An Easy Ground Beef Stir Fry that’s done in under an hour! This Beef Stir Fry is so simple to make and loaded with ground beef and veggies!
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Click here to read my policy and about affiliate links.
If you’re wondering what the heck to make for dinner and don’t have a ton of time – Ground Beef Stir Fry will be your new go to meal! Made with only a few simple ingredients, this healthy stir fry is loaded with flavor and so easy to make!
We’ve cut down on the amount of sugar most stir fries have and loaded up on extra veggies to make this a healthy, protein packed meal!
Ground Beef Stir Fry
This ground beef stir fry will hit your table in under an hour, making it the perfect healthy weeknight meal.
This dish is excellent paired with rice, loaded with colorful veggies and cooked in a wonderfully sweet and savory stir fry sauce.
why we love this stirfry recipe
Hamburger stir fry is one of our favorite proteins for a healthy dinner because it’s:
- Simple Ingredients – This stir fry recipe is made with simple, wholesome ingredients you can feel good about eating!
- High Protein and Veggie Packed – It has 25 g of protein and over a cup of veggies per serving. Check out these High Protein Dinners!
- Better Than Takeout – While everyone loves takeout from time to time, it can be so much more flavorful when you make it at home! Plus this beef vegetable stir fry doesn’t leave you feeling heavy and groggy!
Ingredients for Healthy Stir Fry
To make this healthy beef stir fry you’ll need:
For the sauce you’ll need:
You can find substitutions for all of these ingredients below in the green shaded box.
You will also need a skillet, wok, or a dutch oven.
Pro Tips for the Best Beef Stir Fry
- Lean beef can be used if you are looking to reduce the saturated fat. If you use lean ground beef (less than 15% fat), you will need to add 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil to the skillet and allow it to get hot before adding the vegetables.
- If you prefer your veggies cooked more, you can remove the beef from the pan before the onions are added to prevent the beef from overcooking. Simply add it back about halfway through cooking the veggies to allow it to caramelize in the sauce.
- Onions go in first before the rest of the veggies because they take longer to cook. If you prefer a certain veggie a little more done than the rest, you can add it in along with the onion and garlic to give it a little more cooking time.
- Taste the sauce and adjust to your preferences. Keep in mind that when mixed with the veggies and meat it will taste more diluted, so a strong and flavorful sauce is key.
Preparing the Vegetables
When prepping vegetables it’s important to make sure you wash them thoroughly. Slice the veggies according to the sizes outlined in the recipe below.
You can also usually buy precut stir fry veggies, or if you want to cut them ahead of time you can store them with paper towels to keep them fresh!
How to Add Extra Flavor to Ground Beef Stir Fry
SUBSTITUTIONS FOR BEEF STIR FRY
Ground Beef: We like 85/15 ground beef. Feel free to use leaner ground beef depending on what you like. To make vegetarian you can use cooked lentils or a ground beef substitute. You’ll need to adjust your cooking time. I haven’t tried making this with ground turkey or ground chicken but I think it would work. If you use ground beef with a higher percentage of fat you will need to drain some of the fat to prevent it from becoming greasy. If you use lean ground beef, you will need to add 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil to the pan before adding the vegetables. Also, be sure to select an oil is that appropriate for moderate to high heat and is neutral-flavored. We love the Butcher Box Price for great ground beef!
Vegetables: You can use a different mix of vegetables in this stir fry recipe. Keep in mind that if you adjust the quantities and end up with more vegetables, the stir fry will be less flavorful because the sauce will be spread across a larger quantity of food.
Substituting vegetables with a higher water percentage can cause the sauce to not thicken as well and you may need to add a little more cornstarch.
Coconut Aminos: I used coconut aminos in this recipe, but you can use low sodium soy sauce in this recipe. You can use regular soy sauce but adjust to taste to prevent the sauce from being overly salty (you can add a tablespoon or two of water if needed).
Rice Vinegar: Regular white vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used as a substitute in a pinch.
Corn Starch: The corn starch is added to thicken the sauce. Changes to the vegetable quantities used can result in excess water and may prevent the sauce from thickening. If your sauce doesn’t appear to be thickening after it has cooked for several minutes, you can sprinkle an additional teaspoon of corn starch to the skillet and stir. Tapioca starch can also be used but you will need slightly more starch, about 1 tablespoon.
Ground Ginger: Feel free to substitute fresh grated ginger (1/2 rounded tablespoon).
Red Pepper Flakes: You can add more or less according to your preferences.
Low Carb: This recipe can be made low-carb by using a low-glycemic brown sugar replacement sweetener. I only recommend doing this if you are comfortable with and can tolerate low-carb sweeteners. Start with ¼ cup and adjust to taste to prevent the sauce from becoming overly sweet. Serve with cauliflower rice for a lower carbohydrate and lower calorie option.
Best Beef and Vegetables for Stir Frying
- 80/20 or 85/15 ground beef is the best for stir frying. The fat from the ground beef is perfect for cooking the veggies in!
The best veggies for stir frying are:
- bell peppers
- sugar snap peas
- bok choy
- green peas
- green beans
- baby corn
- water chestnuts
Pro Tip: Add More Protein
If using two pounds of beef, you will need to increase the sauce recipe by 1.5x to ensure everything is flavorful and well-seasoned.
Also, cook the beef first then remove it from the pan and transfer it to a plate before adding the vegetables. This will prevent overcrowding and allow the veggies to cook evenly. You will also need to drain some of the grease, leaving only about 2 tablespoons to sit-fry the vegetables in.
Once the vegetables are mostly cooked, you can add the beef back into the pan and allow it to cook with the sauce for several minutes before serving.
Serving Suggestions for Healthy Stir Fry
There are so many ways you can serve this stir fry with ground beef. Here are some ideas:
- Rice or Cauliflower Rice: We love our Instant Pot Fried Rice or Stove Top Fried Rice and this Fried Cauliflower Rice is delicious!
- Wrapped in butter lettuce
- Over spinach like a warm salad topping
Is this ground beef stir fry gluten-free?
All other ingredients should be gluten-free but always read labels to ensure everything is certified gluten-free if you have celiac or a severe intolerance.
Stir Fry FAQs
Stir continuously to ensure the veggies get evenly cooked and soften some, but still stay firm. The other secret to the best stir fry is a super flavorful sauce!
Try and cut your veggies to a similar size so they cook evenly and have a similar look/taste to takeout stir fry. Keep stirring while your ingredients are in the pan and leave the pan uncovered to get crisp, delicious vegetables. Also, having a good sauce is key to having a flavorful stir fry!
Make sure to cook your stir fry uncovered so that it stays crispy! If you cover the pan when stir frying, it will create steam which will create a soggier stir fry.
How to Store Stir Fry
Storing: This will last in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
Freezing: We don’t recommend freezing stir fry. It can get a little soggy when frozen and reheated.
Reheating: You can reheat this recipe in the microwave or on the stove.
Other healthy better-than-takeout recipes:
Looking for other easy meals? Check out these 40+ Healthy Dinner Ideas. Click here to grab our free healthy 30 minute dinners cookbook.
Ground Beef Stir Fry
- 1 pound ground beef 80:20 or 85:15
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic cloves (3 large cloves)
- ½ cup quartered yellow onion about 1/2 medium onion
- 2 cups red bell pepper chopped in about 1-inch pieces – 2 peppers
- 2 cups sugar snap peas
- ½ cup shredded carrots about 1 large carrot, julienne cut carrots can also be used
- 4 ounces mushrooms sliced (I use white mushrooms)
Stir Fry Sauce
- In a large skillet, begin to brown the ground beef over medium heat until there is no pink, breaking it apart using a wooden spatula as it cooks.
- Cook the onions and garlic for several minutes, until they become fragrant and the onions become tender, stirring frequently.
- While the onions and garlic are cooking, prepare the sauce by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl.
- Once the onions are tender, push them to the sides to make room for the other vegetables. Add the vegetables to the pan and pour the stir fry sauce over them.
- Cook the vegetables to your desired level of doneness, about 8-12 minutes, stirring throughout. The sauce will thicken, caramelize, and coat the veggies and meat. Reduce the heat, if needed, to prevent the sugar in the sauce from burning.
- Once the vegetables are cooked and the sauce has thickened, serve immediately on top of rice. Top with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.