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Pepper Steak Stir Fry Recipe

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This easy pepper and steak stir fry recipe, comes together in just 30 minutes and it’s better than take-out! It’s got everything I look for in a meal (from both a nutrition and an enjoyment standpoint): carbs, veggies, protein, and FLAVOR! Serve up this stir fry steak with rice for a completely delicious meal.

Stir fry makes a regular dinner appearance at our house and in the Weeknight Dinner Club, because it’s a great meal for quick, easy, and delicious meals and there are so many flavors and so many ways to enjoy it.

Bowl of rice with steak stir fry on top.

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Close up of steak stir fry with peppers.

What You’ll Love About Steak Stir Fry Recipes

  • Delicious flavors
  • Balanced meal with protein, carbs, and veggies
  • Thick and glossy sauce like your favorite take out spot
  • Made with simple ingredients
  • A family favorite

Steak Stir Fry Ingredients

  • Oil – Use a vegetable oil that can take high heat – like avocado oil, canola oil, or peanut oil.
  • Bell peppers – I love the mix of colors and flavors with red and green, but you can also use yellow and orange peppers as well. I would recommend using 2 green and then 2 sweet peppers for the best balance of flavors.
  • Steak – Flank steak works really well in this pepper steak stir fry, but you could also use another cut like sirloin steak or skirt steak that will stay tender if it’s cooked quickly. When you are cutting flank steak for stir fry, you want to cut it into thin strips against the grain. The flank steak from my Moink Box was perfectly tender!
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic cloves will give the best flavor, but you could use frozen or jarred garlic for a convenient shortcut.
  • Ginger – Use fresh ginger or use frozen ginger cubes for an easy alternative.
  • Soy sauce – Use your favorite soy sauce, you can also use low sodium soy sauce, though you may need to adjust the seasonings. You could also use tamari instead of soy sauce to make this recipe gluten-free.
  • Brown sugar – This gives a sweet flavor to the stir fry. You could also use honey or coconut sugar if you prefer.
  • Corn starch – The corn starch helps create a thick and glossy sauce, but you can omit it if you prefer. You may need to cook the sauce a few extra minutes to help it thicken up.
  • Rice vinegar – This helps balance the flavors of the stir fry marinade for steak. You could also use white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or even a white balsamic vinegar.
  • Sesame oil – Use a high-quality toasted sesame oil for best flavor.
Ingredients to make steak stir fry recipe.

How to Make Steak Stir Fry

This is an overview on how to make steak stir fry, the detailed instructions can be found below in the recipe card.

Make rice. You can also prep this ahead and make rice.
Prep ingredients. As with any stir fry recipe, you want to have all of your ingredients ready to go before you start cooking as it cooks quickly! Slice peppers, slice flank steak, mince garlic and ginger.

PRO TIP: Freeze steak for 30 minutes or so to make it easier to slice. Slice it against the grain.

Make sauce. Stir together garlic, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar and cornstarch until smooth.
Steak stir fry sauce marinade in a bowl.
Stir fry peppers. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet (the largest you have or wok) and stir fry peppers for about 4-5 minutes.
Peppers for stir fry steak and peppers in skillet.
Stir fry steak. Heat remaining vegetable oil in the same skillet and add steak to skillet. Season with salt and pepper and cook until steak has browned.
Sliced flank steak in a skillet for stir fry.
Finish stir fry. Add peppers and soy sauce mixture back to the skillet and stir frequently, cooking for an additional few minutes, or until sauce is thick and glossy.
Steak stir fry with peppers in a skillet.


Can I add extra vegetables to this beef stir fry recipe?

Yes, you could virtually use any vegetable; you’ll just need to be mindful of the cooking time and cooking order if using a variety of vegetables. Carrots, broccoli, onion, zucchini, mushrooms, green beans, snow peas, and bok choy would all be delicious.

What’s in pepper steak stir fry sauce?

This recipe for pepper steak stir fry sauce is simple and made with ingredients that you probably already have:

  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Soy sauce
  • Brown sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Sesame oil

Can you make pepper steak stir fry without cornstarch?

Yes, you can omit the cornstarch if you like, the sauce will not be as thick and glossy like it is as Chinese restaurants, but will still be full of flavor.

Is this pepper steak recipe healthy?

Yes! You can read all about my disdain for the is it healthy question, but this meal has protein, veggies, carbs, and FLAVOR – everything you need in a meal. The full nutrition stats can be found below the recipe card.

Is beef pepper stir fry Chinese?

Pepper steak is a Chinese-American dish that consists of sliced beef, sliced bell peppers, bamboo shoots and a soy sauce-based sauce. It originated from Fujian cuisine, where pork was originally used and the seasonings a bit lighter. The American adaptation dates back to 1948.

Bowl of pepper steak stir fry.

Storage Instructions

Store pepper steak stir fry leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

How to reheat

Reheat the stir fry in the microwave, or for best results, in a hot skillet, just until heated through.

What to Serve with Beef Stir Fry

Rice is, of course the classic stir fry with steak base, but you also have some other options:

  • Rice – Use a rice maker for perfect rice every time.
  • Noodles – Use rice noodles, soba noodles, or even regular spaghetti noodles.
  • Cauliflower rice – Add in even more veggies to this meal by serving the pepper steak stir fry recipe over a base of cauliflower rice OR combine some rice with cauliflower rice for a happy medium.
Close up of pepper steak stir fry.

How to Feed Stir Fry Steak to the Whole Family

I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in.

I like to serve this pepper steak stir fry with rice, but you can also serve it with noodles if you prefer. I would use a longer noodle like spaghetti or a flat noodle like linguine or Pad Thai noodles.

I would recommend serving small pieces of the homemade steak stir fry in a pinch bowl (taster bowl) if it’s a new or learning-to-like it food. Serve the meal with a few items you know your kids will eat, like fruit, milk, and/or bread and butter.

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Skillet with steak stir fry and peppers.

More Easy Stir Fry Recipes

If you like this flank steak stir fry, you might like some of these other easy stir fry recipes:

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Bowl of rice with steak stir fry on top.

Pepper Steak Stir Fry Recipe

  • Author: Emily Dingmann of myeverydaytable.com
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Skillet
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Diet: Gluten Free
Save Recipe


This flavorful pepper steak stir fry recipe is ready in just 30 minutes! Quick, easy, and packed with nutritious ingredients – it’s a weeknight dinner winner!


  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 16 oz. flank steak
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil


  1. Prep ingredients: 
    Prepare rice according to package instructions. 
    Slice bell peppers. 
    Slice flank steak against the grain in ¼ inch slices. **Freeze for 30 min to make this easy
    Mince garlic. 
    Mince ginger.
  2. Mix up sauce. Whisk together minced garlic, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and cornstarch in a small bowl. 
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or wok. Add peppers and ¼ teaspoon salt to skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes. Transfer peppers to a plate. 
  4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or wok. Add steak and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper to skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes, until browned. 
  5. Add peppers and soy sauce mixture to pan and stir occasionally, cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until sauce has thickened. 
  6. Serve peppers and steak over rice. 


  • Nutrition facts do not include rice.
  • If you like it spicy, add 1/2-1 sliced jalapeno.

Keywords: pepper steak stir fry, pepper steak stir fry recipe, recipe for pepper steak stir fry

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  1. Molly

    This was amazing! Everyone loved it: husband, teenager, 9-year-old, and me. I make stir fry pretty often and this sauce was the best I’ve made! I will make it again soon!

  2. dorinda

    This recipe was great,.. and i used chicken because I didn’t have beef. However I was confused about the garlic and ginger…. it says mix with soy , sugar etc, in a sauce but then later it says add garlic and ginger to peppers when cooking…not sure what it means,. but mine was all mixed together…

    • Emily

      Oh thank you so much for catching that, I just updated it. I tested it both ways and they both work. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Jenna

    When (and to what) do you add the rice wine vinegar? It’s listed in the ingredients but not the action steps. Thank you!


  1. […] This easy pepper and steak stir fry recipe comes together in just 30 minutes, and it’s better than takeout! It’s got everything I look for in a meal (from both a nutrition and an enjoyment standpoint): carbs, veggies, protein, and FLAVOR! Serve up this stir-fried steak with rice for a completely delicious meal. Get the recipe: Pepper Steak Stir Fry Recipe […]