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Take-Out, Fake-Out: Beef & Broccoli {Crockpot}

Set and forget this easy Take-Out, Fake-Out: Beef & Broccoli {Crockpot}!

Time to break out the crockpots :) one of the best parts of the cooler weather is being able to breakout the crockpot to make delicious soups, stews, and cozy dinner meals such as this one!

You all know my obsession with chicken & broccoli, well I’m also obsessed with beef and broccoli so this slow cooker version is right up my alley. I love setting up a meal and just forgetting about it. You have the freedom to do whatever you want while a delicious meal is cooking away. Let me tell you – your whole house will smell AMAZING and the flavors in the sauce are to die for. I probably could’ve dunked all my rice in it, but I needed sauce for the next day as these make great leftovers :)

I can’t wait for all the slow-cooker recipes coming this fall/winter. The only thing that irked me in the past about them was the fact that I had to make them on the weekends cause I have this fear of having the slow cooker on while I was at work. I always worried it’d burn down my house. I found a solution. An electric on/off timer. I bought this and I can now set the time of when I want the slow cooker to start and when to stop. I’ll likely set it only to start because I’ll time it so when I get home, it’ll be done so I can just unplug it :) It’s a great investment and I can’t wait to cook more in my slow cooker! Fear of my house burning down should subside.

Okay, let’s have some fun! I know it’s random but I thought I’d throw this in here. Seven things that you most likely didn’t know about me:

  1. I have perfectly straight teeth and I had no braces.
  2. I have no arm hair. No joke. If we ever cross paths, I can show you.
  3. I did ballet and jazz for 8 years.
  4. I have a fascination with aviation (even though I have anxiety with flying) and I’ve always dreamed of becoming an air traffic controller.
  5. I’ve never gotten any tickets, although I probably just jinxed myself and will get one on the drive home today.
  6. I can type 104 words a minute. You can take the test here.
  7. I’m triple jointed.

Tell me something I might not know about you! :)

Take-Out, Fake-Out: Beef & Broccoli {Crockpot}
Recipe type: Main Entree, Slow Cooker
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb. boneless, beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 cup beef consumme or beef broth
  • ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp. sauce (from the crockpot after dish is cooked)
  • Frozen broccoli florets (as many as desired, I believe I used almost 2 cups)
  • White rice, cooked
  1. In the insert of the crockpot, whisk together beef consume, soy sauce, dark brown sugar, sesame oil, and garlic.
  2. Gently place your slices of beef in the liquid and toss to coat.
  3. Turn crockpot on low and cook for 6 hours.
  4. When done, in a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and cooking liquid to create a slurry, pour into crockpot, stir to mix well. Cook on low for an additional 30 minutes to thicken up the sauce.
  5. Toss in your broccoli florets then serve hot over white rice.
Note about cooking time: Your crockpot may differ in temperature than mine, I suggest cooking this for 4 hours on your first go-round of this dish. 6 hours in the crockpot seems to be giving a lot of people "shredded" beef instead of slices, so decrease cooking time by 2 hours and go from there. Mine turned out fine with 6 hours.

If you are using frozen broccoli florets, you do NOT need to defrost them prior to putting them in the crockpot. You add them in at the same time as you add the cornstarch slurry. As stated in the instructions, after you add the cornstarch slurry, you cook for 30 more minutes. This should be more than enough time to cook and defrost your broccoli florets.

If you're using fresh broccoli, you do NOT need to steam them prior to putting them in the crockpot. You add them in at the same time as you add the cornstarch slurry. Since you cook an additional 30 minutes, this will ensure that your fresh broccoli will be cooked through.

Yes, you put the meat in the slow cooker raw, in sliced pieces.

Source: adapted from BS Recipes



  1. Andy
    04/05/2014 at 7:22 am

    Just wanted to say thanks for you recipe! It has become one of my favourite dishes and I make it roughly every 2 weeks. I find the most important ingredient to be the soy sauce as it greatly impacts the overall flavour. I’m using a particular sweet soy sauce myself although I find that half&half (with a more regular salty one) works well too. In addition I add onions and chili which are almost standard in all my dishes. Overall this dish never fails and absolutely everyone loves it!

    • Julie
      04/06/2014 at 12:03 pm

      Thanks for letting me know that you enjoy this so much, Andy!

      • Atwas911
        11/18/2014 at 1:57 pm

        Thank you for taking this recipe and re-posting it.. The original writer felt the need to post pictures of her children all over the recipe.. I don’t need to see all that unless they are an ingredient.

    • 12/08/2014 at 3:13 pm

      I had the need cooking for 6 hours. Am I able to add more to make more sauce or will it ruin the taste?

      • Julie
        12/09/2014 at 11:20 am

        No, you can make more sauce if you want.

  2. Abby
    04/05/2014 at 3:15 pm

    Hi, I’m new to cooking. Can I use regular brown sugar in place for dark brown sugar? What’s the difference?

    • Julie
      04/06/2014 at 12:04 pm

      Hi Abby, I’m assuming by regular brown sugar you mean light brown sugar? You can definitely use light brown sugar in this dish. The difference between light and dark brown sugar is just the prominence in flavor and sweetness.

      • Natalie
        11/10/2014 at 12:37 pm

        I don’t usually cook with sugar. For this recipe (which is now a family fav!) I sub the brown sugar for coconut palm sugar. It’s a 1:1 substitution with similar taste and sweetness, but an added nutritional punch.

  3. Karen
    04/08/2014 at 7:08 am

    II have my 25th Chinese cooking class this evening. If I tell the instructor that I slow cooked beef and broccoli last night I ‘ll be kicked out of class. I like that you can use a much cheaper cut of meat with the slow cooker than you would a stir fry. Good idea. Shhhh don’t tell.

    • Julie
      04/09/2014 at 8:05 am

      Haha, I promise I won’t tell :)

  4. Kaylyn Marshall
    04/12/2014 at 8:07 am

    If I don’t have sesame oil (not available at my commissary…) what can I use as a substitute? Or is it even necessary? Could olive oil OR vegetable oil work?

    • Julie
      04/12/2014 at 11:40 am

      Hi Kaylyn, you can just omit it.

  5. Gregory Craig
    04/15/2014 at 2:54 am

    Loved the recipe, thank you! I added lotus roots and cashews and it went down a dream!

    • Julie
      04/16/2014 at 7:33 am

      Yum, sounds delish, Gregory!!

  6. Jeannie
    04/29/2014 at 8:38 pm

    Hey Julie! I have been thinking about this recipe all week! I am working late tomorrow so I plan on making this before I go to work, so when my husband comes home, he can feed my 3 and 4 year old boys (polar opposite eaters). I just know it’s going to be a hit…will keep you posted! Thanks! love your blog!

    • Julie
      04/30/2014 at 8:25 am

      I’m so excited for you to try this Jeannie! I hope your family loves it! :)

  7. Amy
    05/28/2014 at 12:59 am

    I’m not much of a cook but I’ve been experimenting and found this recipe. I’ve never had “homemade” Chinese food before. This was the best Beef with Broccoli I’ve ever had. Maybe partly because of the satisfaction of making it myself but it really was delicious. My sister asked me where I “bought the sauce”. I was almost offended but then had to laugh because we both know that’s how I’d have done it in the past. Making it from scratch is SO much better. Thank you!

    • Julie
      05/28/2014 at 12:55 pm

      I’m so happy to hear this, Amy! That’s funny about the store-bought sauce, you should definitely take that as a compliment and own it! Yay :)

  8. 05/30/2014 at 6:29 am

    Thanks for a great meal!! My husband loved it! I followed the recipe and it came out perfect! Better than going to a restaurant! Thanks Again!

  9. Liz
    06/02/2014 at 7:30 pm

    The sauce is outstanding! But I felt that beef chuck roast is not the right cut of meat for this dish. Do you have a suggestion on a different cut that would most resemble the taste of authentic chinese beef and brocolli?

    • Julie
      06/04/2014 at 8:39 am

      Maybe try sirloin? Or something that’s more fatty?

  10. nina
    06/05/2014 at 8:43 pm

    I do not see that anyone has made this recipe. How has it turned out?

    • Julie
      06/05/2014 at 9:07 pm

      Nina, if you read the comments, LOTS AND LOTS of people have made this..start from the bottom and read up.

  11. Louise
    06/11/2014 at 6:49 am

    I made this for our dinner tonight after finding it on Pinterest and I have one word to describe it………….YUM!!!!!!!! Thanks so much for sharing this. So easy to make to (double win!)

    • Julie
      06/11/2014 at 9:23 am

      Yay! Glad it was a success for you!

  12. Edward
    07/13/2014 at 4:10 am

    The corn starch didn’t do jack. Disappointing

  13. Julie
    08/04/2014 at 12:44 pm

    I love this, added some bell peppers for a little extra color….AMAZING

  14. Pru
    08/14/2014 at 4:56 pm

    Super disappointed with this recipe. Went back to throw in broccoli and mix the corn starch sauce and the beef was mush and the sauce was almost completely evaporated. Some of the beef was also burned. And this was only after 5 hours on low. I am one sad mama.

  15. Stephanie
    08/20/2014 at 5:02 pm

    wondering… I made this tonight and it is delicious… but my family eats a TON of food and I really need double this recipe for all of us. If you want to make a larger amount, do you just double each ingredient? Wasn’t sure if that would work the same as most recipes…

    • Julie
      08/21/2014 at 8:00 am

      Yup! Just double the amount of each ingredient :)

  16. Rachael
    08/20/2014 at 6:57 pm

    I just wanted to post that I had trouble with my corn starch not thickening up too (Rapunzel brand, fresh & new box). I believe it was as issue with adding the frozen broccoli (bringing down the temp too far). After 45 min and 2 T extra CS with no thickening, I moved the crockpot contents to a pan on the stove to briefly boil. In no time I had a nice, thick sauce. Hope this helps someone because this is a super yummy meal!

    • Julie
      08/21/2014 at 8:00 am

      Thanks Rachael for the tip!!

  17. Gina F.
    08/24/2014 at 2:23 pm

    I had defrosted almost 3lbs of chuck roast that needed to be cooked today. I googled and found this recipe. I ended up with close to 2.5lbs of meat after trimming so I doubled the ingredients and put everything in before we left for church. My house smells amazing, and I cannot wait for dinner time. I snuck a taste and it’s delish. THANK YOU!

    • Julie
      08/25/2014 at 7:58 am

      So happy you enjoyed this!

  18. anita
    08/26/2014 at 4:29 pm

    Hello again! made this last night and it was so good I couldn’t wait to bring in the leftovers for lunch! I too had a watery sauce so I put it on the stovetop with a little more slurry and stirred it constantly on low heat and it came out perfect. I find your recipes to be very user friendly & reasonable to make, especially for a working mom like me. I wish more people would understand your hard work and take a little time to adjust the recipes to their tastes rather than blame you for not appealing to them. geesh people. Anyhoo, Thank you another awesome recipe!

    • Julie
      08/27/2014 at 8:00 am

      Thanks for that, Anita :) I agree. I wish people didn’t blame me for their mistakes either but I guess it’s just how it goes, ya know? I’m so glad you enjoyed this!

  19. Joe
    09/05/2014 at 8:36 am

    Made this last night – it was wonderful. Thank you and keep the recipes coming. Your recipes have enabled me to make Asian food at home that we really enjoy.

    • Julie
      09/05/2014 at 7:08 pm

      Aw I’m so happy to hear that Joe! :)

  20. amy
    09/27/2014 at 2:49 pm

    Ok I just followed all directions to the letter…ish. I didn’t cut beef into strips cuz I don’t like handling raw meat.
    My fingers are crossed on this recipe because it added up really fast. As I was standing in checkout I almost chickened out when I realized how many times I could have ordered this at a Chinese place-made for me-no dishes or grocery store for the same price! However, there is something to be said about homemade and knowing exactly who handled the food and what went in it. I will check back in 4-6 hours!

  21. amy
    09/27/2014 at 7:45 pm

    This is what I did. After 2 hours I added a sliced onion, at the 4.5 hour mark I removed the fully cooked beef and sliced it (remember I put it in whole to begin with). It was still a bit tough/dry looking, I returned it to Crockpot and added the frozen broccoli. The apartment smelled overwhelmingly of the soy sauce so I added some more brown sugar.
    I attempted to thicken the sauce after adding the sugar…didn’t work, very thin.
    I had a bowl after 40 minutes and it was ok. I decided it didn’t thicken because I obviously don’t know how to use cornstarch properly. After some experimenting I succeeded but the sauce was bland. I added a smidge of the soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar to bring back flavor and let the sauce boil and thicken in a separate pot.

    Once everything was mixed again I had another small bowl. I’m afraid it’s just not to my taste- plus very expensive for the yield. I am going to be trying a few of your other recipes, wish me luck!

    I do want to note that the roast sliced, frozen broccoli cooked perfectly and once I worked out my mistake with the cornstarch the entire dish looked very much like the picture. So for the other reviews with issues, I would suggest double checking your own methods before blaming the recipe.

  22. Sarah
    10/01/2014 at 1:39 pm

    Hi Julie-

    Does the size of the crockpot matter? Mine is 3.5 Quarts and I want to be sure it’s ok (I have a larger one and a smaller one in storage, but use the 3.5 regularly). So excited to try this recipe tonight!

    • Julie
      10/01/2014 at 9:24 pm

      3.5 quarts is perfect!

  23. Ariel
    10/12/2014 at 8:43 pm

    I may have already commented on this recipe, but it bares another. I’m making this for the third time now, and I just have to rave about it again. Everyone who tries it, loves it, and begs me for the recipe. Sooooo good. Mine usually comes out a little too watery/saucey but, to me, it just goes better that way over some white rice. Love love love it!

    • Julie
      10/13/2014 at 6:40 pm

      So happy to hear this and thank you for commenting!!

  24. Stephanie
    10/21/2014 at 10:41 am

    Ah! I have everything set up and all I have is light brown sugar. Will it totally mess up the recipe?

    • Julie
      10/21/2014 at 3:38 pm

      Nope, you’ll be fine!

  25. Jessica Ashley
    10/23/2014 at 10:17 pm

    I made this the other day during my lunch break. Super easy and quick. My boyfriend was amazed by the dish and by me, thanks:))

    • Julie
      10/24/2014 at 7:21 am

      Glad it worked out for you! :)

  26. Jesse
    10/27/2014 at 1:19 pm

    The beef broth really took over a lot of the sauce flavor and made the recipe taste a little too soupy for me. Needs a different sauce on it.

  27. Michelle
    10/29/2014 at 1:25 am

    How would stew meat do in this recipe?

    • Julie
      10/30/2014 at 7:40 am

      Not the best. I personally think it’s too tough.

  28. Christina
    10/30/2014 at 5:38 pm

    Sooo I don’t have 4-6 hours to make this today. Can I put it on high for about 2&1/2 hours? Also I’m trying it with chicken as opposed to beef.

    • Julie
      10/31/2014 at 7:10 am

      I’m sure it’d work but I can’t say for sure because I haven’t tried it that way.

  29. CG
    11/02/2014 at 6:30 pm

    Haven’t read through all the comments, but I can’t be the first to point out – you don’t use raw broccoli, right? We were going crazy trying to figure out why our broccoli didn’t cook all the way through until we clicked around and realized you were using frozen broccoli. It all makes sense now. The sauce is delicious thought!

    • CG
      11/02/2014 at 6:32 pm

      Ah! Never mind…see the frozen part now.

  30. Sarah
    11/06/2014 at 6:54 pm

    Hi! I have a question about sesame oil- what kind do you use or recommend? Ive never used or purchased it prior to making this (& I have a few others calling for it) but my local grocery store Stop & Shop only has 2 types, I bought Sushi Chef Baycliff Company 100% pure sesame seed oil, I cant recall the other brand but it was about $4 more so I went with this one and Im wondering if its not correct. Any info/advice is greatly appreciated, thanks! ill let you know how it turns out, I know any issues with it will be my own fault :-)

    • Julie
      11/07/2014 at 1:48 pm

      I use a sesame oil from the Asian grocery store. The pure sesame seed oil you bought is fine :) any sesame seed oil works. No specific brand needed! I hope you enjoy!!

  31. Charlotte
    11/08/2014 at 2:45 pm

    Hi I am currently making this now and I am a little confused ..when the meat is done am I supposed to take the meat out and dump all the liquid out of crockpot then add cornstarch and some of the liquid with the drained meat? Or leave all that liquid in crock pot and add cornstarch to that?

    • Julie
      11/08/2014 at 4:05 pm

      Hi Charlotte – sorry it’s confusing! I just scooped out a bit of the cooking liquid and put cornstarch in it (to get rid of clumps) and then poured it back into the crockpot. However, sometimes the liquid isn’t hot enough to get the thickened consistency so you might need to drain more liquid out and put it in a small pot on the stove to warm it hotter and then add cornstarch, whisk until thickened, then add back into crockpot. Hope that helps a bit!

  32. Nita Standke
    11/08/2014 at 9:09 pm

    I just got up from dinner and had to thank you for such a great recipe. My Celiac husband love, love, loved it! I used gluten free soy sauce and beef broth. It’s so hard to find delicious, easy to prepare GF friendly recipes. This was a big hit!

    • Julie
      11/10/2014 at 7:49 am

      So great to hear, Nita! I’m glad you and your husband loved it!

  33. Charlotte P
    11/11/2014 at 6:59 pm

    After reading all the comments, I decided to thaw my frozen broccoli. When adding the corn starch mixture, I turned my crockpot to high to help the thickening. After 15 minutes, I add the broccoli to heat thru. Turned out great. Thanks for the recipe.

  34. Kia Mackey
    11/15/2014 at 9:06 pm

    I have been saying for a while that I was going to make beef and broccoli but I haven’t. I think that it has taken so long because I wanted to buy a wok to cook it in. After seeing this crock pot recipe I will definitely try it this way and hopefully it turns out good.

    • Julie
      11/16/2014 at 8:53 am

      I hope it turns out great for you and you enjoy it!!

  35. Danyella McCulley
    11/19/2014 at 1:40 pm

    I am making this for a group of 14, so I tripled everything. Wondering if it is supposed to me a lot of liquid in the beginning. Your recipe said, “toss to coat.” I don’t need to toss because the liquid covers the meat.

    • Julie
      11/20/2014 at 8:11 am

      If you triple this, then yes, it should be a lot of liquid. You’re right, you won’t need to toss to coat if that’s the case!

  36. Kim
    11/20/2014 at 8:13 pm

    Yummy and yahoo! I had almost given up hope on the ease of using a crock pot. I prefer fresher food, and there was just too much canned stuff going into all the crock pot recipes. Plus the outcome was never good. Then I found this! It is healthy and really good – a true pleaser for all the different picky eaters in my family. I used sirloin and discovered that the dish will cook great on high in 2 hours if you don’t get your act together in the morning! The only downside is the sauce didn’t thicken as much as I would have liked. And the broccoli gets a little mushy if you let it sit for a couple of hours for a busy family to eat in shifts. But those are minor things, and this will definitely be a keeper. I look forward to trying some more of your recipes!

    • Julie
      11/22/2014 at 8:12 am

      Wonderful that you’ve given slow cooking another chance!! Glad you enjoyed this!

  37. Amy
    12/03/2014 at 7:20 pm

    Wow! this was excellent! thanks for posting it!

  38. Jessica
    12/05/2014 at 11:21 am

    Made this yesterday; was easy and came out delicious! Cooked for the 6 hours, didn’t end up with “shredded” beef (used fresh broccoli) ;)

    • Julie
      12/07/2014 at 9:28 am

      Glad you enjoyed this!

  39. Clara
    12/07/2014 at 8:22 pm i just tried this recipe for the first time tonight and it was AMAZING! I cooked the meat for 4 hours, added the cornstarch and broccoli, and in half an hour was in heaven! I cooked this for my boyfriend too and he was very impressed. He says we are never getting beef and broccoli at a Chinese restaurant ever again ):

    • Julie
      12/09/2014 at 11:18 am

      That’s such a great compliment!! So glad you enjoyed this!!

  40. Shana
    12/10/2014 at 8:57 pm

    I made this tonight for my family. Everyone absolutely loved it! I had shredded beef because of how long I left it in the crockpot but none of us minded at all. The taste is what is most important and it was delicious! I will definitely be making this again. Two thumbs way up!

    • Julie
      12/12/2014 at 7:59 am

      Yay! So glad everyone enjoyed this, Shana!

  41. Lauren
    12/13/2014 at 11:22 pm

    I made this tonight, but I used sirloin as the meat. It smelled delicious all day and tasted delicious when I finally got to eat it. I will make this again for sure!

    • Julie
      12/15/2014 at 7:52 am

      Glad you enjoyed!

  42. Paige
    12/16/2014 at 5:30 pm

    I see some people asked about cooking it on high for 2 hours. Did anyone have good results? I only have about 2.5 hours to spare to make it tonight! :|

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