Healthy Korean Ground Beef

Healthy Korean Ground Beef

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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.

healthy korean ground beef

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
  • Gochujang

I doubt you have questions about the first four ingredients on the list, so let’s cover the Swerve and Gochujang.

healthy korean ground beef and rice

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.

I guess that’s why Lil’ Pump wrote a hit song about it where he says Gochujang 1,000 times.


On a serious note, 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’ll mention is sugar free pancake syrup. That may kill two birds with one stone.

And this may be the southerner talking, but I feel you could add crushed red pepper and a spice to tomato paste for a similar but less complex condiment.

A look at Swerve Brown Sugar and potential alternatives

If you’re familiar with my sweets recipes like my chocolate cake protein donut holes, 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. I’m a big fan of their granular and confectioners sugars, but they recently added a brown sugar product and were kind enough to send me a bag.


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You can see in the video above, it’s like brown sugar for real real. 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.

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 send me an email or DM on Instagram.

healthy korean ground beef and rice
5 from 1 vote

Korean Ground Beef

A simple, low calorie ground beef recipe. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Keyword korean ground beef
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 201 kcal
Author Mason Woodruff


  • 1 lb Lean Ground Beef macros with 96/4
  • 3 oz Sliced Roasted Red Peppers from a jar
  • 2 Tbsp (60g) Gochujang
  • 1 Tbsp (15g) Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tbsp (30mL) Lite Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp (24g) Swerve Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper


  1. Heat a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray over medium-high heat.

  2. 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.

  3. In a bowl, mix the remaining ingredients together until smooth. 

  4. Add the sauce mixture to the beef when almost no pink remains in the beef. 

  5. 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.)

  6. Serve the beef over rice or with mixed vegetables and top with optional sesame seeds.

Recipe Notes

  • 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 six. For more help with this, check out my guide to using a food scale for tracking macros.
Nutrition Facts
Korean Ground Beef
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 201 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Total Carbohydrates 11g 4%
Protein 25g 50%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

What’s for dessert?

If you’re up for dessert, you should check out my free high protein cookbook for chocolate lovers. You can enter your info in the box below and I’ll send a copy to your email right away.

A simple Korean Ground Beef recipe to pair with cauliflower rice or mixed vegetables for a low carb, high volume, high protein meal.

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