Our Ground Beef Fried Rice is a filling, one wok (or skillet) meal that’s made in 30 minutes. Adding ground beef to fried rice is an easy way to increase the protein of this dish and make it a full meal!
Better than Takeout Ground Beef Fried Rice
What if I told you that you could make your favorite Chinese takeout dish at home? Instead of opening up DoorDash, try making our Ground Beef Fried Rice in your own kitchen. Not only will it save you money, it will also be on the table as quick as delivery!
We love this recipe because it’s fast, easy, and a one pot meal. Here you'll get grains, protein, and veggies all in one dish. That’s what we call a win.
Why We Love Hamburger Fried Rice
- It only takes 30 minutes. On a busy weeknight, the last thing any of us need is to spend 2 hours in the kitchen preparing dinner. This recipe is perfect for those long days where you just need to whip up a quick meal and get it on the table.
- You can customize the veggies. We used onion, peas, and carrots, but you could also add bell peppers, corn, broccoli, cabbage, or bok choy. Make it your own!
- It’s a good way to use up leftover rice. This recipe works best with day-old rice from the fridge, meaning it's great for using up weekend takeout leftovers.
- White rice- It is best to use leftover cooked white rice for fried rice (more on that below!). This could be takeout leftovers or rice that you cooked and refrigerated the day or morning before. You can learn more about how to perfectly cook white rice here.
- Lean ground beef- You’ll need a pound of beef for this recipe. This post shows you how to cook ground beef so it's perfectly browned and flavorful every time.
- Butter and garlic-
- Onion- We used a white onion, but you can substitute a sweet yellow onion if you’d prefer.
- Frozen peas and carrots- Using frozen veggies is a big time saver for this recipe. You can use fresh, but you'll need to cook them longer to soften. Other veggie favorites are mushrooms, broccoli, bell peppers, and bagged cabbage.
- Soy sauce, mirin, and honey- This trio is the key to our hibachi steak, and it works equally well in fried rice. Substitute the soy sauce for tamari if you need a gluten free option.
- Eggs - We used 2 beaten eggs. If you find that the eggs stick to your pan while scrambling, you can add a little additional olive oil, unsalted butter, or cooking spray to the pan to loosen things up.
- Sesame oil- We finish the rice with a drizzle of sesame oil, which makes it taste just like takeout!
How to Make Ground Beef Fried Rice
We based this recipe on our favorite Hibachi Fried Rice which uses high heat cooking, butter, and garlic to make a super flavorful rice with great crispy texture!
- Cook the ground beef. Heat a swirl of olive oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef to the skillet and break it up into smaller pieces with a spatula. Allow to cook undisturbed for a few minutes, then flip and continue to cook until the beef is well browned. Drain any excess fat from the ground beef and remove it to a bowl or plate, then set aside.
- Saute the vegetables. Add half the butter to the wok, then add the chopped white onion and cook until it starts to become softened and translucent. Add the frozen peas and carrots and continue cooking until the veggies are softened. Stir in the garlic and ginger, and cook just until fragrant.
- Cook the eggs. Push the veggies to the side and crack the eggs into the pan. Use a spatula to scramble the egg and cook, stirring occasionally, chopping them into smaller pieces, until mostly set. Season the eggs and veggies with salt and pepper, but keep them on the side.
- Add the rice. Melt the remaining butter, turn the heat up to high, and add the rice. Spread it over the pan and allow it to cook undisturbed for a few minutes. We want to get some crispy bits!
- Stir and season. Add the ground beef back to the pan and toss the veggies with the rice. Add the soy sauce mixture and stir until it is well combine and soaked into the rice.
- Garnish with sesame oil and chopped green onion if desired, then serve.
- We used Jasmine rice, but you can use any variety of white rice that you prefer.
- Leftover rice straight from the fridge is perfect for this dish, because it holds its shape best and crisps up nicely, as compared to freshly cooked white rice. If you don't have leftovers, America's Test Kitchen offers these tips for using fresh rice in fried rice.
- The sesame oil really gives this fried rice that authentic, restaurant-style flavor, but it can be omitted if necessary. You can also garnish with fresh or toasted sesame seeds for a similar flavor.
- If you find that the eggs stick to your pan while scrambling, you can add a little additional olive oil, unsalted butter, or cooking spray to the pan to loosen things up.
Storing and Reheating Fried Rice with Ground Beef
- Leftover fried rice should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for 4-5 days.
- Reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stove top with a little extra butter or oil.
What is the secret to great fried rice?
- Using leftover fried rice. Freshly cooked rice has a higher moisture content, and will often clump together and be mushy. Using leftover rice results in a looser texture, with a little bit of crispiness.
- Using high heat. I like to cook the rice over high heat for a few minutes without stirring to crisp up the edges.
Do you add egg before or after in fried rice?
We cook the eggs after cooking the veggies and have never had a problem with them burning, but if you prefer you can cook the eggs in a separate skillet and add them at the end.
Is it better to use butter or oil for fried rice?
In our opinion, there's no substitute for the flavor of butter! There's a reason they use mountains of it at hibachi restaurants. It adds a lot more flavor and richness than oil.
More Asian Ground Beef Recipes
Find more of our favorite Asian inspired recipes below:
- 30 Minute Ground Beef and Broccoli- a takeout classic you can recreate at home.
- Thai Basil Beef- a super spicy and quick stir fry that we love to make for date night in!
- Ground Beef Bulgogi- an incredibly fast meal with sweet and savory flavors that kids and adults both love.
- Korean Sloppy Joes- All the flavors of bulgogi in a delicious sandwich!
Ground Beef Fried Rice Recipe
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Olive oil, to coat
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)
- ½ white or yellow onion
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon grated ginger
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- Salt and pepper
- 4 cups cooked white rice (preferably cold day-old rice)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 green onions, chopped (optional)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
- In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, mirin, and honey. Set aside.
- Heat a swirl of olive oil in a large heavy duty skillet over medium heat until it shimmers.
- Add the ground beef to the skillet and break it up into smaller pieces with a spatula. Allow to cook undisturbed for a few minutes, then flip and continue to cook until the beef is well browned on all sides. Season lightly. Drain any excess fat from the ground beef and then remove it to a plate or bowl.
- Add half the butter to the wok, then add the chopped white onion and cook until it starts to become softened and translucent, about three minutes.
- Add the frozen peas and carrots and continue cooking until the veggies are softened, about two minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Push the veggies to the side and crack the eggs into the pan. Use a spatula to scramble the egg and cook, stirring occasionally, chopping them into smaller pieces, until mostly set, a few minutes. Push the eggs to the side with the veggies, and sprinkle both with salt and pepper.
- Turn the heat up to high and melt the remaining butter. Add the rice, spreading it over the pan and allowing it to cook undisturbed for a few minutes. We want to get some crispy bits!
- Add the ground beef back to the pan and toss the veggies with the rice. Add the soy sauce mixture and stir until it is well combined and soaked into the rice, another few minutes.
- Drizzle with sesame oil and garnish with green onion and sesame seeds, if desired.
- Substitute tamari for the soy sauce to make this fried rice gluten free.
- Leftover rice straight from the fridge is perfect for this dish, because it holds its shape best and crisps up nicely. Fresh cooked rice has more moisture and tends to get clumpy and gummy when stir fried immediately..
- Store leftovers for 3-4 days in the fridge in an airtight container for best results.