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Ground Beef Fried Rice

Need an easy meal idea? This Ground Beef Fried Rice takes less than 30 minutes to make! It's a quick and easy recipe that is made with stir-fried ground beef, peas, leftover rice, scrambled eggs, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Perfect flavor in each bite! Skip takeout and make a delicious meal the whole family will devour.

This recipe can be a meal on it's own or you can pair it with some egg rolls, potstickers, or other tasty side dishes. Any leftovers make perfect lunches for the week. The fried rice reheats really well.

Ground Beef Fried Rice in cast iron skillet.
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Why We Love This Beef Fried Rice Recipe

  • Easy to Make: This recipe is easy to make and uses simple ingredients.
  • Quick: Comes together in under 30 minutes. Perfect for busy days.
  • Budget-Friendly: An affordable dinner idea that is family-friendly and made more economical by using ground beef.
  • Uses Leftover Rice: Great way to use up leftover rice from the night before.
  • Family Favorite: This is a delicious and filling meal our whole family loves.

If you are looking for more quick meals a few of our favorites include this Easy Chicken Stir Fry, Beef And Noodle Casserole, Cajun Chicken and Sausage Skillet and Chicken And Noodle Casserole.

Beef Fried Rice in white bowl with spoon.

This Ground Beef Fried Rice recipe is full of flavor and it's one of my go to meals when I don't have a lot of time and need something quick.

Ingredients

See printable recipe card below for all ingredients, specific measurements, and complete instructions.

Ingredients to make ground beef fried rice set out on counter.
  • Ground Beef - I use ground beef that is at least 80/20 or 90/10. Make sure you drain off any grease once the meat is cooked.
  • Rice - Use leftover white rice from the night before. One day old rice that is cold is going to fry up a lot better than fresh rice. Jasmine rice is a great option to use.
  • Olive Oil - Just a little olive oil is needed to get a nice sear. You could easily use avocado oil or even canola or vegetable oil.
  • Carrots and Peas - I used the classic carrots and green peas for the vegetables in this fried rice. You can use fresh or frozen.
  • Garlic - Fresh minced garlic is going to add a ton of flavor to this fried rice recipe.
  • Soy Sauce - You can use a low sodium soy sauce if you are watching your sodium intake. Or coconut aminos if you prefer.
  • Rice Vinegar - A little will add a nice tangy flavor to the fried rice which makes this rice taste like restaurant quality.
  • Sesame Seeds - Add some sesame seeds in if you would like. This is optional but we love them.

Recipe Variations

  • Different Meat: Instead of ground beef you can use ground chicken or ground pork.
  • More Vegetables: You can add in other vegetables like bell peppers, snap peas, broccoli, cabbage and even green beans for added flavor.
  • Sauce: Braggs liquid aminos, or coconut aminos are a good substitute for soy sauce for those who need to avoid wheat products. 
  • Additional Flavor: For more flavor drizzle with a sweet and sour sauce, Chile sauce, or any other toppings of choice.

How To Make Ground Beef Fried Rice

Scrambled eggs in cast iron skillet.
Ground beef in cast iron skillet.

Cook the eggs. Start by adding the oil to the skillet and letting the pan get hot. I set it on medium heat. In a small bowl add eggs and whisk. Then pour into the heated skillet. Cook until scrambled and fluffy and once done remove from the pan and set to the side.

Cook the ground beef. In large skillet add oil and ground beef. Cook until the ground beef is cooked through. Then stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until the garlic becomes fragrant. Drain any excess fat and remove the meat mixture from the pan and set aside.

Rice in cast iron skillet.
Ground beef, eggs and vegetables added to rice in cast iron skillet.

Cook the vegetables. Add the carrots and peas to skillet and cook until vegetables are tender.

Add Rice. Let the skillet get nice and hot again then add in the cold rice. Stir and let it sear the rice for about two minutes.

Combine and season ingredients. Once the rice has browned a bit, add in the ground beef, vegetables and eggs and stir to combine. Adjust the heat to low and and stir in the soy sauce and vinegar and mix until combined.

Serve. Remove from heat, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Cooked Ground Beef Fried Rice in cast iron skillet.

Recipe Tips

  • Day-old rice that is cold is a must for this Beef fried rice recipe. You will find that using fresh rice will not create the same texture, it will be mushy.
  • Make sure the skillet is really hot before adding the rice to create that crispy fried rice texture. When you add the rice to hot skillet it helps keep it from steaming and sticking to the pan. If your rice has any moisture in it, it may pop so be careful not to burn yourself.
  • Fried rice is known for having eggs in it but you can leave it out if you prefer. You can also use butter to cook your eggs instead of the olive oil.
  • Using a non-stick skillet can be really helpful to keep your rice from sticking. I used cast iron skillet and in my experience cast iron always sticks a little bit at first. 
  • Adjust the flavor of the fried rice by using more or less soy sauce and rice vinegar to your preference.
  • Per USDA guidelines cook ground beef, pork, veal, and lamb to 160 °F. using a food thermometer to ensure it reaches a safe minimum internal temperature.

Storing and Reheating

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat leftovers in the microwave. To keep the rice soft and moist cover with a wet paper towel.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use cold brown rice to make fried rice?

Any type of day-old cold rice will work. Just know that different varieties of rice offer different textures and flavor. Some great options include Jasmine, long grain white rice and brown rice.

What meat can I use with fried rice?

This recipe uses ground beef. Some other options you could use include ground chicken, ground pork, shrimp and steak.

Beef Fried Rice in large white bowl.

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I hope you enjoy this Ground Beef Fried Rice Recipe! If you try it, please come back and rate it and leave me a comment below. I love to hear from you!

Ground Beef Fried Rice in cast iron skillet on counter.

Ground Beef Fried Rice Recipe

Author: Judy Wilson
This Ground Beef Fried Rice takes less than 30 minutes to make! It's a quick and easy meal that uses simple ingredients with lots of flavor.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Asian
Servings 4
Calories 367 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • ½ cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups leftover chilled rice
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons sesame seeds

Instructions
 

  • Heat half a tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.
  • Whisk the eggs, and add to heated skillet. Cook, stirring, until eggs are cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a larger skillet, heat half tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add ground beef and cook stirring and crumbling ground beef until it is no longer pink and cooked through. Then stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until the garlic becomes fragrant. Drain any excess fat and remove the meat mixture from the skillet and set aside.
  • Add half tablespoon of oil and the carrots and peas to skillet and cook until vegetables are tender. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  • Add the last tablespoon of oil to the skillet and let it get hot, then add the cooked rice. Stir the rice until warmed through.
  • Turn down the heat, and stir in beef, vegetables, and scrambled eggs.
  • Then add in the soy sauce and rice vinegar. Stir and fry the rice and vegetables until warmed through and the flavors are combined.
  • Remove from heat, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Notes

Day-old cold rice is a must for this fried rice recipe. You will find that using fresh rice will not create the same texture, it will be mushy.
Make sure the skillet is hot before adding the rice to create that crispy fried rice texture.
Per USDA guidelines cook ground beef to 160 °F.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat leftovers in the microwave. To keep the rice soft and moist cover with a wet paper towel.

Nutrition

Calories: 367kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 16gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 346mgPotassium: 314mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 4329IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 54mgIron: 2mg
The nutritional information provided is approximate and should only be used as a general guideline. It is an estimate that will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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