Make your own take-out style beef and broccoli. This version is ready in about 30 minutes and is full of tender beef and good-for-you broccoli.
It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve been making some favorite take-out dishes at home, like beef and broccoli, because I spent a good part of my life thinking it was just too hard, would take too long, and just wouldn’t be the same as what I might have delivered to my house in a brown bag.
And while my version of my favorite take-out dishes might not be authentic – I don’t use a wok and I make do with ingredients I can find at my regular grocery store – I’ve been surprised at how easy it is to make these dishes at home and how close they are to the originals in appearance and in taste. As is the case with this beef and broccoli, I prefer my simple make-at-home version.
This beef and broccoli recipe is a smaller-scale one that serves two people with enough leftovers for the next day.
Beef and Broccoli Ingredients
- I used sirloin, but tenderloin, tri-tip, or strip steak will work well. All of these are tender cuts, which means they don’t need a long cook time.
- A high smoke point oil like vegetable oil. Everything needs to cook fast at a high heat and olive oil isn’t the best choice.
- Soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger paste, brown sugar and red pepper flakes for the sauce.
- Cornstarch helps thicken the sauce.
- Fresh broccoli florets
- Cooked white rice
How to Make Beef and Broccoli
The process is simple but it’s a good idea to have all of your ingredients prepped beforehand – everything cooks quickly!
- Cook the broccoli and beef: I like to cook the broccoli first in a hot pan with oil, followed by the beef which only needs a couple of minutes until it’s ready. Remove all of it from the pan.
- Cook the sauce: From there add the sauce and simmer it until it starts to thicken before adding the beef and broccoli back in to cook for a few minutes in the sauce. So easy.
Beef and Broccoli FAQs
My beef and broccoli recipe has evolved over the years and here are some questions I often get about the recipe!
Should I use regular or low-sodium soy sauce?
- This is up to you. I use regular soy sauce because I usually serve the beef and broccoli with plain white rice and I find the saltiness is balanced out. If you’re sensitive to salt I recommend using low-sodium soy sauce or a combination of both.
- Also, this beef and broccoli is extra-saucy. Some readers have reduced the amount of soy sauce to make less sauce with success, so be sure to check out the comments!
Do I need to marinate the beef?
- You don’t have to marinate the beef ahead of time for this beef and broccoli recipe.
- I used to marinate the beef first and make extra sauce to cook it in, but when I tried it without that extra step and just cooked the beef in the pan without marinating it I really couldn’t tell the difference.
Should I blanch the broccoli first?
- I use to blanch the broccoli, an extra step that I’ve eliminated over time. I was only doing it because I read somewhere you must blanch your veggies in order to keep them vibrant in color.
- Well, turns out you can cook them in the same pan you cook the beef and sauce and they maintain their color (and cook through) with no problem.
Can I make beef and broccoli ahead?
- This beef and broccoli recipe is so easy, I don’t usually make it ahead of time. However, I think the leftovers taste great and beef and broccoli will keep well in the refrigerator for three to four days.
- Rice, on the other hand, doesn’t always keep well as it will dry out in the fridge (use it to make Bacon Fried Rice instead!), so I usually make a fresh batch when I reheat the beef and broccoli.
If you want more recipes for one or two people be sure to check out my cookbook, Gourmet Cooking for One (or Two)!
More Easy Dinner Ideas
Love easy dinner recipes? Here are a few of my favorites to check out or browse all of my Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes for even more ideas!
- One-Pan Spaghetti Bolognese
- Orange Chicken
- Steak Salad with Sauteed Mushrooms
- 30-Minute Steak Carbonara for Two
- Sesame Beef Bowls
30-minute beef and broccoli! This recipe serves two people with some leftovers, which are great reheated the next day. Be sure to prep all of the ingredients first because all of it cooks very fast. Serve it rice, or noodles, or just all on its own. No take-out menu required.
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
- 3 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 12 oz sirloin, sliced thin
- Cooked white rice, optional
- In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, ginger paste, and cornstarch until combined. Set the sauce aside.
- In a 10-inch skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat until it’s hot, but not smoking. Rotate the pan to ensure the oil evenly coats the bottom of the pan. Adjust the heat to medium and add the broccoli to the pan. Cook it in the oil, stirring frequently, until it’s crisp-tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the broccoli to a plate and set aside.
- Add 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the same pan. Once it’s heated, add the sliced sirloin in an even layer. Cook the beef for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the beef to the plate with the broccoli and set aside.
- Pour the sauce into the pan. Simmer the sauce for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it thickens. Add the broccoli and beef to the pan and stir to coat it in the sauce. Cook them in the sauce for a minute or so. Serve with the cooked white rice.
Nutrition estimates do not include the white rice.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stove
- Cuisine: American Chinese
- Serving Size: 1/3 of recipe
- Calories: 447
- Sugar: 5.1g
- Fat: 18g
- Carbohydrates: 12.1g
- Fiber: 2.1g
- Protein: 58g
Keywords: easy beef and broccoli recipe, quick beef and broccoli, homemade beef and broccoli
This recipe was first posted in January 2015. The post, recipe, and photos were updated February 2018.