Gluten Free Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

One of the things I miss the most after being diagnosed with Celiac disease and going on a gluten-free diet, is the convenience of being able to eat anything, anywhere, anytime. Pre-GF days, the only question was “What are you hungry for?”, or “Do they have something the kids will eat?”. Now, getting ready to go out to eat is similar to preparing for battle. You have to have lists, plans, strategies. And back up lists, plans & strategies, just in case.

Pre-GF days, we’d order in food occasionally, it’s not that it was a weekly occurrence, but it was nice to be able to order in on a whim. One of our favorite order-in foods was Chinese food. I’ve been able to recreate sweet & sour chicken balls, as well as fried rice, but seriously, both of those dishes do take quite a bit of time to make. Sometimes, you want something quick. And that is where today’s dish comes in.

This Beef and Broccoli Stir-fry was quick to put together (with cooking the brown rice taking the most amount of time), and since it had the brown rice, the beef strips, and the vegetables, it was a complete meal. There was no need for other side dishes to accompany it.

Gluten Free Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
  • 1 lb. stir-fry beef (or boneless round steak, cut into thin 3-inch strips)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped (or thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup carrots, thinly sliced (or you could use red pepper)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional, adds some nice heat)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1-2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  1. In a glass bowl, whisk together the 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup soy sauce, minced garlic and black pepper. Add the stir-fry beef strips and marinade for half an hour. (Now is a good time to start the brown rice, since it takes about 45 minutes to cook in the microwave.)
  2. In a large frying pan or wok, heat the 2 Tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. Add the stir-fry beef and marinade, and fry until the meat is no longer pink, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the onions & carrots, and fry, while continuing to stir) for another 2 minutes. Add the broccoli and continue stirring and frying for 1 more minute.
  4. In a glass measuring cup, whisk together the 1 cup cold water, 1/4 cup soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and cornstarch. Pour this mixture over the beef & broccoli mixture, and cook until sauce thickens, about 2-3 more minutes.
  5. Serve immediately over hot rice. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds before serving.



  1. says

    Looks delicious, Jeanine. We feel the same way about recreating those favorites at home.
    Good luck with the scholarship. I went to Eat Write Retreat last year and it was the best food blogging conference I’ve been to. The Canadians who won the scholarships last year were also great fun and a pleasure to meet.

  2. Barbara says

    This looks delicious! I was reading through the directions and ingredient list to see if I have everything I need to make this (almost!) but discovered that the cornstarch (and more importantly, how much) is not listed. Would you fill that in for us? Thanks!

  3. says

    This is a gorgeous stir-fry Jeanine. I plan to make a few easy tweaks so that my corn allergic son can have it. He adores Chinese food, but can only have homemade versions because we haven’t ever found a place that makes corn-free Chinese food! Lol. :) Good luck! This recipe looks like a contender for sure!

  4. Crysi says

    Made this for dinner tonight & it was awesome. I think I’ll reduce the amount of sesame oil next time though. It was a tad overpowering, but still delicious. I’ve been missing beef & broccoli.

  5. Helen says

    I made this for my husband’s birthday this evening and what a hit it was!!! He has been diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease for over a year now and his favourite food has always been Chinese food. Made this and he just loved it!! Thank you so much, we’ll be having it again for sure!

  6. Jennifer says

    Delicious!!! Thank you so much for this recipe. I made it for my gluten-intolerant husband who use to live/work in Beijing. He loves – and misses – Chinese food. He raved about dinner, said that it was the best non-MSG Chinese food that he has tasted. I tweaked your recipe by omitting the sesame oil and adding lots more vegetables (green peppers, celery and snow peas). Thanks again for sharing.

  7. JJDs Mom says

    I made this tonight. I was surprised we could make something this good. I think we will tweak it a bit for our tastes. I will use less of a thickener because i like a thinner sauce. The flavor was very good. My husband loved it. I think we could probably use the same sauce for lots of meat and vegetable combinations. This is going to be on our menu once a week. Perfect meal for two working parents! Thanks for posting it!

  8. Gena says

    Best Gluten Free recipe I have made! Even my gluten loving family LOVED it! Finally a meal we can all eat! Thank you so much!

  9. Kischa says

    Wow! Loved it! Its a relief to finally feel like I ate something. Thank you for this. Ive just started the gluten free life. Trying to cope is difficult, but recipes like this help.

    • says

      It’s a bit of a learning curve, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time, Kischa! The easiest thing for meals is back to basics – simple ingredients, and cooking yourself instead of packaged meals. It’s more work in the beginning, but well worth it. :)

  10. Camille says

    I have to share. I’ve made this recipe one time before. It was a huge hit between my boyfriend and his cousin. As I was preparing the meal last night I wondered what I was doing wrong…it was the wrong recipe! Too late I was more than half way through. I tried to pull it off as the original but I couldn’t fool anyone. Imposter! They shouted as the fork hit their mouth. I thought perhaps my taste buds are off since I’m getting over a cold. Nope. I had leftovers today…worse than I thought. I have some make up beef and broccoli to take care of soon.

    I’m happy I ran across the right recipe and will save it for very near future dinners. As I have to “make up” for my mistake last night. Thanks again for posting this delicious recipe! There really is none like it.


    • says

      Haha, Camille, you’ll have to start a cookbook binder, or pinterest board, of the RIGHT recipes. too funny. Glad to hear that this recipe raised the bar though, thanks for letting me know. :)

  11. Debbie says

    Once again Jeanine, your recipes are the best! Made this last night and it was sooo good! I never thought I could make good Chinese food. Funny how I never tried before I became gluten-free. I will definitely make this again and again.

  12. Danielle says

    This is amazing!! It has made it into our regular rotation! My husband HATES Chinese food and would never eat it with me. This is literally one of his favorite meals now and he requests it every week!

  13. Nancy says

    This is a delicious dish! I’ve tried many a time (unsuccessfully) to make a meal that tastes a bit like Chinese takeout. This one is a hit! The sauce is fantastic!

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  15. Julie says

    Oh man, this is good! Made my night (and will make my night every day this week thanks to leftovers)! I used sirloin steak, which is what the butcher at Whole Foods recommended. I also used both carrots and red peppers, and added kale in for some more goodness. Served over quinoa.

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