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Healthy Beef Stroganoff

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Do you love Beef Stroganoff, but wish it was a little better for you? Then look no further! This healthy Beef Stroganoff recipe is loaded with tender chunks of lean beef, savory mushrooms, and a creamy sauce that is a fraction of the fat and calories of traditional stroganoff recipes.

A plate of food on a table, with Beef Stroganoff and Noodle

Not only is this beef stroganoff healthy and delicious, but it’s a total one pot dish too–you don’t need to boil noodles separately!

Finally, you can enjoy this hearty comfort food classic without any of the guilt, and we’re here for it.

How to make one pot healthy beef stroganoff:

Makes 4 servings

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen “Skillet Beef Stroganoff”

One pot beef stroganoff healthy recipe
  • 3/4 cup of low fat 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of 1 % plain cottage cheese, small curd
  • 1 1/2 lbs of flank steak
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 16 oz of sliced mushrooms (baby bellas or white button are great)
  • 2 cups white onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth, from a 32oz carton
  • 2 1/2 cups of wide egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Making the “cream” for the stroganoff:

In a blender or a small food processor, combine the Greek yogurt and the cottage cheese and blend until smooth. Set the mixture aside and allow it to come up to room temperature. This will keep the cheese and yogurt from separating when added to the hot broth!

Prepping the Beef:

Pound out the beef by laying it on a cutting board and covering it with plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the meat out evenly to 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick. This step does make a difference in tenderizing the meat and ensuring even cooking, so don’t skip this step!

Slice the beef into strips. First, cutting WITH THE GRAIN, cut strips that are long and about 1″ thick in width.

Slice the flank steak with the grain

Next, take your 1″ strips and cut ACROSS THE GRAIN into 1/2″ thick chunks. Pat the top of the chunks dry and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

Slice the beef against the grain

In a deep pot or dutch oven, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Working in 2 or 3 batches, add the beef chunks and sear until the meat is browned on all sides, about 4-5 minutes. Don’t overcrowd the pan.

Remove the beef from the pot and set it aside on a plate.

Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pot, reduce the heat if burning starts to occur, and add your second batch of beef.

Sear the meat until browned on all sides. Just like before, once the meat is browned, remove from the pot and set aside on a plate.

Repeat this process until all the beef has been seared and is resting on a plate.

A plate of seared beef

Cook the veggies

In the same pot you seared the beef, add two tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium heat.

Add the mushrooms and the onions to the pot. Cook until the onions are soft and the mushrooms are tender and have started to release their liquid, about 5 minutes.

cook until the mushrooms and onions are soft and released liquid

Stir in the dried thyme, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.

Add the beef back to the pot, along with any accumulated juices.

Pour 3 cups of vegetable broth over the beef and mushrooms and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently uncovered 20-25 minutes or until the beef is nice and tender. Do not bring this stock to a roaring boil– too much liquid will reduce. You want a gentle simmer.

Start testing the beef after 15 minutes to make sure it’s doesn’t overcook.

Finishing the beef stroganoff:

After the broth has reduced and the beef is nice and tender, add the egg noodles to the pot.

Bring the broth to a simmer and cook the noodles until tender, about 9-10 minutes. Stir constantly to prevent sticking and add a little more vegetable stock if the stroganoff is looking too dry. It should look like most of the liquid has been absorbed, but there should still be enough liquid to coat the bottom of the pot.

Once the noodles are cooked, immediately remove the pot from the heat.

Stir in the lemon juice, if using.

Grab your yogurt and cottage cheese mixture. Adding a little at a time, stir into the beef and noodles.

Give the stroganoff a taste and hit it with an extra squeeze of lemon or salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!

A finished pot of healthy beef stroganoff

What’s a good vegetable to serve with beef stroganoff?

For a little extra veggie power, I’d serve this dish with a light and leafy green salad dressed with a zesty vinaigrette.

You can add some veggies to the beef stroganoff itself, to make it even more healthy! During cooking, stir in some frozen green peas, green beans, or some spinach after the beef has simmered. Once the veggies have warmed through, add the lemon juice and then your Greek yogurt mixture. Delish!

What makes this beef stroganoff dish healthy?

Swapping out ingredients helps to make this beef stroganoff healthier

Traditional beef stroganoff recipes call for butter, wine, flour, and of course sour cream. While delicious, these ingredients can leave the dish feeling pretty heavy and quite rich.

So with a few simple swaps, I’ve made the dish lighter and a little more nutritious! Here are the swaps:

Use lean beef. For this recipe, I chose flank steak instead of filet. It’s a super flavorful cut of beef that’s easy to cook, affordable, and super lean. When simmered in the stock and mushroom juices, the beef becomes delightfully tender.

Omit the flour. What makes this is a one pot dish is that the noodles are cooked directly in the beef and mushroom broth. The noodles will help to thicken the sauce without adding extra flour.

Swap out butter for olive oil. Traditional stroganoff recipes call for butter when sauteing the veggies. To cut the richness and heaviness, I chose to use a light and slightly more healthy olive oil instead. Feel free to use another oil like avocado or coconut. Just choose an oil with a higher smoke point when searing the beef.

Yogurt and cottage cheese replace the sour cream. Using a combo of 2% Greek yogurt and low fat cottage cheese gives the final dish the creaminess and the tang that the sour cream would provide in a traditional recipe. This dynamic duo will add a really nice flavor and creaminess, all while cutting a bunch of calories and fat. This combo will also add extra protein to the dish.

Omit the wine. Using a squeeze of lemon juice after the beef simmers will add a healthy acidity and brightness to the beef stroganoff, without adding unnecessary sugar and calories.

Use vegetable broth instead of beef. This may not cut a lot of calories, but it helps to lighten the dish!

What beef should I use?

For this recipe, I went with flank steak. It’s nice and lean, flavorful, and it’s easy to cook. Another cut of beef I’ve seen used in stroganoff recipes is sirloin and sirloin tips. So feel free to use those if it’s all you can find!

The key to success with these cuts of beef is 1) pounding out the meat to an even thickness and 2) making sure the beef is cut into chunks that are the same size.

The beef will cook more evenly and ensure a tender bite. It’s also important to cut the meat into small pieces AGAINST THE GRAIN. This will shorten the beef’s fibers, making the bites of beef easier to chew.

Now if cutting up steak is not your thing, or if all you have on hand is some lean ground beef or ground turkey, use that! Just cook the ground meat through, remove it from the pot, cook the mushrooms and then add the meat back with the broth.

You’ll still want to simmer the ground beef and mushroom mixture for about 15-20 minutes to reduce the liquid, and then proceed with the rest of the recipe!

What is a good substitute for sour cream in stroganoff?

For this healthy version of beef stroganoff, I blend together a combo of low fat 2% plain Greek yogurt and 1% small curd cottage cheese. The Greek yogurt provides a tangy flavor, while the cottage cheese adds a little more creaminess, protein, and healthy richness.

Using the cottage cheese and Greek yogurt combo also reduces the calories in the dish from 445 calories and 40+ grams of fat to 175 calories and 5 grams of fat. That’s a significant saving!

You can totally use all Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream. Just make sure the yogurt is at room temperature or warmed slightly before adding to the stroganoff pot. This will keep the yogurt from separating.

Tips for making the best beef stroganoff

Final Plated Stroganoff

Here are some tips I picked up along the way that really made the dish easy and delicious:

  • Take the cottage cheese and yogurt out of the fridge at the start of the recipe. Bringing the dairy up to room temp keeps it from separating when added to the hot beef and mushroom liquid.
  • Pound the beef to 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick. It’s not my favorite step, but it really does make a difference. This not only makes the cut of beef an even thickness, which helps to cook all the chunks evenly, but it also tenderizes the flank steak. Flank really benefits from some tenderizing. When I didn’t pound out the steak, some chunks of beef came out a little chewier than others.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan when searing the beef. Adding too many hunks of beef to the pot will cause the meat to steam rather than sear and you won’t get a good crust on the meat.
  • Simmer the beef, don’t boil. Flank likes a low and slow simmer. Also if you boil or simmer too aggressively, a lot of the liquid will evaporate and you won’t have enough to cook the noodles.

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Healthy Beef Stroganoff

Healthy Beef Stroganoff

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup of low fat 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of 1 % plain cottage cheese, small curd
  • 1 1/2 lbs of flank steak
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 16 oz of sliced mushrooms (baby bellas or white button are great)
  • 2 cups white onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth, from a 32oz carton
  • 2 1/2 cups of wide egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Making the "cream" for the stroganoff:

  1. In a blender or a small food processor, combine the Greek yogurt and the cottage cheese and blend until smooth. Set the mixture aside and allow it to come up to room temperature. This will keep the cheese and yogurt from separating when added to the hot broth!

Prepping the Beef:

  1. Pound out the beef by laying it on a cutting board and covering it with plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the meat out evenly to 1/2" to 3/4" thick. This step does make a difference in tenderizing the meat and ensuring even cooking, so don't skip this step!
  2. Slice the beef into strips. First, cutting WITH THE GRAIN, cut strips that are long and about 1" thick in width.
  3. Next, take your 1" strips and cut ACROSS THE GRAIN into 1/2" thick chunks. Pat the top of the chunks dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
  4. In a deep pot or dutch oven, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Working in 2 or 3 batches, add the beef chunks and sear until the meat is browned on all sides, about 4-5 minutes. Don't overcrowd the pan.
  5. Remove the beef from the pot and set it aside on a plate.
  6. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pot, reduce the heat if burning starts to occur, and add your second batch of beef.
  7. Sear the meat until browned on all sides. Just like before, once the meat is browned, remove from the pot and set aside on a plate.
  8. Repeat this process until all the beef has been seared and is resting on a plate.

Cook the veggies

  1. In the same pot you seared the beef, add two tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium heat.
  2. Add the mushrooms and the onions to the pot. Cook until the onions are soft and the mushrooms are tender and have started to release their liquid, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the dried thyme, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  4. Add the beef back to the pot, along with any accumulated juices.
  5. Pour 3 cups of vegetable broth over the beef and mushrooms and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently uncovered 20-25 minutes or until the beef is nice and tender. Do not bring this stock to a roaring boil-- too much liquid will reduce. You want a gentle simmer.
  6. Start testing the beef after 15 minutes to make sure it's doesn't overcook.

Finishing the beef stroganoff:

  1. After the broth has reduced and the beef is nice and tender, add the egg noodles to the pot.
  2. Bring the broth to a simmer and cook the noodles until tender, about 9-10 minutes. Stir constantly to prevent sticking and add a little more vegetable stock if the stroganoff is looking too dry. It should look like most of the liquid has been absorbed, but there should still be enough liquid to coat the bottom of the pot.
  3. Once the noodles are cooked, immediately remove the pot from the heat.
  4. Stir in the lemon juice, if using.
  5. Grab your yogurt and cottage cheese mixture. Adding a little at a time, stir into the beef and noodles.
  6. Give the stroganoff a taste and hit it with an extra squeeze of lemon or salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 657Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 174mgSodium: 1170mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 6gSugar: 15gProtein: 68g

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