This Black Pepper Beef is flavor packed and so delicious. Tender pieces of beef, onions and bell peppers are coated in a rich black pepper sauce. This 30-minute meal is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. Black Pepper Beef This is my healthier version of the classic Chinese dish black pepper beef that can be found in most Chinese restaurants across North America. Thinly sliced strips of beef are pan seared until crisp and then coated in a deliciously rich black pepper sauce which is sweet, salty and spicy. This Black Pepper Chicken has been my go to quick stir-fry for weeknight dinner, but after switching things up and making this black pepper beef, I think that it might be my new favorite thanks to the delicious sauce and the thinly sliced beef. 


Black Pepper Beef

Why You Will Love This Black Pepper Beef 

  • This black pepper beef is the perfect dinner when you are in need of a quick weeknight meal because it take less than 30 minutes to make. This is one of my go-to recipes that I like making on busy weeknights. 
  • This black pepper beef and onion stir fry recipe is absolutely packed with flavor with tender beef slices which get coated in the delicious sauce that is salty, sweet and spicy. 
  • Unlike some Chinese inspired recipes that you might find online that include a long list of hard to find ingredients, this recipe uses simple ingredients that you likely already have as pantry staples in your kitchen or can be found at any local grocery store. I have also included a list of possible substitutions for ingredients below. 
  • It’s a great recipe to make extra of so that you can enjoy leftovers over a few days. They reheat well and are fantastic warm or cold. 
  • This healthier version of black pepper beef is paleo, grain free, gluten free and dairy free. 



Black Pepper Beef


What Cut Of Beef Is Best

I prefer using sirloin steak, top sirloin or new york strip in this black pepper beef recipe, but skirt steak or flank steak which are slightly cheaper cuts of beef with more muscle fibers (which makes them tougher) can also be used. No matter the cut of beef, be sure to cut it into strips against the grain. 



Black Pepper Beef


Ingredients & Substitutions For This Black Pepper Beef

  • Steak: Be sure to cut the beef very thinly against the grain. 
  • Baking Soda: baking soda creates the most tender beef strips. 
  • Coconut aminos: I use coconut aminos to make this recipe Paleo, but you can use soy sauce or tamari depending on what you have and any food allergies. If you are using soy sauce I prefer using regular soy sauce or light soy sauce vs dark soy sauce which has a deeper flavor. Low sodium soy sauce can also be used to reduce the amount of sodium in the dish. 
  • Rice Wine Vinegar: If you do not have rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar can be used in its place. 
  • Arrowroot Powder: Arrowroot powder is used to coat the thin slices of beef as well as to help thicken the sauce and give it a silky texture. If you do not have arrowroot powder, corn starch or potato starch can be used in its place in equal amounts. 
  • Avocado Oil: I prefer using avocado oil to pan fry the beef but if you do not have avocado oil, any other type of oil with a higher smoke point such as vegetable oil or a light olive oil can be used. 
  • Sesame Oil
  • Yellow Onion: I prefer cutting the onion into bite-sized cubes shapes rather than thinly sliced, but either way works. If you do not have yellow onions, white onions or red onions can be used. 
  • Bell Pepper: this recipe calls for red bell peppers, but feel free to use orange or yellow in its place, or alternatively you can use half a green bell pepper and half a red bell pepper. 
  • Honey: Honey is used in the sauce as a sweetener, it can be substituted for an equal amount of maple syrup. 
  • Garlic and Ginger: I prefer fresh garlic cloves and ginger root which has a much stronger flavor versus jarred minced garlic and ginger. 
  • Black Pepper: Freshly cracked black pepper is what really makes the dish. It adds a wonderful depth of flavor and spice. I recommend only adding the black pepper at the very end which will help its spicy flavor stand out. Do not use ground black pepper which has a much milder flavor, freshly ground pepper from black peppercorns has a much stronger taste. 



How To Make Black Pepper Beef

  1. Place the steak on a cutting board and use the sharp knife to cut the beef against the grain into thin strips. Place the sliced beef in a medium bowl along with the marinade ingredients (baking soda, coconut aminos, rice wine vinegar, arrowroot powder and sesame oil). Leave it to marinate for 10 minutes 
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the sauce ingredients (beef broth, minced garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, honey and arrowroot powder). Set the sauce mixture aside. 
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok on medium-high heat, add half of the steak slices to the hot pan and arrange them in a single layer (this will help it get crispy rather than become overcooked). Cook the beef for 2-3 minutes until it is golden brown and then flip the pieces and cooking for another 1-2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the beef and set it aside on a plate. Repeat with the second batch of slices of sirloin steak. 
  4. Next add the sesame oil to the wok, and add in the onion and bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes before pouring in the sauce. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan. 
  5. Once the sauce has begun to thicken, add the beef and lots of black pepper to the cooked onions and pepper and stir. I like to garnish with a sprinkle of chopped green onions to add some color right before serving. 





Is This Black Pepper Beef Recipe Spicy?

The black pepper which is added at the final step right before serving is the only ingredient in this recipe that makes the dish spicy. If you are serving this to kids or do not like spice, I would recommend only adding 1/2 teaspoon, for a spicier kick I would use closer to 2 teaspoons. 



Can I Add Other Veggies To This Black Pepper Beef

Absolutely! I prefer keeping it simple with just bell peppers and onions in this black pepper beef stir fry, but feel free to add other vegetables in when you cook the bell peppers such as snap peas or snow peas, asparagus, julienned carrots, bok choy or zucchini.  




What To Serve With This Black Pepper Beef with Onions

I like to serve this black pepper steak dish over hot rice (either cauliflower rice or white rice) to absorb all of the rich sauce. 





What About Leftovers

Leftover Black Pepper Beef can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I enjoy eating it cold or at room temperature, but you can also reheat it in the microwave or or quickly in a pan on the stove on high heat until just warmed through. 



Black Pepper Beef

Love healthy versions of takeout dishes? Here are a few more you might enjoy:

If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!

Black Pepper Beef & Onions

Every Last Bite
This Black Pepper Beef is flavor packed and so delicious. Tender pieces of beef, onions and bell peppers are coated in a rich black pepper sauce. This 30-minute meal is perfect for weeknight dinner. 
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes
Diets Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Nut Free, Paleo, SCD Legal, Whole30
Servings 4
Calories 371 kcal



  • 1 pound steak sirloin
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp arrow root flour
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil or more as needed

Peppers & Onions

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion


  • ½ cup beef stock
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper


  • Cut the beef against the grain into very thin strips. Place all of the beef in a bowl and add in the baking soda, coconut aminos, rice wine vinegar, arrow root powder and sesame oil. Leave to marinate for 10 minutes while you chop the veggies.
  • Cut the red pepper and yellow onion into 1 inch sized pieces.
  • In a bowl whisk together the beef stock, minced garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, honey and arrowroot powder and stir until its well combined.
  • In a large wok on high heat add the avocado oil and once hot add in half of the beef, ensuring it is in a single layer. Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown and the flip the pieces and cook for another 2 minutes on the other side. Set the beef aside on a plate while you cook the second batch.
  • Add the sesame oil to the wok. Once hot add in the bell pepper and onion and cook for 2 minutes before pouring in the sauce. Leave to simmer for 2-3 minutes until the sauce has begun to reduce and thicken. Add in the beef, and black pepper and stir to ensure all of the pieces of beef are well coated in the sauce.
Calories: 371kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 27gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 256mgPotassium: 533mgFiber: 2gSugar: 12gCalcium: 50mgIron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below and let us know how it was!