by Olena

Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 71 votes

Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls is a healthy ground beef recipe full of vegetables, Asian flavored juices and served over hearty brown rice. This 30 minute meal will have your family going for seconds.

Love quick and easy? Try ground turkey and broccoli pasta, Tuscan chicken pasta or pesto turkey and zucchini.

Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls

Healthy Ground Beef Recipe

In no way I claim these Korean ground beef and rice bowls to be an authentic Asian recipe. 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 and rice recipe. I pack it with vegetables, use twice less sodium and replace brown sugar with half the amount of maple syrup. And serve over fiber rich brown rice. Healthy, budget friendly and cleans out veggie drawers dinner recipe. Sign me up!

Your busy weeknight needs this recipe along with turkey burgers and spaghetti with tomato sauce. Even your lazy Saturdays will be happy with it. My husband makes it often when it’s his turn to cook. But when you feel “fancy”, promise me you will try a lamb roast.

Need more help with dinner? Check out iFOODreal meal plans.

close-up Korean Ground Beef

Ingredients for Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls

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

  • Ground beef: I used organic hamburger with 85% fat. Truth is you can use any ground meat, like ground turkey or chicken.
  • Firm veggies: Like zucchini, eggplant, cabbage, broccoli, onion, garlic and bell pepper. Whatever you have on hand.
  • Tomato: It is optional, so if you have one on hand. I like how it holds its juiciness, soft texture and freshness while other veggies become more cooked.
  • Lots of green onion: Also known as scallion or spring onion, is a must for Korean ground beef.
  • Asian flavorings: Soy sauce, maple syrup and rice vinegar that all can be found in Asian salad dressing.
  • Optional additions: 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.

  • Start your side: 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.
  • Cook ground beef: 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! fried ground beef with onion in a skillet
  • Add fresh flavorings: 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.
  • 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. fried veggies
  • 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.
  • Add condiments and cooked ground beef back: Now is time to combine everything. Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, pepper, red pepper flakes and previously cooked ground beef to the skillet. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
  • Garnish: Add lots of green onions and make sure to save some for serving. That’s it! korean ground beef in a skillet with a spoon

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

Serving Ideas

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

  • With whole grain side: The first time I made it, I served it over brown rice. Second time with quinoa. Third time with brown rice noodles.
  • Lettuce wraps: Make it as an appetizer and serve on lettuce leaves as a wrap.
  • Korean “tacos”: Wrap Korean style ground beef in flour tortillas, add shredded cabbage or peanut slaw and make “tacos”. Then garnish with sweet chili sauce.
  • Low carb meal: For low carb dinner with ground beef serve over cauliflower rice.

How to Store and Reheat

Storing: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I recommend to store beef and veggies mix separately from rice, so the grain doesn’t soak up all delicious juices.

Freezing? I do not recommend to freeze Korean ground beef and vegetables if it contains zucchini. But if you used more sturdy veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and eggplant, then it’s fine. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

Reheating: Reheat in a skillet with a splash of water or broth, simmering on low while covered, stir occasionally. Should take about 7-10 minutes to heat through.

More Asian Inspired Recipes

Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls

Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls

Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls Recipe {Healthy 30 Minute Meal}

Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls is a healthy ground beef recipe full of vegetables, Asian flavored juices and served over hearty brown rice. This 30 minute meal is easy, quick, with simple ingredients and will have your family going for seconds.
4.96 from 71 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 211kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1-2 inch fresh ginger minced
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 2 medium zucchini diced
  • 1 small eggplant diced
  • 1 tomato diced (optional)
  • 4-5 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

Instructions

  • Cook rice as per package instructions. I usually make Instant Pot brown rice.
  • 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!
  • 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.
    Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls
  • Swirl oil to coat, add bell pepper and saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add zucchini, eggplant and tomato; saute for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls
  • Add soy sauce, rice vinegar,  maple syrup, pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add cooked beef and stir.
  • Turn off the heat and sprinkle with green onion; stir again.
  • Fluff rice with a fork and serve Korean ground beef over it.
    Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls

Storing: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I recommend to store beef and veggies mix separately from rice, so the grain doesn't soak up all delicious juices.

    Freezing? I do not recommend to freeze Korean ground beef and vegetables if it contains zucchini. But if you used more sturdy veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and eggplant, then it's fine. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

      Reheating: Reheat in a skillet with a splash of water or broth, simmering on low while covered, stir occasionally. Should take about 7-10 minutes to heat through.

        Video

        Notes

        • Ground beef: I used organic hamburger with 85% fat. Truth is you can use any ground meat, like ground turkey or chicken.
        • Other firm veggies: Like cabbage, broccoli or even cauliflower. Whatever you have on hand.
        • Tomato: It is optional, so if you have one on hand. I like how it holds its juiciness, soft texture and freshness while other veggies become more cooked.
        • Optional additions: You can also add cashews, water chestnuts, shredded carrots. Possibilities are endless!
        • Fresh garlic or ginger substitutes: If missing fresh, use 1 tsp of garlic powder and 1/2 tsp ground ginger respectively.
        Serving Ideas
        • With whole grain side: The first time I made it, I served it over brown rice. Second time with quinoa. Third time with brown rice noodles.
        • Lettuce wraps: Make it as an appetizer and serve on lettuce leaves as a wrap.
        • Korean "tacos": Wrap Korean style ground beef in flour tortillas and add shredded cabbage and make “tacos”. Then garnish with red garlic chili sauce.
        • Low carb meal: For low carb dinner serve over cauliflower rice.

        Nutrition

        Calories: 211kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 416mg | Potassium: 717mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 849IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 3mg
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        olena osipov in the studio

        Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

        My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

        142 comments on “Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls

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        1. 5 stars
          This recipe was super tasty and I LOVE how packed with veggies it is! I made 1.5x the sauce and added cornstarch (mixing all of the ingredients before adding it to the veggies) and it was the PERFECT amount. To serve, I topped it with toasted sesame seeds, a lime wedge, and some siracha and I could not have been happier!

        2. 5 stars
          Excellent!!! I love the addition of zucchini and I found it was very filling and awesome. I found it bland but I don’t think that’s the fault of the recipe – it’s too easy just to make extra sauce or add extra ginger, as well as sesame oil! I loved this recipe though 🙂

        3. 5 stars
          This was SO good! I know I will be cooking it often, and I don’t even like meat that much but this was so delicious!! I replaced a couple of the vegetables with what I had on hand (broccoli and carrots instead of peppers and eggplant). Anytime I want something delicious but healthy I come to your website. Thanks, Olena!!!

          1. Awe, thanks so much Diana! I love throwing whatever vegetables I have on hand into recipes too. Fridge cleaner recipes are the best!

        4. 5 stars
          This was absolutely delicious & nutritious!!! Thank you very much for sharing this recipe. I couldn’t believe all the healthy ingredients that went into this hearty meal, and what’s even more astonishing was my very picky son enjoyed this a lot!!! I did add some gochijang, sesame oil & a can of water chestnuts. Great dish for my family, that all enjoyed. Thanks again!!!

          1. Yay! Sounds like this one will be on your regular dinner rotation for sure! Love recipes that are kid approved 🙂

        5. 5 stars
          This is delicious! The mix of the soy sauce, maple syrup and vinegar is great. The waterchestnuts add a nice crunch. Thank you!

        6. 5 stars
          Made this last night for my fiancé & I. Typically with any meal we have leftovers we ate the whole thing!!! It was so good & sooo easy will definitely be saving this recipe to make again 🙂

        7. 5 stars
          What an awesome dish. All the veggies and so flavourful juices great combo on all. Best thing is I always have these things in hand. So it’s a great go to! My kids really enjoyed.
          Second rounds for everyone!

        8. 5 stars
          Fabulous recipe! Came together quickly and the sauce really makes the meal. This dish goes into regular rotation. Brava!

        9. 5 stars
          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.

        10. 5 stars
          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!

        11. 5 stars
          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!!!

        12. 5 stars
          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!!!

        13. 4 stars
          Delicious and healthy. I didn’t have eggplants so I used cabbage. I also did not have rice vinegar. it turned out great

        14. 5 stars
          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!
          Maria

        15. 5 stars
          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!

        16. 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! 🙂

        17. 5 stars
          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

        18. 5 stars
          Made this for the first time & it was a hit with the fam! Thanks for this great recipe, it was practical & delicious!

        19. 5 stars
          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.

        20. 5 stars
          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 🙂

        21. 5 stars
          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!

        22. 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?

        23. 5 stars
          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)

        24. 5 stars
          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!!!

        25. 4 stars
          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!

        26. 5 stars
          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.

        27. 5 stars
          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!

        28. 5 stars
          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!

        29. 5 stars
          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.

        30. 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?

        31. 5 stars
          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!

        32. 5 stars
          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!

        33. 5 stars
          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. ?

        34. 5 stars
          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!

        35. 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. 5 stars
              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. 5 stars
                  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!

        36. 5 stars
          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!

        37. 5 stars
          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.

        38. 4 stars
          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.

        39. 5 stars
          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?
            Thanks

        40. 5 stars
          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!

        41. 5 stars
          We were floored by how much flavor this dish has. Will definitely be making this again and again. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

        42. 5 stars
          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 ! 🙂

        43. 5 stars
          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!

        44. 5 stars
          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!

        45. 5 stars
          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!

          1. Haha, how can you not be obsessed with IP, right?! I am taking mine to hockey tournaments road trips this year. Yes, any meat. Let me know.:)

        46. 5 stars
          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 ?

        47. 5 stars
          Super easy and took me exactly 30 minutes! I did add a little bit more chili flakes and soy sauce per personal preference.

        48. 5 stars
          Superb one pot dish and super easy to make. Oh so yummy! Thank you much for sharing your recipe! Five stars for you!

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