Look, instant ramen is a delight. It’s super quick, it’s super cheap, and it also manages to be super tasty, so there’s absolutely nothing wrong with making it just as the package intends you to. But! There are tons of ways you can use that ramen packet that are a little more elevated than how you cooked it in your college dorm room. Case in point, this Ground Beef Ramen Skillet. It takes that very same packet of quick-cooking noodles and uses them in a salty, savory stir fry that still makes for a super quick meal, but feels a little more well-rounded and unique. (Thanks beef and veggies!)
Now, first things first, you’re going to want to discard the seasoning packet that comes with the instant ramen. We’re using the noodles but creating our own flavor here. Don’t worry, it’s still quick! Since this stir fry does move fast, it helps to get your sauce together and get all of your other ingredients prepped so they’re ready to go when you are. To start, just whisk together the sauce ingredients, which includes nothing too out of the ordinary but you can always sub in some veg oil for the sesame and skip the hoisin sauce if need be. Then set that sauce aside.
Put on some water to boil and then saute some ginger and garlic in a large skillet (or wok, if you have one). The beef goes in with the garlic and ginger and since you’re using ground beef, that step goes quickly. You’ll boil your ramen noodles while you brown the meat, but you want to cook them a minute and a half less than the package tells you to. That might mean you’re only boiling them for a minute, minute and a half but they’ll cook more in the skillet so you don’t want them overdone.
There’s bell pepper and carrots and broccoli too and once those are crisp-tender you’ll toss in the sauce and the noodles to give it all a chance to come together. It’s a quick meal, but it’s one that takes ramen far and above past the package directions. This is a saucy, veggie and beef studded noodle dinner, and it will be on your table in thirty minutes or less.
Ground Beef Ramen Skillet
15m prep time
15m cook time
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 large white onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-inch piece ginger, grated
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
- 2 cups broccoli florets, diced
- 3/4 cup carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 3 packages instant ramen noodles, seasoning packets discarded
For the sauce:
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Green onion, minced
- Sesame seeds
- In a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients: the cornstarch, soy sauce, chicken broth, sesame oil, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, Sriracha, and black pepper. Set aside.
- In a large skillet or wok, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onion and cook until soft, 4-5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium, then stir in ginger and garlic. Stir briefly, 15 seconds, then push to the side of the skillet.
- Increase heat to high, then add ground beef to pan. Let sit undisturbed for 30 seconds, then use a wooden spoon or spatula to break apart meat and cook until no longer pink.
- While beef cooks, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add ramen noodles and cook 1 1/2 minutes less than package directions indicate. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon oil. Set aside.
- Reduce skillet heat to medium-high, then add in bell pepper, broccoli, and carrots. Let cook until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes.
- Stir sauce one more time, then add to skillet along with ramen noodles. Cook and toss everything together with tongs until sauce has thickened and coated everything, 2-4 minutes.
- To serve, sprinkle green onion and sesame seeds over. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted Chelsea's Messy Apron.