Simple One-Pan Ground Beef Stir Fry with Vegetables is made in just 20 minutes! This quick and easy weeknight dinner is loaded with veggies, delicious beef, and a flavor-packed homemade stir-fry sauce. Made with everyday ingredients, it's a budget-friendly meal that is a family favorite!
One-Pan, 20-Minute Meal
Stir-fry is my go-to recipe for when I am in a rush and need to make something simple yet flavorful for my family and friends, such as this delicious sausage and veggies skillet. When you don't have much time to spend in the kitchen, what can be better than a flavor-packed one-pan 20-minute meal? That's exactly what this ground beef stir fry with vegetables (bell peppers and mushrooms) is all about!
Faster than take-out, this flexible stir-fry is made entirely from scratch!
- The flavors in the ground beef stir fry have take-out vibes but taste so much better. Making this simple family-friendly meal is faster than ordering and waiting for take-out!
- This recipe uses basic, everyday ingredients.
- I used bell peppers, mushrooms, and green onions as the veggies, but you can adapt this flexible and versatile recipe to whatever you have available. Other vegetables that will go well in this stir fry are broccoli, snap peas, red onions, carrots, zucchini, or even asparagus!
- The stir fry sauce is made completely from scratch blending together salty, sweet, and savory flavors.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Basic ingredients. This recipe uses approachable ingredients that you can find at any grocery store.
- Budget-friendly. Ground beef, veggies, and homemade stir-fry sauce are perfect everyday ingredients to make a budget-conscious dinner.
- Low-carb. Because the main ingredients in this stir fry are ground beef and veggies, it's a low-carb meal for when you need it.
- High in protein. This recipe is packed with protein (beef) and is great for those of us who want a high-protein meal once in a while.
- Homemade stir fry sauce is lower in sodium than many take-outs because you control what you put in your recipe. I used low-sodium tamari sauce (you can also use low-sodium soy sauce), minced garlic, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and sesame oil to make the stir fry sauce from scratch.
Best ground beef to use for stir-fry
85% lean ground beef is what I used and highly recommend. After cooking the beef, you will be draining all the fat/liquid anyway so make sure to start with the leanest beef you can find.
Best vegetables to use in stir fry
What I love about stir-fry recipes is that you can always adjust and change the ingredients to fit your personal taste or family's preference. The more vegetables you use, the better it tastes. Here are my favorite veggies that taste good in stir fry:
- Bell peppers of all different colors
- Mushrooms - you can use crimini, Bella mushrooms, portobello, or shiitake
- Yellow summer squash
- Green onions
- Red onions
- Baby corn
- Bok Choy
- Mung bean sprouts
- Snap peas, snow peas, or sugar peas.
Homemade stir-fry sauce
- The sauce is made from scratch with low-sodium tamari sauce (you can also use low-sodium soy sauce), minced garlic, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. The flavor combo is so delicious, and the sauce takes only about 5 minutes to make.
- Time-saving tip: Make the sauce while the rest of the ingredients are cooking (while you're cooking the beef and the vegetables) to save time.
- Homemade stir fry sauce is lower in sodium than many take-outs because you control what ingredients you use. In this case, I used low-sodium tamari sauce. Low-sodium soy sauce can be used interchangeably.
How to make ground beef stir-fry
Below are helpful step-by-step photos and recipe instructions. A more detailed recipe is provided in the recipe card below.
Start by preparing the veggies. Chop 3 small bell peppers of 3 different colors (red, green, and yellow).
Slice the mushrooms.
Cook the veggies. Next, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and sliced mushrooms to a large, high-sided skillet and cook for about 5 minutes or longer over medium heat. Remove mushrooms from the skillet.
Then, add another tablespoon of olive oil and cook chopped bell peppers for about 5 minutes until softened. Remove them from the skillet.
Cook ground beef. Next, you will add ground beef to the same, now empty, skillet and cook the beef on medium heat, crumbling it, and frequently stirring, until completely cooked through. Drain any grease and liquid from the skillet.
Make stir-fry sauce. While you cook the veggies and the beef, combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
Assembly. Return cooked bell peppers, cooked mushrooms, and chopped green onions to the skillet with cooked ground beef.
Add the sauce and let everything simmer for a couple of minutes until heated through. Top with toasted sesame seeds.
How to make it gluten-free?
I used low-sodium tamari sauce (which tastes a lot like soy sauce) here, and it's usually gluten-free. You can also find gluten-free low-sodium soy sauce. Always make sure to check the labels.
Variations and substitutions
- Ground meat. While this is the recipe for ground beef, feel free to use your favorite meat - ground chicken or ground turkey.
- 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. Veggies that taste great in stir-fry are broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, green onions, red onions, carrots, baby corn, Bok Choy, mung bean sprouts, or snap peas.
- Brown sugar can be replaced with maple syrup or honey.
- Low-sodium tamari sauce 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.
- Add nuts and seeds. This is a great recipe to incorporate cashews or sesame seeds.
- Make it spicy by adding a tablespoon or 2 of sriracha sauce.
Cooking tips and recipe notes
- Use only low-sodium tamari or soy sauce. Regular soy sauce would be too salty. If using regular soy sauce, adjust the amounts so that your ground beef stir fry is not overly salty.
- Sriracha sauce. Add this sauce if you like your recipe spicy. 1 or 2 tablespoons should be enough.
- Red pepper flakes are another way to spice up ground beef.
- Toast the sesame seeds. Toasted sesame seeds taste so much better than raw. They acquire rich flavor and beautiful color, as well. Follow recipe card instructions on how to toast sesame seeds in the oven.
- Toppings. Top ground beef stir fry with chopped green onions, chopped chives, and herbs of your choice. Chopped fresh cilantro or chopped fresh parsley would work well.
What to serve with it?
Ground beef stir fry is a meal all on its own, but if you would like add-ins, here are some ideas:
- Rice. Cooked Jasmine or Basmati rice, or brown rice is a great way to add carbs to this meal.
- Quinoa is a healthier and super delicious option.
- Noodles. Add your favorite noodles, such as rice noodles, egg noodles, angel hair pasta, or spaghetti.
- Ramen noodles. Discard the flavor packet and use ramen noodles with this recipe. They will taste delicious in a homemade stir-fry sauce with beef and vegetables.
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 - One-Pan, 20-Minute Meal
Beef and veggies
Cook veggies and ground beef
- Cook mushrooms (sprinkled with salt) in 1 tablespoon olive oil in cast iron skillet on medium-high heat, without moving mushrooms for 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, another tablespoon of olive oil, and cook bell peppers 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.
- Return cooked bell peppers to the skillet with cooked ground beef. Add the sauce. Reheat on medium heat and mix to combine. Add cooked mushrooms and chopped green onions. Continue stirring so everything is nicely coated.
- Taste and if it's not seasoned enough, add another tablespoon of tamari sauce.
- Top with toasted white and black sesame seeds.
- Serve as is or over cooked rice (Jasmine or Basmati).
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread the sesame seeds on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in one layer.
- Bake 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.