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This ultra tasty ground beef and broccoli recipe is a budget-friendly way to enjoy your favorite takeout flavors at home! It takes the intimidation out of cooking Asian-style meals.

You may also enjoy my Easy Beef Bowls or Ground Beef Stir Fry next.

a bowl with ground beef and broccoli over rice

Why you’ll love it

This is an even easier to make alternative to an already easy recipe, my popular Beef and Broccoli. Instead of flank stank we’re using ground beef, which is not only affordable but really simple to work with. This is a fantastic beginner recipe for cooking Asian food.

The irresistible beef and broccoli sauce is made with everyday ingredients you can find at the grocery store, and the balance of savory and sweet is perfect. It’s picky eater approved, healthier than takeout since you know exactly what it contains, and a 30-minute meal.

What you’ll need

For the stir fry

  • Olive oil – for sautéing
  • Broccoli – chopped small. I prefer using fresh vs frozen here.
  • Ground beef – I use lean

For the sauce

  • Soy sauce – make sure to use low sodium!
  • Water – for the base of the sauce
  • Vinegar – use either apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
  • Toasted sesame oil – it’s important to get the right kind; it will be in the Asian aisle and labeled as “toasted” or “pure” and is darker in color than regular sesame oil
  • Brown sugar – to balance the flavors. The sauce won’t be overly sweet.
  • Cornstarch – this thickens up the sauce
  • Ginger – for a zesty kick
  • Garlic – I’m fairly generous with it since I love garlic
  • Red pepper flakes – to give a gentle warmth. Feel free to use more if you do want it spicy.
ingredients for ground beef and broccoli in prep bowls

Helpful tips

  • Prep all the ingredients before starting this recipe so that it goes smoothly once it gets cooking and you’re not scrambling!
  • If the sauce thickens up more than you’d like, thin it out with a little bit of water. On the other hand, if it’s not thickening up, simply turn up the heat to activate the cornstarch and cook it a little longer until it reduces.

How to make ground beef and broccoli

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

whisking sauce ingredients in a prep bowl and sauteing broccoli in a skillet

Prep your ingredients. In a prep bowl, whisk the sauce ingredients until combined. Heat up half the oil in a skillet until it’s shimmering. Cook the broccoli, tossing often, until tender-crisp. Transfer it to a plate.

sauteing ground beef in a skillet and then adding in sauce and broccoli

Add the remaining oil to the skillet along with the beef. Cook through, breaking it up with your spoon. Discard any excess fat. Return the broccoli, then pour in the sauce and toss well. Remove from the heat once it’s thickened up as desired.

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

Substitutions and variations

  • You could swap the ground beef for ground pork, turkey, or chicken.
  • This recipe isn’t particularly spicy as written, but you could omit the crushed red pepper flakes if you need it to be mild.
  • For a shortcut, you could buy one of those tubes of ginger paste that are sold in the herb section of many grocery stores instead of using fresh ginger.

What to serve with this recipe

  • I like to serve it with a long grain white rice like jasmine rice. Sometimes I’ll top it with sesame seeds.
  • You can also serve it over top your favorite Chinese noodles, or try Udon.
  • For a salad pairing, this make-ahead Broccoli Ramen Salad would be great.

Leftovers and storage

  • Store leftovers of this broccoli and beef for 3-4 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • Reheat in a covered saucepan, or microwave until warmed through.
  • You can freeze it, but keep in mind that the broccoli will get even softer once thawed.
closeup of a skillet with ground beef and broccoli and a serving spoon

If you made this takeout-style ground beef recipe, please leave a star rating and review below! I’d love to hear from you. Tag me on Instagram with any of your S&L creations.

a bowl with ground beef and broccoli over rice
4.88 from 8 votes

Ground Beef and Broccoli

This ultra tasty ground beef and broccoli recipe is a budget-friendly way to enjoy your favorite takeout flavors at home! It takes the intimidation out of cooking Asian-style meals.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 3-4 cups broccoli florets see note
  • 1 pound lean ground beef

Sauce ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil see note
  • 1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or more, to taste


  • Prep everything ahead of time as the actual cooking part goes fast. Add the sauce ingredients to a bowl and whisk until combined.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Let the pan heat up for a few minutes (the oil should be shimmering).
  • Add the broccoli and cook for 4-5 minutes, tossing/stirring often (it'll be tender-crisp). Transfer it to a plate.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet, then add the beef and cook it until browned and cooked through, breaking it up with your spoon as you go along (about 5 minutes). If there's lots of excess fat, spoon some out.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, then add the broccoli back to the pan and pour the sauce in. Stir/toss until coated and the sauce has thickened (about 1-3 minutes). Take the skillet off the heat and serve immediately.


  • Cut the broccoli into fairly small florets so they cook fast and evenly. One pound of broccoli typically makes 3-4 cups once cut into florets. 
  • If the sauce gets too thick, simply add a splash of water to thin it out a bit.
  • You can find toasted sesame oil in the Asian foods aisle of your grocery store ( sometimes it’s labeled as “pure” sesame oil). It’s darker in color and tastes different than regular sesame oil. It’s a flavor enhancer with quite a strong taste. 
  • Fresh ginger is much easier to grate when frozen! I always keep fresh ginger in the freezer (in a ZipLoc) and I use my Microplane grater/zester to effortlessly grate it. 
  • I love to serve this recipe with rice. I typically measure out 1 cup of uncooked rice to serve 4, but feel free to make as much rice as you normally do. Start the rice before the beef & broccoli so that it’s ready at the same time.


Calories: 343kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 29g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 1255mg, Potassium: 756mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 463IU, Vitamin C: 62mg, Calcium: 71mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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  1. ashley says:

    5 stars
    delicious – my husband and son went back for 3rd! made it exactly as instructed

    1. Natasha says:

      Awesome!! 😀 Thank you, Ashley!

  2. Naomi Goetz says:

    Why is there no oven time listing or how long to cook this tenderloin

    1. Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says:

      Hi Naomi! Because this is a recipe for ground beef and broccoli, not pork tenderloin. 🙂 However, on any of our recipes, you just need to keep reading to find the full ingredients and instructions in the recipe card.

  3. Jenny says:

    5 stars
    We loved this recipe- that sauce was so incredibly good. And it was easy to make for a weeknight dinner. Thank you Natasha! ❤️

    1. Natasha says:

      Yay!!! That’s awesome to hear, Jenny!! 😀 I appreciate your reviews as always! XO

  4. AngelaML says:

    5 stars
    I made this for the first time last night – so yummy! And so easy to make! I subbed ground turkey for the ground beef and added an onion and match stick carrots. Made the sauce exactly as written and served over rice. We all loved it!

    1. Natasha says:

      Yay!! So glad to hear it, Angela!! Thank you!

  5. Jennifer L says:

    4 stars
    Love the recipe but the sauce was really sweet. I’d try it again but limit to 1 Tbsp.

    1. Natasha says:

      Glad you liked it! Yes if you prefer a less sweet result you can definitely reduce the sugar a bit.

  6. michele kerr says:

    5 stars
    I have no need to pine for ‘GOOD’ Chinese food anymore. Recently moved to an area without any Chinese restaurants and it’s been something I crave! This amazing recipe has allowed me to have happy tastebuds and I’m forever thankful AND it’s beyond easy with Ingredients I have on hand!! Thank you!

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s wonderful to hear, Michele!! 😀 Thanks so much for your review!

  7. Cat says:

    This is so delicious. I think next time I’ll try adding some shiitake and green beans to increase the amount of vegetables in it. Will be making it again.

    1. Natasha says:

      Love that idea! So glad you enjoyed it, Cat!