Slow Cooker Pepper Steak made with thinly sliced steak (or stew meat) and colorful bell peppers. It’s an easy, set-it-and-forget-it crockpot meal that is even better than take out!
Pepper Steak is a favorite recipe at our house that we make regularly. Depending on our schedule for the day, we either cook this make-ahead crock pot pepper steak recipe, or a quick 20-minute pepper steak stir fry recipe.
When we need to have dinner on the table as soon as we walk in the door, this is the recipe we cook. It’s a simple, tasty and better than take out!
How to Make Slow Cooker Pepper Steak
This is a typical set-it-and-forget it, crockpot recipe. Add all the ingredients to the crockpot and it does the cooking for you. When you walk in the door after a long day, you’ll think you ordered takeout — but this recipe is much healthier and less expensive than takeout.
What Type of Steak is Best for Slow Cooker Pepper Steak
We talk a lot about different types of beef cuts on our site.
In case there’s any confusion, “pepper steak” isn’t a specific cut of beef, like sirloin or flank steak.
When making this slow cooker pepper steak recipe or our pepper steak stir fry recipe, we like to use sirloin or flank steak. To make your steak easier to slice, you can place it in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. Partially freezing the meat firms it up and makes it easier to get super thin slices.
We also occasionally make this recipe with stew meat, and it works well too. Using stew meat may surprise you, but it works because of the slow cooker.
As you may remember from other posts, stew meat is typically cuts of beef from the chuck and round and requires longer cooking time in order to become tender. By making this recipe in the crock pot, stew meat has a chance to cook longer and it can make great pepper steak. We don’t recommend using stew meat in the stir fry version of this recipe.
Can You Put Raw Steak in Slow Cooker?
Yes, you can cook raw steak in a slow cooker. In a pinch, you can even cook frozen meat if you didn’t give yourself enough time for defrosting the meat.
However, it’s REALLY important to note that if you don’t brown the beef first you will loose much of the flavor and juices of the steak. By browning the beef first, you will add a richer, bolder flavor to the meal.
Bell Peppers in Slow Cooker Pepper Steak
We often cook with bell peppers, and for this recipe we like to use a variety of colors – green, red, orange and yellow. Whatever color bell peppers you have on hand will work. Some bell peppers are sweeter than others. Red, yellow and orange peppers are typically sweeter than green peppers.
Depending on your day’s schedule, you can wait and add the red and green peppers during the last hour of cooking it so that the peppers stay crisp, or you can add them at the beginning of the recipe.
How to Store, Freeze and Reheat
- Store: Place leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Reheat: Reheat in the microwave or warm leftovers in a skillet on the stove over medium-low heat.
- Freeze: Store in airtight freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight before reheating.
Kitchen Products We Love
Slow Cooker Pepper Steak
- 2 pounds Sirloin or flank steak cut into 2 inch slices (or Stew Meat*)
- 2 Tbsp Cornstarch
- ¼ cup Water
- 1 Onion cut into ½-inch strips
- 2 Green bell peppers cored and cut into ½-inch strips
- 1 Red or yellow bell pepper cored and cut into ½-inch strips
- 1 can Stewed tomatoes with liquid 14.5 ounces
- 1/4 cup Soy sauce, low sodium
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp Brown sugar (or 1 tsp honey)
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black pepper
- 2 tsp Garlic powder
- 1 tbsp Ginger fresh, minced
- 1/4 tsp Red pepper flakes add to taste
- 1 tbsp Canola oil
- Place sliced beef in bowl. Sprinkle beef with garlic powder, salt and black pepper. Toss to coat.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high. Add the beef and cook on all sides until the beef is lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer the beef and any cooking juices to slow cooker. (Note: This step is for flavor, and can be skipped if you're in a hurry. However, we don't recommend skipping it since it will add more flavor to the dish if you brown the beef first)
- Add tomatoes, onions and bell peppers to slow cooker. Note: Depending on how crisp you want your peppers, you can also wait and add the bell peppers approximately one hour before you're ready to eat. This will allow them to be more crisp when served.
- In a small bowl, mix water, cornstarch, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar. Add to slow cooker
- Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours, until the beef is tender
- Serve hot with rice
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