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Healthy Beef and Broccoli (Paleo & Whole30)

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 paleo, 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 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 ginger, garlic, and black pepper. It’s super flavorful without being spicy, and tastes incredible with the rest of the ingredients!

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

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
  • 3/4lb. lean steak (such as top sirloin, or loin tip) thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch*
  • 1lb. 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!

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, Beef
  • Method: Stir-Fry, Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Asian-American

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

180 Comments

    1. Michelle – It also helps thicken the sauce, so I recommend whisking it into the sauce mixture before pouring it into the pan. Hope that helps! 🙂

  1. I thought it was very good I added a little to much water so it didn’t thicken like I would have liked. To get the meat to really be tender I mixed it with baking soda for a hour the rinsed it. And dried it really well before cornstarch and it was perfect!

  2. I loved this recipe, but I forgot to put a little water in it so the sauce was strong. And a little tangy because I used Worcestershire sauce instead of soy sauce.

  3. Made this tonight and LOVED it. Wow — it was SO easy and so yummy. I used low sodium soy sauce and flour instead of cornstarch or arrowroot (didn’t have either). It turned out great! I would definitely make this again.

  4. I used coconut aminos little less than directed and added more veggies and also a 1/2 cup of water to dilute the sauce and it was still way too salty.

    I had to individually pick out the meat and veggies from the sauce so it’s not drenched.
    Served it over quinoa and it was not able to mask the saltiness of the dish

  5. I love this recipe! I am not a big beef eater but this was absolutely delicious! I used coconut aminos and water. My family loves it, too. The broccoli I was a big hit. Thank you for sharing!

  6. I’ve made this so many times and it has always been a favorite, however, tonight I made it and it was so salty I had to rinse all the sauce off. My grocery pickup substituted coconut aminos for liquid aminos. NOT THE SAME THING! For those who had this problem I bet you used regular liquid aminos.

    1. From Scotland!!! Hooray!!!

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe Lorraine. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. You are SO appreciated!

  7. Seeing many comments about salty flavor, I followed the recipe exactly using coconut aminos and it was awesome! Flavor was great! Served over cauliflower rice and it was Whole 30 compliant.

  8. This is SO DELICIOUS!!!! I only had about 1/3 cup of soy sauce (ran out), so used water to make up the difference and you couldn’t even tell. My husband said it was the best beef and broccoli he’s ever had. Definitely our new go to when craving Chinese!!!

  9. Too salty to the point that it was inedible. A shame, because the recipe would have turned out great if less sauce was advised.

    1. Mina – I’m so sorry it was too salty for your taste. If you try it again, I’d highly recommend the coconut aminos option!

  10. I haven’t tried it yet but plan to use
    with venison this week.
    Suggest Braggs liquid aminos instead
    of soy much less
    sodium

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