Ground beef ramen noodles is a simple 30-minute weeknight dinner that's easy on the budget and uses everyday ingredients! The ground beef is combined with lots of veggies (mushrooms and bell peppers) together with the homemade Asian sauce, brown rice ramen noodles, and sesame seeds. Faster than take-out, this flexible ramen is made entirely from scratch!
Ground beef ramen noodles
This is a budget-friendly instant noodle recipe makeover that uses good ingredients and you know exactly what goes into your food! Everything is ready in under 30 minutes. Ground beef is cooked together with fresh veggies (bell peppers and mushrooms) and then combined with homemade Asian sauce and packaged ramen noodles. This recipe has become an immediate family favorite as it's super flavorful, packed with veggies, and features simple ingredients!
Why you'll love it
- Flexible recipe. You can use any kind of veggies you like (broccoli, asparagus, spinach), switch up the meat, and use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef. Use tamari sauce or soy sauce. This recipe lends itself to lots of changes and variations.
- Budget-friendly. Ground beef, ramen noodles, veggies, and homemade stir-fry sauce are perfect everyday ingredients to make a budget-conscious dinner.
- Easily convertible to gluten-free. This recipe is easily made gluten-free by simply making sure that you use tamari sauce labeled as gluten-free or soy sauce labeled as gluten-free. Also, use gluten-free ramen noodles (I used rice noodles by Lotus Foods brands). Everything is made from scratch, so you control what goes into your food.
- Ground beef. Use the leanest kind of beef since you will be draining fat anyway after cooking. I used 85% lean ground beef. You can also use ground chicken or ground turkey.
- Mushrooms work great in Asian-inspired dishes as their neutral flavor is perfect for flavor-packed sauces.
- Bell peppers. Use multi-colored bell peppers for presentation.
- Olive oil is used for cooking veggies.
- Minced garlic adds amazing flavor and aroma to any dish!
- Brown sugar - a small amount of it is used to sweeten the sauce. You can also use maple syrup or honey.
- Low-sodium tamari sauce provides just the right amount of saltiness, without overwhelming the flavor. It can be replaced with low-sodium soy sauce. For a gluten-free option, make sure to check the labels.
- Rice vinegar can be replaced with apple cider vinegar.
- Sesame oil is super flavorful and is a great ingredient in Asian-style dishes.
- Sesame seeds. I used 2 colors (black and white) for the presentation. I also toasted the seeds in the oven for more flavor.
- Ramen noodles. I used 2 packages of rice ramen noodles that were labeled gluten-free. Each package was 2.8 oz - Lotus Foods brand.
How to make ground beef ramen
- Cook ramen noodles. To start, bring a large pot of water to boil for cooking the ramen noodles. When the water starts boiling, add ramen noodles and cook according to package instructions.
- Cook veggies. At the same time, cook sliced mushrooms and chopped bell peppers with salt and pepper in a large, high-sided skillet.
- Cook ground beef. Then, remove the cooked veggies and cook the ground beef. I recommend using the leanest ground beef that you can. Drain any grease.
- Combine all cooked ingredients. Return the cooked veggies to the cooked beef in the skillet. Then, add cooked and drained ramen noodles.
- Add the homemade Asian sauce made with minced garlic, low-sodium tamari sauce, or low-sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and brown sugar to the skillet.
- Sprinkle toppings on top - toasted white and black sesame seeds. That's it! This simple and budget-friendly dinner is ready!
Ground beef ramen noodles are a well-balanced meal that features protein, carbs, and lots of veggies. You can dress it up even more by using these toppings:
- Chopped green onions or chopped chives
- Toasted nuts, such as cashews or peanuts
- Sesame seeds - use 2 colors (black and white) for presentation
- Fresh herbs such as basil.
Cooking tips and recipe notes
- Use a low-sodium soy sauce or tamari sauce. Otherwise, your dish will be overloaded with sodium and saltiness.
Make it spicy by adding sriracha sauce or red pepper flakes to the ground beef.
- I recommend using gluten-free ramen noodles that I like much better than regular ramen flavor-wise even if you are not gluten-free. They hold up better in a sauce and taste so good! You can even make this dish a day or two in advance - the noodles will not fall apart and they will keep their texture really well! You can also cook gluten-free rice noodles al dente to keep their texture. I used gluten-free rice ramen noodles - the Lotus Foods brand.
- Toast the sesame seeds. Toasted sesame seeds taste so much better than raw ones. They acquire rich flavor and beautiful color, as well. Follow the recipe card instructions on how to toast sesame seeds in the oven.
- Veggies. The mix of vegetables that I use in this recipe is simply my favorites - multi-colored bell peppers and mushrooms. They both add color and texture to the ground beef stir fry. Feel free to use whatever vegetables your family loves. Broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, green onions, red onions, carrots, baby corn, Bok Choy, mung bean sprouts, or snap peas.
- Time-saving tip. Cook the ramen noodles in a boiling pot of water and make the sauce at the same time as the rest of the ingredients are cooking (while you're cooking the beef and the vegetables) to save time.
Can you make this gluten-free?
Because you make everything from scratch, you know exactly what goes into this dish.
- Use gluten-free labeled soy sauce or gluten-free labeled tamari sauce.
- Use gluten-free labeled rice ramen noodles instead of regular ones. I used gluten-free rice ramen (Lotus Foods brand) and it worked really well in this recipe!
Can you make it ahead?
Yes, this recipe is perfect for making ahead!
- Prepare and cook everything (ground beef, veggies, homemade Asian sauce) except the noodles and refrigerate. Cook the ramen noodles only when you are ready to serve.
- Because it's not a soup, but a ramen noodle dish, you can make the whole recipe ahead (including cooking the noodles), and it still would keep pretty well refrigerated for about 3 days. But for the best texture, cook the noodles only when you're ready to serve.
- If you want to freeze this dish for making ahead, definitely don't add ramen noodles - just freeze the cooked ground beef with cooked veggies and the sauce only.
Storage and reheating tips
- Fridge. Ground beef ramen noodles keep well refrigerated for up to 3 days. Because it's not a ramen soup recipe, but a noodle recipe with ground beef, the ramen would generally hold up well refrigerated for up to 3 days, especially if you use gluten-free ramen and cook it al dente.
- Freezer. You can freeze this dish. In this case, don't cook the ramen noodles. Freeze only the cooked ground beef with veggies and the sauce.
- Reheat in the microwave oven for about 1 minute or a bit longer until warmed up.
- You can also reheat this in a skillet on the stovetop - in this case, briefly heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in the skillet and then add the leftovers on low-medium heat and reheat gently for several minutes. Adding a little bit of sesame oil (or other cooking oil) ensures that the ground beef ramen noodles don't stick to the bottom of the pan.
Other Asian-inspired recipes
If you're looking for more Asian-inspired dinner inspiration, here are some ideas:
- Spicy Asian Noodles with Mushrooms and Snow Peas
- Asian Pasta with Broccoli and Mushrooms
- Thai Zucchini Noodles
- Asian Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing
- Ground Beef Stir Fry
- Asian Glazed Salmon with Mango Peach Salsa
Ground Beef Ramen Noodles
- 6 oz ramen noodles
Beef and veggies
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 8 oz mushrooms sliced (I used crimini)
- 3 bell peppers medium-size, different colors (red, yellow, green), chopped
- 1 lb ground beef 85% lean
- 4 green onions chopped
- 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds toasted
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds toasted
- salt and pepper to taste
Asian Sauce Sauce
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup low-sodium tamari sauce or low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
Cook the noodles
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Discard flavor packages. Add ramen noodles and cook according to the package instructions. Drain when cooked. I used 2 packages of gluten-free rice ramen (2.8 oz each) - Lotus Foods brand.
- Tip: I like to bring a pot of water to boil, turn it off (or reduce heat to low) but wait until the rest of the ingredients are done, and only then add noodles to boiling water as they cook really fast (about 5 minutes). But do bring a pot of water to boil while you cook the rest of the recipe as that takes time.
Cook veggies and ground beef
- Cook mushrooms (sprinkled with salt) in 1 tablespoon olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat, without moving mushrooms for about 3 or 4 minutes, to get a nice golden sear. Flip the mushrooms and cook for a couple more minutes. Remove to a plate.
- To the same, now empty, skillet add chopped bell peppers, and another tablespoon of olive oil, and cook bell peppers (with a sprinkle of salt and pepper) until just softened, about 5 minutes, on medium-high heat. Remove from skillet.
- Add ground beef to the same, now empty, skillet, and cook, crumbling it, and frequently stirring, until cooked through. Once the beef is completely cooked, drain any liquid and fat.
- While you cook the veggies and the beef, combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl: minced garlic, low-sodium tamari sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and brown sugar.
- Return cooked bell peppers and cooked mushrooms to the skillet with cooked ground beef. Add cooked ramen noodles. Add the sauce.
- Reheat on medium heat and mix to combine. Continue stirring so everything is nicely coated. Add chopped green onions and mix them in.
- Taste and if it's not seasoned enough, add another tablespoon of tamari sauce or season with salt and pepper.
- Top with toasted white and black sesame seeds.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread the sesame seeds on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in one layer.
- Roast for about 10 minutes until sesame seeds turn nicely brown, roasted color.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.