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This slow cooker beef and broccoli is the perfect easy recipe for a busy weeknight. Set it in the morning and come home to a delicious, healthy meal that’s ready to eat! The best part? There’s no need to spend money on takeout when you can make this tasty dish at home.
Why make Crockpot Beef and Broccoli?
My favorite time of year is the transition from summer to fall. I love the cooler temperatures. It’s as if as soon as the temperature gets slightly cooler, my body immediately sends out some sort of alarm saying it needs comfort food. Soups, stews, cozy dinners!
This is why this slow cooker beef and broccoli is the PERFECT meal to break in your crockpot/slow cooker.
It’s not just for cooler weather though. We have made this in the dead of summer when we were just absolutely craving take out but didn’t want to actually order it. 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!
Ingredients needed to make the Best Slow Cooker Beef with Broccoli
For exact amounts, make sure to check out the full recipe below.
- Boneless beef chuck roast – my favorite cut of meat for this recipe because it’s inexpensive and easy to find. It’s also a relatively beautiful cut of meat that has a decent amount of marbling and can sometimes be a tad tougher than other cuts of meat, which means it will benefit from being cooked slowly in the crockpot. The end result will be a tender, fall apart, flavorful piece of meat that’s perfect for this dish.
- Beef consommé or beef broth – either of these will help to keep the meat moist during cooking and also adds flavor. If you don’t have them on hand, you can substitute with chicken broth or even water.
- Low sodium soy sauce – a key ingredient in this dish because it adds umami flavor. Umami is one of the five basic taste sensations and is often described as a “meaty” or “savory” flavor. It’s an important component in many Asian dishes, including this one.
- Dark brown sugar – this helps to balance out the savory flavors in this dish and adds a touch of sweetness. If you don’t have dark brown sugar on hand, you can substitute with light brown sugar or even regular granulated sugar.
- Sesame oil – this adds flavor and a touch of richness. If you don’t have sesame oil on hand, you can substitute with vegetable oil or even olive oil.
- Garlic – because garlic is the best and shouldn’t be omitted!
- Frozen broccoli florets – frozen broccoli is a great ingredient to use in this recipe because it’s easy to find and doesn’t require any prep work. You can simply add it to the crockpot frozen and it will cook up perfectly. If you don’t have frozen broccoli on hand, you can substitute with fresh broccoli florets.
- Cornstarch – this helps thicken the sauce and gives the sauce a beautiful shiny look.
- Liquid from slow cooker – since cornstarch needs warm liquid to activate, using the liquid from the slow cooker is the best.
- Cooked white rice – to serve the beef with broccoli! More options below.
How to make a Healthy and Delicious Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli Recipe
For detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card below.
Whisk ingredients together. In the insert of the slow cooker, whisk together the liquids, sugar, and garlic.
Add the meat. Place the cubed beef into the insert of the slow cooker with the liquid and gently toss to coat in liquid – it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Set the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
Make the cornstarch slurry. Using the liquid from the slow cooker, carefully whisk together cornstarch with the liquid and then pour it back into the mixture and stir to incorporate.
Add the frozen broccoli florets. After you’ve added the cornstarch in, this is when you’ll add the frozen broccoli florets to the crockpot and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
Serve! This recipe is delicious served over rice or noodles. You can also top it with a sprinkle of green onions or sesame seeds for extra flavor and color. If you’re looking for a lower carb option, you can serve it over cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles.
Tips for success
Cornstarch needs heat to thicken and activate.
If you find that your mixture is not thickening, simply drain the liquid from the slow cooker and place it in a small pot over the stove over medium-high heat. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir into the liquid. This should thicken the sauce. However, you really don’t need to do that because the heat of the liquid from the slow cooker should be more than warm enough.
If you have had the lid open for a while, the temperature of the liquids may have gone down and not have been high enough in temperature to activate the thickening agent of cornstarch.
Additionally, if you decided to throw in your frozen broccoli florets BEFORE you added in your cornstarch mixture, that would have brought down the temperature of the liquids so you would need to cover and bring it up to temperature again.
Substitutions and variations
- If you don’t want to use beef, you can use chicken but if you’re going to use chicken, I highly suggest making my chicken and broccoli recipe instead.
- You can use any type of beef that’s suitable for slow cooking. Chuck roast is a good option because it’s inexpensive and easy to find. Other cuts of beef that would work well in this recipe include brisket, short ribs, flank, or even stew meat. Keep in mind different cuts of beef other than what this recipe was tested with will yield different results as they cook differently and may need different cook times.
Storing and reheating instructions
This slow cooker beef and broccoli will keep in the fridge for up to four days. You can reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat. If you’re reheating it in the crockpot, you may need to add a little bit of water or beef broth to keep it from drying out.
Can you use frozen broccoli florets instead of fresh? If you are using frozen broccoli florets, you do NOT need to defrost them prior to putting them in the slow cooker. You add them in at the same time as you add the cornstarch mixture. Since you cook an additional 30 minutes, this will ensure that your fresh broccoli will be cooked through.
When do you add frozen broccoli to the slow cooker? You add them in at the same time as you add the cornstarch mixture.
How long to cook frozen broccoli in the crockpot? As stated in the instructions, after you add the cornstarch mixture, you cook for 30 more minutes. This should be more than enough time to cook and defrost your broccoli florets.
Can I cook this faster? 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 want something faster, I suggest using my Instant Pot beef and broccoli recipe instead.
Do you put the meat in raw/uncooked? Yes, you put the meat in the slow cooker raw, in sliced pieces.
How do I know when the beef is cooked? The beef is cooked when it’s tender and easily shredded with a fork. You can check the internal temperature of the beef with a meat thermometer. The beef should be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit before you shred it.
If this slow cooker beef and broccoli sounds good to you, these other recipes may be enticing too:
- Instant Pot beef and broccoli
- 20-minute teriyaki chicken and broccoli
- General Tso’s chicken ramen
- 25-minute beef and snow pea stir fry
- Slow cooker Korean tacos
Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli
- 1 pound 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 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Frozen broccoli florets, (as many as desired, I believe I used almost 3 cups)
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 4 tablespoon of liquid from slow cooker
- Cooked white rice
The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.
- In the insert of the crockpot, whisk together beef consume or stock, soy sauce, dark brown sugar, sesame oil, and garlic.
- Gently place your slices of beef in the liquid and toss to coat.
- Turn slow cooker on low and cook for 4-6 hours. See notes below.
- When done, in a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and cooking liquid, pour into crockpot, stir to mix well. Toss in your broccoli florets. Cook on low for an additional 30 minutes to thicken up the sauce. Please see notes if your sauce does not thicken.
- Serve hot over white rice.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Photography by Sarah Fennel