If you want to know how to make a healthy beef and broccoli stir fry with spaghetti squash at home, give this quick 30 minute recipe a try. A guaranteed healthy meal prep friendly recipe the whole family loves!
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I’m a huge fan of making stir fry style recipes for a few reasons. First, they are usually packed with veggies (but don’t feel boring or are great for getting your kids to try something new perhaps) and make me inherently feel healthier for that reason alone.
Secondly, they’re usually really easy to prep and whip up even on busy nights. While you always have the option to marinade whatever meat you are using, I can vouch and say this recipe really tastes so good made all at once.
While I am a die hard for this flavor packed Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai, Bacon Cauliflower Fried Rice or this Thai Basil Beef dish, we really are huge fans of just a simple yet classic beef and broccoli style stir fry.
To keep things light, I went with an easy, Whole 30, low carb beef and broccoli recipe that didn’t make me or my family feel like we were eating “diet” food. That’s the true key to finding balance in my opinion.
While I personally enjoy spaghetti squash as a noodle substitute, this recipe is perfect by itself, with regular rice or noodles, or you can opt for my favorite cauliflower rice recipe to pair with it instead. It’s truly versatile for any dietary needs.
Grab all the recipe details below, watch the quick video for helpful tips and read through the post below to help with the cooking techniques and any easy substitutions for cooking at home.
- Large Cast Iron Skillet
- Knife & Cutting Board
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- One Larger Mixing Bowl
- Spatula or Tongs
- 9×9 inch Pyrex or Baking Dish
While this recipe really is quick and simple to follow with only a handful of ingredients, I do want to break it all down to help provide some context for cooking techniques and possible substitutions as well. Let’s dive in.
What beef cut is best for making beef and broccoli stir fry?
There are a lot of cuts to choose from, but my favorite cut to use is flank steak. Flank steak is a thinner, lean, affordable cut of beef that is easy to cook up quickly and works really well with sauces and marinades.
I’ve gravitated towards flank steak for family recipes when making tacos with this Adobo Marinated Flank Steak and with these delicious pepper and provolone flank steak pinwheels, but it really is a great cut for thinly slicing and using in a stir fry recipe.
When using a flank steak for stir fry, you need to slice pieces very thin (around 1/4 of an inch at most). Slice against the grain for a more tender bite as well. Additionally, you can get even thinner slices to brown and sear nicely if you partially freeze the meat before slicing if desired.
Slice the meat and place the pieces into a large mixing bowl. I prefer to coat the meat with a little sea salt and arrowroot powder (sub with cornstarch or xanthan gum) to help brown the meat and thicken the sauce.
How to prep your spaghetti squash “noodles”:
Like the spaghetti squash pad Thai, I am a huge proponent of microwaving your sliced and halved spaghetti squash. Squash takes a long time to cook, and I genuinely think in this instance the microwave is the best way to go. If you want tips on roasting the squash, check out this recipe.
Here are some tips for cooking a spaghetti squash in the microwave-
- Start by place the entire squash into the microwave. It should be completely whole at this point. Microwave it for 5 minutes like this and then carefully remove it.
- Doing this first, helps soften the outside to help you slice it (this makes it a little safer and easier to do). I cut the top and the bottom off of the squash to create a flat, stable surface for slicing. Slice down the middle.
- Once it is halved lengthwise, use a spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds.
- To microwave it, get a dish or Pyrex that can be microwaved and that will fit at least one half (or both) of your squash pieces. If the squash is very large, you may have to split them up and cook each one separately.
- Place water at least and inch or so in the bottom of the dish, place the squash into the water cut side down and microwave on high for 7-10 minutes to start. Carefully check it (it will be hot). When the squash is tender (press down on the outside rind) then it’s cooked. Add another 5 minutes or so if it needed more time.
- Remove it from the baking dish and let it cool a bit before using a form to scrape out the insides into a bowl.
Not a fan of spaghetti squash? Sub with any other veggie noodle, white or brown rice of your choice or even serve with rice noodles or ramen noodles if desired.
How to make a low carb whole 30 beef and broccoli sauce:
My sauce is legitimately three main ingredients:
- Coconut Aminos – You can sub with soy sauce if preferred
- Fresh Garlic – Minced
- Fresh Ginger – Minced
Add some to your cooked meat mixture and then some to your broccoli and onion mixture to keep the flavor profile consistent throughout. The arrowroot powder used on the meat is an easy, gluten free way to naturally thicken the sauce mixture as well.
Beef and Broccoli Cooking Tips:
- Have all your ingredients prepped before starting.
- Use a heavy bottom pan (like a cast iron pan) for searing your steak first. I use sesame oil over olive oil because it adds flavor and has a higher smoke point.
- Add the oil in a large pan and sear your steak in 2-3 batches to promote searing not steaming. Once seared add a little bit of your sauce to soak into the meat. Then remove it from the pan and place in a separate bowl.
- After you cook the steak, add your broccoli florets and onion and remaining sauce mixture. Sauté until tender and the broccoli takes on a more vibrant green color.
- Add the beef back into the mixture and mix it all together and cook a few minutes more to allow the arrowroot powder to thicken the coconut amino sauce.
- Take the mixture and serve by making stuffed spaghetti squash or place the spaghetti squash into the pan or bowl and serve the stir fry over it.
- Garnish with green onion, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes for a pop of color and little heat.
Meal Prep Tips:
I find this recipe reheats surprisingly well in the microwave. What I think works best is to keep the beef and broccoli mixture separate from the spaghetti squash when storing leftovers or pre-portioned amounts for a few days.
Heat the squash and beef stir fry separate and then mix when you go to serve. This helps with even reheating and for better portion management.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did. If you have any questions or want to leave feedback, it truly means the world to hear what you think below (drop a rating or a comment)!
- 1.5 -2 lb. Flank Steak
- 2 tsp. Sesame Oil
- 4 cups Broccoli Florets
- 1/2 Yellow Onion, sliced thin
- 1/2 tsp Fresh Ginger, minced
- 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup Coconut Aminos (or soy sauce)
- 1 sp. Arrowroot Powder
- 1 Spaghetti Squash
- Roast or microwave your spaghetti squash to start. See blog post for more in-depth details. I recommend microwaving because it takes about 15 minutes and can be done while finishing your food prep and cooking your stir fry.
- Slice your flank steak into 1/4 inch thin pieces, cut against the grain. Place in a large mixing bowl and toss in the arrowroot powder.
- Prep your broccoli florets, slice your onion, and mince the garlic and ginger and set everything aside.
- Preheat a large skillet (cast iron preferred) on higher heat. Add 2 tsp. sesame oil to the pan and let it heat up. Sear half the steak and stir after a minute. Remove from the pan and repeat this process again. Cooking in batches reduces steaming the meat and promotes searing.
- Mix all the meat back into the pan, add half the ginger, garlic, and coconut aminos. Mix for about a minute and remove the beef and set it aside in a bowl.
- Add in your broccoli, onion, and remaining ginger, garlic, and coconut aminos. Stir the browned bits of steak off the bottom of the pan and let the broccoli mixture cook about 3-4 minutes until tender. Mix the beef back in and sauté until the liquid thickens a bit (about 3-4 more minutes max).
- Remove from the heat and serve over the spaghetti squash or serve inside and stuff the spaghetti squash if preferred.
- Garnish with sesame seeds, green onion, and red pepper flakes if desired.
If you feel like your spaghetti squash looks really watery, place it in a strainer and push down with a spoon or spatula to remove and squeeze out some of the liquid before using as a noodle substitute.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 563Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 179mgSodium: 562mgCarbohydrates: 18gNet Carbohydrates: 6gFiber: 12gSugar: 10gProtein: 67g