Beef stroganoff


Juicy beef strips cooked in a rich creamy smoky and sweet sauce with button mushrooms all in one pot

10 mins

35 mins

492 kcals

serves 2

Beef stroganoffPin

Beef stroganoff recipe

This healthier beef stroganoff is hard to beat. It’s all made in one pot and can be prepped and cooked in under an hour. To start, a base is made with onions and garlic before adding the thinly sliced steak and searing it off. Then the mustard, paprika, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce is added to create those classic deep smoky flavours alongside a rich beef stock. The small button mushrooms are added and then everything is slowly simmered. At the end of cooking add the warmed sour cream to give this dish its traditional creaminess. Top off with some chopped fresh parsley when serving for a perfect all-in-one low fat comfort food dish that everyone will love!

Beef stroganoff used to be a real staple in my kitchen years ago, but I had forgotten all about it. I had some sour cream left over from another recipe recently, so decided to have a go at a lean version of it (I used to use a whole tub of sour cream!). I used to mainly flavour it with paprika, but in this version I tried a couple of slightly different additions, and I think it’s the nicest one I’ve ever made!

Just a little tip for adding in the sour cream at the end, if you gently warm it through before adding it, it prevents it from separating and making a grainy sauce. I have a little tiny saucepan which is perfect for this, or alternatively you could carefully warm it in the microwave.

What’s in this post

What is Beef stroganoff

Beef stroganoff is a classic dish originating from Russia and made with juicy, thin strips of beef cooked with mushrooms, onions and garlic in a deeply flavoured creamy sauce. This version is a lower calorie alternative to the traditional recipe by reducing the amount of cream used. This is a quick and easy meal to prepare and any leftovers can be stored in the fridge or freezer for later.

Ingredients you need to make beef stroganoff

Frying steak  – To avoid chewy beef in this recipe it’s really important to use the right beef cut. In this recipe I use frying steak (minute steak) which is a very thinly cut piece of beef from sirloin, rump or sometimes flank. Ideally you don’t want the steak to be more than 1cm thick as it needs to fry quickly. Frying steak also tends to be quite good value so it’s a good option when watching the budget.

Onion – medium-sized and cut into half moons.

Garlic – this needs to be finely chopped.

Button mushrooms – I use these as they are small and a similar size to the beef strips allowing you to get a bit of both in each mouthful. Just make sure to cut the mushrooms in half. You can use other larger mushrooms but just remember to cut them up into smaller pieces.

Wholegrain mustard – this is the mustard which has whole mustard seeds in it. It has a tangy, earthy flavour which perfectly complements beef.

Tomato purée – this can be either from a tube or a tin.

Garlic powder – stir this through thoroughly to prevent it lumping together

 Paprika (sweet) – this will give the stroganoff a satisfying subtly smoky taste.

Beef stock – either homemade or from a stock cube or pot.

Cornflour – just a small amount is needed to thicken the sauce so it’s not too watery.

Sour cream – if you are watching the calories then a low fat version is used here helping to make this a low calorie stroganoff. This is added towards the end of cooking and will give the sauce it’s classic creaminess.

Low calorie cooking spray – This helps to limit the amount of oil used and reduce calories if you are following a slimming plan.

Parsley – this looks great as a garnish and also gives a nice fresh herby addition to cut through the rich flavours from the sauce and beef.

Choosing the right cut of beef steak for stroganoff

If you are unable to find specific frying steak then you want to source a steak that is tender and juicy, such as:

Sirloin – this is a great option as it’s tender and juicy but it is slightly more expensive. It’s also quite a lean cut so great for reducing the calories. You will need to make sure you don’t overcook this cut or it can end up chewy.

Rump – this is the best budget option. It’s still tender and juicy but will need to be cut thinly and cooked on a high temperature quickly. Again, it’s pretty lean so a good option for calorie control.

Flank or Bavette – Not as common, but still lean and tends to be quite thin so great for cutting into strips.

Scotch fillet (boneless rib eye) – this is the luxury option, but it is the most tender of the steaks. Scotch fillet has quite a bit of marbling so although it adds flavour it will also add calories.

With all the different cuts of steak just make sure to remove any visible fat if you are trying to reduce calories.

Tips on cutting the beef for stroganoff

Tips on cutting the beef

  • Pop the steak in the freezer for 15-30 mins before cutting. This will firm the steak up and make it easier to slice.
  • Use a nice sharp knife that will give a clean cut – no one wants to be hacking through a nice succulent steak!
  • Try to cut the steaks across the grain. To do this look for the long muscle fibres and then cut perpendicular to it. This will make the strips more tender and easier to chew.
  • I’ve said it a few times, but get those strips thin! You want to aim for strips about half a cm / 1/1 inch thick. The thinner slices will cook more evenly and faster.

A lot comes down to the thin cut of the beef to make sure that this stroganoff doesn’t end up with chewy pieces of beef. 

My method for this recipe is to cook the beef in the sauce with all of the other ingredients, with a thinly cut frying steak this will not result in chewy beef, and this is the easiest way to make this recipe (and I always like the most faff-free method!).

You will find that this method varies across different recipes, and another way to do this is to cook the steak on its own, set it to one side, then thinly slice it and add it back in once the sauce is made. This will ensure perfectly cooked, tender beef if you are using a cut such as sirloin, rib-eye or rump.

I don’t normally cook the beef and then remove it whilst I cook the onion and garlic base because I like to throw everything in together. But if you want to make sure your beef is perfectly cooked and not risk it becoming chewy you can follow these tips and cook the beef first and then add it back in once the sauce is ready.

If you are following this method, then once you have seared the beef, set it aside on a plate, and then when your sauce is ready, thinly slice it and add it back into the pan (with any juices) for 5-10 minutes, depending on how well done you like it.

Tips for searing the beef

Tips on searing the beef

If you do decide to cook the beef steak first here are a few tips:

  • Sear the beef on a high temperature quickly. The searing will add flavoursome crunchy bits to the steak. Don’t worry if the steak isn’t cooked all the way through as it will finish cooking once it’s added back in and cooked with the sauce.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan. If too much beef is cooked at once a lot of moisture leaving the beef will end up steaming it instead of searing it

What is stroganoff sauce made of?

This healthier stroganoff sauce uses beef stock as the main liquid base with some cornflour to help thicken it up. Then to get those deep rich flavours you add mustard, Worcestershire sauce and paprika for a hint of smokiness. Lastly you add low fat sour cream to give the sauce it’s classic creaminess.

What to serve with beef stroganoff

Beef stroganoff is a rich meal so I prefer serving it with more neutral sides that can soak up some of the creamy sauce.

Rice – White rice is an easy option and I always have it in the cupboard. You could go a bit more fancy and use wild rice – this also adds a bit more texture.

Egg noodles – The chewy texture of the noodles works really well with the beef and are great at soaking up the rich sauce.

Bread – A classic match for this beef stroganoff, but just be careful how much you have if you are trying to watch the calories.

Mashed potato – This is quick and simple to make at home and you can easily control the amount of butter that is added, if any!

Roasted potatoes – These roast potatoes give a nice crunchy texture when paired with the stroganoff. For a little twist you could try these Oxo roast potatoes.

How to store beef stroganoff

Beef stroganoff can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Fridge – Make sure the stroganoff has fully cooled before transferring to a reusable airtight container.

Freezer – Again wait for the stroganoff to fully cool and transfer to a reusable airtight container. I always write the date on the container of when it went into the freezer.

How to reheat beef stroganoff

The beef stroganoff can be reheated on the stovetop, in the oven or in a microwave.

If you are planning to reheat the stroganoff from frozen then allow it to completely defrost in the fridge overnight.

Stovetop – Place the stroganoff into a saucepan and heat on a medium to low heat for 5-10 minutes until heated all the way through. Avoid heating too quickly or overheating the meat as this can make it chewy. You may need to add a little water if the sauce looks too thick. Make sure to stir occasionally to avoid anything from sticking.

Oven – Preheat the oven to 160°C Put the stroganoff into an oven-safe dish and cover with a lid or tin foil. Place into the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Microwave – Place the stroganoff into a microwave safe container and cover with a lid or some clingfilm. I usually heat for 1-2 minutes, depending on your microwave power. If it’s not heated all the way through, stir the stroganoff and continue heating in 30 second bursts.

How many calories are in this healthier beef stroganoff?

There are 492 calories in this beef stroganoff. This is based on 2 portions from the whole recipe, and does not include any side-dishes that you add. The calories can vary depending what cut of steak you use for this.

How does this work on Slimming World?

If you are following Slimming World, then this recipe has 1.5 syns per portion. This cornflour is 1 syn per tablespoon, and the reduced fat sour cream has 1/2 syn per tablespoon (so 1.5 syns for 3 tablespoons)

Are there and allergens in beef stroganoff?

Yes potentially.

Worcestershire sauce – You will need to check the brand of Worcestershire sauce that you are using as some contain both soy and fish

Beef stock – Different brands contain some ingredients that can cause allergies so it’s best to check.

Sour cream – This contains cow’s milk so those with a dairy intolerance would need to use an alternative.

DISCLAIMER: This information is given as a guide and is by no way definitive. It’s still really important you check all the ingredients you are planning on using to make sure that they don’t contain allergens if this is something that affects you.

Frequently asked questions about: Beef stroganoff

Can I substitute sour cream?

Yes you can use creme fraiche but just opt for a low fat version if you are watching the calories.

Can I batch cook this and then store

Yes this is a perfect dish to batch cook and freeze. You can use the recipe card below to increase the ingredient amounts by 2x or 3x. Just follow the directions above for freezing.

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Beef stroganoff

Beef stroganoff

  • Author: Pip Payne
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Diet: Low Calorie


A healthy and delicious beef stroganoff- comfort food at it’s best!

Syns: 1.5 syns per portion (cornflour- 1 syn total and sour cream 1.5 syns for 3 tbsp)

Healthy Extra: none


  • Low calorie cooking spray or spray oil
  • 500 g thin frying steak (sliced into strips)
  • 1 onion (sliced into half moons)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 200 g button mushrooms (sliced)
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 tsp tomato puree
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 500 ml beef stock
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 3 tbsp low fat sour cream
  • salt and pepper
  • low calorie cooking spray/spray oil
  • parsley to garnish


  1. In a large, deep frying pan, fry the onions gently in low calorie cooking spray (or spray oil) until soft- about 4 minutes
  2. Add the garlic, stir fry for another minute, and then add in the steak. Fry gently for a few minutes, until browned on the outside
  3. Add the tomato puree and the cornflour and stir through the other ingredients, then add half the beef stock.
  4. Stir everything well to combine, then add the mustard, garlic powder, paprika & worcestershire sauce, stirring them through the sauce.
  5. Add in the mushrooms, pour in the remaining stock and season with salt and pepper. Allow to simmer gently, uncovered for 25 minutes.
  6. At the end of the cooking time, gently warm your sour cream, either in a small pan, or in the microwave, and then add it to the beef mixture (this will prevent it from separating)
  7. Serve with chopped, fresh parsley sprinkled over the top.


It’s always important to me how my food looks when I serve it- a sprinkle of paprika, a bit of black pepper and some fresh parsley complement this perfectly!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Russian

Keywords: Autumn, comfort, one-pot

4 thoughts on “Healthier beef stroganoff”

  1. Can’t get low fat sour cream anywhere in the UK ..can I replace it with low fat yoghurt and lemon juice?

  2. I buy reduced fat sour cream in tesco, I have also bought it in Sainsburys and Asda. You could use half-fat creme fraiche instead, but I think that in this case, yoghurt would not taste right.

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