Vegan “Beef” & Broccoli (Better Than Takeout!)

GFGluten Free

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This vegan take on “Beef” & Broccoli is even better than takeout, plus it only takes 20 minutes to make! Serve with rice for a full meal.

Step aside, takeout! Today I’m sharing a Vegan “Beef” & Broccoli recipe that will blow your mind.

Beef & Broccoli originated from a Chinese dish called Gai Lan Chao Niu Rou (芥兰炒牛肉), but Chinese broccoli is commonly swapped for American Broccoli in this popular fusion dish. This plant-based version is  hearty, juicy, packed with flavor, and a great source of greens & protein! Plus, it only takes around 30 minutes to make.

hand using chopsticks to pick up pieces of vegan "beef" from bowl of vegan beef and broccoli


soy curls, broccoli, and half an onion arranged with sauce ingredients on marble countertop

The majority of the ingredients for this recipe are pantry-friendly, though we will need a few “special” additions:

  • Soy Curls: serve as the vegan “beef” in this recipe; you might be able to find them in a store near you, but you can also purchase them online.
  • White Onion & Broccoli: the classic beef & broccoli veggies, white onion and broccoli add volume and flavor to our dish! I prefer to use fresh broccoli as it has a firmer bite and more vibrant color.
  • Garlic & Ginger: this flavor combination is pretty much essential to most stir frys, and this recipe is no exception
  • Spices & Seasonings: coconut sugar, low-sodium, tamari, dark soy sayuce, vegan “beef” flavored bouillon, and toasted sesame oil all add body and flavor to our imitation “beef!”
  • Arrowroot Powder: helps to thicken our sauce and give it a glossy finish


Dark Soy Sauce is “regular” soy sauce that has been aged for a longer period of time and may have thickeners added to it. It has a darker color, thicker texture, and more intense flavor than light soy sauce, and it only used sparingly in recipes. In this recipe, it’s mostly used to color our soy curls to a more beef-like color.

Unfortunately there is no substitute for dark soy sauce – you should be able to find it at your local asian grocer, or you can purchase it online. If you don’t particularly care that the soy curls are not as dark as beef would be, you can also just leave it out! I would suggest adding extra tamari to the recipe to taste, as the dark soy sauce does add some salty flavor.


large pan of beef & broccoli with wooden spatula scooping a serving portion out of it

Aside from rehydrating the soy curls, this Vegan “Beef” & Broccoli has the same (simple!) steps:

  1. Rehydrate the soy curls in imitation beef broth, then sauté them in dark soy sauce to darken them.
  2. Sauté the aromatics, then top with broccoli and add the sweet & salty sauce
  3. Simmer until the broccoli is steamed and the sauce has thickened
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Thanks to dark soy sauce and a few spices, our soy curls totally transform into juicy, hearty, protein-packed “beef” that could satisfy any eater! Beef and Broccoli is traditionally served over fluffy jasmine rice, but it would be excellent with some rice noodles as well. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days…if you have any, that is 😉

beef and broccoli over rice in white bowl on marble countertop

If you’re looking for more asian-inspired takeout recipes, you’ll also love this Vegan Sesame “Chicken”, this Vegan Black Pepper Tofu and these Saucy Peanut Tempeh Bowls!

Finally, if you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I love seeing your delicious recreations 🙂


Vegan “Beef” & Broccoli

This vegan take on “Beef” & Broccoli is even better than takeout, plus it only takes 20 minutes to make!
Serve with rice or noodles for a full meal.

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan




  1. Prep: Bring 3 cups (710 ml) of water to a boil. Dissolve the beef bouillon in ~1/4 cup (60 ml) of the water in a large bowl, then add in the dried soy curls and cover with remaining water. Let sit for around 3 minutes to rehydrate, then strain off and save the remaining “broth”. Try to press as much liquid out of the soy curls as possible.
  2. Sauté the Soy Curls: combine 1/2 cup (120 ml) of the reserved broth with the dark soy sauce and set aside. Warm 1 tablespoon of avocado oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat; add the soy curls and sauté for around 30 seconds, then push to the side and pour the dark soy sauce mixture into the pan. Quickly mix well, to ensure all the soy curls get coated in dark sauce. Sauté for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until all of the remaining liquid has evaporated from the pan and the soy curls have browned.
  3. Add Aromatics: Push the soy curls to one side of the pan and add in the remaining teaspoon of avocado oil. Once warm, add the onion, ginger, and garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant and translucent. Then, mix the aromatics with the soy curls evenly.
  4. Get Saucy: in a medium bowl combine the tamari, coconut sugar, cornstarch, and the remaining reserved broth from the soy curls, which should be around 3/4 (180 ml) cup. Whisk well, until the cornstarch has fully dissolved. Add the broccoli to the sauté pan and pour the sauce over everything. Once the mixture begins to simmer, reduce the heat to medium low and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until the broccoli is cooked to your liking and the sauce has thickened slightly.
  5. Final Touches: Turn the heat off and stir in the toasted sesame oil, and top with sesame seeds, if desired. Serve warm over rice or noodles, or as desired. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.


  • Soy Curls: soy curls can be purchased via amazon or directly from the butler foods website. Alternatively, you can use another imitation “beef” product. If you choose to do so, use about 8 ounces and you do not need to rehydrate it, unless it is dried. You can also omit the dark soy sauce in the recipe – simply sauté the product in oil then skip to step 3.
  • Other Substitutions: vegetable bouillon can be used in place of imitation beef bouillon, but the final flavor will be less realistic. You can also replace 1 cup of water with vegetable broth instead. There is no substitution for dark soy sauce; if you choose to omit it, the soy curls will not be as dark, but the overall flavor will be similar – just add extra Tamari or soy sauce, to taste.

Keywords: vegan beef and broccoli, vegan chinese takeout, vegan broccoli beef, soy curls recipes

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About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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  1. This recipe is amazing and comes together so easy. It’s one of our I’m gluten free, so I subbed the dark brown soy sauce for a gf dark soy sauce alternative I found at World Market. It’s not quite as dark but the flavor is still there. One of the recipes on our “rotation” for sure!

  2. Just made this tonight, and it’s so good! I used brown sugar in place of the coconut sugar (didn’t have any) and regular soy sauce instead of tamari (watered down a bit, since I didn’t have the whole 1/3 cup). I’m vegan, but my husband still eats meat, and he said the whole dish is just awesome. Will definitely make again!

  3. I’m confused about the amount of water used in this recipe. At the start we’re boiling 710ml but then throughout the recipe we only use 360ml. Am I missing where the rest goes? Or are we preparing extra for some reason?

    1. Apologies for the confusion, Dan. The 360ml is from the 710ml that was boiled. For instance, you start off with boiling the 710ml of water and just get 60ml to dissolve the bouillon, then add that back to the whole mix to rehydrate the dried soy curls. Once you strain the soy curls, the remaining liquid from the beginning 710ml is the “broth”. Then you get 120ml from that reserved broth to mix with the rest of the recipe, etc. I hope this helps.

  4. NEW Staple Recipe – putting it into the rotation! The AMAZING part to this recipe is that my Pennsylvania Dutch family loves it as well. My parents and brother typically fill half their plate with meat, a small portion of mashed potatoes and an even smaller portion of another veggie. They call my food “hippy food”. They all loved this recipe and would eat it again!

    My substitutions/omissions – I didn’t have Dark Soy Sauce so I used regular soy sauce. Better than bullion for the beef bullion. Braggs Amino for the Tamari, olive oil for the avocado oil and brown sugar for the coconut sugar.

    Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes!

    1. Thank you so much for the feedback, Brianne! I’m glad you and your family love the recipes! 🙂

  5. This was sooo good!! It came together quickly and I think it will get easier the more I make it but honestly I loved it. Perfect weeknight meal. I ate so slowly because I didn’t want it to end! I doubled the recipe and it was perfect.

  6. My husband and I are obsessed with this meal, and it’s on constant repeat in our house. It’s incredibly easy to make and so comforting and delicious.

  7. This is my first recipe I’ve ever used soy curls, but Caitlin made it easy!

    This recipe is definitely better than takeout. I bought the mushroom soy sauce, but I think you could substitute mushroom powder or Trader Joe’s umami mushroom blend with regular soy and it would taste similar.

    I added extra veggies like peppers.

    My non-veg mom even liked it.

  8. Delicious! Didn’t have the dark soy sauce and couldn’t buy it since it’s Easter Monday, but loved it nevertheless. The crunchy broccoli combined with the meaty/squishy soy curls are the bomb! Definitely will make again once I get my hands on the sauce.

  9. This is a SLAM DUNK. After we devoured it, we immediately made a second batch! Even my picky toddlers ate thirds. Thanks Caitlin!!

  10. This was really better than take out!!! Oh my goodness it’s soooo good!! Thank you again for another great recipe! I messed up and instead of saving the soy curl broth I ended up using vegetable broth. Still came out amazing! I’m so excited about this recipe…????

  11. Yum!! This recipe was a hit with my entire family, even my 5 and 7 year old. This was my first time using soy curls and we are hooked now!

  12. It was so good, my family loved it.
    I have made some replacements for some ingredients I didn’t have:
    1. I didn’t have dark soy sauce so I replaced it with Worcestershire sauce and it worked well.
    2. I used a regular soy sauce instead of a low-sodium one which made it very salty to my taste but still worked out fine.
    3. I didn’t have bouillon so I used chicken flavored stock instead and it was delicious.
    4. I didn’t have ginger nor avocado oil (so I subbed for olive oil and omitted the ginger).
    thanks for the recipe 🙂

  13. I just tried this recipe (substituted the beef bouillon for normal veggie stock and used erythritol instead of sugar) and it came out super tasty!
    Served it with pasta for a main dish. Can totally recommend.

  14. Great recipe! I used a not-beef bullion cube instead of the paste. Still was very tasty. Super easy, and flavorful. I recommend it!

  15. Very easy, foolproof, tasty af recipe! Go make it now! Great for beginners or seasoned vegans/vegetarians! I didn’t have the dark soy and it still tasted perfect! Thanks Caitlin ????

  16. So easy and so good. Another excellent substitute for Chinese takeout (which I don’t have near me)!!! I didn’t have dark soy sauce so used Tamari as suggested. Might try to find the dark stuff. Also added red pepper flakes because I like it spicy. Perfection. Now I just have to keep myself from eating it all in one sitting.

  17. This was quick, easy and delicious. I used gf Tamari in place of dark soy and it was great! I also used better than bouillon seasoned vegetable base as I didn’t have the “no beef” one. I will surely make this again with the same substitutions.

  18. I made this tonight since I had all the ingredients! I love it – quick, easy and delish! First time to use soy curls – and I’m impressed. Texture is spot on to traditional Broccoli N Beef. Love your new cookbook too.