Pepper Steak Recipe: Perfect for Busy Weeknights

Pepper Steak Recipe: Perfect for Busy Weeknights

Pepper steak is a dish featuring succulent beef strips and bell peppers. The beef is typically stir-fried or simmered, combined with soy sauce, garlic, and other seasonings. Originating from Chinese-American cuisine, this dish is appreciated for its bold flavors and tender texture. In a slow cooker version, the beef and peppers cook slowly, allowing the flavors to meld and the meat to become tender.

Benefits of Using a Slow Cooker

Using a slow cooker offers several advantages. First, it saves time. You can prep ingredients in the morning and return to a ready meal in the evening. Second, slow cookers enhance flavors. Long cooking times allow spices and seasonings to permeate the meat and vegetables better. Third, slow cooking preserves nutrients. Lower temperatures reduce the chances of nutrient loss compared to high-heat methods. Lastly, it’s economical. Slow cookers can turn cheaper meat cuts into tender, flavorful dishes, optimizing your grocery budget.

Essential Ingredients for Slow Cooker Pepper Steak

Choosing the Right Cut of Beef

You need to use a tender cut of beef for slow cooker pepper steak. Choose flank steak or sirloin because these cuts absorb the marinade well and break down into tender pieces after slow cooking. Ensure you cut the meat into thin strips to facilitate even cooking and maximum flavor absorption.

Vegetables and Spices to Enhance Flavor

Incorporate fresh bell peppers and onions to give the dish its distinctive flavor. Use red, green, or yellow bell peppers for a colorful presentation and jalapenos if you want extra heat. Add minced garlic, chopped ginger, and soy sauce to create a savory base. A combination of beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper will deepen the flavor profile. For thickening the sauce, use a cornstarch slurry towards the end of cooking.

Step-by-Step Cooking Guide

Preparing Ingredients

Slice the beef into thin strips for even cooking. Use tender cuts like flank steak or sirloin. Wash and slice bell peppers into strips, choosing a mix of colors for a vibrant dish. Dice one onion finely. Mince two cloves of garlic and grate a teaspoon of fresh ginger. Measure out 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 cup beef broth, and 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water to create a slurry.

Setting the Slow Cooker

Add the sliced beef strips to the slow cooker. Layer the bell peppers and onions on top of the beef. Pour the soy sauce, beef broth, and Worcestershire sauce over the contents. Sprinkle garlic and ginger evenly. Cover the slow cooker with the lid. Set it to cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours until the beef is tender. Stir the cornstarch slurry into the slow cooker 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time to thicken the sauce.

Serving and Pairing Suggestions

Ideal Side Dishes

Serve Slow Cooker Pepper Steak with sides that complement its rich, savory flavors. Steamed white rice or jasmine rice, often preferred, balances the dish’s robust taste. Use brown rice for a nuttier option.

Vegetable sides enhance nutritional value and add freshness. Opt for steamed broccoli, stir-fried snap peas, or roasted asparagus.

Mashed potatoes, another popular choice, provide a creamy contrast to the pepper steak’s texture. For a lighter alternative, serve a mixed greens salad with a citrus vinaigrette.

Wine Pairings for Beef Dishes

Choose wines that enhance Slow Cooker Pepper Steak’s flavors. Red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, pair well with beef. Their bold characteristics complement the dish’s savory notes.

For a lighter choice, consider Pinot Noir. Its subtle fruitiness balances the pepper steak’s flavors without overpowering them.

White wine, though unconventional, can work if you prefer it. Choose a full-bodied Chardonnay to match the dish’s richness.


With its effortless preparation and rich, savory flavors, Slow Cooker Pepper Steak is the perfect dish for busy weeknights or casual gatherings. The slow cooker method not only simplifies the process but also elevates the taste, delivering tender beef and vibrant bell peppers in every bite. Pair it with your favorite sides and a glass of wine, and you’ve got a meal that’s both comforting and impressive. Give this recipe a try, and you’ll see why it’s a favorite for many home cooks. Enjoy the convenience and deliciousness that only a slow cooker can bring to your kitchen.

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