Skinny Beef Stroganoff On Zucchini Ribbons

The carnivore in me is resurfacing.

I’m starting to like and crave meat again.

Big time.

Not saying I don’t feel bad or guilty about it though.

However, I’ve always believed that, sadly, human beings were “designed” to eat meat.  I mean sure, we could very well survive without it… heck, you could probably survive while feeding off nothing but white bread and water for the rest of your life, but it doesn’t mean that it would be optimal for your general health and well being.

Still, I understand that no two humans are the same and some will do a lot better without it than others.

Unfortunately, it appears as though I belong to the group that does a lot better WITH it.

Lean Boeuf Stroganoff on Zucchini Ribbons | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

So I’m slowly reinstating meat as a part of my regular diet, only I’m making much healthier choices now. For starters, I only go for the leaner cuts of meat and also, I keep my portions much smaller than I used to.

So I’m still consuming WAY less than I used to back in my crazy hopeless carnivore days.

Now you might think that using only lean cuts of meat drastically reduces possibilities, right? After all, there’s only so many ways one can enjoy a roast beef  from the inside round, isn’t there?

Well, think again. The more I cook with said cut of meat, the more I learn to appreciate it.

I never thought, for instance, that I could whip up such a dreamy version of Boeuf Stroganoff. In fact, this was a delicacy I had pretty much given up on, seeing as how it calls for so much wine and heavy cream.

Well, not anymore! This version right here was TO.DIE.FOR!

The chunks of meat were melt-in-your-mouth tender and the sauce was so tasty and it felt so rich and creamy, just as if there had been loads of wine and heavy cream in it.

No way could you have ever guessed that this was in fact a skinny version of this famous comforting dish.

Lean Beef Stroganoff on Zucchini Ribbons | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Now, in an effort to respect my current diet requirements, I decided to take some of the “comfort” factor away, so as to reduce calorie and carb contents.

Instead of serving it on the traditional egg noodles, I chose to lay it on a bed of beautiful, colorful raw zucchini ribbons.

To be honest, I don’t think I missed the noodles one bit!

The heat of the sauce alone took care of cooking the paper thin zucchini, making it nice and soft and pliable and just as easy and pleasant to east as pasta.

And talk about a great way to add  loads of vitamins to this dish.


Seriously, is this not the prettiest Beef Stroganoff you have ever seen?

Lean Beef Stroganoff on Zucchini Ribbons | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

For sure, this one has become a new favorite of mine. I’m so happy that this long lost friend has found its place at my table again.

Of course, there will probably be days when I will be in the mood for really super comforting food and I will opt for whole wheat egg noodles instead of zucchini.

Easy swap, really.

But when that happens, I get the feeling that I’ll still want some of that beautiful zucchini in there…

It just looks too pretty to pass!

Lean Beef Stroganoff on Zucchini Ribbons | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Now, if you really don’t care for beef or would rather not have it, you could just as easily turn this into a Chicken Stroganoff, or even turkey, why not?

Just as well, you could let your imagination run wild and sub the veggies. Don’t like mushrooms? Why not go with carrots? Pearl onions aren’t your thing? How ’bout some cute little cherry tomatoes, instead. Or green olives, maybe?

Oh! The possibilities.

I think I’m in love… again!

Thank goodness we can be in love with more than one food!

Lean Beef Stroganoff on Zucchini Ribbons

Yield: Serves 4

Nutritional Information based on 1 serving

Lean Beef Stroganoff on Zucchini Ribbons


  • 800g beef from the inside round, cut into small cubes or strips, whichever you prefer
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp Himalayan or fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 6 cups water, divided
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 450g mushrooms, quartered
  • 100g frozen pearl onions
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ cup fat free Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot flour
  • 8 yellow and green zucchinis in ribbons*


  1. Preheat a large pan coated with olive over high heat and sear the pieces of beef to form a nice golden crust on all sides.
  2. Add onions, garlic, salt, pepper, lower heat to medium and continue cooking until the onions are softened.
  3. Add 2 cups of water, Dijon mustard and fresh rosemary and stir until the mustard is well incorporated.
  4. Cover loosely, lower heat and simmer until the liquid is almost completely evaporated then add another 2 cups of water and reapeat the process.
  5. At this point, you want to add your mushrooms, pearl onions and another 2 cups of water. Bring back to a simmer and continue cooking until you're left with a nice, thick sauce; Turn off the heat.
  6. In a mixing bowl, add yogurt, arrowroot and about a cup of your cooking liquid. Mix with a wisk until fully combined and add that to the pan.
  7. Add fresh parsley and stir delicately until all is well combined.
  8. Serve over zucchini ribbons


*The use of a mandolin is strongly recommended to get the zucchini slices really paper thin. Alternatively, you could also cut the zucchini into long thin strips to mimic spaghetti.

Lean Beef Stroganoff on Zucchini Ribbons | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Lean Beef Stroganoff on Zucchini Ribbons | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Lean Beef Stroganoff on Zucchini Ribbons | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Lean Beef Stroganoff on Zucchini Ribbons | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Lean Beef Stroganoff on Zucchini Ribbons | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

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  1. says

    Hello my dear…First off, I am utterly amazed by your ability to transform beef Stroganoff into an art form. Truly. Gorgeous. (and I love the zucchini ribbons!). I also hear you on the need for animal protein. We are all biochemically unique but speaking for myself, I do not derive the same level of satiety from protein powders as I do from concentrated sources of animal protein (I also do not find the powders as bioavailable and in large amounts they can be tough on the GI tract). I’m careful to vary my diet with vegetable proteins for diversity and to be environmentally conscious. This recipe is simply gorgeous Sonia!

    • says

      Kelly, you just keep blowing my mind with every single comment that you leave, be it here or on my FB page. Seriously, I think I blush every single time. Thank you so much for all your kind words and endless compliments. Coming from you, that means A LOT to me!

      That being said, I don’t find that I have a problem with the powder myself, I would probably include even more if it wasn’t for the fact that I don’t think it would be all that healthy to rely almost solely on powder as a source for protein. And you’re right, nothing seems to fill me up quite like animal protein! I guess I just have to accept that I am the kind who needs it and will never do too good as a vegetarian!

  2. says

    Your beef stroganoff does look very pretty. I have found that I digest meat well and not so much grains so I am now on the paleo diet so this would be perfect for me. I would just need to replace the arrowroot flour perhaps with coconut flour.

    • Laura says

      I’m not sure if arrowroot and arrowroot flour are different things… but I believe many paleo food bloggers use arrowroot in place of non paleo thickening agents (such as cornstarch). I think everydaypaleo and nomnompaleo are where I’m remembering this… anyhow, check it out! You may not have to change it :)

      This recipe looks AMAZING! It’s now on my list ‘make immediately’. Thanks for the great idea!

  3. Sarah W says

    This dish is just lovely to the eye. I would like to know just how you got such uniform ribbons of zucchini? If you used a kitchen gadget could you put in a link to what you have? i know this is a lot to ask for. I live in a remote area so shopping online is just about the only way to go.
    thanks so much.

    • says

      Thank you very much Sarah! As mentioned in the recipe notes, the ribbons were indeed made with the help of a mandoline. Just do a quick search on Google and you’ll find hundreds of results! They’re a really neat gadget to have in the kitchen and I know I could never be without mine anymore!

      • Sarah W says

        I Googled “Mandolins” and came up with more than I ever knew. there are so many conflicting reviews on mandolins. Can you tell me what brand you use?
        It would help me a great deal.
        Thanks so much

  4. Trish says

    wow, this looks great! I had an amazing idea too to use sweet potato instead of zucchini as the base. I have a ton of sweet potatoes from the garden, and am trying to use them up, and I know they are really good for you, but they are almost too sweet for me. So I try to smother them in something – this looks like that perfect something! (excited, I don’t come up with amazing ideas very often)

    • says

      Are you planning on using raw sweet potatoes Trish? Like stringed potatoes? Or are you planning on cooking them? It’s an intriguing idea to say the least! Please let me know how it turned out, I am very curious! :)

      • Trish says

        No I will cook them – I have enough trouble eating sweet potatoes without trying to eat them raw. I really love the idea of zucchini ribbons. Can’t wait to try it out this summer when we are awash in them. I LOVE the fact that I didn’t just get a recipe from you, I got a new idea! Both for zucchini ribbons, and for serving stuff over veg instead of rice or noodles, which I adore but must cut back on.

  5. says

    Beautiful! I’m a carnivore, too! Luckily the leanest beef is that found from organic, grass-fed beef, which is better for you anyway. :)

    I saw a bumper sticker on a car once that said, “Eat Beef. The West wasn’t won on salad.” Definitely.

  6. Monika C says

    Just made this. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Thank you so much for sharing such a lovely recipe! Will be making this again.
    P.S. Is it me or are the portions rather big? Not that I am complaining:)

    • says

      HAHA! Glad you found the portion to be satisfying, Monika! Indeed, with the zucchini, it makes it look rather large. That’s what I love about veggies, you can have TONS of them and still have yourself a low cal, highly nutritious meal!

      And thank YOU so much for taking the time to leave such great feedback on my recipe, real happy to hear you liked it that much! :)

      • Monika C says

        No problem, Sonia. I actually love your blog and get excited when i get an email about a new post! All your posts are so funny, photos gorgeous and everything just looks delicious!!! And your food “philosophy” totally resonates with me:)
        I really appreciate your effort and hope you will continue blogging so I have more recipes to cook.
        Oh and regarding the portion – I actually took the food with me to work today and only managed to eat about 3/4 of one courgette! And I felt like I ate loads. Need to do this more often!

      • says

        Wow! Your courgettes must’ve been HUGE! ;) I guess mine were on the small side, so that probably helps. I find small courgettes make prettier ribbons.

        And thank you so very much for all your kind words and support, Monika. This couldn’t have come at a better time, I really needed this. :)

        And don’t worry, I still have more recipes in me than there are days to my life, so I’m not about to stop creating! :)

  7. Jess says

    Hi Sonia, my beef stroganoff is packed with so much unnecessary calories. This recipe looks like a wonderful, and still flavorful, low cal replacement to my usual. I was thinking about making this recipe tonight. Is the zucchini in this recipe cooked? If not, I’ve been recommended not to eat raw “cruciferous” vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, etc. unless its cooked. If raw can you recommend how to cook it? I own a mandolin so the slicing shouldn’t be a problem. Thanks

    • says

      The recipe is raw, Jess, but like I said, it is sliced so very thinly that just the heat from the sauce is enough to sort of cook it. It definitely does wilt a great deal, as you can see in the pictures. If you feel safer cooking it, I think you could just sauté it in a non stick pan for a minute or two.

  8. Angela says

    In the process of preparing this now! So far it smells great! :) I just had a couple questions….

    How did you get such a rich brown sauce? Mine is pretty pale looking….Wasn’t sure if I did something wrong! lol

    And it seems like my beef might be a bit tough- In the future, what can I do to make the meat tender?

    • Angela says

      Okay- Spoke too soon on the meat being tough! lol It could be a bit more tender, but still delish! :)

      Now, as for that rich brown sauce….

    • says

      I added a link to your picture Angela. Looks GREAT! I don’t know what you’re talking about your sauce being pale looking… it looks good to me. The key to getting a real dark sauce or stock is in the meat! You need to sear it real good and form an nice dark crust on all sides before adding anything to it. This will confer a lot of color as well as flavor to your stock or sauce.

      As for the meat being a little tough, this is one cut of meat that benefits from cooking for extended periods of time on very low heat. So if you wanted it to be more tender, all you’d have to do is cook it a little bit longer (add more water if necessary).

      Your dish looks like a complete success to me though. Thank you very much for sharing, I really appreciate that! And hey, feel free to share more! I’m loving this, really! :) <3

  9. Donna says

    Superlative offering AS USUAL Sonia…You seem to somehow intrinsically KNOW what I am craving at any given time!..The photography?…Stellar…The perfection courgette noodles?…Intimidating!! I was just at a chef’s supply boutique in Lyon last week and happened onto the mandolin section and remember that there were SEVERAL…but that the one you have “stood out” from the others due to its sturdy “pro” appearance..I do think I’m going to have to invest in one (and it was 30% off!!) I so wish to replicate your gorgeousness-of-a-recipe and plan on using and abusing it with your ravishing ribbons!..Do I need to “set” the mandolin on a particular measurement for thickness? Loving that these paper-thin specimens actually cook lightly and quickly yet maintain “the bite”…Comfort food indeed!

    Your entire blog is my culinary “comforter”…and this offering is like my goose-down comforter…warming…yet oh so light!…Thanks again for all you give.

    • says

      You’re gonna LOVE having a mandolin in your kitchen, Donna! It’s such a super convenient tool to have… trust me, you will not be regretting your purchase. You can do much more than ribbons, too! ;) For this particular dish, you want your ribbons to be as thin as you can possibly make them, so they are already soft and pliable to start with, but also to help them “cook” faster from the heat of the sauce alone. Please, please do tell me how you like your new mandolin when you do get one! :D

      And my goodness, wow… thank you so very much for your amazingly kind words. Once again, you leave me speechless! :)

  10. Margie says

    Hi Sonia, I’ve newly discovered your blog and what I’ve seen I love – great work. I’m making the beef stroganoff tonight. One quick question I don’t have any arrowroot flour atm, can I subsitute it with rice flour or cornflour and if so, is it same same in quantity or do I need to increase the quantity for the others? Thanks

    • says

      Thank Margie, that’s very kind of you to say! Hope this Beef Stroganoff works for you. Subbing the arrowroot should be no biggie. I’m not familiar with rice flour, so I would probably go with the cornstarch and use the exact same quantity. Let me know how it turned out! :)

      • Margie says

        Hi Sonia, The meal was a huge sucess with the family. So creamy and felt sooo naughty. The cornflour was no issue and we don’t have pearl onions here so I followed your suggestion and swapped them for cherry tomatoes – yum.. I also did zucchini spaghetti as my mandolin is a cheapie and didn’t do them super thing – the spaghetti cut was good too. My only problem was although I read your blurb before the recipe I didn’t read the recipe until I was ready to start and didn’t realise it would take as long as it did to cook – the result was worth it but I would have started it a lot earlier in the day – laugh!!

      • says

        YAY! So happy to hear, Margie and thank you so much for letting me know. And yeah, that one’s a food of love thing… Bet the family was starving by the time their plate landed in front of them… real sorry about that. Hope they don’t resent me! ;)

  11. Laura says

    This is delicious!!! I made it to bring to work for lunches and just tossed the zucchini noodles and stroganoff together before reheating. It reheats really well.

    The flavors are great! Thanks for such a delicious recipe!

  12. says

    Could you give a time estimate on how long this takes to cook? I know usually cuts of meat like this need a good 2-3 hours to cook, so I’m not sure how early I need to start to have this for dinner! Thanks!

    • says

      Oh no, it doesn’t take that long with this recipe. The pieces of meat are rather small… so I would say a half hour will do the trick. Maybe plan for an extra 15 minutes, just in case…

      Hope you like, Shereen! Let me know how it went! :)

  13. says

    I tried this tonight with some stew meat I had left over. I used my potato peeler to make the zucchini ribbons. Your dish was husband approved! Thanks for healthy alternatives, I’ll be trying more of your recipes soon.


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