How to make Old Fashioned Beef Stroganoff

bowl of beef stroganoff

Lean beef, extra vegetables, and creamy yogurt keeps this classic beef stroganoff recipe on the better-for-you side. 

Creamy and flavorful, Beef Stroganoff was one of my favorite meals growing up. Lean sliced beef, mushrooms and onions in a creamy sauce served over rice or noodles. My mom nailed it.

What is beef stroganoff?

Named after a Russian diplomat, Count Paul Stroganoff, I updated and lightened up this 19th-century classic. Still pieces of tender beef, but more onion and mushrooms plus celery. I traded plain yogurt for sour cream in the tangy cream sauce. It’s good enough for a Count, but easy enough for a weeknight dinner.

It’s no wonder this recipe remains popular. Beef, onion, celery, mushrooms and tomato are all umami-rich foods. The naturally occurring salt in these ingredients add richness to a recipe, a savory deliciousness that lingers. All the powerful flavors make this a craveable recipe.

Serve over cooked rice or noodles.

How to make homemade beef stroganoff

Cook the vegetables until softened, about 15 minutes.
sliced sirloin steak
Slice beef into 1/4-inch slices. This is sirloin shown here. Slightly frozen meat is easier to slice. So 20 minutes in the freezer can help.
Pat the beef with paper towel so it’s dry. Layer in pan to let it brown. Browning caramelizes the protein and sugar which adds flavor. No need to cook it through. It will finish cooking in the sauce.
beef stroganoff sauce
Cook the seasonings and the liquid to make the sauce. Blend the liquid slowly to remove lumps and scrape up all the browned bits.
pan of beef stroganoff on stove.
Stir together the beef, cooked vegetables and sauce to heat through, about 5 minutes.

Cook’s Note: Stir the yogurt in after you take it off the heat or dollop it on individual servings. Yogurt will separate if it gets too hot.

bowl of beef stroganoff and rice
Homemade beef stroganoff
What is the best kind of meat to use for beef stroganoff?

Beef stroganoff is a quick cooking recipe, so use a thinly sliced lean cut such as top sirloin, sirloin tip, tenderized round steak. Many recipes use ground beef.

What is stroganoff sauce made from?

Stroganoff is a beef broth gravy thickened with flour and flavored onion, celery, mushrooms, tomato paste, dried mustard. Traditionally, sour cream adds tangy creaminess. I’ve used plain Greek yogurt to lightened it up and trim calories.

How do you add flavor to beef stroganoff?

Beef, onion, celery, mushrooms and tomato are all umami-rich foods. These ingredients add richness to a recipe, a savory deliciousness that lingers. Umami is referred to as the fifth taste sensation (along with sweet, sour, salt, and bitter). That’s probably why this recipe is still popular. All the umami flavors make craveable!

Can you freeze beef stroganoff?

Yes! This is one reason to add yogurt just when you serve it. Because yogurt won’t freeze well. Well, it doesn’t thaw well. So freeze the cooked beef and vegetables. Thaw, reheat and then stir in the yogurt. Cooked rice freezes well too!

MORE beef recipes:

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bowl of beef stroganoff with dollops of yogurt

How to make beef stroganoff

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Lean beef, extra vegetables, and creamy yogurt keep this classic recipe on the better-for-you side. Serve over cooked noodles, rice or mashed potatoes.

  • Author: Judy Barbe
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Traditional


  • 3 teaspoons oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced small (about 2 cups)
  • 6 stalks celery, sliced 1/4-inch (about 3 cups) Save the leaves for garnish
  • 8-ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-pound sirloin steak, cut against the grain into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 14.5-ounce can beef broth
  • 1/3 cup red wine (or water)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt


Vegetables In a large pan heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Cook onion and celery 15 minutes, until softened. Celery should be tender. Add mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper, cook 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, set aside.

Beef Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in large pot over medium heat. Add meat, cook until browned and almost cooked through. If the pot is small, you may want to cook the meat in 2 batches, so that the meat browns rather than steams. Add meat to vegetable bowl.

Seasonings In the remaining juices in large pot over medium heat, add flour, tomato paste and dry mustard, stir and cook 1 minute. Slowly put in beef broth and wine (or water), stirring to blend, remove lumps and scare up browned bits from the pot. Sauce will begin to thicken. Add vegetables and meat and any juices, cook 3-5 minutes to heat through.

Serve over rice, cooked egg noodles or mashed potatoes, top with a dollop of plain yogurt.


Plain yogurt replaces the traditional sour cream. Add yogurt after cooking to keep it from breaking down. Top with chopped celery leaves if you like.

Homemade Beef Stroganoff


  1. Had left over steak and I like to use it in a different recipe. I followed this essentially except had less steak and mushroom, so used less of other ingredients. I added some sweet paprika, parsley and one teaspoon worchesterchire sauce and instead of red wine used a couple tabs of dry sherry. Very good flavor. Worked out very well. Steamed broccoli great with this. Thank you.

    1. Author

      I love hearing how you adapted this to use what you had on hand! Thanks for sharing.

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