We have been loving this Clean Eating Beef and Broccoli Stir-fry recipe recently and I am so excited to share it with you today! It is made with lean grass-fed steak, broccoli and peppers and it has a sugar-free and gluten-free five-spice sauce that will tickle your taste buds. It’s paleo and whole 30 approved!

Stir-fry without sugar in a bowl with cauliflower rice

Why We Love This Recipe for Beef Stir-fry Without Sugar

If you love Beef and Broccoli Stir-fry but are looking for a sugar-free version, a clean-eating option or need to stay grain free, then this recipe will be your new go-to when craving strikes! 

I’m just going to come out and say it. I was wrong. I was wrong in thinking that you need to add maple syrup or another sweetener to stir-fry sauces to balance them. And I was fully prepared to not like this recipe.

But I tried it with zero added sugar, and I was delighted to find it was in fact delicious (and sugar-free) which made me squarely wrong. This grain-free stir-fry is a blend of the classics. I included vegetables such as broccoli and bell peppers, grass-fed beef, and a blend of amazing spices to compensate for the lack of sugar.

Although it’s not part of the recipe here, I usually serve it on a bed of cauliflower rice, which is grain-free, low calorie and low carb. However, you can absolutely serve it on rice if you don’t mind the grain aspect. OR, eat it as is.

If you are in fact here for the grain-free aspect, you should take the time to check out these Grain-free Mongolian Beef and Broccoli Bowls as well. They’re super tasty and can be made fairly effortlessly for any weeknight dinner.

30 minute Sugar-free Clean Eating Beef and Broccoli Stir-fry in a serving bowl

Key Ingredients For This Clean Eating Stir-fry

Grass-fed beef NY strip steak or sirloin

I tested this recipe with two different kinds of steak: Sirloin, and NY Strip. I actually preferred the NY strip a little better, because it was easier to cut into the correct sized pieces. But Sirloin is a little less expensive–so feel free to use that if you prefer.

Broccoli & Peppers

I used broccoli and peppers to make this super veggie heavy. I wanted this stir-fry over a serving of low carb cauliflower rice to be a hearty belly-filling meal, so I wanted to make sure the serving size was generous. A pound of broccoli crowns, plus 2 bell peppers was really generous! Use whichever bell pepper color you’d like.

Tapioca starch or tapioca flour

For the thickener of the sauce I used tapioca starch. I happened to have tapioca on hand for these gluten-free chocolate cookies and it works just like cornstarch, but it’s paleo and whole-30 approved! If you’re less concerned with the paleo aspect or if you don’t have tapioca, use cornstarch instead.

Chinese Five Spice

I used Chinese Five spice for the sauce which gave the stir-fry a lot of flavor and adds a sweet taste without any added sugar. I didn’t believe it was going to be enough, but it really balanced the other tastes beautifully! If you can’t find Chinese five spice you can make your own using cinnamon, fennel seeds, star anise, ginger and cloves.

Additional Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 ¼ cup reduced sodium chicken broth, chicken bone broth or home-made chicken stock, divided
  • 2 teaspoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake, or to taste
Stir-fry without sugar in a wok

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Prep beef

Cut the beef into bite-sized strips, about the size of a small domino. Discard any large chunks of fat as you go. Sprinkle with salt and white pepper and turn to coat. In a small bowl or dish, stir to combine ¼ cup broth, vinegar and tapioca.

Step 2: Cook beef

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the beef in a single layer (in batches, if necessary) and sear until browned on one side, 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Turn over with a spatula and sear on the other side, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the beef and any juices to a plate. Cover to keep warm.

Step 3: Cook veggies

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the wok or skillet and swirl to coat the cooking surface. Add peppers, broccoli, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly until the garlic starts to brown, about 1 ½ minutes. Add the Chinese Five Spice and crushed red pepper and toss to coat. Stir in the remaining 1 cup broth and cover. Cook, removing the lid to stir occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes.

Step 4: Finish & serve

Re-stir the tapioca slurry and add to the stir-fry while stirring. Continue cooking and stirring until the broccoli is just tender and the sauce is thickened. Stir in the beef and juices and cook until heated through, 2 to 5 minutes. Serve over a bed of cauliflower rice, if desired.

Clean eating beef recipes in a serving bowl and in a wok

FAQs and Expert Tips

What is the secret to good stir-fry?

A few tips to make a really good stir fry is to have your ingredients prepare before you start cooking. In addition it is important to have a really hot wok. If using a skillet you may want to cook the meat in batches if the pan feels crowded. And lastly, have a good sauce to bring all of the elements together.

How to store leftover stir-fry:

Store leftover stir-fry in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days. Freeze up to 2 months. If you’re storing both stir-fry and cauliflower rice, store them separately so the rice doesn’t get soggy.

What goes with this stirfry?

To keep this grain free serve it over zucchini noodles, or another vegetable noodle. Plain cauliflower rice that you purchase at the store works fine as a base, or make Cauliflower Fried Rice. You could also make this Broccoli Mash for a side dish to soak up the sauce! 

What’s the best oil for stir-fry?

For a healthier option I usually use avocado oil when I make stir-fries. It has a much higher smoking point than olive oil which is important in this case since the pan is getting so hot. You can also use other “thin” oils with high smoke points such as canola, grapeseed or refined peanut.

Additional Stir-Fry Recipes to Try

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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blue bowl of stirfry

Clean Eating Beef Stir-Fry


Description

Clean Eating Beef and Broccoli Stir-fry with Peppers and Chinese 5 Spice. Gather your ingredients, chop your veggies and stir your sauce before you start cooking, because this stir-fry comes together quickly once you start to cook! It is sugar free, paleo and whole-30 approved.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound grass-fed beef NY strip steak or sirloin, patted dry with paper towels
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 ¼ cup reduced sodium chicken broth, chicken bone broth or home-made chicken stock, divided
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch or tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • 2 bell peppers, any color, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 1 pound broccoli crowns, cut into small florets (about 6 cups)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut beef into bite-sized strips, about the size of a small domino. Discard any large chunks of fat as you go. Sprinkle with salt and white pepper and turn to coat.
  2. Stir ¼ cup broth, vinegar and tapioca in a small dish.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add beef, in a single layer and allow to sear until browned on one side, 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Turn over with a spatula and let sear on the other side, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the beef, and any juices, to a plate and keep warm.
  4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the wok or skillet and swirl to coat the cooking surface. Add peppers, broccoli, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly until the garlic starts to brown, about 1 ½ minutes. Add Chinese Five Spice and crushed red pepper and toss to coat. Add the remaining 1 cup broth, stir and cover. Cook, removing lid to stir occasionally, until the vegetabes are crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Re-stir the tapioca slurry and add to the stir-fry while stirring. Continue cooking and stirring until the broccoli just tender and the sauce is thickened. Stir in the beef and juices and cook until heated through, 2 to 5 minutes.

Notes

Cooking Tips:

A few tips to make a really good stir fry is to have a really hot wok, cook the meat in batches if the pan feels crowded, add the cooked meat back at the very end so it doesn’t overcook, and have a good sauce.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: main course
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Calories: 279
  • Fat: 11 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Protein: 31 g

Keywords: Beef Stir Fry,clean eating stir fry,paleo beef stir fry,sugar free stir fry