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Healthy Beef and Broccoli (Paleo & Whole30)

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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

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4.5 from 61 reviews

  • 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

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  1. I’ve made this every night for the past three nights. I’m OBSESSED with this recipe. So glad I found it. Thank you so much!! Xo

  2. Excellent! My husband and I ate every last bite with brown rice. Made with low sodium soy sauce and broccoli. Will make again and try other veggies. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I don’t understand why people trash a recipe because it is “too salty”. Are people not aware of their own taste preference while preparing meals? If you prefer less sodium, reduce salt and/or use low sodium ingredients. Pretty simple concept.
    It’s like someone giving a one star review of an otherwise excellent product, because they had a shipping issue.
    Why not say “Great pair of shoes, runs half a size large, consider sizing down by one half.”? Or “Great recipe, consider using low sodium soy, reduce salt, if that’s your preference”.
    It destroys the credibility of ratings and reviews and at the very least is annoying.
    Have a nice day folks.

  4. My first experience with coconut aminos! This was fantastic! No salt issue here. We did filet mignon for the steak strips. Added shredded carrots. Incredible

  5. Just made this last night. Used lower sodium soy sauce and followed the recipe exactly. OMGosh! I can’t wait to eat my leftovers for lunch!! It was so good! My kid prefers chicken so I am gonna try it that way soon!

    1. I’m so glad you liked this! Several people have tried this with chicken and loved it! You’ll just thinly slice the chicken or dice it, and you’ll cook the chicken a bit longer (since it needs to be completely cooked through). The sauce and broccoli shouldn’t need any other adapting! 🙂

  6. Just made this last night and it was AMAZING! I always struggle cooking Chinese type dishes and for some reason this one worked! Going in the recipe box straight away!

  7. This is AMAZING! I dont know what others are saying about being too salty, you do state low sodium. My family oohhs and ahhhs over this dish!I use 1/2 Tamari and 1/2 coconut aminos.My husband stated that it is much better than any beef and broccoli in any restaurant he has ever had. High praise indeed!! Thank you so much!

  8. This was absolutely fantastic! I used regular broccolli as I dont have the other here in Japan. Printed and keeping as a regular household dinner! Thank you!

  9. I can’t have soy so I used coconut amino acids & didn’t have fresh ginger so I used 1/4 teas ground ginger.. THIS DISH WAS AAAAAAA-MAZING, specially as a full meal over Cauliflower rice AND…. even tasted great as leftovers for lunch the next day!!! Hubby loved it so much he asked me to make it again this weekend. I loved your directions & how you added the different substitutes. THANK YOU!!!

    1. GingerB – I’m SO GLAD you guys enjoyed it!!! It’s one of our all-time favorite dinners! Glad your husband liked it too–that’s always a huge win! 🙂

  10. My husband and I are on day 18 of Whole 30. We have had some great food along the way, but this recipe is in the lead. I made it tonight and my husband declared it was the best meal we’ve had on Whole 30. I used the coco aminos and added some beef bone broth as well. This will definitely stay in our rotation well past Whole 30.

  11. This was so yummy!!! I used coconut aminos and added just a tad bit of honey to the sauce. Served with cauliflower rice for paleo. Delicious!

  12. This recipe was good, but it was WAY too salty. 🙁 I used low sodium soy sauce, water, and even used sugar to help but no avail. We ate it but I felt like I needed something sweet immediately after.. I wonder how to make this better because I do love beef and broccoli.

    1. Sabrina – You may want to try it with coconut aminos next time or reduce the amount of soy sauce. Coconut aminos is MUCH less salty than even low-sodium soy sauce, and may help! Alternatively, you can reduce the amount of soy sauce.

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