by Olena

Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls

by Olena

4.9 from 50 reviews

Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls for an easy weeknight dinner or lazy Saturday.

Chock full of vegetables with twice less sodium and sugar, your kids will be going for seconds of this healthy 30 minute meal.

Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls

Korean Ground Beef Recipe

I am not sure how Korean are these Korean ground beef and rice bowls but all I know is that my family “inhales” them every-single-time!

All 3 of my boys, big and small, love my healthy Korean ground beef.

I pack it with vegetables. Use twice less sodium and replace brown sugar with half the amount of maple syrup. And serve over brown rice.

Healthy, budget friendly and cleans out the veggie drawers. Twice less sugar and sodium than traditional recipe. Sign-me-up.

close-up Korean Ground Beef

Your busy weeknight needs this stir fry recipe. Even your lazy Saturdays will be happy with it. My family devoured this healthy version of traditional Asian dish.

It’s so simple to make and is super delicious and full of flavor.


I was at the end of my menus, and was looking to make something with pantry staples.

  • Ground beef – I used 85% fat
  • Firm veggies like zucchini, eggplant, cabbage, broccoli, onion, garlic and bell pepper
  • Tomato (optional)
  • Lots of green onions (a must)
  • Asian flavors: soy sauce, maple syrup and rice vinegar.

You can also add cashews, water chestnuts, shredded carrots. Possibilities are endless!

eggplant, beef, zucchini, tomato, pepper and onion ingredients to make Korean Ground Beef

How to Make Korean Ground Beef

I have been cooking with ground turkey and beef often lately. Take these Instant Pot quinoa bowls. It is an easy and cheap way to make healthy dinner fast. And kids always seem to like it. And it takes 30 minutes.

And because I love my Instant Pot so much, I share how to turn this Korean ground beef recipe into a one pot meal in your electric pressure cooker. Just keep on reading.

fried ground beef with onion in a skillet

Cook Ground Beef with Spices

Before I start cooking Korean ground beef, I decide what I want to serve it with. Usually I make Instant Pot brown rice or Instant Pot quinoa. So, I start that first to make sure my beef can go on the table as soon as it’s ready.

You want to sear ground beef in a hot wok or large deep ceramic non-stick skillet on medium heat. Cook breaking into pieces and stirring constantly, for about 5-7 minutes. Drain fat if desired.

I have to say I used beef thawed in Instant Pot, so I cooked it less time. It is a miracle recipe!

Towards the end of browning ground beef, add onion, ginger and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove beef onto plate and return skillet to the stove.

Can You Make It with Chicken or Turkey?

Yes. You can use any ground meat you wish.

fried veggies

Saute Veggies Separately

You want to cook veggies separately from meat and in stages so they caramelize. First goes the bell pepper because its browned version is the most flavorful veggie ever.

Then zucchini and eggplant. We just need to soften them a bit and I find both of these veggies absorb sauce flavors so well. Like a sponge. And bulk up the dish which kids do not notice. Sneaky veggies basically.

korean ground beef in a skillet with a spoon

Combine Everything

Now is time to mix everything. Add sauce ingredients and previously cooked ground beef to the skillet. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add lots of green onions and make sure to save some for serving. That’s it!

Literally your next healthy 30 minute meal has arrived on your dinner table.

Now, how do we eat Korean ground beef?

Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls

A Bazillion Serving Ideas

Leftovers warm easily, which is great when you’ve got teenage midnight grazers.

  • The first time I made it, I served it over brown rice. Second time with quinoa. Third time with brown rice noodles.
  • Make it as an appetizer and serve on lettuce leaves as a wrap.
  • Wrap Korean style ground beef in flour tortillas and add shredded cabbage and make “tacos”. Then garnish with red garlic chili sauce.
  • For low carb dinner serve over cauliflower rice.

Make It as One Pot Meal in Instant Pot!

Are you obsessed with Instant Pot like me? I love my Instant Pot to death! It makes healthy meals for my family while I’m doing something else. And there is so much to do – always! Like read a book, have a glass of wine or go to the beach.

To make Korean ground beef in Instant Pot:

  1. On Instant Pot, press Saute and wait until display says Hot. Takes 3-5 mins. Add ground beef. Cook until no longer pink or for about 5 minutes, constantly breaking into small pieces and stirring. Remove onto a plate.
  2. Add a bit more oil and veggies. Saute for 3-4 minutes and remove onto a plate.
  3. Add 1 cup water and stir to deglaze the bottom of the pot to avoid Burn. Press Cancel.
  4. Now add ground beef and all ingredients except cooked veggies and green onions. Do not stir.
  5. Close the lid, turn pressure valve to sealing and press Pressure Cook on High for 22 minutes. For white rice, cook for 5 minutes on Low pressure with Natural release.
  6. Release pressure using Quick Release method – turn pressure valve to Venting.
  7. Add green onion, stir and serve warm.

More Healthy Asian Dinners

Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls


Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls

Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls

4.9 from 50 reviews

Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls for an easy weeknight dinner or lazy Saturday. Chock full of vegetables with twice less sodium and sugar, your kids will be going for seconds of this healthy 30 minute meal.


  • Author: Olena of
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Asian


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 12 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 small eggplant, diced
  • 45 tbsp soy sauce (I used Bragg’s liquid aminos)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 4 green onion sprigs, finely chopped


  1. Cook rice as per package instructions. I usually make Instant Pot brown rice.
  2. While rice is cooking, preheat wok or large deep non-stick skillet on medium heat. Add ground beef and cook breaking into pieces and stirring constantly, for about 5-7 minutes. Drain fat if desired. I have to say I used beef thawed in Instant Pot, so I cooked it less time. It is a miracle recipe!
  3. Towards the end of browning ground beef, add onion, ginger and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove beef onto plate and return skillet to the stove.
  4. Swirl oil to coat, add bell pepper and saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add zucchini and eggplant; saute for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add soy sauce, rice vinegar,  maple syrup, pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add cooked beef and stir.
  7. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with green onion; stir again.
  8. Fluff rice with a fork and serve Korean ground beef over it.

Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 3 months.


If you don’t have fresh garlic or ginger, use 1 tsp of ground garlic and 1/2 tsp ground ginger.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

120 comments on “Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls

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  1. I didn’t know what this was going to taste like, but my husband and I were delightfully surprised how delicious it was. Thanks! I’m really excited that I found your website recently. Looking forward to trying more recipes.

  2. So easy and so yummy. It is my go to “ugh what do I do with this ground beef?” Recipe and my kids love it

    1. Hi,Ashley! Thank you for the positive feedback. So happy that you found the recipe to be delicious, easy and most of all kid approved!

  3. I don’t cook, I can, I just don’t enjoy it. My husband and I joke that we have a prenuptial – he cooks, I do dishes. However, since I work from home 7 days out of every 2 weeks, I decided to cook this. I think I made a huge mistake! My husband LOVED it!!! He now knows I can cook if I want too!
    It was delicious and so easy to make!!!

  4. oh my gosh – sooooo good!!! will for sure make again. I love all the flavors – especially the ginger! and love how many veggies are in this. yummm!!!

  5. Delicious recipe! I loved that it was chock full of veggies, easy to make and very tasty! Will be making this again soon!

  6. I followed the instant pot instructions and dumped ALL ingredients in except for the green onion and everything turned out incredibly mushy. I also only had white rice on hand so that probably didn’t help.

    I didn’t see this below comment until after I already made the dish. Recommend updating the IP directions. Also, how would you modify for white rice? Use less water?

    I thought the flavors were great though! Thanks!

    Hello there! I was wondering if cooking the veggies for 22 minutes under pressure in the IP won’t obliterate them? Should I wait until after the rice is cooked to add them?
    June 12, 2020 at 12:32 pm
    22 mins will turn them into almost nothing. Yes, add after, close the ldi and wait a few mins.

    1. Hi there. I see what you mean. White rice takes 5 minutes on Low pressure in Instant Pot. That is why your dish was a mush. Recipe instructions call for brown rice and 22 mins is correct time. I will add that about the veggies. Try brown rice next time or above time for white rice.

  7. Delicious and healthy. I didn’t have eggplants so I used cabbage. I also did not have rice vinegar. it turned out great

  8. Hi, I am making this tonight! What can I substitute for eggplant? I don’t want to omit it without replacing a veggie.
    Thank You!

      1. Oops, I didn’t realize the recipe is for instant pot. Do you have a conversion for regular cooking I can Google a conversion chart, but I would like your opinion. Do I still add frozen corn? I also have three ears of fresh that I can use.
        Thank you!

  9. Hi Olena!! Thank you for sharing such a delicious recipe! I have been an avid fan of yours for 6 months now and have tried a lot of your recipes. I am Polish, so, I share many of your sentiments towards food, and thus can really appreciate the simple ingredients. My husband and I couldn’t believe how flavourful this dish was after cooking it in the IP (this is actually one of my favourite IP meals). My next attempt will be your Bolognese! 😉 Thank you for inspiring us to get our very own IP – it has proven to be a huge asset in our kitchen!

  10. These are not Korean at all. Lol. Lived in Korea for 10 years…spouse is also Korean. They do not use ground beef anywhere there usually. It is so hard to even find a butcher who will cut the meat in this way.
    All the other ingredients are true to form except they also often include sesame oil in tiny amounts. Am def going to use this recipe and tweak it for my Asian fam. The green onion and red pepper flakes are easy to find at a local Asian market. Red pepper flakes are difficult to find in small packaging though because we use them so much and in everything. If you Asian market does not have a smaller size, check online.
    Thank you for this blog. I was overseas for so long that I forgot how to cook Western meals and want to keep things healthy. I am loving this blog! 🙂
    If any of your readers like to learn Korean recipes, I highly recommend following youtube Mangangchi. She was one of the first Koreans to teach Korean cooking in English. She is an adorable lady too. 🙂

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience and so glad you are enjoying my blog, Krissi! My goal is to share healthy and tasty recipes, and sometimes they fall into a category in between when is hard to come up with a name for them. Plus because of the name, you were able to find my blog. If I named recipe “Korean inspired” Google would never show it to majority. SEO is complex. So happy you found me! 🙂

  11. We enjoyed this dish. I didn’t have zucchini so I added eggplant mini peppers broccoli and carrots over cauliflower rice. My husband thanked me for making this dish. I thank you for this easy but flavorful dinner

  12. Made this for the first time & it was a hit with the fam! Thanks for this great recipe, it was practical & delicious!

  13. Easy to make the taste was awesome. I added fresh corn on the cob taken of cob and jalapeños. It was worth eating slowly and enjoying every bite.

  14. I made this last night, and it was AMAZING! I grew up with Korean food, and it was very close to my mother’s cooking 🙂 I will definitely make it again 🙂

  15. This was delicious. Just used the veg in the fridge I had… carrots, celery, pepper, cauliflower. Kids ate it and my wife (who’s not a fan of rice or ground beef) thought I was good (she took a second helping!)

    1. Sounds like this recipe is a keeper at your house! I love that you used the veggies you had on hand in the fridge!

  16. Hello there! I was wondering if cooking the veggies for 22 minutes under pressure in the IP won’t obliterate them? Should I wait until after the rice is cooked to add them?

  17. Really good recipe!! I substituted the zucchini and eggplant with edamame and added in a couple of mini peppers. If you’re using beef with higher fat content, would recommend draining the fat because once mixed with the sauce it could get a little watery. Overall such great flavoring (add some cayenne if you want a hint of additional spiciness)

  18. This was super easy, fast, healthy and very delicious!!!!! Thank you.
    I used sweet peas instead of zucchini and eggplant (didn’t have) and my husband loved it!!!

  19. Pretty good stuff. I switched out carrots for eggplant, because I had it. I added brown sugar and sherry at the end, because I like the rich sweet flavor that those impart on Korean Beef, and felt it was missing. Also I added some sesame seeds. It was great even on day two, if not better. Thanks for sharing!

  20. I did not have an eggplant, so in place I put some diced carrots and celery in as a substitute. Turned out lovely. Definitely going to make this recipe again. I did not use an instant pot. I just cooked it on the stove top. Turned out wonderfully! Thank you for sharing the recipe with us all.

  21. I just made this with, I must admit, some variations. I did it with plant based ground “beef” which happened to be spiced mildly Italian….but that didn’t matter as I was going to spice up your sauce anyway. I used the Veggie combo of onion/garlic/zucchini/red pepper/white mushrooms and scallions at the end. For the sauce, I added Korean hot gochujang sauce, about 1 1/2T of it, Maple syrup and a touch of water. And blended it over brown rice. I had to taste it before I refrigerated it (as I am eating it tonight for dinner) and oh my! Lovely! Thank you for this recipe….it is a keeper for me!

  22. Thank you we loved it. I actually didnt get everything right. I was moving at light speed tonight.
    Forgot my scallions on top. But the plan is to make this again really soon!

  23. Really loved this recipe. Easy and really tasty. I have made this twice now, once with fresh ground beef and once with ground beef thawed in the Instant Pot. If you have the time, use fresh or thawed beef not from the Instant Pot. It was good that way, just way better the other. I would cook the veggies longer too. They were a little too crunchy still and letting them cook longer was super tasty.

  24. My rice did not cook in the instant pot and if I try to cook it longer my instant pot says “Burn”. How do I cook the meal enough to finish the rice?

  25. This was delicious! I used peppers, cabbage and zucchini, but agree that you could use many different veggies. I would have used broccoli too if I had it! The sauce is really good as well! My family enjoyed. Thank you!

  26. Delicious recipe! My family loved it!!! However, your recipe didn’t say when to add the rice vinegar but I added it when I added the other sauce ingredients. It also never said to mix the meat and the veggies together but I just did it after I added the sauce. It was soooooo good!!

    1. Hi Carri! So happy that you enjoyed the recipe. Thank you for bringing my attention to the missing details in the cooking instructions. These have now been fixed!

  27. Loved this. We didn’t have eggplant, so I added mushrooms instead. I like my food spicier than my husband does, so we each added sriracha to our own bowls. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. We will definitely be making this again. 😁

  28. Hi, I made this recipe for dinner tonight, and made some vegetable substitutions (I had on hand mushroom, celery, red bell pepper, carrots and cabbage, and I used low sodium soy sauce and maple syrup). I also had a couple of fresh green onions in my garden! Turned out delicious! I used ground ginger because I didn’t have fresh, and fresh garlic and onions. Served over steamed white rice, because it’s what we had in the cupboard. I used ground beef, but chicken would be a good substitute too. Thanks for the great idea for dinner tonight!

  29. The store is out of both eggplant and zucchini! Should I just wait till another time or can you make a suggestion for a substitution please? These are HARD times! Thank you very much. I just love your site!

    1. Broccoli, cauliflower, more bell pepper. Any firm veggies to bulk it up. Even brussels sprouts. I know, can’t wait myself till this nightmare is over! Enjoy!

      1. I waited until I could get the ingredients and so glad I did – it is wonderful! I am widowed and live aloneso I’m very glad that this freezes well! It made A LOT!! But that is GOOD with such healthy and tasty ingredients! I’m looking forward to others that are so good and freeze well also! Thanks so much!

          1. I just had some of this wonderful dish after it has been frozen and it is STILL just as good as it was fresh IF NOT BETTER! It was a real treat because it required no cooking, only defrosting and reheating but it was like I had forgotten how GOOD it was! I have two more servings in the freezer to look forward to before making it again – and I absolutely will make it again! Thanks again for a recipe that will stay on my forever rotation!

  30. I made this for dinner tonight since I had some rice left from lastnights dinner. I stopped at the store to grab the pepper and zucchini and since I’m not a fan of eggplant I grabbed a small head of red cabbage. Everything came out fantastic! My mom liked it so much she wants me to make it again! Thank you for inspiring me to step out of my comfort zone and try such a yummy and easy meal!

  31. Great easy recipe! I didn’t have zucchini or eggplant but used summer squash, broccoli and chopped Asparagus instead. It turned out amazing and I loved the way the broccoli soaked up the juices. I also made my rice with chicken stock, a splash of soy sauce and sliced carrots. It was really yummy topped with this beef dish.

  32. Made this tonight, certainly healthy. But my question is what makes this Ground Beef Korean? Besides that the recipe was great and fast

    1. I’m so happy to read this! Thanks for your positive feedback, Noah! Took some Korean stir fry recipe and made it healthier, as original as it could get when you don’t use brown sugar or don’t live in Korea lol.

  33. I’ve always wanted to make a Korean Beef dish but everything has been so salty. I’m really excited to try this recipe! It looks delicious! Thanks for another great dinner idea!

    1. Hi,
      Does your nutritional information include the rice or should I be calculating that separately if I’m tracking my calories?

  34. This is the third of your chicken recipes that we have tried. We have not been disappointed,…. and finally getting our vegetables. We added diced tomatoes to the base recipe and really enjoyed that. We are recently retired and trying to eat better. Thanks for your help!

  35. We were floored by how much flavor this dish has. Will definitely be making this again and again. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  36. I’m adding this one to my go-to recipes ! Delicious! I added some chili powder to spice things up, and it was amazing ! Thank you ! 🙂

  37. Easy to make! My husband looked at me sideways when he saw the zucchini on the counter, but he loved it and didn’t even notice because they blend in to incorporate all of the great flavor. More veg = YES!

    1. Hi Lorrie. Not more water but try 25 mins. I think it’s your elevation. And if even then rice is not cooked, try different brand of rice. I tried 3 different and cook rice this way, so 25 mins should be more than enough. Good luck!

  38. Delicious! I haven’t found an online receipe in so long that actually ends up tasting as good as it looks. Even my 5 year old picky eater loved this!

  39. Making this recipe now, sound so delicious! Can you clarify for the instant pot version that after browning the meat you add 1 cup of water, rest of ingredients and 2 cups of rice?
    I wondered if that is enough liquid (or is it ok because of the vegetable liquids?)
    Thank you!
    Love your recipes!

  40. Sounds like an excellent meal. Will try it both ways – in the pan and in Instant Pot (I am obsessed with the latter as much as you are, Olena – haha!…). Going to use turkey or chicken, since you said any ground meat is OK :). Thanks!

  41. Really loved this one! Super easy and had everything on hand. I wasn’t sure at first if it would be too sweet but the vinegar balanced it for me. Thanks again Olena ?

  42. Super easy and took me exactly 30 minutes! I did add a little bit more chili flakes and soy sauce per personal preference.

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