There are recipes that think they are low maintenance (the friend who tells you she doesn’t plan to dress up for dinner, then shows up 30 minutes late in heels), and then there are recipes that are actually low maintenance (the friend who arrives in sweats to hang out and eat Asian food on your couch). This healthy Crockpot Beef and Broccoli belongs in the latter category.
A true “dump and go” crockpot meal, 100% of the cooking for this slow cooker beef stir fry recipe happens right in the crock pot. No pre-browning of the meat on the stove or separate sauce reduction is necessary, and the results are spectacular.
Beef and broccoli is standard-issue fare on just about any Asian takeout menu, but the flavor of this recipe is anything but basic.
The beef is tender, the sauce is rich and savory, and the broccoli, which benefits from a low and slow “bath” in the sauce, is exceptionally appealing. The sauce works itself into every little fiber and floret.
Those in a hurry and looking for an option outside of the slow cooker can check out my Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli. Those looking for a Paleo beef and broccoli or keto beef and broccoli can modify this crock pot recipe or check out my stovetop Healthy Beef and Broccoli.
And those looking for a simple, scrumptious, and healthy slow cooker beef and broccoli recipe that’s beloved by Mongolian beef connoisseurs and fussy eaters alike can stop right here. You’ve found the only crock pot beef and broccoli recipe you’ll ever need!
Easy Crockpot Beef and Broccoli—Takeout Flavor at Home
Beef and broccoli might be a takeout tradition, but it’s one of the easiest and most budget-friendly stir-fry dishes you can make at home.
For this healthy crockpot beef and broccoli, you’ll need:
- Beef. I opted to make the slow cooker beef and broccoli with flank steak. It’s ultra tender when thinly sliced across the grain, and the size and texture of the pieces naturally lend themselves well to stir fry-style dishes.
Unlike a stew (this Crock Pot Beef Stew, for example), I would not recommend making crockpot beef and broccoli with chuck roast. Chuck roast is fattier and fairs best when it is browned first, then cooked for an extended period of time.
This easy-peasy slow cooker beef and broccoli calls for an easy-peasy cut of beef. Flank steak is the one!
- Broccoli. For the best texture, use fresh versus frozen broccoli. Short on time or feeling extra lazy? Pick up prechopped broccoli florets.
- Oyster Sauce. Think of oyster sauce as ketchup’s Asian cousin. It provides instant flavor and helps thicken the sauce. You can find in the Asian section of your grocery store. If you have a shellfish allergy and cannot have oyster sauce, try swapping hoisin.
- Soy Sauce. Its salty umami flavor is core to this recipe’s balance and all-around delectability. Swap in tamari to make this slow cooker beef and broccoli gluten free.
- Garlic + Red Pepper Flakes. To keep everyone awake.
- Honey. Most beef and broccoli recipes you’ll find also call for adding sugar. 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 easy Asian takeout 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.
How to Thicken the Crockpot Beef and Broccoli Sauce
In addition to being easy and flavorful, this crockpot beef and broccoli is also low maintenance.
- The glossy sauce thickens right in the slow cooker with the other ingredients, no reducing in a separate pot on the stove required.
- Instead, mix a cornstarch slurry right into the slow cooker during the last 30 minutes of cooking. It will thicken up and coat every forkful.
I also use this method in my Crockpot Chicken and Broccoli recipe.
When to Add the Broccoli to the Slow Cooker
For best results, wait to add the broccoli until the last 30 minutes of cooking. This will guarantee that your broccoli is crisp-tender. Add it too early, and you may be left with mushy, watery broccoli instead (no thank you).
- No extra steps! The broccoli goes into the crockpot at the same time as the cornstarch slurry for the sauce (see above). Since you’ll be popping back over to the slow cooker anyway, simply handle both at the same time.
- As mentioned in the ingredient rundown above, I recommend fresh over frozen broccoli. If you do decide to use frozen broccoli, thaw it first, then add it to the slow cooker as directed.
- Please note that the texture of frozen will be more mushy. If this doesn’t bother you, then you have nothing to worry about.
Serving, Freezing, and Reheating Crockpot Beef and Broccoli
- We served our beef and broccoli with brown rice. To make it a more low-carb, keto, and/or Paleo-friendly meal, use cauliflower rice.
- Like other stir-fries, this crock pot beef and broccoli reheats beautifully. Cook it once and enjoy the leftovers for lunch or dinner later in the week.
- You can also freeze this beef and broccoli for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat as directed.
Recommended Tools to Make Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli
Crockpot Beef and Broccoli
- 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.
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