Ground beef and broccoli is an easy skillet stir fry that can be ready for your family to enjoy in only 15 minutes. I love this recipe not only for how quick and easy it is to whip up for busy weeknights, but this simple stir fry is perfect for customizing by adding your favorite vegetables as well.
Best of all, even picky eaters will love the great Asian flavors loaded into the savory sauce. I personally prefer to serve my ground beef and broccoli stir-fry over a bed of white rice. However, noodles can also be used to make a stir fry similar to my Korean BBQ beef if desired, as well.
- Lean ground beef - I recommend 85/15 beef or 90/10. Those have enough fat to brown nicely, but not so much that it will be greasy.
- Broccoli florets - I recommend a fresh head of broccoli, but frozen broccoli can also be substituted.
- Fresh ginger - Ground ginger is a poor substitute because the flavor isn't nearly as fresh, but it can be used in a pinch.
- Garlic - Fresh garlic is recommended but a teaspoon of garlic powder can be substituted.
- Light soy sauce - I recommend using light soy sauce because you have more control over the salt content than using regular soy sauce.
- Beef broth - Beef stock can be substituted.
- Brown sugar
- Chili paste - This can be eliminated if you don't like heat. Otherwise, an Asian style hot sauce, or red pepper flakes, can also be substituted.
- Sesame seeds for topping - Green onions can also be used as a topping.
- White rice for serving
How to make it
Set a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat and add the ground beef. Crumble the ground beef into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Once the beef is well browned, add the garlic and cook for an additional minute, then the sauce and broccoli can be added.
It is best to prep the ground beef and broccoli stir fry sauce in advance by mixing together the ginger, soy sauce, beef broth, brown sugar, and chili paste in a small bowl. Then the sauce ingredients can simply be poured into the skillet when the broccoli is added.
Let the ground beef and broccoli mixture simmer uncovered for five minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and most of the liquid has evaporated, as shown below.
Serve the ground beef and broccoli on plates over white rice, and top with sesame seeds.
Tips and Tricks
- If the idea of making your own sauce intimidates you, you can use a store-bought Asain stir fry sauce, or teriyaki sauce, instead.
- If using frozen broccoli you can expect the sauce to simmer longer before it thickens because the broccoli will release more liquid as it thaws.
- Other meats can be substituted, such as ground turkey, pork, or venison.
- Rather than using ground meat, you can use thinnly sliced flank steak as well.
- If using fatty hamburger meat, I recommend draining off the excess fat that renders in the skillet prior to adding the broccoli and sauce.
- Customize this easy stir fry recipe by adding sweet bell peppers, baby corn, water chestnuts, or sugar snap peas.
How to store leftovers
This ground beef and broccoli dinner makes great leftovers for easy weeknight dinners as well. The leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I recommend keeping the beef and broccoli separate from the rice when storing. This will make each easier to reheat and help prevent the leftover rice from getting overly mushy.
I recommend reheating the mixture in individual portions in the microwave, however, it can be reheated on the stovetop as well. Enjoy your leftovers within three days for the best flavor.
More Stir Fry Recipes
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Ground Beef and Broccoli
- 1 pound ground beef
- 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 4 cloves garlic minced
Stir Fry Sauce
- ½ teaspoon minced ginger
- ½ cup light soy sauce
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup beef broth
- 1 teaspoon chili paste
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds for topping
- white rice for serving
- Add ground beef to a saute pan set over medium high heat.
- Brown the ground beef and crumble it with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
- Add ginger, garlic, light soy sauce, brown sugar, beef broth, and chili paste to a small bowl and mix to combine the stir fry sauce.
- Once beef is well browned, add the garlic and cook for an additional minute or until fragrent.
- Add the broccoli florets and sauce. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.
- Let the sauce simmer uncovered until thickened and most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Serve ground beef and broccoli over cooked white rice and top with sesame seeds.