For a quick and easy weeknight dinner, you're going to love this 30 Minute Ground Beef and Broccoli stir fry.
Whether you are busy with school-night activities or taking it easy in the summertime, there's one question that can ruin your vibe; "What's for dinner?"
This recipe for healthy ground beef and broccoli stir fry is simple, quick and delicious, so make THIS recipe THE answer to that dreaded question. The Asian flavors here are sure to satisfy palates young and old - and fast!
Why You Are Going To Love This 30 Minute Ground Beef And Broccoli
- Did I mention this recipe is quick? Like, 30-minutes quick. You can’t beat that for a home-cooked dinner.
- It’s a restaurant recipe without leaving home! Pat yourself on the back for perfecting this takeout-inspired favorite.
- Meat and veggies all in one dish! Broccoli and ground beef stir-fry isn’t just easy; it’s actually healthy! Plus, with a few minor tweaks, it’s even gluten-free!
If you're like me, you are a sucker for perfectly sauced or glazed meats (See our Asian Chicken Marinade for an example). You don't want your dish drowning in sauce; just coated, so you can still appreciate the texture of the meat, and pair it with other delicate ingredients (rice, noodles, veggies, etc).
Asian cuisine excels at layering sweet, savory, spicy, and salty flavors together into incredible sauces that don't overwhelm the featured protein. (or vegetable in the case of this stir fried Spicy Asian Zucchini.)
Key Ingredients And Substitutions
- Ground Beef - I always prefer ground beef that isn’t too lean. An 80/20 mix is ideal. The fat provides both flavor and moisture.
- Beef Broth - As the base of the sauce, beef broth provides an essential element of this recipe. Feel free to grab it in a carton, can, or even in the form of beef bouillon paste or cubes. Vegetable broth is the only possible substitute, but I don’t recommend it as it changes the flavor profile.
- Soy Sauce - Another essential ingredient of this and many Asian-inspired dishes. Opt for the low-sodium version so that you’re in control of the saltiness of your dish. Feel free to sub tamari or even coconut aminos.
- Brown Sugar - Obviously for sweetness. Brown sugar has that molasses-y maple quality that makes it perfect for glazes or sauces. Light brown sugar is preferred but dark brown works as well.
- Sesame Oil - Oh, sesame oil, you really are the savory champion holding this flavor profile together. When combined with soy sauce and brown sugar, sesame oil brings out the umami of my ground beef broccoli dinner. What is umami, you ask? In Japanese, umami roughly translates to the “essence of deliciousness” and is usually associated with meaty, brothy flavors. This recipe’s umami flavors will knock your socks right off.
- Broccoli Florets - Fresh is best for this recipe. Trim the thick, woody stalks and discard. Cut your florets into easily manageable, bite-size pieces. You can use frozen broccoli florets, but will need to thaw completely so as not to add too much water to the final dish.
- Cornstarch - Cornstarch helps to thicken your sauce, making it smooth and delicious. Flour can be subbed but isn’t friendly for those on a gluten-free diet. For a great gluten-free substitution, try arrowroot powder.
How To Make Ground Beef And Broccoli
- To make your sauce, combine the beef broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic and red pepper flakes in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk thoroughly and set it aside.
- Brown the ground beef over medium heat in a large skillet with a lid. Using a wooden spoon, break it apart to eliminate any large chunks. Once all the pink bits are cooked through, drain the fat and return the meat to the pan. (I like to line a plate with a few thick paper towels to soak up the grease)
- Once you’ve returned the meat to the pan, grab that amazing sauce you just whisked up and pour it over your meat. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Keep an eye on it and don’t let it get too hot. You want your meat to soak in all the mouth-watering flavors of the sauce.
- Once simmering, add the broccoli florets and cover with the lid. Reduce the heat to low/medium and cook gently just until broccoli is tender. Stir occasionally (about 10 minutes).
- In a small dish, combine the cornstarch and cold water. Stir until the cornstarch is dissolved. Make an opening in the center of your beef and broccoli mixture and add the cornstarch “slurry”. (Keep whisking to avoid clumping) The sauce will begin to thicken quickly. Cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve hot!
Tips For Making Ground Beef And Broccoli
- Serve over rice. White rice is the traditional favorite, but brown rice is great as well. For the lightest, healthiest version, try cauliflower rice!
- Leftovers keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove over low heat. Add a little beef broth if your leftovers need a bit more moisture.
- This dish stands on its own, but if you need a surrounding cast of characters, you can't go wrong with some Air Fryer Egg Rolls, an Iced Matcha Latte to drink, and some Buffet-style Chinese Donuts for dessert.
30 Min Ground Beef and Broccoli
- 1 ¼ cup beef broth
- ¾ cup low sodium soy sauce (or tamari for GF)
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
- 1 ½ pounds broccoli florets (about 4 cups)
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- Combine beef broth, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic and red pepper flakes in a medium sized bowl. Whisk together and set aside.
- Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Once it’s cooked through, drain the fat and return to the stovetop.
- Pour the sauce over the cooked beef. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Add the broccoli florets and cover. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is tender.
- Prepare your cornstarch slurry by combining the cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl. Stir until all of the cornstarch is dissolved.
- Use your whisk to make an opening in the center of the beef and broccoli mixture. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the sauce, whisking continuously to avoid clumping. You should notice the sauce start to thicken pretty quickly. Cook for about 2 minutes to thicken the sauce.
- Remove from the heat and serve.
Gluten free option: Sub tamari for the low sodium soy sauce.
Can't Get Enough Asian Cuisine?
Us neither. In fact we love it so much that we created a whole category of JUST Asian-inspired ground beef recipes. So once you've tried this Beef and Broccoli, be sure to try out our other favorites!