Szechuan Beef is one of my favorite take-out staples to make from home! Tender bites of steak are marinated in szechuan sauce and cooked to perfection on your stovetop in a matter of minutes. Toss in some peppers and serve it over white rice for the best flavor-packed easy dinner that always hits the spot!
I have a pretty long list of take-out dishes that I call my favorites. Listen, it’s hard to just pick one or two menu items as a favorite when you pretty much love them all! With that being said, I think you can guess what’s currently at the very top of my cravings list right now – szechuan beef! This classic take-out staple features tender bites of beef and peppers coated in sweet and spicy szechuan sauce.
Served over fluffy white rice and garnished with sesame seeds and/or green onions is really the only way to enjoy this dish. I also like to pair it with broccoli to add even more veggies to my plate! This meal is protein packed and filled with plenty of secret nutrients from the bell peppers that are sneaked into each bite. Don’t you just love when you can enjoy take-out without any of the guilt?
More often than not, I’m always a little disappointed in my szechuan beef when I order it from a take-out place, especially if it’s not one I usually frequent. Either the beef will be too fatty, there won’t be enough sauce or the peppers to meat ratio will be all out of whack. That’s why I love making this dinner at home! I can control the ingredients and make it exactly how I like every single time.
How to Make Szechuan Beef
This recipe is so quick and easy, you can have it cooked and on your dinner table faster than a food delivery app could drop it off at your door.
- Marinate. This is the only step that takes a little time. But don’t worry – you don’t have to really do anything at all! Simply toss the beef and some szechuan sauce into a large zip-top bag, make sure all the meat is coated, and let it marinate in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes.
- Make it crispy. Drain off any excess sauce from the beef. Sprinkle on some cornstarch and toss so it coats all of the beef. This is what makes it so crispy on the outside when it cooks!
- Cook the beef and peppers. Heat a large skillet (or wok) with sesame oil over medium to medium high heat. Add in the beef, peppers, crushed red pepper flakes and some sesame seeds. Cook for about 6-9 minutes.
- Make it saucy. Add more szechuan sauce to the skillet and stir to fully coat the meat and peppers. Remove the skillet from the heat.
- Serve. Voila! It’s really that easy. Serve your szechuan beef over some white rice and whatever garnishes your heart desires. Enjoy!
Is szechuan beef spicy?
Szechuan beef is usually a spicier dish, as szechuan peppers are spicy peppers. However, you can adjust the heat level of this dish to a degree by modifying the amount of red pepper flakes and szechuan sauce used in the recipe. If you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce the amount of red pepper flakes or omit them altogether.
Similarly, if you find the szechuan sauce too spicy, you can use less of it or mix it with a mild sauce such as stir-fry sauce until it’s at a spice level you enjoy. On the other hand, if you prefer a spicier flavor, you can increase the amount of red pepper flakes or add additional spices or hot sauce to the dish. Keep in mind that szechuan sauce is typically already quite spicy, so add more spicy ingredients at your own risk!
How long will szechuan beef stay fresh?
If you have any leftovers, let it cool to room temperature and then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Szechuan beef can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
If you want to store the szechuan beef for a longer period, you can also freeze it. Once the beef has cooled, transfer it to a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bag and store it in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. When you’re ready to reheat the beef, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat it in a skillet or wok over medium heat until it’s heated through. You can also reheat it in the microwave if you prefer.
Check out more of my favorite szechuan recipes!
Get the Recipe: Szechuan Beef Recipe
- 1 pound skirt steak, cut into thin strips, or sirloin steak
- ¾ cup Szechuan sauce, divided
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 large red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- Steamed white rice, optional side
- Chopped green onions, optional garnish
- 1 skillet or wok
- Place the beef strips and ½ cup of Szechuan sauce in a large, sealable bag and slosh it around to coat the beef.
- Remove as much air as possible from the bag and then let it marinate for 20-30 minutes.
- Drain off any excess sauce and then sprinkle on the cornstarch and toss to incorporate and coat the beef.
- Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet or wok over medium to medium high heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add in the beef strips, red bell pepper strips, crushed red pepper flakes, optional and sesame seeds.
- Cook for 6-9 minutes or until the peppers begin to soften and the meat is cooked through.
- Add in the remaining ¼ cup Szechuan sauce and stir well. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Serve hot with steamed white rice, optional and chopped green onions as a garnish, optional.