Look no further for the best, easiest Beef and Broccoli recipe! Tender strips of beef and crisp broccoli florets are cooked in a quick and crazy flavorful homemade sauce with only a handful of fresh simple ingredients. This fantastic dinner is on the table in 25 minutes and leftovers the next day reheat beautifully.
Love ramen noodles? Check out our Beef and Broccoli Ramen Stir Fry – another huge favorite!
Easy Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
Beef and Broccoli is quintessential Chinese fare and probably the stir fry I make more than any other. It’s a quick and easy, one-pan meal packed with protein-rich tender beef, fresh crisp broccoli, and an amazing sauce that you crave for days afterward. When friends or colleagues offer up their version, I’m like “Nope. I’m good.” This is the only Beef and Broccoli recipe I ever make – it’s just perfect. And ready in only 25 minutes tops. Here’s why we love it:
- Dinner in under 30 minutes
- Practically effortless to make
- Fresh, simple ingredients
- Buttery, tender beef
- Rich, umami sauce with complex flavor
- All-in-one meal
- Healthier than takeout
- Leftovers reheat so well
Beef and Broccoli Recipe
The combination of these ingredients is off the hook. A salty, tangy, and sweet flavor explosion.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Soy sauce: Use low-sodium so the final dish isn’t overly salty.
- Mirin (rice wine): Our cupboard is never without this. If you make a lot of Asian dishes, definitely get a bottle. It adds a sweetness to the sauce and overall depth of flavor. Note: rice wine vinegar is not the same thing as rice wine, so don’t swap one for the other in this recipe. Rice wine is sweet, while rice wine vinegar is acidic. (If you can’t find rice wine, dry sherry mixed with a touch of granulated sugar is a good substitute.)
- Brown sugar: Adds sweetness and needed to balance out the savory soy sauce and tangy wine.
- Ginger and Garlic: For wonderful aromatics and flavor that add a warm, peppery component. Use fresh for optimal results.
- Cornstarch: To thicken the sauce and give it a mouthwatering sheen and gravy-like consistency.
Stir Fry Ingredients
- Beef sirloin: Sliced thin across the grain, it’s like a sponge to the wonderful marinade.
- Broccoli: Fresh crisp broccoli cut into bite size florets. We highly recommend fresh for this dish, which will have the best flavor and texture and not get overly mushy, which frozen broccoli can do. If you must use frozen, do not thaw first.
- Scallions: This mild onion has a subtle peppery flavor and perfect in stir fry.
- Red pepper flakes: Adds a tiny bit of heat, which elevates the overall flavor.
- Sesame oil: To sauté the beef and vegetables. Sesame oil adds a faint, but incredible, nutty flavor. Vegetable oil can be used instead, if preferred.
- Salt: To taste and bring the other flavors together.
- White rice, for serving: To absorb that tasty sauce.
What Kind of Beef is Used for Stir Fry?
Beef sirloin is my first choice and go-to when choosing beef for stir fries, since it’s tender, lean, and cooks quickly. You can use flank steak or chuck steak, but they’re not my preference since they tend to be tougher cuts. Make sure to thinly slice across the grain, which prevents the steak from being chewy.
How to Make Beef Soft and Tender
- Slice across the grain. The “grain” are fibers that run through the meat in one direction. Using a sharp knife, slice thinly across (not with) the grain of your beef (perpendicular to the muscle fibers so they become as short as possible.) This helps break down the fibers and make it tender and not chewy.
- Marinade it. Tossing the beef with the sauce before you start cooking, even if it’s just for a couple minutes, helps tenderize it and also makes a big difference in flavor.
- Add beef to a very hot skillet: This allows it to get a good sear and lock in the juices.
- Avoid over-crowding the pan: Over-crowding the meat will cool off the pan faster and also steam the beef instead of sear it.
- Don’t overcook. Overcooking the beef will make it tough and hard to chew. In this recipe, the beef is cut into thin strips and seared for only a minute, then transferred to a plate, and added back in with the sauce to finish cooking.
How to Make Beef and Broccoli
Dinner is just 25 minutes away when you make this Beef and Broccoli recipe. Be sure to prep all of the ingredients before you start cooking, as it all comes together fast. Here’s a brief summary:
(Don’t miss the printable recipe card before with details.)
- Prepare the sauce. Whisk together all of the ingredients used in the stir fry sauce.
- Marinate the beef: Add the sliced beef to the sauce to marinate while you prep the other ingredients.
- Cook the beef & broccoli: Steam broccoli in the pan, then transfer to a plate. Allow pan to get very hot again; add meat in batches and sear, along with half of the scallions, for just a minute or two.
- Assemble: Return broccoli, the first batch of cooked meat, and any reserved marinade to the skillet, along with the remaining scallions and red pepper flakes. Stir just long enough to warm through and thicken. Remove from heat.
- Serve: Serve over cooked white rice to soak up that delicious sauce.
Easy Beef and Broccoli Video
Make Ahead and Storing Leftovers
To Make Ahead. The beef can be sliced and stored in a tightly covered container up to 1 day in advance. You can also combine your sauce ingredients in a bowl or jar up to 1 day in advance. Both should be stored in the refrigerator, separately.
To Store Leftovers. Allow to cool completely, then place leftover beef stir fry in an airtight container. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To Freeze. Allow to cool completely, then store in an airtight freezer-safe container. It will keep up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating, keeping in mind that cooked frozen and thawed broccoli tends to have a mushy texture.
What to Serve with Beef and Broccoli
I just can’t imagine Beef and Broccoli without cooked hot white rice – the fluffy grains soak up all that luscious sauce. It’s also good with fried rice or even cauliflower rice, if you’re looking for a low-carb option. Serve with homemade egg rolls and crab rangoon on the side for a super delicious and complete Chinese meal.
More Classic Stir Fry Recipes
- Beef Stir Fry
- Chicken Stir Fry
- Vegetable Stir Fry
- Thai Coconut Chicken
- Honey Walnut Shrimp
- Stir Fry Sauce (all-purpose)
Beef and Broccoli
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice wine (not rice vinegar – see note)
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 1 1/2 pounds beef sirloin , fat trimmed and sliced across the grain, very thin into 1 1/2-inch long pieces
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 small head broccoli , cut into florets
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 scallions , chopped and divided
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- cooked white rice , for serving
- In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice wine, and cornstarch until dissolved. Then whisk in the brown sugar, ginger, and garlic. Add sliced beef to bowl and toss to coat. Set aside.
- Warm oil in a heavy nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, season with a pinch of salt and stir. Pour the water in the pan and immediately cover. Let steam for 2-3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to a separate plate. Set aside.
- Allow pan to get very hot again. With tongs, add half the meat by spreading it out in the skillet (leaving most of the marinade still in the bowl), along with half the scallions.
- Let the meat sear, without stirring for 1 minute. Turn meat over and cook for another 30 seconds. Transfer to a clean plate.
- Repeat with other half of meat, allowing pan to get very hot again first (adding additional oil, if needed.)
- After turning the meat, add the first plateful of meat, the rest of the marinade, the cooked broccoli, red pepper flakes, and remaining half of the scallions.
- Stir over high heat for 1 minute to thicken, remove from heat. Check seasonings and add salt only if it needs it.
- Serve immediately over cooked hot rice and enjoy!
- NOTE: Mirin is a sweet Japanese rice wine, available at all Asian markets and most common grocery stores. If you can't find it, a good substitute would be dry sherry mixed with a bit of granulated sugar. (Avoid rice wine vinegar, which would give the sauce an acidic taste.)