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Pepper Steak

This Pepper Steak is an easy stir fry recipe with savory sauce that you can serve with rice or noodles! It’s easy to customize and comes together fast.

Bonus: Leftovers make a great freezer meal!

A skillet filled with Pepper Steak in a brown sauce with onions and peppers.

Pepper Steak

When it comes to easy dinner recipes, it doesn’t get much better than classic Pepper Steak. My mom made this all the time growing up, although I think I’ve enhanced the sauce a tad! It has the best flavor combinations and enhancers that really made this pop! (More on that below!)

Serve this on a bed of rice, or toss in some cooked stir fry noodles. BONUS: Leftovers freeze well! Read on for everything you need to know. 

About The Sauce

This savory pepper steak sauce has a combination of beef and chicken broth which adds depth of flavor. Soy sauce and hot sauce enhance the other flavors in the dish, and just a touch of hot sauce is used, which doesn’t make it spicy. Honey offsets the savory flavors, leaving us with a balanced sauce that is still savory. A little bit of garlic and ground ginger rounds everything out, and a cornstarch slurry thickens up the sauce at the end. Leaving us with a restaurant quality meal that doesn’t take long to make!

BONUS: You probably have all of these sauce ingredients at home already! Nothing fancy here, just great flavors!

How to Make It

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Tenderize the steak with a meat mallet and cut into thin strips. Pat dry and sprinkle with seasoning, toss to coat. (Pro Tip: Cut away areas of excess fat. Set aside and fry them with the peppers for added flavor, then use kitchen tongs to remove and discard.)

Strip steak on a plate after being tenderized and thinly sliced for Pepper Steak.

Heat olive oil and sear the meat in batches for 3-4 minutes. Remove and let it rest. Deglaze the pan with white wine (or chicken broth) and let it reduce by half. Add the onions and peppers and let them soften for 4 minutes.

A plate of seared strips of steak next to a skillet with onions and bell peppers.

Add the sauce. Bring it to a gentle boil and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch slurry. Reduce to low once desired thickness is obtained.

A skillet with cooked onions and peppers with pepper steak sauce being added.

Add the steak back. Stir to combine and heat through, then serve with rice.

Adding cooked steak to a skillet with peppers, onions, and sauce and stirring to make Pepper Steak.

Pro Tips

  • Be sure to slice the meat against the grain for the most tender results. Tenderizing the meat with a meat mallet also makes a huge difference.
  • To control the sodium in this recipe: Consider using low sodium soy sauce and/or broth.
  • Hot Sauce: The hot sauce in this recipe doesn’t make it hot/spicy, it’s just a small amount that is used to enhance the other flavors. I use Frank’s Hot Sauce.
  • White Wine: Chardonnay and Pinto Grigio are great wine options to deglaze the pan with. An equal amount of chicken broth may be used if you don’t cook with wine.
  • 7 oz. of stir fry noodles or thin spaghetti can be added to the sauce at the end instead of serving with rice if preferred.
  • While it may seem counterintuitive to use both chicken and beef broth in this recipe, it actually adds a really nice depth of flavor. If preferred, all beef broth can be used.
  • To control the sodium in this recipe: Consider using low sodium soy sauce and/or broth.
  • Mushrooms make a nice addition to this recipe as well. They can be sautéed separately and stirred in at the end, (that’s the best method), but they can also be added when the onions/peppers are added.

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. 
  • Leftovers do freeze well. 

A white plate with Pepper Steak in a brown sauce next to white rice.

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Pepper Steak with onions and peppers in a skillet with sauce.

Pepper Steak

4.80 from 10 ratings
This Pepper Steak is an easy stir fry recipe with plenty of savory sauce that you can serve with rice or noodles.

Ingredients

Meat Seasoning

  • A generous ¼ teaspoon each: garlic salt, onion powder, celery salt, black pepper

Sauce

  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch, + 3 tbsp. cold water
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup soy sauce, low sodium
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger

Stir Fry

  • 1 ¼ lb. strip steak, or flank steak or top sirloin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup dry white wine, see notes
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 cups cooked rice, for serving. See notes.

Instructions

Prep Work

  • Combine cornstarch + 3 Tablespoons water in a covered container and shake to combine. Set aside in a cool place.
  • Combine remaining sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • Measure out remaining ingredients prior to beginning.

Prepare the steak:

  • Place saran wrap over the steak and use a meat tenderizer to pound it flatter on each side. This makes a huge difference as it becomes much more tender. Cut away any large areas of fat and set it aside. Pro Tip: Consider frying the fat in the pan with the peppers for even more flavor, then you can use kitchen tongs to remove and discard.
  • Slice the meat into thin strips (against the grain), the meat will plump up more when cooked. (You can also pound thicker slices flatter once they've been cut.) Pat completely dry, sprinkle with meat seasoning, and toss to coat
  • Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the meat in batches for 3-4 minutes, (overcrowding the pan will cause the steak to steam instead of fry). Set aside and let it rest.

Make the Stir Fry:

  • Add white wine to the skillet over medium heat and use a silicone spatula to “clean” the bottom and sides of the skillet over medium heat. Let the liquid simmer until reduced by half, 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the bell peppers and onions and sauté for about 4 minutes. Add the sauce mixture and bring it to a gentle boil. Let it simmer/reduce for 2-3 minutes. Take the cornstarch mixture and give it a shake. Slowly stir it into the bubbling sauce. Let it continue to bubble gently until desired thickness is obtained. Reduce heat to low.
  • Add the cooked steak back to the sauce and allow it to heat through. Serve with rice. See notes for instructions on how I cook rice.

Notes

Pro Tips:
  • White Wine: Chardonnay and Pinto Grigio are great wine options to deglaze the pan with. An equal amount of chicken broth may be used if you don’t cook with wine.
  • 7 oz. of stir fry noodles or thin spaghetti can be added to the sauce at the end instead of serving with rice if preferred.
  • While it may seem counterintuitive to use both chicken and beef broth in this recipe, it actually adds a really nice depth of flavor. If preferred, all beef broth can be used.
  • To control the sodium in this recipe: Consider using low sodium soy sauce and/or broth.
  • Mushrooms make a nice addition to this recipe as well. They can be sautéed separately and stirred in at the end, (that's the best method), but they can also be added when the onions/peppers are added.

My process for perfectly cooked rice:
  • Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. (I add 2 chicken bouillon cubes to the water for enhanced flavor.)
  • Add 1 cup of white long grain rice and let the liquid come back up to a boil.
    Cover tightly and reduce heat to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes. (I set my heat to low.)
  • Remove from heat and let it stand in the pot for 10 minutes with the lid on, any rice stuck to the bottom will release.
  • This yields 3 cups of flavorful, perfectly cooked rice. I use a Dutch oven for this which conducts heat well.
  • Note that other varieties of rice may require different liquid measurements and/or cooking times.

Storage:
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. (Leftovers do freeze well!)

The Nutrition Information is per serving, there are 4 servings in this recipe, and the rice is included. Note that the nutritional information is an estimate and can vary based on brands used, etc.

Nutrition

Calories: 560kcal, Carbohydrates: 60g, Protein: 37g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 90mg, Sodium: 1560mg, Potassium: 713mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 1057IU, Vitamin C: 66mg, Calcium: 47mg, Iron: 4mg
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27 comments on “Pepper Steak”

  1. I was looking for a quick and easy pepper steak and onions recipe. Found it. Soooo good and easy. I will be saving this recipe to make again. Only thing I didn’t have was celery salt. Didn’t miss it, perfect.

  2. Delicious 😋 

  3. So far this is the very first recipe on this whole site that I have not enjoyed. Followed it to the T. Mostly, it seemed to have a very bitter taste 🤷🏻‍♀️ I used Chardonnay for my white wine. Maybe you can tell me where I went wrong. Ok love all the other 9 recipes I’ve tried from here so far though! Will definitely keep trying them! 

    • If I had to guess, I would say the peppers that you used may not have been ripe, there isn’t anything here that would produce a bitter result, unless the wine didn’t have a chance to cook off. It needs to reduce by half, and then it continues to reduce as the recipe completes. It is there just to enhance the other flavors. But my money is on the peppers.

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