Better-Than-Takeout Beef and Broccoli — It really is BETTER than takeout and it’s definitely FASTER!! This EASY Chinese restaurant copycat recipe is a family favorite that’ll go into your regular rotation!!
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Easy Homemade Beef and Broccoli
This recipe is adapted from my copycat P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef recipe, which is a reader favorite that comes together in less than 20 minutes.
The same goes for this recipe — it’s easy and ready in a flash. I have seen beef and broccoli recipes that require marinating the beef first, like my 15-Minute Sheet Pan Beef and Broccoli, but this is not one of them, which is a real time saver.
This Chinese beef and broccoli is full of umami flavor and pairs nicely with steamed rice or cauliflower rice. It’s best the day it’s made, but leftovers can easily be reheated in a skillet and enjoyed for days afterward.
Beef and Broccoli Ingredients
To make this easy recipe (including the irresistible beef and broccoli sauce!), you’ll need:
- Flank steak
- Olive oil
- Sesame oil
- Low-sodium soy sauce
- Dark brown sugar
- Broccoli florets
- Green onions
How to Make Beef and Broccoli
Making Chinese beef and broccoli from scratch is easier than you might think! Here are the basic recipe steps:
- To a large bag, add sliced flank steak, cornstarch, and toss to coat.
- In a medium saucepan, sauté garlic and ginger until the garlic is fragrant.
- Then add soy sauce, water, brown sugar, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and allow it to boil for a couple minutes before reducing the heat and simmering until the sauce is slightly thickened and reduced.
- While the sauce is simmering, in a separate skillet, sear the steak.
- Top the seared steak with broccoli, pour in the soy sauce mixture, and toss the beef and broccoli to coat it evenly with the sauce. Simmer for a few minutes, or until the broccoli is as crisp-tender as desired.
I like to finish this homemade beef and broccoli with green onions and sesame seeds, but they’re optional.
How to Thicken the Beef and Broccoli Sauce
One optional step which will depend on the texture and consistency of the sauce in your pan, and personal preference, is that if the sauce on the thinner or runnier side, and you want sauce that clings better to the beef and broccoli, you can make that happen in 60 seconds.
Dissolve 1 tablespoon cornstarch in 1 tablespoon of water, which is called a slurry, and add that to the pan. Stir and simmer for about 60 seconds, and your sauce should be nicely thicker at that point.
If your steak was very well coated in cornstarch, the residual cornstarch may be enough to thicken the sauce. But if it’s not, you can thicken it up in a hurry by adding a cornstarch slurry.
If you add 6 full cups of broccoli like I did because I am a broccoli fanatic, the natural waters and juices that escape when the broccoli cooks, will thin out your sauce and you’ll likely want to use a slurry.
Beef with Broccoli FAQs
I use flank steak and have not tried other cuts of beef. I have read recipes that call for skirt steak but I haven’t tried it.
Homemade beef with broccoli is coated in an umami “brown sauce” that has layers of flavor from the soy sauce, sesame oil, fresh garlic and ginger, and brown sugar.
No, I recommend using fresh broccoli florets for best results.
No! The cornstarch in this recipe is non-negotiable. It helps the beef crisp up a little when seared and it thickens the sauce.
No, it’s not gluten-free as written because soy sauce contains gluten. To make this recipe gluten-free, make sure your soy sauce is certified gluten-free or use gluten-free tamari.
What to Serve with Beef and Broccoli
This easy beef and broccoli stir-fry pairs well with your favorite Asian sides. Some of my go-to’s are:
- Rice or cauliflower rice
- Fried rice (omit the chicken in this recipe for a veggie version)
- Fresh spring rolls (can be made veggie)
- Roasted veggies
- Simple green salad
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Better-Than-Takeout Beef With Broccoli
This homemade beef and broccoli really is BETTER than takeout and it's definitely FASTER! This EASY Chinese restaurant copycat recipe is a family favorite!
- 1 to 1.25 pounds flank steak, sliced into thin strips, no more than 1/4-inch thick
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
- 1 to 2 teaspoons ginger, or to taste (fresh or dried is okay, use less dried than you would fresh)
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed (light may be substituted)
- 4 to 6 cups broccoli florets (dependent on preference for broccoli)
- 2 to 3 green onions, sliced into 1/4-inch long segments
- red pepper flakes, optional and to taste
- sesame seeds, optional for garnishing
- To a large ziptop bag, add the steak, cornstarch, seal, and toss to coat. Set aside while preparing the sauce.
- To a medium saucepan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and heat over medium-high for about 1 minute, or just until garlic is fragrant, taking care not to scorch it.
- Add the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and allow it to boil for about 2 to 3 minutes. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened and reduced. While it simmers, sear the steak.
- To a large skillet, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and the steak. Cook over medium-high or high heat until steak is cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes, flipping the pieces intermittently to ensure even cooking.
- Add the broccoli.
- Evenly drizzle in the soy sauce mixture, noting it will bubble up dramatically. Toss the beef and broccoli to coat evenly with the sauce. Simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes at medium-high, or until the broccoli is as crisp tender as desired.
- Optional — If your sauce hasn't thickened up as much as you'd like and your broccoli is done or nearly done, and you want a sauce that clings better and isn't as thin, simply dissolve 1 tablespoon cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water (called a slurry), add it to the skillet, stir for about 1 minute, or until your sauce has thickened to your desired level. Since I used 6 cups broccoli, the natural water and juices that escaped from it thinned out my sauce, so I needed to use a slurry.
- Turn off the heat, add the green onions, and stir to incorporate.
- Optionally, evenly sprinkle with red pepper flakes (makes the dish taste more authentic and gives it flavor without adding much heat), optional sesame seeds, and serve immediately.
- Adapted from P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef.
- Recipe is best warm and fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 783Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 1300mgCarbohydrates: 91gFiber: 26gSugar: 37gProtein: 53g
The nutrition information takes into account all of the sauce and since it's not likely you will consume all of the sauce, the stats will be lower than indicated.
More Asian Recipes with Beef:
15-Minute Sheet Pan Beef and Broccoli – EASY, HEALTHIER than going out for Chinese because it’s baked, and FASTER than calling for takeout!! So much FLAVOR in this family favorite! It’ll go into your regular rotation!!
Mongolian Beef Bowls – These EASY Chinese-inspired Mongolian beef bowls are ready in just 10 minutes!! Loaded with rich savory flavor, crisp-tender vegetables, and served over rice!
Beef Fried Rice — This better-than-takeout beef fried rice is EASY, ready in 20 MINUTES, and made in ONE skillet! Everyone loves the big juicy strips of steak and perfectly fried rice that’s speckled with bits of onions, peas, carrots, and scrambled eggs.
Teriyaki Steak Tips — Tri-tip steak tips are cooked to perfection and then topped with a thick and sticky homemade pineapple teriyaki sauce! A family favorite that everyone will love and is FAST and EASY to make!
P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef — This copycat recipe comes together in 20 minutes, it’s EASY, and makes for a great weeknight meal! Even picky eaters will love this, and any leftover sauce can be served over rice.
Hello Averie! I loved the beef and brocoli, I love to cook and bake….but had never tried cooking Asian food, everybody loved it!….I usually change some ingredients when trying out a new recipe, to make it to my taste…I changed nothing on yours.Easy and delicious!
I am glad that you ventured into an Asian inspired dish and that everyone loved it and it was easy and delicious!
The steak and broccoli recipe was incredible! I added zucchini noodles to it instead of putting over rice. The sauce is spot on! Thank you for sharing 🙌🏻
Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad it was incredible and that you added zuke noodles – great idea!
Terrific! We devoured it. I skipped the sesame oil and used olive oil and canola oil instead for searing, because I threw my sesame oil away. The flavor is too strong for me. Frozen broccoli florets worked perfectly too.
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad that you devoured it, and that frozen broccoli worked perfectly too!
I didn’t know if I believed it would be better than takeout. But, it definitely was. For starters, my kids didn’t spill all over our family room, forcing me to do a carpet cleaning in Hemet which isn’t fun. All that being said, it also tasted much better than fast food. 10/10 would make it again.
This was a great starter recipe! I would cut the sugar in half (it was very sweet), and salt the beef with the corn starch.
I am glad you enjoyed it overall and know how to tweak it for the next time to suit your preferences!
This turned out to be a really tasty recipe. Totally going to make again. The only thing I’d do differently is to cut the sugar down. It was a little on the sweet side.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you will make it again! And yes by all means reduce the sugar to your tastes.
This tastes amazing but my sauce never thicken.
Did you read item #7 in the recipe instructions about thickening up a sauce. It’s almost impossible for a sauce not to thicken if you use enough cornstarch. It will bind it. You perhaps needed a bit more than I called for since all brands, broccoli with natural water content, etc. varies but just try more cornstarch next time.
Glad the taste was amazing!
My goodness!!!! I made this recipe for the first time today and it is definitely better than take out! It was quick, easy to make and will definitely be added to my regular rotation!!! Thanks for an incredible recipe!!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that it turned out way better than take out for you and that it’ll go into your regular rotation!
Made this and it lives up to its name. I ran out of cornstarch had just enough to coat the meat. I used frozen broccoli and as a sauce thickener I used a little flour. I will be making it again.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad the recipe lived up to its name and that you’ll make it again!
Excellent recipe thank you! My son did most of the work and learned a new recipe. It was as fast, easy and tasty as promised. We will definitely be making this one again.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that not only was the recipe excellent, but you helped to teach your son a new recipe!
Made the beef broccoli and it’s so yummy. Love it❤️ Thank you so much for sharing your recipe with us. God bless you.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this turned out great!
Delicious!! I made a few substitutes b/c didn’t want to do a grocery store run. Didn’t have enough corn starch so mixed it w/packet of recipe secrets. No sesame oil. used toasted sesame oil. will make again & again.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it was delicious and that you were able to make due with what you had on hand and that you’ll make it again and again!
Taste really good, cut the meat against the grain but it was still tough. The receipt is great just like any good restaurant!! Glad I made it will use again and again!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you will make and use it again! As for the toughness, I would talk to the butcher at your grocery store and get a recommendation for something more tender than what you already went with, at least that’s what I would do and see if he/she can give you some input based on the beef that your store carries.
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I hate to be those people who review a recipe but didn’t make it exactly as written BUT this recipe is fantastic and delicious. I 1.5x the sauce recipe because we increased the amount of meat and added sliced carrots and onions. I oven roasted the broccoli and carrots ahead of time to lose some of their liquid so my sauce wouldn’t be thin. Then just tossed the broccoli carrot mix in with the beef. Lastly to prevent a thin sauce I subbed half of the soy sauce called for with hoisin sauce, it is a thicker liquid, because we love hoisin sauce. It fed 6 grown adults wonderfully and is definitely a keeper.
I am glad my recipe gave you good inspiration to make it your own so to speak! I love hoisin as well and am sure it was delicious here and wonderfully thick in comparison to soy sauce.
OMG! REALLY yummy and I’m tough on my own cooking! I used tapioca starch instead of cornstarch, perfect! And I did use the slurry! Which was just the right amount of thickening. I didn’t have low sodium soy sauce and it really needs to be low sodium. Regular is way too salty. Definitely a regular!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this will be a regular! Good to know that tapioca starch worked well here too.
Made it for dinner tonight and it was really really good! Took a bit to make the steak right but I used too much cornstarch I think. Great taste! Everyone liked it and agreed it is better than takeout!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you all agreed it’s better than takeout!
I made this for dinner tonight and it was such a hit. Thank you! I will be making this as one of my staples dinner
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it was a big hit!
This was awesome!! Absolutely better than takeout! I didn’t think it was be enough sauce, but it was perfect!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this was absolutely better than takeout!
Made this for late night dinner tonight & it was a hit with everyone! I cut the sugar to 1/2c & added garlic chile paste – just right for us. The only downside was that there’s no leftovers :P
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that you were able to customize it a bit for your tastes and there were no leftovers!
Can this recipe be frozen
Yes but the broccoli will be mushy upon thawing.
I made this according to the recipe but used liquid aminos as a substitute for the soy sauce. It was still very salty to my taste buds, so if I make it again I will greatly reduce the amount of soy or soy-type sauce. I was drinking water all night!
Soy sauce is yes very salty, or even soy substitutes, and people’s tastes and sensitivities vary. So yes just adjust to taste in the future.
I made this tonight. It was a hit with everyone even my picky kids.
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad it was a hit every everyone!
Yum! This looks so easy and broccoli beef in a salty-sweet brown sauce is a favorite!
So easy and you can’t go wrong with that type of sauce!