Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli
After hosting my two younger sisters and 18-month-old niece for a long weekend, my heart is full and my refrigerator is empty. Whenever the three of us are together, the agenda gravitates towards our mutual top activity: eating and drinking. Although I loved showing them my favorite local restaurants and bars, we spent one of my favorite nights at home in our sweats eating the contents of my refrigerator, this Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli included.
At least once a week, our dinner plan is a choose-your-own-adventure of blog recipe leftovers, and for one of their evenings in town, my sisters graciously agreed to participate. I made a quick cheese plate, poured glasses of wine, and progressed to pulling out every container in our refrigerator. It was multi-course tasting menu of upcoming blog recipes, and for each one, I eagerly sought my sisters’ approval. This healthy Slow Cooker Broccoli Beef received a double thumbs up!
I’ve been trying to better diversify the types of proteins in our diet, for health reasons and to keep dinner interesting. I rarely purchase red meat (it’s not my favorite, and I feel like it often gets a bad rap), but when our grocery store had a special on flank steak, I decided to give it a chance. It’s a lean cut and provides vitamins and minerals, such as iron and B12, and as I discovered while making this Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli, it is delicious when paired with Asian flavors.
Beef and broccoli might be a takeout classic, but it’s one of the easiest and most budget-friendly stir-fry dishes you can make at home. Broccoli is fairly inexpensive, particularly now that it’s in season, and because the beef is meant to be thinly sliced anyway, it’s ideal for stretching to multiple servings.
The sauce and crock pot cooking liquid is a mixture of oyster sauce (which you can find in the Asian section of your grocery store), soy sauce, garlic, and little bit of red pepper flakes to keep everyone awake. Many recipes also call for adding sugar, but because I wanted to make this a healthy slow cooker beef and broccoli recipe, I replaced it with a lesser amount of honey instead.
In total, this recipe takes about 2 hours in the slow cooker. You can prep all of the ingredients the night before, then simply toss them into your slow cooker and turn it on when you arrive home from work.
In addition to being easy and flavorful, this Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli is also low maintenance. The glossy sauce thickens right in the slow cooker with the other ingredients, no stirring in a separate pot on the stove required. Like other stir-fries, it also reheats beautifully, so you can cook once and enjoy the leftovers for lunch or dinner later in the week.
Tools I used to make this recipe:
Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli
Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli. Healthy, super easy, and so much better tasting than takeout! Everything cooks right in the crock pot, even the sauce.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
- 1 1/2 pounds flank steak, cut across grain into thin slices
- 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons chili-garlic paste, Sriracha, or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus additional to taste
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 large cloves)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 5 cups broccoli florets (about 2 small crowns)
- Prepared brown rice or quinoa, for serving
- Chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds, optional for serving
- Coat a 4-quart or larger slow cooker with nonstick spray. Place the beef in the bottom.
- In a small bowl, stir together the beef broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, honey, rice vinegar, chili-garlic paste, and garlic. Pour over the beef, then stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 1 1/2 hours.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup water and cornstarch. Stir into the slow cooker with the beef and sauce, then place the broccoli on top. Cover, turn the heat to high, and cook another 30 minutes, until the broccoli is tender. Serve warm over rice, sprinkled with green onions and sesame seeds as desired.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of beef broth or water to keep it from drying out.
- I have not tried doubling this recipe, but I think that you could easily do about 1.5 times the amount. Watch the cooking time, as it may need to be adjusted slightly.
- Because flank steak is fairly lean, I would not recommend leaving the slow cooker on low longer than the recipe specifies, or I worry it might overcook. If you have a programmable slow cooker that switches to keep warm, this might be an option, but the best choice is to be able to check it right away at the 1 1/2 hour mark.
Serving Size: 1 (of 4), about 1 1/2 cups broccoli beef and 1/2 cup brown rice
- Amount Per Serving:
- Calories: 519 Calories
- Total Fat: 14g
- Saturated Fat: 6g
- Cholesterol: 113mg
- Sodium: 1375mg
- Carbohydrates: 46g
- Fiber: 6g
- Sugar: 14g
- Protein: 43g