Nothing is easier than this Keto Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef. Dump all the ingredients in your crock pot and in a few hours, dinner is served. It’s a delicious low carb meal the whole family will love. Better – and healthier – than takeout!
There are some slow cooker recipes that I like to call dump-and-run recipes. Meaning you can simply dump all the ingredients into your crock pot and walk away. There is nothing more to do, no pre-cooking or browning or sautéing required. These are my favorite kind of recipes because dinner practically cooks itself with minimal effort on your part.
This Keto Mongolian Beef recipe is exactly one of these dump-and-run sorts and it’s just such a relief sometimes to have a few good easy dinners like this. Ones that I know my kids will eat. And better yet, it dirties a single pot so I don’t have a lot of hand wash dishes to clean.
I am pretty sure I had never even had Mongolian Beef until I decided to make this delicious keto version. I may have had it once a million years ago at PF Chang’s, before I went low carb. I honestly can’t be sure.
But Chinese takeout has been mostly off limits to me for the past 9 years because it’s so shockingly full of sugar. It’s not a huge loss for me. I haven’t been sitting here craving it at every moment and I can usually pass it by easily in favour of healthier options.
But I kept seeing delectable looking Mongolian Beef recipes on Pinterest, and they caught my eye frequently enough, I knew I had to take a stab at it.
A Keto-fied Mongolian Beef Recipe
Replacing the sugar: The Mongolian Beef you get at most restaurants is almost tooth-achingly sweet. All the recipes I consulted were full of brown sugar, sometimes upwards of 1/2 a cup. I can feel my blood sugar rising just thinking about that!
I simply replaced the brown sugar with the new Swerve Brown Sweetener. It’s got all the same flavor as real brown sugar, but with no carb impact. I didn’t use nearly as much either, as I prefer my dinners not overly sweet.
Replacing the starch: Most recipes also typically contain a hefty amount of cornstarch to thicken the broth. Obviously that’s another big keto no-no.
I added no starch whatsoever, but I did thicken the sauce at the end with some glucomannan. It’s quickly become my favorite thickening agent. It’s made from konjac root, similar to shirataki noodles, and it thickens sauces and gravies really well. It’s less slimy in texture than xanthan gum, and a little goes a long way.
I find that the best way to use it is to whisk it into a cup or so of the liquid in a dish after cooking, and then to pour that back into the pot and mix it all together.
Soy sauce or coconut aminos: Many keto dieters avoid all soy products and that’s really up to the individual. Coconut aminos is said to taste a lot like soy sauce but I find it simply doesn’t have the true umami flavor and I have been disappointed in the results in most recipes.
Additionally, coconut aminos is actually HIGHER in carbs than soy sauce. Many people make this mistake, thinking that it’s lower carb, simply because it’s “keto-approved”. A tablespoon of coconut aminos can have 6 to 10 grams of carbs, depending on the brand, whereas most soy sauces only have 1 to 2g per tablespoon.
My choice for Keto Asian dishes is actually tamari, a fermented soy sauce. It’s thicker than regular soy sauce and often has no wheat (look for the gluten-free certified label!). And that’s exactly what I used in this Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef, to get that rich deep Asian flavor.
Mongolian Beef in the Slow Cooker
Of course you can cook Mongolian Beef on the stovetop in a large skillet or a wok, if you have one. That’s pretty easy as well. But when you’re working with tougher cuts of meat like flank steak, slow cooking provides an extra tenderness. Using a slow cooker also helps all those gorgeous flavors meld together.
Do be forewarned that using a slow cooker tends to release a lot of liquid from the meat. You want a fair bit of sauce but you don’t want to add too much liquid or it will be weak and watery.
Because we are having a little bit of work done on the house, my real slow cooker is packed away. I used the slow cook function on my Instant Pot instead. It worked fine but when cooking was done, the meat was in one big clump in the bottom and I had to break it up. I highly recommend using an actual crock pot or other slow cooker for this recipe.
There you have it, an easy slow cooker Mongolian Beef recipe that’s keto friendly. And it’s so so good paired with a little cauliflower rice!
Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef
- 1 1/2 lbs flank or sirloin steak
- 1/3 cup Swerve Brown
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp glucomannan powder (or 1/4 tsp xanthan gum)
- 2 green onions, chopped
- Sesame seeds for sprinkling
- Slice the beef very thinly against the grain. This works best when it is semi-frozen (but not rock solid). Place the beef in the bottom of a slow cooker.
- In a medium bowl or glass measuring up, whisk together the brown sugar substitute, water, tamari, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Pour over the beef.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, OR high for 2 to 3 hours.
- When the beef has finished cooking, spoon some of the broth out of the pot into a bowl. Whisk in the glucomannan powder until combined, then pour the broth back into the pot and stir to coat.
- Sprinkle the beef with the chopped green onions and some sesame seeds and serve over cauliflower rice.