS RECIPE HAS BEEN UPDATED* Right when I released it, the proportions were a bit different and several of you mentioned that it was too salty. I re-tested it and adjusted the amounts accordingly, so it’s better! That said…

GO LOW SODIUM. Whether you use soy sauce, tamari, etc. I always suggest using low sodium sauce. If you use regular soy sauce/tamari, it can get too salty. If you can’t find low-sodium sauce, you can add less soy/tamari, or add a little more water to dilute it a bit. (I haven’t found this to be a problem with coconut aminos.) Also note that for this to be Whole30 compliant, you will want to stick with coconut aminos.

WHAT KIND OF STEAK DO YOU USE FOR BEEF & BROCCOLI? The big thing here is something fairly lean. I tend to buy either top sirloin steak or loin tip steak. The thinner you slice it, the faster it cooks and the better the dish. (Remember it only takes 60-90 seconds per side to cook through!)

WHY BROCCOLINI? CAN I USE REGULAR BROCCOLI? I’ve been on a broccolini kick because it’s so tender–even the stems! I don’t have any waste, and the flavor is a little bit more mild. I’ve also made it with regular broccoli florets with great results. Use whatever you can find or what’s on sale!

OTHER VEGGIES TO TRY. Not digging broccoli? No problem! Try snow peas, snap peas, bell pepper strips, carrots or mushrooms. It’s all good.

A TIP ABOUT USING ARROWROOT VS CORNSTARCH. One thing that can make arrowroot a bit trickier to work with is that if you boil something too long with arrowroot in it, it actually loosens back up and thins out again. If you’re an absolute beginner cook, you may find cornstarch easier to work with, but if you’re fairly comfortable in the kitchen, it’ll be no problem if you follow the directions.

HELFPUL FOR THIS RECIPE:

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Healthy Beef and Broccoli from One Lovely Life

Healthy Beef and Broccoli


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: about 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

A takeout favorite gets a healthy makeover! This dish is easily paleo or gluten free, and comes together in no time! (See notes for Paleo/Whole30 tips!)


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3/4 lb. lean steak (such as top sirloin, or loin tip) sliced into thin strips
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch* or arrowroot (use arrowroot for paleo/whole30)
  • 1 pound broccolini (or broccoli), cut into 2″ sections
  • 1/2 cup low sodium gluten free tamari, coconut aminos, or soy sauce*
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/41/2 cup water, as desired
  • olive oil or coconut oil, for cooking

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine thinly sliced steak with arrowroot (or cornstarch) and a pinch of pepper. Toss to coat well.
  2. Heat a drizzle of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, add a few slices of steak (not touching each other) to the pan. Cook 60-90 seconds per side, then transfer to a clean plate or bowl. Repeat with remaining steak, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
  3. When all the steak is cooked, add broccoli to the pan (again, if the pan is a bit dry, add a bit more oil). Cook 4-5 minutes, or until crisp-tender (cook longer if you like your broccoli softer).
  4. While the broccoli is cooking, mix up your sauce by combining the coconut aminos/tamari, garlic, ginger, and pepper.
  5. When broccoli is cooked through, transfer to plate/bowl with the steak. Pour sauce into the pan and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Return cooked broccoli and steak to the pan and stir to coat. The sauce should naturally thicken as it heats through and bubbles for a few minutes (3-5 minutes). If sauce is too thick, add a bit of water (or more coconut aminos/tamari).
  6. Serve warm with cauliflower rice, stir fried veggies, rice, brown rice, or quinoa. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Notes

*PALEO & WHOLE 30 Notes – For Whole30/Paleo, you *must* use coconut aminos and arrowroot to stay compliant.

GO LOW-SODIUM. Whether you use soy sauce, tamari, etc. I always suggest using low sodium sauce. If you use regular soy sauce/tamari, it can get too salty. If you can’t find low-sodium sauce, you can add less soy/tamari, or add a little more water to dilute it a bit. (I haven’t found this to be a problem with coconut aminos.)

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Beef & broccoli, beef and broccoli, healthy beef and broccoli, paleo beef and broccoli

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184 Comments

    1. I made this recipe tonight and halved the light soy sauce and it was way too salty. My husband put his food in a strainer and ran water over it but it was still too salty.

  1. I tried this recipe with low sodium soy and it was delicious! My 2 boys thought it was better than our favorite restaurant. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I made this tonight (using Tamari) and it was really salty and saucy. I loved the flavours but will half the sauce amount next time I make it.
    I served it over a bed of cauliflower rice and my 5 year old is devouring it.

    1. Rochelle – So sorry it wasn’t to your taste! I use low-sodium tamari (see the recipe notes) and it seems to help. Otherwise, you can always add more water to the sauce to thin it out and dilute it a bit.

      1. Wayyyy too salty!! If I make this again I will use just a quarter cup of tamari and the rest water.

        1. Sounds like a good solution for next time. You may also prefer using coconut aminos which is significantly lower in sodium than even low-sodium tamari. (Did you use low-sodium tamari?)

  3. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I made this for my family using the organic low sodium tamari and it was way too salty. I would for sure make this again but adjust the amount of tamari to less that 1/4 cup.

  4. This was delicious! I used coconut aminos, added some broth when I threw the broccoli into the pan, and also added 1/4 cup of coconut sugar to the sauce. Everybody in my family devoured it! Thank you for the recipe.

  5. I would love to know the nutrition facts on this. I am too lazy to figure it out myself. lol 🙂

    1. Ha ha! I understand! Nutrition software isn’t in my budget right now (hopefully soon!), but I like using the free MyFitnessPal site or app–you can download recipes straight from the web so you don’t have to add each individual ingredient.

        1. I’m not sure if you can see it, but I have imported it for myself. It’s titled “Healthy Beef and Broccoli – One Lovely Life”

          If you can’t find it, you can easily import it. Under “More,” select “Meals, Recipes & Foods,” then “Create a Recipe.” Select “Add from the web” and type “One Lovely Life Beef and Broccoli” into the search box. You can then import the recipe from there. Hope that helps!!!

  6. I am wanting to know the nutrition facts about this meal! I did try the MyFitnessPal app and it was not working. Just wanna know how many calories, how many carbs and how much protein. Thanks can’t wait to try it out!

  7. OMG! I love this and so did my family! It was so amazing and they didn’t even know it was healthy for them! It was so simple to make and not expensive at all! Please send me more recipes!

  8. Eating this as I type and it’s fantastic. And SO FAST to make. I used coconut aminos and followed the recipe exactly and it’s awesome. MyFitnessPal calculates this (made with coconut aminos) as 218 calories, 23g carbs, 5g fat and 23g of protein.

    1. Tarisa – THANK YOU for running it through MyFitnessPal! I’m hoping to get nutrition facts up in the next few weeks, and this is SO HELPFUL for others in the meantime. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and really appreciate you taking the time to comment and share back!

      1. Melissa – I’m not sure where you saw keto compliant? Or the 23g carbs? I don’t mention keto anywhere in the post and don’t market it that way. It’s paleo approved, gluten free, and grain free, but I don’t mention keto anywhere. The recipe has 14.5g carbs (3.6g fiber).

        1. I never said you did, but reading the ingredients it looked compliant to me. I used coconut aminos instead of soy. Also I got the 23g of carbs from the poster above who I was replying to.

          1. It’s actually not too bad for KETO with the coconut aminos. I may just have to tweak it a little bit more. It was the best beef broccoli I’ve ever had. Even my husband said so!

  9. Making this for dinner tonight. this will be the 3rd or 4th time. My boys love it and i love the ingredients. I used coconut aminos, arrowroot powder and broccoli.

    FYI it won’t let me give this recipe 5 stars.

    Thanks for this!!

    1. Elisabeth – Thanks for your suggestion. I do have it written with Whole30/paleo instructions, as I’ve included options for using soy sauce for non-GF/paleo folks, GF tamari, or coconut aminos. I’m trusting that anyone looking for Whole30 recipes is familiar enough with the guidelines to opt for the coconut aminos and arrowroot where suggested 🙂

      1. I’m very new to the Whole 30, and I used the tamari sauce, which of course is a no no. The instructions read like tamari is for whole 30 folks. You might look at rewording a bit to make it super clear that the coconut aminos is the only Whole 30 compliant choice.

        1. Thanks for the feedback Carrie! I included the (Use for Whole30) after the coconut aminos in the recipe instructions, but I’ll add anther note as well.

  10. I made this last night and it was scrumptious! I’m looking to the leftovers that I packed for lunch today 🙂 I have been looking for a recipe that has a thicker sauce like most takeout does and this is it! I just printed the recipe out for future reference. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and happy 2018!

      1. I followed this recipe exactly but subbed chicken for beef and it was equally delicious! Just thought I’d share in case anyone else wanted to try switching it up 🙂

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