If you’ve heard me speak in videos or on Instagram, it’s clear I’m a born and raised southerner. That’s why I love making healthier versions of southern comfort foods, Tex-Mex, and other staples of the Deep South. I say that to let you know this Korean ground beef recipe is outside my comfort zone, but I like to think I’ve done it justice.
With only seven ingredients, this Korean ground beef sticks to my simple recipes with short ingredient lists modus operandi. And as always, each serving is packed with protein. If you divide the Korean ground beef into four servings, you’re looking at: 201 calories, 25 grams of protein, 11 grams of carbs, and 9 grams of fat.
Throw that down on a bed of steamed cauliflower rice, and you have a high volume, low calorie meal.
Ingredients for Korean Ground Beef
Like I mentioned above, this recipe is super simple. Brown some ground beef, mix some ingredients in a bowl, and you’re done. Here’s a look at the non-beef ingredients.
- Soy Sauce
- Sesame Oil
- Crushed Red Pepper
- Deli Sliced Roasted Red Bell Peppers (from a jar)
- Swerve Brown Sugar Substitute
I doubt you have questions about the first four ingredients on the list, so let’s cover the Swerve and Gochujang.
What is Gochujang and what can I use instead?
Gochujang is a red chili paste with fermented soy beans and glutinous rice. It’s super thick, spicy, and slightly sweet. And I’ll go ahead and say it, Gochujang is one of the best tasting condiments I’ve ever tried.
If you can’t find Gochujang (I found mine at Walmart, btw) you could try substituting chili garlic sauce, maybe sriracha, or you could use more crushed red pepper and a syrup of some kind. As for our next ingredient, Swerve Brown Sugar, a potential substitute I will mention is sugar free pancake syrup. That may kill two birds with one stone.
A look at Swerve Brown Sugar and potential alternatives
If you’re familiar with my sweets recipes like the Carrot Protein Cake or Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies you know I’m in love with Swerve, a sugar substitute that’s made with erythritol and oligosaccharides. That’s a fancy way of saying it’s a calorie free sweetener that tastes amazing and doesn’t mess up your digestion or anything like that.
Swerve recently added a brown sugar product. I typically try to replicate brown sugar with sugar free pancake syrups since they have similar sweetened molasses flavor profiles. But having the ability to use a dry ingredient as opposed to sticky sweetener is awesome.
I promise I’m not trying to sell you on Swerve! In this recipe, a sticky sweetener like sugar free syrup works okay since it’s going into a liquid mixture anyway. As an example, my spicy coconut ground chicken uses honey and gochujang together. And my spicy sesame ground beef and quinoa bowls use gochujang on its own.
If you decide to try Swerve brown, you’ll definitely want to try my low carb Mongolian ground beef as well.
If you wanted to bulk up the recipe before serving with rice, you could do something like my sweet n spicy ground chicken and broccoli or sriracha bbq ground beef and green beans. Throwing some veggies in at the end of cooking is a great way to make every serving larger if you’re on a low calorie diet. My ground chicken and broccoli is a good example of how you can pan roast veggies before cooking the ground beef and sauce. And the cucumber kimchi from my Korean ground turkey rice bowls would work perfectly here.
If you have a grill, I’d highly recommend checking out the sesame soy glazed zucchini and mushrooms from my Traeger Korean BBQ flanken short ribs recipe.
And for a lower carb rice option that’s still great, use a blend of real rice and cauliflower rice. My ground beef meal prep bowls call for 3 cups of cooked cauliflower rice and 2 cups of cooked jasmine rice. You’ll hardly notice the cauliflower rice.
All right, that covers the brown sugar substitute, gochujang, and mostly every ingredient question you might have. If you have a question, don’t hesitate to drop a comment below.
- Heat a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray over medium-high heat.
- Add the ground beef to the pan and use a spatula to break it apart. After the ground beef has cooked for 3-4 minutes, add the roasted red peppers.
- In a bowl, mix the remaining ingredients together until smooth.
- Add the sauce mixture to the beef when almost no pink remains in the beef.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring often. (If you're serving with cauliflower rice, pop a 12-ounce bag of frozen cauliflower rice in the microwave for 5-6 minutes.)
- Serve the beef over rice or with mixed vegetables and top with optional sesame seeds.
- Each serving has 4 Smart Points.
- Macros do not include cauliflower rice or sesame seeds.
- To calculate the weight or measurement of your serving sizes, I recommend weighing the total finished recipe and dividing that weight by four. For more help with this, check out my guide to using a food scale for tracking macros.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Servings Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 201Total Fat: 9gCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 25g