Ground Beef Stroganoff

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The classic family dinner made budget-friendly, this easy Ground Beef Stroganoff recipe is complete with 3 different dairy-free options as well! It’s super easy to make, the perfect comfort food, and is a family favorite. Ground beef and mushrooms come together in a creamy sauce the whole family will love. We love serving it tossed with freshly cooked pasta, or steamed rice, and it’s really delicious over these Roasted Sweet Potatoes as well. Add a simple side dish like my Perfect Roasted Asparagus, Roasted Broccoli, or Oven Roasted Carrots to complete the meal.

Straight down view of Ground Beef Stroganoff in a white skillet with a wooden ladle all sprinkled with parsley.

Did you know the traditional beef stroganoff is made with steak? Well… I was an adult before I figured this out because my mom always made stroganoff with ground beef growing up. It’s so easy and good, I find myself thinking, why would you waste steak in stroganoff? Especially when it’s so incredibly delicious and budget-friendly made with ground beef.

This recipe is only a slight departure from classic beef stroganoff, but you won’t be disappointed with the flavor. And when you do decide to have steak, try serving it with my Rosemary Mushroom Cream Sauce for a special dinner. This stroganoff is naturally gluten-free, with 3 dairy-free options, and a paleo option as well.

It’s also made with simple ingredients you can find at any grocery store. It’s one of those easy recipes the whole family will love, and it’s perfect for busy weeknights as well.

Side view of a white skillet full of Ground Beef Stroganoff with a wooden ladle.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Ground beef, onion, garlic, thyme, beef broth, mushrooms, and sour cream on a wooden cutting board.
  • Ground beef – I like to use 85/15 lean ground beef so I don’t have to drain off any of the extra grease and still have great flavor. If you use leaner ground beef, you may need to add a bit of butter or olive oil to the pan to sauté the onions. You can use any ground meat here like ground turkey, but ground beef really has the best flavor and texture.
  • Onions & garlic – add depth of flavor to the sauce.
  • Mushrooms – I use sliced cremini mushrooms for a bit more flavor, but white button mushrooms work well too. Fresh mushrooms will give you all the flavor you need, and it’s much healthier than adding cream of mushroom soup. Tip: cremini mushrooms are sometimes called baby bella mushrooms because they are essentially small portabello mushrooms.
  • Fresh thyme – or dried both work, but fresh thyme adds a bit more magic to the sauce. Also, rosemary is really delicious and a completely unconventional way to mix things up.
  • Flour – I use gluten-free 1 to-1 from Bob’s Red Mill, but Cup4Cup, (not dairy free) works too. You can also use 1-2 teaspoons of tapioca starch mixed together with 1 tablespoon of water for paleo.
  • Broth – beef broth is best for extra beef flavor, but I’ve also used chicken broth and it’s still delicious.
  • Sour cream – You can use any sour cream you love. I prefer to use the ‘lactose-free’ sour cream from Green Valley Creamery because we don’t get an upset stomach with this brand. You can also use your favorite dairy-free sour cream, or follow the instructions in the recipe for how to use coconut cream mixed with a touch of lemon juice for paleo. My latest discovery is Kite Hill cream cheese makes a wonderful dairy-free stroganoff!

Note: Most stroganoff recipes use a touch of Worcestershire sauce, but I’ve found it very difficult to find any brand without a lot of additives, and you don’t notice when you leave it out. Also if you’re used to adding Dijon mustard to Stroganoff, please feel free to add it!

How to make this best Ground Beef Stroganoff recipe

Diced onion, minced garlic, and sliced mushrooms on a wooden cutting board.

Step 1: Start by cleaning and slicing the mushrooms. Set them aside, then mince the garlic and finely dice the onion.

Sautéed ground beef in a skillet with diced onion and garlic being added to the pan.

Step 2: Preheat a large skillet on the stovetop. Then sauté the ground beef breaking it up into small bits as you go. Drain off any excess grease if needed, leaving 2 tablespoons or so in the pan to cook the onion. Add the onion and garlic to the and cook again until just softened 3-4 minutes.

Adding the sliced mushrooms to the sautéed ground beef in a skillet.

Step 3: Then add the sliced mushrooms and thyme to the meat mixture, and sauté over medium-high heat until they just begin to soften for 2-4 minutes. Add the flour and mix well to combine.

Adding the beef broth to the skillet with the ground beef and mushrooms.

Step 4: Add the beef broth and simmer until the mushrooms are tender and the sauce is lightly thickened. If you’re using the coconut cream option, add it in this step with the beef broth.

Adding the sour cream as the final step to the ground beef stroganoff.

Step 5: Add the sour cream of your choice. If you’re using sour cream, be sure not to boil the sauce after you add it. This is what causes stroganoff to curdle and the consistency will become grainy.

Finished Ground Beef Stroganoff in a white skillet sprinkled with parsley.

Step 6: Stir well to combine, then sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley for color if desired, and serve immediately.

Ways to serve this


Can you use heavy cream in place of sour cream?

Yes, but I would add it along with the beef broth to allow it to simmer and thicken up. It will have a creamier flavor without the tang of sour cream, so you may want to consider the white wine variation listed in the recipe as well.

What is Stroganoff made of?

Traditionally is a beef gravy type of sauce thickened with flour and made creamy with sour cream and served with egg noodles.

What is a non-dairy substitute for sour cream?

You can use a dairy-free sour cream, but my favorite way to make this stroganoff dairy-free is to use coconut cream (unsweetened) with a touch of fresh lemon juice. Simmered together with the beef broth, this makes the best nondairy substitute for sour cream in stroganoff. A third option is to use a dairy-free cream cheese which is both creamy and provides the right ‘tangy’ flavor to stroganoff.

Storing leftovers

  • To store – place any leftovers into an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze – mushrooms don’t freeze well so I don’t recommend freezing stroganoff.
  • To reheat – place the leftovers you want to reheat in a skillet over medium heat and stir constantly until heated through. If the stroganoff is tossed together with pasta, add a few tablespoons of water to the pan while you reheat it. Or you can also microwave the leftovers.
Straight down view of finished Ground Beef Stroganoff in a white skillet with a wooden ladle scooping some out.

Tips & Tricks

  • Try my ‘fancy’ stroganoff by replacing half the broth with white wine, it adds incredible depth of flavor and tastes like what you would get from a restaurant.
  • Add the sour cream off the heat – allowing sour cream to boil can cause it to separate into curdled bits. Also, you can allow the sour cream to sit out at room temperature as you make the stroganoff. This way there’s not such a big temperature difference when you add it to the pan which can cause sour cream to curdle as well.

More ground beef recipes

  1. Ground Beef Stir Fry
  2. Korean Ground Beef Bowls
  3. Slow Cooker Salsa Beef
  4. Mongolian Ground Beef
  5. Creamy Taco Soup

Dietary Options & Substitutions

  • Dairy-free – use the coconut cream, dairy-free sour cream, or dairy-free cream cheese options.
  • Paleo – use coconut cream and omit the gluten-free flour. Thick the ground beef stroganoff by mixing 1-2 teaspoons of tapioca starch with water and add it to the bubbling mixture at the end just until it’s the consistency you desire. Serve it with cauliflower rice or Roasted Sweet Potatoes.
Ground beef stroganoff with cooked pasta mixed in.

I really hope you enjoy this Ground Beef Stroganoff! If you do get a chance to make this recipe, please leave a review, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Finished Ground Beef Stroganoff in a white skillet sprinkled with parsley.

Ground Beef Stroganoff

5 from 2 votes
Author: Kari Peters
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Course: Dinner


  • 1 pound ground beef - I use 85/15
  • 1 cup finely diced onion - 1/2 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 12 ounces crimini mushrooms - cleaned and sliced 1/4″, about 15
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme - or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 tbsp gluten free flour - or all-purpose, see notes
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth - see notes
  • 12 ounces sour cream - see notes
  • 1 tsp sea salt - more or less to taste depending on the broth
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Optional chopped fresh parsley to garnish


  • Prep all the ingredients, then preheat a large (15″) skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add the ground beef to the pan and break it up into small bits as it cooks. When the beef is almost done, add the chopped onion and garlic.
  • Cook again 2-3 minutes until the onions are beginning to soften, then add the sliced mushrooms and thyme. Continue to cook until the mushrooms are just softening, 3-4 minutes, then stir in the flour to completely combine.
  • Add the beef broth to the pan and stir to combine. If you’re using the coconut milk option from the notes, add it at the same time as the beef broth.
  • Simmer until the mushrooms are tender and the sauce is slightly thickened, 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sour cream, (unless you’re using coconut cream) and season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
  • Sprinkle with the optional parsley and serve immediately.
Bonus StepIf you made this recipe, please leave a rating/comment. Ratings really help us continue to bring you high-quality free recipes. Rate This Recipe!


I use Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten-free flour.
For a ‘fancy’ stroganoff, try replacing 1 cup of beef broth with 1 cup of dry white wine, (not a sweet variety).
You can use your choice of dairy-free yogurt or sour cream in place of regular, or use 1 cup of coconut cream skimmed from the top of 1 can of refrigerated coconut milk along with 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice. If you use coconut cream, add it at the same time as the beef broth.
Another really good dairy-free option is to use dairy-free cream cheese mixed in at the end just like you would with sour cream. This also works perfect with regular cream cheese as well. With regular cream cheese, you want to be sure to soften it first and add it to the pan in small bits so it’s easier to mix in.
Category: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keywords: Best Ground Beef Stroganoff, Dairy Free Stroganoff, Ground Beef Stroganoff Recipe, Ground Beef Stroganoff without cream of mushrooms soup

nutrition facts

Calories: 471kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 910mg | Potassium: 1140mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 615IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 3mg
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This recipe was originally published in 2022 but has been updated in 2023 with more information, nutrition facts, and additional dairy-free options.

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