This homemade version of a takeout classic is sure to satisfy the whole family! This Crock Pot Pepper Steak is filled with tender beef strips, crisp bell peppers, and a delicious savory sauce that will have you coming back for more.
Best of all? It's made in the slow cooker so you can have delicious results - without hours spent in the kitchen.
This easy Crock Pot Pepper Steak recipe is sure to become a family favorite in your home, just as it has in mine! Made with fresh, yet simple ingredients, this takeout favorite is easy to make at home thanks to everyone's favorite appliance: the slow cooker.
Slow cooking transforms even the tougher cuts of beef into tender, flavorful strips. Paired with crisp bell peppers, and a tangy sauce, this delicious meal has earned its way into regular rotation.
All you have to do is cook it low and slow, serve it over white rice (I make my rice in the Instant Pot), and sprinkle it with sesame seeds and/or green onions. And just like that and you have a super flavorful dinner that was also easy to prep. It's even delicious on its own!
Reasons to Love This Recipe
- It's made with simple ingredients that are fresh and healthy - the perfect weeknight dinner!
- A great copycat version of a restaurant favorite - Chinese Pepper Steak.
- Uses simple, easy-to-find ingredients so you can recreate your favorite flavors at home.
- This easy recipe is one that the whole family will love, and can be served in a variety of ways to make it gluten-free, low-carb, etc.
- Steak (or beef): The great thing about slow cooker meals is that you can use cuts that are typically pretty tough. Here are some suggestions for what cut of beef to use:
- Sirloin steak
- Chuck roast or steak
- Round steak(inside or outside)
- Stew meat (cut into smaller pieces)
- Bell peppers: Use your favorite colors! I did red and yellow peppers, but if you like green peppers you can totally do that!
- Pepper: While fresh cracked is best for flavor, regular pre-ground is totally fine.
- Onions: These add extra flavor and pair perfectly with bell peppers.
- Garlic: I mean, who doesn't LOVE a little garlic? If you don't have fresh, you can swap it out for garlic powder added to the sauce ingredients.
- Beef broth: You will need about 1 cup of beef stock. If you don't have any on hand some hot water + beef bouillon cubes will work just fine.
- Rotel (or fire-roasted tomatoes): This adds a little spiciness, but if you don't have Rotel (canned tomatoes and chilies) on hand, you can easily make your own homemade Rotel or use a can of fire-roasted tomatoes.
- Hoisin sauce: This is a classic ingredient in many Chinese dishes, and it really lends a delicious flavor to this slow cooker version of pepper steak. If you can't find it you can use soy sauce or tamari in its place.
- Sesame oil: This is a secret ingredient that adds BIG flavor. Toasted sesame oil instantly makes everything taste so much better.
- Cornstarch: For thickening the sauce. You can swap it for arrowroot starch if that works better for you.
- Ginger: This recipe uses ground ginger to keep it super easy, but feel free to use fresh ginger if you want a boost of flavor.
- Chopped green onion
- Sesame seeds
- Red pepper flakes
Check the recipe card for a full list of ingredients and the quantities needed.
How to Make Beef and Peppers in a Crock Pot
This is such an easy recipe, and browning the onions and meat really gives it a boost of flavor - without a lot of extra effort.
Even still, if you want to make it even easier you can just add the raw steak strips to the slow cooker along with the onions and garlic - it will still taste great!
Optional step: browning the onions and meat
- Lightly brown the onions and garlic with some olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven. It's an optional step, but the flavor makes it worth it!
- Sprinkle both sides of the steak with black pepper, then brown on both sides in the hot skillet.
- Cut the browned beef into strips about ¼" thick and 1 ½-2" long.
- Add the onions, garlic, and steak to the insert of your crock pot.
Top tip: If you want to save time, purchase beef stir fry strips pre-cut from the grocery store.
Adding the sauce
- Whisk together the beef broth, rotel (or fire-roasted tomatoes), sesame oil, hoisin sauce, ginger, and cornstarch in a small bowl until well combined.
- Pour the sauce over the beef and onions, then cover with a lid. Cook on LOW heat for 5-6 hours, or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
Hint: Adding a little Worcestershire sauce to the sauce can add a nice boost of flavor.
Adding the Peppers
- Add the chopped bell peppers when there are about 2 hours left when cooking on LOW, or during the last hour of cooking if using the HIGH setting.
- Once the beef is tender and cooked through, you're ready to serve! Top with sesame seeds and chopped green onions (if using) and serve over hot cooked rice.
- Cooked rice
- Egg noodles
- Cauliflower rice
- "In a bowl" style (no rice or noodles)
- Over a bed of shredded lettuce
- With sauteed cabbage
Dump and Go Method
- Sprinkle both sides of the beef with pepper and cut into ¼" thick slices.
- Add the chopped onion, garlic, and beef slices to the crock pot.
- Combine the sauce ingredients, then pour over the meat and onions.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours, or HIGH for 3-4 hours.
- Add the peppers during the last 1-2 hours of cooking.
- Garnish and serve as desired.
Storing and Freezing
Storing Leftovers: Add any leftovers to an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezing Leftovers: Transfer any remaining steak and peppers to a freezer-safe container and allow to cool. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw before reheating.
Reheating: Warm in the microwave in 30-second intervals until warmed through, OR warm in a saucepan on the stove over low-medium heat.
Freezer Meal Instructions
- Add the peppers, onion, garlic, and steak to a gallon-sized freezer bag.
- Whisk together the sauce ingredients and pour it over the meat and vegetables.
- Remove any excess air, seal, and label the bag.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw before preparing, then add to a slow cooker and cook on "LOW" for 5-6 hours, or on "HIGH" for 3-4 hours. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.
- Note that the peppers will lose their crisp texture in the freezer and during the long cook time, but it's still tasty. If you want to preserve the crispness of the peppers, just freeze the meat, onions, and sauce. Then add fresh bell peppers during preparation.
- Gluten-free: Many hoisin sauce brands are gluten-free, although some contain wheat. Seek out a hoisin sauce that is gluten-free, OR substitute it for gluten-free tamari. Serve with rice.
- Low carb or Keto: Substitute the hoisin sauce for homemade keto hoisin sauce, OR use tamari or soy sauce in its place. Serve with cauliflower rice, lettuce, or sauteed cabbage.
Variations and Substitutions
Using stew meat: Cut the stew meat into smaller pieces, so they are about ¼" thick at most.
With stewed tomatoes: If you don't want to use canned tomatoes with chilies you can use stewed tomatoes in their place, OR a can of fire-roasted tomatoes. If you want to keep the heat, add a small can of diced green chilies.
With Worcestershire sauce: Some people like a little boost of flavor from this popular condiment. Go ahead, but use a light hand! There is already a lot of flavor, so taste and adjust after the cooking time if needed.
With beef bouillon: While beef broth is preferred, you can use beef bouillon cubes + hot water to make an easy substitute.
While traditionally hoisin sauce is gluten-free, many commercial varieties include wheat in the ingredients. If you need it to be gluten free, be sure to check the labels for a claim or wheat-containing ingredients.
If you don't have hoisin sauce you can use soy sauce or gluten free tamari in its place, plus a little brown sugar (or honey) and a cornstarch slurry to give it the same sweet taste and thickened texture. Alternatively, you could make homemade hoisin sauce.
More Easy Dinner Recipes:
- Inside Out Egg Roll (in a Bowl)
- Sheet Pan Smoked Sausage and Peppers
- Instant Pot Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls
- Slow Cooker Swiss Chicken Casserole
- Sheet Pan Cilantro Lime Salmon
If you loved this Slow Cooker Pepper Steak recipe, let me know by leaving a 5-star review in the recipe card or comment below! You can also tag me on Instagram @dashfordinner.
Crock Pot Pepper Steak
- 1 yellow onion quartered and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 3 pounds steak sirloin, flank, or round
- ½ - 1 teaspoon black pepper to taste
- 1 cup beef broth
- 10 ounces Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chiles*) or fire-roasted tomatoes
- ½ cup hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ tablespoon ground ginger or 3 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
- 4 bell peppers cored and cut into large chunks
For Garnish (optional)
- Chopped green onions
- Sesame seeds
For Serving (optional)
- Cooked white rice
Optional: browning the meat and onions**
- In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high.
- Add the chopped onions and minced garlic and saute for 3-5 minutes until the onions start to brown.
- Transfer the onions and garlic to the slow cooker or reserve on a plate. Then sprinkle each side of the steak with black pepper and salt to taste.
- In the same skillet you cooked the onions in, heat another tablespoon of olive oil over high heat. Brown the steak for about a minute on each side. Do this in batches as needed, adding additional olive oil to the skillet as you go.
- Cut the browned steak into slices about ¼” thick and 1.5-2” long***.
Adding to the Slow Cooker
- Transfer the onions, garlic, and sliced steak to the slow cooker.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the beef stock, diced tomatoes and chilies, Hoisin sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, and ground ginger. Pour the mixture over the beef and onions.
- Cook the beef on low for 5-6 or on high for 3-4 hours or until the beef is cooked through and tender.
- Add the bell peppers when there is about 2 hours left if cooking on low or about 1 hour left if cooking on high.
- Serve while warm over white rice and garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions (if desired).
- Note: the peppers can become mushy if freezing and reheating, but it will still taste fine. You can also add the peppers in later.
- You can use any color of bell pepper in this recipe. I used two red and two yellow bell peppers.
- Add more spice to this recipe by using hotter peppers in place of or with the bell peppers.
- You can purchase stir fry beef in the store that is already sliced to save time.
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