This Healthy Beef and Broccoli recipe is your perfect substitute for that Friday night takeout. Ready in 25 minutes with less sugar, calories and carbs. This recipe embodies the authentic restaurant flavors that we all love!
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When the quarantine first began last year, I found Vanessa and I ordering way more takeout than we normally ate. I think that it was the combination of me recovering from health issues and the new stresses that I found myself dealing with as an RN during Covid times. I found myself cooking much less and clicking that Doordash app a few too many times.
Although it was very convenient (I can't lie), we both found ourselves feeling so groggy and gross as time went on. The high amounts of grease, sodium, sugar and fat were beginning to take a toll on us and I finally decided that enough was enough - back into the kitchen I went!
I knew that it was imperative that I had quick meals that I could throw together in under 30 minutes that would also curb the desire for us to order in. This Healthy Beef and Broccoli recipe did just that. All of the yummy takeout flavors that we loved without the post binge grogginess and bloat. It wasn't long before this meal began to make frequent appearances in our weekly meal plans, and it still does!
Is Beef and Broccoli Healthy?
At first glance, the title can be pretty misleading because I mean, it sounds healthy doesn't it? I think that's why we specifically ordered beef and broccoli so much when we got takeout because even though we knew it wasn't the healthiest....the name made us feel like we were making some great health choices.
The Truth: Unfortunately, the truth is that the beef and broccoli found in most restaurants isn't healthy at all! It's loaded with fats, sugar, calories and sodium. So much so that when I actually looked up the nutritional info for some of the restaurants we had been ordering from, my jaw dropped. We were honestly just as well off ordering a burger from a fast food restaurant!
One of the healthier restaurants that we would order from was P.F Changs. Still, after looking up their nutritional information, I knew that I could make some tweaks here and there to bring down the calories, carbs and sugar even further without compromising taste. Check out this table of a side by side comparison of their Beef and Broccoli (lunch portion - without rice) compared to this recipe:
|P.F Changs (Takeout)||Homemade|
How to make Broccoli Beef
The ingredients that go into making this recipe are fairly simple. You have:
- Beef steak - I used flank steak for this recipe but pretty much any lean beef steak will work just fine. Top sirloin is another great choice.
- Broccoli florets - I used fresh but frozen broccoli will also work. You can either cook frozen broccoli in skillet until slightly tender or microwave according to bag instructions and then toss into skillet once the onion is slightly tender.
- Sliced onion
- Minced garlic
- Ginger - Grated fresh ginger or ginger powder will work just fine for this
- Cornstarch + cold water - used to thicken the sauce
To make the beef and broccoli sauce:
- Beef Stock
- Low sodium soy sauce
- Chili garlic sauce
- Zero calorie sweetener (any kind will work but I linked my favorite)
- Red pepper flakes (optional if you really want to kick up the heat)
Step by Step:
- Begin by thinly slicing the beef steak against the grain. Add to a large bowl. Combine cornstarch with the cold water until fully dissolved. Pour over beef and toss beef in cornstarch mixture until fully combined.
- Turn skillet or wok onto medium-high heat and spray with olive oil spray. Carefully add the beef to the skillet. Try not to let the beef overlap - this will ensure that each strip cooks evenly. Cook for about 1 minute on each side and then use tongs to transfer steak strips to a heat safe plate/bowl. Turn skillet heat down to medium. Add in broccoli florets, sliced onions, garlic, and ginger. Cook until broccoli and onion are slightly tender.
3. Add steak back into the skillet. In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, sweetener, beef stock and (optional) red pepper flakes. Pour into skillet and combine with beef and broccoli. Allow sauce to begin to boil slightly and then turn heat down to low. Simmer for 5 minutes to allow sauce to thicken. Top with optional sesame seeds or green onions. Serve with favorite side and enjoy!
What to eat with Beef and Broccoli
Of course, this recipe would be great with just plain white rice, but there are also so many other options to suit your tastebuds and needs! Try:
- Cauliflower Rice (low calorie + good for low carb/keto)
- Brown rice
- Miracle Noodles! (low calorie, gluten free, vegan + keto friendly)
Keto Friendly - Replace the cornstarch + water mixture with ½ teaspoon xanthan gum and ¼ cup water. Slowly incorporate the water into the xanthan gum, stirring frequently to ensure you don't get any lumps. Once combined, add to the sauce ingredients prior to pouring into the skillet. This will bring your total and net carbs down to 3g per serving!
Vegetarian/Vegan - Substitute meat for tofu
Gluten Free- Substitute soy sauce for reduced sodium Tamari sauce
Soy Free - Substitute soy sauce for coconut aminos
Other meats- You can use ground beef, ground turkey, chicken, salmon or even shrimp. If you need help calculating the calorie difference just let me know ☺️.
Storing and Reheating Beef and Broccoli
Refrigerator: Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Freezer: Store in a freezer-safe airtight container for up for 5 months. I like to use these Pyrex glass containers whenever I have a chance because I don't have to wait for the food to thaw. I can just reheat the food safely directly in the container!
Microwave: The food can be reheated easily in the microwave. Cook in 1 minute increments, stirring in between until meal has reached desired temp.
This recipe can also be reheated in the oven (375 degrees 15 minutes refrigerated and 35 minutes from frozen) - cover with foil prior to baking. You can also toss on the stovetop for a quick reheat!