Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli

This Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli is a no-fuss recipe that’s delicious and better than take-out! The beef is tender, broccoli is perfectly cooked, and the sauce is so rich and flavorful you’ll want to slurp it up with a spoon. It’s perfect for meal prep, clean eating, and gluten-free with an easy swap. 

Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli Healthy recipe in the crockpot. Two bowls on a cutting board with rice and beef broccoli.

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When I was craving Chinese, I’d grab my phone and call our favorite take-out place back in the day. Those were the days when I didn’t think about MSG, clean ingredients, or the meat quality – honestly, I didn’t know I needed to.

Well, now I know better, so I eat better, so when I want Chinese take-out, I head for my kitchen instead of my phone. 

We love fried rice recipes and stir-fries, and our homemade favorites include Quinoa Fried Rice, Shrimp Fried Rice, and Turkey Fried Rice. 

Another Chinese take-out favorite that I gave a healthy makeover is beef and broccoli. First, I made this easy beef and broccoli on the stovetop, and this version is perfect for busy weeknights. 

Then I put together this Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli, and it’s become a new way to enjoy this take-out favorite.

Reasons you’ll love this recipe.

  • Dump and go slow cooker recipe. Who doesn’t love a slow cooker recipe that doesn’t require any extra steps? Everything is cooked right in the slow cooker, no browning the meat. Also, most of the ingredients are pantry staples.
  • Healthy. No worries about MSG or any other weird ingredients. Only lean beef, nutritious broccoli, and a clean, delicious sauce.
  • Scrumptious. This beef and broccoli crockpot recipe will rival any take-out. The sauce is silky, and the flavor clings onto every piece of tender sirloin and gets soaked up by the broccoli florets. 
  • Make-ahead. This slow cooker broccoli beef recipe get better by the day, so save leftovers for the next day or make it on Sunday to eat for lunch or dinner all week.

Ingredients

ingredients to make slow cooker beef and broccoli
  • Sirloin steak. In most slow cooker recipes that call for beef, I typically use chuck roast because it can stand up to long cooking times and turn into delicious, shredded meat. But with this recipe, I didn’t want shredded beef, and I wanted to keep the recipe lean, so I opted to use sirloin steak. Sirloin doesn’t need to cook that long in the slow cooker. Only about 2-3 hours on high or 5 hours on low. I prefer the longer cooking time on low because, in my experience, this prevents the beef from cooking too fast and drying out. If you need it to cook faster, then cook on high but either way, keep an eye on the steak to prevent it from overcooking and drying out.
  • Beef broth. This is the base for the sauce, and it helps keep moisture in with the steak as it cooks.
  • Soy sauce. Any high-quality soy sauce will work. If you have gluten sensitivity, I recommend using Tamari, a gluten-free soy sauce. Coconut amino acids can work but it is on the sweeter side. If you use Coconut amino acids, start with a smaller amount of sugar, give the sauce a taste, and add more if you need to.
  • Coconut sugar. I made this recipe with brown sugar until I discovered coconut sugar, an unrefined minimally processed sugar. Coconut sugar has a sweet caramel-like flavor and is a delicious substitute for brown sugar. Of course, if you don’t have coconut sugar, you can use brown sugar.
  • Sesame oil. This gives the sauce a tasty nutty flavor.
  • Rice vinegar. For a tangy layer of Asian flavor.
  • Garlic cloves, fresh ginger, and green onions. Adds sweet, spicy, peppery, garlicky flavors that you want in a savory Asian-inspired sauce.
  • Red Chili flakes. To add some heat to this beef and broccoli recipe sprinkle in a dash of red chili flakes you can leave it out to keep if you prefer mild over spicy.
  • Cornstarch. This is my favorite thickener to use in slow cooker recipes, and it’s gluten-free and creates a silky, thick texture.
  • Frozen broccoli florets. I like to keep things simple, so I use steam in bag broccoli for this recipe. You can either thaw it first in the microwave or add it frozen and let it cook for about 10 minutes, and I’ve done both. 
  • Brown rice. Jasmine rice, or any white rice, is also good, but I prefer brown rice to keep it whole grain and healthy.

Cooking tips

Cook the brown rice ahead of time, so it’s ready to soak up the sauce the minutes from the slow cooker beef and broccoli. Perfectly cook brown rice in the rice cooker with my tutorial.

If you use fresh broccoli, stir it into the sauce after the beef cooks and let it cook for another 30 minutes or until tender.

If you don’t have cornstarch, use whatever flour (gluten-free or regular) you have on hand. Use the same method to make the slurry – Whisk the flour into the beef broth to make a slurry and then stir in with beef, broccoli, and sauce. 

Don’t cut the beef strips too thin. It wouldn’t matter if you were making this on the stovetop, but since this beef will be cooking in the slow cooker, you don’t want the meat to cook too fast and dry out.

Spice it up with dried chilis or chili oil.

A closeup picture of beef and broccoli in a white bowl with a crockpot in the background.

Healthy Substitutions

  • Eat with cauliflower rice or as is to enjoy it low carb.
  • Use a gluten-free soy sauce and ensure the other ingredients don’t have any gluten hiding.
  • Use low-sodium soy sauce to reduce sodium.
  • Other healthy beef options include flank steak, top round, or filet. These cuts will require different cooking times in the slow cooker so keep an eye on it after 1-2 hours.

How to Make Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli

step by step collage showing how to make beef and broccoli
  • If you haven’t already, cut the steak into ½ inch slices.
  • Lay the sirloin steak strips into the bottom of the slow cooker insert and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup beef broth, soy sauce or Tamari, coconut sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, scallions, and red pepper flakes. 
  • Pour the sauce over the sirloin strips and cover and cook on low for 5 hours or high for 2-3 hours. 
  • In a small bowl, add the last ½ cup of beef broth and whisk in the cornstarch until it’s dissolved – this is your slurry. Stir the cornstarch slurry into the slow cooker with sauce and beef.
step by step collage showing how to finish cooking the crockpot beef broccoli.
  • Place the lid back on and cook for another 20-30 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  • Cook the frozen broccoli in the microwave according to the package instructions. Add the broccoli with the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Serve this healthy beef and broccoli over cooked brown rice and garnish with sesame seeds.

Storage tips

Like Chinese restaurant take-out, this homemade crockpot beef and broccoli stores and reheats perfectly for a quick lunch or dinner.

  • Store the beef and broccoli in an airtight container and refrigerate for five days. Reheat in the microwave or stove and serve with rice. The rice can also be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator all week.
  • Make individual meal prep bowls by placing a portion of beef and broccoli alongside rice in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave for 3-4 minutes or until hot.
  • You can also freeze Beef and Broccoli meal prep bowls for up to 3 months – think of these like a homemade lean cuisine.
  • Another option to make this beef and broccoli ahead of time is to assemble the ingredients (except the broccoli and slurry) in the slow cooker insert up to 2 days before cooking. On cooking day, continue with the recipe.
  • You can assemble the ingredients into a slow cooker freezer kit (except the broccoli and slurry) and then get the other ingredients for the day you plan to make it.
overhead picture of slow cooker beef and broccoli with a fork

Other Healthy Homemade Chinese Take-out Recipes

slow cooker beef and broccoli healthy recipe. Two bowls of beef broccoli on a cutting board.

Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli

This Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli is a no-fuss recipe that’s delicious and better than take-out! The beef is tender, broccoli is perfectly cooked, and the sauce is so rich and flavorful you’ll want to slurp it up with a spoon. It’s perfect for meal prep, clean eating, and gluten-free with an easy swap. 

Print Pin Rate

Course: dinner, dinner recipe

Cuisine: Asian

Keyword: crockpot beef and broccoli, healthy beef and broccoli, slow cooker beef and broccoli

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 6 people

Calories: 446kcal

Author: Tammy Overhoff

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs sirloin steak cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • 1 1/2 cup beef broth divided
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce can substitute Tamari sauce for gluten-free
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar can also use dark brown brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves grated
  • 1 1/2 inch peeled ginger root grated
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions white part and some of the green
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 12 ounce bag frozen steam in bag broccoli florets cooked according to package directions
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • cooked brown rice.
  • sesame seeds optional

Instructions

  • Lay the sirloin steak strips into the bottom of the slow cooker insert and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  •  In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup beef broth, soy sauce, coconut sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, scallions, and red pepper flakes. 

  • Pour the sauce over the sirloin strips and cover and cook on low for 5 hours or high for 2-3 hours. 

  • In a small bowl, add the last ½ cup of beef broth and whisk in the cornstarch until it’s dissolved – this is your slurry.

  • Stir the cornstarch slurry into the slow cooker with sauce and beef.

  • Place the lid back on and cook for another 20-30 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

  • Cook the frozen broccoli in the microwave according to the package instructions.

  • Add the broccoli with the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.

  • Serve this healthy beef and broccoli over cooked brown rice and garnish with sesame seeds.

Notes

** Serving size is 1/2 cup of cooked rice and 1 1/2 cups of beef and broccoli.
Make ahead and storage tips

  • Store the beef and broccoli in an airtight container and refrigerate for five days. Reheat in the microwave or stove and serve with rice. The rice can also be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator all week.
  • Make individual meal prep bowls by placing a portion of beef and broccoli alongside rice in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave for 3-4 minutes or until hot.
  • You can also freeze Beef and Broccoli meal prep bowls for up to 3 months – think of these like a homemade lean cuisine.
  • Another option to make this beef and broccoli ahead of time is to assemble the ingredients (except the broccoli and slurry) in the slow cooker insert up to 2 days before cooking. On cooking day, continue with the recipe.
  • You can assemble the ingredients into a slow cooker freezer kit (except the broccoli and slurry) and then get the other ingredients for the day you plan to make it.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 446kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 1581mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 13g

Did you make this recipe?

Have you tried this Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli yet? If so, I’d love for you to rate this recipe and leave a comment below. We all learn from each other’s experiences. Also, it would be awesome if you could share a picture on Instagram and tag it #organizeyourselfskinny. I can’t wait to see it.

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