Ground beef and cabbage makes an easy skillet dinner loosely inspired by an Asian stir fry. With tons of texture, aromatic spices and a light savory sauce, this 30-minute meal is a weeknight winner.
Most ground beef and cabbage recipes involve tomatoes and herbs. I’ve totally participated in that vibe with recipes like this Instant Pot cabbage soup but for this skillet dinner, I wanted to take things in a different direction. Something more unexpected than traditional cabbage and beef ingredients.
Which is how this skillet/stir-fry evolved. I’ve been leaning heavily into these types of meals lately since realizing how much a simple stir fry sauce can transform a dish and needing quick dinner options after long work days.
It’s filled with a hearty dose of green cabbage but also features thinly sliced red peppers, shredded carrots and green onions for a low-key Asian stir fry vibe. It’s got lots of crunch, big flavor and it’s ready in under 30 minutes.
Ground beef cabbage skillet ingredients
- extra virgin olive oil
- ground beef
- fresh ginger
- green cabbage
- red bell pepper
- green onions
- coconut sugar
- coconut aminos — or tamari/soy sauce
- apple cider vinegar
- sesame seeds for garnish
Typically, stir fries involve a liquid sauce. Recipes like this shaved beef stir fry call for one that gets added right at the end of cooking.
This meal is slightly different in that it relies on ground spices for flavor and uses just a bit of liquid in the form of coconut aminos and apple cider vinegar at the end. Both methods result in big flavor but the sauce in this ground beef and cabbage skillet is lighter, letting the crunch of the vegetables really shine.
How to make ground beef cabbage stir fry
Start by preparing the vegetables. For this recipe, I like to keep the cabbage and peppers pretty thinly sliced. This helps cut down on the cooking time and gives it more of a stir fry feel.
Once all the ingredients are prepped, place a large skillet with the olive oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the ground beef and minced ginger. Cook until the beef is mostly browned, breaking up into small pieces with a spatula. This will take about five minutes.
Add the spices and coconut sugar and stir to combine with the ground beef. Cook an additional minute until very fragrant.
Add the cabbage, peppers, carrots and green onions to the pan and gently toss to combine. Let the vegetables cook for five to seven minutes, stirring occasionally until wilted. They should still have a bit of crunch to them. If you prefer the veggies softer, cook for another two or three minutes.
Add the coconut aminos (this is a gluten-free, paleo substitute for soy sauce) to the skillet and stir to combine. Cook an additional one to two minutes then add the apple cider vinegar to the pan and turn off the heat.
Stir one last time and garnish with sesame seeds before serving.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Fast – it’s a quick and easy meal ready in under 30 minutes with accessible ingredients.
- Uses a lot of cabbage – cabbage is one of those vegetables that seems to take forever to go through. This recipe will use an entire small head or half a large head of cabbage.
- Healthy – it’s a stir fry that’s big on flavor without leaning too heavily on oils.
- Customizable – like any skillet meal, it’s easily adaptable to what you have on hand. Swap out a different ground meat or change up the vegetables as desired.
Cabbage often gets paired with pork like in this sheet pan pork and cabbage recipe or this pork and cabbage stir fry so it’s a nice change of pace to use ground beef and showcase the vegetable with a different protein profile.
How to serve it
I find this recipe incredibly filling as it is. Cabbage is the kind of vegetable that sort of stands in for a starch.
However, if you want to bulk it up a bit, serve over white rice or pair it with an Asian noodle like ramen, udon or soba.
Stir fries and skillets like this one store really well. Keep any leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
This recipe can also be frozen for later. It will keep for about two to three months in the freezer. Thaw it under refrigeration overnight then reheat in a skillet.
What to do with leftover cabbage
Wondering what to do with the other half of the head of cabbage? Try air frying cabbage steaks for a crispy delicious side dish or make fermented cabbage (aka real sauerkraut) and use as a tangy topping.
Roasted cabbage with a lime peanut sauce is also really delicious and one of my favorite sides with steak or chicken.
If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! I’d love to know how it goes. Leave a comment below if you have any questions. Tag @runningtothekitchen on Instagram & Facebook.
- 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
- 1/2 large head green cabbage, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 3 tablespoons coconut aminos (or tamari/soy sauce)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- sesame seeds for garnish
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil to the pan.
- Once hot, add the ground beef and minced ginger. Cook until mostly browned, breaking up with a spatula as it cooks — about 5 minutes.
- Add all the spices and sugar to the skillet, stir to combine and cook an additional minute until fragrant.
- Add the cabbage, red pepper, carrots and green onions to the pan. Gently toss to combine and let cook over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes until the vegetables have wilted and softened a bit but still have a little texture to them.
- Add the coconut aminos, toss to combine and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Pour the apple cider vinegar into the pan, turn off the heat and stir to combine one last time.
- Serve with sesame seeds for garnish.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 412Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 348mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 33g
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.