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Healthy Instant Pot Mongolian Beef

Instant Pot Mongolian Beef (Healthy Recipe)

Mongolian beef just got better with our healthy take on the Chinese classic. Most traditional recipes use a lot of sugar and corn-starch or regular flour to thicken the sauce. Our version is low in sugar and uses corn-free, gluten-free ingredients. Don’t worry, it still tastes pretty amazing and will get the thumbs from kids and grown ups alike.

A few things before we begin…

Instant Pot Mongolian Beef (Healthy Recipe)

Beef. Most Mongolian beef recipes call for flank steak, which is a tasty yet cheap cut of beef. I used skirt steak, which is very similar to flank and is interchangeable in my opinion. Flank steak is probably a little more tender, so by all means use that instead. Here is a bit more info about the differences between flank and skirt steaks. You can use rump steak or other type of steak as well.

Sugar. You can use less sugar, if you like. We like coconut sugar as it has lower glycemic index and much lower % of fructose than regular sugar.

The sauce. Many recipes call for brown sugar (a lot of it) and soy sauce. I am using coconut sugar and gluten-free Tamari sauce instead. Coconut sugar is a great natural sweetener as it has a lower glycemic index than most other sweeteners. It has a lovely nutty, caramel sweetness, so it’s a great alternative to brown sugar. I found that I didn’t need to use as much as other recipes use. You can find tamari and coconut sugar in most health food stores and online. This brand of coconut sugar is quite popular, and this is the Tamari sauce I use.

Thickener. I prefer to use arrowroot or tapioca flour instead of corn starch, but you are welcome to use whatever you have on hand. Because we’re not flash frying the beef in a hot pan, we’re going to add the thickening starch at the end of the cooking process, rather than coat the meat before frying.

Making Pressure Cooker Mongolian Beef


Healthy Instant Pot Mongolian Beef

  • Author: Irena M
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Entree
  • Method: Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Mongolian


Mongolian beef just got better with our healthy take on the Chinese classic. This version is low in sugar and uses corn-free, gluten-free ingredients.



  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 5 slices of long red chili
  • 1/2 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1.1 lb / 500 g beef skirt steak or flank steak, cut into thin strips
  • 3 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1/3 cup tamari sauce (regular soy sauce or coconut aminos can also be used)
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar, as a less healthy alternative)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional but I love it)
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional but adds a little umami flavour)

To finish off

  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour or arrowroot flour (starch)
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 23 green onions, cut into 1-2” long pieces (green and pale green part only)
  • Serve with cooked white rice or cauliflower rice


  1. Press the Sauté key on the Instant Pot (it should say Normal, 30 mins). Add coconut oil, ginger and chili and stir through. Add the beef strips and garlic. Cook for a minute, stirring a couple of times.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients but not the tapioca, carrots or green onion. Cancel the Sauté function by pressing Keep Warm/Cancel button. Place and lock the lid, make sure the steam releasing handle is pointing to Sealing. Press Manual (High Pressure) and adjust to 12 minutes. After 3 beeps the pressure cooker will start going.
  3. Once the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release for 2-3 minutes naturally and then use the quick release method before opening the lid.
  4. Add the carrots and press Sauté key again. Cook together with the beef for 2 more minutes.
  5. In the meantime, combine 1/4 cup hot water with the tapioca or arrowroot starch in a small bowl. I used my fingers to dissolve the starch. Add the green onions to the beef and then add 4 tablespoons of the tapioca slurry liquid. Stir through and turn the pressure cooker off. The sauce will thicken as soon as you stir in the starch. Transfer to a bowl and serve with cooked white rice or cauliflower rice.

Keywords: Mongolian beef healthy Chinese low sugar corn-free gluten-free

Share this beef Stroganoff recipe stew on Pinterest from here!

Instant Pot Mongolian Beef (Healthy Recipe, Gluten-free, Corn-free, Refined Sugar Free)


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  • Reply
    April 1, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    It can be made in a skillet or a slow cooker if you don t have an Instant Pot!

  • Reply
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    May 8, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Coconut sugar is not environmentally sustainable. The making of coconut sugar kills the coconut tree.

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  • Reply
    July 27, 2017 at 2:14 am

    This has over 20 grams of sugar per serving. I would cut it in half and then add a LOT more vegetables and serve over brown rice mixed with cauliflower rice. Then it could be considered a healthy recipe.

    • Reply
      July 27, 2017 at 2:15 am

      ***cut the brown sugar/coconut sugar

    • Reply
      July 31, 2017 at 3:18 pm

      Hey Katy, agree it may seem like quite a bit of sugar, however we are using coconut sugar which has a much lower glycaemic index compared to white sugar and is also 3 to 9 % fructose content vs 50% of white sugar. We also had a gian bowl of veggies on the side 🙂 Hope that clarifies the use of word ‘healthy’. You are of course welcome to cut the sugar in half, which will change the flavor profile (we tried to stay as authentic as possible) but will undoubtably still be tasty. Thanks for your feedback.

  • Reply
    November 9, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Can this be made a day ahead of time? Does it reheat well? Thanks!

    • Reply
      November 10, 2017 at 11:08 am

      Yes, I have reheated the leftovers successfully, so I would say you can make it ahead of time.

  • Reply
    January 27, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Awesome recipe!!! I used 1/3 cup brown sugar and no fish sauce. This recipe was a hit in our family!

  • Reply
    December 4, 2018 at 12:25 am

    Turned out great! Meat was surprisingly tender! We don’t eat much sugary stuff so the sweetness factor was a bit much for our pallet—would use less sugar. I also ended up needing to add much more green onion to bulk up the flavor away from just sweetness, & added more hot pepper (we like spicy) :). All in all we were happy with it! Definitely best over rice & veggies 🙂

  • Reply
    February 12, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Very good and so quick. I did reduce the sugar and the next time I make it I will probably reduce it a little more. 2T is what I am thinking. Love the ginger flavor .

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