Home » 30 Minutes or Less

Pepper Steak Recipe | Easy 30 Minute Stir Fry Meal

This Pep­per Steak recipe is a week­night din­ner dream! Who needs take­out or deliv­ery when you can make it faster at home? 

pepper steak over rice in a white bowl with salt and pepper shakers alongside a napkin in the background
Post may con­tain affil­i­ate links. See my Affil­i­ate Disclosure.

And, this easy pep­per steak and rice is so deli­cious! (White rice or brown rice work equal­ly well, though I favor my quick cook brown rice recipe.) Savory strips of steak and ten­der-crisp bell pep­pers are coat­ed in an uma­mi burst of fla­vor as you stir fry them with onions, gar­lic, gin­ger and soy sauce. 

Serve my best pep­per steak over fluffy rice and you have a scrump­tious­ly sat­is­fy­ing meal that can be on the table in 30 min­utes. It’s a fam­i­ly din­ner sensation!

This scrump­tious stir fry is per­fect for a spe­cial date night at home, too. And, great food in very lit­tle time, makes this Pep­per Steak a win­ning option at get-togeth­ers, as well. 

And, if you need refresh­ing grown-up bev­er­ages to go with your deli­cious meal check out these vod­ka cock­tails from Mandy and Jane at Splash of Taste. Over 65 recipes for every­thing from a clas­sic mar­ti­ni to Long Island Iced Tea. Be sure to check it out.

Updating the Slow Cooker Version

When our kids were small, I used to make a slow cook­er ver­sion of Pep­per Steak. It bub­bled and cooked away all day while we home schooled and I worked a home busi­ness. It was deli­cious and a good solu­tion for a dif­fer­ent stage of my life. 

But over time, I’ve come to pre­fer vibrant col­ors, bold pops of fla­vor and recipes I can prep quick­ly, even on busy weeknights. 

This is my Pep­per Steak makeover to give me ALL of that. And yes, it can eas­i­ly be gluten free. It makes enough for 8 to 10 serv­ings, so you can feed a crowd or enjoy the left­overs for lunch, tomor­row. I hope you and your fam­i­ly will love it!

Enjoy!

The Ingredients

pepper steak over rice in a white bowl with salt and pepper shakers alongside a napkin in the background

Steak: Ide­al­ly, flank steak is my favorite cut for mak­ing pep­per steak. It’s unique grain and good fla­vor are per­fect for quick sear­ing. Top sir­loin or top round can also work and be fair­ly ten­der, too, so use what you can get. For the batch in these pho­tos, sir­loin steak was all I could get my hands on and it worked great. Round steak is anoth­er option.

Onion: I use red onion in most of my cook­ing and this pep­per steak with onion is no excep­tion. I love the col­or of red onions and they adds a great depth of savory fla­vor with just a touch of carame­ly sweet­ness when they’re cooked. Use the onions you have on hand, though. Any will be deli­cious in this sim­ple pep­per steak and onion recipe!

Bell Pep­pers: Bell pep­pers are the co-stars of this fab­u­lous dish and just as impor­tant as the steak. But, pep­pers and onions are also a clas­sic com­bo. And they lend so much fla­vor to this dish. The pep­pers bring fresh­ness, tex­ture and vibrant col­or, too. Use what­ev­er col­ors of bell pep­pers you can find, but I love mix­ing it up with one of each; red and green, orange and yel­low. If I could only choose one col­or I would prob­a­bly go with red bell peppers.

two red bell pepper, a yellow, an orange and twogreen bell peppers on a wooden table

Sea­son­ings: Fresh minced gar­lic and gin­ger paste. If you need to sub in dried, I’d use one tea­spoon of each.

I don’t add extra salt as I’m cook­ing the meat, since the soy sauce will be salty. I do use black pep­per as the meat is cook­ing. I often add my low salt All Pur­pose Sea­son­ing. Addi­tion­al salt can be added, at the end after you taste the dish.

Sauce Ingre­di­ents: Savory sauce is impor­tant to the best pep­per steak. This easy sauce recipe calls for soy sauce (or low sodi­um soy sauce), brown sug­ar, sesame oil and corn­starch. This is a savory, thick­ened sauce that clings to, and coats, the meat and pep­pers, but does­n’t leave much liq­uid in the pan. If you pre­fer a “sauci­er” pep­per steak, you could dou­ble the sauce recipe. We pre­fer not to have so much sauce/liquid on the bot­tom of the plate.

Avo­ca­do Oil (or veg­etable oil of your choice) for the bot­tom of the skillet.

bell peppers added to skillet with steak strips

A Note About Sesame Oil

Sesame oil is a very strong ingre­di­ent. A lit­tle bit goes a long way. Please start with just the amount indi­cat­ed in this easy to make stir fry recipe, so you don’t over­whelm your dish. After tast­ing the fin­ished sauce, you can always add more a lit­tle bit at a time (one or two drops at a time), if you feel it’s necessary.

bottle of sesame oil on a wooden table with sesame seeds in a bowl and scoop as well as scattered on the table

Choosing the Right Soy Sauce 

This easy to make stir fry steak and pep­pers recipe uses reg­u­lar soy sauce. It accounts for most of the salti­ness in the recipe. If you choose low sodi­um soy sauce, you may need to adjust the salt and sea­son­ings to your per­son­al taste.

Choose either tamari or coconut aminos as a sub­sti­tute for the soy sauce, if you’re cook­ing gluten free. Again, the salti­ness of these sauces may vary from brand to brand, but they should be fair­ly sim­i­lar to the reg­u­lar soy sauce. Try not to add extra salt until you taste the fin­ished dish.

soy sauce being poured into a spoon

FAQs about How to Make Pepper Steak

What Type of Steak Should I Use?

Flank steak is our first choice for mak­ing this pep­per steak recipe. Cut across the grain and quick-seared it yields ten­der and fla­vor­ful bites. If you can’t find flank steak, top sir­loin and top round are also good.

Is this recipe Gluten Free?

Yes. It def­i­nite­ly can be. You’ll need to use a gluten free soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos instead of reg­u­lar soy sauce. All the oth­er ingre­di­ents are nat­u­ral­ly gluten free.

Can I use some­thing besides corn starch to thick­en the sauce?

Sure. Arrow­root pow­der or tapi­o­ca flour would both work. And both are gluten free.

How to Make Pepper Steak

For a quick visu­al tuto­r­i­al, watch the video in the recipe card, below.

strips of sirloin cooking in a cast iron skillet
  1. Whisk togeth­er the sauce ingre­di­ents and set them aside until time to cook.
  2. Slice the steak into strips. It’s so impor­tant to remem­ber, (whichev­er cut of steak you use), to cut the strips ACROSS the grain, not run­ning with it. If you cut the meat in the same direc­tion as the grain you will end up with tough and chewy steak bites. Cut across the grain for the best, ten­der and fla­vor­ful bites. The strips should be thin­ly sliced and about 1/2″ to 3/4″ wide.
  3. Core all the red, yel­low and green bell pep­pers and cut them into thin strips.
  4. Heat avo­ca­do or veg­etable oil over medi­um high heat in a deep skil­let, (at least 12″ in diameter). 
  5. Add onions to the hot oil. Stir fry them for about one minute.
  6. Divide the steak into two batch­es and add the first one to the skil­let with the onions. Con­tin­ue to stir fry and move the steak around to sep­a­rate the indi­vid­ual strips and get them seared. 
  7. Move the fin­ished steak and onions to a plate. Add a lit­tle more oil to the skil­let and cook the sec­ond batch of steak strips. Then, return all the steak to the skillet.
  8. Add the gar­lic and gin­ger. Stir to com­bine and cook for about 30 sec­onds. Keep stir­ring so the gar­lic does­n’t burn.
  9. Add the bell pep­per strips and stir them to com­bine with the steak. Con­tin­ue cook­ing and stir­ring for 2 to 3 min­utes, until the bell pep­pers are heat­ed through, ten­der-crisp and vibrant in color. 
  10. When the pep­pers are hot, pour the soy sauce/cornstarch mix­ture into the skil­let and stir con­tin­u­ous­ly to avoid stick­ing. After 2 to 3 min­utes of cook­ing, the sauce will begin to thick­en, cling­ing to the steak and pep­pers. There will be very lit­tle sauce in the bot­tom of the skillet.
  11. Serve. We love pep­per steak over rice and I often sprin­kle on sesame seeds and a few red pep­per flakes. I also use my quick cook­ing brown rice recipe, most times. But, fried rice is scrump­tious with pep­per steak, too. Cook­ing the rice in the way your fam­i­ly likes best will only make this quick and easy recipe even better.
pepper steak recipe over rice in a white bowl with salt and pepper shakers alongside a napkin in the background

If you love rice bowls, be sure to also check out my Easy Egg Roll Bowl recipe and this deli­cious Slow Cook­er Pineap­ple Chick­en Rice Bowl recipe!

Thank you so much for being a Glen­da Embree blog read­er! If you try this easy to make recipe for Pep­per Steak, I hope you’ll stop back, leave a com­ment and give us a 5 star rat­ing. The 5 star rat­ing helps more peo­ple to find us in a Google search. 

The Recipe

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
pepper steak over rice in a white bowl with salt and pepper shakers alongside a napkin in the background

Pepper Steak


  • Author: Glen­da Embree
  • Total Time: 30 min­utes
  • Yield: 8 to 10 serv­ings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Savory Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup soy sauce (or low sodi­um soy sauce or tamari or coconut aminos for gluten free)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tea­spoon sesame oil

For the Pep­per Steak:

  • 2 Table­spoons avo­ca­do oil, plus more as need­ed (or veg­etable oil of choice)
  • 1 red onion, small diced
  • 2 lbs. thin sliced flank steak (or top sir­loin steak or top round), cut into 1/2″ strips (across the grain, not with it)
  • 1 Table­spoon minced garlic
  • 1 Table­spoon minced ginger/ginger paste
  • 4 bell pep­pers, cored, seed­ed and cut into strips (Choose a vari­ety of col­ors. I use one of each: red and green bell pep­per, yel­low and orange.)
  • black pep­per, to taste
  • OPTIONAL: 1 tea­spoon All Pur­pose Sea­son­ing (my home­made is the best low salt version)
  • OPTIONAL: red pep­per flakes, to taste, as garnish

Instructions

  1. Whisk togeth­er the savory sauce ingre­di­ents in a small bowl and set them aside until time to cook.
  2. Slice the steak into strips. It’s so impor­tant to remem­ber, (whichev­er cut of steak you use), to cut the strips ACROSS the grain, not run­ning with it. If you cut the meat in the same direc­tion as the grain you will end up with tough and chewy steak bites. Cut across the grain for the best, ten­der and fla­vor­ful bites. The strips should be thin­ly sliced and about 1/2″ to 3/4″ wide.
  3. Core all the red, yel­low, orange and green bell pep­pers and cut them into thin strips.
  4. Over medi­um high heat, begin heat­ing 2 Table­spoons of avo­ca­do oil in a deep skil­let, (at least 12″ in diam­e­ter). This is a big batch and you’ll need all that space before the recipe is done.
  5. Add the onions to the hot oil. Stir fry them for about one minute. They will begin to brown, slightly.
  6. Divide the steak into two batch­es and add the first one to the skil­let with the onions. Stir fry and move the steak around to sep­a­rate the indi­vid­ual strips and get them seared. Move cooked pieces to the out­side edges of the skil­let, while pulling raw strips into the cen­ter to cook.
  7. When the first batch is done, move the steak and onions to a plate. Add a lit­tle more oil to the skil­let and stir fry the sec­ond batch of steak strips in the same way as the first.
  8. Now, that all the steak is cooked, get it all back in the skillet.
  9. Add the gar­lic and gin­ger. Stir to com­bine and cook for about 30 sec­onds to start cook­ing off the raw taste and meld­ing the fla­vors. Keep stir­ring through this so the gar­lic does­n’t burn.
  10. Add the bell pep­per strips and stir them to com­bine with the steak. Con­tin­ue cook­ing and stir­ring for 2 to 3 min­utes, until the bell pep­per strips are heat­ed through, ten­der-crisp and vibrant in col­or. (If you like the pep­pers soft­er, you can cook them longer. It’s a mat­ter of per­son­al preference.)
  11. When the bell pep­pers are hot, pour the soy sauce/cornstarch mix­ture into the skil­let and stir con­tin­u­ous­ly to avoid stick­ing. After 2 to 3 min­utes of cook­ing, the sauce will begin to thick­en. As you con­tin­ue cook­ing, it will cling to the steak and pep­pers. There will be very lit­tle sauce in the bot­tom of the skil­let.  If you like yours with extra sauce, dou­ble the sauce recipe.
  12. Serve.
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Cat­e­go­ry: Main Dish, Beef, Asian
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cui­sine: Asian-Amer­i­can

More Easy 30 Minute Recipes

Or try this easy Black­stone Stir Fry Chick­en from Sher­ry over at From Michi­gan to the Table!

38 thoughts on “Pepper Steak Recipe | Easy 30 Minute Stir Fry Meal”

  1. This pep­per steak looks bet­ter than take out. Love how easy it is to make and that I can make it when­ev­er I want.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating