Healthier Beef Stroganoff Recipe (Classic and Easy) in 25 Minutes
Whenever you are in the mood for some comfort food, this healthier beef stroganoff will bring warmth and nourishment.
Although the original recipe calls for sour cream and butter and becomes a caloric and fat bomb, we will replace them with plain yogurt and olive oil for the healthier beef stroganoff.
This alternative will also be filling, hearty and extremely delicious (you've been warned!)
The classic beef stroganoff recipe has been adapted in many ways as time passed.
This happened because it is such a great food and people wanted to enjoy it even on a diet or even when they don’t have so much time to cook. So you may find the alternative of beef stroganoff slow cooker or keto beef stroganoff.
Among healthy beef recipes, you will certainly find beef stroganoff easy to make.
Where is Beef Stroganoff From? Where Did It Originate?
There is a story which says that in 1891 took place a cooking contest. A French chef who was working for a rich family in St. Petersburg came up with a dish that won the contest. He named the winning dish after his employer, Count Pavel Alexandrovici Stroganov because that was the custom in those days in Russia. It is thought that he used thin slices of meat because the Count was very old and his teeth were no long able to chew the meat.
However, after checking some facts, we can conclude that in 1891 Count Stroganov must have been extremely old (about 117 years) and quite dead as he was killed on the battlefield some years earlier. So there is a strong possibility that this version of the story is not true. But what it is true is that Charles Briere, the French chef, won a cooking contest in St. Petersburg. His dish was called Beef Stroganoff.
A better version would be that the dish was already present in the Stroganov family even before Charles Briere and the falling teeth belonged to Pavel Alexandrovici’s father, count Grigory Stroganov. He also had a French chef who had to shave the beef into very small bites and add a rich sauce to help him swallow.
Anyway, we know for certain that the native country of this dish is Russia. And that the Russians were eager to integrate the French culture into their own. I’m talking about the upper class here, of course. Being very wealthy, they used to buy apartments in Paris, send their children in France to study, bring French chefs, governesses and maids into their families. They spoke their native language in public, but preferred to speak French at home or at parties.
Even Tolstoi, a noble himself, wrote his master book “War and Peace” oscillating between Russian and French as he was convinced that his audience was fluent in both languages.
The Stroganov family was particularly wealthy and powerful amidst Russian nobility. Their properties expanded from St. Petersburg to the Urals. Unfortunately, the last Stroganov count, Pavel Alexandrovici, died without leaving any male heir. His daughter married some relative who was entitled to inherit the family title and properties. This way, all the wealth remained in the family. So did chef Briere. He kept cooking for the noble family and his dish perfectly illustrated the joint French-Russian cultures. It was a combination of browned meat with a mustard sauce, a staple for the French cuisine of that time, while Russians loved to eat beef in sour cream.
Beef Stroganoff did not remain only in Russia. While it quickly became famous in its native country, the dish crossed the borders and reached to China. Shanghai was called the Paris of the East in 1920s so it’s no wonder that the beef stroganoff easily got popular in there.
Nonetheless, the dish arrived late in the United States. The first wave of immigrants consisted of poor people who wanted to escape abuses. They were not very familiar with this food. The second wave of immigrants brought members of the upper class who were forced to leave by the communists. They missed their lands and their food. This nostalgia and, of course, their money made these people open elegant restaurants. One of these was New York’s Russian Tea Room which belonged to former members of the Imperial Ballet.
There is written evidence about the classic healthier beef stroganoff recipe in an English cookbook from 1932. However, it was only after the Word War II that it gained the well-deserved reputation.
It was the time when the American cuisine was redefined.
New flavors and tastes were brought to the attention of the public. Besides restaurants, this dish was also served for family dinners and reunions. Being a luxury food, it needed to be on every home chef’s table. Of course, the classic beef stroganoff recipe began to be adapted to each and every cook’s taste and, in my opinion, this is a great thing. People need to know that no recipe must be taken literally.
You can always bring your personal touch.
Ok... So, Is It Healthy?
One thing is certain about classic beef stroganoff easy recipe: it contains a lot of fat.
Combining sour cream with butter and flour may not necessarily be the healthiest choice out there. It is also possible that many restaurants include some other additives to enhance the taste.
This is not healthy either.
Eating this dish once in a while will definitely not blow up your cholesterol level or rise some serious health issues. After all, we are talking about beef and mushrooms here.
And we all know that we need a balanced diet. Going to the extremes with the food has never helped anyone. I’m not talking only about eating fast-food all day long.
They say that some symptoms include the inability to eat certain foods except for the ones that are considered “healthy and pure” or ditching an increasing number of food groups from one’s diet (e.g. all sugars, all dairy, all animal products, all carbs, all gluten-foods).
What I’m trying to say is that, while eating a dish made after a classic beef stroganoff may not be the healthiest choice in the world, it’s no tragedy that you do it from time to time. The purpose of eating out is to bring joy and happiness.
If we spend a lot of time worrying about what might happen next, we will surely miss these beautiful feelings.
How "Healthy" is Homemade Beef Stroganoff?
When you cook your dish at home, you have the possibility of making some adjustments in order to get a healthy food.
Replacing sour cream which has around 20-30% fat with plain yogurt of 2% fat could be one of those adjustments.
Substituting butter for olive oil may be another.
Flour has the role of thickening the sauce. You may use organic cornstarch, gluten-free flour or arrowroot.
They will have the same effect and the sauce will be smooth and creamy.
Our recipe below is the Healthier Beef Stroganoff Recipe, and not the "healthiest" version.
How to Make It Without Sour Cream?
As I previously told you, there is the possibility of replacing sour cream with yogurt.
You may try full-fat Greek yogurt (10% fat) or go for the lighter version of only 2% fat. In case you wish to cook your healthier beef stroganoff without any dairy, replace with soy yogurt and some soy milk.
How to Make Beef Stroganoff With Greek Yogurt?
The answer to this question is really simple: just replace the sour cream in this healthier beef stroganoff recipe with yogurt.
You don’t need to do anything more.
There is not a certain substitution ratio.
However, sour cream has a thicker consistency than the yogurt. Which leads us to the next question…
How to Thicken The Stroganoff?
What makes beef stroganoff easy to prepare is the fact that it doesn’t require any fancy ingredients. One of these ingredients is used to thicken the sauce.
The classic recipe requires flour for that. But the healthier beef stroganoff will use arrowroot or tapioca starch. When preparing keto beef stroganoff, you won’t use any thickener and the sauce will be a bit thinner.
Can You Prepare Beef Stroganoff With A Slow Cooker?
If you want to make beef stroganoff slow cooker can be your precious ally in case you don’t have time to sit near the pot. You will cook only the beef and veggies.
Half an hour before you need to serve the dish, prepare the mushroom sauce.
How to Make It With Leftover Roast?
That couldn’t be easier. Because you skip the step of cooking the meat. You will simply add the leftover roast and follow all the other steps.
You will save a lot of time with that.
This is a possibility even for beef stroganoff if you omit the flour.
Can Beef Stroganoff Be Made Ahead of Time?
Definitely yes! You will only need to follow the proper rules for cooking and refrigerating. Hygiene is very important for any made-ahead dish.
Can You Reheat It?
When you prepare it ahead of time or you have some leftovers, reheating it is a great idea. Do it over low heat until everything gets to the desired temperature.
Can Beef Stroganoff Be Frozen?
Just like any other healthy beef recipes, stroganoff can also be frozen.
It is important to let it cool completely. After that, place the food in an airtight container and take it to the freezer. Keep it there for up to three months.
- 1 lb. beef sirloin, cut into bite-size pieces
- 0.5 lb. mushrooms, sliced
- 1 pcs onion, diced
- 2 pcs garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp gluten-free flour
- 3 tbsp Greek yogurt
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 cups gluten-free fusilli, cooked
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley, to serve
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet. Cook the beef on both sides for about 3 minutes per side. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add the remaining oil. Sautee the onion for 2 minutes. Bring in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and peas and stir well. Cook for about 5-6 minutes until the onion and mushrooms are soft.
- Add 1 tablespoon of broth to deglaze the pan.
- Meanwhile whisk together the broth, mustard, and flour. Mix well until there are no lumps left.
- Pour this mixture into the skillet. Stir well. Let everything simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the Greek yogurt and keep on stirring.
- Bring back the meat and cook a bit longer until everything is heated through. Adjust the taste for salt and pepper.
- Divide the pasta between serving plates. Spoon the beef stroganoff over it. Top with fresh parsley leaves and serve warm.
- When you prepare this type of sauce, it is important to stir from time to time when cooking for two reasons. The first one is that the flour from the sauce can get stuck on the bottom of the pan. The second one is that you are able to feel the consistency of the sauce.
- If you don’t like pasta or prefer other side dish, go for rice, zucchini noodles, greens, potatoes or even fresh homemade sourdough bread.
- This classy dish can definitely be accompanied by a glass of wine. All healthy beef recipes go well with red wine. And no red wine is better than the dry or semi dry ones. Choose some pinot noir or merlot. Even a cabernet is perfect. If you don’t like red wine, choose a rose. But don’t go for white wine, this type is not appropriate for red meat.
- You should also know that other varieties of meat are also suitable for the stroganoff. Turkey, pork or chicken are great alternatives.
- In case you want to prepare an easy dish, remember that beef stroganoff slow cooker could be the answer.