This simple Ground Beef Stir Fry is packed with veggies, and so easy to make. It’s gluten free, dairy free, paleo, and Whole30 as well. It’s a budget friendly healthy dinner recipe the whole family can love. You can use any combination of veggies you love in a stir fry. And be sure to check out the flavor variations below as well. It’s the perfect easy weeknight dinner that’s ready in just 30 minutes!
The two reasons I love using ground meat in a stir fry are first up, it’s budget friendly. And secondly it cuts down your prep time like crazy when you don’t need to cut up raw meat! It’s a win win all the way around. And so you’ll often find us making a version of this ground beef stir fry throughout the year.
You’ll find exact measurements below for how to make this stir fry. But you can also change up the veggies to go along with what is most affordable that week, and also what’s in season. Carrots, onion, and broccoli are widely available for a good price here.
But I sometimes omit the bell pepper if they’re too expensive. So I’d encourage you to take a look at my stir fry formula below so you can buy veggies, or use up what’s in your fridge more easily.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Ground beef – ground pork, ground bison, turkey, or chicken all work here with these flavors. Just be extra careful with ground turkey or chicken because they dry out easily. I like to use 85/15 ground beef or leaner for this stir fry.
- Stir fry sauce – can be meal prepped ahead of time according to my stir fry sauce recipe. Or you can whisk it together right before cooking. It’s a mixture of soy sauce/tamari/coconut aminos along with a bit of broth and starch to lightly thicken it up. I also love to add red pepper flakes for a hint of spice, but that’s completely optional.
- Garlic & ginger – again these can both be minced ahead and frozen to speed up your prep time. Fresh garlic and ginger will give you the best flavor here.
- Vegetables – I used a mix of onion, carrots, bell pepper, and broccoli. But you can use any mix of veggies that stir fry well to make up 2-2.5 pounds. Or about 8 cups chopped veggies.
- Avocado oil – I like to use this oil in particular because it’s a healthier oil, and perfect for high heat.
How to make this recipe step by step
Step 2: Next whisk together the stir fry sauce, and mince the garlic and ginger.
Step 3: When everything it prepped, it’s time to start cooking. Preheat a large skillet over high heat and cook the ground beef. Break it up with a utensil into small bits, browning as it cooks. Remove the cooked ground beef from the pan, and set the beef aside.
Step 4: If you have a lot of oil in the pan from the ground beef, remove some. You need 2-3 tablespoons to stir fry in. If you used lean ground beef, add the avocado oil called for along with the garlic and ginger. Sauté until fragrant, 30-45 seconds.
Step 5: Then add the veggies and continue to stir fry over high or medium high heat. You want the veggies to brown as they soften, but the pan shouldn’t be smoking hot. Only stir the veggies as they brown.
Step 6: When the veggies are crisp tender, or to your taste, add the ground beef back to the pan. Stir to combine, then add the stir fry sauce. Cook just until thickened and everything has been well stirred together.
Because most beef stir fries use sliced steak and it gets tough when its overcooked. You don’t need to worry about tough beef when you use ground beef in your stir fry, unless it’s overcooked until dry.
Ground pork, ground turkey, and ground bison all work well in this Ground Beef Stir Fry.
Try using the paleo & Whole30 option with coconut aminos, then season to taste with additional sea salt at the end of the cooking time if needed.
- Store – place any leftovers into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. The broccoli will continue to smell stronger as time goes on. I find stir fries are definitely their best right away, but we enjoy the leftovers for lunches for the next 2 days or so.
- Freeze – you can freeze stir fries, but I don’t recommended it because the veggies go all mushy.
- Reheat – add your leftovers to a skillet, and cook over medium heat stirring constantly until the stir fry is hot. We like to add some leftover rice to the pan along with the stir fry. Rice becomes hard in the refrigerator, but reheats well with the stir fry. Add a tablespoon or two of water as necessary to keep it from sticking.
Tips & Tricks
- Try this stir fry with your favorite combination of veggies for stir fries. Cabbage works really well here, and I love adding zucchini during the summer months. Just be sure to add the zucchini when the other veggies are half cooked because it cooks so fast.
- Use a different ground meat here, ground bison, ground pork, ground turkey etc. are all good. You can use ground chicken as well, but be careful because it sticks easily to steel pans and dries out easily. You definitely need more oil with ground poultry.
Stir Fry Formula : 1 pound meat + 8 cups (2 pounds veggies) + 2 garlic cloves, minced + 2 tbsp minced ginger + 1 cup (or 1 batch) Stir Fry Sauce!
- Gluten free – be sure to use a gluten free soy sauce option like tamari or coconut aminos
- Paleo & Whole30 – use coconut aminos, season to taste with sea salt, and omit any sweetener from the variations for Whole30.
I really hope you enjoy this Beef Stir Fry! If you do get a chance to make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Ground Beef Stir Fry
- 1 pound ground beef - 85/15 or leaner
- 2 tbsp avocado oil - or stir frying oil of choice
- 2 tbsp ginger - minced
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 large red onion - diced into 1/2" pieces
- 4 carrots - thinly sliced, 12 ounces
- 1 large red bell pepper - diced into 1/2" pieces, 12 ounces
- 1 pound broccoli - cut into small bite sized florets
- 2 tsp tapioca starch - or cornstarch
- 1/2 cup soy sauce - tamari or coconut aminos
- 1/2 cup beef broth - low sodium
- sprinkling of sesame seeds & green onions for garnish if desired
- Start by prepping all the veggies and set them aside together. Next mince the garlic and ginger and set them aside together.
- Finally whisk the tapioca starch together with just enough soy sauce/tamari/or coconut aminos to dissolve any lumps. Then whisk in the rest of your soy sauce of choice and the beef broth. Set the sauce aside.
- Place a large 15" skillet over medium high heat. When the pan is hot but not smoking, add the ground beef. Use a utensil appropriate for your skillet to break up the ground beef into small bite sized pieces.
- When the ground beef is done, scoop it out of the skillet into a bowl and set it aside. There should be a very small amount of fat in the pan.
- If there's a few tablespoons, omit the avocado oil and use the beef fat to stir fry. (You don't want any more than a few tablespoons or your stir fry will be greasy.)
- Add the avocado oil if needed along with the garlic and ginger. Stir fry over high heat stirring until fragrant, about 45 seconds.
- Then add the veggies and sauté over medium high or high heat to sear the veggies until crisp tender. Mix them together with the garlic and ginger, then stir only as they brown.
- When the veggies are done to your liking, add the ground beef back to the pan and stir to combine. Whisk the sauce to make sure it's combined, then add it to the pan.
- Stir thoroughly, then remove the stir fry from the heat. Serve immediately with your choice of rice or cauliflower rice.