This orange beef is a flavor-packed meal that’s a gluten- and soy-free version of a classic. It’s also paleo, Whole30, and easy to make AIP.

What is Orange Beef?

Orange beef is a delicious recipe that’s somewhat of a Chinese takeout classic. It’s traditionally made with steak, soy sauce, orange juice, sugar, garlic, and ginger for a sweet and savory beef dish.

It’s not as popular as orange chicken, but it should be! I was recently reminded of this meal when at a restaurant with my husband in Colorado and immediately thought that I had to recreate it to be paleo. This recipe is gluten and soy-free and can easily be made whole30 as well! It tastes great topped with green onion and paired with cauliflower rice.

The Ingredients for Orange Beef

  • Flank steak. I prefer flank steak  in dishes like this. Sirloin steak would be another good option.
  • Arrowroot starch. Arrowroot is a swap for corn starch and helps to make the beef a bit crispy and thicken the sauce. I wouldn’t recommend swapping for tapioca starch.
  • Garlic & ginger. Fresh garlic and ginger add a bit of spice to this dish to up the savory factor.
  • Orange juice. I love using fresh orange juice along with the orange zest to freshen up the dish.
  • Coconut sugar. This adds an extra layer of sweetness!

How to Make Orange Beef

  • Slice the flank steak into thin slices and coat with arrowroot starch.
  • Heat avocado oil in a pan and cook the flank steak for 2-3 minutes on each side. Set aside.
  • Add garlic and ginger to the pan and saute until fragrant.
  • Add coconut aminos, orange juice, coconut sugar, and orange zest to the pan and stir well to combine. Allow thickening over 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the steak back to the pan and stir to coat in the sauce for 1-2 minutes.
  • Serve topped with green onion.

Tips & Tricks

  • Make sure the beef is sliced properly. Slicing the beef thin and against the grain is key for tender beef! Beef that’s sliced too thick or with the grain will be chewy.
  • Go for fresh ginger and garlic. Of course you can use dried in a pinch, but fresh is always best for the most flavor.

How to store and reheat this recipe

You can store the beef for 3-4 days in the fridge in an airtight container. To reheat, simply heat some avocado oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Add the beef and simmer for just a few minutes! You can add a splash of coconut aminos to thin out the sauce if needed.

What to serve with orange beef

  • Steamed rice or cauliflower rice
  • Ramen noodles
  • Steamed or roasted broccoli
  • Bok choy
  • etc!

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Orange Beef (Paleo, Whole30, AIP)

  • Author: Michelle
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3 servings 1x


This orange beef is a flavor-packed meal that’s a healthier version of a classic. It’s paleo, whole30, and easy to make AIP.


Units Scale
  • 1 lb flank steak
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb ginger, grated and minced
  • 3 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (sub rice vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar (omit for whole30)
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tbsp green onion, sliced


  1. Remove the flank steak from the fridge and allow to sit on the counter for 20 minutes. Season the flank steak well with salt and pepper and slice thin slices against the grain.
  2. Add to a bowl and thoroughly coat with arrowroot starch.
  3. Heat avocado oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the flank steak to a pan in a single layer, working in batches if needed. Cook the steak for 2-3 minutes on each side or until crisp. Set aside.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic and ginger to the pan. Saute until fragrant.
  5. Add coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, orange juice, coconut sugar, and orange zest to the pan and stir well to combine. Scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits. Allow the sauce to thicken for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the steak back to the pan and stir to coat in the sauce for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Serve topped with sliced green onion and additional orange zest.


All nutrition facts are estimations and will vary.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: main dishes
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Chinese


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 349
  • Fat: 17g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.2g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Protein: 34.1g

Keywords: orange beef

This recipe was published in 2019 and updated in 2024. Photos by Modern Food Stories.