Stir-fry is easy to make once you learn the basics. Start with this easy beef and vegetable stir-fry recipe and you’ll gain confidence quickly.
Why you’ll love it: Stir-fry meals are fast, healthy, and so delicious!
How long it takes: 21 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: sharp knife, cutting board, measuring utensil, large skillet or wok
Making stir-fry is something I think every cook should know how to do. Why?
- Easy: If you know the basics, making stir-fry is a quick and easy meal.
- Healthy: Lean protein + tons of veggies + rice = balanced and healthy meal. Choose brown rice if you can resist the sweet fragrance of jasmine rice. I can’t.
- Versatile: You can use up any veggies in your fridge with any kind of meat you have on hand.
Once you know the basic formula, it is so easy to throw together a quick stir-fry. Easy as pie. Or, easy as stir-fry? ‘Cause pie is hard to make. Easy to eat though.
Anolon sent me something off my wish list — a stir-fry pan from their Nouvelle Copper line — and it makes this recipe a breeze. Any deep, large skillet/frying pan will work for stir-fry. A pan with high sides like the one in the photos works well.
Protein + Vegetables + Sauce + Crunch (optional) + Something to serve it over = Stir-fry recipe for success!
- Beef — use a lean cut such as flank steak. Cut against the grain.
- Chicken — ground, cut into bite-sized pieces, or thinly sliced
- Pork — ground or thinly sliced
- Shrimp — frozen or fresh
- Crispy tofu — For crispy cubes, try air fryer tofu. It’s easy to make, with only one tablespoon of oil.
The possibilities for vegetables really are endless. Here’s some suggestions, but don’t be limited by what you see on this list.
- onions (yellow, red, green onions, leeks)
- sugar snap peas or snow peas
- bean sprouts
This recipe has a very simple sauce with beef broth, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes. Sauces are pretty much interchangeable in stir fry recipes. Keep reading for more ideas.
Or buy your favorite pre-made sauce from the store if you are a beginner or in a hurry. I prefer homemade but there are lots of great options on the store shelves.
Enhance the flavor of your stir-fry and/or sauce by adding grated ginger or minced garlic.
Cornstarch is essential to thicken the sauce so that the sauce really coats everything. Arrowroot starch is a good gluten-free alternative.
Crunch! (optional add-ons)
- chow mein noodles
- water chestnuts
- bamboo shoots
A few more tips
- Have your pan super hot!
- Cook items with similar cooking times together. For example, in this recipe, I start with the carrots and onions, which take a little longer to cook, and add the broccoli, beef, and peas later.
- Make sure everything is prepped, and ready to go before you turn your pan on. Stir-fry moves quickly so you’ll want to have everything ready. That includes your sauce ingredients.
This beef and vegetable stir-fry is a simple stir-fry recipe that could easily be customized based on what is in your fridge or what you like in your stir-fry. For this recipe, I use beef, broccoli, carrots, red onions, and a simple sauce.
Serve beef and vegetable stir-fry with jasmine rice (I could live on that stuff) and top it with sliced green onions to add fresh flavor.
Slice the beef very thinly against the grain. Make sure your pan is sizzling hot, add the beef, stirring constantly, and remove it from the pan the instant it’s done. Cooking the meat first and removing it from the pan before adding the other ingredients will help ensure that the meat isn’t overcooked. Stir the meat in right before serving.
It you’re not crazy about soy sauce, Pure Wow has a list of ten alternatives to soy sauce in a stir-fry. Check out the recipes below for lots of sauce ideas.
Really, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Pretty much anything goes in a stir fry. Check out the list in this post for fresh vegetable ideas. Don’t forget canned add-ins like baby corn, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, or bamboo shoots.
Prep your vegetables and meat up to a day ahead and store in covered bowls or zip top bags. Remember to keep the vegetables separated according to when you’ll add them to the stir-fry, i.e. longer cooking vegetables together, fast cooking vegetables together.
More Stir-Fry Recipes
- Sweet chili chicken stir-fry
- Chicken stir fry with ginger and basil
- Sweet and sour chicken
- Shrimp and vegetable stir fry with lemon and garlic
- Sesame beef and vegetables
- Shrimp and broccoli stir fry
- Egg roll in a bowl — a different type of stir fry!
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (more to taste)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb. flank or flat iron steak, cut into very thin slices against the grain
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup thinly sliced carrots, cut diagonally
- 1 small red onion, sliced vertically, or about 1 cup
- 2 cups broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
- 1 ½ cups sugar snap or snow peas
- 4 cups cooked rice, for serving
- 2 or 3 green onions, thinly sliced, for serving
- In a small bowl combine sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch with salt and pepper. Toss sliced beef with cornstarch mixture; set aside while you prep the vegetables.
- Heat oil in a wok or large pan over high heat. Tilt pan and swirl to coat the sides. Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or desired doneness is achieved. Remove beef from pan and place on a plate.
- Return pan to high heat and add the onions and carrots; stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the broccoli; stir fry for 3 more minutes. Stir in sauce mixture (stir sauce mixture well before adding), beef and any accumulated juices, and snow peas; cook for another 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened and peas are cooked to desired doneness.
- Serve over rice and garnish with sliced green onions.
- Use whatever meat or vegetable you like. This recipe is very versatile.
- Recipe card updated 5/5/2022.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
Follow the links below to find out what everyone else made in their shiny new Anolon pans!
Well Plated – Spicy Braised Green Beans with Feta
Climbing Grier Mountain – Tex-Mex Risotto with Chorizo and Red Peppers
Dessert for Two – Skillet Spanakopita
Cooking with Books – Orange Ginger Shrimp Stir Fry
Disclaimer: Anolon sent me a pan to try out and use for the creation of this recipe. I was not compensated to write this post. Post contains an affiliate link to a cookbook on Amazon. Thanks for supporting Rachel Cooks.