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Ground Beef Bulgogi

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This delicious ground beef bulgogi recipe is ready in only 20 minutes! It's an easy, healthy weeknight meal that's a family favorite.

Bulgogi is a Korean grilled meat dish - this recipe is similar in that it uses a delicious, sweet sauce for the meat, but subs out strips of meat for quicker cooking ground beef.

You can serve this recipe alongside some chopped fresh veggies for a beautiful bowl that's bursting with flavor.

Ground beef bulgogi with rice in a bowl, topped with carrots, cucumber, and radishes.

Why You'll Love This Bulgogi Recipe

This dish is so easy to make and is ready in just a few minutes. It's one of our favorite weeknight recipes because it's mostly made with pantry ingredients and makes enough for leftovers.

This recipe has both sweet and spicy elements - making for a delicious balance of flavors.

Ingredients for korean ground beef on a marble background.

Ingredients You'll Need

  • Ground Beef - You'll need 1 pound of ground beef. I like to use lean ground beef for this recipe.
  • Onion - You'll need ½ a white onion. This will form the base of the aromatics, but it's flexible - feel free to use a yellow onion or 2 shallots.
  • Garlic - You'll need 2 cloves of garlic.
  • Ginger - You'll need 1 inch of ginger.
  • Soy Sauce - You'll need ¼ cup of soy sauce.
  • Brown Sugar - You'll need ¼ cup of packed brown sugar.
  • Sesame Oil - You'll need 2 teaspoons of sesame oil.
  • Red Pepper Flakes - You'll need 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. If you are sensitive to spice, you can half the amount and if you like spicy food, double the amount.
  • Green Onions - You'll need the greenest parts of 3 green or spring onions.
  • Sesame Seeds - You'll need 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds to top the dish.
  • Optional Toppings - You can use a cup of shredded carrots, sliced cucumber and sliced radishes as a topping as well.

I like to serve this with brown rice, but you could also use noodles or white rice.

Three photos of onion and beef cooking.

How to Make this Recipe

Brown the Aromatics - Cook your diced onion, garlic, and ginger in a little olive oil over medium-high heat.

Brown the Beef - Add the beef to the onion mixture and cook it till it has browned; about 5 minutes. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to break up the beef and stir it occasionally.

Make the Sauce - Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes. Whisk till the sugar is incorporated.

Combine - When the beef has no more pink spots, add the sauce and cook for 2 minutes. Then turn off the heat and allow the dish to sit for 1 to 2 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.

Add Toppings - Place the beef in bowls with rice or noodles and top with sesame seeds, green onions, and optional cut and shredded veggies.

Bulgogi sauce in a white bowl with a silver spoon.
Ground beef bulgogi in a dutch oven.

More Healthy Beef Recipes to Try

These delicious ground beef recipes are totally worth making!

A closeup shot of a bowl of bulgogi ground beef.

Tips for Making this Recipe

Links on some posts are affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Recommended Tools - I recommend cooking this in a heavy-bottomed pot like a dutch oven or a heavy skillet. You can use a cast iron pan as well.

Storing Tips - This recipe will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and it can be frozen as well.

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Yield: 4 servings

Ground Beef Bulgogi

Ground beef bulgogi with rice in a bowl, topped with carrots, cucumber, and radishes.

This delicious bulgogi bowl made with ground beef is easy to make and full of delicious flavor!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Additional Time 3 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1-inch ginger, finely minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • Optional - shredded carrot, sliced cucumber, and sliced radishes to serve
  • Serve with cooked brown rice or noodles


  1. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and sauté them for 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned. 
  2. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, stirring often. 
  3. Add the ground beef, break it up with the back of a large spoon, and cook it for 5 minutes or until there is no pink remaining and it is crumbly. 
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes. 
  5. Pour the soy mixture over the ground beef and stir to combine. Allow to cook for 2 minutes and then turn off the heat. Let the mixture sit for 1 to 2 minutes before serving. This will allow the sauce to thicken. 
  6. Add optional rice or noodles to bowls, then top with beef, green onions, shredded carrots, cucumber, radishes, and sesame seeds. 

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 379Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 980mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 34g

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