Healthy Korean Ground Beef

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.

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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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

healthy korean ground beef

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.

healthy korean ground beef and rice

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 the Carrot Protein Cake, Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies, or S’mores Pie, 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.

carrot protein cake, chocolate chip protein cookies, and s'mores protein pie

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. 

Adding Veggies

If you wanted to bulk up the recipe before serving with rice, you could do something like my sticky sweet ground beef 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.

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. 

healthy korean ground beef and rice

Korean Ground Beef

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

A simple, low calorie ground beef recipe. 



  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.


  • 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

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

21 thoughts on “Healthy Korean Ground Beef”

  • This dish is AMAZING! hard not to eat the entire pan myself 🤣 added broccoli and paired it with garlic rice from Costco 👌🏻

      • This has been a regular in my rotation of meals because it is so easy and also delicious! Love it on top of rice for high carb days and on top of cauliflower rice for lower carb days.

  • This is one of mine & my Bfs favorite recipes! We love the sauce! I’ve used it on chicken and shrimp!!! So good and easy!

  • Got hooked on Korean beef this summer and when I found this recipe I was ecstatic! It’s such a versatile recipe that you can throw with regular rice or cauliflower rice and whatever veggies you want and it is sooo lean!

  • This is so good!! After meal prepping Tex-Mex for 3 weeks straight I decided to try this one. I used deer meat and I didn’t have Gochujang so I somewhat followed the substitution using siracha and honey. I’ve never had Gochujang but even with the subs this was a very delicious meal!! Definitely on the spicy side but I’m slightly a wimp when it comes to that lol. I mixed with cauliflower rice! I added in some roasted broccoli one day and that was definitely a good idea.

  • You do not need any skill in the kitchen to make this recipe taste amazing. It’s in my monthly rotation and just has so much flavor with minimal ingredients. I love eating it with Brussels Sprouts or banza-type pasta.

  • I’ve never had any kind of Korean food before, but had recently bought Gochujang & had all of the ingredients so I decided to give it a try! I had already prepped some ground beef so I just divided the ingredients to make one serving. It was delicious! Pretty spicy, but I love spicy. I didn’t have red peppers in a jar, but had also recently cooked some frozen peppers & onions, so I just picked out a few red peppers. I placed over cauliflower rice. Definitely recommend!

  • Love this recipe! I have made it a number of times. This time I made it stir fry style with riced cauliflower. Yummm! Thanks!

  • This was a great recipe. I tried it standard as is, but also subbed ground turkey and a little Houston sauce. Then added pea pods, onions, mushrooms and carrots. It was a great base and had amazing flavor!

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