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You’ll skip the expensive take-out after you try this easy beef and broccoli! It’s a quick 30-minute dinner that has all the great flavor of the original, but made easy (and cheaper!) with ground beef and a simple savory sauce.

This is seriously one of our favorite weeknight meals – and it’s picky eater approved!

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beef, broccoli and other things mixed together in a black pan

EASY Ground Beef and Broccoli

We love our Chinese take-out around here, but it can get expensive and it’s not so healthy. So, when we’re craving those flavors, I like to make a quick and easy ground beef with broccoli instead.

Why you’ll love this recipe

My recipe has a savory sauce, fresh broccoli, and beef – just like the original but lightened-up and a lot less expensive.

You don’t need a wok to make this stir-fry – a large skillet works great! While you’re making the stir-fry go ahead and make a batch of rice to serve it with and you’ll have your whole dinner ready in about 30 minutes.

beed being stirred in a black pan

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry Sauce Ingredients

What I love about this dish is the easy stir-fry sauce. It’s savory and pairs so great with the ground beef and broccoli. It pretty much goes with anything – beef, chicken, ground turkey – so it’s great to keep the ingredients on hand whenever you want a stir fry.

  • Water
  • Low-sodium soy sauce – I prefer using low sodium but you can use regular.
  • Brown sugar – Or substitute Swerve sugar-free brown sugar
  • Ground ginger – I like fresh ground ginger but you can also use powdered or the paste.
  • Cornstarch – For thickening

What you need to make the stir fry:

  • 93% lean ground beef seasoned with garlic powder, salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh broccoli florets – cut them fresh or use a bag
  • Sliced onion – white or yellow
beef, broccoli and other things mixed together in a black pan with sauce being poured in

How to Thicken Beef and Broccoli Sauce

The sauce is as simple as mixing all the ingredients together. The cornstarch is what thickens the sauce, so don’t skip it. If you’ve ever wondered how your take-out dishes always have a glossy-thick sauce that’s the trick! 

How to make Ground Beef and Broccoli

  • Place the beef, garlic powder and salt and pepper in a large skillet and cook them together over medium heat until the beef is no longer pink. Remove the meat from the pan and drain off the excess fat.
  • Add the olive to the same pan and, once it’s hot, add the broccoli and onions. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook the veggies until they are crisp-tender. This should only take about five minutes. If you like your broccoli softer, cover the pan with a lid so it can steam.
  • At this point, while the vegetables are cooking, I like to mix up the sauce. 
  • Once the broccoli is tender, add the cooked beef and sauce to the pan. Simmer them together for a minute or so and, once the sauce has thickened, it’s ready to serve. 

We love to have this beef and broccoli with white or brown rice, but it’s great all on its own, too.

beef, broccoli and other things mixed together in a black pan

How to serve Beef and Broccoli

Serve this over white rice, brown rice, or cauliflower rice. My husband even eats it without anything on the side – or make some easy fried rice!

Expert Tips

  • A lot of recipes call for different kinds of beef, like flank steak. I love this recipe with flank steak but I only use it once in a while for several reasons. Ground beef is my go-to – it’s is just easier to cook, cheaper and leaner! Flank steak is delicious, but it can easily get over cooked and turn tough.
  • Ground beef also reheats well after it’s cooked so I often make a double batch of this stir-fry so we have some easy lunches and dinners. Other cuts of beef will get over cooked once you reheat them, but ground beef holds up really well! Chill the leftovers in air-tight containers and reheat in the microwave. They’ll keep well for a few days in the fridge this way.
Beef broccoli with rice

Ground Beef and Broccoli Recipe

4.91 from 11 votes
A 30 minute meal that's fakeout takeout! This easy Chinese dinner is made at home easier and healthier with ground beef
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Serving Size 1 serving


  • 1 pound ground beef 93% lean
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 small onion sliced thin
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Hot cooked rice for serving
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  • Place beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper and cook until no longer pink. Drain fat and remove from pan.
  • Add the olive oil to pan and heat through. Add the broccoli and onion and cook over medium-high heat until crisp tender, about 4-5 minutes. (If you want your broccoli softer, cover the pan to steam it.)
  • Meanwhile, mix together water, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and cornstarch.
  • Once the broccoli is finished cooking, add the meat back to the pan. Stir in soy sauce mixture and cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes.
  • Serve over rice.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 411kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 788mg | Potassium: 663mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 567IU | Vitamin C: 83mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 3mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

More favorite fakeout takeout

Try this easy beef and broccoli the next time a take-out craving hits. I think you will love it and so will your wallet – in the time it takes to order take-out you can have this easy dinner on the table!

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I made this dish last night and it was delicious and quick. I tripled the recipe. What I had available was ground turkey and it worked out perfect. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Love this recipe! Thank you so much for a simple, quick recipe that was easy to follow & used ingredients that I had on hand!! The whole family had seconds and I usually have food leftover for the next day but not last night!! It was gone, pan was practically licked clean lol!! Thanks again!!

  3. Made this tonight for supper. My family’s tastes are pretty varied, so finding something that appeals to everyone can be quite a challenge, but this fit the bill. My family gave it a rating of 4/5. Some of the more adventurous eaters in the family thought it could use “a little something” and suggested some red chili flakes or maybe some pineapple tidbits, others thought it was just right. Will definitely make this again. Thanks for sharing!!