The flavorful beef and broccoli crock pot recipe is made with a combination of the flavors from pepper steak and classic beef and broccoli. In just a few hours and with little preparation, you'll have a comforting, warm and hearty dinner.
Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli is a slow-cooked dish made by combining beef, broccoli, and seasonings in a slow cooker. The ingredients are slow-cooked on low heat for several hours, resulting in tender, juicy beef and perfectly cooked broccoli in a savory sauce. This dish is often served over rice or noodles and is a popular one-pot meal for those who want a comforting, hearty, and flavorful meal without the hassle of active cooking.
- Boneless beef chuck roast: cut into 2 inch chunks. You can also use top sirloin steak.
- Fresh broccoli florets: frozen broccoli can be used too (see notes below).
- Garlic: fresh minced garlic is the most flavorful.
- Beef broth
- Beef bouillon cubes: these are added to the beef broth to make a concentrated, more flavorful and savory sauce.
- Soy sauce: dark or light are both fine, although dark is preferred.
- Sesame oil: also labeled toasted sesame oil. It should be dark sesame oil, not light.
- Brown sugar: both light and dark work fine.
- Cornstarch: cornstarch is mixed with cold water to thicken the sauce. You can also use flour.
STEP 1: Make the concentrated sauce by heating the beef broth in a mixing bowl in the microwave until steaming. Add the beef bouillon cubes, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, brown sugar, black pepper and salt to the hot broth. Whisk sauce until smooth, crushing the bouillon cubes with the back of a spoon.
STEP 2: Put the boneless beef chuck roast pieces and minced garlic into the slow cooker. Pour sauce on top. Whisk together the cornstarch and cold water in the mixing bowl until smooth. Add to the slow cooker and stir into the sauce and beef.
STEP 3: Close the lid and set to LOW for 5 hours or HIGH for 3 hours. During the last hour add the broccoli florets. Stir and close the lid.
Serve over rice or noodles topped with red pepper flakes or sesame seeds if desired.
How To Store
Store leftover slow cooker beef and broccoli in a covered container for up to 5 days in the fridge. It can be frozen in freezer safe bags for up to 3 months. To avoid mushy broccoli when freezing, store the sauce separately.
Recipe Tips and Shortcuts
- All slow cookers cook at a slightly different speed and temperature depending on the brand and age of the appliance. If it's your first time making this recipe, pay careful attention to the timing. You don't want to overcook the beef or it will begin to shred. Your slow cooker may cook a little quicker or slower than mine.
- Don't put the broccoli florets in until end or it they will turn mushy.
- For a little extra flavor, sear the meat on a frying pan for about 5 minutes just to brown the outsides a bit. This cooks in the juices and will add a little more flavor to the recipe, albeit it is an extra step.
- If using frozen broccoli, use about 2 tablespoons less beef broth to make the sauce. Frozen broccoli will create some water as it cooks, diluting the sauce slightly. Avoid this by decreasing the amount of liquid that is put into the crock pot initially.
- For a more brothy sauce, don't worry about adding the cornstarch.
Yes, you can use frozen broccoli instead of fresh broccoli florets with a few minor adjustments. Add frozen broccoli during the last 30 minutes of cook time and decrease the amount of beef broth used to make the sauce by about 2 tablespoons.
According to the FDA, "you should always defrost meat before putting it in the slow cooker. If you place frozen meat in a slow cooker it can spend too much time thawing, allow bacteria to multiply, and make you sick. Using defrosted foods will also ensure your meal cooks evenly and all the way through".
Yes, beef and broccoli can be made in the crock pot up to 5 days ahead of time if storing in the fridge. It can also be made as a freezer meal, as it will last about 3 months when frozen.
Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli
- 2 lbs boneless beef chuck roast cut into 2 inch chunks
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- ¾ cup beef broth
- 3 beef bouillon cubes
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ¼ cup brown sugar light or dark
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch plus ¼ cup cold water
- 4 cups fresh broccoli florets *see notes for frozen
- red pepper flakes optional, for serving
- sesame seeds optional, for serving
- Make the concentrated sauce by heating the beef broth in a mixing bowl in the microwave until steaming. Add the beef bouillon cubes, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, brown sugar, black pepper and salt to the hot broth. Stir until a smooth sauce forms, crushing the bouillon cubes with the back of the spoon.
- Put the boneless beef chuck roast pieces and minced garlic into the slow cooker. Pour sauce on top. Whisk together the cornstarch and cold water in the mixing bowl until smooth. Add to the slow cooker and stir into the sauce and beef.
- Set to LOW for 5 hours or HIGH for 3 hours. During the last hour add the broccoli florets, stir and close the lid.
- Serve over rice or noodles topped with red pepper flakes or sesame seeds if desired.