Ultra flavorful pepper steak stir fry tastes even better than your favorite take-out! This is a great recipe that you can meal prep for the week or throw together for dinner!

thinly sliced beef and peppers steak in pan

Garlic Lovers unite!

This pepper steak stir fry recipe has been in the works for some time. It’s definitely in the running for the most delicious stir fry recipe I’ve ever shared with you. Not to mention that it’s a million times healthier than the stuff you get from a restaurant! Hands down tastes better than your favorite takeout joint and is ready in mins!

There are so many reasons why I love this recipe. My pepper steak recipe is healthy, loaded with protein, colorful from peppers, and pretty simple to make at home. Marinate the meat right before making it or on Sunday to get a jump start on Monday night dinner. Then enjoy leftovers because they get even more garlicky as they hang out in the fridge.

How to make pepper steak:

bowl of rice topped with pepper steak stir fry

Ingredients to make the best pepper steak:

  • Beef: You can use a few different cuts for this. Thinly sliced top sirloin steak, flank steak, top round steak, or skirt steak will all work here. I suggest slicing the meat into thin beef strips, on the bias against the grain to help make it tender and cook up super quick without drying out.
  • Veggies: a couple of red bell pepper or green bell peppers, cut into cubes, and an onion, cut into thick slices. The peppers add a natural sweetness to the dish that works beautifully with the other ingredients.
  • Aromatics: grated ginger or paste and a handful of garlic cloves. You can always cut back on the garlic if you aren’t a huge fan. Go with 1-3 cloves if you’re cooking for a date!
  • Sauces + Stock: You’ll need stock (or broth) soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil for this recipe. You can find all of these sauces in most mainstream grocery stores. Keep in mind that since we’re using two different sodium-rich sauces and stock for this recipe, I suggest using low-sodium soy sauce and low-sodium broth here. I found the recipe to be too salty if I used the regular versions here.
  • Seasonings: Nothing out of the ordinary here! You’ll need sugar, cornstarch, and red pepper flakes to season the pepper steak stir fry.
  • Rice for serving: I like to serve this recipe with fluffy white rice cooked in my favorite rice cooker. You can serve this on its own, with brown rice, or with wok-fried noodles!
ingredients to marinate meat with on white marble
steak sauce in measuring cup

How to make this easy pepper steak recipe:

  1. The sauce/marinade. Here’s where it all starts. We’re going to prep the sauce in a small bowl. Add low sodium soy sauce, chicken or beef broth, oyster sauce, water, brown sugar, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and cornstarch and whisk to combine. Use a little bit of this to marinate the beef, and then add the ginger and garlic to the remaining sauce. Allow the beef to marinate in the mixture for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight. The longer it sits, the more flavor the beef will develop.
  2. Sear the beef. When you’re ready to cook, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ½ of the beef and do a quick sear on both sides. This should only take about a minute or so. Remove the meat to a dish and then repeat with the remaining beef. When the beef is cooked, we’re going to saute the veggies. Add the onions and give them a 1-minute head start before adding the peppers and sauteing. Keep in mind we want to do this at high heat, so the peppers remain crunchy but get that blistered char on the outside. Add the seared meat back to the skillet. Then pour the remaining marinade into the pan and stir to combine. The cornstarch will cause the sauce to thicken nearly instantly, so stir here to coat all the meat and veggies.
  3. Serve immediately. Top the pepper steak with sesame seeds and serve warm!
peppers and steak topped with sesame seeds in pan

FAQs about pepper steak

How can I make a tougher cut of meat more tender?

Adding a pinch of baking soda to the meat acts as a natural tenderizer by raising the pH in this recipe. It is my secret ingredient for take-out recipes as it gives the beef (or chicken) a tender texture even if you marinate it for a short 15-20 minutes.  This will help the meat become more tender and stay moist during cooking. It’s an ingredient that I commonly use for my Mongolian Beef recipe.

Can I toss in other vegetables?

Feel free to play around with the veggies. I personally like pepper steak to just be peppers and onions, but snap peas, or asparagus are just some of the additions readers have made.

Can I meal prep this for later? How long will it last?

You can! This will last for about 4 days in the refrigerator. For reheating, just pop it in the microwave until it’s warmed through.

Can you marinate and freeze the meat?

You can! I suggest freezing this as soon as you combine the ingredients with the beef. That way, as the beef defrosts, it will marinate.

pepper steak in black saute pan

If you like this recipe, you might also like:

bowl of rice topped with beef stir fry with pepper sand onions
Yield: 4-6 servings

Garlic Lovers Pepper Steak

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ultra flavorful pepper steak stir fry tastes even better than your favorite take out! This is a great recipe that you can meal prep for the week or throw together for dinner!

Garlic Lovers Pepper Steak



  • 6 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup low sodium chicken or beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (scant)
  • ⅛-¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

stir fry:

  • 1 - 1½ pounds flank, skirt or top sirloin steak cut into pieces on the biased
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger (or paste)
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 bell peppers, cut into cubes (any color you like)
  • 1 medium onion, cut into thick slices
  • oil, for cooking


  1. MARINADE: combine the ingredients for the marinade along with ¼ cup of water in a measuring cup or mason jar.
  2. PREP EVERYTHING: Place the meat in a medium bowl and drizzle in 3 tablespoons of the prepared marinade; mix with a spoon. Cover the meat and set aside for 30 minutes - overnight. Stir the grated ginger and minced garlic into the remaining marinade. Cover and refrigerate if using later.
  3. STIR FRY: when ready to cook, heat a tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick skillet over high heat. Add ½ of the prepared beef and cook until it is well seared on both sides, roughly 1 minute. Remove to a plate. Continue cooking the remaining meat (and remove). Add the onions along with 2 teaspoons of oil (if needed) and stir them around so to pick up the flavors. Cook for 1 minute before adding the peppers, stir to combine. Add the meat back to the skillet. Stir remaining marinade as the cornstarch may have settled. Pour into the skillet and quickly toss everything so that it all gets coated with the sauce, about 30-45 seconds or so. Top with sesame seeds if desired and serve with rice or a salad.

Have you made this recipe?

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below. You can also share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #LITTLESPICEJAR, I'd love to see what you made!