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This ground beef stir fry recipe is easy to make and has lots of veggies in an irresistible homemade stir fry sauce. It’s fantastic for busy weeknights and ready in just 30 minutes!
Why you’ll love it
This is such a simple and inexpensive take on a traditional beef stir fry recipe since it has ground beef. The delicious homemade sauce is savory and sweet, so it shouldn’t be hard to get your picky eaters to clean their plates with this one! It’s one of my go-to meals when I’m wondering what to make with ground beef.
You’ll appreciate just how quickly this recipe comes together, and the stir fry sauce with ginger and garlic is made from scratch, so you know exactly what’s going into it. No more premade stuff from a bottle with a million ingredients you can’t pronounce!
Just a few everyday ingredients
For the stir fry
- Ground beef – I recommend 90% lean
- Olive oil – for sautéing the onion
- Onion – my go-to is sweet (Vidalia) onion, but you can use any variety
- Mushrooms, red bell pepper, broccoli, carrots – the fresh vegetable medley I chose
- Sesame seeds and scallions – for serving, but optional
For the sauce
- Sugar – brown sugar gives a hint of sweetness and balance to the sauce. It’s not overpowering!
- Ginger – always use freshly grated ginger for the best taste
- Garlic – I used two cloves, but use as much as you like
- Hoisin sauce – it can be found in the Asian foods aisle in most major grocery stores. It has a unique flavor, so I don’t have any suggestions for direct swaps.
- Soy sauce – I used regular, but you can use low sodium if that’s a consideration
- Apple cider vinegar – for a little tanginess. You can use rice wine vinegar too.
- Beef broth – for an even deeper, richer taste. Water works instead, though.
- Cornstarch – it’s a thickening agent
How to make ground beef stir fry
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Prepare all ingredients before you start cooking, including adding all sauce ingredients to a bowl and whisking them together. Brown the beef in a large skillet, at least a 12″ one.
Drain the fat and transfer the meat to a plate. Add the oil to the same skillet and give the onion a one minute head start, then add the rest of the veggies and stir fry them for 3-4 minutes.
Add the beef back to the skillet, then stir in the sauce. Let it cook for a couple of minutes until thickened, stirring often so everything is coated.
- Keeping a piece of frozen ginger in the freezer is a game changer. Simply store it in a ZipLoc. That way, you always have fresh ginger and it lasts for months. It’s also easier to grate. I use my Microplane. So handy!
Substitutions and variations
- This recipe is quite flexible in that you can use whatever veggies you have on-hand or prefer like snap peas, baby corn, water chestnuts, etc. Just be sure to cut them up small so they cook fast. I would try to keep the quantities roughly the same so the pan isn’t too crowded.
- Fresh vegetables are definitely best, but you can use a frozen mix if that’s all you have as a shortcut.
- You can swap the ground beef for another type of meat like ground chicken or even ground pork. If using something leaner than beef, add a splash of olive oil to the pan for step 2.
- Want to make it spicy? Add some crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce or a squirt of sriracha either to the sauce or once you’ve plated it!
What to serve with it
- Rice is what I usually pair it with, particularly jasmine rice, but noodles would be perfect too! Try tossing this stir fry with ramen noodles.
- You could serve it over cauliflower rice as well, or even eat it as-is for a lighter meal.
Leftovers and storage
- Stir fries are great for reheating. This one will keep for a few days in the fridge in an airtight container.
- In a small saucepan, reheat on a low heat until warmed through. I’d make fresh rice or noodles for leftovers.
- I’ve been known to make tasty lettuce wraps with the leftovers!
Questions about this easy ground beef stir fry? Let me know in the comments below. Tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram so I can see your creations!
Ground Beef Stir Fry
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion cut into bite-size pieces
- 5 ounces mushrooms (I used cremini) cut into quarters
- 1 medium red bell pepper chopped
- 2 cups broccoli florets cut small
- 1/2 cup matchstick cut carrots
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Optional, for serving: chopped scallions, sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup beef broth or water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Prep all ingredients beforehand. Add the sauce ingredients to a bowl and whisk together.
- Add the beef to a large skillet and brown it until it's cooked through over medium-high heat (about 10 minutes), breaking the meat up with your spoon as you go along.
- Drain any fat and transfer the meat to a plate or bowl and set aside.
- Add the olive oil to the same skillet and sauté the onion for a minute or so.
- Add in the remaining vegetables and cook them for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Veggies will be tender-crisp once done, but you can cook them for a bit longer if you prefer.
- Add the beef back to the skillet, and stir in the sauce. Let it bubble up for a minute or two so it thickens. Continue stirring so everything is nicely coated. Season with salt & pepper if needed.
- Enjoy immediately served over rice or noodles. I served it with sesame seeds and chopped scallions sprinkled on top.
- Hoisin sauce can be found in the Asian foods section of most grocery stores.
- I keep a piece fresh ginger in the freezer in a ZipLoc bag. It’s much easier to grate when it’s frozen (I use my Microplane to grate it), and I know it’s always there vs. going bad somewhere in my fridge!
- You can slice up half a small carrot if you prefer, but be sure to slice it very thin.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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