An easy weeknight beef and veggie stir-fry recipe that’s ready in just 30 minutes. Serve over brown rice for a well-balanced meal that the entire family will love!
Table of contents
Stir-fry is a perfect weeknight meal that’s quick, family-friendly and easy to adapt based on whatever you have available or happen to be able to find at the grocery store. When served over rice it can be an entire meal in and of itself, or pair it with something like this miso coleslaw to really up your dinner’s nutritional value.
Why This Recipe Works
- It comes together quickly – under 30 minutes!
- It’s adaptable for many different diets – gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and more.
- You can pretty much throw in whatever protein and veggies you have on hand or need to use up.
- It’s very nutritionally balanced.
- With the exception of some rice to serve it over, it’s a one-dish meal.
Ingredients You’ll Need
These are the particular ingredients I tend to use, but there are so many substitutes or additions you can make as well, which you’ll read about more below.
Sesame oil – Find this in the Asian section of your grocery store. It doesn’t necessarily have to be “toasted” but it adds a nice additional layer of flavor.
Flank steak – You’ll want to cut this into strips or chunks. You may also see beef labeled “stir-fry” beef which would be just fine for this recipe.
Garlic – Chop up whole cloves of garlic on your own or purchase pre-minced garlic – a favorite shortcut of mine!
These vegetables are a great starting point for your stir-fry, but you’re more than welcome to add in or substitute something else!
Snow or Snap Peas
That’s all you need for the stir-fry, now let’s talk about the sauce:
Soy sauce or tamari – Soy sauce is the classic addition to stir-fry sauce, but tamari is a great gluten-free option and tastes almost identical.
Beef or chicken broth – IF you have the option, use the same type of broth as you are protein but if not, it’s no big deal. I used chicken broth with the beef in this recipe and it still tasted amazing.
Maple syrup – A great sweetener for your sauce. Alternatively, you could use honey.
Corn starch – This will help thicken up the sauce and turn it into a nice glaze.
Fresh ginger – You can peel and grate the ginger yourself, or you can use the pre-minced fresh ginger like I do (another favorite time-saving hack of mine!)
Basic Building Blocks of a Good Stir-Fry
So now you know what I like to use in my stir-fry, but as I’ve mentioned multiple times, there are so many different options for ingredients. Here are the basic food groups you want to cover as you decide what to add to your own stir-fry:
You’ll want to always include some sort of protein, whether that’s beef, chicken, shrimp, tofu, etc. This will give the meal it’s “stick-to-your-ribs” quality so that you’re not raiding the kitchen for a snack two hours after eating
The fun part about stir-fry is that you can really use any combination of veggies you want. I used carrots, zucchini, broccoli and snow peas for this recipe, but some other great ideas might be:
- Bell peppers
- Bok choy
- Water chestnuts
- Mini corn
A Tasty Sauce
There are tons of different ways you can go with sauces for stir-fry, but the basic one I’ve included in this Beef and Veggie Stir-Fry will work with just about any protein and veggie combination you decide on.
This stir-fry dinner is literally soooo easy to make and is ready to go in less than 30 minutes. Here’s how it’s done:
First, sear the beef or whatever protein you’re using in a large saucepan or wok.
Once the protein is seared, remove it from the pan.
Then add in your vegetables.
While you’re vegetables are cooking, make the sauce. Simply whisk together all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
Once the veggies are cooked through – soft but still with a little bit of crunch – add in the sauce and then the meat.
Serve with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and green onions over a bed of rice and enjoy immediately!
You can find the web story for this recipe here.
There are a few simple tricks that will take your stir-fry from just average to over-the-top:
– Slice the protein and veggies so they have a decent surface area.
– Use a cast iron pan or wok. This will give your ingredients a really good sear.
– Cook the stir-fry quickly and at a fairly high heat.
– Thicken your sauce with an ingredient like corn starch.
– Soy sauce or tamari
– Some sort of broth (beef, chicken or vegetable)
– Sweetener such as maple syrup or honey
– Aromatics such as garlic and ginger
– Corn starch to thicken
– Optional: chili-garlic sauce to add some spice (we leave this out to make our stir-fries kid-friendly).
You can use almost any protein for stir-fry: shrimp, chicken, pork, beef or tofu are all great choices.
You can use almost any vegetable for stir-fry. Some ideas are bell peppers, mushrooms, mini corn, water chestnuts, and bok choy.
More Easy Weeknight Meals
Tried this recipe and loved it?? Be sure to leave a comment and five-star rating in the recipe card below!
Easy Weeknight Beef and Veggie Stir-Fry
- Chef's knife
- Cutting board
- Wok or large, deep saute pan
- 2 cup measure
- Small mixing bowl
For the stir-fry:
- 4 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- 3/4 pound flank steak, cut into thin strips or cubes
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 1/2 cups snap or snow peas, cut in half or thirds
- 1 large carrot, sliced
- 1 small zucchini, diced
For the sauce:
- 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
- 1/4 cup chicken or beef broth
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon chili-garlic paste (optional)
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- Heat 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in your wok or large pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Once oil is shimmering, add flank steak and sear on all sides. Remove from pan and set on a plate while you start the vegetables.
- Return wok to medium-high heat on the stove and add 2 more tablespoons of sesame oil. Once oil is shimmering again, add garlic and vegetables and stir to combine. Let veggies cook over medium-high heat while you mix up the sauce, turning the heat down to medium once they have a little sear on them.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients. Add to the vegetable mix, then add the flank steak back to the pan. Continue to cook on medium heat until sauce has thickened slightly and vegetables are cooked.
- Serve over rice and top with green onions and sesame seeds.
- Feel free to sub in another protein (chicken, shrimp, tofu, etc.) for the beef.
- Also feel free to sub in different vegetables that you have on hand (bell peppers, mushrooms, bok choy, water chestnuts and mini corn are all great ideas).
- Cut protein and vegetables so that their surface area is maximized and use a wok or cast-iron skillet to maximize searing.
- Serve over brown or white rice.