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Broccoli stir-fry with sweet & savory garlic ginger-soy stir-fry sauce turns this healthy green into an irresistible side or main – perfect for satisfying takeout cravings in a cheap, healthy way!

completed Easy Garlic Broccoli Stir-Fry on a white plate
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Flavor-Packed Garlic, Ginger, and Soy Easy Stir-Fried Broccoli

We’ll admit, we’re already pretty broccoli-obsessed and love throwing it into soups, salads, and making charred broccoli as a versatile side. However, for the broccoli-weary in your house, turn it from ‘blah’ to irresistibly ‘ooh yah!’ with mixed veg and a sweet & savory garlic, ginger, and soy stir-fry sauce.

It tastes great and is loaded with good-for-you nutrients like gut-friendly fiber, vitamin C, B6, potassium, and even plant-based protein. Best of all, this garlic broccoli stir fry is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, customizable in several simple ways, and the perfect side dish for rice or noodle dishes. You’re going to love it!

Looking for more simple vegan stir-fry recipes? Check out easy vegetable noodle stir-fry, teriyaki tofu stir-fry, spicy sesame tofu stir-fry, or veggie edamame stir-fry.

The Ingredients and Substitutes

ingredients for Easy Garlic Broccoli Stir-Fry on a white surface

The Broccoli Stir-Fry Vegetables

  • Oil: Use high-heat oil like vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil. Avoid olive oil.
  • Aromatics: Adding fresh garlic and ginger really makes for a flavorful base.
  • Broccoli: The fresher the broccoli, the better the simple broccoli stir fry.
  • Other vegetables: Bulk up this vegetarian broccoli stir fry with:
    • Bell pepper
    • Carrot
    • Onion (we used red onion, though yellow or white onion will work, too)
  • To garnish: (Optional) As usual, we love garnishing stir fry with raw or toasted sesame seeds and thinly sliced scallions (green onion).

The Vegan Stir Fry Sauce

  • Aromatics: We use a combination of garlic powder and (optional) ginger powder for a super flavorful depth, though the latter is technically optional.
  • Soy sauce: Use low-sodium soy sauce if preferred, though a mix with dark soy sauce adds more depth. If you’re gluten-free, use tamari or coconut aminos.
  • Toasted sesame oil: For a rich, toasty, nutty flavor in the broccoli stir fry.
  • Sweetener: We used brown sugar for its warm, caramel-like flavor. Feel free to use unrefined coconut sugar, agave, or maple syrup instead, though.
  • Cornstarch: (or arrowroot flour) To thicken the sauce.
  • Water: To bring the ingredients to the correct sauce consistency. Use a low-sodium broth or add a bouillon cube for extra flavor.
  • Red pepper flakes: (optional) To add heat to the broccoli garlic stir-fry. Hot sauce/ chili paste also work.

Alternatively, sweet and savory teriyaki marinade works well for a moreish stir-fry with broccoli.

What Else Could I Add to Vegan Broccoli Stir Fry?

  • Protein: E.g., Make vegan-friendly ‘beef and broccoli stir-fry’ with vegan mock stir-fry strips or a hearty broccoli and tofu stir-fry with pan-fried crispy tofu strips/cubes.
  • Other vegetables: Use this broccoli vegetable stir fry as a fridge clearout, adding veg like cauliflower, bok choy, mushrooms, baby corn, snap peas, etc.
  • Water chestnuts: For extra crisp texture in this stir fry with broccoli.
  • Cashew broccoli stir fry: (or peanuts) To toss in for some crunch.
  • Acidity: Brighten the dish with a splash of lemon or lime juice (or rice vinegar). Add more flavor with a small amount of lemon, lime, or orange zest.

How to Stir Fry Broccoli

  • First, whisk the cornstarch and cold water into a lump-free slurry in a small bowl or jar. Then, stir in the remaining sauce ingredients and set aside.
  • Then, peel and mince the garlic and ginger, slice the carrot, chop the onion into wedges, and cut the bell peppers into 1-inch pieces.
  • Next, prepare the broccoli by chopping away the stem as close to the head of the broccoli as possible. Then, divide the head into small florets before removing the bottom ½-inch from the stem, then thinly slicing the rest.

Snap or slice the florets by the stem rather than through the buds so it doesn’t cause the crown to fall apart.

  • Then, heat the oil in a large, high-sided skillet or wok (use a pan with a lid) over high heat.
  • Once hot, add the onion, bell pepper, carrot, and broccoli stems. Stir-fry for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes. Then lower the heat to medium-low and pour in the sauce.

Re-whisk it first, as the starch can settle on the bottom of the container.

  • Add the broccoli florets, mix well, then cover with a lid and cook for 8-10 minutes (for tender-crisp, crunchy broccoli) or longer (up to 20 minutes -for softer broccoli).
  • Finally, remove the pan from the heat and remove the lid. Add an extra splash of soy sauce, if needed, then sprinkle with sliced green onions and sesame seeds, and enjoy!
process shot of veggies cooking in pan

FAQs

Can you stir-fry frozen broccoli?

Yes, and you can even throw them in the pan from frozen, though we usually thaw it first and pat away any excess moisture. Then, cook the frozen broccoli stir-fry to your desired texture. This takes slightly less time than fresh broccoli.

Can I use broccolini?

Yes, but it will only take 5-10 minutes to stir-fry until tender-crisp.

Do I have to blanch or steam the broccoli first?

No, but it can help to get the cooking process going and ensure it cooks through in a shorter stir-fry time. If you prefer tender veg, we recommend par-cooking the broccoli for 2-3 minutes during step 5 and then stir-frying it to your desired texture.

Pro Recipe Tips

  • Prep all the ingredients in advance: It’s important to have everything ready (the sauce, chopped veg, etc.) before turning the heat on.
  • Chop the veggies uniformly: That way, they’ll stir-fry evenly. Just note that different veggies require cutting in different sizes.
  • Timesaving hack: Blanch the broccoli during step 5 for 2-3 minutes in boiling water, transfer to ice water, dry, then stir-fry for 6-8 minutes. This adds an extra step (and washing up) but speeds up the broccoli stir-frying time.
  • For shorter prep time: You could use some pre-prepared veggies or aromatics to cut down on prep time.
  • Adjust the texture: Adjust the cooking time of this garlic broccoli stir fry based on whether you prefer crunchy, tender-crisp, or more tender broccoli.
completed Easy Garlic Broccoli Stir-Fry on a white plate

Serving Suggestions

Optionally serve the garlic broccoli stir-fry over rice (or fried rice), quinoa, or noodles, optionally with:

  • Protein: Like tofu, tempeh, seitan, or vegan mock meats (like stir-fry pieces).
  • Appetizers/sides: Like crispy spring rolls or wontons, dumplings, etc.
  • Salad: Like this cucumber salad or a leafy green side salad.

Storage Instructions

Leave the stir-fry broccoli and veg to cool, and store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

You can also freeze leftovers for 1-2 months, though note that the veggies become softer upon thawing (in the refrigerator overnight).

Reheat the stir-fry in a skillet once more or in a microwave, adding a splash of extra water or soy sauce if needed.

completed Easy Garlic Broccoli Stir-Fry in a storage container

More Vegan Broccoli Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Easy Garlic Broccoli Stir-Fry

5 from 23 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
Broccoli stir-fry with sweet & savory garlic ginger-soy stir-fry sauce turns this healthy green into an irresistible side or main – perfect for satisfying takeout cravings in a cheap, healthy way!

Ingredients 

Stir Fry Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • ½ to 1 cup of water
  • cup of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar or agave
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger powder (optional)
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)

Stir Veggies

  • 5 large broccoli heads with stems
  • 2 tablespoons of high heat oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced into wedges
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of minced ginger
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
  • Sliced green onions, for garnish (optional)

Instructions 

  • In a small bow or jar, mix together the cornstarch and water. Add remaining ingredients for the sauce and whisk until fully mixed and set aside.
  • To prep the broccoli, remove the stem as close to the broccoli head as possible. Then cut the head into small florets.
  • Grab the stems, chop a half inch of the bottom of the stems and discard that small piece. Thinly slice the rest of the stems.
  • Add oil to a large deep pan or pot with a lid and heat over high heat.
  • Add the onions, bell peppers, carrots, and the sliced broccoli stems if using. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes regularly mixing. Then add the garlic and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Lower the heat to a medium low and add the sauce.
  • Add the broccoli florets, mix well, and cover with a lid undisturbed: for crunchy broccoli, cook for 10 minutes. For softer broccoli, cook for 20 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, remove the lid, add a splash of soy sauce and serve over rice or noodles.

Notes

  • Prep all the ingredients in advance: It’s important to have everything ready (the sauce, chopped veg, etc.) before turning the heat on.
  • Chop the veggies uniformly: That way, they’ll stir-fry evenly. Just note that different veggies require cutting in different sizes.
  • Timesaving hack: Blanch the broccoli during step 5 for 2-3 minutes in boiling water, transfer to ice water, dry, then stir-fry for 6-8 minutes. This adds an extra step (and washing up) but speeds up the broccoli stir-frying time.

Nutrition

Calories: 441kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 25gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gSodium: 1360mgPotassium: 2700mgFiber: 22gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 10800IUVitamin C: 722mgCalcium: 401mgIron: 7mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Method: Stovetop
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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