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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


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


*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.


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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


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!)


  • 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


  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.


*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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    1. I haven’t tried it for the crispy beef portion (I don’t know how well it crisps up), but I think it would work for the sauce! (I’d love to know if you try it and how it goes!)

    1. Hmm…I’m sorry that happened! I’d love to help. Was it crispy when you pulled it out of the pan? (before adding the sauce?) Or was it slimy after adding the sauce?

      Sometimes, if there’s too much moisture (on the beef or juices in the pan) it can start to thicken those juices when they’re browning rather than providing a crispy coating. You could try patting off your beef with a paper/kitchen towel before slicing to reduce the liquid on the beef, which might help with a crispier coating.

      Or, you could skip coating the beef in the arrowroot and simply stir-fry it, then add the arrowroot to the sauce mixture to thicken when you add it later.

      I’ll keep thinking!

    1. Katie – Correct. And, as you’ll read in the notes, the ingredient list, and the instructions, for Whole30 you use the coconut aminos option 🙂

  1. This was so easy to make and SO delicious. I used coconut aminos, which I normally don’t like, but I think the flavor really worked and made it a tad sweet. My girls loved it. I will definitely keep this recipe, thank you for sharing!!

  2. This recipe is amazing! My husband and I are both on the whole 30 and we felt like this was cheating! So yummy! thank you so much!

  3. It’s still a bit salty for my liking but next time I would probably do half water and half low sodium soy sauce and up the ginger. I do think the recipe is a good one and totally adjustable to everyone’s preference. Thank you!

  4. I used coconut aminos and wow!! This was great. I added some green onion and served it with cauliflower rice (the frozen kind cause I’m lazy) and some sliced pineapple. This was so delicious:. Thanks for sharing.

    I haven’t used arrowroot before. Is this just a substitute for cornstarch?

    1. I’m SO glad you enjoyed it! That pineapple sounds like the perfect side for this!

      And yes–arrowroot is just a paleo-approved/grain-free cornstarch substitute. 🙂

  5. I made this for dinner yesterday using coconut aminos. (For the first time). I served it with quinoa/ brown rice. It was delicious! I’m so so happy I found This recipe. It was easy, too!
    I breastfeed and my baby is cow milk protein and soy intolerant so there’s not a lot of dinners I get excited about. This one is my new favorite! Thank you!!

  6. I’m on Whole 30, I don’t have any arrowroot, but I do have tapioca flour. Do you think that would work as a substitute?

    1. Suzanne – You could certainly give it a try, though do keep in mind that tapioca can sometimes get a bit gummy, so you’ll want to watch it (and whisk the sauce very well). Best of luck on your Whole30!!!

  7. I loved this dish! So happy to find a tasty paleo meal! I will be making this one again!

  8. So F***ing good! My fam and I loved it and will do it again! Recipe was perfect, wouldn’t change a thing! Good work!

  9. Love this recipe-have made it many times for just the hubby and I, and also bigger batches for my many family members who are GF/Soy/Grain/corn sensitive. I have used both chicken and beef, and both work out beautifully. I use coconut aminos, since I can’t do soy. I also use unsalted broth in place of the water, that way if it gets a bit on the salty side (usually only if I double/triple the recipe) I can thin it out without taking away any flavor. I also only use potato starch, (can’t do corn, and never tried the arrowroot) and it works out great! Thanks for a great addition to our weekly menus!

  10. I used corn starch and soy sauce in my recipe and it turned out delicious! Thank you for your recipe.

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