Sweet-and-Sour Beef Recipe
Sweet-and-Sour Beef Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Sweet-and-Sour Beef Recipe

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This healthful stir-fry recipe is a family favorite. I've used a variety of meats and apples and sometimes replace the green onion with yellow onion. No matter what tweaks I make, it always tastes great. —Brittany McCloud, Kenyon, MN
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES:4 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES: 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 pound beef top sirloin steak, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 large green pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 medium tart apples, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions, divided
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • Hot cooked rice, optional

Nutritional Facts

1-1/2 cups (calculated without rice): 389 calories, 8g fat (2g saturated fat), 46mg cholesterol, 663mg sodium, 53g carbohydrate (46g sugars, 4g fiber), 25g protein.


  1. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water until smooth. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet or wok coated with cooking spray, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add beef; stir-fry 2-3 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove from pan.
  2. In same skillet, stir-fry peppers and apples in remaining oil for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup green onions; stir-fry 1-3 minutes longer or until peppers are crisp-tender. Remove from pan.
  3. Add brown sugar and vinegar to skillet; bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Stir cornstarch mixture and add to pan. Return to a boil; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Return beef and pepper mixture to pan; heat through. If desired, serve with rice. Sprinkle with remaining green onion. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as Sweet-and-Sour Beef in Light & Tasty August/September 2007, p26

Full-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah.

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NoodleNel User ID: 6393598 235816
Reviewed Oct. 28, 2015

"This was delicious. A big hit with family."

ktype User ID: 4188985 233674
Reviewed Sep. 29, 2015

"Very good."

mjbeagles User ID: 6547836 159307
Reviewed Jan. 31, 2014

"Loved this recipe. I also added one can of water chestnuts and 1 can of mini corn cobs for more variety. The apples provide a pleasant sweetness as well."

trineer User ID: 4642442 158689
Reviewed Jan. 12, 2010

"I have 3 very picky boys, who all absolutely love this dish! It's become one of our family staples!"

liz-z User ID: 3103435 110693
Reviewed Jan. 2, 2010

"I have made this recipe with steak, with chicken, with shrimp and with a combination of shrimp and chicken all came out tasting delicious. This one is a staple at my house!"

cheychey41795 User ID: 4586080 208003
Reviewed Nov. 18, 2009

"Perfect combination! I added pineapple and not apples, also added water chestnuts! Very tasty. Totally going to cook again:)"

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