Healthy beef stir-fry made in the slow cooker or Instant Pot! This paleo, whole30, and gluten-free recipe is healthy but still has the flavors of your favorite take-out.
Updated 2019 with Instant Pot instructions
Ok, I’ll be the first to admit that this is technically not a stir-fry. No hot oil was used and no, no wok or skillet either. Having said that, the flavors you enjoy about a stir-fry are there. I love Chinese food but what I don’t love is MSG. Needless to say, I’m extremely picky about where I get my take out Chinese food from. To be honest, I’m flat-out picky about take-out in general.
I love a good homemade Chinese recipe. Like my cashew chicken, this recipe is super easy to cook on your own, and you can make it in either your slow cooker or Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker).
For the cut of beef, I used a rump roast that I sliced into strips. Use the cut that fits your budget. If you don’t have or don’t like beef, you can even swap it out for chicken or pork. You can use additional or different stir-fry ingredients. Those might include: green onion, bean sprouts, or bamboo shoots. Will the vegetables get soggy if you cook them in the slow cooker from the beginning? Soft, yes. If your food is going to sit on the warm setting for a few hours then yes the veggies will get extremely tender. If this is going to be the case, I suggest you wait to add the vegetables until when there’s about an hour of cooking time left.
To me, this recipe is all about the sauce anyway. All the sauce ingredients you can pronounce and you probably already have them in your pantry. I know if might not look like there’s enough sauce after you stir everything up, before it starts to cook. Trust me, it’s more than enough sauce. All the food will not be submerged in liquid, this is okay. As you can see from the after pics, there’s plenty of sauce.
If you want to thicken the sauce, you can stir in an arrowroot slurry (try 2 tsp arrowroot starch & 1 tbsp water to start) into the stir-fry and let it cook until the sauce thickens. This is an optional step that doesn’t change the taste, it will just thicken the sauce a bit.Print
- 2 lbs beef, cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 2 bell peppers, sliced
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 cup broccoli, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, sliced
- 2 tsp oil (for IP)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos (or low-sodium soy sauce if not paleo or whole30)
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil or sesame oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp honey (optional, omit for whole 30)
- Add beef, bell peppers, onion, broccoli and carrots to the slow cooker.
- In a small bowl, mix together SAUCE ingredients. Pour sauce into the slow cooker. Stir to mix well.
- Cook HIGH 2-3 hours or LOW 4-6.
- Turn on the IP and select Sauté. Once hot add oil to the pot. Add the beef and sear until browned, 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove beef & set aside.
- Add bell pepper, onion, carrots, and garlic and cook for a 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Turn off and add beef back to the IP.
- In a small bowl, mix together sauce ingredients. Pour the sauce into the IP. Stir to mix well.
- Close lid and seal valve. Set high pressure and cook for 5 minutes. Quick release pressure.
- Stir in broccoli. Cover & cook on WARM 10-15 minutes or until broccoli is tender.
This is great served over riced cauliflower for a whole30 and paleo meal. Of course white or brown rice can be used depending on your particular dietary restrictions.
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